2004 Paul Westerberg Interview / Finally Here Once Silences the Van

Paul Westerberg Interview 2004

Paul Westerberg has always been one of my favorite songwriters.  One thing that often gets lost in the mainstream press, who are much more content telling Replacements drinking stories, is how great of a melody writer he is.  In fact I would put him up as one of America’s greatest melody writers since the beginning of rock n roll.  I mean other than someone like Brian Wilson, there aren’t many people that have written as many great melodies as he has.  But unlike a lot of people that can write great melodies, his songs also often have a grittiness to them.  His songs aren’t antiseptic sounding, nor overly sweet.  It is that contrast that makes him stand out.  You often get one or the other, but rarely both.  His songs feel lived in and true, while at the same time being highly memorable.  Even his more polished major label recordings have Kenny Jones (Faces) like drums on them and Westerberg’s rumpled sandpaper vocals.

I remember one time in the Shinyribs van I put the above song on, Finally Here Once, and about 10 seconds into the song the van went completely silent.  Afterwards everyone remarked on what a great song it was.  It’s an extremely lo-fi recording, so people weren’t getting off on some kind of sonic deal.  It’s just great writing.

Anyway, I saw that his website put the above 2004 interview on it, which I had read at the time, but found interesting going back to.

A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop

The new Neil Young + Promise of the Real album, The Monsanto Years, is out now.  This is a protest album Neil recorded with Willie Nelson’s sons, among others.  I haven’t heard the album yet, so I can’t comment on it.  Neil’s Living With War is one of my favorite political albums of all time.  I like political music in general.  Even if I don’t agree with every point an artist makes, I like when people aren’t afraid to go out on a limb.  There is some good fun to be had out there!

Obama to Unveil Plan to Extend Overtime Pay to 5 Million

Obama to Unveil Plan to Bring Overtime Pay to 5 Million

Another interesting article, this time a headline over at Huffpo.  If you look at the widening wage gap between owners and workers, especially if you look at it over the course of history in the last hundred years, you will see that things have gotten completely out of whack.  Don’t take my word for it, do the research.  This looks to be a way that Obama is looking to help lessen the outrageous disparity that has arisen in this country between rich and poor.

Playing ‘She’s About A Mover’ With Shawn Sahm

Here is the Shinyribs band playing the Sir Douglas Quintet’s She’s About A Mover with Doug Sahm’s son Shawn Sahm.  Cheryl Sahm posted this on Facebook earlier today and it was actually the first time I have seen the footage.  It was a great night of fun.  Just thought I’d share it with all of you.

How to Deal With a Bully True Detective Style

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHOGs5x90PU

My brother showed this to me today.  It is a series of scenes from HBO’s Season 2 of True Detective.  We laughed liked hyenas for the entire five minutes.  Jet fucking black.  I loved the fist season and this clip makes me want to see the second season like yesterday.  It is an understatement to say there some really great lines.  I’ve always liked Colin Farrell’s work, but he is entering a new land of sweetness here.

Devil’s Angels

Danzig Talks Covers Record

In the above Rolling Stone article Glenn Danzig announces that his long awaited covers album will be coming out in late July/early August.  The album will be called Skeletons.  I have been waiting for this to come out ever since I heard the above song Devil’s Angels, which sounds as much like a Misfits song as anything he has released since being in that band.

My Voting System

There is a meme going around on Facebook right now where Texas Governor Greg Abbot is quoted:

“Marriage is defined by God, no man can redefine it.”

Then it shows the three women Supreme Court Judges and below their picture it says: I Am No Man.

I loved it.  I wrote below it on my Facebook page:

I couldn’t help post this. It made me laugh thinking how certain heads would explode. As a straight white male maybe you think I shouldn’t be laughing. But after centuries of war, environmental destruction, and economic injustice (just for starters!), I figure it’s time to let some other people drive. We have three women on the Supreme Court and a black president and we got affordable healthcare and tolerance that just a few years ago seemed a dream.

I don’t usually like to post those memes on Facebook, but sometimes you have to break your own rules.  But anyway, it made me think of my voting system that I use if I am not sure of who to vote for.  Let’s just be honest, sometimes you go to the polls in those off years and you just don’t know all the races.  So you have to have a system.  So here is mine (I will explain after):

1.  If there are different parties I select the most liberal party.

2.  If there are not different parties I will vote for a woman over a man.

3.  If the candidates are all one sex, then I try to see if one of the candidates has a name that looks like a minority name.  If so I vote for the minority.

4.  If the only name present is a white Republican male, then I write in a candidate.

5.  If there is no one that I can think of that is breathing to hold an office other than a white Republican male, I then write in a fictional character.

Basically, in my opinion, George W. Bush doomed white Republican males until the end of time.  The Republican party, which was the party of my grandfather, and used to feature sensible moderates at times, spent the years between Reagan and W. driving all moderates out of positions of power in the party.  (I know many of you are still out there in the wilderness.  Stay strong!)  Somehow this thinning of the moderate heard reached light speed under George W.  Now that party’s leadership seems to be left without any candidates that aren’t anti-science, religious freak, free market fundamentalists.

It’s not that I think that all liberals, women, and minorities are great.  Not by a long shot.  It’s only that I am willing to bet they will be better than the WRM alternative.

In life the driving forces should be love, tolerance, and peace.  I don’t mean that in the kind of utopian sense than many on the right would call, “hippie bullshit.”  I just mean that we should strive to be tolerant of those individuals who are born differently from us and that as a society we should only use violence as a last resort.  As much as I would like to believe otherwise, if you put Hitler at one end of the human spectrum and Martin Luther King Jr. at the other, I would probably be somewhere in the middle.  But I’m trying.  It’s striving to be loving, tolerant, and peaceful that is important.  Many of us will trip along the way, but we must get up and try harder.

I feel like more often than not, those that have struggled have more empathy for other people that are struggling.  Unfortunately, right now, in our society, on average, women and minorities have more roadblocks in their path than white men do, despite whatever bullshit Fox News tries to sell you.  (You will see all kinds of “traditional values under attack” over at Fox News after the gay marriage vote.  Fox News viewers will be made to feel like victims, again.  Please, gay people are just being allowed to marry someone they love, not being given free mansions.)  There is no promise that any kind of person is going to be loving, tolerant, or kind, but again, I’m playing the odds at the voting booth on occasion.  If you’ve been shit on by the system, the odds are you are going to extend a hand to others that have faced similar problems.  And that’s what this whole life thing is about, making sure that as many of our brothers and sisters get a fair shake as possible.

Now granted, occasionally my system could vote in Clarence Thomas in a whig, but whoever said life was without its risks?

Hard Way By The Sir Douglas Band

I have been breaking out the Doug Sahm lately.  Anyone in Austin needs no introduction to Doug Sahm.  However, if you aren’t aware of him, he is a true American original.  In my mind no one sounds like Austin as much as he does.  Although he is part of Austin’s musical legacy, I really feel like he represents the mythical Austin, the place where the cowboys and hippies got along, the place people imagine Austin to be even if modernity is turning it into a far more urban place.  I’m not saying that Austin no longer exists, just that you have to look much harder to find it.  He combines different genres in a way that is unique, that no one else has quite done in the same way.  Rock, blues, country, Mexican music, and more rub up against one another.  One of my favorite songs of his is the above song Hard Way.  It’s from The Sir Douglas Band album Texas Tornado.  Listen to the funky groove, the Tex-Mex horns, and the way the song elevates into a big chorus with a truly sweet harmony.

80 Best Books Of All Time

80 Best Books Of All Time

Above is an Esquire list of the best 80 books of all time.  It is highly questionable, not only for its choices, but because it says specifically that every “man” should read.  To be fair it does claim that it is totally biased.  But I thought I’d post it anyway as anything that can jog the memory or possibly direct you towards a new book is a good thing.  I’ve only read 9 on the list.  (And yes, I am totally the asshole that counted.  At least I’m honest.)