Saturday, May 30, 2015

Deborah Cohen on DIY music culture: also applies to poetry.

This is taken out of its original context (a review in THE ATLANTIC of books on indie rock by Kim Gordon and Jon Fine), but these words by Deborah Cohen can certainly apply to the more-seemingly--open poetry scene I encountered in 1998--and which began dying around 2003:
"....even the most inclusive DIY vision has its insiders and outsiders, its purists and compromisers, its pressures and its disenchanted pioneers."

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


not there to see the playgrounds-turned-lakes
or hear the news stories of drowning
or of people hanging onto tree trunks

but all too aware of some people
who will experience extreme heat
plus days upon end of hard rain 

and they'll continue to say
it's not climate change
or global warming

but the Will of God
and it's never to be questioned
by mere Humans

people pounding right fists
into left hands

unchanging, unbending
as their certain world
becomes chaotic

Saturday, May 23, 2015


2. James Taylor--DAY TRIPPER
3. Cheap Trick--GONNA RAISE HELL
4. Elton John--VICTIM OF LOVE
5.  The Rolling Stones--MISS YOU
6.  Dolly Parton--BABY I'M BURNIN'
7. Paul McCartney and Wings--GOODNIGHT TONIGHT
8. Barbra Streisand--THE MAIN EVENT
9. Ethel Merman--I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU (1979)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Saying farewell to the David Letterman I watched over 35 years.

My first encounter with David Letterman on television was on the original Peter Marshall-hosted THE HOLLYWOOD SQUARES where Dave answered a question with a surreal word image of his dog filling out tax returns.

Afterwards, I became a regular viewer of 1980's short-lived THE DAVID LETTERMAN SHOW on NBC (which, in the Wichita Falls TX market, was replaced for a time by reruns of MEDICAL CENTER).  In that incarnation, Dave dared to ignore the rules for daytime TV talk shows and gave airtime to comic/musical talents such as Valri Bromfield, Loudon Wainwright III and Andy Kaufman (though, occasionally, Dave's infatuation with old-line showbiz would surface when Allen "PASSWORD" Ludden would come on and disdainfully mock pop song lyrics).  And, if I recall correctly, Edwin Newman would occasionally deliver brief news bulletins.

LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN debuted in early 1982--the purest form of Letterman's irony, sarcasm and demythologizing of television conventions.

A decade later, Dave was denied THE TONIGHT SHOW in favor of then-Monday night guest host Jay Leno.

1993 heralded the move to CBS with the re-titled LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN.  On its debut show, Paul Newman stood up and asked "Where the hell are the singing cats?"  This turned into a prophetic statement heralding the departure or minimization of old NBC colleagues such as Riquette, Kamar the Discount Magician and Larry "Bud" Melman (who, on CBS, had to go by his real name of Calvert DeForrest due to NBC spouting nonsense about "intellectual property")

No need to bemoan it here, but about 80% of the idiosyncrasy was drained from the CBS Letterman show because of the concerns over what made for an appropriate 11:35 p.m. show vs. an appropriate 12:35 a.m. hangout destination.

As Dave aged, his energy level began to decline.  In recent years, outside incidents such as the WGA strike and Jay Leno/NBC's demoting Conan O'Brien from THE TONIGHT SHOW seemed to periodically reanimate the peak-era Letterman.

I haven't been a regular viewer of LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN in quite a long time, but am planning to watch the final two shows via DVR and herald the end of a talk show era quite different from the current "invite guests to play parlor games" ethos.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Perceptive blog commenter dialogue re summer blockbusters.

Comments below taken from HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE thread re director Joe Wright's latest attempt to intersect with mainstream audiences (Peter Pan adaptation PAN, following the teen spy thriller HANNA and the intended-as-Academy-contender THE SOLOIST):
Orson Welles on working at a film studio: “This is the biggest electric train set a boy ever had!”
And there is no bigger electric train set than a summer blockbuster.--commenter Dakkar
Summer blockbusters are like playing with a train set while your dad tells you what you can and can't do.--commenter Magga

Monday, May 18, 2015


watching families on TV
squirming with a mix of empathy and recognition:
there's the father-turned-co-mother on TRANSPARENT
asking the youngest daughter
Would You Be Around If I Didn't Write Checks?
and there's the family on AMERICAN CRIME
that loses one member 
and finds very little in common
to want to stay in touch
with each other
no place in the world
no status you've earned at work
no nucleus of friends you've gathered
will give appropriate distance
from these words and thoughts:
didn't do enough
wish I had tried harder
why don't you love me
did more than enough
I did too much
so it's your turn now

Rita Coolidge - I'd Rather Leave While I'm In Love (1979)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Hello from London 2015

This post will be constructed in listicle format:
ONE There's a lot of building and/or renovation in London.
TWO Apparently this is due to the further ultra-gentrification going on for the rich
who can still afford to live here.
THREE Today is the National Election where Tory David Cameron hopes to be re-elected as Prime Minister.
FOUR The liberal Labour Party challenger Ed Miliband is being demonized as Weird because he apparently believes in not demonizing the middle-class and poor.
FIVE Britain still seems to be high on Angela Merkel Austerity--meaning that National Health may be facing cuts, but not all the building and rebuilding to appeal to the rich.
SIX Some people are resorting to living on small houseboats in order to cling to life in London.
SEVEN Get ready for Chicken Little-styled hysteria in European/US press if Ed Miliband becomes the next Prime Minister.