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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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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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The ABB at the Beacon, 3-27-07
Friday, March 30, 2007
A good show, but not one of the hyper-magical ones...

Don't Keep Me Wonderin'
Trouble No More
Woman Across The River
Old Before My Time
Come and Go Blues
Maydell
Standback
Spoonful (Audley Freed gtr; Col Bruce vox; keyboard player)
Instrumental Illness

I Shall Be Released (Kinney, acoustic gtr/vox; Susan, vox; kbd player)
Any Day (Susan bckg vox; Yonrico on Jaimo kit)
Statesboro Blues
Gambler's Roll
Hoochie Coochie Man
Les Brers > bass > JaBuMaOt > Les Brers

One Way Out (Freed)


Butch plays an insistent cymbal beat as the band takes the stage and tunes; finally Derek plays a line over Butch’s beat and after a good long while it becomes the first song of the evening, “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’.” Oteil is back to the house, facing the drummers, eyes closed, grooving; he must want to feel Butch’s power in his heart. Derek solos on the outro; Warren bends low with the music, transferring sheer physical energy to Derek. A fierce Butch drive, and an extended Derek jam into a hard finish. Gregg, continuing his strong presence all run, rocks forward into the mic for his vocals on “Trouble No More,” with Derek tossing in accents around the vocal lines. Warren takes his first solo of the night, then Derek plays some beautifully abrasive slide lines against Gregg’s vocals. A nice old school one-two punch to open.

Please click here to read the rest.

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Posted by: --josh-- @ 12:50 PM  0 comments


Singing in the Bath Tub
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Is this the cutest toddler video ever?

You be the judge.

Posted by: --josh-- @ 11:14 AM  4 comments


Saturday (3/24) at the Beacon: the Mojo is in the House!
Monday, March 26, 2007
Statesboro Blues
Revival
Leave My Blues At Home
Rocking Horse
Soulshine (w/Ron Holloway)
High Cost Of Low Living
One Way Out

Come On Into My Kitchen (Luther Dickenson)
Dreams (w/Ron Holloway)
In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed > bass > Jabuma > Kofi > Jabuma >
Mountain Jam >
Dazed and Confused >
Mountain Jam

Whipping Post

Note: "Dazed and Confused" (in set list above) is a link. Click it.

Some nights, you walk into the Beacon and you can just cut the mojo with a knife… if you’re paying attention you get that tingle, that buzz in your antennae, and you can tell its going to be a special one.

Saturday night. It is one of those shows where everything the band tries, works, first note to last.

Please click here to read the rest

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Posted by: --josh-- @ 8:56 PM  2 comments


ABB at the Beacon, Friday 3/23: Just Another Manic Friday
Les Brers in A Minor
Can’t Lose What You never Had
Aint Wastin’ Time No More
The Sky is Crying
Who to Believe
Standback
The Weight (Suzie T-T; Jay Collins)

You Don’t Love Me > Soul Serenade
Don’t Keep Me Wondering
Manic Depression
Trouble No More
Walk On Gilded Splinters > JaBUMaOt > bass > Splinters
Black Hearted Woman > coda > The Other One jam

Preachin’ Blues
Southbound

Over the overture mists, Derek chops his ax down hard to herald the introductory strains of “Les Brers in A Minor,” quite sufficiently grand; Derek brings his guitar down similarly several times to emphasize beats, a surprisingly animated set of gestures for the Zen slide master. Oteil has his back to the house, facing off against the drummers and radiating waves of bottom, pushing the band into the theme. Oteil is playing big, Gregg’s B3 solo is fresh and brisk. Derek goes all flash, then pulls up, plays a big hanging note that is like a page break, then he plays a creaky, building solo, goes to double time, and finishes up with his open right hand bashing out a chorded phrase. A drum interlude, Marc high on top accenting… Then Warren solos over a solid Oteil base, a furious electric blur that connects with the house, pulling a cheer from our collective throats. “Les Brers” is a BIG beginning, like running back the opening kickoff to the 5-yard line. It hits the spot with the Friday night crowd.

To read more, click here

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Posted by: --josh-- @ 7:16 PM  0 comments


3/22/07: Allman Brothers Rock in a Silent Way
Sunday, March 25, 2007
In a Silent Way (CLICK HERE!)
Don't Want You No More ->
Desdemona
Every Hungry Woman
Woman Across the River
Come & Go Blues
Good Morning Little School Girl
Wasted Words
intro -> Done Somebody Wrong

Melissa
No One Left to Run With -> killer jam
Rocking Horse
Statesboro Blues
IMOER -> Jabuma -> bass -> IMOER
e: Revival

The band takes the stage, Oteil chimes, Derek joins in, a melancholy, jazzy bebop jam that is clearly an overture, swelling in the way “High Falls” does as an opener but with a vaguely Miles Davis feel… then, clearly, it is “In a Silent Way.” Derek plays lines that are evocative of the Beatles’ “Within You Without You.” A Jaimoe jaunt, an Oteil vamp, Derek spats out sparse lines, the band finds a bop groove, Derek doing his play-the-guitar-like-a-horn thing over the top, all peaceful and Zen bebop. Warren pushes the piece to an almost-“Birdland” space (Oteil observes between sets, “Zawinul wrote both songs.”) For those of us that pay attention, it is a sublime opening, but not surprisingly the magic is lost on much of the crowd.

click here to read the rest...

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Posted by: --josh-- @ 8:21 PM  0 comments


Our Man Joe Biden on the Tonight Show
Friday, March 23, 2007
With all the primaries jammed into that February 5th Super Duper Tuesday, the political process has been compromised, because now if you don't have $100 million going into '08, you can't buy enough TV time in the big states to compete. Whereas when Iowa and New Hampshire were the on-ramps to the national campaign, any good grass roots politician with a message and a personal touch could get on the map early enough to be a player by faring well in the two tiny bellwether states. Sadly, no more, and American politics is that much more about big money and name recognoition, that much less about ideas, ideology, and qualifications.

But we still like Joe at APW. Check him on Leno.

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Posted by: --josh-- @ 1:18 PM  4 comments


Beacon Theater, 3-20-07: Allmans End Pre-Season a Perfect 1-0
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Hot ‘Lanta
Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’
Trouble No More
Firing Line
Who’s Been Talkin’
Standback
Stormy Monday
Maydell
Instrumental Illness

Midnight Rider
Hoochie Coochie Man
End of the Line
ust Before the Bullets Fly
Statesboro Blues
Leave My Blues at Home > drums > bass > LMBAH
Jessica

Into the Mystic
One Way Out

A little after 8PM last night, the sun made its way across the equator—the vernal equinox, marking the beginning of spring. Here in New York City, though, we didn’t need a weatherman to tell us that spring had arrived. Because at roughly the same moment, the Allman Brothers took the stage at the Beacon Theater in a “pre-run” Big House benefit gig that heralds Broadway’s favorite, and longest-running, Rite of Spring.

(to read the rest, please click here)


Here, I use my cell phone to steal a piece of Derek Trucks's soul

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Posted by: --josh-- @ 12:25 PM  2 comments


I Musta Done Somebody Wrong...
Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tonight is the first of 14 Allman Brothers shows at the Beacon, a run that has been ongoing every spring since 1992, only they skipped '93 and moved the party to Radio City in '95. I've seen over 100 of these shows. Tonight's gig is really a "pre-run" show, a private corporate gig for which a handful of tickets were placed on sale for the public (although if you happen to know a guy, like I do, you might have been able to score a second row seat.) I have a ticket for Thursday, but I really love being at the first show, and that made tonight's gig a must-see.

Don't know if I'm going to hit all 14 this year; in fact I'm certain I won't. But as always, the ones I do see, I will be reviewing, and submitting the reviews to the good people at Hittin' the Web, the band's site where last year they were kind enough to feature my wrute-ups prominently. (Of course you know about how I wrote the liner notes for this, right?)

In honor of the Allmans, I'm featuring this track from their September 1, 2006 Instant Live recording from Red Rocks, Colorado. It is Warren Haynes singing the old Howlin' Wolf chestnut, "Who's Been Talkin'."

click here to listen to the song.

Listen to how at 5:58, Haynes takes the vocals down as he repeats the refrain, "I'm the causin' of it all..." The music gets small with him, then he and Trucks inhabit this tiny space with magical dancing guitar figures, intertwining like serpents, wholly unaware of time, taking all the time they need even though the song is basically over. It is a treat; the real action in this song essentially begins when the song has ended. Listen to that dancing-on-the-edge-of-time guitar magic; it is moments like these that keep me comng back, up to 14 nights worth.

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Posted by: --josh-- @ 12:40 PM  0 comments


The Spy Who Loved Me (Yeah, I Wish)
Friday, March 16, 2007
This is the lovely Valerie Plame Wilson, the CIA agent "outed" by various and sundry members of the Bush administration in retaliation for the fact that her husband gave lie to Bush's claim (and justification for war) that Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellowcake from Niger.

Here she is again, with some anonymous guy. (OK, its her husband.) If you ask me, she's totally Grrr! But more to the point, if I saw her at a party, across a crowded room, in that sexy white dress, this is what I'd be thinking: "Yo. who's Mata Hari over there?" See, in the intricate pathways of my mind, this is exactly how I expect spies to look (I mean, the girl ones.)

I'd tell her anything she wanted to know. If she took my hands in hers and asked desperately, I'd use my cell phone to take pictures of confidential documents. I'd tango her out of danger in a crowded room, no questions asked.

She's a tasty little morsel of spyness, is what I'm saying.

But I wonder how big a secret it could have been that she was a spy, because as I say, when I dream about spies, they look just like this. And also, I'm tied to a chair.

Posted by: --josh-- @ 2:09 PM  4 comments


The Friday Game: a Random 10
Apparently there is this game going around, Random Fridays. The idea is to list 10 songs that just popped up on your iTunes, set to random across your entire library of songs.

I like the random play function on iTunes-- especially with maximum crossfaade selected; it sounds like a radio station trying very hard to please just me-- but I seldom use it on my whole library, preferring instead to listen to a playlist I've created, generally dedicated to a genre or mood. But I like to feel like part of the cool crowd, so what the hell...

And of course I have that Last-FM thingie down there on the lower right of the sidebar, so you can pretty much always see the last 10 songs I've played on iTUnes. So I'm going to write about the 10 songs, because really, if you don't do any writing, it might as well just be one of those stupid blog quizzes, like the one ("Which member of the Welcome Back Kotter cast are you?") that told me I was an Epstein.

Oh, and no links. I trust you can find your own way to Amazon.com.

"Uncle John's Band," Greatful Dead, American Beauty. I never listen to this. Man, is it a perfect, exquisite piece of voices-and-acoustic-guitars folk rock. Usually if I listen to this band its live, so I was expecting it to segue into a 12-minute jam, then a drum solo, then "The Other One." So I totally didn't see all the song craft coming.

"Wherever You Are," Neil Finn, One Nil. Not a great segue. A lot of the Finn Bros stuff (especially post-Crowded House), I just dumped onto my iPod without really listening to (its all there in a playlist called, er, Finn Brothers.) So these songs, when they pop up, are often unknown little gems. I'm sure I played this record at least once, but totally don't recognize this song. The cheesy keyboard line is a tad insistent, but overall, a fine haunting dark/catchy Finn song.

"Sexual Healing," Marvin Gaye, 2-CD anthology. Yeah, un hunh! Now that's what I'm talkin' bout! Excellent segue by the way.

"I'm a Fool to Want You," Billy Holliday, Lady in Satin. I'm not making this up. Similar thematically to the Finn tune. Sweet, classic swinging stuff that makes me want to put on a pretty dress and shoot junk. This deejay is now my new favorite.

"I Want to Know," Ray Charles, The Birth of Soul cd 2. 3-disc set of Ray's '52-'59 Atlantic output. Every track is great, and you should buy it right now. God I love this stuff. This one is a nice bluesy call-and-response between Ray and the Ray-lettes.

"The Natchez Burning," Howlin' Wolf, Chess Box cd 2. Not one of my very favorite Wolf tunes, but right there in the pocket, all 50s-sounding, with that all-the-time-in-the-world slow drunk swagger of classic Chess blues.

"All Night Long (alternate take)", Muddy Waters, Chess Blues cd 1. Really, its "Rock Me Baby." Big sound, very sparse instrumentation; big voice, insistent guitar riff, slow searing harp (Junior Wells?) A little piano. Hey! Its snowing out! (sorry, that's the ADD talking.) Just great stuff (better than the Wolf track by far.) I reiterate, I am not making this playlist up, and this is definitely my new favorite deejay.

Buy this now; its only $28.49 for 3 CDs!

"5:15," Chris Isaak, San Francisco Nights. Yow. A slow, dark moody scary vamp of a train song (same time as Townsend's train, but a totally different line.) "Oh what dreams we had, now I watch those dreams all fade and die," like the trains, the trains, that go by... This guy's baby didn't just leave him, she left him for dead.

"Josie and the Pussycats," Josie and the Pussycats, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. See, this is the problem with random and my music collection. All during the time that all that cool soul and blues was popping up, I was actually sitting here thinking, again hand to God, "Oh yeah-- but with me, at any moment the next song could be Josie and the Pussycats." Ah, cruel fate. Hiss! Meow!

"Keith Jarrett, "Prayer," The Impulse Years- Death and the Flower. In the mid-70s, Jarrett maintained two combos-- an American one and a European one. The American combo featured Jarrett on piano; Dave Holland on bass; Dewey Redman on sax; and Paul Motian on drums. Redman and Holland are two of my favorite jazz musicians, and so I'm a fan of this quartet (you ask me, Dewey Redman is the most underrated horn player in jazz.) This is just Holland and Jarrett though; a long, meditative piece, Jarret's notes raining down into little puddles over Holland's tasteful bass. 4 minutes in and I've completely forgotten about Josie.

I have to say, outside of the anomalous Pussycats, I could have done a far worse job hand-picking this playlist. For aesthetic sake I would have replaced Josie with, I'm going to say, something by Louis Jordan.

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Posted by: --josh-- @ 12:41 PM  0 comments


The Sheikh Wore Black
Thursday, March 15, 2007

You probably recognize Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who confessed yesterday that he was the mastermind behind 9/11 ("from A to Z"), the guy who beheadded Daniel Pearl, and the mover behind dozens of other plots, some successful, some foiled (the shoe bomber), some un-hatched. He even claimed involvement in the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, and claims to have helped finance Ishtar.

(I know he's a bad guy, but if you ask me, I think he's resume-padding a little.)

It wasn't a surprise that he was the man behind 9/11. It wasn't a surprise that he beheaded Pearl-- as he boasted, "there's video of me on the Internet!" I saw it on his MySpace page.

But the untold story here is the way the US tortured Muhammad in order to get that confession. I am informed by reliable sources that during his stay at Gitmo, he was routinely given an upper body wax, deloused, tossed in the shower, made to shampoo (including lathering, rinsing, AND repeating). He was forced to shave. He was made to use fancy soaps on all parts of his body, including soaps that left him with a faint scent of lavendar. He was forcibly manicured. Then he was made to dress in form-fitting western clothes, and he was paraded in front of the other prisoners, to his shame.

After months of this treatment, it isn't hard to see why he confessed to every act of terrorism ever committed.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, as paraded before his fellow prisoners at Gitmo.




Posted by: --josh-- @ 4:03 PM  2 comments


Celebrity Vaginas
Friday, March 02, 2007
Britney Spears

Lindsay Lohan

Paris Hilton

Hey, if you don't want to see them, no one's forcing you. But if you do look, please discuss.

Posted by: --josh-- @ 4:52 PM  8 comments


Just Cuz

Posted by: --josh-- @ 4:49 PM  0 comments


Iran is On the Roof
As I watch the Bush Administration do the mambo with Iran-- axis of evil, crazy dictator funding terrorists, hey look, he is ignoring the UN, they're THIS close to nuclear weapons-- I find myself put in mind of an old joke. It goes like this.

Guy gets a letter from his brother. Gives him all the news from home, who's dong what, etc. At the very end, the brother writes, "oh, and the cat died." Guy is distraught at the news of the beloved childhood pet. He writes back to his brother, "You should have broken it to me more slowly. Maybe a letter saying 'the cat is on the roof.' Then a few days later, 'we've tried to rescue the cat but he won't come down.' Then, when you finally wrote that the cat died, it wouldn't come as such a shock."

Brother writes back. "Mom is on the roof."

Posted by: --josh-- @ 4:38 PM  2 comments


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