Tag Archives: 2 Tone

I Stand Alone

Another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody. Well I do got somebody and that would be Bill but of course once again he is off driving to Atlantic City. He came home this morning, slept for a few hours and then after telling me about the general rudeness he gets from certain riders from certain quarters, he was packed up and ready to go. For me it’s been too cold to go out and do anything so I just mainly stayed in, sending out resumes and doing various things. I did go to the supermarket which wasn’t too traumatic like it has been.

It’s February, it’s the day after my brother in law Rex’s birthday as well as my neighbor Christine. On cable there has been a marathon showing of Bill Murray in Groundhog Day so that’s been on. It ends at 8:00 tonight so I guess I would have to find something else on to watch. In between all that there has been the resumes being sent out again and again. I do have a good feeling something good is going to happen so I just have to hang in there. Right now the 2 Tone movie Dance Craze is playing on YouTube.

I saw that at the Eighth Street Cinema back in the day with Jet. I of course was totally enraptured with it. Jet and I both liked it a lot but there was no dancing in the aisles like we had heard and I was too self-conscious to get up and start skanking with Jet. We both agreed that Dave Wakeling from the (English) Beat was very handsome, something I never really thought about with regards to any musician. I have maintained my 2 Tone roots through the years, listening to all that music and culminating in the faux Specials reunion in 2010.

I’m sure I wrote about it before but I remember the day I was in EJ Korvettes I bought the Specials first album, the same day I picked up the first Pretenders LP as well as a Stiff USA compilation of Wreckless Eric. Waiting at the Bergen Mall for the 44 bus to take me back to Lodi I struck a conversation with an elderly woman who inquired about the records I had purchased. She had never heard of any of the bands which came as no surprise. Those 3 records still loom large in my musical history, obviously if I am writing about over 30 years later.

So now Dance Craze is on audio wise and Groundhog Day is on with the volume off. I posted the YouTube Dance Craze linkage on my Facebook page and a few of my MiMB friends have expressed their pleasure with the 2 Tone thing. I can easily trace my later infatuation with reggae in the 1990’s to the 2 Tone days in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I read earlier today that The Selecter will be coming to the US this year and of course I will be there.

I saw an incarnation of The Selecter in the 1990’s but it did not have Pauline Black in their ranks at that time. Now she is back and I will definitely be there this time. Of course I hold out hope that the Specials would tour at the same time, perhaps sharing the bill but that could be too much chalice in the palace on my part if you know what I mean. An aging pseudo rude boy from the wrong side of the pond could dream can’t he?

I doubt if I’ll be wearing the shark skin suit like I did for the Specials reunion in 2010. That was something I had planned on doing since the beginning and having done it once there’s no need to do that again.
Man At C & A

Limbo Rock

It’s a Tuesday. It was rather cool this morning and thought I’d wear a suit. No tie, casual. I listened to some 2 Tone on the way to the office which made me feel like an extra from the movie, Snatch. Or maybe a ‘Westie’.

Bill often mentions that I could pass for a ‘Westie’. For those playing at home, the Westies were an Irish gang on the west side on Manhattan who often ran afoul of the police and organized crime.

They’re generally romanticized on TV and in movies, but they were gangsters and killers who may have loved their mothers, but would have no problem killing yours.

I suppose I could have passed for one. A spring in my step, Madness, the Selecter and The Specials playing on the iPod. I probably could have gotten the part, if I only applied myself.

Oh, how many times was that written on my report cards, ‘If only he’d apply himself’. Unfortunately, after reading the report card, my father would apply the back of his hand to my head which drove me further away from any applications of the sort.

And also drove me further away from my father.

Last night was a good night once again. Bill came home and there was no Lawn Hors d’œuvre to watch so before we watched Weeds and Nurse Jackie, we watched Kathy Griffin instead.

She was alright, sometimes funny, sometimes annoying. Reminds me of Susan Shed somewhat. Bette Midler was her guest and that was OK.

Bette Midler is a little old lady. Raunchy on stage, but a short grouch off stage. She’s really tiny. I know I met her when she recorded Bette of Roses at a studio I worked at. I had to monitor her daughter Sophie while Bette recorded, making sure Sophie didn’t play in the elevator.

Bill & I watched Weeds which was good, and Nurse Jackie which was excellent.

On Weeds it seems Nancy is figuring out that she may have gotten in too deep, she keeps pissing off the wrong people. On Nurse Jackie, she’s maintaining a balance of self medicating but whoops, something did go slightly awry with that.

Today at work a few people asked how the interview went. I explained it was a meet and greet and they suggested that I wear a suit just in case they sent me out for an interview. It was all a lie of course but they seemed to believe it.

At least I didn’t have to kill off a dead grandparent.

My situation changes daily. Perhaps one of the sublets will take me on, perhaps paying me in mad scrotums while I oscillate wildly.

In any event, if I am somehow still working, I will need some time off to spend with Annemarie and Earl when they fly east in a few weeks.

I am getting away from the movie box/ hotel deal. Vivek says he’ll make up his mind on July 4 and odds are he’s leaving that job too.

And when I left today it seemed like I’ll be gone by the end of June. Then again that could all change tomorrow. I

t’s a fucked up situation and all I can do is just wait it out. And I’m not stressed about it. At least not right now.

In an hour or so who knows? I may have a sip from the well of despair, but right now I’m fine thanks.

Mo’ Onions

Last night before I came home I hung out with Casey Chasm and his friend Moishe. Last minute, spur of the moment thing. Mrs, Chasm was out of town so it was sort of hang out with the guys. Casey’s always a good guy to hang out with, Moishe- I couldn’t say. I’ve only met Moishe twice and he seemed alright.

It was an interesting hour or so. I would have stayed for dinner, but the groceries I bought over the weekend needed to be eaten before they went bad. I did stay for some scintillating conversation and a few Bass Ales. I left feeling rather buzzed, listening to Lou Reed singing about New Sensations on the iPod.

Nothing going on around here and that was fine by me. Watched O & RM again. Back to my old habits. Didn’t pay much attention though. Nothing much on TV. Not one to watch Dancing with the Armenian Idols, I just talked with Harpy on the phone.

Bill came home when I was almost finished playing the guitar. Just playing to some Smiths songs, but hampered by the Dm7 chord. Bill was rambunctious as ever, with lots of silliness. I love him. He really bolsters my spirits and he’s relentless in his bolstering.

After RM we wound up watching The Soup on the E Channel. We like Joel McHale. Then it off to bed for Bill, wrestling with the sleep apnea mask. I eventually joined him, sans mask.

Woke up more tired than I was when I went to sleep. Not enough milk for cereal, just enough for coffee. Not the best way to start off the day. But I got through it.

Caught a bus that was more crowded than I hoped and sat in the very last seat. An overweight guy sitting next to me, almost on top of me. He was apologetic and I did my best to get over it and focus on the New Yorker.

The walk across town was pleasant and uneventful. No errant mice fleeing a swarm of sparrows and starlings.

The office was quiet again, I settled in moments after a phone call from Vivek. He had a few things for me to do. He was home after driving his wife to the airport at 5:00 in the morning and was trying to get some sleep. I could have used some more sleep myself.

I got whatever it was he wanted done. I always get whatever anyone asks of me done. He was going to be out of the office for the rest of the week.

He also set up a conference call, Vivek in bed, me in the office and some French guy from Spain on the phone in Florida. Apparently he has a lot of hotels under his belt so all I could do was take as many notes as possible, hopefully writing things down so they would make sense later on.

I was busy enough, but not enough that the day flew by. In fact it was a bit on the slow side. I had my usual salad for lunch, with a low fat balsamic vinaigrette.

Vivek did make an appearance which surprised me. He needed me to print out some boarding passes which I did and then saw him off into a cab headed to LaGuardia Airport, headed to Atlanta. He did ask how I felt about the ‘new’ job.

I told him that things were getting better, and that I wanted to do good, not just for the company but for myself. He mentioned that he did introduce me to the French Spaniard as their first employee.

I almost mentioned that I wasn’t fond of staying late, but decided we could talk about that next week when he gets back.

I smoked a Saint Luis Rey cigar and I did enjoy a compilation of 2 Tone bands, The Specials, The Selecter, Madness and the English Beat mainly on my walk back to the bus terminal.

Ain’t That a Kick in the Head

Well I just had a burger from Burger Heaven. It was pretty good. I hardly ever eat burgers anymore. And a chocolate shake. And French fries.

I’m still in the office, basically killing time now. I’m going to see Bill in a play that I saw a few years ago. It was horrible then, but the audience loved it. It’s a farce for lack of a better word.

3 married men think their wives are cheating on them since the wives are going to an OB/GYN to get a pap smear. This being the 21st century, the men have no idea what an OB/GYN is or what a pap smear is for that matter.

Every thing is played broadly and they do get laughs but not from me. When I saw it last time, I sat there taking notes while the audience laughed uproariously. It was obvious what I was doing and either the playwright or the director noticed it.

Then I came home and wrote about it. Apparently the playwright or director did a Google search and my blog came up. From what Bill told me, she printed it out and acted like it was a glowing review, which it wasn’t.

So now I sit at my desk writing this, waiting for 7:00 to come so I could walk across town to check it out. The main reason I’m going is because Bill is singing a song at the end. But I didn’t know it was for this play.

It was a very quiet day today. Quieter than the previous days, still due to the fact that Vivek, Sanjay and Abby aren’t around. I did contact Abby last night, telling him that I would be in the office today, but as of 5:25, 6 hours after emailing, I haven’t heard anything from him.

That’s ok by me, I’m not complaining.

Last night I entertained myself by figuring out the bass line to One Step Beyond by Madness. I think I figured it out.

Playing 3 strings instead of the usual 2 strings that I’m comfortable with. So it was a bit of finger stretching and coordination. I think I got the basics of it, and in so doing, got the bass basics for just about every 2 Tone Ska song.

And if I didn’t get it figured out, then I guess I just came up with some new bass lines.

One of these days I have to get it together and use Bill’s drum machine and make some home recordings. I can get a song together, playing the guitar and bass and maybe dabble on Bill’s keyboards.

I’m sure I can get Bill to record and engineer it. 4 tracks should be the limit since that is all I would have to record on. It’s just an idea that I’ve been kicking around in my head. And kicking around an idea in my head is infinitely better than a kick in the head.

I had a feeling I would hear from Abby late in the day and I was right. Abby just called me with a problem. He has a TV and some movie boxes in his car and the lease on the car expires tomorrow.

What to do?

Well I told him to give me a call at 8:00 tomorrow morning and I will come into the office with him so we can store the TV and boxes here.

He can’t do it himself since he never acted on the set up I had made for him to get access to the building.

See? I’m thinking out of the box and doing my best for the ‘team’.

And tonight I’m taking one for the John/Bill team by going to see that play again.

I guess I’m a team player after all. Or am I a team ‘playa’?

here is the link to the previous entry regarding Pap Smear

filed under Bostitch