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This is Mexican Lime Soup. Yes, those are lemons. Boca Grande, I love ya, but how you gonna go to school like that? I mean, for real.
*Don’t worry. This isn’t one of those full on record reviews. It’s just a quick thought.
I love Bob Dylan as much as the next guy. He’s a great songwriter and has done a lot of fantastic things in his career. I’m struggling to understand something, though.
Have you heard the album Nashville Skyline? It’s one of my favorites. I rebought it a couple of years ago for a road trip with the band after having lost my copy somewhere sometime. I ripped it into the computer and it has sit in my iTunes for a couple of years, rarely listened to. After putting everything I need to listen to on my iPod, I always put the iTunes on shuffle to help me select a few records that I may have forgotten. In this way, Nashville Skyline ended up on the iPod.
When it came on in the van, Wrall asked, “what the hell is this?”
“This is Bob Dylan. For some reason, he put on this voice for this record. You know it, though; just think of ‘Lay Lady Lay’.”
We marveled at the fact that he actually sings these songs. Often, he employs a shouting/speaking methodology when singing, but on this record he really sings. I’m sure there is all kinds of research and speculation as to why he put on a completely different voice for this record, but I know nothing of that. I do know that this exchange happened just now when that record appeared again through the magic of shuffle:*
Me: “What the hell?”
Wrall: “If he could sing like that all along, then why was he messing with that other thing.”
Me: “The only thing that saves this is if he finally learned to sing by 1969 when this record came out. But then he pretty much went back to that other thing after this record was done, so…”
So, I gotta ask… Bob Dylan, how you gonna go to school like that?
*By the way, shuffle is not random. It’s an algorithm based on what you’ve listened to a lot and things. The annoying part about that is that if you’ve been shuffled accidentally into something that you don’t love, it will prefer that something more later on. We need something in iTunes like the internet radio services have, where you click “like it”, “love it”, “don’t play again”, “play rarely”, etc. to keep this under control.**
**And another thing: get it together iTunes, and digital music world. We need digital booklets that are easy and interface efficiently with this software. I’m not quitting on CDs until that’s a reality.
In case you hadn’t figured it out, I work at Whole Foods. I wanted to bring a little work to the blog today, because this struck me. Here is a full transcript:
“If Whole Foods is so good to it’s people why not discontiue useing animal “by products” in it’s 365 brand pet foods! It’s awful to think your doing our pets good, when you put unwanted scrapes in our pet food!! Shame on you! I won’t buy your 365 dog or cat food again. That’s no fair to us.
“Name: [removed] Phone: call me leave a message & explain it. I like to hear your excuse cause it cheaper than the real thing.”
I’m not here to talk about grammar. You can figure out the difference between your and you’re, its and it’s yourself.
I’m not here to talk about spelling. You can figure out “discontinue” and “scraps”.
I’m not here to answer the question even though (1) Whole Foods does offer a 365 pet food without animal by-products and (2) those scraps might actually be good for your pets.
All I have to say is this:
“[Name removed], You want us to call you? You didn’t leave a phone number! How you gonna go to school like that!?”
Before the Bruins game the other night, my brothers and dad and I ate at the Ruby Room. It was the only place with no wait, and it was right across the street from the Garden. I ordered the Spinach Salad, which, according to the menu from the photograph was supposed to have “Yellow currants, goat cheese, candied walnuts, honey vinaigrette.” Spinach, too, ostensibly.
As you can also see in the photograph, there are no yellow currants. There are, instead, raisins. Not golden raisins. Not regular currants. Raisins.
I like raisins. I have nothing against them. They come from grapes, which I also like. They are a dried fruit: love dried fruit! They’re quick, they’re sweet, they go well with lots of things. They are not, however, yellow currants.
If you don’t have the thing that’s on the menu, just tell me. I might be fine with it. I might order something else. I just want to be informed. Instead, I gotta ask:
“Ruby Room, how you gonna go to school like that?”
Last night, Daddy Wrall and I traveled to Maine for a rehearsal with Todd and Trick. We don’t get to play together nearly often enough, so it’s always a treat. We’re usually squeezing a bit of music in between studio work, promotion, day jobs and travel and last night was no exception. We arrived around 2 o’clock, played for a few hours, and split early, with a mind toward catching our new friends Sevi D & The Wilds at T.T. the Bear’s Place. They weren’t playing until after ten, so even though we were traveling in three states, we should have had plenty of time for all of this.
Of course, that timing doesn’t take into account my own mental inadequacies.
Okay, before I get into all that, rewind to earlier in the day, before I picked up Wrall at the airport. I was dropping off my brother Seth* and remembered that I had lent him some money.
*You know him from such testimonials as “Airport Water Tax” and “The Loss of Childhood Innocence”.
“Seth, do you have that twenty bucks you owe me?”
“No, but I can get it at the ATM.”
“I don’t have time. Can you give it to me on Friday?”
“Yeah. Here: take ten now.”
I tried not to take the sawbuck, but he insisted and I relented. I’ve intended to carry cash lately, but haven’t always succeeded on that front. I’m pretty reliant on plastic on a moment to moment basis. That might be the result of working at a grocery store and seeing how much easier it is to use a card, even for orders of less than a dollar. As you may have guessed, that ten dollar bill was the only cash I was carrying from that point forward.
Now let’s fast forward to after rehearsal. Wrall and I were on our way to Boston to catch Sevi D, making decent time, though not as good as the trip to Maine. Suddenly, the engine stopped doing its thing and we began to slow down. I hit the gas, but it was clear to me what had happened:
I had forgotten to fill the gas tank.
Yep, the simplest possible thing. I knew before we left that we wouldn’t have enough gas for the trip. I was rushing to my brother to his destination, and pick up Wrall at the airport, and be at rehearsal on time, and I just plum forgot. I’d never done that before. Maybe I have a good temporal memory, or maybe a good parietal one. I can tell you my best friend’s phone number from kindergarten and the SKU for lemongrass. I remember where I was standing when I had the idea for “Kept Woman” five years ago. I remember one of my first meetings with Wrall, when I was in 6th grade. I did, however, forget to fill up the gas in the van yesterday, and we ran out of gas.
We were traveling pretty fast, and the road was pretty flat, so I figured I’d coast a ways before I pulled over. You never know, I might make it all the way to a gas station. We were approaching a toll plaza, so I coasted through the toll. There was an exit up a ways, and it had a sign for gas, but I knew I couldn’t make it. Instead, I pulled over just past the tolls…
I called AAA and they said it wouldn’t long before someone would bring us some gas. In the meantime, I made the above film and Wrall gave me a birthday present. Keeping with the musical theme of late, it was The Muddy Waters Woodstock Record, which contains memorable performances by Levon Helm and Garth Hudson of The Band. I can’t wait to listen to it.
Eventually, the man came. He only took cash, and thank goodness I had some–I wouldn’t have if Seth hadn’t forced that tenspot on me earlier. Thanks, Seth.
The Van started. I filled the tank at a nearby station and we got back on the road to Boston. We went to T.T.’s, but Sevi D and the Wilds had already performed. The headlining band was called Sex and they were already on stage.
We decided not to stick around, because in Miss Fairchild we have a strict policy never to pay for Sex.
In the song “Talkin’ Loud & Sayin’ Nothing” by James Brown, James Brown takes his 15 minutes (literally) to get a few things off of his chest. For those of you who haven’t it made it through the first thirteen minutes, you are missing out on some excellent knowledge jewels from the last two. I’m going to attempt a live transcript here; bear with me…
You know, if you wanna find the brother’s community, the black community, when you go to town, you’re gonna see the worst part of town. And what we’ve got to do as a people, we got to get together and clean that up. You understand? That goes for the white side of town. If the white side of town is a drag, we got to clean it up. We got to clean up the man–the human being side of town. And we gon’ get it, if you see a man misusing hisself, using drugs and things, we gotta try to break that up. You know, ’cause two wrongs ain’t gon’ make a right. You understand. You see the man that’s doing bad and he can’t get his mind together, it don’t help him to get no drugs. Try to show him the way, you know. Try to be a part of what’s supposed to be going down. See a kid standing on the corner, talking hip and trying to get into drugs, show him the way to the school! Because I think he forgot that. You know, after the protest and the marching, you got to know where you’re goin’. And you got to know what to do when you get there. You understand. I don’t want a cat trying to drive a plane that hasn’t been to school. Hey brother, I don’t want to go. Now if I kill myself, that’s another thing, but I don’t want him to kill me, ’cause it may not be my time! And I’ll go because he’s going. You understand? Just jivin’. Now let’s all get down and try to worry about the next man…”
Well, yeah. You’re driving a plane, without having been to school? How you gonna drive a plane like that? You’re going to take me down because of that? How you gonna go to school like that, Mr. Plane Driver?
My brother Seth’s flight east on Friday night got cancelled and he ended up routed through O’Hare International Airport in Chicago in the middle of the night. Since we can’t carry our own water on airplanes anymore, and since, as humans we have a tendency to get thirsty, he was forced to buy overpriced water. That part I can understand. I don’t like it, but I understand it. What I don’t understand is the extra tax on the water. Keep in mind that sales tax in Chicago is 6.25%.
11.5%? How you gonna go to school like that O’Hare International?
I went for a walk through downtown Nantucket on Saturday. Every time I do that it’s more clear how fast things change. I’m as susceptible to nostalgia as the next guy, so seeing my childhood slip away into oblivion is not terribly fun. Our childhood movie theater is in limbo, closed for the last few years as everybody tries to get a piece. Who knows what will be there when the building reopens.
There is no music store on the island anymore. With the advent of internet shopping and piracy, people can’t be bothered to sort through the dusty bins underneath a sushi restaurant. Wrall and I bought some of our most influential music there, trusting Charlie to order rare imports and reissues for us before ebay and amazon. Miss Fairchild succumbed too, releasing our last EP as a digital-download only. (Sorry ’bout that.)
Mostly, it’s utilitarian shops run by locals that are turned into tourist trap places. Nowadays, Nantucket has become so overblown financially that these shops aren’t even affordable to window shoppers. Our childhood hardware store was cut into tiny shops selling expensive luggage, and yellow sweaters, and t-shirts that say “I am the man from Nantucket.” As a man from Nantucket, I can tell you that I’m fairly ashamed of all that. Observe:
You know how businesses of the same type crop up right next to one another? When it’s a whole neighborhood of Chinese restaurants, that makes sense to me. People of a similar culture want to be near one another. Create a home away from home and all that. Also, there is convenience for the patron. You want Chinese food? Go to the corner of whatever and whatever.
What about other examples of this? Putting two pharmacies next to one another doesn’t make a whole lot sense, but it happens. My whole life they were there, adjacent to one another: both having soda fountains, card sections, sunglass racks and a drug counter. Their layouts were the same, their square footage identical. They both had the same lettering on the outside of the building. It made no sense that there were two.
But to know that one of them is gone hits close to home. And a jewelry store in it’s place? How you gonna go to school like that? Of course, if really need an egg cream and a tuna melt, there’s always… next door.
I apologize for the low quality of this video. Seriously: how am I gonna go to school like that? I do want to share this, though. Here are a couple of guys that Wrall and I saw at the Park Street T stop. They were doing TLC when we came in. “No Scrubs” I believe. When they finished, Daddy Wrall requested “Red Light Special”. It would appear they had never heard of it. First, how you gonna go to school like that? Second… well, watch:
Then, they played “I Want You Back”. Didn’t know “The Love You Save”. How you gonna go to school like that?
Somebody threw money at them. From across the platform. We all know how hard change is. Especially when made into a high-speed projectile. How you gonna go to school like that?