Saturday, January 06, 2007


My review of the touring production of Cats is up on the Daily Page.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Just say no

In light of President Bush's reputed dabbling with cocaine, let's hope headlines like this aren't a trigger for him to relapse.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Look what Santy brung

This holidays I was once again pleased to find a Christmas gift from my landlord, Apex Property Management, Inc.: Colorful tins containing some really spectacular toffee and some very tasty pecan clusters. (Alas, the peanut butter bears were AWOL for another year.)

In this and other ways, Apex has been a very good landlord in the six years I have rented from them. And believe me, I know the difference, since I've had some rotten landlords -- people generally inclined to bestow petty indignities, as opposed to small kindnesses. Not that I'm bitter.
I will whack you, and then you'll be sorry

P.S. Whew.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I rarely make New Year's resolutions, but I have one this year: More Polka. I live mere blocks from the city's only all-polka nightspot, and there is a beautiful accordion in my den that I play far too seldom. So who's with me? Ah-one, ah-two...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Someone's in the kitchen

Does it surprise you to learn that TV chef Rachael Ray posed for the leering lad mag FHM? It surprises me a little, but on the other hand nothing surprises me. And what can we say? At 38 she's cute as a button, which gives hope to all of us greying Gen-Xers, lads and lasses alike.

Monday, January 01, 2007

All singing, all dancing

Last year was the year of YouTube, and I'm proud to say that I contributed in my small way. Here once again is my Mad Cabaret performance of "Islands in the Stream" with Martin "Pierce Bottoms" Price.

Today's Nixon reference: I was wearing a Spiro Agnew T-shirt.

Hello ought-seven, from Music City

I enjoyed "Garrison Keillor's New Year's Eve Special," which aired live last night on PBS. The avuncular Minnesota raconteur helmed the broadcast from the stage of the Ryman Auditorium, the lovely old "Grand Ole Opry" theater in downtown Nashville, and the roster of guest artists drew from Music City's deep talent pool: Emmylou Harris, Old Crow Medicine Show, dobroist Jerry Douglas. As on his radio show "A Prairie Home Companion," Keillor punctuated the music with wry anecdotes and gag advertisements.

More, even, than the Ryman show itself, I liked a preliminary segment that saw Keillor ambling relaxedly on the streets of downtown, joined by the country star Vince Gill. The two swapped stories about the "Opry" -- it was the inspiration for "A Prairie Home Companion" -- as they checked out six-strings at Gruhn Guitars and shopped for peanut butter at a grocery store. Gill even did a bit of harmonizing at the Lower Broad honkytonk Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, where he joined BR549's Chuck Mead for an apparently impromptu duet of Buck Owens' "Crying Time."

Another fine moment came at midnight, Nashville time (and Madison time), when the Ryman audience rose and joined Emmylou and the rest in singing "Auld Lang Syne." They read lyrics from sheets printed, if I'm not mistaken, at nearby Hatch Show Print. It's such a lovely and sad old song, and it's well suited to Keillor's patented wistfulness.

Nashville is my hometown, and I can testify that the segment with Gill, especially, captured the city's blend of schmaltz and soulfulness as well as anything you'd see. Back when I was a kid, and still a full-time Nashvillian, Keillor inscribed a book for me with a Nashville greeting. I believe he loves the place. So do I.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Good word

"Matt Salo, director of the health and human services committee of the National Governors Association, will never forget the resume he received several years ago from a recent college graduate. This person did not have much work experience, so he added a bulleted list of skills:

* Strong Work Ethic

* Attention to Detail

* Team Player

* Self Motivated

* Attention to Detail"

-- Amy Joyce