Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

I've lost a lot of friends this year. But I have gained some wonderful new ones as well. For all you who've stuck around, and even for those who haven't, have a nice and safe evening. I love you all. And thank you for reading.

Time to take more Tylenol 3 and head back to bed.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sick For Toys, Pt. Deux

I have strep throat. Haven't left my bed since Wednesday.

Would someone kindly go to the comic book store for me, please? I am desperately out of reading material.


Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy Birthday, Baby

Thank you for standing beside me as always. You are the most precious thing in my life. I promise one day I will make it all up to you.

Your Melpster

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sick For Toys

I am in bed. Sick. With a sore throat and a cold.

Well actually I'm not in bed anymore. I'm sitting here. At the computer. Feeling like doody. I ate too much ice cream, but it's the only thing that takes the burn out of my throat. Chloraseptic makes me nauseous.

So I called out sick and stayed in bed. And read. This:

This is the revised and expanded version that came out recently with a few new tweaks to it from the original edition that came out last year, so I'm kind of glad that I got it now as opposed to then, when I was really eager to read it. I mean I am still eager to read it. That is, I'm really enjoying it. Oh hell, what am I saying. Sorry, I just slipped out of a 4-hour Nyquil-induced coma this afternoon. Reality is a tad fractured at the moment. What was I doing again? Oh, right...

I started feeling lame last night during my pre-birthday dinner with Joe at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, which I took him to since neither of us will have time to be together much on his actually birthday this Friday. But the food was good either way. And I gave him the first of his several presents coming to him:

The new Edgar G. Ulmer box set that just came out recently, which he's been eager to see but not wanting to shell out the $30 clams for himself (that's what girlfriends are for). Joe has been extremely hardcore into film noir lately, and at this point I think he's probably seen them all if that's even possible. Well, not Ulmer's work. Not until recently, since a lot of it hasn't been available since now.

Also got a package from Amazon today with one of several items I ordered coming at me in little chunkettes, including this CD:

And no, as low as my standard already were, watching Snakes On A Plane right now on my new HDTV didn't take my mind off of my sore throat like I thought it would. Not that the HDTV had anything to do with the quality of the film, to say the least. All I gotta say is that the animation in Finding Nemo sure looked a lot prettier by comparison.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Don't Ask Me I'm Just A Girl

First 20 tracks on my iTunes shuffle while waiting for Mike to come over and help us put together my new 32" HDTV (which already looks far too big for my living room TV cabinet)...

1. "You're My Drug" - Dukes Of Stratosphear
2. "Pablo's Cruise" - The Avalanches
3. "Ooh La La" - Goldfrapp
4. "Moby-Dik" - Ciccone Youth
5. "Can't Hardly Wait" - The Replacements
6. "Maybe Someday (Acoustic Mix)" - The Cure
7. "Veterans Day Poppy" - Captain Beefheart
8. "Talkin' Dust Bowl Blues" - Woody Guthrie
9. "Midnight In A Perfect World" - DJ Shadow
10. "Hey! Luciani" - The Fall
11. "Nocturne (Dan The Automator Remix)" - Medeski, Martin & Wood
12. "Wot?" - Captain Sensible
13. "Time To Make A Change" - Goldie Lookin' Chain"
14. "Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles" - Captain Beefheart
15. "Keeping It Together" - Katy Rose
16. "Jimmy" - Hollowbodies
17. "Sleep Around" - Prince
18. "I Think We're Alone Now" - Lene Lovich
19. "Dancing In The Moonlight" - Thin Lizzy
20. "Liontamer" - Faithless

Sleep In Heavenly Peace

James Brown

Anybody who can claim to know me well can tell you that funk music courses through my veins and pretty much keeps me upright and mobile throughout my waking days. So there is nothing I can say to accurately capsulate my feels on the loss of someone who made such an impact on my musical life.

My early teens first hearing "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine, Pt.1" and "Get Up Offa That Thang", his minimalist funk style unlike anything I had ever heard. Memories of Christmas 1987 being home from college and dancing for hours in the glow of my parents' Christmas tree to "Think" and trying to do the splits just like James did. How for awhile in 1990 I didn't let a single day go by without blasting "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag", which even as a diehard P-Funk fan I had still never heard anything so earth-skaking funky in my whole life. I saw James live in 1993, and of course by then he was an old man and couldn't quite bring the energy that once fueled the performances of his youth. But I remember sitting behind an older man who spent the entire concert on his feet, flailing his arms arms and screaming "PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!" until I thought he was going to pass out right in front of me. The influence he had on others of many generations was palpable in that venue that night.

I hope you finally find some peace.


Your Funk Soul Sister

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Sun 24: 11-7:30
Wed 27: 10-6:30
Thur 28: 3-cl
Fri 29: 10-6
Sat 30: 12-7:30

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I'm Never Leaving The House Again

What is it with today? Today, of all days, that has made it a muthah of a madhouse out there on the streets? Nearly 45 minutes sitting in traffic to get to my store when it would normally take 15. Had to park in the back of the building because the parking lot was jammed, at noon on a Friday. Walked next door to Barnes & Noble because my mother wants a copy of Michael Isikoff's Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War for Christmas and the line for the cash registers was backed up almost all the way back to the children's book area, which is basically the back of the store. Poor Nicky up at the front behind the registers in her festive reindeer antler headband shot me a look of what-fresh-hell-is-this and I felt instantly sorry for her. No matter how busy it gets in my own store, I will never regret working the floor as opposed to manning the cash registers. Times like these are when my extensive knowledge of useless music trivia pays off. Hmph. Some payoff.

Attempted to make a trek to Lynnhaven Mall but traffic there was backed up for miles going toward... and miles coming back. If traffic going to the mall was that ugly getting there then I can only image what the parking lot must be like, so I turned the car around and limped back home. I may try B&N later tonight and hopefully things will have calmed a bit by then. But Anita emailed me today and said that traffic was just as bad going to Wal-Mart way out in Franklin today. And I called my father who told me it took him over an hour to get home from work because the interstate was backed up for miles.

So is this all last minute shopping panic? People trying to get the hell out of town for the weekend? A little of Column A and a little of Column B?

I admit, I'm panicking too. Last minute shopping panic, and wishing I could get the hell outta town panic.

Erinita, honey. I'm guessing you didn't get your flight out of Denver the other day. Let me know if you make it into town. Drop by and see me at the store this weekend. You know me. I'll be there. I'm always there.

Anybody else going out of town? Hitting stores at the last minute? AM I THE ONLY LOSER OUTTA ALL YOU MUGS??

Sunday, December 17, 2006

This One's For Massenet

I've never embedded a youtube clip on my blog before, so I thought I'd test it out and see what happens.

This is one of my all-time favorite music videos. As simplistic and minimalistic as the song itself. It makes me feel good just knowing that it's out there.

Anybody got something similar out there that gives them the same kind of feeling?

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Mon 18: 2-cl
Tue 19: 9-5
Wed 20: 9-5
Thur 2-cl
Sat 23: 9-6:30

Friday, December 15, 2006

I Need A Distraction

New DVD release weekend, as per usual. Saw Little Miss Sunshine, which I liked. And My Super Ex-Girlfriend, which I didn't so much. Slept through Invincible, which I thought I would.

My tooth really, really hurts tonight.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cowboy, Baby

According to the latest newsletter from The Cold website Vance has re-joined Cowboy Mouth. But what I ask now is that is this a permanent situation, or just for this latest tour, like he joined them back around the late 90's during their H.O.R.D.E Tour and Mercyland promotional tour? The posting at Vance's website says that Paul Sanchez has left the band and the other guys asked Vance to step in and play rhythm guitar on this current tour which will continue on up through February. If Paul has left then does that make Vance their new permanent rhythm thing? And what of The Famous Pies? And am I the only one that gives a vague hoot about all this? Heck, I think I'm less shocked about Vance joining the band than I am about Paul actually leaving it.

Here's a copy of the newsletter, combined with current list of east coast tour dates:


Vance Degeneres has officially joined Cowboy Mouth. Vance has
played guitar with CM at different times over the last 10 years and
will start with the band on the next shows in Kansas City and
Council Bluffs.

Here is some concert information. .. (thanks to Fred Leblanc for

Starting January 17, Cowboy Mouth is on tour to celebrate Mardi Gras
with Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk as our opening band. We'll be
bringing Mardi Gras and our favorite Mardi Gras music on our most
extensive tour in years. Most of these dates are confirmed (although
the west coast dates are not.) Watch our website for more details
and email us at band@cowboymouth. com with any questions.

Thu, Dec 21, 2006 - Kansas City, MO
Harrah's - Voodoo w/ Underhoss

Fri, Dec 22, 2006 - Council Bluffs, IA
Harrah's - Whiskey Roadhouse

Wed, Dec 27, 2006 - New Orleans, LA
HOB w/ Bonerama & Beatin Path

Thu, Dec 28, 2006 - Greenville, SC
WBZT Show @ Handle Bar

Fri, Dec 29, 2006 - Isle of Palms, SC
The Windjammer w/ Yates Dew

Sat, Dec 30, 2006 - Nashville, TN
Exit In w/ Beatin' Path

Sun, Dec 31, 2006 - Memphis, TN
Peabody Hotel New Year's Eve

Wed, Jan 10, 2007 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Culture Room w/ P McGhee

January 11-15, 2007 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
The Rock Boat

Wed, Jan 17, 2007 - Orlando, FL
Backbooth w/Ivan

Thu, Jan 18, 2007 - St. Petersburg, FL
State Theater w/ Ivan

Fri, Jan 19, 2007 - Jacksonville, FL
Freebird w/ Ivan

Sat, Jan 20, 2007 - Atlanta, GA
Roxy w/ Ivan

Sun, Jan 21, 2007 - Augusta, GA
Blue Horse Music Hall w/ Ivan

Wed, Jan 24, 2007 - Birmingham, AL
Zydeco w/ Ivan

Thu, Jan 25, 2007 - Columbia, SC
Headliner's w/ Ivan

Fri, Jan 26, 2007 - Charlotte, NC
Visulite w/ Ivan

Sat, Jan 27, 2007 - Winst-Salem, NC
Ziggy's w/ Ivan

Wed, Jan 31, 2007 - Boston, MA
Middle East w/ Ivan

Thu, Feb 01, 2007 - New York, NY
BB Kings w/ Ivan

Fri, Feb 02, 2007 - Washington, DC
9:30 Club w/ Ivan

Sat, Feb 03, 2007 - Atlantic City, NJ
HOB w/ Ivan

Wed, Feb 07, 2007 - Cleveland, OH
HOB w/ Ivan

Thu, Feb 08, 2007 - Indianapolis, IN
Music Mill w/ Ivan

Fri, Feb 09, 2007 - Chicago, IL
HOB w/ Ivan

Sat, Feb 10, 2007 - Minneapolis, MN
Fine Line w/ Ivan

Mon, Feb 12, 2007 - Milwaukee, WI
Potawatomi Casino w/ Ivan

Tue, Feb 13, 2007 - Milwaukee, WI
Potawatomi Casino w/ Ivan

Thu, Feb 15, 2007 - Champaign, IL
The Canopy w/ Ivan

Fri, Feb 16, 2007 - St. Louis, MO
The Pageant w/ Ivan

Sat, Feb 17 - New Orleans, LA
House Of Blues/Mardi Gras!!!

West Coast extension dates to be announced shortly

Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle,
Vancouver, Aspen, Denver

Monday, December 11, 2006

Rock Hard In A (Un)Funky Place

Just got back from the dentist, who installed a temporary crown on one of my uppers this morning. Still a bit numb. Wasn't it last year around this time I had a similar procedure done? And didn't that hurt like the dickens afterward? Err, best not to think too much about it for now...

In other news, Prince will be performing at the Superbowl halftime next month. Finally, a reason not to change the channel over to the Beer Bowl this season.

In work news, good people -- please don't come into the store the day Il Divo performs on The Today Show and be shocked that we would be sold out of their Christmas CD. "I really just don't understand how so many people would have heard about these fine, talented gentlemen already. I mean, *I* just saw them on Dancing With The Stars for the first time last week! And on The Today Show this morning!" You'd think Today was some obscure NY-based cable access program that comes on at 3 in the morning that only they watch on the couch in their underpants the way they express wide-eyed shock when they discover that maybe others might have been tuning in across America at -- gasp! -- the same time. Why do they think so many retards stand out in front of that back window to get their faces on TV? (I can say this because I myself was once one of those retards standing in front of that very same window and waving frantically at the back of Matt Lauer's lumpy shaven head a few years ago).

I do, however, take great pleasure in helping people find what they've been searching forever on their own, just by extending what little knowledge I have on the subject. Especially if it's something, y'know, good. I had this woman the other day who was looking for a copy of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" by Darlene Love, which isn't on any of her albums as far as we could see. But seeing how it was Darlene Love I deducted that it was probably on Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift For You CD and, sure enough, it was. And we only had one copy left. The woman, who told me that she had been searching for that song for eight straight Christmases in a row and it took me minutes to determine where it was, screamed and cried and hugged me fiercely and told me that I just made her holiday. I gotta tell ya, nothing I could possibly receive from anyone wrapped in ribbons and bows can compare to the feeling of what I was able to give to someone else, somebody I didn't even know and probably may never see again. Moments like these really make me love, love, love my freakin' job.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

High Five!

As it has been nearly half a year or more since I have done another five favorite things that I've been into in recent months I just thought, well it seems that I have you attention for the moment so I may as well bore you to pieces:

1. I'm Alan Partridge Series 1: This six-episode season BBC comedy starring Steve Coogan as a down-on-his-luck socially inept morning radio host has kept me in stitches over the past week just thinking about it. Even passing the DVD on the wall at my store sends me into paroxysms of giggle-fits.

2. The Colbert Report on Comedy Central: I wasn't sure if Stephen Colbert was going to be able to keep up his momentum as a parody of an arrogant self-congratulatory television political commentator for more than a few episodes before he would run out of gas (and ideas). But I guess O'Reilly has lasted doing the same schtick even longer, and his writers are nowhere near as funny as Colbert's have been these days, not to mention Colbert himself. While Jon Stewart seems to continue struggling with whether or not he should or shouldn't take himself too seriously, Colbert jacks it up to the next level of taking one's self too seriously to the apogee of the broadest satire, and that's what makes it work. Somewhere in Budapest there's a bridge with his name on it.

3. "Dirty Business" by Sara Jorge: I first thought this was Kylie Minogue, as it sounds a bit like one of the better dance grooves from off her Fever album from a few years back. I love driving home to this song after work in the evening, with the streetlights and Christmas twinkle whizzing past my car windows. Just wish the heat in my vehicle was working these days.

4. The Unbearable Lightness Of Being by Milan Kundera: Finally getting around to reading some Kundera, as recommended to me by a friend around this time last year. Perfect winter weather literature, especially for the scenes in the book that take place in Soviet occupied Prague. Awful glad I didn't finish watching the movie years ago back when it first came out.

5. Durians: I've never had one, I'm dying to taste one, and my hands are tied as to how to go about getting one. So far two of my local Asian grocery stores don't appear to carry them. My friend Noel who lives in Pennsylvania had to drive down to Baltimore to find some. From the way he talks he makes it sound like eating one was like having the greatest sex under the most foulest of conditions. Somebody please shoot one to me in the mail, I implore you.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Sun 10: 1-cl
Tue 12: 2-cl
Wed 13: 9:30-5
Thur 14: 3-cl
Sat 16: 12-8

So. I suppose it's been a spell since I posted anything -- or rather, since I have time to post anything or do anything that involves touching the computer for more than a few minutes at a time. Email has been piling up, and I apologize to anyone whom I haven't gotten back to yet. Work has pretty much made me its seasonal bitch, which I reckon is a good thing considering how much worse I'd thought our holiday sales were going to be with no PS3 or Wii systems, and nothing more to really offer anyone other than our dopey Hall & Oats exclusive Christmas CDs via FYE. Which, by the way, we are probably going to become sometime within early next year. Our trademark purple polos have temporarily become label-less black polos (yes Chris and Erin, no more Barney Brigade!) and our period planners are becoming more and more structured like one with each passing month. But even my days off have been a bit batty, not getting everything done that I wish I could, and only getting one Christmas present bought so far this year (for my brother, because he's by far the easiest to please) and my house is a complete disaster area. I finally have given myself a window of me-space to play catch-up, take a breather, and bang my head over the keyboard furiously for not having anything even remotely thought-provoking to write about. Um, lessee... I'm currently listening to Murdering Hell's Happy Cretins by Zoogz Rift. For some reason this guy can't decide whether or not he wants to be a friend on my myspace page lately. He asks me to friend him. Then defriends me, then asks me to friend two of his myspace pages, then defriends one, then adds me back again... well, I've heard for years that he was the eccentric type. Not like I've had much time to futz around Myspace these days anyway. I have neglected mail to get back to over that way as well.

So what else is new. Oh yeah, yesterday Joe and I went to the Apple service store and had a tech check out our dead iPods, only to confirm to us that, yes, they were both dead. Now I am supposed to have a 4-year warranty on mine but the guy said that he couldn't locate my warranty account information, so I don't know what to do about all that. Joe and I have been discussing maybe going in together on one of those new-fangled 80gb video iPods and sort of share custody of it during the week. At this point all I want is something to do my morning walks with in my ear. Joe is welcome to it for the rest of the day. I pretty much crank iTunes when I'm home anyway, and he has a much longer drive to work every day than I do.

And of course, still watching a lot of movies. Joe's still going through his obsessive film noir phase, while I just struggle to stay awake on the couch no matter what he brings home. I did, however, buy this for myself. Because, well, it had to be had:

The first season BBC series I'm Alan Partridge starring Steve Coogan. I've been hyped up to see this for ages and let me tell you I was not disappointed in the least. Coogan played Partridge, a former TV host turned graveyard shift radio DJ in a small town outside of London, newly divorced and living in a travel tavern on the interstate with a staff that just keeps right on smiling politely no matter how offensive and idiotic he behaves. Partridge is like a cross between Ricky Gervais on The Office and Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm, with a lot of the humor improvised and bringing that similar kind of agonizingly cringeworthy humor that both shows have been known for. Sweet Jesus I don't think I've laughed this hard at something in one long consistent manner for Yod knows how long. A six episode series. Dear God, I hope there's another season.

Bought gobs more stuff this week, taking full advantage of my annual employee Christmas discount.

A new copy of Weather Report Black Market, which Mike suggested I get since the last Weather Report album I bought, Heavy Weather, was also by his recommendation, and close to being 15 years ago, so yeah I was due for another one of their better platters. My German friend Heinz, who is a huge Joe Zawinul fan, sent me an MP3 for "Gibraltar" so I already know one song on this disk I thoroughly dig.

A new used copy of The Fall 458489 A Sides since I don't think I've ever actually owned this on CD or vinyl at any point in my Fall-lovin' lifetime. Had the cassette back in college. And pretty much know all these songs by heart. Still, nice. TA HAVE, see?

Vijaya Anand's Dance Raja Dance: Asia Classics, Vol. 1. Hooray for Bollywood!

Suicide The First Album, the CD of which contains the extra disk Live At CBGB's 1977, as well as the infamous "23 Minutes Over Brussels".

From the lead singer of The Negro Problem, Stew The Naked Dutch Painter. I remember kind of liking what I heard of The Negro Problem, but my friend Kevin really poked at me to get this one, since it was only about three bucks used anyway.

The current Neko Case Fox Confessor Brings The Flood. Yo Christophah, what's the 411 on this? I KNOW you have it, brothaman.

Kayo Dot Choirs Of The Eye, rock-metal-chamber-music on John Zorn's Tzadik label. Came in used. Looked interesting. Tzadik always brings the curious.

A used copy of McCoy Tyner Trident, with Ron Carter on bass and the late, supremely awesome Elvin Jones on drums. All I know from this is that the opening bassline riff from the track "Impressions" is used in the opening to "Scenario" by A Tribe Called Quest.

And keeping in the spirit of the season, two Christmas CDs to play me into the 25th of December:

Willie Colón Y Hector LaVoe Asalto Navideño. My boss, who is Puerto Rican, told me about how she grew up in her little corner of the borough in NYC listening to this album on vinyl with her familia and partying with fellow Puerto Rican neighbors out in the streets with this blasting out of every record player from every house on the block. Awesome traditional Puerto Rican salsa Christmas record that we've been blasting at work in between the wretched dreck of Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. Just remastered this summer.

And last but not least:

Because. Well...

Monday, December 04, 2006


Tue 5: 4-cl
Wed 6: 10-6
Fri 8: 9-5
Sat 9: 3-cl