This Michael Moore’s no stupid white man …

I’ve never been a big Dylan fan, and my knowledge of jazz is cursory, at best. But I heard a tune during the jazz show on WUOT the other night and made a note to order the CD.

It’s the best thing I’ve heard since Gillian Welch’s “Time (The Revelator)“. Different, of course, but really ethereal and vast.

The CD is “Jewels and Binoculars: The Music of Bob Dylan.” It’s by Michael Moore (no, not that Michael Moore). This Moore is an American expatriate living in Amsterdam. He plays alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, melodica, bells.

I really had to fish around on the Internet to find a place to order a copy. Amazon didn’t have it. I finally found it here. It was worth the hunt.

I really like the bass playing of Pittsburgh native Lindsey Horner. Without his bass backbone some of the tunes would fall apart like a jellyfish in the surf. But it all holds together with a delicate, haunting beauty.

I recommend this one highly …

A shot of wild turkey before 9 a.m. …

On weekends, I’ve been taking Xena to the lake early to beat the heat. She’s a Newfie and doesn’t deal well with Tennessee summers. On the way back from Melton Hill Lake yesterday morning, I saw a giant tom turkey a few dozen yards up the road from my truck, across from a horse farm that overlooks the Clinch River. The turkey was scurrying up the road, and I slowed to watch. I swear the sucker was as big as Xena. A fence on the left kept it from escaping, and the turkey finally decided the only way out was to take flight. It was like a C-130 lumbering aloft, clearing the fence and landing in the field on the other side.

Those morning hikes are awesome. No one out that early on weekends, and plent of squirrels, rabbits and geese for Xena to chase. Dew in the grass. And a shot of wild turkey …

One mile east of the Papermill exit …

I was returning home on Interstate 40 last night when I saw about four or five semis slowed to a crawl in the right lane. Strange. An acrid, burned-rubber smell drifted into my truck. I slowed to about 10 mph and came upon one of the most horrifying things I’ve seen in a long time. A man was lying in a fetal position on the highway while a woman ran toward him, screaming, crying. A mangled red SUV was about 30 yards away, off the road. It all happened so slowly, so strangely. I drifted past, noticing the glimmering broken glass covering the roadway. The Do Lung bridge scene in Apocalpyse Now came quickly to mind. Then adrenaline hit me. I pulled over, already past the accident, and fumbled for my cell phone. Misdialed. Dialed again. Was put on hold by the 911 system. A police car’s lights approached in my sideview mirror. I sat stunned for a moment. Realized there was nothing to be done but gawk at this point. Shut off my cell phone. Pulled slowly back onto I-40, hands shaking, and continued on home.

I still don’t know what happened. No report in this morning’s paper. It was probably past their deadline. But the image of that woman and man on the Interstate won’t leave. It reminds me of my reporter days, when I would “cover” a fatal accident. I always felt like a vulture circling carrion, and it always took me a week or two to flush the scene from my mind …

Continue reading “One mile east of the Papermill exit …”

Jesus H. Christ …

This one is funny on so many levels …

1. ABC, the network that brought us the Victoria’s Secret fashion special and so many sitcom crimes against common sense, is protecting us from using “Jesus” as an exclamation.

2. Jerry Falwell is deeply offended that ABC decided to bleep “Jesus,” probably sensing an anti-Christian conspiracy instead of a muddled attempt to avoid offending Christians. I wonder if Jerry will hold the same opinion the next time someone says, “Jesus Christ! Get the hell out of my way.” Bet he won’t … But then again, he’s probably still talking to God about how the World Trade Center attack can be partially blamed on “… the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America.” Jesus Christ! The dude’s too much.

Maybe ABC should hire him as their new censor.

Evel’s ready to jump again …

When I was a kid, I though Evel Kneivel was the coolest thing on wheels. He inspired us the the loftiest heights of stupidity. We jumped our Big Wheels and bicycles over just about everything. Somewhere, I even have 8MM slow-motion film of my brother crashing and burning on a Big Wheel.

Now the man is planning a return with his longest jump ever. Can you say “nationally televised suicide“?

I’ll have my steak Pittsburgh rare …

This one was passed on to me by a friend and fellow Pittsburgh expatriate. I’d always wondered where the expression “Pittsburgh rare” came from. I guess it’s another one of those ‘Burgh things, like red beer (putting a bit of tomato juice in your beer when you were drinking beer for breakfast after working the night shift at the mill) or boilermakers (shot of whiskey dropped in a class of beer).

Press not finding much freedom in Oklahoma …

This is pretty creepy. Apparently, the National Guard and officials in Webbers Falls, Okla., are doing everything they can to keep the lid on press coverage of the event. They’ve chased reporters out of several public areas, even goings as far as handcuffing one reporter for being in a public area. This kind of stuff really makes me nervous. How far are we from becoming a police state when the press is this restricted?

Two more TV picks … Bernie Mac and Insomniac

1. My madpig brother (he of cloven hoof) recommended “Insomniac with Dave Attell” on Comedy Central. Attell, a standup comic, finishes a show in a given city, then sets off to investigate the local nightlife, taking the viewer along for the ride. Attell offers some great, often seedy, glimpses into the flora and fauna of that populate city steets after midnight. The San Francisco show was a scream. They’re all funny. Check it out. (Though the web site leaves a lot to be desired … typical Comedy Central overkill with some faulty Flash photo galleries and an annoying Smirnoff Ice rich media ad (who drinks this shit?).

2. “The Bernie Mac Show“: This is the best think I’ve seen on Fox in a long time. Well written. Well acted. And it’s funny as hell. Bernie Mac takes in his crack-addicted sister’s three kids. And the reluctant father figure has a tough time adjusting. My favorite episode is the Christmas show. In each show, there are segments where Bernie Mac speaks into the camera, addressing the audience as “America.” In this one, he’s drinking potent eggnog and is progressively drunker each time he addresses the audience in these asides. I was howling.