Butter Policy: Addendum 1.0

And sometimes I find an open stick of butter just sitting there on top of a neighbor’s hedge.  The French call this kind of butter non comestible.

more-butter(NOTE: Does that stick of butter look blurry to you?  One of the reasons I did a second post about butter is that yesterday’s picture came out degraded even though the source photo uploaded crisp and clear and looked right in the editor.  I’m not sure what’s going on with that, but I also noticed that most of my recent photos now look like highly pixelated shit.  Scanned images don’t seem to be effected, though.)

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Official Policy Regarding the Acquisition and Consumption of Butter

I have never in my life purchased butter.  Not even a single pat.

butterI instead take home the leftover butters from restaurants.  I don’t consider it stealing as I don’t ask for additional butter pats; I just pocket the unused ones the wait staff has already placed on the table.  This method scores me around 8-10 butter pats per year.  Once I’ve acquired two, I tend to make a large bowl of popcorn.

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VPotD: The first of December…

If you look at this vintage photograph on my website (as opposed to in an email on your pocket oracle), you should be able to see the WordPress snow falling on the young woman.  For extra fun, see if you can sync-up the digital snow with the snow from the photo.

standing-on-the-porch-in-the-snowAlso, don’t forget to open the first door on your advent calendar this morning.  I opened mine and found a Lego robot in there.

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What it’s all about…



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Whiskeytown @ the Double Door (11/1/97)

I was digging around the cellar looking for my Halloween decorations when I found an old stinky box of cassette tapes.  I brought them upstairs to toss in the garbage when I noticed that one of them was a recording I’d secretly made at a Whiskeytown concert at the Double Door in Chicago nineteen years ago today.  I’d gone to the venue, scoped out the best spot, and stood there quietly with my microphone sort of hidden in my jacket.  The resulting bootleg was an audiophile’s nightmare, but that didn’t keep me from playing it over and over again that winter.whiskeytown-j-card I salvaged the tape from the box and played it in my car yesterday.  It’s still almost unlistenable, but it was fun to hear the old songs again after close to two decades.  Many of them never appeared on a proper Whiskeytown album.  Now that Ryan Adams makes song-by-song copies of Taylor Swift albums, it’s easy to forget that he used to be in a great band and once made music worth listening to.  That first encore set was particularly good.  Caitlin Cary really shines…especially in “The Battle”.

Setlist: Today / 16 Days / Yesterday’s News / Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight / Midway Park / Breathe / Not Home Anymore / Streets of Sirens / Everything I Do / Waiting to Derail

First encore: Nighttime Gals / Avenues / The Battle / My Heart Is Broken

Second encore: Losering

I mentioned a cellar in the first sentence of this post.  I don’t actually have a cellar.  It’s really just the unfinished part of my basement.  I call it a cellar because I like the word.

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Nick Lowe & Josh Rouse @ the 20th Century Theatre (10/19/16)

Last night I went to see Nick Lowe and Josh Rouse at the 20th Century Theatre.  Both musicians performed solo acoustic sets; Josh served as the opening act.

lowe-rouseI’ve been a fan of Josh Rouse’s music since I first heard “Suburban Sweetheart” on the Sounds of the New West compilation in 1998.  I saw him open for the Cowboy Junkies a couple years after that, and then lost track of him as a live performer.  I still bought each of his new studio albums, but didn’t manage to catch up with him again for 16 years.  What I mostly remember about Josh’s live show back then was how dull it was.  If you’re less interesting than the Cowboy Junkies, then there’s definitely something wrong.

Well, I’m happy to report that Josh Rouse has made great strides as a live performer.  He’s quite engaging now.  He seems comfortable up there, tells stories, and blows a mean harmonica.  It also helps that he’s got so many more quality songs to choose from (originally recorded in different styles).  Josh mixed it up and played a selection from his entire career.  He performed the title track off his debut album, a few songs off the incredibly poppy 1972, an assortment of songs from his Yep Roc years, and even a new tune called “Sad MF”.  I’ll let you figure that one out for yourself.  Here’s the setlist:

Setlist: It’s the Nighttime / JR Worried Blues / A Lot Like Magic / New Young / 1972 / Time / Sad MF / Dressed Up Like Nebraska / Comeback (Light Therapy) / Crystal Falls / Love Vibration / The Ocean

Josh Rouse closed out his set with a version of “The Ocean” that had the audience singing the “sinking down slow, sinking down slowly” line over and over again as he walked off stage.  I’m usually not into audience participation, but it was quite lovely.

Nick Lowe is my second favorite 67-year-old British musician and he hardly ever makes it out to Cincinnati.  This was actually my first time seeing him live.  It was perfect timing, too.  I found a used copy of his 1999 box set, The Doings: The Solo Years, a few months ago and have been playing it in my car non-stop since then.  I’ve heard “American Squirm” about 40 times.  I can honestly say that I’m more of a Nick Lowe fan in October of 2016 than I’ve ever been before.  I consider myself lucky that he scheduled a show a mile from my house right in the middle of my Nick Lowe Phase.  That kind of timing rarely happens.

Want to know what I think?  Nick Lowe is a brilliant performer and you should check him out if he ever comes anywhere near where you live.  Even if you only know the hits like “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?” and “Cruel to Be Kind”, it would definitely be worth the money.  He’s charming and dapper and has so many good songs beyond the famous ones.  I was just as happy to hear songs from 2011’s The Old Magic like “House For Sale” and “Stoplight Roses” as I was to hear the classics.  I don’t even own The Old Magic.  Never heard those songs before in my life.

Here’s Nick Lowe’s setlist:

Main set: People Change / Stoplight Roses / Long Limbed Girl / Ragin’ Eyes / What’s Shakin’ on the Hill / “Crying Inside” / ‘Til the Real Thing Comes Along / “The Shoes I Used to Wear” / Has She Got a Friend? / I Trained Her to Love Me / I Live on a Battlefield / Failed Christian (Henry McCullough) / Cruel to Be Kind / Sensitive Man / Somebody Cares For Me / House For Sale / Lonely Just Like Me (Arthur Alexander) / (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? / I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock ‘n’ Roll)

Encore: When I Write the Book (Rockpile) / Knock Knock Rattle (Rex Allen) / Alison (Elvis Costello)

Finally, here are a few of my usual concert-related scans and photos.  In addition to the setlist notes and marquee shot, I’ve included a picture of my copy of Josh Rouse’s Bedroom Classics, Vol. 4.  I picked it up at the merch table on my way out.  I didn’t even know it had been released.

One last thing.  I should probably mention that this show took place at the exact same time as the third presidential debate.  I would’ve watched that train wreck if it hadn’t been for the concert.  My life is better for choosing the music.  It almost always is.

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Billy Joel @ Riverfront Coliseum (7/21/90)

After many years of searching, I’ve finally found the ticket stub from my very first concert.  It’s not the actual stub I had with me when I saw Billy Joel at Riverfront Coliseum back on July 21st, 1990, but it is an official ticket stub from that same concert.  It came up on eBay a couple weeks ago and I grabbed it for $5.  It had always bothered me that I’d somehow managed to lose my original ticket stub (or hadn’t bothered to keep it in the first place).  I have the ticket stub from my second concert, my third concert, and my twenty-third concert, but I was missing that first one.  It’s almost enough to drive a completist like me a little nuts.  Well, I found it and here it is:

bj stub (front)bj stub (back)I remember very little about the concert itself.  I didn’t start my long-running personal journal until my 16th birthday (the following week), so I don’t even have the day’s entry to refer to.  All I remember is that I went to Riverfront Coliseum with my parents, grandmother, and a couple of aunts and uncles.  Probably Judy.  Maybe Rusty (RIP).  The venue was packed.  I remember Billy Joel sang “Piano Man” somewhere near the end.  He let the audience take over on the “sing us a song you’re the piano man” bit and I sang along.  I loved it.  That’s the only song I remember for sure.  The rest are lost to me as I didn’t bother to keep a setlist.  That habit started with my second concert.

Did you make it all the way down here?  If so, feel free to leave a comment telling me what your first concert was.  That’s the kind of thing that interests me and I’m fine with begging for the information.

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Richard Buckner @ MOTR Pub (8/6/16)

Probably the less said about last night’s Richard Buckner show down in Over-the-Rhine the better.  I arrived late to find him playing to a decent-sized crowd of people, but I soon realized that only about a dozen of them were paying any attention to what he was doing onstage.  The rest were drinking and chatting and ignoring him.  They were loud and disrespectful.  The situation made me grumpy and embarrassed for my town.  It made Richard Buckner angry.

Richard had just finished “When You Tell Me How It Is” and was starting in on “Before” when I guess he reached his limit.  He stopped the song a few lines in, stood up, and began packing his equipment.  He looked furious.  An oblivious man from the audience made the mistake of going up on stage to talk to him.  Richard yelled at him to “get off the fucking stage.”  I believe that may have been the last thing he said in MOTR Pub.  He packed his minivan in a barely-contained rage and was gone five minutes later.

blurry buckner with boxes

(blurry Buckner with boxes)

This was a rough concert to witness.  I don’t blame Richard Buckner at all, though.  I’m actually surprised he lasted as long as he did.  The audience was obnoxious and showed a complete lack of respect.  Still, I’m glad I went.  If nothing else, it’ll explain why Richard skips over Cincinnati the next time he tours the Midwest.

Here’s to happier times and better audiences:

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Richard Buckner @ the Columbia City Theater (7/24/16)

Although I’m always looking for an excuse to come out to Seattle, I usually plan my trips around a specific event like a concert or music festival.  I planned this trip around Richard Buckner’s show at the Columbia City Theater.  Not only is the theater one of my favorite local venues, but Richard Buckner is one of my favorite musicians (and has been for 19 years).  So it seemed like a good excuse for a visit.

Beth and I were the first people through the theater doors, so we ended up snagging two seats right in the middle of the front row.  That gave me an even better view than I’d had when Richard played a show in my house a couple years ago.  We listened to Hayden over the sound system while we waited for the concert to begin; I drank a beer and Beth drew a drawing of the stage.  I’d post it here, but it’s not mine to share.

The show eventually started at a little after 8:00.  Richard was great as usual, but I’m not going to go into the specific details as I’ve already done that three times in the Vox/WP era.  You should probably just go back and read those.  Sorry, I’m lazy.

Although I make setlist notes in a pocket-sized Moleskine during shows, I always clean them up and write them in the back pages of my proper journal.  I recently ran out of those pages for this year, so I had to write the corrected setlist in the rarely-used calendar at the front of the book.  I like the way it looks, so I’ve taken a picture and am posting it here instead of typing it all out as I usually do.  Here’s the setlist:


(27 days, 27 songs)

I did a bit of investigating and noticed that Richard Buckner played at least one song from each of his nine solo albums…going all the way back to 1994’s Bloomed.

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Mark Pickerel @ Sea-Tac Airport (7/21/16)

I swear I don’t plan my trips to and from Seattle around Mark Pickerel’s appearances at the airport, but I ran into the man there again yesterday.  He was performing as part of Sea-Tac’s City of Music program which features local musicians playing live music throughout the airport.  This was the second time that our schedules have overlapped.  This time I found him singing in the middle of the Central Terminal food court to an audience of travelers eating Qdoba burritos and something that might’ve been Chinese food.  I pulled up a chair and watched the rest of his set.

Here he is:


And here are the songs he played while I was there:

Setlist: … / Sway (Dean Martin) / Waiting on a Friend (Rolling Stones) / Solitary Man (Neil Diamond) / Forest Fire / Your Avenue / You’ll Be Mine / Mother of Earth (Gun Club) / One More Cup of Coffee (Bob Dylan) / Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone (Willie Nelson & others)

Much like last time, he played an interesting mix of covers and originals.  The highlights for me included a song I associate with Dean Martin called “Sway” and a cover of Neil Diamond’s “Solitary Man.”  As far as the original songs go, I particularly enjoyed “Forest Fire” and “You’ll Be Mine.”  I was happy to find both of these songs on the Snake in the Radio CD I bought as Mark was packing up after the show.  It’s an album Beth tried to give me years ago.  I refused the offer back then by saying,

I don’t want a CD by some guy you gotta crush on!

As you can see, I eventually came around.

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