Saturday, February 04, 2006

Good word

"God made man, but a monkey provided the glue."

-- Devo, "Jocko Homo"
"Okie From Muskogee" was taken

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz asked me and several local music notables to choose an official song for Madison. The committee's first meeting was last Tuesday, and I wrote a dispatch about it for the Isthmus Daily Page. Read it here.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Good word

"Let's just hope Toby Keith doesn't hear it; he may think they're serious."

-- Charles Hughes, on the Junkers' "(Baby Let Me Be Your) Desert Storm"
Recycle and/or die

Having somehow become a newspaperman myself, I follow the tribulations of the newspaper business with interest. There are many tribulations these days, lots of them stemming from ubiquitous computers and the triumph of the Internet.

But the latest snafu is pretty low-tech: The Boston Globe and the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette accidentally released the credit card numbers of more than 200,000 subscribers -- by distributing them with bundles of newspapers. Yes, some well-meaning soul re-used subscriber reports to print routing slips, and out they went with the grocery store circulars. Yikes!

If it's any consolation, I'm sure the Globe's Web site is secure.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Judy Judy Judy, amen

Thanks to Tivo I just caught up with The Bishop's Wife, the lovely 1947 comedy in which Cary Grant plays an angel sent to change the lives of an overworked Episcopal bishop (David Niven) and his unhappy spouse (Loretta Young). I was captivated by Grant, whose mysterious allure is all the more mysterious in the role of a superhuman being, sexually irresistible to men and women, who can perform telekenesis, play the harp like a pro and ice dance divinely. All this, plus the customary Cary Grant charm. Thumbs up.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

At least it wasn't Ugg boots

Cindy Sheehan was arrested for wearing a T-shirt to the State of the Union address. Reminds me of the time I was arrested for refusing to take off my "What Would Joan Jett Do" T-shirt.
Vote Trinity

As you may know, last November the Madison singer and songwriter Trinity James and his band Big Bad opened for Bon Jovi at the Kohl Center, thanks to their victory in a battle-of-the-bands contest put together for the occasion. (Local bands opened for Bon Jovi all over the country.)

By every account, Trinity's performance at the Kohl Center was a triumph. Now the contest moves to the next phase: one local band will get to open for Bon Jovi at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. And that band should be Trinity James and Big Bad! Go here to check out their Web site and vote, vote, vote!

Trinity is a dear friend of mine, and he has worked hard for this. He deserves your support.
All the news

What was the most beloved feature of coreweekly, the now-defunct "faux alt" newspaper put out by the company that publishes Madison's daily papers? (Not counting, of course, the covers featuring large photos of mostly naked young women -- now that's how you sell news! The opinion piece in praise of women's breasts also was priceless.) The nod would have to go to Bottles & Shots, the photo essay that, week after week, revealed what drunk people look like.

One week Bottles & Shots should have featured photos of detox patients. Partying hard! I also would like to have seen an installment photographed at a heroin shooting gallery.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Judging books

I have read many memoirs of addiction and recovery, among them books by Kitty Dukakis, Bob Welch, Caroline Knapp, Susan Cheever. But ages ago I passed on reading James Frey's A Million Little Pieces. Know why? I'm serious when I tell you: I read the book jacket and decided the story had the whiff of untruth. So I moved on.

I had forgotten about that last summer, when I journeyed to the west side Border's to hear Frey read from his recent book My Friend Leonard. Then, at the store, I read the book jacket and realized who I was there to see. That book jacket also had the whiff of untruth. So I again moved on.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Good word

"Oh, God! is rated PG ('Parental Guidance Suggested') because Mr. [George] Burns made a few harmless jokes about Adam and Eve, and because Mr. [John] Denver appears barechested several times. These latter scenes are not likely to be mistaken for erotica."

-- Janet Maslin, The New York Times, Oct. 8, 1977