Monday, December 31, 2007

Felican Novan Jaron! Elvis's BD! & Write This Down: 661-325-5041!

The ELVIS BIRTHDAY BASH 2008 is Coming!!
(from www.sofein.com) Good Rockin' - Elvis Bday show, 7:30 pm, Jan 8th, 2008 at The Music Box (nee Henry Fonda), 6126 Hollywod Blvd (at Gower), LA, CA.
The lineup so far: Alan Clark, Barry Holdship, Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters, The Blasters, Brian Ray, Count Smokula, Danny Dean, Doug Fieger, The Dusk Devils, Fur & Steve, Gaucho Gil, Glen Glenn, Groovy Rednecks, Harry Orlove, I See Hawks In L.A., Johnny Legend, Jimmy Angel, Justin Curtis, Lisa Finnie, Lisa Haley and the Zydecats, Mojo Monkeys, Neil Morrow, Paul Marshall, Ray Campi, Rip Masters, The Rocketz, The Stardust Ramblers, The Surfaris... with More to Come!
Bonne annee, Gelukkig nieuwjaar, Hauoli makahiki hou, Feliz ano nuevo, Gott nytt år, Felice anno nuovo... and tonight, if you are a bakersfieldian & might drink & drive, instead call 661-325-5041 to get a free taxi home! just take a sec & write it down... who knows? might come in handy. :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

(materialism slave & greed dept.): I GOT A SNARE DRUM!!!!!!!!!

santa is good!!!!!! i now get to add another instrument to the roster. here are my grades (w/in the genre of music i know - outside of it, all would be "F"):
sing: B; pianny: R hand, C, L hand, B; bass, C+; drums, D+ (A+ for enthusiasm, tho); accordion, D; flute, D; rhythm guitar: D; clarinet, D-.
now all i need's a guitarron to fulfill my dream to play in a mariachi. i've got the outfit, & my spanish accent's very good, tho grammar is that of a complete moron... que lastima...
playing drums is the funnest yet!!!!!!! you can effortlessly make sound: no embouchure, no toughening & contorting of fingers, no scales, no strong lungs needed: just go!!!! i can beat out crude approximations of what i hear, & it's bound to improve because it's so fun to practice!!
what the heck do i know - i'm pure slop when it comes to all this. but what joy! (insert vonnegut quote about god & music here.)
happy holidays to you!!! may we all be santas for one another today & everyday... spread joy, share, be good, turn blue, rock rock rock.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

glitches, shin splints, crazy man crazy, life life life


-> yesterday i recorded an EP, w/sharon marie producing, here in bakersfield. talented & nice sharon runs B2 studios here w/gary batsch - she's also the daughter of the late carolina cotton, western singer-yodeler of the silver screen & 1940s recording fame, as well as long-time & beloved bksfld elementary school teacher.
-> i ran over to record after the oral language festival (school-work event: the girls did great!). sharon & i (well, 99.9% sharon) spent more time figuring out the recording set-up than actually recording! she figured out how to record me in real time & get a "live vibe," as she called it, as i played drums, keyboards, & sang...
-> the EP is about 25 mins long & has 13 songs. we recorded all in one take (well, i did 4 songs over because i got shin splints), glitches & all, no overdubs, punch-ins, edits, nada. what fun! it came out rough but full of life. some people won't like it, but i can't much care. life's too short! :)
-> sharon's posted my version of "goo goo muck" on B2's page. it'll only be there for a week because they rotate songs that frequently! www.myspace.com/b2studio ... soon, i'll have cds. and then what??? well, i have many ideas, & none involve fame & fortune, just hopes to maximize the fun potential in my tiny & short life. :)
-> happy week, everyone. :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



for more fantastic videos, check out dusk devils favorites at http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=duskdevils... youtube's a treasure! i could add 100s more, if there were time!!! (ps - if you love gene taylor's piano playing, check www.gene-taylor.com - gene now lives in belgium, but will be in the socal & bay area in dec to play shows w/dave alvin, bazz & bateman! these will be don't-miss events! :) whoops - gotta run...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

(an early) mele kalikimaka from the chair of perpetual penance (which somehow is lots of fun, anyway)


-yrs ago, i started drawing christmas cards. bettie page, frankenstein, chuck berry, 40s pinup, siamese twin santas, senor wences takeoff: a bit bizarre, but in their way giving people a smile, i always hope. :) one yr i aped a chas addams design, & kinko's made me sign a release from liability before they'd print it!
- more recently i've photoshopped rather than drawn cards: the lazy way out. i never draw anymore, as is! the lazy route brings quick kicks, yet disappoints. i know i can do more.
- this wk i unexpectedly found myself w/extra time on my hands & so am having a creative burst. playing my one-woman band set like a maniac- running long distances- enjoying mtgs- working w/newcomers- eating fine holiday meals- watching movies- readying for upcoming music shows: what joys these are!! yesterday am, i took a pack of crayons & drew my christmas card. :) (do you do this? i most long to draw, or do anything "creative," when the moment hits & i DON'T have the appropriate supplies... it's demented & stubborn, maybe, or what mama calls a "penance mentality." it just feels too easy, like cheating, to have exactly what's needed, more honest & thrifty to be forced to use what's already there - in this case, a very dull pencil & crayons.)
- i'm grateful today to still have SOME of the ability i had when younger, enough anyway to still be able to (sort of) render the results i seek.
- father damien was stubborn & struggled, was good & heroic. he did what his soul called him to do, not what others told him was "acceptable." he helped & helped & helped instead of just thinking about it: all constructive action, no empty talk.
- his sacrifice & selflessness embody the true spirit of the holidays. what american doesn't know the venal corporate-capitalist version? an early christmas wish to all who read this.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

happy, happy thanksgiving

this morning's phantom pie run at hart park was wonderful: happy people by the 100s, lovely sunrise, rolling foothills, heart-pumping uphills, muscles straining, health restored by activity, then the long downhill flat-out haul-butt back to hart park, bonfire, delicious food, joy. i was told all the extra pies & food go the homeless shelter, which made the whole thing even nicer.
then a gal showed up at the wmn's mtg, paroled from prison yesterday to the bksfld hotel. problem was, her family was waiting for her in carson city today for thanksgiving, she wept, & she was paroled to bakersfield & must stay til monday. at the hotel last night, people cried, screamed in terror, yelled, knocked on her door all night. the walls were smeared w/blood from all the junkies, & she woke covered w/bedbugs. she just celebrated one year sober & knew she had to get to a mtg right away.
after the mtg, i stepped up to ask if i could get her a nicer hotel rm til tomorrow, when her mom's wiring her $ to do so, but my sponsor beat me to it & took the woman home w/her.
tears sprang to my eyes, & do so now as i think of my sponsor's kindness. life IS good when we can overcome fear & just help one another. the deepest human trait is not fear, but love, & this love can lead us to our most true selves. our human purpose is to help, & to love... tho this gets obscured by so many worldly calamities.
happy turkey day to all who read this. i am "giving thanks" today for having the ability & opportunity to appreciate that it IS thanksgiving. i give thanks for being placed in a life where i'm able to learn to be more happy, joyous, & free by way of gratitude, positive service to others & development of the gifts i've been given.
to thine own self be true, & happy thanksgiving to you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

turkey / phantom pie run this thursday!!!

(from bk track club website - this sounds like FUN!!!!) Phantom Pie Run - Meet at section 7 of Hart Park for a fun run or walk of between 3 and 12 miles starting at 6am. Bring a pie to share with a couple hundred of your fellow health enthusiasts. What a great way to kick off Turkey day!

Monday, November 12, 2007

may i fare better than poor johnny... dyspnea & me


i got to ride on our teachers' union's float in the vet day's parade this wkend w/ two dear students, wonderful girls, then we went to the library (they'd never been to it) & sonic (same). we teachers'd put our float together over 2 weekends & it was downright right, in my mind, w/handpainted murals of kids & signs created by students & banners reading "bakersfield educators love & respect our veterans" & "be patriotic: vote" (i got to paint that last one). (we grew up w/dad playing "union maid" & "this land is your land" on his guitar while we all sang. BETA is a darn good union, tho my bro-in-law's in denver isn't, & i know people have their complaints. i can only speak for mine: it's necessary & important, as is the concept of unionism, which, like religion & political philosophies, can get twisted in the hands of humans.)
at the 1st parade turn, the ray charles version of "america the beautiful" swelled & all these smiling little old people in military uniforms came into view in their lawn chairs & we all waved & cheered one another &, oh boy, it was crying time. the girls were happy; later, my hubby & i watched "ratatouille," which is so great, it'll kill you, even if you be a cynic; it was a wonderful day; i took a long run the next & celebrated my dear friend's bd at the oildale mtg; we had a long long band practice w/a drummer i've known who impressed me a bunch this time (haven't heard him play in 3 yrs); we went to greg goodsell's "zombie farm" (in his few secs, he was better than the film, w/a gory death scene, even) at the spotlight; all was just going wonderfully well... then last night i had the worst asthma attack i've had in 5 yrs. i scared the tar outta my hubby & myself. i thought it was curtains. good lord, what a shock.
stone-cold honky-tonker johnny paycheck died of it, poor soul. what a way to go. i thought i was doing better, but the doc today says, "in most cases, allergies & asthma just get worse."
great. i used to think drowning would be the worst way to check out, but maybe it'd be asthma or COPD or emphysema... i guess i shouldn't let my magic morbid mind ponder such things since for now i'm ok, tho i gotta go get a whole bunch of inhalers & pills. just be grateful. long as i can continue to be mostly in my right mind in this world of students, family, friends, music, exercise, movies, & more, my complaints only could be those of spoiled brat, or a fearful egoist. so if i have to feel like a fish out of water here & there, well, i can just hope that won't be how i have to check out, & deal w/it: take my meds, try to remember that i don't have this condition licked. (merde.)
i thank goodness right now i don't have the nicotine jones. a lifetime ago i had a beau whose mom was at the hospital in oildale, in a tent w/emphysema, & we snuck her cigarettes. i remember her giggling like a naughty little girl. my boyfriend just looked sad: he did it cause he loved his mama, but we knew it was dirty & wrong. fear, denial, wonder, happiness, ups & downs: c'est la vie.

Monday, November 05, 2007

tweetleedeedledeedee, deedeedeedee

the time FINALLY changed!!!! getting ready for work's no longer such a drag, with my morning now starting at dawn's crack rather than when night seems to be dragging its sick, exhausted carpet to bed. morning sounds: the chirp tweet-tweet of avian symphony, the bang crash-crash & long lonely whistles of the train yard, traffic washing by on the roads outside. right now the peeping sun's bathing away night with slate, pale gray, blue rising out of purple, red, pink, then morning's promise: that gorgeous golden sky. (one nice thing about smog is, it sure makes a lovely dusk-dawn palette. & these days in backwardsville, with smog mostly abated by autumn, the loveliness just zings a person alive.) alive, alive! watching the season change makes a soul feel it.
:)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

musicus interruptus, daughter of yodeling bombshell, feliz cumpleanos to bomar, the oldest living graduate

yippee! art fein sent me a mix cd titled "rule88jen" (so tired from wk, i had to ask him why "rule88" & not "rule62" & he said "piano, dummy!!" duhhh...) so excited to receive a disc made just for me, full of rockin' piano hillbilly R&B rockabilly, i opened it & dang! art forgot to put the disc in the jewel case... he said he'll be at the post office tomorrow, so i've still got something to look forward to there... i decided to record the solo act w/sharon marie (country yodel-western singer carolina cotton's daughter - read elsewhere on this blog about dear mrs. cotton - & sharon herself's a piano player & local musician, too!). i like that i'll be doing it local - i AM from backwardsfield!!! i like sharon a lot, plus this way there'll be the spirit of mrs. cotton, w/whom i taught school... it feels homey & family & "right," those things that keep me centered instead of manic (i seem to go both ways)... well, it's bomar's bd, so we're off for a halloween/bd bash in sonora (gold country) w/motorcycle-program good friends from afar, then tomorrow i have my masters program graduation ceremony in sf. best to all who read... & to all who read this... & to all who help others to read... blablabla

Monday, October 22, 2007

so long, don't know where i'm going, but so long

So long, don't where I'm going
But so long, you know you done me wrong
So long, because I know I'm not the one

Goodbye, please tell me why
Goodbye, you always make me cry
Oh why, why are you never satisfied

So long, I'm all packed up and on my way
So long, you'll need me some ol' sunny day
So long, yes I'm, I'm going to stay



http://www.tous-arts.net/fats7.html <- here's a "newer" version of this song, with its so-sad, so simple, so beautiful solo, not ruined by even one wheedle-wheedle of show-off guitar -- i think it's just perfect, the aural equivalent of a huge shuddering cry, like the end of that saul bellow novella i mentioned below... these kinds of songs aren't knock-offs or throw-aways or "simple" to me at all. they're all heart & soul sincerity, & give me hope & make me want to live & love another day.

Friday, October 19, 2007

missin the spiritual sceneo, seein the hillbilly dino


this time of yr i'm SUPPOSED to be in the sequoias at a spiritual retreat w/women from all over the state, something i always anticipate happily... but on a dang day i was wiped-out-sick home from work, i goofed & ordered tickets for us to go see ron white that same night!! yes, tater salad, that suave & hunky lone star comedian (who had a markedly different look early on - see pic! i like it!!)... drat! but the guy's finer than frog hair split four ways, handier than hip pockets on a hog, slicker than deer guts on a greased doorknob, so we're going.
i'll miss out on good & serene times w/my galfriends, so i hope tonight brings lotsa laughs. (laughter! one of the sacredest human states!) :) & that maybe ron white will go back to his chubby good-ole-boy look, instead of texan-dean-martin...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

catapult to musical stardom thwarted by I-5 closure

:) ... well, i TRIED to get down to frank sprague's wichita falls studio in no-hollywd yesterday, but nature had other ideas. a huge truck pile-up/accident near newhall has closed I-5 in both directions near the 14 interchange... 2:30+ from bako to castaic, stuck in solidly-jammed traffic, after many confused calls to family, friends, iceman, art fein, frank trying to get road info, i heard the radio compare this damage to that of the '94 sylmar earthquake. that's it: i knew i had to turn back to bako.
immediately i was flying back up the rd at 70mph, instead of the 0 of before! "that's so program," said friend clancy, whom i was supposed to meet at a mtg in his area (a mile from friend kristi's 40th bd, which i also missed due to the accident!!). "change directions & everything flows smoothly."
ain't it the truth!
i got home safe. not so for people hurt & killed in the crash. i have nothing to complain about, no worries...
w/upcoming wkends booked solid, looks like my career as a D-league cult music figure is on hold again... oil well. :) like i've said, i can't understand the big picture, so why should this upset me? i'm smaller than a quark in this big life, so w/this chance dashed, now will look under some other leaf for the next possible big or small fun.
c'est la vie, yall! stay sick, turn blue, rock & roll hoochy koo. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

the cowboy rides away

a young cousin by marriage passed away suddenly the other day. he was a most upstanding, personable, polite, friendly boy, a true winner of a human being w/a wonderful sister cut out of just the same strong, beautiful cloth. only 16 yrs old, he died in a riding accident while doing chores. (the family work w/horses & ranch. they are kind, hard-working, likeable, upright, solid, not one bit neurotic.) what a shocking & sad deal. why him? thoughts about "a life cut short" overwhelm, if a person's not careful. why do some get to go on (at least for today) & others perish? life just ain't fair.
my feeling is we're all so tiny in the overall scheme of things, we are absolutely incapable of seeing any big picture. it's just impossible. so what seems so important on the individual scale is nothing in the end. i likely won't matter in 100 yrs, & you likely won't, either. that's the way of life & we all get one shot, so take comfort in that non-importance & seize the day (saul bellow).
people don't die to teach me anything. however, i did learn from midnight (he was born at the stroke of, so that became his name), who lived a happy & full life, more in 16 yrs than many do in 4x that. sat., the ranch in springville, where the family lives, will be packed w/every kid from north high (where midnight was a student) & 100s of others. heck, maybe thousands. i hear the family ordered 60 tables, a dance floor, & has plenty of food. their beloved boy will be well-remembered w/tears, gratitude, & lots of love.
i wish tommy, yolanda, jennifer, michael, & family peace.
the absolute only good to come of this is our bestest cousin flew here from tx w/her kids to be w/the family. "i wish i was here for a happier reason," she said last night. in the end, all there is is love, & what could be more important?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

ramblin' man, rockin' jesus, mercy w/false start

today i've spent recording, then uploading, then trying to send one-woman band stuff to frank sprague for next wk's recording session... a couple obscene metaphors/ colloquialisms would describe my tedious missteps, false starts/stops, & problems (continually breaking high hat, sore throat hampering singing, fingernails sticking between keyboard keys [i forgot to cut them!!! duhhh!!], files too large to be uploaded needing to be reconfigured & resaved)... i ended up also uploading some stuff that sounded a lot better, the songs i did for the tribute to slim the drifter back in august. i can't remember where i put the mike that time, but it worked!! i need to diagram this stuff!!
might have to go back to using just the bass drum, w/cymbal bungeed to piano stand & sounding on the bass drum kickback. the high hat/bass drum set up is too problematic right now!!! i guess i'm just gonna have to go into the vault & go buy a new high hat set-up...
anyhow, here also is a snippet from what i recorded for frank - evidence of my technical difficulties!
mercy with mistake
mercy with mistake...
Hosted by eSnips

slim the drifter tribute - jenny angel summer 07
slim the drifter t...
Hosted by eSnips

luddite: the boom is back

using the program "slowgold" (the old99 band bought it for me for my bd!), i no longer have to try to use my "ear," but can use a "computer program" to actually SLOW DOWN the songs, "loop" sections of them so that they play over & over & over, & then be able to parrot solos to the best of my (limited) ability... (www.slowgold.com) i used it the other day to learn pt of "the auctioneer," & mebbe it'll help me learn to yodel like old99 rob (oh, i mean "iceman").
on the 1-wmn band front, i've been playing my bass drum backwards.
properly "orientated," it now booms again! :)
i'm glad brian lee hubby discovered this before i go record w/franky lee producer next wkend down south... :)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

duskdevils "green door" youtube / POST #200!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

art fein put a new (old) video up on youtube of the dusk devils. (also videos of candye kane & carlos guitarlos!) it's listed on his page at www.sofein.com (look for screen shot of me looking like the wicked witch of the west) :)
you also can see it at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc18WHzIsJE (copy & paste that address into your browser)
ps - if your comment disappeared below, it's cause of a misunderstanding w/art over what he wanted posted as a comment... i had to hide all comments under that date so's not to inconvenience/embarrass mr. fein, who's been so kind. you can't delete just one on here...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

9/30, bakersfield sound music, fishlips, high noon

here in backwardsfield tomorrow, the real deal, the good stuff!... google "fishlips" & "bakersfield sound" for more info... hope you can go! :)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

the unifying of "opposites," the illusion of separation, myspace, & the boring lives of teachers

today's local paper had a postage-stamp tiny color pic of dusk devils from yrs back on a pg 1 story re myspace. then in class today, coincidence?, we talked about media products & manipulations, like myspace, so i told the kids to for extra credit find my pic in the paper ("why were YOU in the paper?!?" they exclaimed, maybe a little horrified, because how possibly could a TEACHER be interesting enough for print?)... as pt of the lesson, we analyzed bakotopia a little, since the school district has myspace blocked. after, 3 girls got bkotpia's url. on the small chance they'd go in & find my profile, i figured i should write a short bio, do some positive propagandizing...
after writing it, i realized it's sure nice not to have to hide. i don't have secrets w/these kids. i play music, i write, i worry, i fret, i ponder, i'm wimpy & vacillating & bossy at times, i'm kinda weird, but i know in a good way: just a human, in other words. there's no worry about running into them or their families when drunk or being somehow else inappropriate because i'm just not that way, haven't been for a long, long time. i'm even trying not to cuss, tho everyone stubs their toe now & then. (and i do enjoy creative cussers like aunt rita & tammy.) it's good to feel clean & mostly true...
i thank the secret society that saved my life. they're a bunch of do-gooders & lifesavers, & i learn all the time from them how to live somewhat peacefully, usefully, & happily, w/my dreams & goals in line w/the greater good, i trust. my recent masters degree experience in sf at new college, a life-changing deal, didn't hurt, either. :)
here's the updated profile: http://www.bakotopia.com/home/User/jennyangel

Sunday, September 23, 2007

red bulls + monsters + vitamins = no sleep

of course, like some curse, i got sick three days ago, w/a showlet tonight. bolstered w/vitamins & red bull, i was dragging myself out the door when brian got popped right in the eye w/a flying bungee - blood everywhere, just horrible!!! i thought we were gonna have to take him to emergency, but once we got him patched up, he insisted he didn't need stitches & wanted to go to the show... later we were so grateful the bungee hadn't hit 1/4" lower because (mustn't go there -- shuddddddder)... as is, he told everyone all night, "you shoulda seen the OTHER guy!" he's gonna have quite a shiner. i was so thankful he wasn't hurt worse & was so willing still to go to the party. brian is quite dear... :)
tammy's party was such a success!! i knew that girl had tons of friends, but tons of family, too? she is widely & well-loved, it is obvious: there must've been 150 people there for her! :) i saw people from the distant past, & longtime pal, writer greg goodsell, showed up as "doctor death" (the party's theme was funerary)... after the basque feed & tammy tributes, byron played acoustic tunes, opening w/"6 days on the road" & "little red riding hood"! vince galindo & i approved; byron has great facial expressions & personality for the stage. next up was an old-timey country-bluegrass trio from kernville, very professional, would've sounded right at home on prairie home companion: david nigel lloyd & daughter ursula fully enjoyed their set, & their woman singer/guitarist had a lovely warmth. then i was up, & as i suspected, i couldn't hear (should've gone w/instinct & used keyboard amp, too: monitors never seem set up for high female voice/keyboard, or maybe it's sound guys who aren't used to dialing that in), & my dang high hat took a crap halfway thru the 2nd song!! shantell then let me use hers, which was a marked change (much nicer), but then i was thrown off by playing the stiffer drum & i know my timing stunk in too many spots. oh well; the audience cheered like i can hardly remember ever hearing, seriously: it was amazing -- & i know tammy was happy! (looking at the pix from brian, i see i never should wear this dress again when i have to sit... it was very flattering til i sat down & some circus tent effect took over!! i know i need longer hems now that i have to sit to play drums, but i guess not quite this long & puffy & bustled... this is something i guess i'll figure out as i go...)
"FINALLY we could hear your singing," said david kindly. (i guess, therefore, the singing sounded ok - i couldn't tell! good news from david!)
"that must be like going for a run," commented nathan (glen), a guy i knew 20 yrs ago. funny, i didn't sweat tonight like when i have practiced. maybe it was all the red bull i drank (no sweat left!) to get myself off the sick bed. no dinner, either! too nervous from brian's eyeball incident! anyways, yes, it is quite a workout to do all the music by myself.
"i've never seen anything like that," a guy remarked about my set-up. and yes, ladies & gents, i DO believe what i'm now doing is unique! the good part is, it's bound to get better, so heads up, bloodshot bill, i'll be hopping on your traincar pretty soon here... :)
next was 3 chord whore. those gals are really onto something!! their eff-it, liberated, woman-love punkrock presence really goes over big, w/gals dancing wildly every time they play. darcy has the most wonderful expressive pretty frontwomanly face, & heather does, too. i'd love to have big popping violety eyes like those two have, but i have to make do w/my squinty hispanic-mediterranean ones, instead. shantell is a heckuva hard-rock drummer, & i'm always impressed by how much sound those 3 women make, w/heather's punk power chords, shantell's thunder-drumming, & darcy's full throated singing. they speak to lots of gals in the audience - guys, too. i hope whatever they want to have happen for them career-wise, flat does.
... now it's 1:45 am & here i is. bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......... tired, but heart palpitating. good old energy drinks.
thank you, tammy & byron, for your extreme generosity & friendliness to many, including me. a good night to be alive it was, once again.
ps - thank you thank you thank you to all my friends who showed up... :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

AARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!

note to self (& you, if it applies): when teaching middle school, don't ever go to work when sick.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

sat set list, county fair fun, birthday bashes

woohoo, am i excited!! not only is the kc fair starting this wk, i get to do my one-wmn act this wkend! i need to stop exercising so much, tho... it's darn tough to drum w/shin splints!!! tammy's party's gonna be great - she sent funeral-style invites instead of bd party-type ones, & everyone's wearing black! she & hubby byron are feeding basque food to all invitees! then me, 3 chord whore, byron & hard rock, & more music. brent milton's doing sound. all in all, yahoo!
here's my lucky-13 set list: 1) ready teddy; 2) mercy; 3) googoo muck; 4) mean mean man; 5) rock house; 6) running scared; 7) tearin' my hair out; 8) rock boppin' baby; 9) fujiyama mama; 10) heartbeat; 11) me & my chauffeur blues; 12) funnel of love; 13) railroad bill.
next mo, my childhood bud kris(ti), who 12-stepped me so long ago & helped save my life, will hit her big bd, too, but her bash is at a socal yacht club... that same wkend, i'll go record with frank lee sprague in "noho" (haha - that makes me laugh near as much as "we-ho")! fls is quite a talent, writing all from rootsy americana to classical, award-winning. here's his site: http://duckking1.tripod.com/ ... i know frank'll do me up right & know just what sound i'm looking for. wow!!!!
last wk was the la fair w/the chinese acrobats (donna & i were in the 1st row!! i couldn't even watch in some parts -- too hair-raising!) & this wk our fair will have cinnamon rolls, rides, lights, music, exhibits, kettle corn, smells, people, hay,... oh, is there anything much better than a county fair????? i'm happy & expectant, but autumn does that, don't it? :) be toujour gai, like mehitabel sez...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

trout's on a friday night, tour d'backweirdsfield

the best thing that happened at trout's tonight was when joyce simpson kindly forgave me for something stupid i did yrs ago... she & red were there, & chris sprague said he was "shaking" to be in red simpson's presence. i stuck close to friendly frank lee sprague, who provided burly barrier between me & drunk fellows not put off by a wedding ring. i forget what can happen when people start bar drinking on a friday night, since mostly i'm in such places (& then only rarely, esp lately) only to play music myself... standing around not playing can be a spooky deal. larry petree was dressed to the country-gentleman 9's, wide-smiling & inviting as usual, & rockwell shook my hand. lovely joyce told me her grand daughter just graduated from berkeley (in 3 yrs!) & is coming back HERE to teach! i was happily stupefied to think someone so obviously precocious & idealistic would bring her talents back to this place so known for "brain drain"... the honky-tonk & truck-driving tunes rocked the dark saloon & tho a bit scary to me, the large drinking young cowboys were nice enough in the end, as well as were the line-dancing gals. i would go back to trout's again, in a second, especially if i had burly barrier, which my electric piano might nicely provide... i made the spragues a tour d'bakersfield, suggesting spots like okie ray's, the old river theatre, oildale saloons, el taquito, downtown signs & residence hotels, the arizona cafe, & the usuals like luigi's, old eastside basque places, & of course the palace, where buddy allan plays tomorrow night w/the buckaroos... i'll meet the spragues there at that time if they stick around, but i think hollywood'll call them back 1st.
frank gifted me TWO of his merseybeat cds, as well as the offer of use of his recording studio, stories of musicians far & wide, & talk of tx, from where he & bro chris hail, then walked me to my car so i wouldn't be killed (not that i would, but i'm a chicken). a nice evening, in other words. and like i said, best of all, forgiveness. dang ego sure makes me an ass sometimes. i was grateful joyce touched me with her grace. oh yeah, & tonight's meeting was good, too, & i even got a nap in earlier. :)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

we got five years, my brain hurts a lot, five years, that's all we got, five years, what a surprise...

i guess the time it takes a band's name to get round (bands made of peons like me & us, that is) must be five years. i formed the dusk devils w/other humans, specifically brian p, in fall 2002. now, 5 yrs later, the dusk devils have 3200 myspace friends and i get show offers 3 times a month (as compared to never to 3 times a yr in the past): festivals, one setters, all nighters, stuff out of state, out of country, waaaaaah!!! it'd be fun. or maybe the idea of it is funner than it'd actually be.
one thing's clear - it sure don't matter right now.
oil well, as people say round here!
it's nice to feel wanted, tho for now it's posthumous. :)
happy weekend to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

"i wear the black for the poor & beaten down..."

i thought our grandpa, a retired kern county sheriff's deputy, was johnny cash (& that muhammed ali & elvis were the same person). this seeming dumbness has puzzled me a little. then in today's paper, they announced a new dvd set from cash's tv show, which my family used to watch, & i realized that i was an infant & toddler when it was on!
our grandpa did look like j.c. i wish i had a picture. 6'4," large-framed, curled lip, weary, wary, but kind eyes, square jaw, solemnly handsome. grandpa just LOOKED like a 1950s detective, the "good cop" who'd bust up the bad guy in the last reel cause he had to, or a hero, or... johnny cash.
"man in black" & "sunday morning coming down" always make me cry. cash's dignified gravitas, gentle humor, bravery, & social conscience touched many (tho i guess with friends he was a real prankster!). he was a "unifier of opposites" more than any public figure before or since. reds & blues loved him equally. if more like him existed, people would realize that their separations are surfaces! an army of johnny cashes could bring the world together, tho "army" is the wrong metaphor, & there was & only ever will be one j.c.
i hope i can go out & get that box set.
man in black video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfI9B8e9tW4
man in black lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/johnnycash/maninblack.html

Thursday, August 23, 2007

the well or mountain or the man with the plan speaks glissfully

glissando update, for you piano players: "For the UP, you might just release the thumb and use which ever combo of index, mid, or ring-fing nails & upper-digit flesh that feels more comfy. I JUST found out I tend to use the mid & ring nails as a combo. This DOES require toughening the skin area, just below the nail. Also, I try to keep everything else outta the way. For DOWN, it's basically the same, but using the thumbnail instead of the fingernail. You may need to hold the index finger behind the thumb to get the index-nail outta the way. My nails are very hard but I keep them short anyway. I know this is sometimes difficult for women, from an aesthetic point of view, but unless you have Howard Hughes nails, you just need to keep all unused 'surfaces' out of the path. I'm assuming you use your own electric piano most of the time? If you use others (especially acoustics), you should always give them a pre-gig test. If I have trouble with a hard-glissing piano, I either shorten the gliss, forgo it entirely, OR bite the bullet. :-( I'll try some different glisses on my acoustic later today and report back... [2nd dispatch]
"...The DOWN should definitely be the thumbnail, supported by the index finger... Hope this helps? -----taylor 00"

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

blooody fingers!!!!!! "you got to go to de-well to get to de-water"

i'm practicing wine spo-dee-o-dee, the JLL version, & ripping my fingernails off on the glissandos, so i went to the mountain & emailed gene taylor just now for pianny advise... i'd email carl sonny leyland, too, cept he already gave me his suggestions ("everyone's fingers are different"), so i'd be embarrassed to ask for more specific help than he already offered... the time has come for me to put in serious hours PRACTICING, not just playing for fun, like learning to hammer on & watch that right hand, as carl said to do. the buck owens songs we're doing, otherwise, have lotsa nice singing but little drive. i know i can be better than i've been, & w/o brian paxton's wall of shredding rockabilly guitar, i'm left naked to actually have to play!
i guess it's good i'm having to learn to play better. heck knows i got the exhilarated slouch thing down pretty well. re that, i think i will bill myself for Tammy's Birthday/Wake at Narducci's as "jenny angel & her four appendages"... she requested "funnel of love" & "mean mean man," so yessir, i've gottem down -- bloodshot bill emailed encouragement & said "ain't nothin' punker than a piano-pumping chick stompin' her foot!"
i am blessed to be in such company, even cyberly. :) and i really like my new job!! :) even the stinkers - they just need some kind attention & firm direction, i think. i really like middle-schoolers, too. :) maybe i'm crazy... but actually, i think it's just the fool bone-deep teacher talking. it's in my blood, like love & music & words. :) the lovely lunch lady is dutch, reminding me of my old friend femke from putten, & she's reviewing with me many dutch phrases in her cute accent, so i say to all, "goedenacht," and may you have all the green m&m's.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

prof longhair, i now definitely ain't... long live the king

since my thesis involved rites of passage, in addition to the sf marathon, i marked the end of the masters program & my return to teaching (plus bd) by losing a ft of hair for locks of love (it was a ritual! i grew my hair out for the whole non-working lovely now-gone yr! - all my hair looked pitiful, cut off in a measy ponytail. they said it takes 10 of them to make one cancer patient's wig.)... i don't know if i like it, but i know it'll grow back, plus i know it's more "appropriate," esp starting at a new school, where i know kids always extra-scrutinize the new teacher... in the pix, i'm wearing my 2nd elvis shirt of the day (went to gym today). i went into my 2nd teacher inservice this a.m. & a colleague questioned me on the 1st elvis shirt of the day. "well, you know, he died today," i said, then caught a meaningful & sympathetic glower from the saturnine rsp teacher, who used to teach in the prisons, & who nodded & uttered, "one-sixteen."
i believe i have a friend. :)
actually, these teachers & administrators in general are upright & inspired folks, hard-working, generally humble, organized & purposeful. i'm cautiously optimistic my work will become again more like prayer, like music, like work should be. we seem to all want to help, & i don't smell any drama. i am cautious, but i am happy. :)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

elvis has left the building, but elvisianity lives

good heavens - was there any human more perfect-looking than elvis? death week's started in memphis - it's been 30 yrs since the king left this planet! elvisiana or elvisosophy or maybe elvisianity is everywhere - i don't doubt in 300 yrs, he'll be a diety (tho he would've strongly disapproved!) ... last night in gilroy motel en route home from school (the last session!), i was raised from my pillow & struck dumb by big big elvis on tv, pouring sweat, chipmunk-cheeked but greek-god beautiful, maybe even more beautiful because the lard made him effable, maybe more a little like the rest of us shlubs. he sat at the piano & pounded & belted out "unchained melody" in a voice powerful in all registers as an operatic tenor's, as great as orbison's! snobs say elvis was corny & laughable at the end: no way!! vocal wonder combined w/unearthly beauty - even when he was sad, puffy, near his end - the longer he's gone, the easier it'll be to see elvis as near-divine. his ignorances, problems, & addictions: tragic flaws we know all classical heroes possess - too great for this world, they must perish... anyways, rob got sick & no music practice this eve, so i spent 2 hrs in the music rm playing elvis, gershwin, boogie-woogie, jerry lee, platters, & also the one-gal band prep for tammy's bd party in september at narducci's (i'll get to open for surely the most provocatively-named twofer in the central valley that night!: 3 chord whore & black fag!)... i can't get over how draining it is to play piano, drums, & sing. but what a rush when it all comes together!! i pour sweat after just a few minutes, more wind-up monkey than elvis ... oh well. maybe i'll add an elvis tune to my set, brush up against a little cool. we all gotta little elvis in us, anyways, those elvis moments of stardust & wonder & something unnameable, mysterious, everywhere. tcb

Friday, August 03, 2007

"OOH! MAH SOUUUL!!" ... the meaning of life

Little Richard - Ooh! My Soul / True, Fine Mama
Learning with Soul <- cleek here... if that doesn't work, try clicking the link at right, reaching it from google, or clearing your browsing history under "internet options" (on a pc, that is)!
...and now back to music! and movies! and funfunfun! wail baby wail!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

"well, my hometown's a-comin in sight / if you think i'm happy, you're right / 6 days on the road & i'm gonna make it home tonight"

last wk i once & for all finished the thesis (now 240 pgs) while our friend dan's crew redid the backyard... fri practiced w/old 99, learning new buck owens & other honky-tonk songs w/friends who remind me of a quote i just read about the simpsons: whimsical yet irreverently moral. then drove even further out west of town for late-night dinner w/oldest family friends... sat left 4 am for sf for school at new college (drawing to an end so now, of course, tho it's driven me crazy up til now, i'm missing it something awful! boohoo!!!), picked up marathon gear, did school all day, dinner at tommasso's... sun got up at 5 am & did the san francisco (1/2) marathon to celebrate several life-markers: completion of masters-school-thesis, return to work, & birthday! never done a long-distance run - what a kick! if you haven't, you oughta try one! (bakersfield's is in november.) beautiful highlights: the starting line city of runners cheered on by bell-ringing spectators in the pre-dawn dark of the embarcadero; running thru pier 39 area, 1st water stop, 1st murmurs of dawn; the uphill route behind ft mason hostel, w/fragrant trees on left & ocean on the right; getting into a nice tempo along the fog-enshrouded golden gate bridge & looking into faces of other runners as they pounded from the opposite direction; saying hi to clean-&-sober pathfinders who helped the cops & remembered san jose jack (r.i.p.); staying hydrated w/cytomax & gel & never getting cramps or sick, as a result; hitting mile 10 after long uphill & realizing I'M GONNA FINISH!! then the gorgeous gray-misty crest & wide downhiill view, opening out over the amazing city: exhilarating!; hitting golden gate pk to roaring crowds (not for me, but still! i was part of it! what a rush!), then seeing the finish line & finally full-out running for it, finishing the thing in a tremendous swell of endorphin-happiness & gratitude, grateful that my lungs, muscles, shoes & feet held out & already looking forward to doing another one! what a wonderful, wonderful experience... happy bd to me (& laurel, too)!... after that, my folks & i (it was mom's bd, too!) lunched w/my stepson & then the day receded into fatigue-blur... mon, really stiff & sore, got home @ 4 pm to call from hubby: he & his motorcycle had broke down -- in st george, utah! so grabbed a shower, hobbled to truck & went & got him thru wind & desert cloud-bursts & storm patches & glimmery black night, got into st geo about 1 am (2 am ut-time), came home to pick up "the boys" (doggies), who turns out trashed our friend's yard, so that was a whole other jobber getting that all cleaned up, & BOY IS IT GOOD TO BE HOME NOW! - tho i'm sad we won't see friends & family & all the gorgeous mysterious southwest beauty of the summer motorcycle trip, i know also it obviously wasn't meant to be this time around... and at this point, i'm DONE WITH EVERYTHING except going back to work!! whoopee!!! :) like the old cajun-hot sauce commercial used to sing, "a hot chili mama... hot chili mama, ma-ma-ma, hot chili maa-maaa... life is goooood." :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'M DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

my thesis is done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 237 pages!!!!!!!!!!!! it took 11 hrs today to get it finished, & i only have one brain cell ping-ponging in my noodle right now, so this site reflects how i feel at the moment (courtesy of the great grottu) www.zombo.com ... to see a preview of my thesis, click link at right titled "Learning with Soul" -- whoopeeee!!!!!! :) :) :) :)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

"why does the sun go on shining? why does the sea rush to shore? don't they know it's the end of the world, cause you don't love me anymore?"

-> time for a breather from music & thesis & 1/2 marathon prep... it's movie night! for my dough, these are the greatest apocalypse movies, ones that actually end with the world's end:
1. miracle mile (1990)- so beautiful, quirky, sad, romantic, wonderful, scary, full of dread & longing!! (spoiler here:) crashing into the la brea tar pits in a helicopter while kissing your beloved as the world blows up... wow!! set in smellay, so one bit better than...
2. last night (1998)- see above! set in toronto, which, tho not LA, is a real cool city, too, esp its incredible international market... what great acting & writing! like #1, a dark & exquisite (little exaggeration there) movie about "love conquers all"...
3. dr. strangelove: or how i learned to stop worrying & love the bomb (1964) - "gentlemen, you can't fight in here! this is the war room!" all the best grizzled character actors deliver the funniest, most awful & cynical lines: this movie makes me cry & laugh both. more quotes from the black-hearted gem at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057012/quotes
-> the next two technically are POST-apocalyptic, both based on richard matheson's ultra-cool "i am legend":
4. the last man on earth (1964) - w/a world-weary vincent price! you can watch this free online!!
... &, of course, 5., the omega man (1971)...
pure cult-cheese, great if only to see charlton heston make out w/rosalind cash (his only better role was playing "the mexican" varga in "touch of evil"...)(look for the simpsons parody, gross & irreverently funny) :)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

waaahoooo!!! nearly done!!! : birthing a behemoth

finally!!!!! i just completed a fairly large section of my thesis, the story appendix that accompanies the curriculum/study guide i'm writing... this sucker is a behemoth!!
tentative page counts:
main thesis - 67 pages
curriculum/study guide - 35 pages
education standards - 1 page
at a glance lesson planner - 4 pages
appendix one (leveled stories) - 81 pages
appendices 2-10 - 35 pages
and it's still not finished!!!! so far i have 223 pages!!! i've been a "high maintenance" student, maybe, worried about everything & wanting to do the best i can (which means i ask lots of Qs), but still the profs've been supportive, especially my lovely advisor dr. jo sanzgiri, who is kind, patient, organized, & enthusiastic, too!... this is an important project i've undertaken -- this is definitely no phone-it-in kinda work for me!! read the overview & please give feedback, if you wish... http://www.freewebs.com/learningwithsoul/index.htm

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

cut it, check it, put it to bed

woke up this a.m. w/nice email surprises -- i've been off-on editing-revising texts for two guys, one a mad-creative circuit speaker w/dark-funny sensibility; the other one of the world's absolutely greatest boogie-woogie pianists, a big-hearted wildman who tells hilarious-salty tales. the last bit i got from clancy was a year ago; gene sent a few graphs last month. today, both sent sections! (rub hands w/glee...)
this'll give me some fun when i'm not thudding toward the thesis finish-line. :) clancy's writing a spooky-funny celtic-occultic adventure; gene's is a loose-&-funny semi-autobio about the life of an itinerant musician... 5 1/2 yrs ago i started a little underground pub that indirectly changed a lot around here, i've been told... i handed it over to another fellow in 04 hoping not just relief for myself, but that the charge would improve his life, & the paper changed in ways i didn't much anticipate, tho the new guy did put a much bigger face on it (not one i would've, but again, it was his - what could i say?). since 04, i've missed regular writing & editing, so to have this & a few other little blogs, my thesis, & now getting to work w/my pals, well, i'm thankful for it all. really don't matter if anyone reads, it's just part of me, to write, & occasion allow me to do it, so i must.
a few quotes: "better to write for yourself & to have no public, than to write for the public and to have no self." "write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it." blablabla.
-30-

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"someday she's gonna be a star, (but right now) she's a sucker for a cheap guitar"

(paraphrasing ronnie dawson)
this evening i took my niece to get her 1st strat pack. recently she became enamored of getting a "red electric guitar" like the one her "j-pop" music idol plays & started babysitting the many family kids to earn the dough. the family's been dubious since maddy's taken no interest in the child's acoustic guitar i fixed up & gave her one xmas (it had been mine! ungrateful heathen child!), or the electric keyboard from grandma, but maddy explained, "but i didn't ASK for those. i WANT this!" when i'd watch maddy on alternating tuesdays, we'd trek down to the guitar center to let her visit "her guitar" - they'd get her all plugged in & she'd pluck away (god love g-center for this). grandma said she'd pay half, & by this evening maddy had saved enough dough (grandpa had her count it out & add up what was what, tax & such, w/the calculator), so away we went (we wonder if the family kids now will get dropped, babysitter-less, like lead balloons, but once a kid gets a taste of making her own green,...) in tow w/me & 13-yr old maddy was 6-yr old brendan, who cheerily plunked all the "small" & low-lying instruments - mandolin, tambourine, drum pedals. "i like this place cause you can make all the noise you want without getting in trouble!" maddy cheered.
the guy helping us had to go into the dungeon or vault or someplace to dig out a specifically red one. he finally emerged, maddy counted out $268.11 in bills & coins (the cashier, onto her, jokingly announced the total to be $600 & her jaw dropped), & the young gal at the door gave each kid a guitar pick.
"here, maddy," i said, "put that in your wallet." she did & looked at me.
"now you're an official musician," i said.
"oh, aunt jenny," she said, giving me her funny little sly bashful smile.
on the way home over celebration slurpees, she said her stomach was doing "flip-flops." she says she already knows what she's going to write in the thank you to grandma & grandpa - but not tonight. "tonight i'm gonna play my guitar until mom MAKES me stop!" she said gleefully.
lately i'm so busy i don't know my head from a hole in the ground, but thank goodness i get to be a family samaritan these days, instead of the family butt, like i used to be. :) little brendan says now he's gonna save his money for a guitar... then all the kids can have a band. for all kids, unending music & happy days like summer, as many as earthly possible..

Thursday, July 05, 2007

pretty little angel eyes pretty little angel eyes pretty little angel pretty little angel pretty little angel eyes... more blablabla!

(curtis lee & the halos, phil spector, producer, a tune 1000s of females like me used to hear from beaus.) just read art fein's updated page at www.sofein.com (some thought-provoking & also funny stuff - read the ones about bob barker & the dif betw lyrics & music!)... 1st there's his monthly "1st record/1st show" page. this month's - very interesting! well-written! nostalgic! then you get to the bottom & holy crud - it was written by art's friend, "the greatest record producer in the world," phil spector!! then right below this is my name & a link to the "rockin 50s report"! the proximity threw me a tad, & so i write about it, cause greg goodsell & i met lana clarkson, the actress who died in spector's house, just the day before the shooting, at a monster movie-vamp convention down south. i remember thinking, wow! skin-tight leopard outfit & big leopard cowboy hat, very blondly glamorous-beautiful & polite & friendly, & next day, she's dead... the "connection" means nothing, but i still can't help but feel just a little weird & sad. elsewhere on art's page are pix of the band i saw down south, 3 balls of fire, plus THE original BLASTERS!!!! i had gone down (i thought) to see them, but that didn't work out, then 4 days later, i find out they're playing that night in hollywood... drat! just couldn't make the drive again, last sec like that. then art reported the blasters show had no "magic" & "lots of tension" betw the alvin bros, so guess i got lucky, catching a moody, spirited, dramatic 3BOF show w/net buddies instead of a sour blasters show. that would've been a real bummer!... one-woman band update: thx to captain morgan, local musico, i got a high-hat stand: whatta guy! this young punk gal stokely earlier sold me a couple other drum pieces, & i had the bass drum from ex-dusk devils bassist philbeaux, so there you go. i've got about 5 songs worked up so far. it's a dang challenge, trying to get the boom-chicks vs chick-booms right while playing piano & singing, but i think i'll be able to do it. then i go on the road w/3 chord whore... hahaha!! :) & bloodshot bill & i have a date for 2011, when he can come back in the u.s. i've gotten many kind comments here, on myspace, bakotopia, email re my 2 songs at scott's memorial. as a pal told me, re the one-gal band, "maybe you're on to something here"... who knows? never hurts trying!
in short, w/progress coming big-time on thesis (i think it's gonna clock 150-200 pgs!!), upcoming debut show w/old 99 pending, & wonderful family festivities yesterday & fellowshipping today, this 4th of july week has been bless-ed. :) my sponsor calls herself "the luckiest woman in the world," & today i really knew how a person can feel that for herself. it's not an exclusive feeling, either - you, also, can be the luckiest person in your own world, & i can be happy for you & share in it. we both are bettered in the realization. :) vaya con dios, mis amigos y amigas!!!

Friday, June 29, 2007

top 20 LPs (for when i drop dead)

upon my demise, i please would like to be 1) cremated in a sparkly outfit; 2) eulogized by those who loved me but won't be too heartbroken, at the alano club; 3) with music played from the following LPs, heavy on the uptempo, humorous, & NOLA-kinda cuts; 4) with lots of flowers, beads, & food covered w/barbecue sauce... (prompted by recent passings of friends as well as a thought-provoking myspace bulletin [no, that's not an oxymoron!]) happy weekend to all who read this!!! :)
1. chuck berry - the great 28
2. the blasters - the blasters (rolling rock & slash LPs both)
3. the gun club - fire of love
4. x - los angeles
5. the cramps - gravest hits & psychedelic jungle & songs the lord taught us
6. jerry lee lewis - london sessions & the greatest live shows on earth
7. professor longhair - house party new orleans-style
8. little richard - the specialty sessions
9. fats domino - the legendary imperial recordings
10. little walter - le roi du blues series
11. los lobos - ...and a time to dance
12. buck owens - i've got a tiger by the tail & i don't care
13. the paladins - the paladins (wrestler records)
14. ronnie dawson - rockinitis + the song "rockin' bones," of course!!
15. the collins kids - rockin'est
16. wanda jackson - queen of rockabilly
17. the stooges - raw power & rubber legs
18. the five royales - think
19. james brown - live at the apollo
20. the buena vista social club

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

slim the drifter tribute tonight

-> read bako's top newsman bob price's profile of scott "slim the drifter" sturtevant here: http://www.bakersfield.com/138/story/174197.html
-> price got it right, as usual. he always writes with conviction & heart, about what he knows - crucial so that a piece doesn't smell of phoniness (i write this from sore experience - used to get slapped a lot in journalism days - always AFTER going to press - for being the self-professed expert of the world). a true leader knows him or herself, & bob price truly seems to. :) another solid local writer i really admire is steve mayer (music figures heavily in the lives of both fellows, too... hmm...)
-> tonight will be the slim the drifter memorial tribute show at fishlips, 18th st downtown between chester & eye. the show starts at 7 pm & will feature a whole bunch of friends & admirers of scott. the show was arranged by scott's dear friend jean errasseret, who also this wk published a very nice obit for scott in the local daily. some of the performers tonight will be tanner & monty byrum; glenda robles; & several others who play out more & are much better known than yours truly. my friend greg will do some spoken word. eddie ruff's coming out for one song, then going home. i'll do two solo songs right before 3 chord whore goes onstage: i know scott would've dug my one-woman band set-up, so it'll be a fitting place to debut it. :) "scott woulda loved this," said jean. "all his friends gathered around to play music and talk about HIM." :)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

sat morning ditching school

-art fein asked me to rewrite the green bay entry from here for www.sofein.com, so i sent it & he flatteringly declared it "magnifico" :)... it'll pub around 1st of the month. i didn't submit a bio to him this time, tho wrote one just for kicks, here: "jenny angel is a bipedal hominid, about 70% water. she plays w/bakersfield honky-tonkers old 99 (www.old99.net) as well as a cracked one-gal band. dusk devils por vida." :) -freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

the crappy & the cool: "dark eyes" in lotusland

most trips this yr've been to sf for school, so i've missed LA w/that longing a soul can get for things both seedy-beautiful, haunting-exhilarating, & crappy-wonderful. got to climb the grapevine listening to "maybelline"! then descended home to the live version of "roll 'em pete" on the blasters' over there ep, looking out on kern county farmland, green-flat & smog-hazy, & thinking how rolling down the rd & certain tunes are fused in me - maybe for you, too? my trip was a mix of the crappy & the cool - crappy: the disappointment of NOT seeing my favorite band due to... well, it'd be gossipy speculation, so i won't go there; got a pkng ticket outside roscoe's because i was a dog-tired cheapskate; juke joint night at harvelle's instead had karaoke & funk... cool: sta monica & venice walking (tho the bohemian freedom makes me want to smoke, dang it!); lovely color-popping ocean-breezy flowers & greenery all around; crossing the venice canals & looking left-right down on the little boats; thrift & other wacky shopping; soul food from roscoe's & los burritos; good times & supping w/music friends & family; meeting net friends for the first time, unexpectedly, at 3 balls of fire show in marina del rey (insect surfers' dave, chrome oxide's steve, south bay surfers' david, big tiki dude jeff... & then geno walked in w/jimmy v of thee midnighters - geno who used to manage the blazers!); watching bassist vic gerrard (late of the derailers & many other acts) smile & groove w/his astounding 15-yr old drummer son victor, both cueing in to every move from somber, lumbering frontman mike vernon (whose fingers express what his golem-like countenance doesn't - a seeming contradiction for such dramatic, lush, evocative sounds to come out such a guy!).
to southland friends i didn't see, we'll meet again. :)this kind of solo happy-lonesome blow-off thing i'm blessed to be able to do now & then really fills a person up. i do a lot of stuff alone, but sometimes it seems more fitting, to be able to savor experiences others might not enjoy if they were along.
now on: "el paso," "my babe," "dark eyes," x, freddy fender, the mavericks, sadies, fess, roky, mr owens, los straightjackets, etc etc... if you're still reading, well, may you move gently or goofily thru your day: whichever pleases you most! :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

john conlee tonight!! thurs 6-14

rose colored glasses, back side of 30, friday night blues, common man, i don't remember loving you, ... the guy with "the saddest voice in country music" will be here tonight, 7 pm, at 212 E. 18th St (at Union), "uncle buck's club extreme." 661-203-5546. that's where the la movida nightclub is, a big sit-down place w/nice seats. your car'll be safe. go listen to songs so rapturously beautiful & sad, they'll make your hair stand on end!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"i'll never love another even if i can, come to me baby, i'm a 1-woman band"

-> woohoo! tonight i got tired of waiting for all the proper gear & bungeed a high hat to my little keyboard's stand so that when the bass drum pedal kicks back, it hits the high hat. then i learned a slim the drifter song for an upcoming tribute show (june 27 at fishlip's). i might not be a punk, but i have been a drunk, so i could relate to the song. scott wrote some strong stuff, & 3 chord whore's shantell flattered me by saying she thinks of me singing when she hears this particular tune, one i'd heard before & liked, in that thrilling creepy-crawly alcoholic way (reading bukowski does the same)... up til tonight i didn't know if i could play piano, sing, & kick the drum at the same time. whoopee!! the drums sound like the cramps... you know, on the early LPs where they really couldn't play? i don't care, tho - what fun! how nice of shantell to think of me - i don't even care if i get to be part of the show - this lit the fire of a new experience under my butt!
-> my spouse walked in, saw my set-up, & intoned, smiling weirdly, "you are a tweaker."

Monday, June 11, 2007

"if you wanna hear some boogie like i'm gonna play, it's just an old piano and a knock-out bass..." lotsa websites ref'ed below, too

this wkend at school, we did a writing workshop w/sharon doubiago (http:// www.new college.edu/ review/doubiago.htm - parental guidance suggested). she had us write about 1st memories, of which i've thought i have few. i was grateful, once the unearthing began, to realize mine are of family, safety, color, music (my baby mobile, my crib, smiling parent faces & support, the piano). i found myself writing about the piano & realized how its formidable comfort & resonance completed me (i was a backward kid, like so many). the piano was my companion for so many yrs! i still play on a 1930s-era kimball spinet, which mom & dad bought from my lovely piano teacher, a classically-trained welshwoman who let me play boogie-woogie. the piano & i had each other, & we still do... in a few hrs, i have my 1st piano lesson w/carl sonny leyland (www.carl sonnyleyland.com)! i've also had one lesson each w/nat dove (www. nat dove.com) & gene taylor (www.gene-taylor.com), the latter of which was especially useful! w/all the banging & pounding i've done w/dusk devils, i've worn out my thumbs & wrists some. carl suggested the book "pain free" by pete egoscue -- after just one day of its gentle moves, i can now again play for 2-3 hrs w/o pain! here's a link to the book: www.egoscue.com ... now i'm working on joplin & gershwin from manuscript, trying to get those fingers to stretch & cooperate like they used to & rebuild muscle memory (i'm happy how fast it comes back!). it's wonderful to be able to play again w/o suffering. i've forgotten the tactile pleasure of "really playing" & hope to get "rhapsody in blue" back up to speed, to play for mama's birthday (she doesn't read this, so she won't know). other exercises i've been able to do lately post-surgery are from "western yoga" (www.are store.com), recommended by my kindly little "witch dr" bridget (www.drbbonnet dc.com) ... they really get your heart going & energize!
so that's enough linking for now, my friends. hope you visit these friends' sites! wish me luck that, in front of awesome carl, i don't freeze up. he told me he wants to "hear how i play." yipes!
i know, tho, that it'll work out & i'll be a better player from it. i relish the chance to learn from carl, who is super-studied & devoted, in addition to considerably talented!
this is so exciting!!!!! the more i think of it, the more.... wow!!!!! :)
(sing) happy trails to you, until we meet again...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

"me, i don't care what people say / talk is cheap, anyway / if you got nothin good to say / well, it's best you don't say a thing" :)


- the blazers & me -
things've been down, w/death of friends, post-surgery complications, painful realizations i've had to make re music/friends... i was surfing & came across - yeegad! -a T-shirt i designed 15+ yrs ago for the blazers! it came up along w/the most rockin' tune, too (lyrics excerpted above), & took me instantly to a better place. a worshipful moment! music again saves a life...
back to the T-shirt: actually, manuel gave me the frame, then i took it to dr derek lamar, who then had the art dept downtown, & we put the design together... & there it is still online today, along w/that cheerful blazers song from way back in the palomino days.
i was intoxicated on music & substances 24/7 back then, & so enamored of the blazers' down-home roots-rock&roll innocence, grit, & heart, i could scarcely touch earth. flyweight ruben & sumo-ish manuel, buddies since childhood w/ea other & w/los lobos, led this east-LA band, their repertoire influenced as much by vicente fernandez as chuck berry. i was crazy (really, tho i didn't know it) over their then-bassist, a 6.5' ladies' man w/penchant for dark humor & drink, & became the blazers' "#1 fan" (there've been many since, & such a determined creature features heavily in any band's success, i think!): wrote their monthly newsletter; designed show flyers; press kit; copied & mailed out promo tapes; wrote 50-60 letters to record co's (one actually got bill bentley's attn & they were signed to rounder!); drove down 2x or more per mo to watch their shows (& hang w/"boyfriend," of course). all this from bksfld, & them in e-los! i couldn't dance, but my skirts & enthusiasm were so high, i don't think most cared. the blazers filled me w/good cheer, w/life, w/soul when i could only find it elsewhere in bad habits.
manuel & ruben don't play together much now, tho both still have many options, ruben working w/pete anderson still. they are well-loved & respected individually, but i think most who know them pine for the day they'll reunite. i'm so lucky to still know them both, good men, brimming w/musical spirit & humanity & humor. i hope eventually they'll reconcile musically, as i always hope i will, too, when i have to part ways w/a friend...
eventually, love & communication & music can bring rebonding; if not, probably there was nothing to a relationship to begin with. (some people never come back because they were never meant to be there in the 1st place...) i parted ways w/the blazers having to get sober. it was painful, but from it, a new & better life came. like they say, "pain is the touchstone of growth." old-timer mudd, may he rest in peace, used to say, "i'm gonna grow, or i'm gonna go..." positive action, tho too often prompted by pain, is what is needed to keep evolving, to honor this beautiful life.
i'm there. it's time. like manuel wrote, "talk is cheap, anyway." "if you're feelin sad & blue, don't sit around & cry, no one's feelin sorry for you, you're just a-wastin your time." wise words, pleasantly put!!
blazers links follow: discography: http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/artist/Blazers/a/Blazers.htm ; manuel's page: http://www.myspace.com/thebigmanband ; the blazers' page w/music! http://www.myspace.com/theblazers

Thursday, May 31, 2007

claudia e. - rest in peace

->she was a lovely lovely lady, one of everyone's favorites. she was the queen of one-liners. she had the cutest kindest little mischievous smile. she had down-home grandma wisdom. she always knew just what to say - something wise that'd pull your covers, but was necessary, funny, comforting, truthful. she helped save so many women's lives, just being herself. she always sat at the end of the table at the women's meetings tues & thurs. one time i came in & the group was having a valentine's day party (at this meeting, they always have fancy food, decorations, flowers, making the "program of attraction" even more alluring). claudia & pat, the "old timers" of the group, sat there in their usual spots wearing the silliest pink & red fuzzy hats that coiled up six inches above their heads & were topped with big fuzzy hearts. i don't know who i enjoyed watching more that day - regal, calmly beaming pat, or spritely, grinning claudia. she was like a grandma-aged kid - like charlie brown's lucy or peppermint patty all grown up & wised up & come to love everyone.
->i never got to know her well enough. we stood around her hospital bed two days ago & recited the serenity prayer. she was suffering, but they said she looked better. she was unconscious, unresponsive, but when pat bent over to whisper to her, her fiercely rapid heartrate slowed. we began to talk & she started to stir. even near her death, she was participating the best she was able: claudia was a fighter like that.
->her sponsees & friends stayed there in the hospital room, held a vigil, vowed "we'll be here til she draws her last breath." downed by surgery yesterday, i wasn't there when claudia passed away. however, i know they were. i know now she's not suffering, but again, what a loss. even those who knew her just a little, like me, were so blessed to have been able to do so. this wonderful, kind, funny, & special lady died sober, surrounded by loved ones. we'll miss her so much. :(

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

freeby!!! boom boom boom crash

i had surgery today (nothing major, but they put me under, & i'm sore as heck) & got pain pills. weeeoooo! a freeby! the fun part was sitting in bed watching mst3k on google video this evening, recuperating. :)... i'm gonna need to do a blanche dubois for a while & make sure i ask someone else to haul the behemoth (aka my keyboard)- can't lift over 10 lbs for a month or so!
the next thing is, if you're local & have gear to sell or trade, i'm looking for some drum pieces: a bass drum pedal and a high hat with stand/pedal. don't need anything nice, just something to play w/feet... ok, i'm running outta steam. a little tip: if you want more fun than a bag of monkeys, google the phrase "big list of musician jokes." a presto e chin-chin!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

"please give my regards to every trick on the road"

he was supposed to go for years & years. people'd say "i thought he was dead!!" but he endured.
still, the news today from greg was shocking - that someone we knew (his longest off-on friend, since both were age 5, over 40 yrs ago) finally passed. the fellow, a whisky-voiced local cult-legend punk "karaoke cowboy" singer-songwriter, i knew off & on for decades, too. he was always creating, always destroying. charming, known by hundreds, admired, despised, followed like a messiah, ignored like a bum, with personality as big & brittle & quirky & ingratiating & difficult as they come, lantern-jawed, talented, six-foot tall, crooked-grinned, a man in black, one of a kind. he loved my husband, who helps men who drink too much, more than he loved me - i was a s**theel, in his eyes, i think, but that's ok because for a while, i was the one who had to collect the dough from him to print our little paper. i called his brother the policeman to try to prompt an intervention. i had to be the bad guy. (brian IS a better person than me, too, & i know it, so that helps - people who prefer brian are just correct in so doing.)
greg said he was in reno, that he'd been sick, & his wife confirmed that he had passed away friday. i can't help but wonder if he really died - i hope that's not too disrespectful. it's just that he endured for so long, & there've been rumors before of his demise... today his myspace pages were active. it's just hard to believe he's finally gone - we weren't close, but he seemed like he'd always be there someplace, testament to the strength of the life force...
i hope that he's just trying to dodge bill collectors... but if he is gone, that he didn't suffer.
he will live on for me, no matter what has happened. i'm glad to have known him, & it doesn't matter what he thought of me. maybe you knew him, too - you can follow this link to others, to listen to his music, get hold of his friends, loved ones, & admirers. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=107645710

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

do you know what it means to miss new orleans?

my folks took me tonight to see harry connick, jr. they saw him pre-katrina, when he put on a rambunctious show, it sounded like, encoring with a foot-&-hand-stomping rollicking junker blues. they vowed they'd take me next time he rolled thru town, so they did! :) this show, they said, was more staid, w/lots of abstract jazz & loud brass, which to my ear, esp in the bouncing acoustics of the rabobank, was too discordant. (i'm a sucker for 1-4-5s w/heavy backbeat & bright chords.) also, connick's grand piano wasn't miked high enough, from where we sat. but when he brought out his two high school buddies to do more traditional blues-dixieland-rhumba influenced music, the show started to soar for me: loose & amiable 2nd-line style dancing & satchmo-like singing between wawas & toots from trombone & trumpet, harry switching between grand, spinet, & hammond (doing some cute visual jokes w/the trombone mute & teasing the audience quite a bit). yes, the guy is charmingly handsome, w/an absolutely winning personality onstage: i haven't heard so many females screaming ever in real life! the show ended w/a song by my favorite new orleans musician, professor longhair - "going to the mardi gras."
all in all, it was quite a nice show. harry the heartthrob can really run those keys (he studied under james booker! jiminy! -tho the jazz has taken him over, & i like my rocknroll, but oh well), is an endearing performer, & again will put on a more rollicking show, i think, the further katrina recedes in memory. there was a tinge of melancholy to tonight's performance (concert proceeds going to rebuilding new orleans), especially evident when he ended the show w/"do you know what it means to miss new orleans?" he must've sang that one a lot to not cry or get choked up, esp when his hometown, by his own report, is still ravaged - "it's even worse than you can picture"... THIS IS A COOL WEBSITE! The History of Boogie-Woogie -> http://nonjohn.com/History%20of%20Boogie%20Woogie.htm ... good night, everyone! :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

rockin' 50s III - what happened!!!!!! (pix below)

(i'm gonna try to do this art fein style, for brevity's sake. ha!)
day 1: we arrived in green bay, befriending janet of bomp records' invisible eyes. we took her to her hotel & went to ours: the wingate is a stone's throw from both the oneida casino, where the fest took place, & austin-straubel airport - convenient. got dressed, got wristbands, got up to the stage for little richard's set. the crowd quickly stuffed the giant oneida ballroom. richard's bandleader came out & said "absolutely no pictures" - a collective groan of protest ensued, but most people complied. (i remember one time taking pic after pic of richard from about 15 ft away altho i could tell the flash was blinding him... yes, best not to take pix so he can concentrate on performing...) richard came out bejeweled & beglittered, pancaked, bewigged, famous ferocious smile flashing, & on crutches. when his brother passed away, his sciatica started acting up - hence the crutches. he still stood between songs to bless & mess with the crowd. he danced at the piano bench. his black eyes flashed, playful, crazy-dangerous. his set was long & loud, with extended breaks for patter & reflection. little richard seems to be feeling his mortality, actually threw into the audience the shiny watch he usually taunts with, talked about old people, going to heaven, introduced his bass player - his son! we'd never seen him do that. two drummers, three sax players, a back-up pianist... 74 yrs old, little richard does what he can to put on the greatest show possible. no pictures, but we were grateful to again get to see the living legend!
(i've already exceeded art's word count, so i'll just go on...) watched a bit of the uptown savages, got the lay of the land for the fest (vendors, purcell lounge, casino stage, where slim jim phantom - with keith richards junkie glamour: greasy pomp, black-ringed eyes, sash around his neck - held nightly jam sessions). we were blown away by the 5 keys, backed by deke dickerson, the horton bros., others... the singer closest to us (stage left - i don't know his name!!!!!) had eyes full of "pain and love and so much emotion," brian later told him. the harmony singing & true emotion had me near sobbing (especially with the first incredible notes of "my saddest hour"!!!), but it was too early for that, so i sucked it up. the studied & rather stoic young(ish) acolytes who backed the 5 keys were a curious contrast to the raw emotion & warmth of the band members themselves: throughout the weekend, the older performers in general were friendlier, warmer, more approachable, with less airs - grateful to be in this place where they were treated with such love & support? old musicians, like old people in general in america, can be ignored, dismissed, even scoffed. at rockin' 50s, all were adored.
we wandered in a daze after that, then called it a night.
day 2: we ran into the 5 keys & brian heartily complimented them. we headed to the "tiki brunch," where the masterful & gentlemanly carl sonny leyland played. this fellow knows his piano!! he ripped through 2 sets of perfect stomps, shuffles, boogie-woogies, strides, sang with a pleasant, unaffected blues voice reminding me of gene taylor a bit, & was very friendly after the set. he backed up at least 8 other acts we saw over the week, & knocked my socks off again when, after all the boogie & rock&roll, he switched into top-notch honky-tonk, too! carl knows all the styles & never misses a lick, providing the backbone of every band he plays with, grinning shyly when a frontman didn't properly cue the band. he never was anything less than perfect & humble. carl sonny leyland rules!!!! also on the day's bill were sonny burgess & rosie flores, billy lee riley, the crickets... we took a break & had dumpling soup, pb&j, & a pineapple malt made with wisconsin ice cream at our favorite dark smoke-filled lounge-restaurant, kroll’s east, on e. main in town… then we returned to the oneida for the performance by carl's alter-ego, incredible, maniacal jason d williams.
i saw jason open for buck owens many many moons ago... at that time, he was downright strange, this skinny, red-headed kid aping jerry lee lewis to the point of obsession. he seemed to play piano even better than the killer, but the considerable talent was placed second to impersonating his idol. now jason's just as skinny, & when you see him play, you'll know why: this is the most athletic, hellfire-&-brimstone kind of pure rock&roll act around - jason runs across stage, leaps atop the piano, stands on it & shakes, lays on it to play upside down, plays mostly standing or crouched on the ground, howls & wails & sings in a strong southern rock&roll yell that rattles your bones, laughs & leers & whoops, flashing his eyes like woody woodpecker on whites... different than the killer is that jason comes off like a crazy but nice southern boy, with the lascivious sneer being fun & buoyant rather than scary. you don't have to fear jason d. - but you'll stand in awe of his talent & energy. at the beginning of jason's set, there were two rows of (mostly) gray haired folks lining the stage, but few of the "hip" kinda rockabillies; 15 mins into his insanely fevered set, i turned & saw an ocean of bobbing & nodding heads - the rockabillies outside the lounge had heard jason williams & ran in for more!! providing perfect foil to jason the mad-rabbit was his calmly handsome, dignified, cash-esque guitarist jimmy davis, who plays also with sleepy labeef. rounding out the band were a bassist & guitarist who kept pedal to metal: i think these guys must lose about 5 lbs at every show! commented brian, "this is why they tried to outlaw rock & roll in the 50s!" watching jason d. williams is the closest a person could come, i think, to knowing what it was like to see jerry lee lewis or little richard in their prime. what an amazing experience!!! (www.rockinjasondwilliams.com)... it actually was hard to watch anyone else for a while after seeing jason d. williams, but we wandered to the casino lounge, where eddie angel's new act, surf-garage rock band the neanderthals played.
that day, too, we watched ferlin husky with leona williams, doing wonderful bakersfield-texas honky-tonk; chicago-style blues from rubber-faced englishman big joe louis & his blues kings (smooth & accomplished jimmy sutton on upright); dawn shipley & the sharp shooters, fronted by dawn's nostalgic voice & girlish comeliness; conny, a rockabilly devotee from japan; & the stars of the 50s show - lew williams, eddie bond, hayden thompson (in strong voice), & glen glenn. i met miriam linna & billy miller of norton records & the a-bones - they were really nice!!!! robert gorden & chris spedding, mike sanchez, dave stucky, the lonesome spurs, the list of amazing acts goes on & on. we had to make choices, tho, so we picked big jay mcneely, who made his entrance by strutting through the crowd all bent over his bass saxophone, in a loud sequined vest. i ran over to try to peek as he pushed his way through, then up to stage right, where i stayed to watch carl play. suddenly, big jay was coming our way! he stopped right in front of me & his eyes bulged: next thing i knew, he'd locked my arm in his, &, still honking on the sax, started strutting up onto the stage. aaaaaah!!!! the crowd cheered as we got center stage & i concentrated on watching him play, then, knowing i was supposed to dance or whoop it up like a carefree 50s gal or seasoned seductress would do, but being a music nerd instead, i lost my nerve & beat it, laughing. big jay is 80 yrs old; brian was right when he said, "he just wanted a pretty girl to go up onstage with." not that i'm so pretty, but i'm sure it's true that he always grabs whatever gal he notices near the stage to go up with him, being the ladies' man that he seems to be… later in his set, he started singing to a group of japanese girls front & center, who screamed like they were watching the beatles. he actually laid down on his 80 yr old belly to croon sweet-nothings to one of the girls, who beamed ecstatically. what fun. :)
that night i returned to the hotel & crashed and burned. too much excitement.
day 3: absolutely blown out, we drove to door county, “the cape cod of the midwest.” saw bright green pastures, jersey cows, old barns, raised wood houses with basements, lake michigan. had an ice cream made with door county cherries. listened to ipod marty robbins. back in green bay’s old downtown, at a place that’s loud smoky bar on one side, clean & cozy, quiet eatery on the other, had the most deliciously fresh beer-battered walla-walla with potato pancakes (corner of howard & broadway). we got mellowed out, replenished to face more craziness & excitement.
on the bill were sid king, frankie ford (in the casino, i heard fats domino! what’s fats domino doing here? i wondered, running for the casino lounge… it was frankie ford, sounding dead-on like the fat man.), the penguins, the lucky stars, the hollywood combo, the justices (crash & rory) and (dang it! i can’t believe i missed them!) the members of high noon doing the day-time jam session. we caught sleepy labeef, “the human jukebox,” who during the stars of the 50s set, ably filled the time slot when two other performers couldn’t show due to illness.
the vincent black shadows, a relatively new chicago 8-piece band fronted by black-haired gabrielle & her two back-up singers, were really fun. sounding like ronettes meet link wray meet wanda jackson, the cramps and a-bones, the vbs’s rocked! gabrielle’s voice was strong & adaptable – she sounded like wanda, like candye, like ronnie spector. this was a hard-rocking, fun-loving act – wow! i really liked their version of “skinny minnie,” here called “skinny jimmy.” they also did some ronnie dawson tunes, and when we left & entered the main ballroom, ray sharpe was doing “monkey’s uncle”! after ray sharpe came barbara lynn, who looked healthy & happy compared to some of the frail old male performers. she kicked off with “good thing going,” then did “please please please”! after this was the head cat, featuring lemmy from motorhead. i noticed a crowd shift as the head cat readied to get onstage – more punks, more metal-looking people, more veiled aggression. the head cat look fantastic – danny b harvey’s shy, blond rockabilly gentleman look contrasting slim jim phantom & rough-looking lemmy, who, with skin-tight pants, “indian” tats, & greasy long-hair & fu-manchu, is bad-biker monstrously ugly & cool. lemmy scream-sings, & plays a washburn bass like a rhythm guitar! picture the origin of this "high concept": “let’s start a rockabilly band fronted by LEMMY!!” danny b harvey actually told us this band’s been together 6 yrs: again, i'm hip to nothing! the head cat’s version of “somethin’ else” definitely was fun, & the novelty kept you wanting to hear more, despite the threat of deafness, – but we truly didn’t want to burst our eardrums, so we called it a night.
day 4: i called art fein to see if he’d gotten to the show. art got hurt! he was stuck in a room in chicago, immobilized, sounding like crap. we also found out bo diddley had had a stroke & wouldn’t be performing at all. what a time for bo & art! bo diddley’s recovering as of this writing, & art is too, tho still not home… charlie gracie, roy head, the clovers, carl mann, levi dexter, jimmy sutton’s 4 charms, 3 bad jacks, charlie thompson, the ecco-fonics, etc. etc. – the music kept coming!... we watched a few minutes of roddy jackson, james intveldt, & got a salad in the lounge, where we saw carl sonny leyland, noshing away at a nearby table with big joe louis & a gal named gail. i think she was the only woman there with her “natural” (silvery-gray, not rollered & pomaded) hair – she was striking for it, with her olive skin & pretty smile. the legends of the 50s hour featured mac curtis, show-stealer ray campi, strong-voiced johnny powers, & joe clay. joe clay, slim & spry as a teen, in pink satin jacket, was greeted with absolute adulation. his songs were not huge-sellers, but were such great ones, they’ve gathered him a strong & adoring following amongst rare record lovers – cracker jack, get on the right track, duck tail, jellybean, 16 chicks… joe kept 'em coming, skipping & dancing around the stage, playing the left hand at carl’s piano, the upright bass, even replacing the drummer for a tune.
then came the act we’d been waiting for – the collins kids. what can i say about them? look at the pictures below to get an idea of the life, grace, & good cheer they radiate. brother & sister larry & lorrie make you feel just wonderful, so happy to be in their presence. (and if not, i don't wanna know it!) larry’s guitar playing is still up to snuff – amazing to see this handsome, easy-going fellow & think of the hyper, hyper-talented little pipsqueak he was! he & deke harmonized & traded off lightning speed solos & duets on double-necked mosrites (made in bakersfield originally, you know). i wondered about how a prodigy makes it to adulthood – so many do not, their own premature brilliance snuffing them out. how does one transition from child savant into well-adjusted adulthood? larry seems to have done it. regarding larry’s older sister, lorrie's youthful talent was singing, & she doesn’t sing at all like she did, but her beautiful smile & shining eyes give her such a lovely & loving presence, it just doesn’t matter... backed by deke dickerson initially, the collins kids were also joined by dave stucky, who jumped out onstage with an acoustic, obviously beside himself with happiness to be with his heroes. the capper was after the encore, when larry & lorrie brought out the one & only legend herself, wanda jackson!!! this was tremendous – we were gonna miss wanda’s sunday show because we had to go home. but there she was, tiny little apple-shaped wanda with her big black hair & red-painted smile & that unchanged voice, sounding kittenish, girly, knowing & naughty… the collins kids, WITH the dave & deke combo (“we’re the only one who can get them to speak!” larry commented), WITH wanda jackson… this was the end-all for our amazing week at rockin' 50s. it was time to come home; we'd've died if we'd seen any more.
what a wonderful & unforgettable experience rockin’ 50s III was. it was definitely worth the trip cross-country, the fatigue, the eye & sinus infection i got from airplanes & allergies & who knows what. no one died, except with happiness at all the great music. in a way these kindsa things are a little like being reborn, revivified, shocked back alive by the thrilling & inspiring force called rocknroll. (check links at right for more information).

rockin 50s green bay!!!!!!