Da Magic Bums!

Posted March 28, 2012 by Phil Fountain
Categories: Thoughts & Musings

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Click da Dodger Bum (a la the great Willard Mullin) for a larger view…

Pre-Road Downs

Posted March 26, 2012 by Phil Fountain
Categories: Thoughts & Musings

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Allen Ginsberg before he was famous and before he was dead, was a poet. Or at least he said he was, which is pretty much all you have to do to become one – I guess it worked out all right.

I currently live a few blocks from where he is said to have written Howl. Late at night I listen to the streets down there and I can sorta understand how he might have been moved to do such a thing based on geography alone. Strange occurances out on Montogomery Street… bet it’s the same wind out in the Bedouin desert.

I don’t know… really I just wanted to check out this “Quick Post” feature.

Time Magazine Milestones, 3/26/12…

Posted March 25, 2012 by Phil Fountain
Categories: Thoughts & Musings

Yep, Pete, we’ll get through this together.

The Ol’ iPod Shuffle (Because You Really Want To Know)

Posted March 25, 2012 by Phil Fountain
Categories: Thoughts & Musings

Let’s play a little iPod Roulette…

Spin the wheel and up pops…

Mother-In-Law by Ernie K-Doe: Wow, The Laws Of Chance dug pretty deep in the ol’ archives for this classic! I think this is on a Billboard compilation of #1 Hits (1961)… or at least that’s what it says on the little glowing screen.

Spin…

For Free by Joni Mitchell: Joni is one of the Rock Era’s greatest songwriters… and this is one of her better songs.

Spin…

The Fly by U2: A track from Achtung Baby… big whoop… I prefer Ernie K-Doe. OK, this will launch me into one of my foaming rants (it doesn’t take much to set me off these days). Every time the band U2 is mentioned it reminds me of a SportsTalk host named Colin Cowherd. Cowherd is one of those brash, yammering “personalities” who opines on the headlines in the Sports World on ESPN Radio/TV. I used to have him on the car radio as background noise. Once in awhile his meandering monologues takes him into the world of pop culture and entertainment, which is pretty much where the American Sports Scene resides anyway. One day he ventured astray from the topic of Tom Brady’s haircut and splashed down on the subject of U2 (whom he adores). Now, don’t get me wrong, I love U2. Terrific band (maybe a tad pretentious, but in a good way) and I think I have just about everything they’ve ever done in my library, but this Cowhered joker went too far.  This shrill yodeler wasn’t satisfied to wax poetic on the merits of Baltimore’s zone coverage, he felt it necessary to postulate that the Irish band, U2 ,was a better, more influential and important band than… wait for it… more important than… get this… more influential than… gasp!… THE BEATLES!!! Yeah, you heard me right. More important than The Beatles. Even Bono in all his self-important hubris wouldn’t dare to make such a statement. A better band than The Beatles? Really? In the seven (more or less) years The Beatles recorded together they virtually re-invented Rock and Roll. Their growth as musicians and songwriters reflected the coming of age of an entire generation… from Please Please Me to Abbey Road their creative output is astounding. You can listen to U2’s first album back-to-back with their latest and pretty much hear the same band. Not so The Beatles. Anyway, sometimes a person can say something so utterly stupid that anything they ever say from that point forward has to be dismissed as the ravings of a syphilitic lunatic. You know, like Rick Santorum or Sarah Palin. Sheesh… as Bugs Bunny would say, “What a maroon!”

Thanks for letting me get that off the ol’ sternum.

Spin…

Shuffle Your Feet by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Any band that calls their album, “Howl”, is all right with me.

Spin…

Expecting To Fly by Neil Young: From the album, Sugar Mountain, Live at the Canterbury House, 1968. An acoustic version of the song that as a studio track from Buffalo Sprinfield Again was buried in the lush ornamentation popular in that day. At its core, a very nice little song.

Spin…

Come Sail Away by Styx: I have this on my iPod??? Really??? OK, I have to throw the damn thing away now.

Why It Is Imperative Jim Croce Remain Dead

Posted March 22, 2012 by Phil Fountain
Categories: Thoughts & Musings

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Many people harbor irrational and seemingly arbitrary prejudices and dislikes. You know, pet peeves like hairless cats or people who pick their teeth in public. I, however, have a blinding hatred for one thing in particular. I cannot stand the music of the late Jim Croce.

I realize that “hating” a deceased 1970s singer-songwriter is wrong. I’m also aware that the man may have been a wonderful human being and my passionate dislike for this mustachioed hack might seem unfair and actually hurtful to his many fans, friends and to the family that, I’m sure, loved him. I don’t care. The fucker wrote and sang, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and for that, there is no excuse.

Let me try and explain the reasons behind my derision. Back in the early and mid ’70s there were a slew of musicians flooding the music scene that wrote the songs they themselves sang and played. This was a relatively new development in the pop industry. It had barely been ten years since The Beatles and Bob Dylan made it de riguer for artists to write their own stuff. The influx of performers like James Taylor, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Randy Newman, Laura Nyro, Leonard Cohen, John Prine and Loudon Wainwright III were lumped in with guys like Croce, Harry Chapin and John Denver and dubbed, “Singer-Songwriters.” Even worse was being tagged “The New Bob Dylan,” an albatross hung on real talents in their own right like Ellott Murphy and Bruce Springsteen. But it was the denim-shirted Croce that really frosted my hairy orbs.

Let me further explain, I have many, many faults and foibles – I accept that I’m as imperfect as a Jackson Pollack diagram of an electro-magnetic motor, not the least of these imperfections is that I’m a horrible “music snob.” Remember those geeks who worked in record stores or music distributor’s warehouses and believed that as part of “The Music Industry” their opinions counted for far more than the poor shlub’s who came in and plunked down his $4.95 + tax for the new Foghat 8-Track? Well, I’m one of those. To those of us in the rarified air of our own self-importance there was a natural cool-factor that marked the difference between being a fan of, say, Bruce Springsteen (very cool) and Bob Seger (not so much). Though both artists mined basically the same musical terrain and both sold a ton of records, The Boss was considered a genius while Seger was summarily dismissed as some kind of AM Radio Hack (there was nothing less cool that having an AM Radio hit unless you were The Beatles, Stones or Dylan). Unfair? Fuck you… it’s just the way it is. There are thousands of examples of these arbitrary distinctions… The Move (cool) and ELO (crass commercial drivel), Genesis (cool costumes and makeup) and KISS (stupid costumes and makeup).I mean, it’s self-evident, right? Well, that’s how I felt about Jim Croce. Sure, he was a Folk-based, guitar-toting, denim-clad, truck-driver Everyman – but, his crap was catchy and radio-friendly (heathen!) while a Folk-based,guitar-toting, denim-clad kid who wrote catchy tunes like, Steve Forbert, was far cooler.

But, honestly, it goes much deeper than that. My distaste for Croce is a deep-seated hostility bred by the fact that he’s where I draw the line when it comes to “acceptable” listening material. I’ve taken a stand. The guy just irritates me beyond what even I can consider rationality. The cheesy porno-mustache, the “working man’s clothing” and the stupid George Burns cigar just make me wanna slap him. His music is pointless. Paeans to fictional characters churned out for Community College drop-outs (do I have to explain why Ray Davies’ paeans to fictional characters are sublimely cool while Jimbo’s suck scrote? I didn’t think so). I not only want to tug on Superman’s cape, I want to wind it like a jailhouse noose around the Welcome Back Kotter Extra’s freaking neck. I know, I know, he’s already dead and we shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but DAMN, I hate his stuff!

Karma being what it is, I will no doubt be met in the Afterlife by a disgruntled, curly-headed, Mario Bros.-looking folkie with a guitar and a bone to pick. I just hope I’m not wearing my cape when we face-off. He’d probably kick my ass and write one of his horrible fucking songs about it.

Picto-Puzzler: State Of Contusion

Posted March 22, 2012 by Phil Fountain
Categories: Thoughts & Musings

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Can you guess the solution to the PictoGram Puzzler? 

Missing Mr. Bergman

Posted March 21, 2012 by Phil Fountain
Categories: Thoughts & Musings

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Well, it’s still strange to sit down and try to come up with a cartoon idea without trying to tailor it for Pete’s usage. I didn’t really realize what a big part of my creative life he had become. Sigh. At least I’ve got a box full of ideas and sketches I can go through, but in the meantime, I miss the Bozo.