Archive for May, 2017

NEWS – Trump Discharges Colon

05/13/2017

In a surprise move, President Donald J. Trump has fired a large portion of his gastro intestinal tract for failing to perform according to his demands. ” It’s grandstanding, making all kinds of disruptive noises. I made it clear that all I wanted was for it to digest my food. No acid, no gas. It was disloyal.” Associates of the President indicated that he intended to go on eating but it remains unclear what the effect of the abbreviated guts would be. According to expert sources, one possibility is that feces would accumulate within the President until he was completely full of shit while others have posited that the result would be an oversized orange windbag akin to a giant whoopie cushion. Administration officials attempted to allay any fears of an explosion. They pointed out the President’s facility in spewing the same verbally. “It’s generally those who offer assistance to the President who end up covered in it.”  Supplementary Secret Service agents have been assigned to make sure none of the Presidents digits are pulled.

NEWS – Lucinda Williams @ Tarrytown Music Hall

05/05/2017

Considering her pedigree, Lucinda Williams has always seemed to have a chip on her shoulder but, then again, maybe her pedigree is the chip on her shoulder. There was no denying the achievement of her fifth album, “Cars Wheels on a Gravel Road.” It was a breakthrough, her “Highway 61,” but I also remember thinking, “What happened to that nice girl who recorded the first four albums?” Maybe I would have yelled “Judas” at Albert Hall too. I can be very contrary. In any case, “Car Wheels” and most of the subsequent albums seemed to me to be working hard at maintaining her dirty rock cred (except for a couple where she didn’t seem to be working at all). It’s fine. She’s obviously talented enough to be whatever she wants. I’ve seen her live a few times and it’s always been hit or miss. She was great at City Winery last year, full of energy and even fun (fun is not a word that is often associated with Ms. Williams). It wasn’t quite the same thing last night. She didn’t play quite as hard but maybe in the long run, that’s better. She seemed at ease, comfortable, relaxed. I think she’s kind of grown into herself and she’s okay with that. The most recent album, “Ghosts of Highway 20,” is one of the good ones with a nice storytelling vibe. She announced that she and the current band (a three-piece, all excellent) have rerecorded “Sweet Old World,” the loveliest of the early records, and that will be released soon. That also speaks to the easy self-acceptance of last night. It’s a good way to go, a way to abide.

Setlist:

Can’t Let Go (Randy Weeks cover)

Crescent City

Prove My Love

Drunken Angel

Those 3 Days

Can’t Close the Door on Love

Ghosts of Highway 20

Side of the Road

Driving Down a Deadend Street (formerly He Never Got Enough Love)

Fruits of My Labor

Dust

Steal Your Love

Protection

Come On

Bleeding Fingers

Changed the Locks

Foolishness

(What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love and Understanding (Nick Lowe cover)

Honey Bee

Joy

NEWS – Snack Bulletin

05/03/2017

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Amazon offers a three pound bag of low-sodium, extra dark pretzels. I strongly suggest you purchase one. I have. Pretzels have always been my preferred snack. It’s true, in recent years I’ve favored the microwave popcorn (just shake a couple of tablespoons into a brown paper lunch bag and zap), initially for it’s low caloric content but then for it’s diabetes-friendly qualities. Still, it’s hard to argue – there’s nothing like the right pretzel. Ahh, but finding the right pretzel – it’s not so easy. What’s really driving my current pretzel-eating revival is the discovery of Uncle Jerry, fine purveyor of pretzels. I found Uncle Jerry browsing through the Max Delivery website (In case you’ve never used Max Delivery I recommend it without reservation – there’s a very broad selection of items they carry – including liquor – and they bring it to your door in less than 90 minutes [sometimes a lot less]). I’m eating more cheese now for the same reason. Max carries Murray’s Cheese Shop wares. A few days ago I made the conjecture that Uncle Jerry, pretzel artisan that he is, might have a salt-free version of his delicious burnt-dark pretzels and undertook to search for the same, first on Max, then on Amazon where I discovered the aforementioned three pound bag. I’m a lot less careful about the diabetes than I should be. Early in life, seven or eight years of age, I discovered, through much trial and error, the absolute most gratifying way to eat a bag of pretzels. First, don’t go for the fully intact pretzels on the top of the bag. Those are the best ones. Save them for later. Fish around on the bottom of the bag to retrieve the broken pieces of pretzels, the pretzel shards and eat those first (If you’re like me, you’ll eat the not-too-salty first, the saltier after, because I’m not a fan of the too-much-salt). If you have any spreadable cheese, the pretzel shards are a perfect cheese-delivery system. Then you go for the mostly intact pretzels, pretzels that are not complete but still have their knots, and last, the fully complete pretzel, the uber pretzel. Here is how you eat a pretzel: first thing bite off those two little crispy nipples formed by the ends of the pre-knotting pretzel rod. Next, bite off the bottom loop. What you should have now is the knot and the two pretzel-shoulders. Now, eat the shoulders sequentially, leaving nothing but a nice tight crispy knot in your fingers. Then eat the knot. There, you have completed your pretzel. Why save the knot for last? It’s the crispiest piece, that’s why. You’re biting down on this fabulous helix of crunch and the noise sends your head a-vibrating which, I believe, is why people love to crunch – the sound waves resonate the brain pan which, in turn, acts as a massage for your brain. A good pretzel you feel all the way to your scalp. Altogether, a very special experience. Now, potato chips I’ve never understood.

NEWS – Kris Kristofferson @ City Winery, NYC

05/01/2017

Kris Kristofferson started off set to dark Sunday night and pretty well kept it there all night. Dissolution, betrayal, lost love. Songs filled with regret. He seemed to struggle through his hoarseness to get the words out, his range more limited than on the old records (which are the only records I know and barely those) and range was never his strength to begin with. His playing was rudimentary. I had no idea how consistently great his lyrics were, how vernacular, how poetic and how tragic. I wonder how much of the material is relatively contemporary.  It all sounds like the last croaks of an 80 year old man who’s had a lot of bad luck (except for the song about living in a gated community). I know nothing about the man. For all I know, it’s all been swimming pools and movie stars. He looked to be in pretty good shape and I hope he keeps performing for another 40 years but the evening had the feel of a swan song. I’ve seen Alberta Hunter, Anita O’Day and Little Jimmy Scott (and more – I can’t remember) in each of their respective last years of performing, when their pipes were gone but their intimacy with their own material, their singularity with it, and the phrasing honed over decades elevated the performance to glorious and heartbreaking both. That’s the file I’m putting Kris in.

Set 1:

  1.  Set 2:
  2. The Pilgrim, Chapter 33
  3. A Moment of Forever
  4.  Encore: