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Friday night we hit Echo Lounge expecting to fork over at least $8
for the jam-packed night of entertainment, only to spot a poster in
the window that said the show was free. Free?!? How did I not know?
First off was Dan Mechior's Broke Review, a group doing a fine
revival of the British blues revival movement of the 60's, complete
with a British accent. Good stuff, but there weren't a lot of folks
there to notice.
Next was Modey Lemon, a two-piece out of Pittsburgh that reminded me
a lot of Jucifer live, but with a guitarist that steals the show,
shaking his Ramones-haired head like a 70's arena rock guitar hero.
The sound reminded me of early Stooges, punctuated with sounds from
an effects machine he played with from time to time, stashed in an
old suitcase off to the side. By the end of their set the crowd had
thickened considerably and was all shouts of appreciation. Degenerate
CD bought their CD and it's definitely worth tracking down. They did
a great job replicating their fantastic live sound.
Immortal Lee County Killers set up next. Usually the drummer likes to
hype up the set with a preacher-like rant before they get going, but
his mike wasn't working. Then as they began their set his kick-pedal
broke. Chet played on, doing a cover of Sympathy for the Devil, as
the drummer retrieved a new pedal from backstage, did a Jagger
impersonation on his walk back across the stage, and got back to the
drums. Then one of his symbols flew off. But all the while Chet
played on, and eventually the drummer's bad luck changed for the
better and the set rolled on, a bootlegger on a dirt road running
wide fuckin' open. Damn, what glorious racket!
I'd seen The Forty-Fives twice in the last month so I didn't mind
getting sucked into a conversation in the back bar and only listening
to their set instead of giving it my full attention, but degenerate
CD watched most of it and said it was even better than their recent
appearance at the Starlight Drive-Invasion. It was their CD release
party, so look for their new disc in stores near you and grab it if
you like that upbeat backbeat 60's rock and roll type stuff!

I got a homemade copy of Dodd Ferrelle & the Tinfoil Stars in the
mail a while back and I've listened to it several times with the
intent to write a review but I just hadn't put pixels to monitor yet.
Not just due to the working lifestyle combined with a lifelong
slackness, but because it's a tough CD to tackle. It kicks off with a
slightly southern sounding rock song that I don't much like. But then
it changes into softer, almost poppy stuff with good hooks and tunes.
Occasionally it's a bit limp, reminding me of stuff produced by Jeff
Lynne - lots of harmonizing backup vocals and a full sound that tends
to drown out the guitar and vocals. That Dodd's voice reminds me
vaguely of Roy Orbison only helps in the Traveling Wilbury's
reference from time to time. All that aside, there's some good stuff
here. The style has a strong 50's influence, a mix of ballad vocals
and strong, simple guitar and unafraid to drift towards the country
end of the spectrum. Occasionally there's a violin or other acoustic
instrument thrown into the mix, which is where the tricky part comes
in for slack critics like myself - what do you call it? Certain
genres have become so codified that any slight alteration in style or
instrumentation and you have a tough time pigeonholing a new sound.
This CD is full of familiar sounds, but together it's definitely not
your father's oldiesmobile. On the whole it's a little on the quiet
side for those of us that want to rock and roll all night, and
sometimes the lyrics are a bit sappy, but if you want something that
might stray from the loud and true catch them live. I know they're in
town soon, though I can't find where and when. Where'd I put that
damn press kit?

In other Atlanta music-related emails, we got email from a cousin of
Deacon Lunchbox a while back asking for some insight. We responded as
best we could and got a bit of insight back:
Thanks for the insight into my cousin "the Deacon." A great-great
grandfather of ours, S.G. Pryor, was a Captain in the Army of
Northern Virginia during the War Between the States, participating in
almost every major battle of that theatre of conflict. His letters
home to his wife possess some of the same qualities of just "being
there" that you describe about Tim, and the letters have been
published in a book entitled "A Post of Honor." Maybe that's where
Tim got his literary flair from. I do wonder, had he lived to get a
bit older, if he would have turned his talents to less vulgar forms
of expression, but then, I guess, he wouldn't have been Tim, would he?
I have a picture of him standing on the side of a busy Atlanta
highway holding a sign saying "Will Work for Drugs." That was the
essence of Tim! He was a real oddity in our family. All the rest of
us are doctors, lawyers, CPA's, etc. (boring), but we loved him
because he was one of our own and we were truly saddened at his
untimely demise.
Thanks again for your very interesting insights on my cousin. By the
way, I enjoyed visiting your web site. I can assure you I've never
heard of any of the places you talk about!
P.S.--Did you know that Tim and I descend from William the Conqueror?
Does that tell you anything about Tim?

Nothing like being critical of government just before a war breaks to
get people's attention! We got a mess o' email from folks after last
episode's rant:

Good one, Frederick! I share your thoughts completely. Now you've given me a
few more facts I can use when inevitably having to defend myself after
people notice I'm not waving my flag as hard as they're waving theirs.
Degenerate J

Geez, man...
I hope I don't have too many enemies, but if I do, I surely hope they
underestimate me as much as Dubya-haters do him. This "The President
Is A Dumbass" thing is the kind of self-delusional vanity that
doesn't lead to any kind of victory -- moral or otherwise -- for
those who can be counted on to sustain it (which is why I'm sure he
loves it). I'd much rather do battle with someone who thinks I'm
stupid instead of cunning and talented.
Seriously though, Yale undergrad degrees and Harvard MBA's have
always been the hallmarks of stupidity, haven't they? How does your
academic resume compare? And if you think the typically
left-of-center faculty members in the Ivy League let the children of
GOP Establishment-types get a free pass because of who their daddy
is, there's yet another delusion to get over.
Just say you honestly hate his beliefs, policies, appointments,
clothes, haircut, accent, family, whatever. It's easier to take more
seriously, and at least a step or two further removed from playground
debating tactics.
The other familar refrain: "This is about oil." No shit. The vast
majority of the cost of the vast majority of goods and services in
the world is directly related to transportation expenses, which of
course, come down to... the price of oil. If you want to help make
that wacky, unpredictable Middle East as irrelevant to the global
economy as it was less than one short century ago, start investing in
fuel-cell technology, and now. It can't happen soon enough, and heck,
you may even get rich. Even Al "Occidental Petroleum" Gore knows this.
Respectfully submitted as always,
Degenerate SR

Man you once again hit the nail on the head. To focus on one part of
your well-reasoned message, "it's a bold LACK of taste we're known
for... the most cars, and the most of just about anything we use to
measure ourselves.", this to me is the most damning part of our
By that I mean that far too many of our fellow Americans seem to
think that being a patriot means flying a flag. You want to be a
better patriot than your neighbor? Fly a bigger flag. Heck, fly two
giant flags on your Chevy Suburban as you cruise up 400, and you're a
biggie-sized patriot.
I'm sorry, but the flag is nothing more than a symbol. To say you're
patriotic because you fly the flag is like saying that you're
religious because you have a fish on the back of your car. Symbols
mean NOTHING unless there is a course of action behind the symbol. I
think the greatest Patriots these days are the ones who are
sacrificing their inner wants and desires for the betterment of all.
True Patriots drive fuel-efficient vehicles. They recycle. They
don't run the A/C all day when they can open a window. They don't
buy a 3 pound steak, eat half and throw the rest away. They don't
litter. They volunteer their free time with Hands On Atlanta. They
DO the right thing.
True Patriots also QUESTION our government's actions. Even though
she's not my favorite politician, Cynthia McKinney was quite right to
ask what the Bush Administration knew prior to 9/11. Do I think they
allowed the attack to happen? No, not really, but after being
bitch-slapped by every right wing politician, amazingly enough, the
"Phoenix Memo" came to light. It seems our government WAS warned
about the potential of terrorists learning to fly our planes and use
them against us - Does this
mean they could have foreseen 9/11? Maybe, maybe not, but Cynthia
was correct to ask the question.
Patriots HAVE to ask the tough questions - if not, we can fully
expect our civil rights to slowly but surely erode to the point where
we will in effect be living in a police-state. What does it say
about our "freedoms" to know that the FBI can now tap phones based on
suspicions? What does it say about our country to know that
"suspected terrorists" can be held indefinitely? I'll tell you what
it means - it means that our "rights" are subjective. If you're a
Muslim, associate with "questionable" people, then you're under
suspicion right now. This has happened before in the name of
"freedom". Here's a quote for you to mull over "...the deluded
liberals, the eggheads ... who can become heroes overnight in the
eyes of the left wing press if they will join with the jackal pack"
Care to guess who said that? It wasn't our president or vice
president, it wasn't Neil Boortz or Rush Limbaugh. It was Senator
Joe McCarthy. Remember him? If not, read up on your history, as it
seems we're very close to repeating it: (Just
replace "Communist" with "Terrorist"...)
Anyway, thanks for stirring the political tank - I do look forward to
reading the replies from Bush's apologists - I'm sure you're gonna
hear all sorts of flack from those who say to question Bush is to be
Un-American. Well, swing away, boys - if ignorance is bliss, I'm
sure you must be very happy with your current mind-set.
Degenerate BS

Some more thoughts on our selected commander in thief
"They hate things; we love things."
--George W. Bush on terrorists
Overview of Changes to Legal Rights
By The Associated Press
September 5, 2002
Some of the fundamental changes to Americans' legal rights by the Bush
administration and the USA Patriot Act following the terror attacks:
Government may monitor religious and political institutions without
suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigation.
Government has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly detained
hundreds of people without charges, and has encouraged bureaucrats to resist
public records requests.
Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they
tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to a terror
Government may monitor federal prison jailhouse conversations between
attorneys and clients, and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.
Government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without
probable cause to assist terror investigation.
Government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.
Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront
witnesses against them.
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed
without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the
included information for research and educational purposes.)
degenerate AH

is our position a moral one? SH is such a monster - a monster in
control of weapons of mass destruction - that we're compelled by some
fundamental morality to go and rid the world of him?
many people would say the same of GWB. many people DO say the same of
GWB and i would wager that the people who perpetrated 9/11 had such
thoughts on their mind. a demented and horrific act, right?
so once again, what will be our response? what would we think if
France questioned our right to control such a vast military arsenal
and disrupt the stability of north america? if France called GWB a
deranged lunatic and started threatening to invade the US?
our position is a moral one? than why do we find it necessary to act
unilaterally? isn't this the purpose of the UN? we are concerned for
the security and stability of the world? of the middle east? then why
don't we consult with the world or the middle east?
invading Iraq is going to bring peace and stability to the region? is
that so? do we really believe such a thing? how long can we continue
to impose our might and will on nations half way around the world -
killing plenty of civilians in the process - and not expect fleets,
scores of airplanes to be headed towards our cities, pregnant with
jet fuel and wrath - the best weapons of mass destruction available
unknown degenerate

degenerate GN only sent us this:

If you haven't been shut down yet, then I'd like to contribute a response.
(Given that I had to sign a loyalty oath to work for the State of Georgia,
I hope you're not considered officially subversive. If so, well, I guess
they can find someone else to grade the stack of 130 essays sitting on my
desk while I sling hash at the Waffle House.) This is in free verse to
further counter the massive media onslaught of documentary and
quasi-documentary programming we've all experienced over the past month or
so. It's also more about the aftermath of Sept. 11 and our (in)ability to
face the feelings it engendered rather than positioning everyone for a
certain patriotic viewpoint around memorializing the day or just the
immediate victims.
Degenerate IS

Is the following pseudo-conspiracy anti-capitalist drivel the best you can
come up with? You site two links, one of them a "half link".. (point to the
site, but not to the data) and you expect me to be glassy eyed at your
international political knowledge?
Jumpin Jesus on a Pogo stick, quite honestly I'm getting a little sick of
your near communist political rants.. When it was spiking trees it was cute
and somewhat tolerable but, this has just gotten to be too much.
Just tell me what shows I'm not going to go see this week and what music
I'll never bother to listen to and leave it at that.
Oh, and just as an aside.. If your so bothered by where America is going
these days, why don't you pack your crap and head to good ol' socialist
Spain.. Not to be love it or leave it but, love it or do something about
it.. Don't sit there at your beloved Mac with it's green party stickers and
whine about an (and I use your notation) "elected" president.
"degenerate" GR.
Your most glaring examples of cluelessness provided below for your conference.
>I can't believe this idiot is our "elected" leader.
>Yet I'm also sure certain leaders (Cheney and other oil barons in the US)
>stand much to gain by war in the region, especially one that results in
>greater control and influence by said leaders. And I'm not just talking
>politics here, I'm talking hard, cold cash, black gold Texan's Tea...
>Anyone who knows me knows I'm not anti-Semitic, but I don't understand why
>we support Israel.
>I suspect we don't actually want peace in the region.
>Unified, the Arab nations might not feed us the oil we're addicted to.
>But set against one another, they are always in need of guns and money and
>we're more than happy to supply them in trade.

Wow! I can't remember getting this much email on a single topic in a
long while. And a couple of folks even sent me stuff not for
Usually I let responses go out alone, then respond in the following
episode, but I skipped broadcasting last Sunday's episode for a free
trip to the Cheetah (still not my favorite club, and even with a free
pass on the cover I spent more than I usually spend at other such
So I'm not gonna wait on my counter-attack, I'm coming on like an oil
baron in the White House!
First, thanks for your responses, honestly. It's nice to hear other opinions.
I'm going to tackle degenerate GR's rant because it bugged me the most:
"What do you mean you don't like football. Are you some kind of
faggot?" I heard at some point in my middle or high school life.
Replace "football" with "where America is headed" and "faggot" with
"communist" in the above.
"Just tell me what shows I'm not going to go see this week and what music
I'll never bother to listen to and leave it at that."
Why the hell are you on this list? Music and half-cocked
socio-political commentary is all we offer. Are you reading it for
the grammar lesson?!?
Insult-swapping aside, one important issue about our democracy is
that if we don't like where it's headed A) we can bitch about it, B)
we can change it.
So pardon me while I continue to bitch.
Sorry about not pointing to the exact link. The site in question uses
frames and it's tricky to point directly to the data I referenced.
But frankly the exact numbers were merely the trivia behind the
overall point - perhaps this war isn't about an Axis of Evil or a War
on Terror, but a battle for oil? Sure, it's obvious, but I'm tired of
politicians who won't SAY it. Especially certain politicians who have
potential financial gains in our War on Terror... uh... "oil." Sorry,
the President's words confuse my simple mind.
So I'm going to rant about it every time the mood strikes me. I
consider that part of "doing something about it." Maybe by saying
things in print someone will notice, someone will do something. Heck,
maybe even someone will vote!
Assuming for the moment that socialism is a bad thing, since when is
a call for peace an anti-capitalist statement? Seems like we had a
few years there (when a Bush/Regan wasn't in the Whitehouse) where a
great many people made a great deal of money without the economic
boon of war. Sure, it turns out many of them were Bush family members
and friends making money through dishonest and illegal practices, but
hey, that's uncontrolled capitalism for you!
And when did a critical look at our government make one a commie?
Abandoning the assumption that socialism or communism is bad, where
in the Constitution does it say our economic system is required to be
Shit, I'm just asking questions aloud - like WHY are we going to war?
Now Saddam himself has invalidated Bush's STATED reasons for war by
offering unfettered inspections. No, I don't believe Saddam any more
than I believe Bush, but Bush won't let up, he's practically ignoring
the offer. Again, why?
I'm not the only one wondering about the timing of things. There was
an interesting commentary on NPR Tuesday morning. Here's a
transcript, also available online at
(Yeah, I'm using it without express written consent from Major League
Baseball and all that.)

With the war on terrorism unfinished and the US economy still struggling,
many Americans are weighing President Bush's focus on Iraq's President
Saddam Hussein. MORNING EDITION has been airing a series of commentaries
regarding possible US action against Iraq. Commentator Matt Miller says he
suspects the Bush administration's new focus is part of a bigger plan.
What else should reasonable people make of these facts? In June, a floppy
disk found near the White House turned out to contain a presentation used by
Karl Rove on White House strategy for the midterm elections. Focus on war
was a key point in a talk that centered on the White House's desire to,
quote, "maintain a positive issue environment." Around this time, Rove was
criticized for telling a Republican group that the war and terror themes
could play to the GOP's advantage in the November elections. Not long after,
White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card was asked why the administration
waited until after Labor Day to try to sell the American people on military
action against Iraq. Card replied, `From a marketing point of view, you
don't introduce new products in August.'
Two months ago, the headlines were dominated by President Bush's past
business practices, corporate scandals and the sagging economy and stock
market. A little Iraq-invasion talk, and presto, they're all gone, creating
the `positive issue environment' Rove wanted.
It may well be that Saddam's activities call for action very soon, though
some lawmakers in both parties say they don't understand the president's
urgency. A cynic, therefore, might see a staged, managed-for-politics
scenario. In it, we'd see President Bush and the GOP ride the benefit of
today's calculated Iraq focus until November. Then, in a show of eminent
reasonableness, the president would agree to work first through the United
Nations, which would authorize a resumption of inspections. The president
would allow a year for those inspections to work, as any patient global
statesman would.
Then, just as the presidential campaign heats up in 2004, something will
happen. President Bush will say that time has run out, that inspections have
proven fruitless and that the danger is even closer than we thought. The
nation cannot wait. Another `positive issue environment,' in other words,
that would shift attention away from the administration's budget deficits,
economic mismanagement and bankrupt domestic agenda.
Again, let me be clear because some people may misread this. It may be an
entirely sound judgment that we need to act against Iraq because of imminent
threats to US security. I respect the experience of men like Cheney, Powell
and Rumsfeld and don't doubt their sense of duty and responsibility. And
yet--Is it just me?--I can't shake the suspicion that this fall is all a dry
run, and we'll be doing this again in 2004 when the real invasion is close
at hand during President Bush's re-election campaign, and Dick Cheney will
again be calling questions of timing `reprehensible.'
EDWARDS: The comments of Matt Miller, a senior fellow at Occidental College
and host of "Left, Right & Center," produced at member station KCRW in Santa
Monica, California.

Miller says things in a much more elegant fashion than I can. I never
claimed to be a talented, capable debater. In fact, I suck at it.
Things seem obvious to me that others cannot believe even in the face
of staggering facts.
I care passionately about what I rant about, and it makes me go off,
as mentioned, half-cocked.
But at least I go off.
At least I care.
At least it matters to me who's getting bombed and for what reason.
Isn't that what we've been asking ourselves for the last year? Who
bombed us, and why? Now it looks like it'll be the people of Iraq

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