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Guitar master Link Wray dies at 76:

Last Thursday a good sized crowd dressed mostly in black showed up for the Johnny Cash karaoke night at The Earl, celebrating the release of Walk the Line. Johnny Knox and Hi-Test did a fine job providing live backing music but the vocal performances varied from surprisingly good to shockingly horrible. You may have noticed a consistent lack of coverage of karaoke events in Degenerate Press broadcasts. Yes, there is a certain vibe at karaoke gatherings, sort of a “we’re all in this together” camaraderie. But for me that doesn’t make up for the occasional painful performances. I’ve never been a fan of folk art, and karaoke is nothing but audible folk art - untrained, often untalented people covering familiar ground. I’d rather fork over $5-10 to see someone with ability and drive producing something new. There’s a reason art can be expensive. Aside from the years of training, talented people are rare and should be appreciated - financially, even.
Grumbling aside, it was nice to see so many folks willing to put it all out there, and on a school night no less, to celebrate the Man in Black.
Saturday found us at the house of degenerates DC & BC, sitting on their back deck staring into a fire pit. This has become a frequent weekend event for us for several reasons. Some of our usual gang are poor, others are pregnant and don’t visit smoky bars these days, and it’s tough for everyone to agree on dinner and a show together.
So there we sat with a profound sense of déjà vu. Some 20 years ago we shivered in the cold, staring into a fire and drinking rapidly enough to stave off the chill, swearing to ourselves that one day we’d have jobs and lives so we could get the hell out of that small town and…
sit around a different fire, drinking rapidly enough to stave off the chill.
But at least the booze is better and some of us have found warm bodies to share our beds after an evening of drinking, smoking, and staring into the flames. As the weather turned from chilly to chilling rain there’s not much more you could ask for.
Back at DP HQ we’ve been winterizing the joint, just in time for the aforementioned cold front to blow in. You might think covering the windows in plastic would make a sun-loving winterphobe like myself feel a bit down but it’s actually fall that depresses me, not winter. The blurry, gray light that struggles to get through the plastic over the windows fades by the time I get home from work, making our home seem like a cozy cave in which I could hibernate the winter away. Leaving for an evening of entertainment feels like slipping out after dark, after curfew, after the parents have gone to bed and we delinquents own the cold nights.
So it’s time to plan for the holidays. No, not Thanksgiving or Consumass - New Year’s Eve. Due to the aforementioned states of poverty and pregnancy, many of my tribe will be staying home, or close to home, this year. No week-long jaunt to Amsterdam this year. So anyone got any brilliant, affordable ideas? Some of us may have time, money and motivation to travel a bit, even if it means leaving the rest of the tribe here in town, and other subscribers may be interested in your thoughts, so send ‘em in!

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