Gutbrain Records

Thursday, 29 September 2005

I keep hearing about this new Nancy Drew movie which is going to star Julia Roberts's niece or somebody as Nancy Drew. The key word is "new". I haven't noticed any reference to the series of Nancy Drew movies made in the 1930s. Those are really good movies and as far as I'm concerned, Bonita Granville is Nancy Drew.

That reminds me, I'm pretty happy to hear that Tom DeLay has been indicted for conspiracy to violate election laws. I've had it in for him ever since I heard that he was going around using the nickname "The Hammer". Fred Williamson is "The Hammer," not that punk DeLay.

That also reminds me about something else. I have to be careful not to reveal too much information about this, but I can say that I've discovered that the torments of hell will involve "best of" lists, particularly of recordings of music. Ignore any list of "Best Film Soundtracks" that doesn't include James Brown's score for Black Caesar.

Tuesday, 13 September 2005

Ever since I heard "The Londonderry Air" played by Sharon Isbin on her outstanding Dreams of a World CD, I've wondered why it's the same song as "Danny Boy". The answer appears to be that Fred Weatherly, the author of "Danny Boy", heard "The Londonderry Air" and realized that the tune would be a good fit for his "Danny Boy" lyrics. Both songs were hits, I think. Ah, those carefree days of music piracy, almost a hundred years ago! More details here.

I'd forgotten about this until the other day when Alice and I watched Pursued, a great Western directed by Raoul Walsh, with cinematography by James Wong Howe, one of the best motion-picture photographers who ever lived.

I had just read Baby, I Don't Care, Lee Server's biography of Robert Mitchum. I'd already seen many classic Robert Mitchum movies — Out of the Past and Cape Fear come to mind — and some negligible Robert Mitchum movies — The Grass Is Greener comes to mind — but since reading the biography, I've felt like I need to see many more.

Walsh's Pursued, like Anthony Mann's The Furies (which stars the great Barbara Stanwyck), is a Western inspired by Greek tragedy, but Howe's camerawork and Mitchum's presence (and writer Niven Busch's use of flashbacks) give the production a film noir identity. The score by Max Steiner incorporates "The Londonderry Air" as a motif.

Robert Mitchum is hardly revealed by his biography. He probably couldn't be. One thing that is revealed is a scatological bent of his, though. The number of stories which involve Mitchum urinating or defecating on someone or something is mind boggling.

In one scene in Pursued, Teresa Wright, who plays Mitchum's love interest, puts on an Edison cylinder of "The Londonderry Air", a song that the two characters have been listening to since they were childhood sweethearts. Mitchum hears it and names it. I'm sure he said "Londonderry Air," but I heard "London Derrière" when he said it.

Friday, 09 September 2005

Since Bush doesn't have the leadership qualities, the strength of character, the brains, the guts or the heart to say it, I will: Keep shopping; live your lives as if nothing's wrong in the world; don't think about the government; concentrate on the new fall TV schedule. If you don't, then the hurricanes have already won.

And I suppose this goes without saying, but if you're not with us, you're with the hurricanes.

The only time I was ever in New Orleans was in 1996, on Dim Sum Clip Job's "This Is Why They Try To Teach You United States Geography" Tour (also known as the "Gates of Hell" Tour). I call it that beacuse, well, we covered a lot of ground.

Our first show was on June 13 in Memphis. Then we went to New Orleans for a show on the 14th. After that we were scheduled to play in Morgantown, West Virginia, on the 16th. We drove all the way there to find that the show wasn't happening and the club (bar) wasn't even open as the owner hadn't paid anybody for weeks.

From there we hit the road for our next show, supposedly on June 18 in San Antonio, TX. That one was cancelled before we got there (big fight in the club, sound guy in the hospital, venue closed). After that we finally played in El Paso on the 20th, then in Tucson, AZ, on the 21st. After that we had a few days until our next gig in Los Angeles.

That covers the first 12 days of the tour. Only 25 more days to go! Things didn't get much better.

This is Monaco Bob's, where Dim Sum Clip Job played in New Orleans. As you can sort of tell from this photo, it's under the highway. Sometime after we arrived, the owner showed up and turned on the P.A. He informed us that the local band sharing the bill had pulled out a couple of weeks ago and there had been no promotion, so nobody was likely to come see us. We were welcome to drink free beer, though, and play for the bartender. Which we did.