Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Creepy Joe™ pulls one from the Bush playbook

A total embarrassment to the majority of Connecticut residents who favor a universal healthcare plan, Creepy Joe™ Lieberman has become a focus for vituperative remarks, and the butt of jokes on national television.

But none of that seems to affect his curdled narcissism.

Still, in a flash of inspiration that he borrowed from George Bush and his homeland security chiefs, Lieberman has raised the specter of terrorism as a distraction.

If the world is hailing our junior senator from Connecticut as the biggest egotistical turncoat since Benedict Arnold for opposing the public option, Lieberman thinks he has a way to divert attention, and make his far-right supporters hail him as a patriot by discovering a new "terrorist threat" in the tragedy at Fort Hood. He's wielding the committee chairmanship from which he should have been toppled, as the bully pulpit for his self-serving nonsense.

Maybe Creepy Joe™ ought to acknowledge his own role as terrorist. How much time will he be spending scrubbing the blood from his hands for his active support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? How many bodies of innocent children need to be placed on the doorstep of his swanky Stamford digs before he stops his anti-Muslim yowling? And how many sick mother's, daughters, sons and husbands can look to the Senator from Connecticut and see the thick, brutish impediment that stands between them and decent health care?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No shit from Shinolas

I've been meaning to make it down to Tapas on Ann St. in Hartford for months to catch the Monday night stand with the Shinolas, an erstwhile band consisting of great session players.

Local guitar slinger, producer, film scorer and friend, Jim Chapdelaine, and also-local percussion, multi-instrumentalist, producer and friend Lorne Entress recruited bassist Paul Kochanski and talented pedal steel player Ed Iarusso to form the Shinolas.

Every Monday they gather in the Asylum Street window of the modest eatery and turn it into the kind of joint you only find in Nashville or Austin. Great players having a great time singing and playing originals and covers, mostly of the rootsy rock, rockin' country or pumped-up traditional variety.

Last night they were joined onstage by acclaimed Boston singer-songwriter Mark Erelli, who enjoyed a sabbatical from being the "folksinger" so that he could trade leads on rockers with Chapdelaine, and so he could share band versions of some of his great tunes including "Compass and Companion," and his tragic take on the Hartford circus fire he calls "Hartfordtown." In between the band moved easily between Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Warren Zevon. During two extended jams, it was difficult to tell who was having more fun - the band or the audience.

This regular gig has turned an off night for the Hartford eatery into a a busy night that has become an important staple of their week's income. On Monday the restaurant was fully booked out, with standing room only for latecomers.

The Shinolas have made it a practice to invite friends onto their stage. Besides Erelli, they've hosted Al Anderson, John Pousette-Dart and Daisy Mayhem fiddler Rani Arbo. Chapdelaine hinted of a few surprise guests to come.

While the wind whistled through the rest of Hartford's empty streets Monday, the joyful noise was warm and welcome inside Tapas.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Bogmen are back

I know they've been reuniting once a year for benefits, but rooting around in the Bogosphere on a rainy Saturday, I discovered that the that one of the greatest unappreciated bands ever, the Bogmen, has gone back into the studio to cut tracks for an EP to be released next year. If you've never seen them live, you've never experienced one of the most electrifying performances of genius rock ever to hit the stage.

"I haven't seen you since the big burn...."

One of the new ones.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Walking the Walk With Merrick

It intrigued me: a decorated war veteran who support the military, but who is willing to walk across Connecticut with t-shirted companions demanding an end to the Afghan war. Merrick Alpert is a Democrat running against Chris Dodd for a spot on the Democratic ticket in the 2010 Senate race. I told Merrick he was tilting at windmills, and he told me that somebody had to do it. He's a bundle of contradictions. He admires Martin Luther King and the intelligence community. He's believes in the principles of the Democratic party but not in the "career politicians" who have bent the party to their will. He voted for Barack Obama, cried at his inauguration but is willing to say he's dead wrong about Afghanistan and Iraq. He's a realist, and a capitalist who has built two successful companies, but he's ready to follow the impossible dream of toppling a tottering incumbent. He's intriguing, so I decided to lend a hand and produced this:

Thanks to Bruce Zimmerman for the custom score, and to Glenn Orkin, Paul Nelson, Crystal Place and Todd Sanderson for production assistance.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Pain in Maine Falls Mainly on the Gay'uns

Marriage to someone of the same gender? You can't get they-uh, from he-uh.

I got a nasty email message after playing this one on the radio this morning.