26 May 2005

Well, tomorrow I'm off to Jacksonville with Rich and Grace and Allen for Dan's wedding. Dan was our roommate for a few years at KAOS, so those of us who remain in Tallahassee are heading out. Rich has been having car accidents again, and wants to camp out to save money, so I will be sharing a tent with Allen. Should be the same routine as the last wedding-- get drunk and pick fights with any conservatives we find.

22 May 2005

James McMurtry

I posted some time ago about Larry McMurtry, but would now like to take some time to write about his son, James McMurtry. James is a popular musician in Austin and Houston, and has performed many times at the Supper Club in Archer City. My mother sent me one of his CD's some years ago, and the more I listened to it, the more it grew on me. I had listened to country music almost exclusively up until high school, but dropped it fairly quickly. I would hear a song and say "Oh God, not that again!" only to hear the radio announcer say it was brand new. Hearing songs before they come out is not a good sign, so I finally opened myself to other alternatives.

I have not returned to mainstream country, and don't intend to, but one night at the old CowHaus I watched Alejandro Escovedo perform with local musician Pat Puckett. It turned out to be the closest thing to a religious experience I have ever had. Not long after, I received McMurtry's CD, so I was in a frame of mind to give it a fair chance. I have been hooked ever since and have found every one of his album's to be absolutely addictive.

James is not the best singer, but he has a particular talent for writing lyrics, and could probably rival his father for sheer creativity should he ever write a novel. I think most of my appreciation stems from finding something that relates so well to my own experiences and what I am confronting in my life right now. When you realize you have been in a perpetual mid-life crises since graduating high school, it is good to hear something that can make you say "but I'm OK with that."

Another thing that impresses me about James is discovering his politics are similar to mine. Just when he got to a point where he is enjoying more mainstream success, he has come to the conclusion that he cannot keep silent on what is happening in this country, and has joined the ranks of Steve Earle and the Dixie Chicks. His latest "protest song" is available for free download at http://www.jamesmcmurtry.com/. This won't help him in Texas, and may hinder him at a time when he seems to be on the verge of a career breakthrough. All the more reason for me to take my hat off to him. Wait, I don't have a hat. I need a hat . . .

However, politics and talent aside, he would be cool if only for the fact that he is willing to put up with my relatives.

13 May 2005

GOP Congressman Comes to Pelosi's Rescue

WASHINGTON - It was a Cinderella story, Capitol Hill style. Starring as Prince Charming, freshman Rep. Dave Reichert dropped to his knees Thursday in the midst of a news conference and handed over a beige leather slingback that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lost during Wednesday's hasty evacuation of Congress.

Cinderella? Or maybe Hound of the Baskervilles . . . ?

07 May 2005

British Elections

I think the British elections turned out very well. Labour stays in charge, the Liberal Democrats took a small step forward, and the Conservatives continue their journey to irrelevancy. Blair was properly chastised for his role in the Iraq war, but the voters, to a certain extant, maintained their trust with Labour's record on other issues. One thing I had not considered was the number of anti-Blair rebels that would remain in Parliament. Apparently enough of them survived to make things very difficult for Blair if continues his quest to be Bush's dog. We may have to add a Blair Deathwatch to the Delay Deathwatch.