Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wartime Blues Lone Bright Spot

The only bright spot Kitchenpoet could find, Friday night, was the Old Post packed to the rafters for Wartime Blues. The Old Post is an intimate venue (that means small), where I have enjoyed evenings with Russ Nassett and Corn Mash. This time, it was wall-to-wall, SRO, and everyone was into it. I could barely squeeze in the back door, forget about coming in the front and working back to the stage. I squeezed off a handful of shots, before being squeezed back out into the alley. Yes, the squeeze was definitely on, and I can't work under those conditions.

Good for the Old Post. Size is limited, but the music and the food are good. Try their fish tacos and you'll never go back to La Parilla.

I love this band, and have some previous shots up on the flickr archive. This time I finally produced two fair shots of Bethany, previously of Good Neighbor Policy. There are shots of that band and Bethany on flickr. The next time you see them advertised, be there for some live, local music and look for the Kitchenpoet.

Timeslip update: see Wartime Blues at the Palace, Saturday, January 31.

The rest of zootown was quiet, including this old favorite spot. On this night, it was psychedelia on downers, nothing to enliven the spirit, with a thin crowd around a wasted dance floor.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inauguration Night @Elks Club

When Bob Wire started playing at the Democrats' Victory Party, I headed upstairs.

Bob turned in his usual energetic performance and pulled a newly written song out of his hat. That one put the boogey on the floor. It was dance time.

The music ended too soon for me. Programmed as I am by the standard late zootown music times, I arrived too late for Tom Catmull. When Bob and the Magnificent Bastards wrapped up their set, the music went canned upstairs.

A Democrat flaunts his flag, as celebratory dances continue.

There was still live music downstairs at the the Bush Be Gone Bash.

Mountain Grip, a guitar trio from Bozeman, warmed up the crowd at the Bush bash. They had a folksy, easy-going sound, but the lack of a drummer weakened their presence.

Crowd pleasing local group, Delta Function, laid down a nice riff, as the music continued into the night. The Elks Club Bar had Moose Drool in the bottle for $3, and I splurged for two, one for each floor.

Warning: Rant Ahead

I am one of the malcontents not happy with Obama's let-bygones-be-bygones attitude towards the crooks who have been raping our country for eight years, while setting half the world on fire, in their greedy grab for power and plunder.

Put them in stocks in city squares and parks to be ridiculed and reviled for their crimes. These people committed incredible atrocities, because they couldn't care less about human life or the Christian values they claimed to uphold. All they cared about was the money, which brings us to the bail out bullshit.

It reminds me of the nazis, plundering France as they withdrew. I know, as soon as these fascists took power, they proclaimed they couldn't be compared to the nazis, because it was rude. Only heathen liberals could be so rude. Dammit, they've acted a lot like the nazis. Try this exercise: take a WWII movie and picture W and his cronies as the strutting nazis. You will see they fit right in.

Back to the bailout. It represents the trucks being loaded with the last of the loot, before the villains race for their fortified strongholds. It was ironic the Bushes seemed to be preparing to flee to the same area some nazis did. If they planned to live in Texas, why did they set up the huge compound in South American mountains? I think, at that point they really thought they might be pursued or prosecuted, after leaving power. Later, they realized they could get away with the whole thing, free as could be.

How in the hell does an outfit like Bank of America charge those outrageous interest rates on credit cards and still wind up in line for a handout?

We've been giving our banks and corporations money for years, and they claim to have lost it all and now our government will replace it with more money, taken from our taxes. The industries, which created this disastrous crash are being rewarded with more money. Fuck them. Give us affordable health care, adequate nutrition, and take care of those who have no homes and little food. It would be nice to make some improvements to education, after we dump that 3-Rs, standardized-testing load of pig-wallow, which claimed to leave no child behind, while dumping millions of them in the street.

I recognize a rant, when I start one. Perhaps I should change the subject. Yes, it's true--Dennis Miller became a sell-out, working for the propaganda arm of the organized crime operation which took control of our government. Oh, and now do we get to shout, "Shut up," at Bill O'Reilly? I try to be tolerant, even of the other side's views, but, damn, it is hard to ignore that loud-mouthed gas bag.

I just posted my tribute to Martin Luther King, and I want to return to MLK day for another quote, "A time comes when silence is betrayal." We cannot just become silent about the crimes committed in our names.

The war is not over. The new fascists are still with us, masquerading as patriots and holy people, and they aren't defeated, only slightly humiliated. They will continue to twist the truth to meet their ends, they will continue to push for profit at all costs and they will continue to terrorize people with their constant wars. This time we must go beyond outmaneuvering them in an election and actually, "Throw the bums out." Or better, throw them into their own prisons.

This isn't the end; it's the beginning. We must not let them get away this time. We must not turn our backs as Bill Clinton did on the crimes of Reagan and George I. If they get away, they or their allies will return with lies and bribery to seize power again. Can't let that happen.

We must go beyond just ending the war to dismantling the military/industrial complex, and removing their power forever.

Peace now, please.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Olshittay visits Bob Wire @Union Club

Linden How, of MAM, turned the camera on the old kitchen poet, when he visited the Union Club to see Bob Wire.

"When Johnny showed up late to work and called his boss a fucking jerk, his boss could smell the whiskey on his breath."

Bob Wire is always a hoot, and the dance floor at the Union Club fills quickly with his fans. For more images from this night, check the flickr archive and click the slide show toggle.

All right already. Yes, I heard complaints there was nothing new on the blog. I have been a little out of it, after having my camera stop working again and then falling on the ice. I'm coming around. I'm learning to use the new loaner from a friend. All these images came from that camera. I have approximately 90 minutes of Zeppo video to look at. I've downgraded that project from a 30 minute television spot to a 3-5 minute Youtube video, when I get around to editing it. That will be quicker and easier, and when I have one I like, I should have enough material to make another.

I have a collection of my photography called "Summer Colors Cure Winter Blues" within a whisker of being ready to show and sell. It is a collection of summer things, butterflies, flowers, birds, bees and dragonflies, some of them very close up and personal. I'm also finally working seriously on an exhibition of my photography covering the zootown music scene. It will be a survey of 2008, starting with the PBR battle of the bands in the spring. I have some poster-sized test prints coming back from Fuji any day.

Amanda wants a cover for her next CD, and Wolf Redboy wants two shots for inside his CD. Things are looking up.

Disclaimer: It should be obvious, but let me state plainly that none of the Martin Luther King tribute, posted immediately before this, was original with me. The words were all the preacher's own, and I stole the photos from Time/Warner, the guys who bought Turner, turned CNN into People Magazine and sank Netscape, the dandiest little web browser ever made.

I miss Netscape. I've mentioned more than once here how much I hate Windows protocols and refuse to use Internet Explorer. Now, I am increasingly annoyed with Mozilla, the constant updates, the orphaned password banks created by the updates, and the increasing slowness as more gadgets are added. I wax nostalgic for some old school, elegeant and simple software. I don't want programs designed to do everything but wash the dishes.

Speaking of simplicity reminds me of the latest from Ching. The oracle says; "Manifest plainness; embrace simplicity. Modesty, patience, fairness and generosity are called for here. Blossoming and Ripening will follow."

That last line is a reminder the solstice has passed and spring is on the horizon. There will be planting soon and flowers leading to the harvest. This is also a metaphor of truthful seeds growing in our minds, and the ripening of relationships with fellow humans, animals and plants.

One of My Heroes

"The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustments of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority."
We must"...develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole..."

"We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the alter of retaliation."

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

"I may not get there with you, ...but we as a people will get to the promised land."

"Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful struggle for a new world."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gesundheit, or should that be Thank You for Flushing

This guy has my beard and glasses. His name is Peter Kropotkin.

The Mountain Line is my usual transportation to and from work. Once every week or two, I drive in order to shop or run errands, after work. There's a copy of the Missoulian, on the bus, each day. The other day, there was a letter from someone totally pissed that liberal propoganda was being promoted in our schools. This individual cited the showing of two videos, as examples. One was an episode of Bill Moyers PBS program, and the other was an animated short about manufacturing and pollution, among other related topics.

Bill Moyers is one of my heros, but I haven't seen his new program and will not comment. The short, entitled The Story of Stuff, is at the first link under things I like in the column to the right. While the letter writer thinks it should be banned from the schools, I think it should be shown to every student in the country. It's a clever and informative piece, not a negative shriek about capitalism. Check it out, here.

It is time for an end of the year clearing of the decks, and taking a good dump, in order to get on to something new. Here's a batch of random facts, quotes, and such like to clear the air (and empty my note folder).

"Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible. " --Umeyuno

Merchandise seen at Wal-Mart: A five pound bag of "Assorted River Rocks...Product of China," with a price of $2.99. I really want to know if someone living here would pay for river rocks from China.

"Apathy develops when disappointment becomes normal." I didn't write down who said that, but it feels true.

The average farm worker, in the U.S., makes $7,500 a year and dies at age 47, usually of pesticide poisoning.

400,000 people a year die from smoking cigarettes, in the U.S.

George II's recent snub of Helen Thomas reminded me of the little scandal, when one of the White House Press Corp, supposedly named Jeff Gannon, lobbed a particularly slanted, softball question at the president. Turned out he was the only employee of the news department of a Texas station owned by a right wing millionaire. In addition, Gannon was really named James Guckert, and had his own sideline, advertising gay escort services online. His signature photo showed him wearing only his dogtags and camo boxers.

Last century, it would have taken seven servants to equal what our modern conveniences do for us.

Confession: I'm a bit of a sports fan, having been sports editor of my high-school newspaper. I've followed some sports since then. I must say, there are too damn many bowl games. Six and six teams should not play bowl games. A winning record should be required. This year, the Pac-10 went five for five in bowl games, and both Oregon schools won upsets. My ducks came back to beat Oklahoma State. They were ranked fairly close, but unranked Oregon State nipping 20th ranked Pitt 3-0 was a surprise to some. Earlier, Arizona jumped on Brigham Young and blew up their season. Cal beat Miami; who cares? It was no surprise to see the USC Trojans clobber Penn State.

Approximately 600,000 Christians are among the 2.5 million refugees who have fled Iraq. That surge thing really worked, didn't it!?

The newest treat at the Arkansas State Fair was chocolate-covered bacon on a stick. Where do they come up with that stuff?

lyric on the radio: "...the road goes on forever, and the party never ends."

Confession: I am addicted to caffeine, not just caffeine, but real coffee. I saw a statistic saying 1.6 million hot beverage cups are trashed every hour in this country. That made me feel guilty. Steve, at Butterfly, suggested I buy one of their insulated cups, saying I could get it filled for 75 cents for as long as I have it, because they consider it advertising. That solved that itch, and the cup is still with me on a daily basis.

Plastic beverage bottles are clogging the land even faster than those cups. Two million bottles are used in the U.S. every five minutes. Think about it. I don't buy beverages in bottles or cans and have no guilt on this one, but the waste bothers me.

426,000 cell phones are "retired" every day in this country.

"Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Give a man religion and watch him starve to death praying for fish." --Scott Stockdale

The oracle repeats: Set your house in order, tend to business, be clear, and wait on the will of heaven.

The solstice is past, the darkness has reached its zenith, and the turning point meant the light will return. We may not notice, at first, but the days are getting longer. Next up: spring! There will be flowering leading to fruit, blossoming leading to beauty, and warmth leading to nudity. Well, I can always hope.

The wind up of the old is hereby handled. Onward and Upward. Where's some music? Oh, I know...

Coming up soon: Tom Catmull plays Artini at MAM, and Bob Wire @the Union Club.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

First Night in the Zoo City

The first highlight of First Night was hearing Dave Thomas reading his poetry at the Dana Gallery. I had greeted him often on Higgins, but didn't know his name until I saw him with his Festival of the Book name tag. The gallery talks at Dana are always exceptional. I bought Dave's book, Buck's Last Wreck, an original 1996 print with the original low price, and he signed it. He reminds me of Gary Snyder, and, indeed, Dave said Gary inspired him.

The Festival of the Book was another well-planned Missoula event. I have some images of other Montana writers I captured, which should be on this site soon.
I enjoy Tom and the Tomatoes. To see them during two other events, look for that name among the sets on the flickr archive. There's also a set, which matches the title of this post. There you will find more photos of my three favorites from First Night. This feisty group was the second.

Thomas Pendarvis and March of the Black Queen jump started the new year. That makes my favorite three, in chronological order.

I saw Bethany, another graduate of Good Neighbor Policy. I had just missed hearing one of her new bands, Pillar Saints. She said the other band, Wartime Blues, would be playing the Badlander, Tuesday, January 13, 2009. There is a set of Wartime Blues on the flickr archive.

Missoula is the place to look for up to the minute action in zoo city. KBGA is the hip campus station. I'm embarrassed by how long it took me to find out there was more than the NPR station on campus.

Secret Powers @Badlander 12/20/2008

Well, I was near suicidal, when my camera quit working again. It was gone for almost two months, while a friend supplied a loaner, which kept me sane. My camera works for three fucking days, after coming back from service, and develops the same problem it had before, only intermittently. This time, I didn't know when I picked it up whether it would work or not. I finally reshipped it to warranty service in New Jersey, and depression loomed large.

I came up with an alternative, and was handed another by a good friend. MCAT audio/video production is what I will learn, while my baby is away. I've got a video camera borrowed now, and I bought three tapes for it. It fits easily in one hand, with the tape start/stop by the thumb, and the zoom by the pointer. There's a 3mp digital still button, if I buy a mini-SD card, which I can't afford. I have 90 minutes of Zeppo on tape, and plan to get another 90, when they play the Union Club, on Friday, January 2nd.

That's one alternative project. The second is a little camera a friend insisted I borrow. It's a whizbang point-and-shoot with an intricate lens assembly providing a 12x optical zoom. It definitely doesn't operate intuitively, as the video camera does. The loan included a 2gb SD card, and I haven't figured out yet how many 8mp images will fit, as large jpegs, because the camera won't shoot raw.

What is all this babbling? I recently received a communication stating someone had looked at my blog, but since it didn't have anything about me on it, hadn't looked since. There's some personal stuff OK? Being without my favorite artistic tool made me feel bereft, but maybe it was a good thing. Perhaps, I should learn something new. Perhaps, my favorite brush had become a crutch. I know there were times it felt as if I had the proverbial millstone around my neck.

So while my camera was futzing around, I only saw and could not capture Amanda's kick-off performance in the Palace. It was working the night Amanda took the Badlander stage and knocked the lights out. That was one of the times my camera worked for about three hours, before quitting again. That was a memorable night, concluded by Secret Powers. When I covered Amanda's portion of the program, I promised coverage for this band soon.

Well, hell, I told y'all before: I'm old and slow. Check out these sample shots, give thanks to the venue, hop over to flickr, if these aren't the first folks you see, match set title to the title of this post, start the slide show, or just start the slide show, anywhere you want.

Oh, and why now? Because someone from this band thanked me tonight for previous photos here and on flickr, I remembered I had this set in the can. If you like my art, and you see me on the scene, please tell me. I sometimes think no one is looking at my stuff, and I take my stuff very seriously.

Back to Secret Powers. Missoula must produce more good bands per capita than any other place in the country. Here's another example.

The Santas gathered to hear secret powers.

Where was that again? The Badlander is the subject. A bunch of people are working hard to present a diverse menu of live music. They also happen to sell alcoholic beverages of all types.
I've said this before, and I will say it again: turn off the television and get out to hear some live music. Bring your friends.