Friday, October 26, 2012

make the whirly noises

I had my students cover this event for the Media Writing class I teach. Much like the deal with chicken places, I hatch elaborate schemes to make people listen to weird music. There is probably a compound German word for that.

The Soft Pack, Strapped
Echo & the Bunnymen, Crocodiles
Bauhaus, Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape, Burning from the Inside, The Sky's Gone Out

Niney the Observer, Observer Attack Dub
Twilight Circus Dub Sound System, Volcanic Dub
The Black Keys/RZA, "The Baddest Man Alive"

Dennis Russell Davies / Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra / Raschèr Saxophone Quartet / ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Philip Glass: Symphony No. 2; Interlude from Orpheé; Concerto for Saxophone Quartet & Orchestra
Of Montreal, Daughter of Cloud
The Velvet Underground, The Quine Tapes: Volume 1
John Cale, Fear
The Durutti Column, Short Stories for Pauline

Concert of iPhone and iPad instruments made by the LSU MAG group

Cecil Taylor, Garden
Circle (Anthony Braxton, Chick Corea, Dave Holland), Circulus
Finn Peters, Music of the Mind

So Percussion, Where (We) Live
Rene Hell, The Terminal Symphony

Circle, Quartet Piece No. III

For instance, there was a time when I might have said that obscure-by-free-jazz standards racket supergroup Circle was my favorite band. I bought a bunch of those whirly tube things from a dollar store to make the whirly noises in my apartment along with this track. I'd have kept it up even after you left.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

everybody start a band

First gig: accomplished! The Adult Music Club I go to every Wednesday played their first gig at Art in the Park on Saturday.

Screamin' Jay Hawkins, I Put a Spell on You: The Best of...
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, Doc at the Radar Station
Black Sabbath, Mob Rules
Blue Cheer, Outsideinside
Frijid Pink, Frijid Pink
Pärson Sound, Pärson Sound

The Rolling Stones, Some Girls

Our set list was as follows

  • I Put a Spell On You (Screamin' Jay Hawkins)
  • Pipeline (The Ventures)
  • E major country blues
  • Goo Goo Muck (The Cramps)
  • Way Down in the Hole (Tom Waits)

They say the microphone adds ten pounds.

with yours truly singing on the first and last two songs. This was so fun. I thought we pulled it off. I recommend that everybody start a band. I haven't figured out which Frijid Pink song I'm going to suggest we work up but we are pretty close of having our hard country version of Judas Preist's "You Got Another Thing Comin'" down. Listening to Some Girls as I type this, I want to learn to play every song on Some Girls. The outtakes on the bonus disc are as good as the real thing.

Whatever we'll play, we'll play it next Saturday at the Louisiana Book Festival at 4 p.m. My book talk is at 11:45 a.m. in the Louisiana State Museum Auditorium with a signing at the book tent at 12:30.  Don't worry; I'll remind you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

a beer and a country band everywhere

Two-piece spicy whiting from the Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish truck.  I had a canned peach Nehi to go with it; an inspired pairing.

Friday (driving Baton Rouge to Nashville):
Ernie K-Doe, Selected Hits Vols. 1 and 2
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Tender Prey

There it is, being world famous. I went and had a beer in there while in Nashville and a country band was playing. There is a beer and a country band everywhere in Nashville.

The Southern Festival of Books
Countless crack country bands doing country versions of non-country songs (Green Day is a popular restaurant country band choice)

This remarkable specimen was not had in Nashville but at the original Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa on the way back. When I asked the waitress what comes with an order of ribs, she replied, "Nothin' comes with nothin'." Perhaps the most profound statement made during this very wordy weekend.

Sunday (driving Nashville to Baton Rouge)
Gary Shteyngart, Absurdistan
CD's to review
Miles Davis, Birth of the Cool

Nashville is cute as a button, especilaly across the street from Pancake Pantry where you can get buckwheat pancakes accompanied by a warm syrup bottle and a waitress that might have been a backup singer fomr Tammy Wynette or something.

The festival was great by the way.

Miles Davis, Big Fun

The aforementioned buckwheat pancakes. I'd show you a picture of the syrup bottle but that would border on the pornographic.

Judas Priest, Screamin' For Vengeance
Ken Stringfellow, Danzig in the Moonlight (streaming at American Songwriter)
American Music Club, Mercury
Giant Sand, Long Stem Rant
Clem Snide, End of Love
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & Matt Sweeney, Superwolf
Z'EV, Symphony #2: Elementalities

ATTN DEEP SOUTHERNERS: Leave change colors in the fall. I'd almost forgotten.

Teaching all day.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

caught between the octopus and the cheesecake

from the Work/Shop cardboard party on Saturday

Ernest Ranglin, Guitar Ska Roots
The Black Seeds, Dust and Dirt
Matthew Dear, Beams
Pantha Du Prince, Black Noise
Carsten Jost, You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows
Liquid Liquid, Liquid Liquid
H.P. Lovecraft, The Collected Short Stories

John Lee Hooker, House Rent Boogie
Padgett Powell, You & Me

Junior Kimbrough edited by Daft Punk
Lightnin' Hopkins, Sessions

Searching my phone photos for meaning, for context in which to place this day, the best I can come up with is that I am caught between the octopus and the cheesecake.

I read "The Moon-Bog" by H. P. Lovecraft last night and like every time I read a Lovecraft story, I don't know what I read, I didn't really enjoy the writing style, and yet I still kind of liked it. Maybe I just like saying "Moon Bog" in my head. Who doesn't?

I started reading the new Padgett Powell book You & Me and oh wow, oh my. That guy is doing some high trapeze art with plain old language. It might a homespun reduction of Waiting for Godot that is then built back up in to a high art that re-crumbles during its ascension to Higher Thought. It might be the rambling of idiots. It might be the earth whispering its secrets in the form of a joke. I'm not sure what it is but oh. It's good.

I don't know if I'm going to make Padgett Powell's noon reading at the Southern Festival of Books on Friday unless I drive into a time-space anomaly somewhere around Jackson, MS. I'm not saying Jackson doesn't have one; I believe to the contrary. It's just unlikely I'll drive trough it while navigating the twistiness of I-55.

My panel discussion with Ben Sandmel is:
Saturday, October 13
3:00-4:00 pm, Nashville Public Library, Special Collections Room
Me-Oh My-Oh From K-Doe to Bayou: People and Place in Louisiana Music
Alex Cook, Ben Sandmel
Y'all come!
from the break room yesterday

Monday, October 8, 2012

thirteen hundred fifty-two guitar pickers in Nashville

Such a pretty poster. I've been remiss in my blog-bligation due to work and more work and then getting ready for my trip to Nashville for the Southern Festival of Books. My panel with Hackberry Rambler Ben Sandmel - author of Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of the Universe - is on Saturday Oct. 13 at 3:00 p.m. with a signing shortly after.

I'm hoping to get in some pancakes and hot chicken but otherwise my low budget docket is wide open. I'd like to go browse records with fellow author/presenter Damien Echols at Jack White's record store, if his publicity people are listening.

The deets follow:
Alex Cook
is an author and journalist living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is the author of two books and is working on a third on south Louisiana restaurants, forthcoming in 2014. He is a member of the faculty of the Manship School of Mass Communications at Louisiana State University. Saturday, October 133:00-4:00 pm, Nashville Public Library, Special Collections RoomMe-Oh My-Oh From K-Doe to Bayou: People and Place in Louisiana MusicAlex Cook, Ben Sandmel3:00-4:00 pm, Nashville Public Library, Special Collections Room
Me-Oh My-Oh From K-Doe to Bayou: People and Place in Louisiana MusicAlex Cook, Ben Sandmel
Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky Tonks and Dance Halls

I hated this song when I was a kid. It was everywhere.

Lovin' Spoonful, "Nashville Cats"

But I like it now. I like songs that lay out the numbers  - the thirteen hundred fifty-two guitar pickers in Nashville  - and how he says "I sure am glad I got to say a word about the music and mothers of Nashville." It's a nice thing to put in a hit song.

Everything by No Age on Spotify
Almost everything by Guns N' Roses on Spotify

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, The Mindeater EP
Vijay Iyer, Reimagining

is a blank spot. Not even Facebook knows what I did.

New Order, Low-Life
Everything by Lightnin' Slim on Spotify
Lonesome Sundown, Excello Recordings

Christian Scott, Christian aTunde Adjuah

Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! (via the Guardian)
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Murder Ballads

Monday, October 1, 2012

posting pictures of your meals is not journalism

The post-symposium hamburger I had at the French Quarter outpost of the Camellia Grill after the symposium. It holds true to that which makes the hamburger at the Riverbend location so special.

The Oxford American Journalism Symposium in New Orleans

The Cramps, Off the Bone
Leaving Trains, Emotional Legs
The Woggles, Teen Dance Party and Soul Sizzling 7" Meltdown

Various Artists, A Perfumed Garden Vol.1 
Lord Huron, Lonesome Dreams (streaming now at NPR)

"Posting pictures of your meals is not journalism" is one of the points I got from the panel discussions at The Oxford American Symposium on Journalism in New Orleans on Friday. There were a lot of other great points made. The symposium had an unfortunate synchrony with the end of the Times-Picayune's run as a daily - it starts this week as a three-day-a-week paper -  so there was an understandable amount of heat on the subject, but I wanted some cooking up of ideas to utilize that heat.

There were more thoughts on the symposium and the newspaper business and teaching journalism abrew in this post, but I decided to work on articles instead of talking about working on articles. Like the one for the aforementioned sponsors of the aforementioned symposium, being it was past deadline.

I also managed to get in a couple of good meals on Friday.

I did my best to blur out the innocent in this photo of the orange freeze at Camellia Grill, but really, it is like trying to get a shot of the Tower of Pisa without someone trying to hold it up. All apologies if I accidentally revealed you enjoying a hamburger.

Speaking of journalism, in the new issue of OffBeat I have a loving review of the Au Ras Au Ras album, and a less gushy take on the Johnny Angel album.

In Country Roads, I detail my weekend at the deluxe cabins at Chicot State Park, help make some fancy donuts at Tiger Deaux-Nuts and try to find the right metaphor for shutters at Lafayette's alternative venue The Feed and Seed. I really like whatever this is that I do.

The pre-symposium Breaux Bridge Benedict at Stanley. It is as monumental  a breakfast as it appears. That's a boudin patty up in there if your were wondering.

And hey! I noticed during the symposium that this little blog crossed the 200,000 page views mark. You should take me to lunch to celebrate! I'll post pictures!