Saturday, January 28, 2006

Yesterday marked the 50th (oh god!) anniversary of the release of Heartbreak Hotel, which was, I guess, above all, the single piece of music that most changed my life, set me on the road to perdition and made me what I am today. The lyric was no poetry, but had a cinematic connection that was right on the neuron. I got the picture. A detailed Edward Hopper, with dirty windows, torn fly-blown blinds, and corroded iron fire escapes. I knew the neon sign had one letter burned out or slowly flashing. It set in motion a lifelong investigation of the skid-row, red light districts in multiple dimensions and other galaxies, all with the same monstrous reverb. Some fools didn’t like the reverb. Some still don’t. They took it off on one of the recent remixes. They complained it swamped the record. Bullshit. Down with the sub-verbal, it’s all about the echo. The echo made it clear all Heartbreak Hotel was The Word. An encyclical from the deepest coyote vaults of Hillybilly Hell, where misery was delivered by Hank Williams in a long black Cadillac, Peggy Sue had a pistol in her mouth, and Jerry Lee Lewis was waiting at the end of the road. Heartbreak Hotel was the electric portal to the rock-goth section of the fun park where Robert Johnson already waited at the crossroads, and that would become populated by everyone from Screaming Jay Hawkins to Rocky Erikson .

My own unworthy but live version of the song appears on the recently released "To The Masterlock."

But the entire theme and subworld is the most fully explored (the unkind might say too fully) in the novel "Jim Morrison’s Adventures In The Afterlife." Here’s an excerpt...

The secret word is Bellhop.

"Ann Coulter said fascism would be fun."

The above is the third time I’ve used the same caption, and I started wondering if maybe I was overworking it. I was still highly amused by my own visual riffing, but maybe I was also smoking too much dope. Then I heard how, during one of her overpaid speaking gigs, Ann Coulter had told a Philander Smith College audience that more conservative justices were needed on the Supreme Court to change the current law on abortion. "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee." (Stevens being one of the court's most liberal members.) I’m sure if I’d made such a remark, I’d probably have the FBI, all over my ass – just like when, back in the day, they busted Groucho Marx after describing Nixon as "the only dope worth shooting" – but our Annie seems exempt. Later in the lecture she stated that the crack cocaine problem ‘has pretty much gone away." To which I can only respond, "The problem’s gone away, darling? What happened? Did you cop some crank?"

The secret word is Skeletal

Friday, January 27, 2006

(Special Post From Tim B)
I am sorry to make this short, but I am working flat out to try to help Senators Kerry and Kennedy and Durbin (and many more than the press is reporting) defeat the nomination of Samuel Alito to be a Supreme Court justice. You can help too. This is one of those rare moments in Washington when we really don't know what will happen. Everything depends upon whether people like us stand up and say enough is enough. The Alito nomination will shape the law of this country for the next 30 years. He will be a vote in favor of Bush's efforts to use torture, detain American citizens indefinitely and allow domestic spying. He will be a vote against Roe v. Wade. And he will be a vote against the environment, against working people and against every civil rights law that matters.
The number for the Senate switchboard is 202-224-3121. Regardless of where you live, call your Senators TODAY if possible (the offices will be closed over the weekend) or Monday and tell them you expect them to vote AGAINST the cloture vote on Monday. Tell them that in order to get your vote in the future, you expect them to actively join Kerry's filibuster and work to defeat this nomination in every way possible. If you live in DC and have any ties to Rhode Island, Maine, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Dakoka, Nevada, Connecticut, California (Feinstein), Florida, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alaska or Delaware (Biden) call those Senators and tell them the same. Finally, call and thank ANY Senator who says they will stand with Kerry's filibuster.
Senators Kerry and Kennedy have given us a chance at a fair fight. It is now up to us. Please don't sit this one out. This may be the most important vote with respect to our rights and liberties for a generation. Please do what you can.
(Courtesy MrMR)

"It's important for people to understand that this program is so sensitive and so important that if information gets out to how we run it or how we operate it, it'll help the enemy… .Why tell the enemy what we're doing if the program is necessary to protect us from the enemy? And it is." -- George W. Bush

The secret word is Gestapo

ALSO Miss Templeton is now running with the Google ball (and also quotes Sinead O'Connor on Bill Clinton. "Bill Clinton is the sexiest man in the universe. I would bring my own cigars. My mouth is watering at the prospect.") Which mildly resonates with today's All-Time Icon.

CRYPTIQUEThe machine is over-reaching itself.

Doc40 All-Time Icons # 9 – Marilyn and Jack

"I’ll call you from Dallas, okay? I promise."

Thursday, January 26, 2006



And the secret image is
But if it's readin' you want, I do have a new column in LA CityBeat.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


After all that’s gone down, Howard Stern is now looking to his arch-nemesis the FCC for help with the pirates who are bootlegging out his show. Being a Stern-fan, still Sirius-less, and an inveterate bootleg-lover, I went looking for the illegal hook-up. So far, I’ve found which is now silent after a cease-and-desist order, but is still a place to watch the drama unfold, and then I went to where I was able to get Howard 100 News but not an actual Sterncast, because those channels were overloaded. The fun continues...

From Harley C1...
In Jerusalem, a female CNN journalist heard about a very old Jewish man who had been going to the Wailing Wall to pray, twice a day, everyday, for a long, long time. So she went to check it out. She went to the Wailing Wall and there he was! She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, she approached him for an interview. "I'm Rebecca Smith from CNN. Sir, how long have you been coming to the Wall and praying?" "For about 60 years.""60 years! That's amazing! What do you pray for?" "I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims. I pray for all the hatred to stop and I pray for all our children to grow up in safety and friendship.""How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?"
"Like I'm talking to a fuckin' wall."

The secret word is Oi

AND once again I would direct you to the bog of the amazing Clive Thompson.

AND ALSO a major rant on the sinister manipulation of communications technology sent by Dan

"Your movie was too fucking long, Kong."

Doc40 All-Time Icon # 8 – Godzilla

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

According to a formula devised by Dr Cliff Arnall, a health psychologist at Cardiff University, yesterday was the unhappiest day of 2006. Factors involved in his calculation include Christmas debts, poor weather, failed New Year's resolutions, returning to work and children going back to school, and the fact that it was a Monday. For more details and a resume of the math...

I’m a fan of Bill Clinton kinda like I’m a fan of Elvis Presley. Despite everything. And I don’t mean Monica. Unfortunately the devotion has ceased to extend as far as Hillary, as I’ve become irked and dismayed by her race to a spurious centerism with her nonsense about flag burning, her bet-hedging on abortion, and other examples of rightward pandering. As we swing into what will be another bloody and vicious election year, I have little enthusiasm about throwing my support behind Sen. Clinton and a crew of invertebrate Democrats whom I don’t trust to make the make the necessary repairs, resolve Bush’s war, halt the galloping destruction of the planet, and the trashing of our natural-born liberties, or to hold of the constant rape of the nation by big oil, big pharmaceuticals, the wanna-be theocrats, and all the other thieving, blind-robbing, neocon corporate swine. The great Molly Ivins has more to say on all this at...

AND Miss Templeton has a blog on the centuries long ongoing fight between miners and the mine owners.

The secret word is Persevere

YESTERDAY’S IMAGE: Valerie responds – "Yes, isn't she just lovely? Madrid rooftop during the Spanish Civil War, defending dreams." I would that we could all defend our dreams with such beautiful heroism.

Puao en alto mujeres de Iberia
hacia horizontes preaados de luz
por rutas ardientes,
los pies en la tierra
la frente en lo azul.
Lucia Sanchez Saornil, Valencia 1937

Monday, January 23, 2006

THIS IMAGE was sent by Valerie, without explanation, and I was floored by it’s power. I’m guessing it’s from the Spanish Civil War, but I can’t check because Valerie’s email is on the blink and stuff isn’t getting through. I couldn’t wait to post it because I was just plain humbled by the youthful courage and optimism.

And the next post seem kinda petty in comparison.
ROCK CRIT (may or may not rhyme with bullshit)
I probably wouldn’t be mentioning this, except right, now I find myself in a brief lull in my headlong righteous fury (I have to take a day off now and again), and I stumbled across this 1967 artifact by accident on Robert Christgau’s website. I though I’d reproduce it, because at least Bob has the balls to post rather than bury it. And who knows, maybe he still thinks he’s right. I’ve always had a decided ambivalence to the school of rock crit. I’ve done it, I’ve been savaged by it. Sometimes it advances the cause of rock & roll, and other times it definitely holds it back. I’ve been wrong myself, (once or twice, but not often) but never this wrong. And I wouldn’t be bothering to retread this ancient path if it was the work of some fanzine neophyte, but Bob allows himself to be called the Dean of Rock Critics, and is taught in colleges as a master of the craft. But then again, so am I. (And what’s so wrong with dressing like an English fop, anyway?)

"Hendrix is a psychedelic Uncle Tom. Don't believe me, believe Sam Silver of The East Village Other: "Jimi did a beautiful Spade routine." Hendrix earned that capital S. Dressed in English fop mod, with a ruffled orange shirt and red pants that outlined his crotch to the thirtieth row, Jimi really, as Silver phrased it, "socked it to them." Grunting and groaning on the brink of sham orgasm, he made his way through five or six almost indistinguishable songs, occasionally flicking an anteater tongue at that great crotch in the sky. He also played what everybody seems to call "heavy" guitar; in this case, that means he was loud. He was loud with his teeth and behind his back and between his legs, and in case anyone still remembered The Who, Hendrix had a capper. With his back to the audience, Hendrix humped the amplifier and jacked the guitar around his midsection, then turned and sat astride his instrument so that its neck extended like a third leg. For a few tender moments he caressed the strings. Then, in a sacrifice that couldn't have satisfied him more than it did me, he squirted it with lighter fluid from a can held near his crotch and set the cursed thing afire. The audience scrambled for the chunks he tossed into the front rows. He had tailored a caricature to their mythic standards and apparently didn't even overdo it a shade. The destructiveness of The Who is consistent theater, deriving directly from the group's defiant, lower-class stance. I suppose Hendrix's act can be seen as a consistently vulgar parody of rock theatrics, but I don't feel I have to like it. Anyhow, he can't sing." -- Robert Christgau

On the other hand, despite the vanity of critics, Christgau’s words did no damage to Jimi, unless of course the man read them and they ripped his gut.

The secret word is Petard

CRYPTIQUEIf you can’t show up on time, show up early.

"Feeling funny, but I don’t know why."

Doc40 All-Time Icon # 7 – Jimi Hendrix

Sunday, January 22, 2006

"Thank you. Thank you very much."

The news comes (from, of all places, Pravda via Miss Templeton at ) that the old RCA Nashville studio A, where Elvis Presley recorded much of the classic albums Rock & Roll #s 1 and 2 is to be torn down to make more room for a car dealership. I recall that I went there back in he mid-1970s. It wasn’t super impressive, but hallowed ground often isn’t. For more...

The lost, distressed, and ailing whale, stranded in the River Thames in central London, died yesterday as rescue workers ferried it on a salvage barge in to release it into the open sea. The unfortunate and possibly aging, 20-foot-long Northern bottlenose had been lifted onto a barge by rescuers and was being taken downriver toward the North Sea when it suffered convulsions and died. "It was a brave, valiant, but ultimately tragic effort to get the whale to safety," RSPCA scientific officer Leila Sadler said.

Scientology makes sure you don’t say nothing bad about Little Tommy Cruise, even if you’re only a cartoon character. Cruise is alleged to be breeding the Scientology Messiah with female companion Katie Holmes, and planning very soon to annex the known universe. For a more balanced report...


The secret word is Clear

But Google "Bill Frist Kills Cats" and see what happens.

And talking of neoCon swine...

"Ann Coulter said fascism would be fun."

Isn’t it delightful to be able to use the same caption twice? (See last Thursday)