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A penny for your thoughts indeed. Around here that would be a raise.

What makes a good blog? I think thematic consistency, a little exhibitionism, and honest writing. I can promise you the last one.

Most of my posts seem to be about music or politics. Some of them are funny. But all of them would love to hear a comment from you.

Oh-- and please welcome God to the APW team. We're thrilled and humbled to serve as His earthly vessel.

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Location: NYC

I was born at a relatively young age. Growing up consumed the better part of my childhood. As a young man I chased a lot of girls. But they kept getting away. Then I got older and even slower, so I got married. I've lived in New York City almost since before I moved here. I summer in Manhattan, which is like New York City, but with more humidity.

Here's me, without baby, thinking big thoughts. (Actually, what I'm thinking is, "Hey, these aren't Pringles!") I think I look better with baby.

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Thursday, December 02, 2004
Been a while siince I've checked in with you all. In the interim, several people-- including some very nice Republicans-- have suggested to me that I am too worried about the Religious Right. I hope they are correct. But what I keep coming back to with respect to the Religious Right is how effective they are at playing the political game-- mobilizing, getting out the message, getting out the vote, just good old fashioned grass roots politics. What I'm told is that they don't represent the mainstream of the Republican party, and that there are built-in checks against going too far in either direction.

That puts me on my high horse about the essential problem with politics, which is that it is uni-dimensional-- one axis, left to right. Which is why I've supported the idea of a third party since I've been old enough to vote (of course the fact that in my first presidential election my then-favorite musician, Todd Rundgren, toured for John Anderson may have been something of an influence in that regard...)

Quick note on the opposition to Condi Rice as Secretary of State. It is foolish; get over it. She's already National Security Advisor, and can have any role in statesmanship the president chooses to write into her job description. So just drop it and confirm her.

I see where Tom Ridge stepped down. I wonder if they give that gig to Giulliani? I think it would be a mistake. We associate RUdy with terrorist response, but he demonstrated no aptirude for PREVENTING terrorism, for making us safer. Even his greatest supporters (and I do not number among these) would have to concede that he jumped into action AFTER the damage was done. He was equally adept at mobilizing to remove the snow after a major storm; that doesn't mean he can keep it from snowing. Of course I don't know who would be good at this silly job (duct tape and color-coded alerts, anyone?) And I still don't understand why Homeland Security isn't the job of the Armed Forces.

So back to music.

It is almost time for my annual year-end top-20 album countdown, and APW readers will be the first treated to this anxiously-awaited piece of rock writing. For me it was a great year for new music, and while there are many albums that are a lock for my top-20, there are some late entries (e.g., U2) that I haven't even had a chance to digest yet. I think for the first time, I will have some real trouble winnowing down to 20.

Right now I'm llistening to the latest Hall & Oates, on which they tackle a slew of 70's soul standards. A natural move for them; its something of a slight album, but like WIlson Phillips' all-covers California earlier this year, a guilty pleasure. "I'll Be Around," "Used to Be My Girl," "Neither One of Us"-- fun stuff, although I doubt it cracks the top-20.

Saw the Silos last Monday; they played the Living Room every Monday in November, and if I wasn't a new father I'd have gone to all of them. (Wuss that I am, I'd rather be home with the baby listening to her gurgle than at some not-smoky club.) Walter Salas-Humara and company kind of lost me a little on the last album, Laser Beam Next Door, too heavy for the refined and heartfelt songwriting that makes his (and their) work so special. But as I've said here, the new album is a triumphant return to form. This show featured the core Silos trio, a friend on keys, another on guitar, for a full rich sound in a tiny room. Nothing from Laser Beam; the set list for anyone interested. Way too short:

A Picture of Helen
When the Telephone Rings*
Start the Clock >
Change the Locks
Only Love*
Dumbest On Parade*
Tenessee Fire

*off the new album, which will make the top-20.

This was classic Silos at their best. After, when I asked Walter to sign my CD, he apologized for forgetting my name. I was thinking, hey, I'm thrilled you remembered we'd met. And he had good things to say about the time he spent making Public Library with Jonathan Rundman, a sleeper album of 2004.

The Monday prior I saw my girl Jill Sobule at XL, the "it" gay bar in Manhattan. Yes, I ended up on stage with Jill for "Cinnamon Park." And no, no one hit on me. Well, it IS nice to be asked... She'll be at Joe's Pub for 2 shows December 28, and these gigs are highly recommended. Jill promises to unveil some of the new songs she's written since the election. Like me, she's a member of the northeastern Jewish liberal elite.

Posted by: --josh-- @ 11:23 AM  

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