“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be;
and that which is done is that which shall be done:
and there is no new thing under the sun.”
– Ecclesiastes 1:9

“If the music’s gotten boring
It’s because of the people
Who want everyone to sound the same”
– Chickenshit Conformist, Dead Kennedys

The holiday season is upon us. Typing that phrase, incidentally, put me in mind of swarms of locusts pouring down onto a field. I may be a bit of a curmudgeon. Generally, I really do enjoy this time of year. The weather is cold, the air is crisp, and life feels fresh, with every snowfall comes a new chance to make tracks. People seem friendlier, and as much as I hate to admit it, some of those carols are a sleigh full of fun. I’ve got several stuck in my head right now, jostling around for my attention; so far, “White Christmas” seems to be in the lead. But with the holiday season comes constant commercials aimed at making your family love you through toys, cars, and gift cards. We get O’Reily screaming about the secular War on Christmas (an argument that loses legs when you realize that Sam Harris has a Christmas tree). We are inundated by tacky store displays and threats from talking heads that we can either go deeper into credit card debt and buy more presents, or let the economy slip further down the hole. And, to kick the whole thing off, we get a wildly expensive parade on Thanksgiving, when the Macy’s store marches beloved corporate icons down the street while horrible pop groups lip sync along to abbreviated standards on floats sponsored by candy companies and tooth paste brands.
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Today is the 40th anniversary of the release of my favorite Beatles album, the White Album. The Vatican took to the opportunity to forgive John Lennon, a man who has been dead for 28 years.

The sin that had to be forgiven in the first place?

“Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I do not know what will go first, rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity…We’re more popular than Jesus now.”

No word on when they’ll forgive him for “Imagine” or “God”.


Aquarium Drunkard has some great recordings of Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan playing together around the time Bobby D. was getting his brilliant Nashville Skyline down on tape. The sessions are relaxed, fun, and casual; Dylan needs Johhny to start of a verse for him more than once when he forgets the lyrics. It’s great hearing two masters of American Music together. Their duet on “Girl From The North Country” on N.S. was never enough for me and these twenty two tracks do a good deal to quench that thirst.

It’s not post-punk, but it’s damn good music. Check it out if this sort of thing is up your alley.


November 21, 2008

Real American Hero Sam “Joe the Plumber” Wurzlebacher has signed a book deal with some backwater publishing house (shack?) that’s only published one other book. Can’t he just stick to plumbing without a license? Fortunately Joe isn’t writing the damn thing; that task is left to an author by the name of Thomas N. Tabback. Tabback, if you haven’t guessed, is also the author of Pearl Gate Publishing’s only other item, a religious fiction novel entitled Things Forgotten. From what I can tell, Pearl Gate is Tabback’s very own vanity press.  Wow, Joe, you really hitched your inspiring All American story to a solid publisher, good job. Joe, baby, If you need a literary agent, know that I have full access to my parents’ basement. Read the rest of this entry »