Sunday, July 16, 2006

'Bout the break of day.

My third "One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer" show had no real theme. It did feature multiple tracks from three CDs: Stax: We'll Play The Blues For You, Blues in the Mississippi Night: The Alan Lomax Collection, and Classic Blues from Smithsonian Folkways. Here's the actual playlist from earlier this evening.

BSB Intro
John Lee Hooker, "Boogie Chillen"
Big Bill Boonzy, Memphis Slim, and Sonny Boy Williamson, "Stackalee"
Irma Thomas and the Professionals, "Hitting on Nothing"

Mic Break

Jimmy Reed, "Honest I Do"
Guitar Slim, "I Got Sumpin' For You"
Elizabeth Cotton, "Vastapol"
Lonnie Johnson, "Drifting Along Blues"

Mic Break

Muddy Waters, "Honey Bee"
Big Joe Williams, "Don't Leave Me Here"
Little Sonny, "Don't Ask Me No Questions"
Howlin' Wolf, "Evil"

Mic Break

Guitar Shorty, "Red Hot Mama"
Little Brother Montgomery, "Vicksburg Blues"
R.L. Burnside, "Going Down South"
Willie King, "That's What The Blues is All About"

Mic Break

Memphis Slim, Big Bill Broonzy, and Sonny Boy Willimason, "Life is Like That"
Elmore James, "It Hurts Me Too"
Little Milton, "Tin Pan Alley"
Joe Hicks, "Nobody Knows When You're Down and Out"

Mic Break

Otis Rush, "My Love Will Never Die"
Albert King, "Blues Power"
Bobby Blue Bland, "Turn on Your Love Light"
Johnny Copeland with Albert Collins, "Black Cat Bone"

Mic Break

Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon, "Beer Drinking Woman"
Big Bill Broonzy, "Black, Brown, and White Blues"
Ois Redding, "Send Me Some Lovin'"
Mable John, "Ain't Giving It Up"

Mic Break

The Bel Airs, "Hi Line"
Mississippi John Hurt, "Nobody's Dirty Business"
John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton, "All Your Love"
Big Joe Shelton, "MS Night"

Mic Break

Albert Collins, "Conversation with Collins"
B.B. King, "Everyday (I Have the Blues)"
The Staples Singers. "Will The Circle Be Unbroken"
Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, "Old Jabo"

Mic Break

Jr. Wells, "'Bout the Break of Day"
Henry Townsend, "I Asked Her Ifg She Loved Me"

Monday, July 10, 2006

Deep in the heart of Texas.

My week in Austin fast comes to a close. Believe it or not, I'll probably have my first BBQ meal at lunch today. Driving south on Lamar toward Barton Springs, I'll stop at the local hangout Green Mesquite. I may or may not wander on to campus then and do the prints section of the Blanton Museum, which I skipped during last week's first visit. Tonight, Isaac and I might eat at the University of Texas Club, ensconced in Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium. Tomorrow it's back to the grind in Starkville, taking an evening flight out of Austin to Houston Hobby and then on to Jackson followed by the drive back to Starkvegas for a 6-9 pm MCAT class Wednesday.

Looking back to my last post, let me pick up the thread where I dropped it. Friday I spent the morning taking a nice walk around the entirety of the Clarksville and Castle Hill neighborhoods. Then I headed south of the Colordao River/Town Lake to check out South Congress Ave, the famous urban bat colony, and the local outsider art scene. I stopped at yarddog and admired Eric Bellis AKA Rico Bell's portraits of this year's Rock + Roll Hall of Fame Inductees. yarddog also supplied my John Langford Elvis by way of Pollock portrait, also known as a copy of the album cover art for The Mekons' "The Mekons Rock 'N' Roll".

MS mitosis and Langford's Elvis ala Pollock

I then strolled down the block for a nice lunch at Guero's Taco Bar, a personal fave of former President Clinton. That afternoon, I spent some time in Austin's largest bookstore, BookPeople. Older than Barnes and Noble or Borders but similar in style though it never cashed in by franchising, BookPeople is not the great independent bookstore you might expect in a huge college town. Instead it has a nice space, lots of seating areas, but relatively bland book sections, and weak and dated staff selections. A real disappointment in a way given the high expectations Waterloo Records and Video set for the local cultural commerce market.

That evening, Isaac and I had a pint on the back covered beer garden at the Dog and Duck and then an outstanding Indian meal at the Clay Pit restaurant.

Saturday we spent much of the day out. After a quick drive around some of North Central Austin, to let the rain pass. We stopped at the Kitchen Door and picked up chicken salad sandwiches for a picnic. Then we drove south of Town Lake parked next to the Parkside Community (Montessori) School and began a hike around Town Lake, which started on the Barton Springs Creek tributary, then headed east along Town Lake until we crossed at the Lamar Avenue Footbridge and headed back to the west. We stopped about 2/3 of the way down at a nice pergola with lake view for lunch. Here are some of our fellow hikers on the trail:

Town Lake Trail

Then on past Austin High to the MoPac footbridge with a stop at the water stations provided by Run-Tex. We marched on to Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park, where we swam and had a nice cool down before returning to the car.

Here are shots of the pool and the spring mouth in the upper pool.

Barton Springs Pool

Spring mouth at Barton Springs

On the way home, we caught the tail end of the Germany Portugal World Cup 3rd place match on the back patio of the Shoal Creek Saloon replete with a small pitcher of Miller Lite.

Sunday morning we drove around the western and northern hill country of Austin adjacent to Lake Austin, taking in Mount Bonell, the Laguna Gloria art museum and grounds (formerly an Italiante mansion from the teens and now a center for art classes and education) and a quick stop at the County Line BBQ on Ranch Road 2222 for some iced tea and to watch the turtles get fed. Got home just in time for the World Cup final preview. Not the greatest match and a moment of madness from Zizou or perhaps the French who outplayed the italians throughout might have won. Too bad a magical month of futbol is now done for another quadrennium. off to the 'cue!


Green Mesquite BBQ

I did end up having a nice meal at Green Mesquite: BBQ sausage tortilla wrap, side of hushpuppies, and ice tea.


Tonight, we hit one of Austin's finest, Wink, instead of the UT Club. After a pleasantly invigorating walk from home to the restaurant featuring a 300 or so foot drop in elevation, we settled in to a 5 course degustation menu paired with wine. Almost four hours later, we emerged to complete the great circle route along Lamar to 6th and back up Blanco. An evening to savor and remember for a long, long time.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The eyes of texas.

I'm spending a week in Austin, Texas visiting friends from back in the Stanford day who like myself have migrated around and ended up in the South. Their route was Chicago-New Zealand (with side trips to London and Sydney) and then finally the heart of Texas. Had a decent Southwest flight out of Jackson except that Houston Hobby (kinda sounds like an aerodrome for flying those remote controlled planes until you realize Hobby is someone's surname) shut down due to bad weather just as we arrived a few minutes late for our 12:50 pm gate time. We circled at least an hour and then low on fuel diverted to Corpus Christi for refueling, which took a while because several other diverted planes beat us there and we had to wait for a gate etc. Arrived back in Houston eventually at 4 pm. Then almost immediately reboarded the same plane to Austin. Made it in time for a 4th backyard burger BBQ with Isaac, Janine and their daughter Madison plus Janine's fellow UT Austin English colleagues Liz and Doug (whom I know through the Shakespeare grapevine and from past SAA conferences) and their daughters Madeline and Claire. Pleasant food, drink, and convivial conversation. Then we headed out to the street in The Barchae's Clarksville neighborhood and looked south down the hill to watch the Town Lake fireworks display.

My first full day here, the 5th, I spent the morning with Janine and Madison touring the UT campus, dropping by an exhibition at the Harry Ransom Humanities Center that Janine helped coordinate, and taking a quick spin through the new Blanton Museum of Art. After a lite lunch, we watched France defeat Portugal for the final World Cup final spot. That evening we walked down the hill to 6th street and a block up to the famous original location of Z' Tejas for dinner. I had nice wild mushroom enchiladas. Later we took a walk around historic Clarksville and looked at the 6 Austin landmark houses on Blanco, the historical fire station, and one of Austin's remaining Moonlight towers in the area.

Here are my pictures of the Castle Hill Moonlight tower in the afternoon and at night.

Moonlight Tower Day

Moonlight Tower night

Thursday, we took in Central Market, Cavender's Boot City, Waterloo Records at 6th and Lamar, and a traditional Texas icehouse.

Thursday afternoon Janine and Madison said their farewells to Issac and headed out for a month in Holland with Janine's family. Here's a family portrait prior to the trip to the airport.

Barchas Family pre-Holland trip

Later this weekend, we'll hit the famous downtown music scene, wander the local green belt, and watch the World Cup Final— all of which I'll blog upon my return to Starkville.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Eisenhower blues.

Show 2 of The Juke's "One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer" happened tonight (Sunday, July 2nd) from 8:30-11:00 pm CDT. My primary theme was Post-WWII Urban Blues. Here's the playlist.

BSB Intro debuts
The Big Three Trio, "Juicehead Bartender"
J.B. Lenoir, "Eisenhower Blues"
John Brin, "Gary Stomp"
Curtis Jones, "Wrong Blues"

Mic Break

Dr. John "I'm Gonna Go Fishin'"
Elmore James, "The Sky Is Cryin'"
J.T. "Nature Boy" Brown, "Blue Blues Boogie"
Little Sam Davis, "1958 Blues"

Mic Break

Howlin' Wolf, "Who's Been Talking"
Ernest Lewis, "West Coast Blues"
John Lee Hooker, "You Ain't No Big Thing"
Albert King, "(Be On Your) Merry Way"

Mic Break

Robert Garrett, "Quit My Drinkin"
John Brin, "Tough Times"
Big Mama Thornton, "Let Your Tears Fall Baby"
Ike Turner, "You're Driving Me Insane"

Mic Break

Little Papa Joe, "Lookin' for My Baby"
Johnny Lewis, "Jealous Man"
Dusty Brown, "Yes, She's Gone"
Sunnyland Slim, "Going Back to Memphis"

Mic Break

Baby Boy Warren, "Santa Fe"
Willie Egan, "Wow Wow"
Little Willie Foster, "Falling Rain Blues"

Mic Break

Ernest Lewis, "No More Lovin'"
Eddie Hope and the Mannish Boys, "A Fool No More"
Muddy Waters, "I Feel So Good" and "I've Got My Mojo Workin' Pts 1&2" (Live at Newport)
Lightning Hopkins, "Automobile Blues"

Mic Break

Jimmy Reed, "Take Out Some Insurance"
Magic Sam, "All Your Love"
Baby Boy Warren, "Mattie Mae"

Mic Break

The Burnside Exploration, "All Night Long (Intro)" and "All Night Long"
Louis Brooks and His Hi-Toppers with Earl Gaines, "It's Love Baby (24 Hours A Day)"
Louis Jordan, "Saturday Night Fish Fry"
B.B. King, "Sweet Little Angel" (live) from King of the Blues

Mic Break

Jr. Wells, "Hoodoo Man"
Willie Dixon, Back Door Man"
Otis Rush, "Groanin' the Blues" (Take 3)
Little Sone Joe, "A Little Too Late"

Mic Break

Baby Face Leroy, "Pet Rabbit"

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Greatest of all time (futbol division).

Following on an earlier NBA debate, I offer up my picks in two categories for the greatest footballers of all time. It's easy to pick goalscorers, but keepers and defenders can be great too. Each list is alphabetical

First is the classic division of players who were at the peak before 1960.

Jose Leandro Andrade
Alfredo di Stefano
Stanley Matthews
Ferenc Puskas

The best post–1960 players now and a larger list because I saw them play

Franz Beckenbauer
Yev Lashin
Zinedine Zidane

Honorable Mention
George Best
Johnan Cruyff
Kenny Dalglish
Ruud Gullit
Paolo Maldini
Gordon Banks/Pat Jennings/Peter Schmeichel/Dino Zoff (you choose your favorite)

My picks for GOAT footballer finalists come down to three (you have to win a world cup to even compete). The usual suspects, Pele and Maradona, and Der Kaiser, Beckenbauer.

For Americans unclear on the concept. In baseball terms,

To get this last bit, watch the famous adidas+10 at 21 seconds in when CGI Der Kaiser strolls onto the "pitch" majestically and without breaking a sweat.

In the NBA terms of the original debate,

Maradona=Jordan, but
Beckenbauer=Magic, and thus

My contrarian pick for GOAT footballer is Beckenbauer.
Three reasons: won a world cup as captain, coached a world cup winning side, and was leader of what was arguably the greatest modern European club side, Bayern Munich of 1974–6, and thus probably the greatest club side of the modern era.

Let the debates begin . . .

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The party's over.

After 42 years on the air, the Beeb is shutting down The Top of the Pops, sending it to the musical tv graveyard which also includes The Old Grey Whistle Test, Friday Night Videos, Don Kirschner's Rock Concert, Hullabaloo, and, of course, The Ed Sullivan Show.

I imagine Simon will have something to say about this.

For me it ended the summer of Hanson (1998), when "MMMBop" ruled BBC 1's airwaves and the three lads from Tulsa flew across the pond weekly to lipsynch their hit "live" at show's end. Isn't that like pouring a lot of pounds down the drain for no apparent reason?!!? Why was this the only time I've stayed in England recently that I had regular access to a telly? The Horror The Horror! At least the Cricket and F1 coverage were good.

Where's Dandy Don when we need him most? or at least Sid doing "My Way".

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Modern art.

I accompanied the shadowy Wm. P. Andrews to his secret studio lair somewhere on the central MSU campus. There I saw a representative sampling of his most recent work as well as some pieces that dated back over fifteen years. Here are two wide studio shots (if wide isn't a misnomer for the studio!).



The most recent work involves an attempt to capture the dynamics and aesthetics of Miles Davis and John Coltrane's music in an abstract minimalist fashion on canvas with oil. This one is done; where's Miles and where's Trane in here do you think?


This one is the most recent and remains a vision unfinished as yet.

recent and unfinished

A bit older are what I call the coathanger art series. Here Mr. A starts to unveil them.

Interrupted coathanger art

Why coathanger art? Well, the designs are based on sketches of sculpture made out of deconstructed and reshaped white coathangers done some years ago.

Coathanger sculpture

Coincidentally I am the proud owner of WPA's work Blue Fugue (2001).

Choose me.

Could this be the World Cup where the perennially underachieving Spanish national team, la selección gets its act together? Evidence from opening matches can often be misleading, but a by all accounts comprehensive 4 nil thrashing of Ukraine is a positive sign, as is the recent success of La Liga clubs in European competition ( especially the big 2 Real Madrid and FC Barcelona). Stay tuned for further developments.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Deutschland über alles.

6 goals in the first match. Awesome plus some great attacking, flowing footie. The first and last German goals were long-range strikes of the highest quality. Above Frings' blast off a corner stuns the Costa Rican goalie and Torsten celebrates. And their star Ballack didn't even play. Klinsmann should feel free to give the midle finger to all his doubters, but he really does need to get off the offsides trap. You got burned twice, and it could have been thrice easily. Great start to the month!

UPDATE (6/11/06):
For a variety of reasons personal and aesthetic, I'm going to avoid turning TNA into a month-long football blog, as that's not it's raison d'être. But don't worry, I will blog on some key matches and Cup highlights!

For those of you wanting more World Cup bloggage, here are a few excellent sites:
Admittedly as an occasional contributor, I am biased in this blog's favor. Still the coverage is thorough, the comments insightful (especially those by gclark, daz, and bakerkm45), and the variety of links extremely useful. World Cup 2006 coverage
Check out the daily podcast live or via an iTunes download. Personally, I find the Guardian's live gameday commentary more interesting than that provided on BBC Sport (see below). Also the various blogs are fascinating: see the links section in Argie-Bargie (above).

BBC Sports World Cup
Given my personal anglophilia, I have chosen the UK version of the site. Feel free to select the International version bubble. Either way you won't be disappointed with the quality of the coverage.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Daddy's cup.

With apologies to Gary Bettman and Lord Stanley, there is really only one cup that matters a great deal in sports. That's right all you sports call in show soccer haters— it's time for the quadrennial FIFA World Cup.

The show opens this Friday, 11:00 Am CDT in München at the newly constructed stadium with a match betwee hosts Germany and Costa Rica.

Some key early matches include:

6/10 8AM CDT England versus Paraguay on ESPN2
This match will tell us a lot about the real quality of the Three Lions. Paraguay are the sleeping giant of South American football (a region which boasts arguably the world's two best national squads, Brazil and Argentina) and a fashionable sleeper pick for the tourney as a whole:
Paraguay have one of the best central midfield partnerships in the whole tournament and if Santa Cruz is healthy they have a top 5 strike pairing too. They lack speed at the back but are extremely steady and experianced. They're the most dangerous sleeper in the tournament and underestimate them at your perrill.
Titan Fan post #14 (

6/11 11AM CDT Mexico versus Iran on ABC
Chronic underachievers on the World Stage, El Tri must defeat upstart nuclear wannabes.

6/11 2PM CDT Angola versus Portugal on ESPN2
The golden generation of Portuguese talent (FIFA World Youth Champions in both 1989 and 1991) have aged a lot and were shock losers in the final to Greece at home-based Euro 2004, but this match still carried delicious colonizer/colonized political implications due to Portugal's lengthy refusal of the decolonization process.

6/12 11 AM CDT United States versus Czech Republic on ESPN2
For any realistic chance of advancing to the second round, The US needs to beat either the Czechs or the Azzurri and tie the other assuming they dispatch Ghana. Currently, the Czechs are ranked #2 in the world by FIFA.

The complete Cup schedule can be found here.

12 years ago I was lucky enough to be at Stanford and attended several World Cup Matches, most famously seeing Oleg Salenko put a World Cup record 5 goals past a demoralized and unpaid Cameroon on his way to 6 and a tie for the golden boot despite Russia being eliminated in the first round! The eventual champions Brazil were in this group, and their fans kept sleepy Los Gatos up nights with the samba beat. As a child, I also happened to be in Italy in 1970 the night Brazil famously beat the Azzurri 4–1. The Italians still celebrated!

brazil! brazil! brazil!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Noise in the hallway.

Across the Universe

So Law of Nature held their semi-annual "reunion" gig at Rick's Friday night. It was nice to go to that place and not have it be just an undergrad meat market. There were some folks there I hadn't in 6 or 7 years, since LoN's heyday at Dave's. It's kinda pleasant hanging out with a crowd averaging thirty-something in age.

Anyway Chapman and Jennifer drove in from North Texas.


Mike the stickman flew in from Vegas, babee!

Hard on the 1!

Andy meandered down from Carolina.

The Sherminator

I grabbed a few pre-show pictures and then settled in for an evening of rock and roll.

Trouble in Paradise?

Apparently I'm da Man!

Gorjus came up from Jackson, just having to share his Water Valley fashion find with us!



It was also nice to see Mr. and Mrs. Kicker of Elves, Mr. and Mrs. Redneck CEO, Mr. and Mrs. Zepfan Numero Uno, and Mr. Gun Dog.

Law of Nature rocked as hard as ever. Highlights included the 2 Pixies cover: "Gigantic," and


"Where is My Mind?"

Where is my mind?

I had to get up early the next day and prepare for a major training session, so I cut out a few minutes early and missed their rendition of this entry's title song. Can't win 'em all!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

One bourbon one scotch one beer.

My new blues radio show, part of WMSV's The Juke, Sunday Blues programming, went live tonight. I'll generally be on every other Sunday from 8:30-11:00 pm Central Time. But I'm taking Father's Day off to be with family and so that the DJ I'm replacing—British Rob—can have one last farewell show. So see you in a month.

Below is the actual play list for the first show:

Son House, "County Farm Blues" (request for Polly)
The Fieldstones, "Blues at Nightfall"
Charley Musselwhite, "Here My Train A' Comin'"
Etta Baker, "One Dime Blues"
Albert Collins, "Honey Hush!"

Mic Break

Albert King, "The Sky is Crying"
Elmore James, "Madison Blues"
Aretha Franklin, "Drinking Again"
BB King/John Lee Hooker, "You Shook Me"

Mic Break

The Rolling Stones, "Confessin' the Blues"
Ray Charles, "Nobody Cares"
Big Bill Broonzy, "Going to Chicago"

Mic Break

Beau Jocque & The Zydeco Hi-Rollers, "Ma Brunette (Pine Grove Blues)"
Blind Willie Johnson, "God Moves on the Water"
Pharoah Sanders w/Leon Thomas, "Next Time You See Me"

Mic Break

Mississippi Fred McDowell, "Jesus is on the Mainline"
Memphis Slim, "Fast Boogie"
Little Milton, "Grits Ain't Groceries"
Memphis Minnie, "Killer Diller Blues"

Mic Break

Champion Jack Dupree, "T.B. Blues"
Hound Dog Taylor, "Buster's Boogie"
Howlin' Wolf, "Smokestack Lightnin'"
Coleman Hawkins, "Blues Change"
Coco Montoya, "Talking Woman Blues"

Mic Break

Willie Dixon, "I Can't Quit You Baby"
Willie King & the Liberators, "Pickens County Payback"
David "Honeyboy" Edwards, "Pony Blues"

Mic Break

The Burnside Exploration, "One Cold & Lonely Night"
Charley Patton, "Mississippi Boweavil Blues"
Doc Cheatham with Nicholas Payton, "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues"

Mic Break

Desmond Dekker, "Israelites" [In Memoriam of a Caribbean Soul Blues brother]
Jesse Fuller, "San Francisco Bay Blues"
Dirty Dozen Brass Band, "New Orleans Blues"

Mic Break

Don Covay and The Jefferson Lemon Blues Band, "Mad Dog Blues"
Jimmy Reed, "Down in Mississippi"
Guitar Slim, "Later For You Baby"

Mic Break

Eddie Cusic, "Catfish Blues"

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Happy birthday mr. president.

Marilyn Monroe would have been 80 years old today. Whatever you think of her "acting" abilities, she is undeniably the iconic female beauty of the second half of the 20th century, as this amazing Magnum Photos slideshow reminds us!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My noise.

"We use volume as an instrument" launched into cyberspace at long last! It was retitled 90's Noise.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Back to the lake.

One of the handful of great late GBV tracks will be our informal theme song for Memorial Day weekend at Lake Mortimer, Winona, MS. I rode over with Bill and Susan; we arrived about 12:15 on Saturday.

Fords unloading

The rest of the gang arrived soon thereafter.


I had been told a camp house and certainly didn't expect a modern split-level A frame with four bedrooms, all mod cons including satellite TV, and various patios and porches.

A frame upstairs

Back porch

Fire pit patio

Really I expected the rustic Gothic South, kinda like this—the original Lake Mortimer homestead.

Original Mortimer Homestead

Mary Love's paternal grandfather was born and raised in this house which has been in disrepair for a while now, the front steps in summer disappearing in the grass, a site straight outta Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha.

Side View

Front Steps in Summer

The family has several hundred acres surrounding the man-made Lake Mortimer. The four adult children of the aformentioned grandfather all pitched in to build the new house with 4 bedrooms no less. They split time there monthly.

Entry plaque

Lake Mortimer

We did what one does at a lake house on Memorial Day weekend: relax, play, and eat!


Gals relaxin'

Mike and Steve relaxin'

More gals relaxin'

Playin', which entailed, fishing, swimming, "speed"boating, and muleriding around the local trail system.


Dock Loungin'

Approaching Mary Love

Bill en fuego

Our Wake

Mule Run on High


Eatin' Beyond interminable snacking, we had two meals. A late night dinner consisting of Little Dooey pulled pork BBQ sandwiches with hot or mild sauce, cole slaw, salad, bbq beans, and a special celebratory cupcake cake. Susan and Grace worked on getting the appetizers ready first.

Grace and Susan work on dinner

Cupcake PhD Celebration

For his design efforts on the aformentioned cake, Mike should be congratulated. The next morning after a nice lie-in, Grace made sausage patties and cinnamon rolls for everyone. The sizzlin' aroma tempted even the most sleepy-headed from their berths.

Sausage sizzlin'

No Grace, the cinnamon rolls were fine

By about 2:15 pm everyone had packed up and headed back to Starkvegas. A great time was had by all, even our four legged friends!

Curious Jinx