Saturday, September 27, 2003

"I Really Love Your Peaches ..." (Oh Wait, Wrong Verse)

I've been faithfully reading my copy of the Da Capo book. A few nights ago, I read the piece by Greil Marcus about Walter Mosely and Los Angeles doo-wop of the fifties. Marcus clears up a mystery that has haunted me (and likely millions of classic rock fans) for decades: What in the world is that word Steve Miller sings in "The Joker"?

Marcus tells of an L.A. doo-wop band called the Medallions, whose lead singer was a 16-year old by the name of Vernon Green. In 1954, they had a song called "The Letter", which contained the words:

"And to kiss, and love--and then have to wait ... Oh! my darling. Let me whisper, sweet words of dismortality--and discuss the pompatus of love. Put it together, and what do you have? Matrimony!"

Vernon Green has been asked to explain what "pompatus" is (by none other than actor Jon Cryer, who made a movie titled Pompatus of Love), he has said it is "a secret paper-doll fantasy figure who would be my everything and bear my children." Marcus writes that the word is in the Oxford dictionary, it means: "to act with pomp and splendor." Marcus later links this to Miller:

Nearly 20 years later, in 1972, Steve Miller took the phrase pompatus of love and put it in his "Enter Maurice"; the next year he highlighted the weird phrase in his number one hit "The Joker."

Ah, yes. Homer Simpson couldn't have explained it any better himself.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Taunting Makes The World Go Round

Taunts to use before my upcoming ping-pong games:

"I'll beat you like a drum."
"I'll beat you like a rented mule."
"I'll drop you like a ton of bricks."
"I'll drop you like a Seinfeld-alumn TV show."
"I'll bury you like a bone."
"I'll topple you like a dictator we used to do business with."
"I'll sink you like a three-foot putt."
"I'll destroy you like my liver."
"I'll dump you like a needy girlfriend."

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Shameless Self-Promotion (Pt. 2)

- A list of all the contributors and included essays in the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2003 book. Yes, I'm batting leadoff - I draw walks, beat out infield hits, get on base, and am a terror on the basepaths. I make things happen.

- RockCritics Daily has links to many of the essays (9/21/03 entry.)

- A review from Publishers Weekly over at

- My guy Chuck Klosterman is in the book. My guess is North Dakota put more essays from its natives in this book per capita than any other state. But where are our Rough Rider Awards?

Monday, September 22, 2003

G.I. Blues

I'm worried about Beetle Bailey lately. Not the actual man, mind you. He'll continue to gleefully slack away (while somehow avoiding that whole Iraq thing) until he gets his honorable discharge. But as for the actual comic strip that bears his name, well ...

They've added a computer whiz character, which makes for sub-Dilbert plots about those wacky computers. There's been a heavy reliance on the dog Otto, the comedic effect of which are the equivalent of baby Trixie's "sunbeam" scenarios in Hi & Lois. (In case you didn't know, Beetle is Lois's brother.) And I think Beetle is dating the ultrahotttttt Miss Buxley, which makes no sense at all.

I just want to see General Halftrack drunk or Sarge beating Beetle to a pulp. Is that too much to ask?

Sunday, September 21, 2003

"I Am Full Of Sports News And Judgmental Opinions Today"

It's been a couple of years since I have checked in with Hunter S. Thompson's "Hey Rube" column at ESPN's website, but I sure am glad I did. In his latest column, after touching on the hoax of boxing, Jake Plummer and Mike Shanahan, Bush's slippage, Clark's rise, and comparing occupying Iraq to the Philadelphia Eagles (I think); he signs off with this poignant note:

I am widely known as a pure-bred, natural-born patriot and a lover of what this country used to stand for. The Statue of Liberty wasn't out there for nothing. Beware of War Mongers. They don't give a hoot in hell if you live or die. They are in this racket strictly for themselves. Mahalo.

In other columns he takes the president to task, repeatedly. It's as sweet as his rips at Hubert Humphrey in "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72." Give 'em hell, Doc.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Da Capo Best Music Writing 2003

"Best Band in the Land" from Exiled on Main Street #27 will be included in the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2003 anthology.

Da Capo Press describes the book as: "The fourth and latest volume in the acclaimed series that you've come to rely on for your music-writing fix. This year's selection was handpicked by Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and himself a recovering rock critic. Culled from over a hundred sources, Da Capo Best Music Writing 2003 features remarkable essays by critics, musicians, novelists, and journalists who are as serious about writing as they are about music. It's required reading for anyone who loves either art."

Past contributors have included Lester Bangs, Nick Cohn, Jim DeRogatis, Steve Erickson, Lenny Kaye, Greil Marcus, Dave Marsh, The Onion, Metal Mike Saunders, Kate Sullivan, Nick Tosches, Sarah Vowell, and Jim Walsh.

The book will be in stores the second week of October, 2003. Look for it at your favorite local or online bookstore.

Friday, September 19, 2003

An Observation Or Remark Expressing An Opinion Or Attitude

In an effort to do even more with less on this blog (notice how my posts have gotten shorter and shorter over the past few weeks? I'm saving my "A" material for the long talks I have with myself while staring at the walls), I have added a link below these blurbs where you can add comments. If you're not sure what to say, examples of soon-to-be typical comments would include:

"Why are you so negative?"

"I'm in a band called the so-and-so's. We are playing at so-and-so on
so-and-so night. You should check us out!"

"When's the next
Exiled coming out? How come you don't write as much as you used to?"

"Golden Gophers!! BACK TO BACK BABY!!!"

"Liberals like you should go live in Syria."

Exiled #27 you said Nirvana was metal. Nirvana was never metal, they were PUNK ROCK. Thankfully them and the Pixies destroyed all the moronic sexist heavy metal bands you hold dear!"

So feel free to comment. I'll feel free to read 'em.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Note To Billionaires: Buy It With Your Tax Cut! Get This Economy Going!

The next time the Vikings or Twins owners come around asking you for your hard-earned money to build them a stadium, take a hard look at the Forbes list of 400 richest Americans.

Lessee, at #88 we have Carl Pohlad with a net worth of $2.1 billion. Sure makes it tough for Sid Hartman to pull on the heartstrings when he brings up the sob story of Pohlad losing $15 million dollars per season.

Then at #224 we see Red McCombs (real name "Billy Joe" - I kid you not!), who has a net worth of $1.1 billion. This guy is a real piece of work. He bought the team five years ago and almost immediately began scheming to get a new stadium. (Insert used-car-salesman joke here.) But hats off to Red as he has restored "Purple Pride." Under his ownership, the Vikings have both choked and been destroyed in NFC title games. That is only one step away from their seventies glories of choking and being destroyed in Super Bowls. Alright, Billy Joe!

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

The Joy Of New Music

In the latest City Pages, Jim Walsh quotes yours truly on local rockers Bridge Club. The band also finished #7 in the CP Picked to Click poll. I've always been a frontrunner.

Monday, September 15, 2003

We Coulda Waited Another 40 Years, Really

But at least she can't break up the Beatles again.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

This Will Go Ignored Until Green Death Becomes The Next Hipster/Retro Beer

Sam Adams is ripping off Special Export's old slogan in their latest commercial.

Sam Adams: "You can go around the world and not find a better beer than Sam Adams."

Special Export: "You can travel the world over and never find a better beer."

Friday, September 12, 2003

"I Can't Forget The Day I Shot That Bad Bitch Down"

Early one morning while making the rounds
I took a shot a cocaine and I shot my woman down
I went right home and I went to bed
I stuck that lovin' .44 beneath my bed

- "Cocaine Blues"

RIP, Johhny Cash.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

I'm Just Trying To Do This Jigsaw Puzzle Before It Rains Any More

I'm trying to write a "real" essay and am getting convinced that between these blog blurbs and the minimalism of Exiled issues #34, #35, and #36, I got rusty on trying to write anything of meaning that is over 500 (not to mention 200) words.

The solution: Discipline? Coffee? Combined with loud rock 'n' roll while I spend hour upon hour at my writing table? Nah, bra. Simply write a bunch of tiny little sentences and paragraphs and try to fit 'em together into something bigger. It's like a jigsaw puzzle and I'm shoving those pieces together whether they want to fit or not.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

His Aim Was True

I recently finished reading the new Lester Bangs collection, Mainlines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste. In "Every Song A Hooker", Lester takes aim at a certain critically-adored songwriter. (I'll take Warren Zevon over this artist any day of the year):

He pulls out his copy of Elvis Costello's Armed Forces and slaps it on the turntable: "Now here's an example where every song has hooks all over the place."

I listened. Still sounded like some limey gettin' an F in Bruce Springsteen class and throwing a widely inflated snit about it, sounding like Springsteen sounding like a real bad but slicked-up imitation of the Band, with maybe some Gary Lewis and the Playboys thrown in,

Monday, September 08, 2003

Warren Zevon

Sad news about Warren Zevon. I saw him at First Avenue a couple of times in the nineties - he was a joy. I only have a couple of his albums, but in tunes like "Lawyers, Guns and Money", "Detox Mansion", "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner", "Boom Boom Mancini", "Excitable Boy", and "Werewolves of London" he showed an intelligence, wit, and - most importantly - dark humor that made his songs tough, funny, and timeless.

I just heard "Werewolves" on Radio K, it got me out of me chair and onto the living-room dance floor. I couldn'r resist doing the Tom Cruise smooth-back-the-hair move from The Color of Money during the "his hair was perfect" line. RIP, Warren.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Why Waste Time Looking At The Waistline?

In Wednesday's Strib:

"Contrary to prior research and to our prediction, the most popular ad was one in which the woman described herself as 'financially independent ... successful and ambitious,' producing over 50 percent more responses than the next most popular ad, the one in which the woman described herself as 'lovely ... very attractive and slim,'" the study says.

The Contours in 1965:

Some fellows look at the eyes
Some fellows look at the nose
Some fellows look at the size
Some fellows look at the clothes
I don't care if her eyes are red
I don't care if her nose is long
I don't care if she's underfed
I don't care if her clothes are wrong
First I look at the purse

Friday, September 05, 2003

Someday Never Comes

Hey it's the sixth annual "Randy Moss Vows To Grow Up" article! Good laughs! But it will only be weeks or days until Moss throws some sort of temper tantrum or pulls some pampered-baby behavior. One recalls last year after his arrest when he returned to practice and pouted because Mike Tice yelled at him. Moss said that all he had wanted was a hug. What a sap!

And of course, he'll probably still be too chickenshit to go for a ball thrown over the middle.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Two Things More Exciting Than The Actual Games

The NFL regular season is upon us, which means two big things over here at 3400 Harriet:

1) My fantasy football team, The Moe Greens, starts its third season of play. Will they be like the 2001 Greens, have a respectable season, and then get hot in the playoffs and win the championship? (Seemingly providing the blueprint for the 2002 University of Minnesota hockey team ...) Or will they be like the 2002 Greens, stumble uninspiringly through the season, and not make the championship bracket of the playoffs? (Seemingly providing the blueprint for the Bush admininstration's handling of the economy ...)

2) Jeff Johnson (no, not him - the other one!) starts his fifth season of mind-blowing pigskin picks. Check these weekly to: a) make money off your bookie, and b) smile big-time.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

You Upset Me With Your Wicked Little Smile

Last night I bought a gift card for my Mom for her birthday at one of those huge chain bookstores. The gal who sold it to me was young, brown hair, brown eyes, adorable. I kept my cool, but when confronted with big brown eyes, something is eventually gonna go wrong. The cutie handed me a pen and asked if I wanted to write the greeting on the gift card then and there. I calmly said no thanks (shoulda been smooth and said "this is for my Mom, I need some time to think of something nice"), but then caught a glimpse of her nametag and suddenly my fingers wouldn't work and I could barely handle the pen to sign the credit card receipt.

See, her name was Nicole and all I could think of was that Point Blank song. (Heh heh featured on their American Exce$$ album.) I escaped the store with my dignity (barely) intact.

Earlier in the evening at a used-book store I looked for Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, which I read in ninth grade but wanted to check out again after a recommendation by my literary rival good friend Ari McKee. I somehow scored a used copy in pristine condition (complete with a box to keep 'em in) for $2.64. I was stunned at this pricing (they originally sold for $1.75 each) as something similar was listed for ten bucks on ebay last week. Then I realized the name of store was (duh) Half Price Books.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Workingmen Of All Countries Unite

Happy Labor Day and be thankful that there isn't a Management Day. (If there were, you wouldn't get the day off, but the powers that be would send you a memo reminding you that you are a valuable empowered member of the team.)

So Happy Labor Day! Tomorrow, return to work and secretly stick it to The Man!