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We got this from degenerate TR, and it made our day:
Sunday august 12 is the benefit for The Stimulants guitarist Ken Barr and we will be raising our glasses to him for a speedy recovery. Which by the way is already happening. He is home two weeks earlier than expected but goes to the hospital daily for therapy. 3-6 months and the doctors expect a ull recovery(thank god). Hopefuly we can put a dent in his medical costs, he does have insurance but the deductible will be maxed out I am sure. The ICU bill alone totaled $125,000 !!!! At any rate here is the lineup, the show starts early 8 o'clock @ The Star Bar. The Young Antiques The Stimulants with guest stars Billy Ratliff, Kenny Howes and posibly a few more luminaries Crybaby Kink (members of Moonshine Killers, Fabulous Lounge Punks)
In other news:
When I get a strange package from somewhere I don't recognize I'm cautious. I do the recommended checks for explosives then pop it open and pull out a CD from an unknown artist. But the danger doesn't end there ñ I still have to put it in the player and see what fate awaits me.
"Sometimes it's crunchy, sometimes it's slimy, but it's always FRESH!"
From Cheech and Chong, Get Out Of My Room
Last week I got a couple of CD's I've stalled on reviewing. One I knew wasn't going to be good just from the cover, Tarik Nia's "Joyride, funky poet vol. 1" A friendly African American man, Tarik I assume, stares from the cover with a non-threatening smile that immediately gave me the chills. So a week later I was brave enough to open the CD and drop it in my player. As expected, a violent explosion of cheese. It's an attempt to turn spoken word into song, something like rap but without the beat to back it up. The words aren't great, I've heard more imaginative stuff from Wesley Willis (a homeless schizophrenic man) with equally bad background music. But it's really the hokey synthesizer in the background that makes my skin crawl when this CD is played. Be afraid. Be very afraid. It sounds like a high schooler who saw the HBO show "Real Sex" with the erotic poetry readings and decided he could do it himself in the basement with his Casio organ. Terrible.
On the other hand, I was happy to see another SRTS Management envelope in the mail with the latest Greta Lee CD. I didn't hesitate, popping it right into the machine with high expectations of a real country explosion.
Only to be mildly disappointed. It's a very clean production - Greta's voice comes through smooth and clear, as does the band. But I had a very tough time making it through the entire CD. It's just a bit bland. Greta's voice is clear to the point of transparent ñ it lacks texture and emotion, something that has slowly been stripped from country in the last 30 years. At least it's not replaced with catchy pop hooks, but it lacks a bluesy emotion or rocky edge. It's a well-made platter of grits, lacking butter and salt, and that just ain't right. But if you like old school country sung by a woman with a great voice get this and tell us what you think, hopefully it's just me 'cause I've enjoyed Greta's previous recordings and live performance.
We got this report from degenerate JH:
I've recently hauled out to Berkeley, CA, and am rather
enjoying it. However, an odd trend seems to be taking
shape out here: Country is cool. My occasional
commute through San Francisco takes my by an Old
Navy billboard advertising 'The Western Belt'. Big,
tacky, shiny, and, apparently, you can have your choice
of a cowoby on a bucking bronco or a big star.
I have also seen a couple of 'country' and 'rockabilly'
bands that looked like they bought their shirts, hats,
and snakeskin boots the day of the show, after they
decided the rap-metal thing was played out, or that they
were too white to pull it off.
You have been warned.

Last Wednesday we took the Thunderbird on it's first real outing and headed to Gato de Noche, the evening restaurant in the Gato Bizco space on McLendon across from Flying Biscuit. Mig Geier slaves behind the counter (and his lovely significant other slaves in the back) whipping out some fantastic dishes with a strong Spanish influence. I opted for the fish tacos, a set of three with a pile of accoutrements and rice and beans. SW went for the pork chop, a double serving of thick sliced chops lathered in some kind of apple/tomato mix that was absolutely marvelous. We followed that with banana ice cream so banana-intense you'd swear it was just one big frozen banana, excellent, and cardamom ice cream. Cardamom is an Asian spice something like cinnamon mixed with nutmeg, very tasty stuff. Definitely head over there soon. Don't forget to pick up a bottle of wine on the way, or at the grocery store next door, 'cause it's BYOB for now.
Speaking of food, we got round 1 of the Jackson story with photos online at There's more photos to come, I just have to develop the film.

I finally got tired of the yard full o' mopar. The Imperial is now on ebay, if anyone is interested:
The minimum bid of $1200 has been met so she's not going to hang around much longer, I'm somewhat sad to say. On the other hand I need the parking spot for the Thunderbird, on the rare occasion when it's at home.
Apparently the Thunderbird just doesn't want to go to the drive in. Tuesday I hopped in the car and fired her up, headed that way. I got to my brother's place to show him the car. Gave him the walk-around, got it in her to go to Starlight only to have the starter die on me. I promised her I wouldn't take her to the drive in but she sat stubbornly, refusing to move. Back to the shop she went. The mechanic fixed some kind of loose connection I couldn't find (I don't know this car as well as I know the Newport, yet...)

Funny stuff has been on the web and TV lately. Funny to me, anyway... has some hilarious stuff from time to time:
Non-Alcoholic Beer Inventor Unveils New Non-Adhesive Glue
ST. LOUIS-- Hot on the heels of his successful line of non-curative medicines, non-alcoholic-beer inventor Thomas O'Doul unveiled "Elmer's Slick," a glue that looks and feels like ordinary white glue but has no adhesive properties. "Say goodbye to your fingers getting all stuck together, just because you want to glue things," O'Doul said at a press conference Monday. "With Elmer's Slick, you can enjoy gluing without all the messy adhesiveness." O'Doul said he next plans to develop a flame-retardant gasoline and the world's first gelatinous construction lumber."
"My president went on vacation and all I got was this sense of impending doom."
Jon Stewart, from The Daily Show
The Daily Show continues to impress me. It was funny back when Craig Kilborn was on it, but it suffered for a while when he was replaced by Jon Stewart. But lately it's on everyone's must see TV list. If only they'd get rid of the guest interview spot that forces it to cling to the late night TV model it could be even better.
But the commentary on W. got me thinking, once I stopped laughing - are we better off with him on vacation half the time? I know he was hired as a do-nothing president. That's how he was snuck into office. "Vote for W. and he won't touch a thing" the republicans told the country. But that was early in the campaign and towards the end everyone started to think twice, "Hey, the new economy is collapsing, maybe we need someone who will actually DO something...?" But it was too late. The machine was rolling and he got high (into office) with a little help from his friends (and family.)
But don't fret, my conservative friends! He's managed to push a few deals in the last week or two, twist a few arms and turn a few reluctants your way and push his (weak) agenda so that you can continue to live the life you voted into office! You're probably reading this on your own ranch during one of your many month-long holidays, right? Aren't you?!?
"Star Wars Episode II Gets a Name - Well, it could've been worse--like, say, Episode II--Attack of the 50-Foot Jar Jar.
Instead, Lucasfilm has announced that the next installment in director George Lucas' sci-fi saga will be titled (drum roll, please) Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones."
Off of E Entertainment's web site.
For some reason all I can think of is Sinatra singing "Send in the clones." I also found the title oddly coincidental with other news stories of late, what with a company outlining their plan to clone some 200 people and everyone getting all riled up against it. "Attack of the clones" indeed!

We finally got the Jackson story on the web page with a few pictures:
More photos are coming soon.
Our next adventure is a return to Italia, your editor's third journey the land of pasta, Prada and the pope! Since this will be SW's first visit I'll likely be performing as a (degenerate) tour guide. Full report when we return.

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