I have nothing particularly pithy to say. New Orleans, which thought it had dodged a bullet, is devastated by weather, infrastructure failure and human behavior. The gulf states are facing damage in terms of life and property that we won’t really know the extent of for days, as officials frantically try to rescue what’s salvageable. So, I’ve decided, and maybe you’ll decide, to donate to the Red Cross.

So, how to do this that might work to maximize the effort among folks reading this? How about this: I will give $1 to the Red Cross for every person going to my blog – they don’t even have to read it, though obviously I wish they would – between now and the end of Labor Day (Monday) at 10 pm EDT. (The counter is at 144.) The challenge is for every blogger and web person to do something similar. The need is extraordinary.

Mixed Bag CD Blog-Larry

NAME: Larry Young (with Charlie Allard and Matt Smith)
BLOG NAME: AiT/PlanetLar
NAME OF CD: Astronauts in Trouble
RUNNING TIME: 51:38 (the first CD I received that was shorter than mine)
1. Prof. Hawking’s Channel Seven Promo: The World’s Smartest Man Watches Channel 7 (talk)
2. 21st Century Newscast: We Will Rock You Bipartisan Mix-EBN
3. Hayescorp Command Center: Apollo 11 Mission Control, Houston (talk)
4. AiT/TMP Opening Titles: Sing Sing Sing (with a Swing)-Louis Prima
5. In the Newsvan Tapedeck: Bad Astronaut-James Kolchaka
6. Re-Align the Low-Gain: Turn It On-the Flaming Lips
7. Heck’s Got a Hangover: Absurd- http://www.absurdfluke.com/ Fluke
8. The Moon from Inside of a Spacesuit: Oye Como Va-Santana
9. Neil and Buzz: Tranquility Base 20 July 1969 (talk)
10. Pepperoni Pizza Nightmares: Dean’s Dream-the Dead Milkmen
11. Float Me Another One: Feelin Existential-Mojo Nixon
12. Cry Me to the Moon: St. Cajetan-Cracker
13. Static, Baby-Open Frequency- http://www.sharpeworld.com/marcy/pages/article.html Dr Zomb’s Stereo Obscura
14. Annie’s Suit Radio: Greetings to the New Brunette-Billy Bragg
15. The Cows Go In: Ring of Fire-Johnny Cash
16. Home Box Office: Tom Hanks Apollo 13 (talk)
17. Not Enough Coffee to Go Around: Fade to Black-Dire Straits
18. AiT;TMP End Credits: Hi Side-the Mad Capsule Markets
19. Doomsday Plus One: Press conference-President Ronald Reagan Talk)
20. Hot Mike: Canon Help Desk-Troubleshooting (talk)
ALREADY REVIEWED BY: Gordon on August 24
GENERAL THOUGHTS: Not only did I get a CD, I (and all of the other participants) received a book. An interesting mix of talk and music, not surprising space-related.
THINGS I PARTICULARLY LOVED: All the talk snippets except the last; 3-I have a couple Benny Goodman versions, but was unfamiliar with the Prima doing it; 12-17 (I own the last three song tracks).
ON THE OTHER HAND: 7-some sort of techno-grunge that would have been OK in a short piece, but the 6-minute track felt like twice that long. 20- wasn’t prepared for the obscenity-laden tirade.
OFFICE FRIENDLY: 5 is naughty, 10 has F-bomb but it’s down so much in the mix, I nearly missed it. 20-that’s a big time no.
ONLY VAGUELY RELATED: I’m looking forward to the Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line, this fall.

Mixed Bag CD Blog-Logan

NAME: Logan Polk
BLOG NAME: House of the Ded
NAME OF CD: The Ded Mix Vol. 2-Songs I Know By Heart
1. Anyway-Dynamite Hack
2. Screaming Infidelities-Dashboard Confessionals
3. Now That It’s Over-Everclear
4. One Thing-Finger Eleven
5. Superhero Girl-Eve 6
6. Someday We’ll Know-New Radicals
7. Songs About Rain-Gary Allen
8. C’mon C’mon-Sheryl Crow
9. Always on My Mind-Phantom Planet
10. I Can’t Stand Losing You-Blue Flannel
11. Everything to Everyone-Everclear
12. Long Drive Home-John Oszajca
13. Solitude-Edwin McCain & Darius Rucker
14. She Talks to Angels-the Black Crowes
15. Stepping Stone-the Monkees
16. Lonely of Faith-Kid Rock
17. Recollection Phoenix-Willie Nelson
18. Walls-Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
19. ???????-???????
ALREADY REVIEWED BY: Gordon on June 30
GENERAL THOUGHTS: These things don’t HAVE to start with a rocker, but it usually a good formula; no exception here. The album bounces back and forth between rockin’ and more mid-tempo stuff.
Most of these songs I DON’T know by heart- only the Heartbreakers, Crow, Black Crowes, and Monkees; hmm, some sort of animal theme developing. The disc has introduced me to people I might have heard of or even caught on the radio, but the DJs almost NEVER announce the performer anymore. So, Logan has broadened my horizons.
THINGS I PARTICULARLY LOVED: 1, 6, 7 (esp. the chorus), 9, 10 (esp. lyrics), 11, the quirky horn of 12, 16 (oh, no, I like a Kid Rock song).
ON THE OTHER HAND: Nothing really. I just didn’t really get engaged in the disc until the second quarter. Oh, and the completist in me needs to know what/who is on track 19.
OFFICE FRIENDLY: F*** in 1, 3, 5, S*** in 12

I have had an irrational addiction to the Petty song since I heard it on the “She the One” soundtrack.

Low A

Dear Mr. Will:

I am a big fan of your baseball stories, such as the one that appeared in our local paper the Times Union (Albany, NY) this week. We too have a team that plays in a stadium called the Joe, named for Joseph Bruno, the Majority Leader of the State Senate.

The team is the Tri-City Valley Cats in the New York-Penn League, playing out of Troy, NY. This is a single A , short season (roughly Father’s Day to Labor Day) . In our league, there is the Staten Island Yankees, an affiliate, of course, of the NYY.

You described your team as “low A”. I inferred (and I think others will as well) that it is the “lowest A”, which I don’t believe it is. The short season A I believe to be on the lowest rung. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Thank you.
Roger Green

Dear Mr. Green,

Thank you for contacting the office of George F. Will. Mr. Will is thankful to have actively engaged readers like yourself. In single-A ball, there is class A-advanced, class A and class A-short season. The column used class A low (also used by minor league officials and the RiverDogs staff) to distinguish the level from class A-advanced. You may access a list of all the minor league teams by classification via [this site] Thank you for your readership and have a nice day.

Best Wishes,
Office of George F. Will

I learn something new every day. I suppose I should note that I agree with George Will on most baseball things, but not usually political things.
And re: the Little League World Series final, it was a great game. Since I wasn’t going to be home Sunday, I taped the ABC broadcast and watched it later, making sure not to hear the score.
It was a great game. The Curacao pitcher walked the first three Hawai’i batters, and then the relief pitcher struck out two and got another out without giving up a run. The scoring went back and forth. Hawai’i was down by three in the bottom of the sixth (the last scheduled inning), but rallied to score three to force the first extra innings game in about 35 years.
ABC then sent the game to ESPN2. Since I wasn’t home, I missed the dramatic 7th-inning home run that won the game for Hawai’i. Sigh.

No Satisfaction

“It’s a one-in-a-lifetime thing!”
“Yeah, but the money, the time away from the family, the hassle, the traffic.”

Oh, sorry, I was just rehashing the debate I was having with myself a couple weeks ago when I read, on the front page of the Albany Times Union, that the Rolling Stones were coming to Albany, NY, maybe three blocks from where I work, on September 19.

On one hand, it’s the Rolling Stones!
On the other hand, the tickets started at $60, and I’m sure those seats would have required balls of cotton to stop the nosebleed, not to mention binoculars. So, I would have wanted the $100 seats. Wife Carol showed no interest in going, so it would have been a night that I’d be off while she had to stay home. this would require some sort of later trade-off.

But it’s the Rolling @#$%^&* Stones! With Alanis Morissette opening, it was recently announced.
The (Naming Rights Sold to a Soft-Drink Company) Arena was doing that “get in line for the wristband on a Friday so that you would be eligible to buy a ticket on Saturday” thing. What a pain. Moreover, that all took place a weekend I was out of town anyway.
On the other hand, my student intern was going to go get tickets ANYWAY for her and her MOTHER and her mother’s boyfriend. (Why does that make me feel just slightly OLD?) And there was an 8-ticket maximum, so I could have given her the money to buy one more. Oh, but she didn’t get any, either, because while she was early in line for the wristbands, they started with a “random number” that came AFTER hers. (She said she would rather have slept in the ticket line overnight, rather than go through that frustrating ordeal.)

One of the things that I read recently made seeing the Stones more interesting. On their upcoming album, A Bigger Bang, they reportedly have a song with the lyrics:
You call yourself a Christian,
I call you a hypocrite.
You call yourself a patriot,
Well, I think you’re full of s***.
How come you’re so wrong,
My sweet neo-con?

Will they play the song? And if so, what will be the reaction?

Well, it’s all moot now, unless I win a ticket in the contest offered by the Berkshire Bank (located just downstairs from my office), or unless I want to buy a $351 ticket ($1 more than the previous highest ticket sold at the venue.) If spending $100 brought me pause…
And speaking of the Rolling Stones, there’s a new album of jazz covers of their tunes, called The Rolling Stones Project. It features:
Norah Jones-Wild Horses
Bill Frisell-Waiting on a Friend
Sheryl Crow (with Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Charlie Watts!) -Slipping Away
John Scofielfd-Satisfaction
Bill Charlap-Paint it, Black
It’s reviewed pretty well, FWIW. I could buy THAT album, plus A Bigger Bang, AND insure domestic tranquility.


Working on the theory that there is a finite number of hours in a day, I didn’t get a chance to do links this week, save for these:

I knew SOMETHING was up when I saw cars stopped in front of my house a full block from the main intersection of Allen and Madison. At first, I figured that it was an accident, but as I headed to the Price Chopper supermarket, I found that it was a bank robbery at the Trustco, where hostages were taken, just two blocks from my house. The Price Chopper, just beyond the bank, required me to walk nine blocks to get there. When I got home, the helicopter that would pass by occasionally rattled the windows of our house. During the LLWS US championship (won by Hawai’i), Channel 10 interrupted the game three times – in mid-inning!- to announce that there was a situation and that people should avoid driving on that part of Madison Avenue. The Cable News Channel 9 had a scroll, but didn’t, in my watching, interrupt its pre-Travers coverage.

A Republican Dictionary. All you Republicans reading this may be deeply offended. Oh, well.

Book: Hendrix avoided Vietnam with gay ruse. This MSNBC story takes a somewhat salacious angle, I think. But if the draft comes back – the cover story in this week’s Metroland – what WILL keep one out of the army these days?

Speaking of war, my friend Cecily sent me this: The first and only federal conspiracy trial arising out of civil resistance to the Iraq War begins September 19 in Binghamton, NY. Imagine – in my hometown.

Mark Evanier is the self-appointed tracker of all appearances of the characters in the comic strip Blondie in other comic strips, in advance of the 75th anniversary of Mrs. Bumstead and her family next month.

Today is Jack Kirby’s birthday. You don’t know who Jack Kirby is? Horrors! Fred Hembeck has a whole bunch of links TODAYso that you can find out.

Remembering Emmett

Emmett Till disappeared 50 years ago today; his mutilated body was found three days later. His mother allowed photos to be taken of his open casket, and the horrifying pictures helped galvanize the Civil Rights movement, including the “I Have a Dream” speech eight years, to the day, later.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about. I want to know why it is that I can see that photo in my mind’s eye when the event took place when I was but two years old when it took place. I’m guessing that on the fifth anniversary in 1960, Ebony and/or Jet magazines reran the photos, I saw them and the image seared in my mind to this day.

When I was in high school, a bunch of us raised money for some poor, rural folks in Tennessee. One day, I was (foolishly) walking alone down some dirt road down there. I see a sign indicating that I was about to enter the state of Mississippi. I crossed into the new state, then my mind screamed, “Emmett Till!” and I literally jumped back into Tennessee.

In January or February of 1986, I saw the Capitol Repertory Theater’s performance of Toni Morrison’s Dreaming Emmett, based on his life and death. I don’t remember if was particularly well-acted or -written. All I remember was that I felt again the pain that was Emmett.

The last time I saw the picture in print was when his mom, Mamie Till-Mobley, died a couple years ago.

This year, the case has been reopened by the FBI, with a exhumation and re-examination of Emmett’s remains, based on advances in DNA testing, followed by a reburial in June. Hope that some day Emmett can rest in peace. And it will give me some measure of peace as well.

Mixed Bag CD Blog-Zombie Tom

NAME: Zombie Tom (Collins)
BLOG NAME: Zombie Eat Brains
NAME OF CD: When There’s No More Room in Hell, This Mix Will Walk the Earth
COVER ART: The ghoul (from the site) was small but effective enough
SONG LIST: His Post of June 15
ALREADY REVIEWED BY: Gordon on June 30
GENERAL THOUGHTS: Mean old Zombie Tom just forced his way into the Mixed process, probably traumatizing poor Tom the Dog. I really like the concept of this album, probably a little more than the album itself. Having said that, I realize that for what it is, it’s very good at it, sorta like that movie, The Devil’s Reject, directed by Rob…Zombie, whose music permeates this disc. There are five pieces of dialogue not noted, after tracks 4, 11, 15, 19, 22.
THINGS I PARTICULARLY LOVED: The Misfits, the fairly melodic Romero trilogy, Hellbillies, Groovie Ghoulies, Belafonte, Jazz Butcher Conspiracy, plus old friends in new settings: Zombies, Hooters, Katrina, Cranberries, Petty.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Nas. And yes, I was traumatized by Toni Basil. (The Katrina joke I got –sunshine vs. zombies, or something; this one I didn’t.)
OFFICE FRIENDLY: Well, the scream may generate a call to the police. Not Nas for reasons cited on the site.
ONLY VAGUELY RELATED: FantaCo, where I worked, used to sell a lot of horror books, films, and videos. We also published comics and magazines in the genre, but I read almost none of them.
I have the Rockapella version of Zombie Jamboree.

Mixed Bag CD Blog-Dave G.

Sign of an obsessive personality: I went back to my review (on August 17) of Eddie’s disc to make note of Gordon’s subsequent review on August 24. No, not obsessive, just a librarian/completist.

NAME: Dave G.
BLOG NAME: Simply Comics
NAME OF CD: Simplemix 1
1. Swivelchair-Nothing Painted Blue
2. The Milkshake Song-Angry Salad
3. The Rainbow-The Apples in Stereo
4. C is the Heavenly Option-Heavenly
5. All Nite Diner-Modest Mouse
6. A Little Less Conversation-Elvis Presley/JXL
7. Letter from an Occupant-the New Pornographers
8. Wishing Well-Terence Trent D’Arby
9. Let’s Stick Together-Roxy Music
10. Ears Ring-Rainer Maria
11. Ugly-Fishbone
12. Minnie the Moocher-Cab Calloway
13. New Girlfriend-the Mr. T Experience
14. Can You Picture That?-Electric Mayhem
15. Shake a Puddin’-Dub Narcotic Sound System
16. Jenny-the mountain goats
17. Harbor-Vienna Tang
18. Overgrown-Walt Mink
19. Using the Metric System-Atom and his Package
20. 21st Century Digital Boy-Bad Religion
21. No One Takes Your Freedom-Scissors Sisters/Beatles/George Michael/Aretha Franklin/DJ Earworm
22. The End
ALREADY REVIEWED BY: Gordon on August 24
GENERAL THOUGHTS: Simple, but effective. New (to my ears) and old stuff working well together.
THINGS I PARTICULARLY LOVED: The fact that he mentioned the albums from which the cuts came. The jaunty cuts 1-4 & 13. 17. 19 (radical). The cuts I knew from before but like: 6, 8, 9, 12, and especially 11. 21-a remix of the Beatles’ “For No One”, with snippets of Aretha’s “Think”, which was worth the price of admission (Mary R- you need to hear this!)
ON THE OTHER HAND: No song reached this level, though the repetitive nature of 15 came close.
OFFICE FRIENDLY: GD on 16, the F word in 19

ONLY VAGUELY RELATED: One of my favorite beverages!

The Lydster Part 17 This Song's for You

Because I have an interest in music, it is inevitable that I would use it to entertain and soothe the child.

When she was a few months old, people lied to us that she’d sleep if we drove her around in the car. Even when she finally did sleep, it would never be more than an hour, then she’d wail. In defense, I’d sing “Old McDonald”, with a wild range of animals (bear, elephant, fox); stopping to catch my breath would mean more crying. That was her favorite, along with a variant on BINGO: “There was a family, had a girl, and Lydia was her name. Oh, L-Y-D-I-A…”

A lot of it was whatever came came to mind at the moment: Here Comes Lydia (Right Down Lydia Lane); Lydia, You Are My Favorite Daughter (think Herman’s Hermits), and many more.

But two seemed to last. Particularly when I was with Lydia, and Lydia wanted to nurse, thee was this version of Eli’s Coming (probably the Three Dog Night version of the Laura Nyro song):

Mommy’s coming, hold your horses (X2)
Girl, Mommy’s a-comin’, you better wait (X3)
Girl, Mommy’s coming. Hold your horses
Better, better wait your turn
Mommy’s coming, and she’ll feed you
And she’ll nmake you real strong
and she’ll give you good nutrition
She’ll give you just what you need
Every single da-ay

But my favorite
I love Lydia (X2),
’cause she is my daughter, oh yeah,
’cause she is my daughter.

But what was the TUNE? Actually, in the very beginning, I could not remember. Then I figured it out. It was a tune that got all the way up to #66 on the Billboard charts in 1983. I must have picked up from a compilation, because I certainly own no albums by Toto Coelo. (In fact, I had to look up the group name AGAIN.)

Those of you up on obscure ’80s bands have probably figured out the song:
I eat cannibals. Oy. Well, the tune STILL works.

So, Lydia, my tuneful daughter, happy 17 months. I love how you dance when the stereo’s on. But STOP MESSING WITH THE DIALS!