Tag Archives: folk music

very short review of new Chuck E. Weiss record…for amazon reviews, really…

ImageGentle readers,

You need to check this out….

Red Beans and Weiss…new LP by Chuck E. Weiss

take a deep trek through american roots music, knuckleheads, pee pee houses, nazi death camps, buddhist teachings and more!!!
sample it and see!!!!!!!!! forget about Tom Waits and Johnny Depp being on the project – Chuck is the Man!
i heard this online before it was released and ordered it. it is almost like a companion to ‘Extremely Cool’…maybe better…
this is such a fantastic record, you don’t know what to be most fascinated by next.
some songs are searing R&R and some, like ‘Shushie’…would be a wonderful soft song for just about anybody to cover…others just blow you away, like ‘Bomb the Tracks,’ which comes on like an all out rock and roller and addresses cultural issues like why we didn’t bomb the tracks the trains used to take Jews to concentration camps in WW2 (which IS a good question)…the lyrics here are unreal…he sums up the basic tenets of Buddhism in two lines of lyrics in ‘Knucklehead Stuff’ …’Kokamo’ comes on so slick and smooth it takes several hearings before you realize it starts out with an oral ‘dismembering’ (my word not his) on Lovers Lane…or how about Stalin drawing futuristic pictures of Huckleberry Hound while Winston Churchill befalls an ill fate???…yep, not only is it all here…it’s all here and more – rocking to the hilt and is an excellent choice for Best Record of 2014 in all classes!!!!!

this is a free blog and, as such, you must put up with the typos….

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The Bob Dylan Challenge (or The Search for Fat Joke Number Three)

Gentle Readers,
All the bluster about (and coming from) NJ Governor Chris Christie may seem like bad news for the nation but it is a gift for comedians, many of whom had cut the use of fat jokes, leaving them to rest on a shelf in retirement until the big goon pissed them off.
Even Christie makes jokes about weight, ignoring the diabetes epidemic that is slowly overtaking the USA, as it overtook India when citizens there could afford to eat the same foods as us and we were kind enough to send our fast food restaurants to grace their soil.
In the old days, being fat showed wealth, prosperity. The larger a man became, the more success evidenced itself in blubber.
We prefer not to blubber but to reckon things out.
When in a thinking mood, we often slip on some music by Bob Dylan and let our minds wander to it. Even Dylan says he cannot put a meaning to any of his songs but they have an individual meaning to all of us. One song which makes the mind wander a mite more than others is Visions of Johanna, which we always want to see him perform in concert and somehow always manage to buy tickets for the night he plays Desolation Row in the same slot of his setlist.
In the masterful working of VOJ, we are presented by many characters, like the Nightwatchmen, Mona Lisa, Johanna, Louise and her Lover, a Madonna, the Peddler, the Countess…but then a lot of attention is paid to the fat ladies. He told us he was a ‘song and dance man’ and a lot of people took it as a joke but the fat joke is stock-in-trade for the song and dance man. So, in the landscape of the miracle of beauty that is the song VOJ, the artist ties it up at the end with a joke and sort of blames it on the ‘fishtruck of his mind’ unloading. Nonetheless, we yank ourselves from the mystical, ethereal quality of the song when we hear about the delicate wallflower, who will freeze
“…when the jelly-faced women all sneeze.
Hear the one with the moustache say,
Jeeze, I can’t find my knees.”
When we manage to catch this song live, that line cracks us up everytime.
We usually do not think much past that but recently we needed some upbeat music to ease the drive over the icy ridges into town, so we put on Bringing It All Back Home. This was his fifth LP and the one where he quit leaving the ‘G’ off of words ending in ‘ING.’…hhmmm, was that a ‘sell-out’? You’d have to ask a fan who can explain his songs.
In Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream, again, we hear him use a rhyme which demeans the unproportionate, too…he gets lost upon disembarking from a ship. He meets a variety of characters and, again, near the end mentions that the last he heard of the missing captain,
“He was stuck on a whale
That was married to the
Deputy Sheriff of the jail…”
In later years, we heard about The Clean Cut Kid. He is well-fed and eats at Burger King. That would certainly lead to fat but the implication is not made. It is the closest Dylan came to addressing the war in VietNam in an outright fashion, however, even though his songs were used as anthems when people were trying to stop such injustices here.

In the second movie he penned, Masked and Anonymous, there is a scene (near the end, of course) where he is confronted by Jessica Lange, playing a demented, evil woman. She tries to wound him with words but he replies, “You heard about cellulose? Cows can digest it but you can’t.” It can also be digested by a moose. Either way, insult or not, it brings to mind the ass-lumping scourge of cellulite and, actually, sometimes an insult that is not understood gets you a lot more mileage…


Anyway, back to the challenge…the man has recorded a commercial disc for each year of his life and we think he reaches seventy-three years of age this May. Did he give up the fat jokes after LP number seven? Was he forced to drop them when he had to add the ‘G’s?

WE don’t know! We are not experts. We do not even think the people who take the class at Columbia Unversity in Dylanology (or is that at NYU?…some NY College) have any idea, either, since the artist himself refuses to explain. However, with all the wondering, the pondering, the supposing, the guessing, the plotting-it-all out, we hope that some Dylan scholar will step forth with the necessary information. A few years back, we saw the Dylan/Paul Simon tour, which Dylan highlighted every evening by telling a stupid joke. Perhaps Number Three lies in there…but we would like to know if it exists in song?


This is a free blog so if you see any typos, live with it.

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The Man Who Was Going To Take An Axe To Bob Dylan’s Equipment at Newport Folk

Gentle Readers,

There is not much we can say to relate how sad we are to see the passing of our Hero, Pete Seeger.
I just asked a 33 year old friend if he knew who Seeger was and he did not know.

Pete Seeger was one of the strongest most sane voices in the fight to bring America back to what it was meant to be when we still had a workable Constitution. He traveled with Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Sonny Terry, Cisco Houston and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot. Rather than blather, allow us to provide you with a few songs that we unabashedly pirated from youtube to celebrate the passing odf one of the greatest americans to have lived and breathed.
In his later years, he spent time picking up trash along highways in between concerts because he cared about the land. He was a man’s man and a musician’s musician. Whatever you believe in, God, Krishna, Karma, Nothing…please send some positive energy to him as he departs this crappy old world. He is in a better place and he made our world a better place.


Enjoy and Remember him, most of all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Today Is For The Fighters

     That is Woody Guthrie to the left, with his fascist-killing guitar. I am not sure if he is considered a veteran of World War II, or not. He served in the Merchant Marine and shipped out three times and his ship was torpedoed two times (although the Oklahoma Historical Society website says he had three ships torpedoed from beneath his feet). He was then drafted into the Army and Germany surrended the same day.

     On one occasion, he saved the life of a shipmate and on at least one other, he made sure that the guitars made it to the lifeboats. Woody wrote books, songs, poems, drew sketches and eventually became the spiritual Father of the 1960s folksong revival movement. These days, we have people who are referred to as ‘the new Bob Dylan’, like Bruce Springsteen and a number of others. In the 1960s, Dylan was ‘the new Woody Guthrie,’ and was often dismissed as being a poor caricature, until he proved himself.

    Besides serving his country in the war, Woody served before and after, singing for the starving ‘okies’ as they were abused by the system after losing all to the Great Dust Storms. Along the way he wrote songs like Bound For Glory and This Land Is Made For You And Me and other songs about the triumph of human spirit. He may not be an official veteran but he served.

     Today is Veteran’s Day and we should honour those who stood in harm’s way to fight and serve. If you made it through four years in the service because a judge gave you the choice of ship or time in jail, then you really do not deserve the free lunches that the restaurants are putting on the table today. It is there for the old guys and the ones who hear the bullets flying these days.

     Who am I to say? I tried to get out of the war in the usual ways. College, join before they draft you. I aced the armed forces exam with a high percentile so I had my choice of any branch. Spring 1975, the death count climbing like crazy in Viet Nam, I went for the Air Force.

     Long story short – the war ended in May and there I was signed up for four years. The draft was over. Happy days were here again, sort of. Luckily, the recruiter lied to me and left gave me a reason to back out. I had a letter, an official form that said I would be inducted on such-and-such a date. I had not taken the oath, though. Whew!

     In the end, Gentle Readers, the recruiter died pretty young. My mom used to tell me how many times he called looking for me. She thought he was funny and felt a little sorry for him, too, like some sympathetic character on a sitcom, or if I daresay, a book.

     I had meant to blog about Lord Buckley but I got distracted somehow when somebody told me he was going to different restaurants to get some free meals. He had served in peacetime as a ‘noplace else to go move’ and should not have free pie and ice cream, really.

I’ma post war breakout
I’ma post war breakdown
I’ma post war nervroe
And a post war hero
I’ma post war skitzoe
I’ma post war freenyoe
Post war nerve case
And a post war face history

I’ma psykoe pathy crackdown
I’ma looney blooney breakdown
War shocky suki yaki boy
I got a long personality
I got a medal I’ma hero
I got an id, I got an ego
I got a pocket book and no dough
Justa post war shock job.

I’ma evil minded breakdown
I’ma vulgar thinking crackdown
I’ma lascivious lewdy nude boy
I’m a great long doctor book full.
I’ma irresponsible hobo
I’ma noncommy drifter
I’ma mad old raver loose jaw
I’ma Ex G.I. for sure sure…..by Woody Guthrie


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