310: “Voice Of The Lobster” by Clothesline Revival

The shirts say California.There is a pond, under a sliver of moon, with croaking frogs in numbers verging on the fantastic lining its edges. The sound is profoundly noisy. But the pond (inwardly) smiles. For the pond sits in delightful anticipation of a disturbance in the night, perhaps a swooping owl or ambling possum, to shut off the cacophony in an instant and send all the frogs jumping into itself. The pond relishes this experience each and every time.

Clothesline Revival (Conrad Praetzel along with Robert Powell and others) splash together in synchrony primarily in and around Santa Rosa, CA. “Voice of the Lobster” is on They Came From Somewhere (2010), and it sounds more like swamp music than Californey music.

The pond is not enthusiastic about cows, by the way. It is all too keenly aware that it is indeed partially composed of the beasts’ fluids. The pond has not lived an unexamined life. It deals with the nuanced psychology of pond life in stoic, gravitational surrender. Rippling when there’s cause, but mostly listening and watching, trying to match and readjust its own inner account of Reality against the stream of experiential data it collects on its existential transit.

Lobsters and stars and frogs and rain. Music.


Song: Voice of the Lobster
Artist: Clothesline Revival
Album: They Came From Somewhere
Label: Paleo Music
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

304: “Tutwiler” by Rick Holmstrom

Feelin' groovy!Sometimes I like to roll words around in my mouth. Words like…

Adjudicate. Glockenspiel. Belly button. Chutzpah. Pupu platter. Homunculus. Burrrrrito. Herpes. Ofeibea Quist-Arcton. Swizzlesticks. Konnichiwa. (You can keep going on your own…)

Gnome sane, homes?

Words are fun and useful. “Words” sits alongside “Music” in the Pro’s column of my Being Alive Pro’s & Con’s T-chart, which I will publish on my gravestone. ‘Ell oh ‘ell.


Roll this song around in your head. It’s from Rick Holmstrom, a straight ahead blues guitar man with a name that rolls off only the most well-exercised American tongue. The song is “Tutwiler” from Late in the Night (2007).

Rick also has a brand new album, Cruel Sunrise (2012), that is very good (includes his old friend and co-worker Mavis Staples on a few tracks). But I was just totally getting down in the car the other day, slapping my steering wheel and nodding my head like a durn fool, while listening to this tune and felt a deep, strong desire, in the most existential reaches of my jiggling gut, to share this song with you, alongside a ridiculous arrangement of words.

Thank-you, and enjoy.

Song: Tutwiler
Artist: Rick Holmstrom
Album: Late In The Night
Label: M.C. Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

301: “Lost In The Light” by Bahamas

Handsome is as handsome does.This one is gorgeous. And sad.

Nothing beautiful is perfect.

Bahamas is the moniker of Afie Jurvanen, a Canadian singer-songwriter, and his latest album is Barchords (2012). It contains some marvelously cracked jewels like “Lost in the Light.” And the picture to the right does not capture the illustrative depth of character and emotion rendered by Afie in the aforementioned tune. I just thought the moustache was 110% black angus solid beef-out style and ought to be shared.

In the same spirit, here is a beautiful and nearly perfect poem, from Braided Creek by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser (Copper Canyon Press, 2003):

Straining on the toilet
we learn how
the lightning bug feels.

Don’t strain too hard. Just relax, and enjoy the light.

Song: Lost In The Light
Artist: Bahamas
Album: Barchords
Label: Brushfire Records/Universal
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

294: “Ma” by Tom Zé

You will open your ears. OPEN THEM!!I’ve been coddling you. You need new musical fiber in your diet.

Eat this. It’s a compilation of Brazilian artist Tom Zé who is as radical as his name. He writes his signature with a sword on the chest of evil-doers if he writes it at all. He helped create the Tropicalia sound of 1960’s Brazil between swordplay. The word “stallion” belongs in this paragraph.

Brazil Classics 4: The Best of Tom Zé (2003) is from the Luaka Bop label, which is an active force in keeping music rich in fiber.

Make time to enjoy new kinds of high-fiber music, for a healthy, regular mental process.

Song: Ma
Artist: Tom Zé
Album: Brazil Classics 4: The Best Of Tom Zé
Label: Luaka Bop
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

291: “Southern Girls” by Cheap Trick

Guys, you're letting all the holy air out.This is a critical review of “Southern Girls” by Cheap Trick, from In Color (1977), written as a play-by-play listen-through:

The song begins with a banging drum intro, and the appropriate response is one/two raised eyebrows and a nodding head. You should probably look around (at your friends), like, “Oh yeah, this is a straight-ahead rock-n-roll jammer.”

The guitar comes in like a SCUD missile, which solidifies your estimation. This track is something worth moving your particles to.

The lyrics deftly rhyme… Cheap Trick is singing about Southern girls, who get out on the street and got nothing to lose. Don’t analyze that. No good can come of it. Pay attention to the way your body’s moving. Because if you’re paying attention with your reptile brain, by now you’re bobbing your head like you’re trying to trap a peanut on the back of your neck. That’s the important part.

The classic rock is loosening your firmament.

You should begin to truly emotionally connect in the first chorus, when Robin Zander sings “I feel crazy, and everyone says it.” You’re not sure what exactly this song is getting at, but you’ll make a hat out of hamster pelts if it’s not catchy as all get out.

And hold on a cotton-pickin’ second, what’s up with this bridge? Wow, a whole new high-intensity tune right in the middle of the song!!! My God, Southern Girls, what are you making Cheap Trick do?!?

Okay, we’re back to the first verse. Cheap Trick knows we like stability in a relationship. They stick to the format, which has been proven through several decades to effectively manifest recursive booty moving. Midwestern rock-n-roll so earthy it actually contains rocks and corn and cow hair.

Cheap Trick has achieved great success in the US, but nothing like they’ve seen in Japan. They’re bigger in Japan than decayed fermented squid bowels and panty vending machines put together, which would be awesome, btw.

I would listen to this song again. In fact, I have, and will. Many times.

That ends the official review. I am sweating.

Enjoy the music, if not my words.

Song: Southern Girls
Artist: Cheap Trick
Album: In Color
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

290: “Your Love Gets Sweeter” by Finley Quaye

No, I won't adjust my hat, you silly goose.Finley Quaye is the artist praising the daily confectionary improvement of your love, from Maverick A Strike (1997).

I want to blare this song, at jet engine volume, into the face of assholes.

Maybe that makes me an asshole.

But my consideration of the perception of myself is an indication of a lack of assholery.

So, being somewhat upstanding, maybe I’m the one who should tell other people what they should do.

Or, maybe I should stop while I’m ahead and just be self-righteous.

Let’s just enjoy the music, and try to strike an asshole/self-righteous balance in our lives.

Song: Your Love Gets Sweeter Every Day
Artist: Finley Quaye
Album: Maverick A Strike
Label: 550 Music / Epic
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

288: “Good Hope” by Ray Barbee

All right, let's get some promo shots of your right beard.A pre-historic man walks into a small cave he considers sacred. He uses a hunk of charred firewood he’s carried for several miles with which to draw a nearly photographic rendering of an IKEA living room suit on the cave wall. The IKEA living room suit will not have been designed for another 64 thousand years and change. The pre-historic man exits the cave and poops in the woods on the way to his home, a cave that isn’t very sacred. He eats roast mastadon for dinner on the cave porch and smiles in the firelight at the stanky cave children whose future he works so diligently for.

This vision has been brought to you by the song “Good Hope” by Ray Barbee, which creates fictional narratives in your head if you walk from east to west whilst you listen, from In Full View (2005). Ray Barbee starred with Julia Childs on several dramatic films directed by Clint Eastwood, and his musical career is as filled with wonder as those existentially provocative productions were.

I am a scientist with objective illumination emanating from my deepest core.

I implore you to enjoy the light.

Song: Good Hope
Artist: Ray Barbee
Album:  In Full View
Label: Galaxia
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify