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Last Friday the work situation improved immensely when they moved me into a new office - it's quiet (a little too quiet) and not the walk-in freezer the previous office was. This week I'm supposed to get some actual work to do so stay tuned for further updates.
One of my former employers, iXL, had a big equipment sell-off this past week. A bunch of my new coworkers flocked over to get deals on computer equipment. Out in California after the fall of the dot coms the local used furniture stores had to stop taking office furniture due to the flood of used desks and chairs.
And degenerate DC noted that lawyer's salaries are dropping again. When the dot com craze began hordes of money grubbing lawyers abandoned their field to make a quick buck in the new frontier, creating a shortage of lawyers and a big rise in salaries. Now as fresh faced law students graduate they're in competition with those getting back into it, creating an excess of liars... uh, "lawyers" and forcing salaries back down.
I only mention this for those who are interested in the ripple effects of a boom market, followed by the bust.

Friday night we headed to degenerate MK's birthday/last day at work party, a surprise event thrown by his lovely girlfriend. Many of my former coworkers were there, also celebrating their own last day at my former employer. The event took on an odd, mildly manic quality as the drinks flowed freely though the night. But when they cranked up the karaoke it was time to leave.
Jake's Roadhouse was next on the agenda. Degenerate DC commented on how much he liked the space and I have to agree. There's plenty of seating, a rarity in smaller live music venues in this town, the bar is far enough away from the stage as to not interfere with the audience, and there's pool and video games in the back, well away from the audience but close enough to shoot some pool and still hear the band. To top it off the food is pretty good. Slim Fatz got on stage and announced it was his first show with Donnie McCormick back as his rhythm section. Donnie had suffered several heart attacks back in April and he's just getting back to his place behind the chicken coop. Yes, Donnie plays chicken coop, as well as bone, washboard, floor or anything else that comes near. He's got a new CD of his own and you can probably get it at Northside Tavern Tuesday or Wednesday at his big benefit bash, organized to help him pay some of the medical bills he piled up staving off the clutches of Mr. Reaper. Barefoot Dave, a familiar face on the local blues scene, took his place behind his stand up bass and the show got underway.
Slim's voice can beat the blues right into your soul, and knowing Donnie was sitting there playing with a heart as battered as the chicken coop he was beating on with a deer antler only made the whole scene that much more poignant. After an intermission the show continued, with Slim's girlfriend "the sheriff" joining in, playing a sawhorse with a cowbell on it. If that ain't some down home blues I don't know what is. We'll probably attend a large portion of the Donnie Mac benefit at Northside at least Wednesday to show our support, and do some last minute propagandizing for the Summertime Blast.

Speaking of, everything is oddly ready this year. Usually about this time I'd sell my soul for another week to prepare, but this year everything has fallen into place. So I fully expect nobody will show up. Prove me wrong. Show up, with friends. Drink all the beer. Eat all the pork. Enjoy the music. Dodge the out of control fireworks. Revel all night and into the morning. And tell me the next morning, with bleary eyes and a look of disbelief on your face, that it was the best goddamn party you've ever been to.
As always, invite any (adult) you want:
As always, carpool if you can. We cleared out a few more parking spaces this weekend but things will get crowded. As always, leave the kids and cares at home.

We've had a few CD's stacked up in our In box for a while and must apologize to those waiting on the reviews.
Lauren Fincham sent us her CD "burning tree." It's soft, acoustic, folky, singer-songwriter stuff, real heartfelt gooey stuff that frankly I can't stomach. But if you like acoustic Eddie's Attic kinda music you'll probably love it. There's good writing, talented singing with understated emotion, a nice less-is-more approach without too much instrumentation or excess production. A basic acoustic guitar and drums sound that works well with Lauren's voice. Heck, even the CD packaging is nice. It wouldn't surprise me if she got a hit or two on mainstream radio, perhaps with her fun, weepy cover of Don't Fear The Reaper stuck near the end of the CD. But with the attention span of the modern media saturated person she may have too much to say for the average listener.
On the other end of the female voices doing covers spectrum, we got a demo CD from Jeniphoria. It's electric, punchy stuff that I imagine is good live. The problem is they start right off with a cover of Gigantic. I admire a good cover song in the mix. A different take on something familiar, and interesting selection to cover, etc. But Jeniphoria makes the mistake of starting the demo with the song, and covering the song almost exactly as it was originally done by The Pixies. It makes you wonder if you've put in the wrong CD at first. Beyond the cover you get into stuff that only sounds like covers - a mix of familiar grungy metallic sounds with heavy Breeders, Head East, and even Heart influences. Loud, slightly fuzzy guitars, strong female lead vocals, a driving beat, the usual stuff you'd associate with classic rock. It's a short CD so you don't get tired of it, but I can't imagine listening to a full length recording - this stuff is only good in short doses or live. The last track was recorded live and has a bit of the energy I'd expect. Unfortunately the lead singer kicks it off by saying "The next song is Rape, every guy's dream, right?" This is what delayed our review of this CD for almost a month (that, and the job change and party organizational efforts.) Though it sounds like the song is about a woman exacting vengeance for a rape I was kinda pissed at the opening statements. But maybe I'm just getting too sensitive in my old age...

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