Couple of things today:

1. I really would like to go to Australia at some point in my life. Did you know that I have never – ever – been away from North America? The furthest I’ve been out of the States is Toronto, Canada. That’s embarassing, because I love to travel. I’ve driven around the country, I’ve flown a hell of a lot, blah blah blah, but I’ve never been the UK? Ireland? Anywhere? No, no and no. Anyway, I mention Australia because they have one hell of a sense of humor – I mean, how funny is this? Classic stuff.

2. A couple of bands that need to be recognized (probably 10 years too late): Mark Lanegan was the lead singer for one of Seattle’s best bands, The Screaming Trees. The Trees, unfortunately, were bitten by the one-hit wonder bug when their song “Nearly Lost You” ended up on the soundtrack to the excellent movie “Singles” back in 1991 or so. However, that band had about 20 songs that just killed “Nearly Lost You,” so it’s too bad that nobody really heard any of their other stuff, because they were one hell of a powerful band. Well, all along Lanegan has been releasing solo albums, which are a 180-degree departure from the kind of music the Trees were doing. Where the Trees were all power chords and fuzz, Lanegan’s solo stuff was quiet, etheral and acoustic – and phenomenal. His deep, gravelly voice is much better suited for his quiet, catchy tunes, which you can find on any of his superb solo albums. Start with I’ll Take Care Of You and while you’re at it, get the Screaming Trees 1994 album, Dust. You will thank me. Sure, grunge is more-or-less dead, but these works transcend that stuff. My favorite quote from the grunge era is Kurt Cobain acknowledging within the liner notes of their album “Incesticide” that Nirvana was “the Cheap Trick of the 1990s.” How true.