Saturday, July 29, 2006

Go on with the chlorophyll!!!!

• I’ve been writing drill and watching (well, listening to the television broadcast of) the Braves at the same time. Chip C@ray has got to stop referring to a ball hit off of the inner part of the bat as being “fisted.” It just has to stop.

• I am worried that I will either piss someone off or make several people feel ignorant by pointing this out, but I just have to say it because Chip made me think of it. I’m certainly no where near purfect when it comes to spelling, grammar, and proper use of phrases. But this one is bugging the living shit out of me, and several people in many different media and formats misuse this phrase.
The phrase “begs the question” really doesn’t mean “brings about the question.” Unfortunately, it’s been so misused that it has almost become acceptable. The original meaning is much cooler.

Sorry if I sound like a snob. It just really gets on my nerves, which shouldn’t necessarily compel anyone to stop using it that way if they want.

• I have recently been realizing (or thinking that I am realizing) how incredibly short life is.* I don’t know why, it’s just been on my mind. It’s not really depressing or anything, but it does sort of reinforce the idea of one’s own insignificance. In a way, I guess that’s sort of freeing, much like the way Gunner and Trey once reminded me of how much bigger the world is than I thought it was at the time. Not trying to be profound, it's just what I'm thinking about.

By the way, I have mentioned before how some certain types of commercial music freak me out. And I now realize that's what it is. I don't know why it has the effect it has, but that music makes me think "Wow, life is short."

I don't expect anyone to get that. It makes absolutely no sense.

• Maybe it’s part of the same thing, but I’ve also been thinking about some of the really crazy or stupid things that I’ve done in my past. I think about them from the perspective of now and it feels like I would be incapable of doing things that are that misguided again. But I would imagine that that’s not true.

I guess my point is that it can be interesting to look back at a younger version of yourself and perhaps realize that the only thing you have in common with that person is DNA. I seem to feel that way about who I was as recently as seven months ago.

• I’m heading to Georgia then South Carolina to teach a show. And I’m hoping for a gin and tonic and a game of poker on the way.

P.S. - By the way, if:

1.You've never been unfortunate enough to hear me explain why time seems to move faster as you get older...
2. You haven't figured it out on your own, and
3. You have enough free space in your brain to care and want to know...

...then email me. I'm not putting everyone through it again, but for some reason I like to talk about it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"Sometimes you've gotta throw your hands into the aiiiiirrrrrrrr......."

The first five-expletiving-million times I saw/heard this, I was quite certain that it was a sign of the Apocalypse. It was just too weird, too repetitive... just kinda had that "Yup, must be the End of Days" sorta feeling. When I thought things were going well with Bowling Green, it further alarmed me that we were in for it. Once she called things off and I realized that this apparently wasn't real, I realized that the world wasn't ending after all.

So don't worry about this Lebanon-Israeli conflict, at least in terms of the likelihood of its leading to the destruction of Earth. Everything seems normal.

But if the commercial intrigues you, you can read some commentary about it here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It is a little bit surreal that this is here. If you don't know, this was the first CD project that I ever edited by myself (well, with the exception of one track). It took me two summers and I am pretty proud of it, even though the only way you would know I had anything to do would be for me to tell you. I did it, and I have the liquor store receipts to prove it.

Edit: I have changed some of the above language to avoid... well, I just changed it. - B

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I think this is one of the best statements about the Dixie Chicks situation that I have ever seen. I don't perceive that it leans one way or the other, and I think it captures the essence of why this situation sucks:

Though the politically minded lines drew the strongest applause, the Chicks' finest moments in Detroit came when Maines and her cohorts allowed fragility to creep into the equation. Another Griffin tune, "Top of the World," proved a heartbreaker, with Maines' voice conveying significant depth of emotion as she sang, "There's a whole lot of singing never gonna be heard/ Disappearing every day without so much as a word."

And that, in a nutshell, is the tragedy of the Dixie Chicks. Maines' sings her behind off, Maguire is a tremendous vocalist and instrumentalist and Robison's instrumental prowess and harmony vocals provide the pillow on which everything else rests. The new band of supporting musicians is a remarkable unit, full of stomp and swagger and twang. And yet the Dixie Chicks have become a nonentity, a target or a thorn to those who disagree with their politics.

In Detroit, the politics fell away and the songs reigned supreme. And during the show, it felt just like great music. And after the show, when the questions and context returned, it felt like a shame. There's a whole lot of singing here that should be heard. They heard it in Detroit, and they cheered wildly. In Nashville, we're still shouting too loudly to listen. - Peter Cooper, The Tennesseean - July 22, 2006

Friday, July 21, 2006

"While the music played you worked by candlelight"

The power is out at my home, and I have two immediate needs:

1. Internet.

Internets in the Explorer

Thusly I am sitting for a moment in my Explorer stealing internet from a local hotel. I will have to quit shortly, as I have to write drill tonight and I have four hours of power left on this thing. There is not a lot of hope that the power will be on any time soon.

2. Food. That's next.

I am alarmed at how unprepared I am for something as simple as a power outage of a few hours. I should fix this.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

She didn't remember him

Two things:

1. As promised, the best interpretation of the second song from my post of two days ago is in the title of this entry. The answer to the first was "You're never going to tamper with me." The answer to the second was that she did not remember her husband. When he was wheeled into her room, she thought she was meeting the love of her life for the first time. Agree? Disagree?

It's nice to think that things like that might actually happen. I don't think they do, but it's nice to think they do.

2. I'm well into drill hell. I am bad enough at this part of the gig and hate it badly enough that I will not write again after this year if I don't have to.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Remember last year when these people won three national titles? I just got a phone call and they just repeated the first of those three.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

1) Update and 2) Something that involves your time and thought

This is the update portion. You should be able to read and fully comprehend in 1-2 minutes.

I was going to write this really big to-do celebrating the fact that I have lived here for one year (which is 364.5 days longer than G@rth Br00ks lasted the first time he moved to town… and no, I’m not kidding). I’m just getting tired of some of my attempts to be profound or pat myself on the back. I don’t know. Maybe I’m getting tired of blogging, maybe I’ve become cynical. Whatever.

The bottom line is I can now find my way to the movie theater without getting lost. I know the back way to the row. When someone says “The Gu1ch” I know where they’re talking about. Yeah, I’ve stuck it out and that’s fine and good. There’s more to life than just showing up, so that’s all I have to say about the subject.

Last night’s, um, show was fine. There was almost no one there, I sounded like I hadn’t played a live show in two years, and everyone was very supportive. It was a really good way to eek may way back into playing out, and I will do it a few more times before I start trying to make a move to anything more involved.

This is the more involved part. You will need 5-15 minutes to really get the benefit of this portion of the entry.

I have suspected something about myself for some time, begun to confirm it recently, and solidified my knowledge last night (at the show and at a workshop I attended right before the show). It is yet another component of what I might call being “slow”… not so much as a euphemism for being mentally or developmentally disabled (though I suppose there is room for debate in that regard), but more in the sense of being “methodical” or “not quick to judge.”

I have long said of myself that I am a person of “horrible initiative and tremendous endurance.” I actually made that up one day to shut Dwight up as he was trying to describe me to me. I’m sure there was some type of whiskey or wine involved in that conversation and that self-description. Nevertheless, I have thought it appropriate since that time. Besides being somewhat accurate, it often calms me down when I realize that a tremendous amount of the citizens of the world jump blindly into situations as I stand at the top of the cliff with my saliva-covered finger in the air, trying to feel which side gets cold.

So, I was listening to songs at a workshop, and the person doing critiques was saying very positive things about the songs he heard. Sometimes, he was going further than simply saying nice things, he was doing something about his opinion that meant he really did feel positively about the song at hand, er, ear. Almost the whole time, I was thinking, “Man, I just don’t hear it. I just don’t.”

Later, I heard a song at the show – a cover of a song from my childhood that has recently been used as music for a commercial. I had recently been drawn to it a little bit, but hearing it live after some twenty-ish years really attracted me to it. It was just one line of lyric and one little continuation of melody at the end of every chorus. It just struck me as brilliant, and it took me this long to figure it out. I realize the song may seem hokey to some, and that’s fine… but I know no one who could have written a line as strong as “Whatever we deny 0r embrace” and thereby have put “being meant for someone" in a completely new context - a context that doesn’t involve the word “perfect.”

There are two others that come to mind, and I’m going to leave them out there for you. These are classic songs, but I suspect that most won't know them. This isn’t a test, it’s just a method of sharing my initial learning of and companion bewilderment with the true meaning or best interpretation of these gems. You may think I'm an idiot for not getting these immediately, or you may realize something very cool.

I'm not being a comment whore. If you don't want to participate or think it's silly, don't. If you do, and wish to express your amazement or state of not being whelmed, then that's great too.


So here you go. The first is intensely silly, and to get it you must read the lyrics and pronounce the title line very very loosely. It took me twenty years of listening to this song to get that. I suspect that I just wasn't paying attention. If you want, you can comment with the intended hearing of the title (but see below, please) if you are faster than I am (was) and get it.

The second is one of the best pure love songs I have ever known. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize the most amazing (and probably intended) interpretation of the final verse until I was thinking about the song in the shower today. Look at it, think ever so slightly outside “the moment” in the third verse, and see if you come up with it. If you realize how amazing the answer is, you will know that you have realized it – you should choke (please don’t comment with it, but if you want to say that you think you get it, that's fine). I will title my next entry with what I think it is.

Monday, July 17, 2006

For the 500th time, Tech, stop F*&ing whining

If you read the article on Tech in this morning's AJC, read what I wrote.

What will they cry about next?

PS - Kit, did you ever get that whiskey out of your hair from 2003?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I have thirty things on my mind, and unfortunately I don't have the time tonight to sit, think, and write with any degree of eloquence. So I will just put a bug in your collective ear (a phrase which reminds me of that weird earwig thing in one of the Star Trek films.... uggghhh) and write in more detail later.

- I spent a good chunk of the weekend in Atlanta and Athens to say bye to Gunner and to attend a wedding. There were many moments of pure bliss and at least one moment of pure stupidity. That moment was totally my fault, and I'm so embarassed by it that I won't even put it in the blog. Those who know know, but we haven't discussed it.

- Apparently I now like Gin and Tonic.

- Remember like two weeks ago when I said that I was almost finished working? Not so. I'm behind.

- I moved to Nashville one year ago today. I have much more to say about this, but it will simply have to wait. Oddly, I play my first show in Nashville since I moved on Monday night... on my 366th day in town.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


For better or worse, you probably have to be a music nerd like me to appreciate this video, which really shouldn't even be a video. If you're interested in the origins of one of the rhythmic patterns that is ridiculously prevalent in modern music and advertising, this is worth 15 minutes of your free time. It's a bit dry, and I don't agree with the conclusions that the narrater makes.

Nevertheless, it's very interesting. What caused me to post this was hearing the break on a commercial for this product.

Pictures and words combined

This is a photo-driven post, which means that whatever photos I have taken will determine what I will write about. Alright, here we go. Here comes photo #1.

Flock de la Seagulls

I would black out this person’s face, but I don’t have the software necessary to do that. This was taken at the local dive right down the street from where I live. I usually visit there every Sunday night, and for two weeks running now, I have visited and not smoked!

Anyway, this poor fella has the worst case of Fl0ck of Se@gulls hair I have ever seen, and it just makes me laugh. You can't quite tell from the photo, but trust me. It's bad.

Ok, here comes #2.

A for presentation

This was my breakfast this morning, and it was about as pretty as anything I have ever put on a plate. So I gave it a B+ for presentation, took a picture of it, then ate it.

Ok…. gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, number three.

The Dan and Michael McD

Do you know what that is? It’s a stage. There are people playing instruments and singing music on that stage. And three of them are Stee|y Dan (well, which is two guys… I mean basically) and Michael McD0nald. The person taking the picture was me.

If you do the math correctly, you will reason that I was at the concert, and you will reason rightly. It was fantastic.

This is Walt. You may know that he is the sax0phonist for SD. I think when he’s playing (as you may note that he is in this picture) that he looks like me when I’m playing.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Ch... ch... changes. Time to change the oil.

1. I thought I would try linking to a song of mine. So if you haven't heard the song whose name rhymes with "Schmaltzing with Farrah" then here you go. Enjoy. I would love to link more tunes, but registering copyrights costs money, so it will be a while.

2. You will notice to your right (you guessed it... my left), I have changed the format of my links. Rather than letting you sift through the never updated and the oft updated blogs, I have recommended an interval for your perusal based on the consistency of the blogger's posting habits. If you feel you have been unfairly categorized, I will hear your appeal (with my back turned and my nose in the air, but I will hear it). Email me.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Yay Gunner!!!! If he were a fisherman's assistant, then this morning he would have been named "Master Baiter." He is not a fisherman's assistant, so you can just call him... um, well, go ahead and call him "Master Baiter." He'll like that. Marines like that sort of thing.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Gracelessness Pays Off

Before posting this, I would reference my previously stated disgust for some of my blogging tendencies. I have really gotten tired of writing (and later reading) how freaking wonderful or completely shitty everything is. So. Know that this is just an account of a night that I found particularly enriching. Every time in this post that I feel like I am starting to get romantic about my chosen field or sense a threat to end the entry like a Dave Barry column, I throw up in my mouth a little. Sorry for what sounds like self-loathing... It's just a mood.

I’m saving a lot of my thoughts for a post that I will write in a couple of weeks. But I would be feigning a nonchalant mood if I said that things were normal tonight.

As you probably know, in the days A.B. (“After Bowling Green”) I kinda got off of my ass and jumped back into the real reason I was in Nashville. As I was planning this jump, I remembered very clearly something that my former next door neighbor told me after she had gotten out of the middle of a rather rough patch, during which she was pretty much alone all the time. In explaining how she had gotten into some social circumstances that I thought were unusual, she said “I started to realize that, when someone reaches a hand toward you, you had better take it… it probably won’t be there again.”

Among the hands that have recently been extended to me was an invitation to what amounts to a very well-organized pickin’ party. It’s not just a bunch of people sitting around with guitars. It has hosts, guest artists, food, a method of bringing non-featured guests into the show, etc. The invitation went out by email to a list of people who attend a couple’s local weekly song workshop… It wasn’t like someone thought, “Brett would enjoy this.” I just happened to be on the list because I go to the workshop sometimes. I was taking a liberal approach to what an invitation was or was not, and I knew a couple of the featured guests, so I decided that that was as much of an extended hand as I could expect here.”

There are so many things I hate about first time social occasions… the look you get from people when you walk through the door that says, “Who’s the shy-looking bald guy with the fake smile?" The obvious moments of awkwardness when there really is nothing to say after the pleasantries are over just kills me. Not knowing who lives there… forgetting names you just learned… having to ask where the restroom is… those consistent worries about the politics of who sits in the chairs when there aren’t enough, leaning against walls, and whether or not this particular home is relaxed enough to accept the rather unsanitary act of manually grabbing cashews from the bowl. All of those things have always been pure misery for me, and I was dreading them all day long. But I made myself go down there, bitching all the way.

And my fears were, of course, justified (as they usually are… they’re just stupid things to worry about). But at some point, as the picks came out and the results of a few momentary occasions of brilliance were passed on to new sets of ears, it became worth it. The forcing oneself into a closed circle of conversation, the small talk, the moments of unintentional silence, the exit during which you strangely learn that you are now a “hugging friend” in spite of your double clutch as the other party reaches toward you, the nerves that caused you to spill peanuts onto the hosts’ floor in mid-conversation and the embarrassment of sticking your ass in the air in attempt to make sure you got all of them… they became worth it.

For the record, I heard two songs tonight that I had first heard either on my tv or my radio, and I didn’t realize that I knew the writers. I heard one of the coolest elderly voices I have ever heard (think J. Cash). I heard hooks, grooves, chords, melodies, and tongues planted firmly in cheeks. Those things made the trip worth the complications.

When I realized the benefits of the situation, I was finally at home enough that I decided that I will probably put up with circumstances of a similar level of gracelessness again in the near future. And perhaps next time, I will be contributing not only to the awkwardness, but also to the payoff.

If you had told me four years ago that I would put myself through (what to me is) hell in order to get done what I want to get done, I would have called you a fool and I would have been right. I give myself just a little bit of credit for walking into cold situations and repeating it until the people in the circle have no choice but to remember my name. I think it's the only way to do it.

But boy, sometimes it would sure seem nice if the room were as easy as the rooms where I find most of you.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Lots on the mind, but not much that's coming out. So here:

• The North Koreans have a missile called a....... wait for it.... "Nodong" (*rolls on floor, laughing ass off, nose between ring and middle fingers a la AHayes*).

• It's amazing to me that there are still non-Depp pirates in the world.

Monday, July 03, 2006

... no nicotine since friday am.... grass is always greener.... first trip to bar since then was tonight.... Ginger from Gilligan's Island in present day post-menopausal condition looking good.... going to go walk this off.... wish luck.... no, really....

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The answer to the Br0ken S0cial Scene question was "Fire Eye'd B0y." It is pasted below if you want to see what I was all hot and bothered about.

Sure enough, Brett finds out what this tune is... and there goes another damn dollar to Apple.

Superman Returns

I saw saw Superman Returns tonight, and I was somewhat whelmed. Rather than boring you with text about the film, I will instead bore you with a best and worst list about the film.


1. Used the original John Williams theme music.
2. Routh's delivery of the line "Good night, Lois," is a dead ringer for Reeve.
3. Kevin Spacey.
4. The space shuttle scene - probably the coolest thing in the film, and it's unfortunate that this happened so near the beginning.


1. While I appreciate that director Singer was nodding to the original two films and the older character, I could do without the kitchsy "It's a bird, it's a plane bit." It sounded a bit like those people you know who want to sound spontaneaous, but deliver their one-liners with a little too much polish and just enough rush to sound not rehearsed.
2. Same thing but more serious... again, thanks for the nod to the original everytime it happened. But oh my God, "Truth, justice, and all that stuff?" Really? Leave it out altogether if you don't want to use the word... ya know, that word. But don't change Superman.

[Ed: Here is a letter I just wrote to the screenwriters of Superman Returns.]

Dear Screenwriters of Superman Returns,

Blow it out your ass.

Best wishes,


3. How completely obvious the twist was before the movie was ten minutes old.
4. No Richard Pryor (That's a joke...).

My opinion: Probably worth seeing at the theater if you loved the original two like I did. Make it a matinee.