(* = I also took two pillows.)

A few weeks ago I did a post that officially announced the end of my collection of vintage photographs depicting (girls/women) (on/near) (boats/ships).  I foolishly declared that I was now limiting my collection to photos of seven women on a fallen log.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

But that was before I found a box of old photographs at my parents’ house.  The box was buried beneath a large collection of unused pillows, bed sheets, and comforters.  I took the box home with me to investigate.*

I soon realized that the box must’ve belonged to my maternal grandmother.  She died in the late-90s, and I guess my mom somehow ended up with the box and stuffed it into the closet and forgot about it.  The pictures ranged from the 1920s to the 1990s and included a lot of great shots I’d never seen before.  Top photos included a couple of a heavily tattooed great-grandfather I’d never heard of, a shot of my teen-aged mom wearing curlers and grizzly bear slippers on the front lawn basically copping a feel on her sister’s cutie prom date, and a picture of my dad wearing a mustache and shockingly tiny jean shorts at a local amusement park.  The two main highlights, of course, were these:

Yes, the “woman on a boat” in these photos is my grandmother!  She’s modeling on a lifeboat in the top shot and rowing on a lake in the bottom one.  The first is undated, but the second has “Aug 15, 1943” penciled on the back.  I’m not exactly certain when she was born, but I’d guess she’s 20 or 21 in the rowboat shot.

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I’m just like everybody else!

I’m happy to announce that I have finally given in and gotten my first cell phone.  It’s a Galaxy J3 by Samsung.  I got the gold finish because I felt that best expressed my shining personality and love of bling.I carry my phone around in a zip-loc bag because there are some surprisingly sharp bits that keep falling off.

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Do you remember when I used to collect vintage photographs depicting women on/near boats or ships?  Well, it turns out that there were too many of them floating around out there.  Thousands.  A trip to the antiques store could easily cost me $40.  And that started cutting into my pineapple fried rice fund.  What did I do?  Did I stop eating pineapple fried rice?  No, I retired that collection and started a new, more focused one.

I now only collect vintage photos showing women precariously balanced on fallen trees.  To narrow it down even further, I have decided to only collect vintage photos showing seven women precariously balanced on fallen trees.  So far I’ve found two:
The first photo doesn’t have anything written on the back.  The second one has a wealth of information.  According to the old-timey cursive, this second shot shows Esther Johnson’s Sunday school class on an outing to Fox Island, Washington (near Tacoma).  The girls are listed as being Vivian, Marie, Dorothy, Mayme, Linhlad, Vera, and Christine.
“Is this right?” is written next to Linhlad’s name.  I’m guessing probably not.

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The Sidewalk (July 24th, 2017)

I think I saw one of my favorite musicians walking in front of the Bed Bath & Beyond on 3rd Avenue a few days ago.  He seemed taller and more athletic than I remembered, but I’m still confident that the man in black was none other than Scott McCaughey of the Young Fresh Fellows, the Minus 5, the Baseball Project, etc.  (Long-time readers of this site may remember Scott as being the guy who rocked so hard that his shoe flew off at a Southgate House show back in 2009.)

I snuck a picture from across the street.  I showed it to Lucy and she agreed…it’s Scott McCaughey!

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The Backyard (July 5th, 2017)

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Today is the tenth anniversary of Outgoing Signals!

This is my 1,709th post.  To celebrate, please accept this photograph of my basement ceiling.


Thank you for stopping by.

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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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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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