Tuesday, January 30, 2007

That Idiot Stalled On The Highway Was ME!!!

OK, so it didn't catch on fire. But, my vehicle did overheat this morning, stalling at the end of an exit ramp, about 2 car lengths back from the red light in the right turn lane. I don't know if it's that difficult to distinguish between flashing hazard lights and a right-turn signal, or if people just hadn't had their morning coffee, or both. What I do know is that I was almost plowed into at least 6 times before I could get it restarted. The semi truck that came within 6 inches or so of my rear bumper was the one that finally got me to fling open the driver's side door and jump out. That was a close call.

So, now my car is sitting in the parking deck at work, in the near-zero temperature. It will sit there all day. I will add coolant before I leave for home.

I will pray for survival.

Monday, January 29, 2007

For All You MP3 Fans

I know I've posted about this one before. Heck, I've even mailed several copies of my CD (FLAC-sourced) out to readers of this blog. It's absolutely one of my all-time favorites.

Anyway, it's available in mp3 format HERE, if that's your bag, baby.

Also looks to be some other really cool stuff at that site. So, knock yourselves out.

Quick Update

A lot of people have been sending me a lot of notes regarding Da Bears and a certain upcoming game of some significant magnitude. I have received Bears Prayers, updated Superbowl Shuffle lyrics, interviews, predictions, etc. Rest assured, I am dutifully reading them all. I have considered posting some here. However, though I don't believe in jinxes, I'm not taking any chances either. That said, I will happily post this photo, which I feel appropriately matches the level of "class" exhibited by Reggie Bush in the NFC Championship.

Now, regarding another American phenomenon of some note, no, I have never watched American Idol. It occurs to me to ask those of you who have watched it, what would happen if one of those ugly mugs pictured on The Band album cover below walked into an AI audition? Would he stand a chance? Better yet, how about someone with an even more unconventional voice (say Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Waits)?

One more note on The Band...I think if I had been asked which musical group I considered the most amazingly versatile, in terms of varied instrument choice, song construction, and all-around virtuosity, my answer would have been Traffic. Now, after my recent rediscovery of The Band, I think my answer has changed. I think The Band just might have 'em beat!

Why I LOVE Remastered CDs

First of all, my music addiction is beyond ridiculous. However, at times, it affords some pleasant surprises. One example occurred this weekend, when I was preparing to rearrange the furniture in our master bedroom (wife's idea, not mine, but of course it is better her way). I happened across a little, yellow, plastic Best Buy bag containing the remastered CD of The Band's self-titled album, originally released on LP in 1969 (their second album). A purchase made at some point in 2006, I would imagine, though I have no idea when.

Here's what others have said (click here for link), succinctly and nicely put, I'd say.

This is, in my humble opinion, EXACTLY how a CD remaster should be done. The sound quality is brilliant. And, after the album proper, they included several unreleased songs/alternate takes, with studio chatter included. I LOVE IT! Here's the complete track listing:

"Across the Great Divide" (Robertson) 2:53
"Rag Mama Rag" (Robertson) 3:04
"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" (Robertson) 3:33
"When You Awake" (Manuel/Robertson) 3:13
"Up on Cripple Creek" (Robertson) 4:34
"Whispering Pines" (Manuel/Robertson) 3:58
"Jemima Surrender" (Helm/Robertson) 3:31
"Rockin' Chair" (Robertson) 3:43
"Look Out Cleveland" (Robertson) 3:09
"Jawbone" (Manuel/Robertson) 4:20
"The Unfaithful Servant" (Robertson) 4:17
"King Harvest (Has Surely Come)" (Robertson) 3:39
Bonus tracks from 2000 CD re-release:
"Get Up Jake" (outtake - stereo mix) (Robertson)
"Rag Mama Rag" (alternate vocal take - rough mix) (Robertson)
"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" (alternate mix) (Robertson)
"Up on Cripple Creek" (alternate take) (Robertson)
"Whispering Pines" (alternate take) (Manuel/Robertson)
"Jemima Surrender" (alternate take) (Helm/Robertson)
"King Harvest (Has Surely Come)" (alternate performance) (Robertson)

I think Rolling Stone's (in)famous Top 500 had this one at #45. That strikes me as even a bit too far down the list. But, my "Top 10" would probably contain at least 45 albums, so whatever.

One problem though...I don't see how I can be expected to live with my regular, UN-remastered Music From Big Pink any longer.

Oh, and Rabid T, if you're out there, I can totally hear the Robertson influence on Clapton. "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)," in particular, has that little choking/tickling effect that I so admire in "Bell Bottom Blues." Reassuring to know that, even at his best, Clapton was a complete follower...the man hasn't an original bone in his body.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A New Look At An Old Favorite

Just got this one in a trade with a fine gentleman from Europe. It's got a few clicks and some hiss...just like listening to an old LP. An interesting incarnation of this Neil classic. No 2nd version of the title track at the end. But, check out the goodies. "Walk On" and "For The Turnstiles" (from On The Beach, another Neil classic I only have on LP), and the unreleased "Traces" and "Bad Fog Of Loneliness."

I surely miss a couple of the others. "Aaahhhllll....Buuhh...Kirk...Eeeeee..." certainly comes to mind. But, it's cool to throw this in on CD. My LP doesn't fit in my car stereo worth a damn.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Ditka Who?!?

Bears and Colts Prove Entire 2nd Half of Regular Season Meaningless!

Remember when da Bears and the Colts were both 8-0, and "the" picks to make the Super Bowl? Well, there you go.


PS - F*ck New England. F*ck Tom Brady, and Motherf*ck Bill Belichick. And, Reggie Bush, next time you decide you might want to point and do flips and dance like a jackass...SCOREBOARD, my young brother. Check the scoreboard a bit closer.

That is all.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lord Help Me, I Agree With The Shrew

For the 2nd straight week, Ann Coulter has written a column on the Duke Rape Case. Heaven help me, I think she's mostly correct on this one. Mike Nifong must f*cking hang.

I just recently traded for a Beatles b**tleg of mostly acoustic demos and outtakes from the "White Album" era. Man, I've got this version of "Dear Prudence" on endless repeat. Chills and goosebumps, people! John at his absolute best. And, that ain't so bad.

What's all this mess with Grey's Anatomy actors and using the word f*ggot (note my editing to maintain a family fucking atmosphere here at HH)?!? I just had a movie scene flash through my head. It's when Joe Pesci's character is telling Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) about the "Jew broad that's prejudiced against Italians!" Anyway, my wife loves that show (Grey's Anatomy, not Goodfellas, although she likes that too--but only because she thinks Ray Liotta's hot). I have a nice hardcover edition of Gray's Anatomy, an indispensable text. (Sometimes I look at the naughty parts and giggle.)

That is all. PEACE!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

This One I Got Directly From The Taper

Lest I be accused, by persons unknown, of not knowing how to share, let me state this right up front: I HAVE NO TORRENT INFO. ON THIS SHOW! I mailed blank discs to the taper himself, and he burned it and mailed it back to me. Beautiful. I will gladly share it in a similar manner.

Gregg Allman & Friends
Keswick Theater
Glenside PA

source : at943 (card) > batt box > edirol r-09 (24/44.1)> macintosh > dsp quattro X > xACT 1.58 > flac
location : 1 seat right of board

I'm No Angel
Just Before The Bullets Fly
House of Blues
Just Like a Woman
Don't Keep Me Wonderin'
You Must Be*
All My Friends
Ocean Awash The Gunwale
I've Been Hurt*
Multi-Colored Lady
Turn You Loose
Back To Daytona*
Midnight Rider
Whipping Post

Statesboro Blues

Gregg Allman - Vocals, Guitar, Hammond B-3
Floyd Miles - Percussion and lead vocal (*)
Neil Larson - Keyboards
Jerry Jemmott - Bass
Steve Potts - Drums
Jay Collins - Horns
Val McCallum - Guitar

Very nice show, phenomenal tape job. Yes, I want to give the taper full credit. No, I'm not comfortable publishing his name here without his permission. Stay tuned...UPDATE: ed tyre...credit where credit is due!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Guys From R.E.M. Love Neil Young

I finally got around to watching the "Extras" from the R.E.M. When The Light Is Mine DVD. In an interview from June 1984, Mike Mills and Peter Buck are talking about making genuine, honest music, and changing and challenging, as opposed to continually repeating the same sound. Then comes the following:

Peter Buck: Neil Young is like that. Everyone seems to think he's an old fogey. I really respect him. He just really doesn't give two dirty words about it.

Mike Mills: He got sued for his last two records, because they didn't sound like anything he'd done before. So, he got sued for 'em. Apparently, they didn't sell all that well.

Peter Buck: It's like Neil Young doesn't worry about that. He makes records that, whether you like 'em or not, are personal. It's like, you know, a letter from home.

Very cool.

Other random thoughts since watching this DVD:

R.E.M. are a really great band. (How's that for an understatement?!?)

Bill Berry's unibrow could kick all of our asses.

Mike Mills and Bill Berry were one heck of a rhythm section. It's easy to lose sight of that, between Stipe's amazing presence as a frontman, and Peter Buck's ridiculously catchy guitar hooks.

Speaking of the point above, Peter Buck is underrated as a guitarist. In fact, it's a freakin' sin how underrated he is.

If you haven't already done so, BUY THIS DVD!!!

It's not perfect, but it's close. One somewhat glaring omission: no "Gardening At Night" (bummer)! One I didn't really expect, but would've been sweet: "The Flowers of Guatemala."

Still, the acoustic "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" by itself is worth the price of admission.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

He Ain't Heavy, He's Our POTUS

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Look What I've Got

Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus Three plus Two equals REM
The Zodiac, Oxford, UK

Audience recording from centre stage, one row back from front.GM-PRO mics & battery box -> M-Audio Microtrack 24/96 (48khz, 24 bit) -> Audacity (track splits/levelling) -> FLAC (44.1khz, 16 bit) -> TLH (fix SBEs)

"My initial levels were a bit high, so there is slight clipping during the start of Adventure Rocket Ship. I adjusted the levels in Audacity to compensate. Other than that, no changes were done, and it sounds pretty good to my ears: a good mix and good separation between the instruments. I lost the last minute or so of Eight Miles High due to this running much longer than expected. If anyone has a complete Eight Miles High that would be great."

01. [intro]
02. Adventure Rocket Ship
03. Afterlife
04. [banter- butterfly]
05. Sally Was A Legend
06. [banter - Ole intro]
07. Ole Tarantula
08. City of Shame
09. If You Were A Priest
10. [banter - teeth]
11. New York Doll
12. Somewhere Apart
13. [banter - Flesh intro]
14. Flesh #1
15. [banter - TV intro]
16. Television
17. Not Dark Yet (Dylan)
18. Authority Box
19. [banter - Scott]
20. Creeped Out
21. Driving Aloud (Radio Storm)
22. [banter - lilac]
23. Madonna of the Wasps
24. Jewels For Sophia
25. [banter - thank you]
26. Kingdom of Love
27. [encore break]

1st Encore (enter Michael Stipe & Mike Mills who played Peter Buck's rickenbacker)
28. [back on with REM]
29. Electrlite (REM)
30. Arms of Love
31. [banter - DJ intro]
Mills switched to bass, Scott on guitar

32. I'm Gonna DJ (REM)
Buck on drums, Reiflen bass, Scott guitar, Stipe backing vox, Robyn ditched his guitar

33. [band intros] - Listening To The Higsons
34. [encore break]
2nd Encore (with Mike Mills on guitar but no Stipe)

35. [banter - prayer]
36. Give It To The Soft Boys
37. Eight Mile High (Byrds/cut)

Robyn Hitchcock and The Venus Three are:
Robyn Hitchcock - guitar and vocals
Scott McCaughey - bass and backing vocals
Peter Buck - guitar
Bill Reiflin - drums and backing vocals
Augumented on this occasion by:
Michael Stipe - vocals
Mike Mills - guitar and bass


Congrats to the Buckeyes

...for laying the hugest egg in the history of college athletics! Amazing!

They completely controlled the game for the first 16 seconds (just long enough to return the opening kickoff 93 yards for a TD, and kick the extra point). The remaining 59:44...not so good.

Time for Tressel to ditch the sweater vest, me thinks.

PS - Spell check just wanted me to change "Buckeyes" to "backwash." Yep, that'll do.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Have I Told You Lately...

...that I love you?

No. I probably haven't.

But, yes, I do love you, the readers of HH. You rule. It's not you. It's me. I'm just busy, and tired, and I don't have much to say for some reason. I don't get the same joy from blogging that I once did. My heart just isn't in it any more. No, please, please don't cry. We can work through this.

Oh, and happy would've-been-his-72nd birthday to dead Elvis. I'm going to crank a couple Elvis tunes when I get home tonight. Probably "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock" (one of the most homo-erotic songs of the '50s), and maybe "Don't Be Cruel" too...

OSU 42
Florida 10

But, I've been wrong before.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Who The Heck Is "My Chemical Romance" (?)

I'm officially an "old fuddy duddy," as I have no idea who these people are that my kid is listening to (darn kids these days). Alexis wants to download a group called "My Chemical Romance" to her iPod, specifically songs from their CD called The Black Parade.

Also, I have received precious little response to my request for vasectomy information. Are you really going to make me research this on my own?!? C'mon, people.

I felt like I missed the boat somewhat by not posting some sort of a James Brown (R.I.P.) tribute. But, then I reminded myself that he was a shameless wifebeater, and I felt better. Actually, I'm not sure if that's true. But, for some reason, it rings a bell. Plus, I'm always one to piss on someone's grave, even while it's still freshly buried.

Speaking of pissing on graves...Gerald Ford, the 1st President I somewhat vaguely remember being in office (I was 6 when Carter beat him), is dead. I have no emotional reaction whatsoever. I wonder if Ford had a vasectomy. That would be cool to know...which U.S. Presidents have been snipped?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

What Would Touchdown Jesus Do?

Notre Dame SUCKS! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

In other news, my cousin sent me a "Top 100 Albums" list from the Loop (97.9 FM in Chicago)...most of it looks like my regular album-listening rotation in 8th grade (1983-4).

I'm sure it's a bit on the cro-magnon side for all you discerning and erudite music critics. But, I'll admit I still have more than a little neanderthal in my genes, so...

Zeppelin's 4th LP as the #1 album of all-time? What else would you expect from a hard rock/classic rock station? I say, "rock on." I'll reprint the Top 25 below, mainly because I think the inclusion of #25, way down at that position, is hilarious in and of itself:

1. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV
2. Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon
3. AC/DC Back In Black
4. Guns n' Roses Appetite For Destruction
5. Pink Floyd The Wall
6. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
7. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I
8. Metallica Black Album
9. Rush 2112
10. Aerosmith Toys In The Attic
11. Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti
12. AC/DC Highway To Hell
13. Van Halen Van Halen
14. Eagles Hotel California
15. Pearl Jam Ten
16. The Who Who's Next
17. Led Zeppelin Houses Of The Holy
18. Boston Boston
19. Black Sabbath Paranoid
20. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin III
21. Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet
22. Jimi Hendrix Are You Experienced
23. Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here
24. UFO Lights Out
25. Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The inclusion of Sgt Pepper's at #25 just means that people felt obligated to include something by The Beatles somewhere. The "White Album" or Abbey Road, or even Revolver would've been a much more comfortable fit on this list* (and they're better anyway). Also, if I could vote 1 and only 1 of the above "off the island," so to speak, it would be the Jon-Jon Bovi...BUT, I'd be a little pissed that the Eagles were still there. The only one I haven't heard in its entirety is the UFO album. And, I haven't heard ANY of it (as far as I'm aware). Ahhhhh, to be 13 or 14 again, when I could actually enjoy the Boston and 2112 albums guilt-free!

One question, though...where the f*ck is Sticky Fingers?!?**

* Note: Those other 3 albums by The Beatles appear in the 26-50 range.

** The answer is that it's NOWHERE in the Top 100!!! Let It Bleed is at #73, with It's Only Rock 'N Roll at 89, and Some Girls at 94.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

F*ck 2007

2007 can suck my balls. I hate 2007. I wish 2007 had never been born.

Of course that's all just a pack of lies.

I love 2007...2007 rocks! I mean, hard.

Today was a banner day. Had my head up me arse from the jump. Got all the way up 5 floors to my office before realizing I didn't have my laptop. Wasn't sure if I'd even grabbed it at all. Went back down to the parking deck, hoping for a return trip home. No dice. It was in my car.

First email I sent demanded information by November 6, 2006. Hmmmmmm...had to re-send with the correct deadline (January 5, 2007). Banner f*cking morning.

Well, the cat's out of the bag. And, the bun is in the oven. Shelly is pregnant again. Hopefully, we'll find out the gender a week from Friday. Due date: June 22nd.

Since it's become quite clear that I'm walking around with a loaded gun, I think I need to take drastic action. From now on, I will field any/all comments regarding vasectomies. PLEASE, people, I need the info.

Watched a bootleg DVD of The Departed (got it in trade for some music CDs). Really, really liked it. Went to see The Good Shepherd on Sunday afternoon. Really, really liked it, too.