A James Brown Story

I was reminded today—due mainly to promotion of the new James Brown film ongoing—of what I consider to be one of the best James Brown stories ever told, by one Jackie “The Jokeman” Martling, from the “Music of Howard Stern” special. If any story tells you who the man was, this does it.

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Must Be Nearly Autumn

For some reason, this feline poses more magnificently near the autumn season.

Anna Banana in a hammock

Photo credit: Ellen Smith


Look At My Butt

There are currently two (2) hit songs I’ve been made aware of today that do nothing but celebrate the callipygian nature of the song’s protagonist.

And yet, Neil Young still tours.

You know, when Dana Carvey was doing his whole George Michael spoof back then, it was just that.

‘Twas a spoof.

I mean do NOT. Let Carole King. Hear “Anaconda.” She will break her hip kicking herself. THAT’S ALL I HAD TO DO? THAT? TALK ABOUT MY FAT ASS AND HOW GREAT IT IS? THAT’S IT? She’ll be at Gerry Goffin’s grave, all like Hey! Gerry! WE DIDN’T ACTUALLY HAVE TO USE ALL OF THAT POWERFUL, WELL-PLACED IMAGERY IN OUR SONGS! ASS, GERRY. THAT’S ALL THEY WANTED TO HEAR ABOUT. ASS.

What’s this new song on the radio? “All About That Bass?” NO! CAROLE! Change the STATION! QUICK!

That stuff will just ruin Carole King. Please. Keep her away from it.

In other music stuff: Here is an excellent piece regarding some of the finest music of my adolescence. A really great read. I Know Times Are Changing

    In Other News
  • In Defense of Pink Slime (Gizmodo)

Short Bobby the 14 Shingle

It is, as I had anticipated, a pleasure to be able to hike for .22 miles with an over-sized bag and hike back with a satchel full of victuals.

I first went Friday at the Grand Opening. I was too late to catch Mayor Warren, who was apparently present for the ribbon cutting. I went in first and walked around and even put a six pack of beer in my cart. However, I had a problem.

I hadn’t yet eaten.

Not eating can have several effects on me, one of which is to render me utterly unable to make any decisions.

I put the beer back, walked up the street to Matthews, and had a wonderful BLT club sandwich. Then I went back to Hart’s, got a cart, and put the beer back into the cart.

Then, a few other things fell into my basket.

Mushrooms. A couple of nice cube steaks. Broccoli. Some russet potatoes.

Day one at Hart’s was rather successful. It’s a lovely market, though I will continue to pine for the opening of the CityGate Costco (there is a BJs in the area, but why renew that membership when a Costco is approaching?) As it’s trying to be of the downtown/upscale variety, you will not find Totino’s Party Pizzas here, nor even Stouffer’s French Bread pizza, nor much in the way of frozen zza at all. There are a few flatbreads, but not much else. One would still have to drive to Top’s if, say, one wanted to stock up on those.

But it is a quality grocery. The meat is good. They have fresh fish, and many items ready to mange on right there (they have a bit of cafe seating) or for take-out. Hart’s is also emphasizing local items, so you can pick up Pittsford Dairy milk, Ithaca Farms ogret (which is DELICIOUS), Flour City Pasta, etc…

Yes, I am certainly glad Hart’s is here. What it does for a downtown rat like myself is to make it possible to have an entire weekend at home without ever getting in the car, without having to plan out an entire menu ahead.

Day two, Hart’s:

(Did I mention their ground beef is excellent?)


Note to self: Immersion blender does not work properly unless it is, you know, immersed. Otherwise it is just a messy blender.


Also managed to solve another problem this weekend. Most of my vinyl was living in a cardboard box! Am surprised the Record Album ad Litem hasn’t been knocking. Sokay boff! My records have a home now.

(“Easy to assmeble” my ass. 24 screws! Drat!)


Shonda Rhimes to the White Courtesy Phone!

Violinist Plays During Brain Surgery To Help Surgeons Find Exactly What’s Causing Tremor (Elite Daily)

Hart’s Eve

I have never anticipated a trip to the grocery store as eagerly as I am today.

There has been a certain disconnected sense I’ve had since I moved downtown, and that’s not why you move downtown. You move downtown specifically to be connected. You want to walk downstairs, leave your building, and then there it is, everything in the world you could possibly need. That is the downtown experience I’ve always imagined. It is what my Uncle Jay and I used to call “The Dream.”

But that hasn’t been the case. We have coffee shops, bars, nice restaurants, a (sketchy) booze store, pizza, a beautiful gym, and a fine cinema. But we have lacked perhaps the most basic amenity a neighborhood can offer: A grocery.

Until tomorrow.

Hart's Grocery

For me on my work schedule, grocery buying has involved either a midnight run after work or I have to go get my car. I know it sounds like not that much, but I do estimate it’s like 15 minutes from my front door to my car. There’s no running up the street for that thing you forgot. There are no spontaneous runs to the grocery to grab something for supper.

But tomorrow, friends, is the grand opening of Hart’s Local Grocers in the East End. People I talk to frequently are probably tired of hearing about it. But I’ll tell you what, this is going to improve the living standard in my neck of the woods by thousands of percents.

Ya’ll know where I’ll be tomorrow.

I might make a few trips.


Overheard: “Football is so dangerous. I would never let my kids play football.”

:: eyeroll ::


Mrs. Featherbottom

So Fox “News” interviews Larry King about Robin Williams’ death. Runs some nice film of Williams’ appearance in “Mrs. Doubtfire” and credits the film to 20th Century Fox. Just kidding. It was just some dude who dressed up like Mrs. Doubtfire and danced around in his living room and posted it to YouTube.

It starts at 30 seconds or so and is HILARIOUS.

I mean why not just use this?

Speaking of Robin Williams: Norm MacDonald won the Internet today, everybody.

There was also this from The Roots’ Questlove.

Introversion. What a bunch of crap. He thought to himself.

When I got back from lunch my co-worker informed me that that Robert Williams guy had died.

I did not correct him. I instead imagined Robin Williams somewhere around the corner, mugging as if he were laughing hysterically.


Good Music

I believe that I will always remain curious and somewhat vibrant because I was born with a brain that craves music.

The nice thing about music is that its discovery can be a never-ending task. There is always more, and it is always new.

I have always listened to weird music. I like weird music. I don’t listen to music with the intention of staying here. I listen to music because I want to get lost, or just because I want the room to be a different color.

Therefore, it makes sense that if there is a hub for my musical adventures, it is Frank Zappa. Anytime anyone lumps a musical artist with him, I am likely to pursue it. I mean, it never is, not really. But it usually turns out okay.

That would be how I discovered Kiyohiko Senba.

I’ve walked around with this in my head for days, and I don’t even know what to call it. But MY GOSH is it beautiful. I cannot imagine what it was like to be present in that room when it was performed.

Or there’s this lovely thing:

Yes. I think it’s safe to say that Kiyohiko Senba would make Frank Zappa smile.

Now, NPR seems to think that a new combo called “Adult Jazz” is zappaesque.

I think it’s a stretch. I think some music writer was sorely lacking a lede.

But they’re good.

I would more aptly compare them with Radiohead. Or The Residents. Or Beirut.

But no, NPR, just because a band’s music isn’t as accessible as that of Pharrell Williams, that doesn’t make it Zappa-like.

No siree.


In Other News

If you’re up for some snarky fun, head over to the Facebook page of the Oasis Cafe of Stillwater, Minn. This mom-and-pop diner has become the latest restaurant to stir up ire by doing something stupid and having it go viral.

In a nutshell, the restaurant charged a minimum wage fee of 35 cents on their bills, as, you know, a separate line item. Minnesota raised its minimum wage to $8 from the federal rate of $7.25 on Aug. 1.

There was once a restaurant my family and I went to for years, every Saturday morning, for breakfast. We were friendly with the owners; who had seen my brother grow up, who also had served us burgers and lots and lots of beer every Friday. One day, she served up the plates with a single slice of toast.

After a few weeks of this, we inquired. It was a waste control measure, she said.

We didn’t believe that story, quite. We suspected the business was failing and got the notion it was a cost-cutting measure instead. And we started going to the silver diner down the street.

The last thing in the world you want as a restaurateur is a reputation for being chintzy. Restaurant customers expect menu prices to rise. Looking like a chintzy nickel-and-dimer is a terrible business practice for a restaurant.

That place was gone in a year, by the way.


Does the fact that I’m mentioning Zappa here mean some research has been occurring regarding the holiday season? Mmmmmm…could be.

There are only 119 days until the Zappadan, after all.