Blogging from deep down beneath the Greater L. A. hipsterpolitan region….

I’m a writer, but there are zillions of writers, perhaps you’ve noticed. This here is a bunch of my stuff. I hope you dig it. There’s an index here. (And a much shorter selected index here.)

My email is brickjazz@yahoo.com. My phone is 323-420-7410. I do a lot of short writing on Facebook, and really short writing on Twitter. I’m all over the goddamn internet and all over this goddamn town.

Rifftime Route 66

In case you all are wondering what it is about me and giant ketchup bottles, I got hornswoggled by Bruce Forman into helping publicize latest Rifftime Route 66 challenge. You can see the story in the link here. Anyway, he’s gotten together with Rifftime, who’s a bunch of musicians figuring out how to set up a livestreaming network on a single site so anyone can sign up (for free, crazily enough, no strings enough, this isn’t a Mark Zuckerberg owning your content kind of thing). Bruce had this demented idea of a Festival that runs from July 25 to August 9 and anyone playing a gig anywhere in a city, town, field or giant ketchup bottle along Route 66 in that time span can have their event live streamed for free. If you can live stream on your own, they’ll put it up on the site. It debuted last night, with a Cow Bop gig at a performance studio in Chicago–the crowd was obviously digging it–and a show at Cicero’s in St. Louis where country singer (and Reba protégé) Caroline Kole wowed ‘em. 17 years old she is with a huge voice and just a three piece band (including her on guitar) and she owned that stage. The sound and picture from Cicero’s, especially, was gorgeous.The point of all this being if you have a gig you can livestream, sign up at the site. You’ll see the details and sign up link at the top of the link below. This is looking like a really cool deal, no b.s., no rip off. I know that sounds impossible in the industry today, and I don’t get it either, cynic that I am, but I wouldn’t be involved if it wasn’t straight up. So check it out. It’s free publicity for your band, venue, and will make your fans behave better knowing their being seen everywhere from Hollywood to Tucumcari to Timbuktu. Well, unless they are drunk. It happens.
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Anyway, musicians, put down the vaporizer for a minute and imagine the possibilities. And when I say musicians, we mean anyone. From the Bruce Formans of the world, who make it all look so easy, to the Brick Wahls of the world, who once did terrible things to drum kits until becoming a jazz critic and denying everything so beautiful singers would talk to him. Anybody, all kinds of bands, of music, of performers. If you write gorgeous cowboy poetry and read at a BBQ joint, here’s your chance. If you have ‘em rolling in the aisles on comedy nite at a pizza place in Winona, here ya go. If you play in a string quartet at the local library, here you all go.  Even if you scare people in a post-post-post industrial band, hey, why not? And of course this being Route 66, anything Americana or roots or rock’nroll or rockabilly is more than a perfect fit. That means you, with the tattoos.

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Here’s the site where you can sign up, etc: http://route66.rifftime.com/
It’ll be fun. I promise.

 

World’s largest ketchup bottle

My life is utter confusion right now. Hours and hours of social mediafying about Cow Bop‘s world of bopified western swing and cowboy hats (I actually have one), crazy rock’n’roll at  Cafe NELA, a band doing George Jones covers, an impressive avant gardish jazz somethingtet playing a joint just like the old days, more rock’n’roll tonite, the Central Avenue Jazz Festival all day tomorrow (I’ll wear my cowboy hat then, me and Charles Owens, mine black, his white, the white hat always wins, of course), more blogging about western swing, more tweets, more podcasts, more weird blog entries, more goddam Facebook posts, emails…..liner notes, which I realized I forgot to do. I kinda miss reality a bit sometimes. And I don’t mean cleaning out the cat litter box kind of reality, which my wife warned me about.

If it weren’t for cat boxes, garbage bags, rutting on demand and the fact that we can reach the top shelf where the fennel is, I doubt women would have any use for us at all.

And for once I posted without mentioning a giant ketchup bottle. Well, almost..

found at www.catsupbottle.com.

World’s largest ketchup bottles just don’t paint themselves, you know.

 

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Talking to Inanimate Objects

My wife just busted me talking to bowl of nectarines. Not as a group, either….I bitched at several on them in turn for taking too long to ripen up. Thought they are talking their sweet time. No pun intended. I turned around and she’s looking at me. So who are you talking to?.  Umm…a nectarine? Sure, she said. Sure.

My wife doesn’t talk to inanimate objects. Apparently the Sioux don’t hold conversations with things that cannot actually talk back. Oneida either. I can’t imagine not talking to inanimate objects. It’s so natural. Someone told me it’s an Irish thing. I just googled Irish talking to inanimate objects and several items came up, mostly about why talking to inanimate objects will weird out your English date. The guy, a little drunk, was bitching at the furniture. The girl gave him one of those looks. The dining room table, he said, was snickering behind his back. Inanimate objects can be cruel. I don’t think the rest of the date went well. No little bit of heaven for Clancy that night. She probably went and married an Episcopalian. Episcopalians don’t talk to inanimate objects. Then again they’re pretty inanimate themselves, so what would be the point? An Episcopalian and a table holding a conversation wouldn’t exactly be Shakespeare.

Anyway, I stopped talking to the nectarines till my wife left the room. Then I looked back at the bowl and said you guys got me in trouble. They just sat there, unripe, and said nothing.

 

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And a guy in a gorilla suit

Nothing like laying on the floor watching Bikini Beach. Or is it Beach Blanket Bingo. The one with Annette, Frankie, Keenan Wynn and a guy in a gorilla suit. Apparently I was asleep, as I hate these movies. Click. And the computer was still on. There’s a half written essay on the writings of Gavrilo Princip that it appears I abandoned for a handy pillow and George and Gracie. When Gracie is making more sense than you are it’s time to stop writing. That’s always been one of my tenets: use more verbs, less adjectives and make more sense than Gracie Allen.
Gracie Allen.

Gracie Allen explains.

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Lies, hate and dengue fever

Ya know, people can rant all they want making up lies about dengue fever being spread by undocumented Honduran children and it will have no health effects on anybody, you either get bit by an infected mosquito or not. All this does is encourage racism. It’s not even an immigration thing, if it were they’d be warning us against anyone who came from a tropical region, legal immigrants, returning vacationers, business travelers, even people who went to the World Cup. But they don’t. This isn’t about immigration policy and it’s not about public health. This is just about racists who can’t stand the sight of little brown babies. This is just hate, pure hate.

Congressman Phil Gringey, MD, says illegal immigrant children will give you dengue fever. It's one thing to be an ignorant politician. It's quite another to be a lying doctor.

Congressman Phil Gringey MD, says illegal immigrant children will give you dengue fever. It’s one thing to be an ignorant politician. It’s quite another to be a lying doctor.

 

 

Excoriated

Interesting day yesterday. I was excoriated repeatedly in private for being a fascist (a real jackbooted Nazi kind of fascist, too) who tries to hide behind a pathetically wimpy bleeding heart liberal false front, and besides that I betrayed the entire Los Angeles jazz scene by being such an LA Weekly-quitting self centered hopelessly insecure egomaniacal fascist hypocritical cranky bum who betrayed and insulted everyone who once believed in me (what?) and happens to write well. None of which fits well on a bumper sticker.

Also, I hate women.

Actually that was the abridged version. I left out some of my more loathsome traits. Thankfully this was all in private correspondence and not on Facebook. I mean I sure wouldn’t hire me after reading that.

People don’t take Stalin jokes lightly. Lesson learned. My sincere apologies to jazz, women, and Vladimir Putin.

If this is what it means to be a “public figure”, I vant to be alone.
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Joseph Stalin in 1915, the good times.

Joseph Stalin in 1915, the good times.

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Dancing

There’s this wonderful old World War Two vet I know, well into his nineties, who I see at clubs and shows all over the place, always dancing. What a nut. I’ve seen him dancing to swing, country, blues, salsa, funk, jazz, western swing and rock. Even reggae. Always has a babe for a partner. Loves to dance, he says. Started dancing to the swing bands. Jitterbugging. All hell was breaking loose over in Europe but he was busy dancing. He was a kid. That’s what you did then, danced. Then came Pearl Harbor and his draft notice. Went through the war without a scratch, somehow, though his unit was mauled a couple times. Some of those Nazis, he said, were fanatics and would fight to the death. It’d be hopeless and they’d keep firing. Friends kept getting killed. Mines going off. Snipers, machine guns, 88′s. He was nearly blown to pieces more than once. The Battle of the Bulge was the worse, he said. They were all freezing cold, and a rifle isn’t particularly useful against a Tiger tank. Thought he’d bought it more than once. On top of all that the Nazis were massacring prisoners. If you were Jewish the last thing you wanted was to surrender to one of those SS bastards. His company had been cut off, and it looked bad, but somehow they managed to rejoin the rest of the battalion. Left a lot of friends there, he said. He saw one blown to smithereens. Should have been him but he had slipped out of the foxhole for chow or to take a leak or something–just before the mortar bullseyed his buddy. Nothing left. Somebody was looking out for you, I said. He laughed. No, just luck. That’s all it ever was, luck. Later, in Germany, all the towns were gone, flattened. The RAF had gotten their revenge. The people were giving up, meekly surrendering. But there were fanatics everywhere. Hitler Youth who kept fighting no matter what. You’d see them later, just kids in baggy grown up uniforms, dead. He kept losing buddies right to the bitter end. Still, he made it and now a zillion years later he dances every chance he gets. A lady comes by and taps him on the shoulder, and they spin slowly, lightly, across the floor.

USO dance, 1944

USO dance, 1944

 

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