Saturday, June 30, 2007


Captain Beefheart's Ten Commandments For Guitarists:

1. LISTEN TO THE BIRDS...That's where all the music comes from. Birds know everything about how it should sound and where that sound should come from. And watch hummingbirds. They fly really fast, but a lot of times they aren't going anywhere.

2. YOUR GUITAR IS NOT REALLY A GUITAR...Your guitar is a divining rod. Use it to find spirits in the other world and bring them over. A guitar is also a fishing rod. If you're good, you'll land a big one.

3. PRACTICE IN FRONT OF A BUSH...Wait until the moon is out, then go outside, eat a multi-grained bread and play your guitar to a bush. If the bush doesn't shake, eat another piece of bread.

4. WALK WITH THE DEVIL...Old delta blues players referred to amplifiers as the "devil box." And they were right. You have to be an equal opportunity employer in terms of who you're bringing over from the other side. Electricity attracts demons and devils. Other instruments attract other spirits. An acoustic guitar attracts Casper. A mandolin attracts Wendy. But an electric guitar attracts Beelzebub.

5. IF YOU'RE GUILTY OF THINKING, YOU'RE OUT...If your brain is part of the process, you're missing it. You should play like a drowning man, struggling to reach shore. If you can trap that feeling, then you have something that is fur bearing.

6. NEVER POINT YOUR GUITAR AT ANYONE...Your instrument has more power than lightning. Just hit a big chord, then run outside to hear it. But make sure you are not standing in an open field.

7. ALWAYS CARRY YOUR CHURCH KEY...You must carry your key and use it when called upon. That's your part of the bargain. Like One String Sam. He was a Detroit street musician in the fifties who played a homemade instrument. His song "I Need A Hundred Dollars" is warm pie. Another church key holder is Hubert Sumlin, Howlin' Wolf's guitar player. He just stands there like the Statue of Liberty making you want to look up her dress to see how he's
doing it.

8. DON'T WIPE THE SWEAT OFF YOUR INSTRUMENT...You need that stink on there. Then you have to get that stink onto your music.

9. KEEP YOUR GUITAR IN A DARK PLACE...When you're not playing your guitar, cover it and keep it in a dark place. If you don't play your guitar for more than a day, be sure to put a saucer of water in with it.

10. YOU GOTTA HAVE A HOOD FOR YOUR ENGINE...Wear a hat when you play and keep that hat on. A hat is a pressure cooker. If you have a roof on your house the hot air can't escape. Even a lima bean has to have a wet paper towel around it to make it grow.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Spent the lion's share of the show with some of my bestus friends, who showed up under the name of the Ramblin' Jugstompers. Always a pleasure to see them, and I'm on my way out to see them some more at Helsinki right now.

Morells, That Mellow Saxophone

Ornette Coleman, Jordan
Feist, My Man My Moon
Drop Trio, Wreck of the Zephyr
Brian Setzer Orchestra, Since I Don't Have You

Ramblin' Jugstompers "interview" and performance

Konono #1 Ungudi Wele Wele

Friday, June 22, 2007

6.22.2007 Solstice This!

photo by mah mahn Mike Fallarino

Next week: The Ramblin Jugstombers and maybe even The Detroit Cobras live in the studio!

Morells, That Mellow Saxophone

Joe Cocker, Honky Tonk Women
Howard Fishman, The Best is Yet To Come

Uncle Earl, Take These Chains
Leona Anderson, Limburger Lover
Janis Joplin, Apple of My Eye (demo boot from bigozine)
Laura Love, This Train / Ezekiel & The Wheel

Shirelles, Boys
Track 10, Glitterbug Soundtrack
Patti Smith, Ghost Dance (from CBGB final show)
Bonnie Hayes & the Wild Combo, Shelly's Boyfriend

Track 15, Glitterbug Soundtrack
Elvis, Can't Help Falling in Love With You (drunken boot from bigozine)
Los Plantronics, Sheena is a Punk Rocker

gonstermachers, The Night Sam Cooke Died
Doll by Doll, Human Face

Dwight Yoakum, Three Good Reasons
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Sock it to Me
Alejandro Escoveda, Castenets

Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Juicy
Digital Underground, The Humpty Dance
Mareja Beto, Cuidadano

Saturday, June 16, 2007

6.15.07 How High the Sky

The lovely and talented Sky Smeed stopped by, played a bunch of new songs. Also had visits from Biotic (plugging the Howard Zinn appearance next month) and Hanyo from Our Funky Cheese Shack, the new show that takes over now at 4:30.

We be busy y'all. And thanks to Don McGrory for calling in to tell me I had three things playing at once.

Morells, That Mellow Saxophone

Patricia Barber, I Could Eat Your Words
Kurt Elling, Undun
The Ladmo Trio, Michelle
Peter Sellers, She Loves You

Stevie Wonder, Signed Sealed Delivered (live boot 1973)
Os Mutantes, I'm Feeling a Little Spaced Out
Rick Danko, This Wheel's On Fire

Major Lance, Monkey Time
Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, Coke Commercial
Them, I Can Only Give You Everything
Wreckless Eric, The Whole Wide World

Iggy Pop, I'm Bored

Sky Smeed Interview and Performance

Anthony Braxton, Composition No. 165

Friday, June 08, 2007

6.8.07 Shrinking Show

I bought a copy of this little magazine in August 1964 at a little general store in Consesus Lake, NY. Wish I still had it.

Today started with Jeanne Bassis, the queen of all things play, hosting the great Bobby Sweet, who the Berkshire Eagle called the best singer songwriter in the area.

Then I had an hour to misbehave before the debut of Our Funky Cheese Shack, hosted by Hannah (age 13) and Annalena (age 12). They played Backstreet Boys, Kool and the Gang, and Smashmouth. It's all good.

Morells, That Mellow Saxophone

Big Daddy, A Day in the Life
Don Labriola, Revolution #9
Smithereens, I Want to Tell You
Brad Mehlyau, Martha My Dear
Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings, Taxman
Beatles, Strawberry Fields (fr Love)

Joe Ely, Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes
Angelique Kidjo, Gimme Shelter (w/ Joss Stone)
Detroit Cobras, As Long as I Have You

Haale, Floating Down
Ginger Baker, Mountain Time

Saturday, June 02, 2007

6.1.07 Day Off

I know I used this one before, but that was over a year ago. And it's a gooder.

I was having a Joseph Conrad kind of week with a big-ass deadline, so I handed the show off to Graham and Barbara Dean, who had some of the Ollabelles on to talk about their Helsinki gig. I got my stuff filed early, and listened to the show at my desk with a well-earned martooni.