Friday, July 31, 2009


A discussion of spinning ideas at any drinking establishment will, at some point, veer off into "The Economic State", specifically, "My Economic State". An important sub-category of said state is the can't-go-wrong scheme of "My Business Model". The crowd is usually deep into their respective cups at this juncture. Most of your drinking buds are leering between drunk and drowsy with quizzical looks on their faces wondering how you're still extemporaneously conversing in a semi-intelligent matter.

As a well-read Wodehouse fan, you are familiar with the Ways of Mulliner, so flights of verbal fancy are not new to you as you start winging your economic treatise on running your own shop. Like most kids, the thrill of being in a favorite store (pick your poison here, candy & comics emporium, 7-11’s, Dollar Variety stores, etc.) left you thinking, "Hey! I could do better than this when I grow up! I can be an adult AND enjoy my inner kid at my store all day!"

Fortunately, most of us realize late in our teens that running a store specifically designed to sell items to yourself will have a very limited customer base. Some guys only realize this after cleaning out their hard-earned meager savings on such entrepreneurial endeavors as "Used Tonkas 'R Us" or "Chew 'N Chat: THE Bubblegum Shoppe".

With a college degree folded and tucked into your back pocket and mental scabs acquired, picked at, and healed from life as you know it, some basic conclusions can be Sharpied for sake of permanency.

1)Men and women live in the same State, but on different sides of a river in said State.
2)While men like to cross the river for exploratory purposes, permanent occupation is a fleeting thought.
3)Crossing the river can be a perilous journey cursed with a plethora of words, the latter usually put together into complicated sentence structures discernible only by the female residents of the other side of the river.
4)When crossing the river in one’s bateau it’s always a good idea to be bearing a cadeau.
5)No matter what condition the rest of the world is in economically, principles #1 through #4 are always true.

Making these tested truths the cornerstone (some would say "Mission Statement"; others would say, "I will put a hurt on you if you use that "Mission Statement" crap again!") of your Shop Model, you conclude that YOUR shop model could do well selling to the potential customer base of 50% of the human population. Never underestimate the stupidity of people, but always overestimate the stupidity of a guy. The latter, and I throw myself into that distinguished pile, are incapable of learning/remembering from their encounters with the people living on the other side of the river. As your business target, the Guy is a perfect fit for your product.

The product? One word will cover it.
A wonderful word to describe both your product and one to use as your store’s name. The beauty of your concept is that the store will be self-perpetuating as long as all of the staff is male. The product you will be offering, whether it takes the form of flowers, candies, watches, jewelry, cars, books, stuffed creatures of non-zoological connections, must be chosen and recommended by men. This will guarantee a same-sex "sigh and understanding" moment while simultaneously nixing the success of said gift when presented, thus forcing a return trip some time later for another drachenfutter. Having an employee of the female persuasion may lead to a successful gift sale, true. But, you are looking for repeat business and, in the case of male/female relations, nothing brings drachenfutter success like failure.

You must think big. Drachenfutter knows no national borders. You can be the capo de capos of Gift Giving Futility and earning a nice amount of change. Guys are internationally crossing that river at their own peril even as I type. They should all be armed with gifts to lay before the dame. You, sir, are asked to provide the temporary salve

Labels: , ,

Say It Ain't So, Joe!?!?

In the most recent version of the refreshment-based summits, the "Beer Summit" held yesterday in the White House Biergarten, formerly known as the Rose Garden, it was announced that the beverage of choice was Sam Adams and Blue Moon.

Joe! Have you forgotten your roots? Why wasn't Dogfish Head offered? The brewery is just up I95 in scenic Milton, DE. And what's with the Prez' choice of that foreign beer, Bud Light? Perhaps the next beverage conference, the Vodka Milkshake Summit , will result in home roots based choices.

(Note: Great Photoshop editing on this pic. Kudos to the Onion staff)


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sunday, August the 2nd

This Sunday, first Sunday in the last full month of the 2009 Summer, I'll be hosting The Morning After on WVUD. You can listen online here.
On tap, the latest from Todd Snider, Christian McBride, perhaps Assembly of Dust, Tortoise, Dave Alvin, and some older stuff from Eastern Rebellion and Art Farmer.

Ry Cooder, Wilco, Nik Bartsch, Bad Plus, Chucho Valdes, Galactic, Yayhoos, Stanton Moore, Matthew Ryan, Toumani Diabete, Bill Frisell, Fela Kuti, and Jenny Scheinman will probably be in the mix as well.

As usual, requests, comments, complaints, and "I-would've-played-this-instead"'s are welcome ((302)831-2701 or email @

So, tune in this Sunday 9:00 am to 12:00 Noon EST at 91.3 on your FM dial, though your chances are better, if you live more than 5 miles outside of Newark, DE, to do the Internet thing.


Rehoboth Beach in The New Yorker

Reading Patricia Marx' article, Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny, in this week's New Yorker, was a hoot. Coming at the tail end of this article on the dangers of bathing-suit shopping, was this paragraph;
"Speaking of winners, the first known bathing-beauty competition (not counting the ones on the Minaon cave walls) took place in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, in 1880. One of the judges was Thomas Edison. First prize, which went to a young woman named Myrtle Meriwether, a trousseau."

Ahh Rehoboth Beach!?! Home of the 2 hr parking meter and parking meter maids who work, I'm positive, on commission. While the meter says two hours, the time passes by quicker in Rehoboth Beach. In celebration of another beach season, parking fines were raised. Don't get me wrong, Rehoboth is a lovely place. Women are numbered for identification purposes. You never know who you'll run into at the beach. Families are welcome here. No Beach Tags! (Take THAT New Jersey!) And, of course, Dogfish Head Brews and Eats, reason enough to make the trek. But enough of the summer-based reminiscing.

In her piece (one piece; not two), Patricia Marx demonstrates why I, for one, will hang out by my land-line and wait for a call to join her on her shopping trips treatises she is commissioned to write about twice a year for the New Yorker. When not concocting her own bon mots, she is sure to quote a quip from one of a multitude of witty co-shoppers.
Here's Cynthia Kling, who notes,
"It's essential to bring a friend when bathing-suit shopping.
One, women are too crazy to judge how they look.
Two, if you go with your mother, she'll project her neurotic body image onto you.
and, three, salespeople lie.

In the article, along with other choice observations, Ms. Marx links to this Speedo LZR Racer suit instruction guide. All I can say is that any male out there who already hesitates uncomfortably at the mere mention of Speedo will be embarassingly tested if he even thinks of donning a LZR Racer. In fact, a guy may think that the only reason the swimming times have fallen so precipitously in the last year was that the faster a race ended, the faster a LZR Racer squeezed shmo can get out of his suit.

All in all, an enjoyable trip to stores that may give one reason to blush or avert one's eyes with a guide whose tongue is perpetually deep in her cheek. I'm here, Ms. Marz, waiting for an invite on your next foray into purchase land.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jersey, Philly-Style

Officials arrested in corruption ring leave federal court

You know how this will all end, right? It'll be the NY/NJ version of this. Huge amount of indictments. Minimal punishment. I would not be surprised if entrapment is claimed and the State of New Jersey & the Federal Government is forced to pay out to the (alleged) perpetrators. There goes our stimulus money....

But, while the accusations and paperwork is piling up, court time will be dandy. The trial will be quite interesting, especially considering the age and the position of some of those arrested. Newspapers will reap a huge increase in circulation. Synagogues will be full of the curious and the non-Syrian Jews wanting in on the story.
Money-laundering, organ-selling, cereal box money transportation devices, respected elderly rabbis... This has it all! TV movie will be out within 2 months; YouTube will most certainly be hosting amateur renditions shortly.

What a great summer for new phrases!
"Hiking in the Appalachians" will forever be associated with exotic sexual dalliance.

"Apple Jacks" will no longer connote a morning breakfast cereal but, rather, a high-in-sugar cardboard money logistical device.

It's only July. We have the full month of August to add to this summer's new phraseology. The East Coast has been particularly fecund this season. Come on, West Coast! I thought all of the creative writing talent had migrated out there? We're waiting for some verbal gems from you folks.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

When a Man Loves His....

...Shoes. Ivan, over at Pepper Mint Mine, videoed the big moment and had his video picked up by one of the designers of the shoes.


Monday, July 20, 2009

The Long Voyage

(Hector Zazou's "The Long Voyage", with Suzanne Vega and John Cale, makes for a fine hum on this summer's journies.)

For all of those readers off on their summer adventures, may there be many memories created and dangerous moments safely skirted. What is summer but a sweet whiff of the scythe's passing by?


Friday, July 17, 2009

An Education by Nick Hornby

Emma Thompson.
Alfred Molina.
Carey Mulligan, already labeled with Audrey Hepburn-style class, charisma and smarts.
Directed by Lone Scherfig and written by Ms. Scherfig and Nick Hornby.

What's NOT to like about An Education?

And, then there's the Ben Folds/Nick Hornby album collaboration that is due out sometime in the near future. Here's a snippet of one of the songs. Will Mr. Folds do for Mr. Hornby what he did for Mr. Shatner?

Note Bene: For those of us who are self-confessed stalkers of Hornby, Shatner, & Folds, keep in mind that all three crossed paths on Shatner & Folds' album "That's me Trying" was composed by Mr. Hornby.


Monday, July 13, 2009

"Juliet, Naked" Rushed to Uncover

Who woulda thunk Dan Brown has such a sweeping effect on book deliverance?

Never read one of his, uhmmmm, lit works. I may have to buy one just to make sure the Dan Brown publishing engine keeps chugging along, thus delivering to us books we really want to read.

P.S., Here's Heather Brown's take on the book. Damn!??@?!?@ I'd love to be part of that club that gets to read Hornby's books so much earlier. How much more hould I be groveling Mr. Riverhead Books? I mean, what with having purchased all of Aleksandar Hemon in the past 4-5 years, I figure I'm supporting you folks enough to throw me an early Hornby bone?

Addendum 7/15/09:
Just announced. Upcoming book tour.
•September 29 in New York, Barnes & Noble – Union Square, 7:00 PM
•September 30 in Boston, Brookline Booksmith, 6:00 PM, Location: Coolidge Theater
•October 1 in Washington, DC, Politics & Prose, 7:00 PM
•October 6 in Los Angeles, Book Soup, 7:30 PM, Location: Skirball Cultural Center
•October 7 in El Cerrito, CA, Barnes & Noble – El Cerrito, 7:00 PM
•October 8 in San Francisco, City Arts & Lectures, 8:00 PM, Location: Herbst Theater
•October 9 in Seattle, Elliott Bay Book Company, 7:00 PM, Location: Seattle Public Library
(from Nicks Fan site)

Notice anything?
Yep, that's right! Mr. Hornby is dissing (is that word still in the vogue?) Marah's home town of Philly.


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Sunday July the 12th, 2009

It's been a while, but I'll be back behind the microphone this Sunday morning, July 12th being the 200th day of this year (Yes! We're on the downward slide to 2010) with piles of CD's to the right of me and piles of the CD's to the left. Lots to choose from including Wilco's latest, which I'll probably be playing to bring back memories of their outdoor minor league baseball stadium gig this Friday in Wilmington. Sounds like their date yesterday in Wolf Trap, VA was a hit.

So, this Sunday 9:00 to 12:00 noon on WVUD for The Morning After. Check it out on the Internet here.

July 19 is the date in 1799 when a group of Napoleon Bonaparte's soldiers, stuck out in the desert without a Ricard between them, discover what is now known as The Rosetta Stone, enabling the translation of hieroglyphics for the first time. But, we won't be talking about that on the show.

Infinite possibilities include the aforementioned Wilco, Todd Snyder, Dave Alvin's latest (he of the "and the Guilty Women"), Slaid Cleaves, Anders Osborne, Cedar Walton, Charles Mingus (on piano!), Matthew Ryan, Christian McBride, Levon Helm, Jimmie Vaughn and whoever else jumps into the play bag the night before

Requests/suggestion can be made via e-mail here. I'll try to tuck them in an appropriate place and I will give credit where it is due! And, I promise, no Michael Jackson.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A Final Word

Stanley Crouch. Yes, he's ornery, opinionated, contrary, and downright irascible at times. But, he's also usually dead on right about the issue at hand. Mr Crouch, writing in the Daily News, notes that " (Michael) Jackson became the greatest individual success in a hollow industry shaped by the gleaming technological manipulation that swallowed the heart of the world like a plastic shark covered with glued-on glitter."

At lunchtime today, I happened to be listening to the NPR program "Tell Me More". You knew where the show was going as their opening salvo was "The death of pop icon and humanitarian Michael Jackson has attracted tremendous media attention.It was the post-MJ Funeral pile-on of condolences and praises. The 24/7 of Sadness of the Bizarre was continuing.

Then, a breath of fresh air.

Stanley Crouch was interviewed, a guy standing on the street watching the ostentatious parade. A guy who seemed to notice the Emperor's Clothes. Mr. Crouch was not commenting directly about Michael Jackson but on the entertainment industry as a whole. Classifying Jackson as an entertainer not as an artist, Mr. Crouch deconstructed his talent, pointing out that as a dancer and as a singer, Sammy Davis Jr. outranked him. When you have such talentless competition like Britney Spears to go up against, it's not a wonder that excessive praise for an aging adolescent results.

As Mr. Crouch put so well, "This went on until we began to hear over and over the idea that a person possessed vitality if he or she "stayed in touch with the inner child." As a man who was never able to be an actual child because he became too famous too soon, Jackson seemed to maintain a determined nostalgia for what he had not experienced. Part of his trouble was that he became wealthy enough to create his own world of perpetual childhood.
A great danger of enormous wealth and power is delusion. Whether an entertainer or not, one can be deluded into believing that it is not only possible to remain an adolescent but a right.

I'm not nor ever was an MJ fan. Aside from his bizarre lifestyle, his songs had no appeal to me as an adult. The lyrics were childish and the beat was repetitive; excellent production was what made his albums so long as they were played QUITE LOUDLY. His music along with his personality became a caricature of itself.

I thought I was just being an old coot about this until I heard Mr. Crouch, perhaps a fellow old coot, eloquently pointing out the Emperor's clothes were but a glove.

Here's another Crouch piece on Michael Jackson from 1987.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Money, Compliments, Publicity

I should consider myself either lucky or damned. In comparison to Todd Snider the number of my turbulent relationships with the fairer sex would barely raise a ripple on a pond. Any angst-y grist for the composing/writing mill I'd had would have required a minimal trickle of water to turn that mill. In relation to Mr. Snider, an 8 oz. bottle's squirt would have been sufficient. Having an inexhaustible supply of crash-'n-burns to cull from and armed with an eye for detail and a wit for pain, Mr. Snider has come up with, IMHO, his best effort to date. Each song has a hook of a story to snag you and every song is anchored by memorable lines laid out in a tired, but not exhausted, throwaway manner. In previous albums, he's referred to Jerry Jeff Walker’s influence on him (particularly on the tracks "The story of the ballad of the devil's backbone tavern" and "The Ballad of the Devil's Backbone Tavern", from Near Truths & Hotel Rooms) and you can certainly hear the laidback attitude that Jerry Jeff always had in Mr. Snider’s delivery. But, Jerry Jeff was never as funny nor was Jerry Jeff as prodigious a composer as Mr. Snider. Rober Earl Keens' Corpus Christi Bay is the only song on this album not his own and Mr. Snider's unique delivery of this great song practically makes it his own.
There are no favorite songs.
Let me ask, "Who's your favorite child?"
And while Mr. Snider asks "...when are you too old to learn?" in "Greencastle Blues", we all know the answer, in his particular case.
Good Lord wiling, thankfully, never.

So, Excitement Plan?
A great album cover (WHAT, exactly, is that breed of dog? Crazy Handsome), a Don Was produced album (Snider's best-sounding release to date, IMHO), every song a gem; every song worth a repeat listen. I can't emphasize Don Was' production enough. While everyone knows he can make geese farts sound meolodic, the beauty he creates with Todd Snider's voice and each song's instrumentation is breath-taking, especially if you give a listen to any of Mr. Snider's previous issues.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Click for Wilmington, Delaware Forecast Locations of visitors to this page eXTReMe Tracker
follow me on Twitter