Wishing Hoping Dreaming

When the musician Ian McLagan passed away late last year, I looked for the above song to post, but for whatever reason I couldn’t locate it.  I’m not sure if it wasn’t on YouTube or it was user error.  Anyway, it’s one of those beautiful songs that hits me emotionally ever time I hear it.  It’s the cry in your drink melody and the extremely sympathetic playing of the Bump Band.  It’s McLagan’s voice which constantly sounds on the verge of breaking up.  It’s the lyrics about reaching and failing, about people long gone, but most of all about carrying on.

My brother put it on in the car today as I was driving him to the airport here in Austin.  I immediately thought about the happy hours at the Lucky Lounge that McLagan used to play.  I realized that I was in Austin for a very special period, when seeing someone like McLagan, for free no less, was a regular event.  You just had to muster the energy to drive a couple minutes downtown.  Those Lucky Lounge happy hours are gone now, fading into the ether of the past more and more with every minute.  A special place in time, once full of life, gone now forever.  It was a beautiful dream while it lasted…

Playing 'She's About A Mover' With Shawn Sahm

Here is the Shinyribs band playing the Sir Douglas Quintet’s She’s About A Mover with Doug Sahm’s son Shawn Sahm.  Cheryl Sahm posted this on Facebook earlier today and it was actually the first time I have seen the footage.  It was a great night of fun.  Just thought I’d share it with all of you.

George Carlin On Abortion

Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers.

In honor, no defiance, of the latest court ruling in Texas concerning Abortion clinics, here is George Carlin on abortions.  From his album Back in Town:

Why, why, why, why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn’t want to fuck in the first place, huh? Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They’re all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you’re born, you’re on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re preborn, you’re fine; if you’re preschool, you’re fucked.
Conservatives don’t give a shit about you until you reach “military age”. Then they think you are just fine. Just what they’ve been looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers. Pro-life… pro-life… These people aren’t pro-life, they’re killing doctors! What kind of pro-life is that? What, they’ll do anything they can to save a fetus but if it grows up to be a doctor they just might have to kill it’They’re not pro-life. You know what they are? They’re anti-woman. Simple as it gets, anti-woman. They don’t like them. They don’t like women.They believe a woman’s primary role is to function as a brood mare for the state.
Pro-life… You don’t see many of these white anti-abortion women volunteering to have any black fetuses transplanted into their uteruses, do you? No, you don’t see them adopting a whole lot of crack babies, do you? No, that might be something Christ would do. And, you won’t see alot of these pro-life people dousing themselves in kerosene and lighting themselves on fire. You know, moraly committed religious people in South Vietnam knew how to stage a goddamn demonstration, didn’t they?! They knew how to put on a fucking protest. Light yourself on FIRE!! C’mon, you moral crusaders, let’s see a little smoke. To match that fire in your belly.
Here’s another question I have: how come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette? Are we so much better than chickens all of a sudden? When did this happen, that we passed chickens in goodness? Name six ways we’re better than chickens… See, nobody can do it! You know why? ‘Cuz chickens are decent people. You don’t see chickens hanging around in drug gangs, do you? No, you don’t see a chicken strapping some guy to a chair and hooking up his nuts to a car battery, do you? When’s the last chicken you heard about came home from work and beat the shit out of his hen, huh? Doesn’t happen. ‘Cuz chickens are decent people.
But let’s get back to this abortion shit. Now, is a fetus a human being? This seems to be the central question. Well, if a fetus is a human being, how come the census doesn’t count them? If a fetus is a human being, how come when there’s a miscarriage they don’t have a funeral? If a fetus is a human being, how come people say “we have two children and one on the way” instead of saying “we have three children?” People say life begins at conception, I say life began about a billion years ago and it’s a continuous process. Continuous, just keeps rolling along. Rolling, rolling, rolling along.
And say you know something? Listen, you can go back further than that. What about the carbon atoms? Hah? Human life could not exist without carbon. So is it just possible that maybe we shouldn’t be burning all this coal? Just looking for a little consistency here in these anti-abortion arguments. See the really hardcore people will tell you life begins at fertilization. Fertilization, when the sperm fertilizes the egg. Which is usually a few moments after the man says “Gee, honey, I was going to pull out but the phone rang and it startled me.” Fertilization.
But even after the egg is fertilized, it’s still six or seven days before it reaches the uterus and pregnancy begins, and not every egg makes it that far. Eighty percent of a woman’s fertilized eggs are rinsed and flushed out of her body once a month during those delightful few days she has. They wind up on sanitary napkins, and yet they are fertilized eggs. So basically what these anti-abortion people are telling us is that any woman who’s had more than more than one period is a serial killer! Consistency. Consistency. Hey, hey, if they really want to get serious, what about all the sperm that are wasted when the state executes a condemned man, one of these pro-life guys who’s watching cums in his pants, huh? Here’s a guy standing over there with his jockey shorts full of little Vinnies and Debbies, and nobody’s saying a word to the guy. Not every ejaculation deserves a name.
Now, speaking of consistency, Catholics, which I was until I reached the age of reason, Catholics and other Christians are against abortions, and they’re against homosexuals. Well who has less abortions than homosexuals?! Leave these fucking people alone, for Christ sakes! Here is an entire class of people guaranteed never to have an abortion! And the Catholics and Christians are just tossing them aside! You’d think they’d make natural allies. Go look for consistency in religion. And speaking of my friends the Catholics, when John Cardinal O’Connor of New York and some of these other Cardinals and Bishops have experienced their first pregnancies and their first labor pains and they’ve raised a couple of children on minimum wage, then I’ll be glad to hear what they have to say about abortion. I’m sure it’ll be interesting. Enlightening, too. But, in the meantime what they ought to be doing is telling these priests who took a vow of chastity to keep their hands off the altar boys! Keep your hands to yourself, Father! You know? When Jesus said “Suffer the little children come unto me”, that’s not what he was talking about!
So you know what I tell these anti-abortion people? I say “Hey. Hey. If you think a fetus is more important that a woman, try getting a fetus to wash the shit stains out of your underwear. For no pay and no pension.” I tell them “Think of an abortion as term limits. That’s all it is. Bioligical term limits.

Most Texas Abortion Clinics Likely to Close

Most Texas Abortion Clinics Likely to Close

Along with the article I posted before this one and others, there is all kinds of depressing news in Texas right now.  I find it despicable that others should be telling women what to do with their own bodies.  I don’t understand the mind frame of those in the power structure that want to control women, minorities, etc.  I mean I understand their goals, but I don’t understand the actual way their brains work, unless they are sociopaths.  Those without power who back them are depressingly comedic fools, clinging to nothing but illusion.  The urge to control others is in our society, in our makeup.  We must resist the urge if possible.

Tonight

Tonight my band No Show Ponies will be playing at Hole in the Wall in Austin at 9pm.  I try not to over promote my own shit on here, as I want this site to have value in and of itself.  However, tonight is a special show as my brother moved away a year ago and this is one of the very few times we may get to play music together for the immediate future.  Above is a Joe Strummer song that we often cover.  “Going to the Mountaintop”!

If you want to hear us here is a link to our record that we recorded two years ago in Austin with Ramsay Midwood at the helm.  Recording mostly live to some quarter inch analog tape.  You can stream the album in full.

Texas Stops Cities and Towns From Banning Fracking

Major spoiler warning for the movie There Will Be Blood

Texas Stops Cities and Towns From Banning Fracking

When I think of Corporate Conservatism I often think of the last scene of the movie There Will Be Blood.  In the scene an oil baron, played by Daniel Day Lewis, beats a preacher to death after he no longer has need of him.  Money will use anything it can to get power.  Once it has what it needs it will consume and destroy what no longer serves its purpose.

It should come as no surprise that those that for long have called for less government, for state’s rights, are now actually overturning local governmental decisions.  In a sense they are enforcing environmental regulations, but against the environment.  Years of conservative philosophy are being pissed on to serve the energy industry.  This is fun stuff, as conservative philosophy was already extremely in debt to the energy industry.  Now all guise of sanity is thrown out the window.  But this is their truest intentions laid bare.  Although this behavior by Texas is stupid, arrogant, and morally reprehensible, I think this is misstep by those that seek to destroy the environment over greed.  They can’t claim that these actions serve any principles other than the enrichment of a corrupt few.

The Texas Hill Country

Going camping in the Texas hill country tonight, so this is probably me signing off for the day.   The Texas hill country is stunningly beautiful and looks nothing like what myself, and many who have visited, imagined when we think of Texas.  Tuscany in Italy is the closest landscape I can think of.  It is usually a deep green full of medium sized trees and rolling hills.  I have been all over the world and live oak trees are aome of the most beautiful I can think of.  They look like they were created with children playing in mind.  There is something warm and comforting in the hill country’s beauty.   Many beautiful places in nature overwhelm you with their scope.  They can leave you feeling small and lonesome even as you stare in wonder.  Meanwhile the hill country is inviting and fills you with a sense of safety, even if it is sometimes probably misplaced.  If you are a traveler, and haven’t yet been to central Texas, Google the Texas hill country.  I think you will be surprised by what you see. 

Old School Austin Groove Premiere

Today the video for Old School Austin Groove premiered.  It’s a song that is part of the soundtrack for the movie Crazy Carl And His Man-Boobs: An Austin Love Story.  Both were filmed by Beef & Pie Productions and you can stream the movie in full for free here.  The song was written and performed by Shawn Sahm and Kevin “Shinyribs” Russell.  That is Keith Langford, of Shinyribs and the Gourds, holding down the rhythm with myself.  The Crazy Carl movie is actually a really great documentary about Austin, despite its seemingly bizarre subject matter, though the title character himself is an interesting character study with a lot of heart for anyone interested in the strange thing we call humanity in general.  A must see for anyone that has any interest in the city of Austin past, present, or future.

The recording session and the filming of the video were great fun.  If I said any more someone would kill me…

The Axis of Stupidity

Today I was reading about Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s mind bending defense of banning gay marriage.  Being a Texas resident, I know that we are in for the long haul concerning this kind of idiocy.  Recently I also posted about Florida Governor Rick Scott’s insane banning of the terms global warming and climate change.  I am well versed on his idiocy as my girlfriend lived in Florida for ten years.  Rick Scott vs. whoever was the Governor of Texas has been a constant argument as to who lived in the state with the dumbest head politician.  We can’t very well leave out Scott Walker of Wisconsin either.  You can learn about him at the Scott Walker is a douchebag Facebook page.  I just decided this morning that these three, especially because they actually have some power on a national level, are our three worst governors.  I think we should start calling them The Axis of Stupidity.  Even if you find this grouping to be a little bit random, it’s really no more random than the Axis of Evil grouping.  So go forth into your day, I have now given you The Axis of Stupidity.  Enjoy…

Austin, Allergies, and Other Things

Allergies in Austin have knocked me out of commission the last few days.  For any of you who are thinking coughing and sneezing, I hope you are not asking me to laugh in your face.   It’s more like someone is injecting one with Nyquil, but a brand of it that is actually increasing your cold.  I sometimes wonder if my conspiracy-theory friends are right about the government and chemtrails.  Anyway…

The Walking Dead is the best show on TV right now.  (At least until the return of Mad Men.)  Describing why would take a whole series of posts, but a lot of it has to do with the fact that week after week it pushes the limits of what you can do with characters in long form writing.  Breaking Bad, which I love, took Ned Flanders and turned him into Scarface, but this has done that for almost an entire cast.  Meanwhile, while you knew Walter White was crossing a line that shouldn’t be, with the rules of society gone out the window on The Walking Dead, you don’t know whether the characters are people that should be rooted for or feared.  The show has a moral complexity to it that I find really interesting.  It looks at human nature outside society in the same way that a novel like Lord of the Flies does.  As a bonus, it is flat out entertaining as hell!

I’m watching Better Call Saul right now.  I’m still on the fence about this show.  There is a lot to like in the performances and the details of the writing.  However, the show still feels like it is building towards something, that it hasn’t arrived yet.  I’m going to stick with it as I trust Vince Gilligan, also the creator of Breaking Bad, will pull it all together.

If anyone is interested in South African Music, I can’t recommend the compilation Homeland: The Best of Black South Africa enough.  It’s one of those rare compilations that plays like a really great album.  Every track has a commonality that feels related to the others, but the diversity of artists means that it also never gets boring.  I clearly can’t understand the lyrics, but this is soul music, in the sense that it is uplifting and life-affirming, even if you get the sense that it was created under hardship.

This week I go on the road with Shinyribs to Florida for a festival.  You can get the details here:

Shinyribs Shows

I hope to be back up at my usual posting rate by tomorrow, but if I’m not, you know why.

In the future when all’s well…

Jeff