Tag Archives: Bon Iver

No Easy Way Down

It’s Friday evening. Just had 2 slices of pizza which was ok. Don’t eat pizza as much as I used to, but I didn’t feel like cooking and there was a pizzeria on the way home. Who am I kidding? There’s a pizzeria on almost every corner in Hoboken as well as real estate offices and nail salons.

I had gone out for a walk late this afternoon, went and dropped off a Netflix DVD at the post office. On the way to the post office I went to Tunes, the local record store. When I was in the Village the other day after I took that photo of Farfetched (which was actually a photograph of a mirror on the other side of the window) I went to the Virgin Mega Store.

I checked to see if they had the EP of Bon Iver, Blood Bank. They did for $12.99. 4 songs, for $12.99. Very steep for me. I checked to see if they had it at Tunes and they did, for $10.99. Still a bit much, considering it’s on iTunes for $3.99.

I asked the girl working the floor, what was the deal with the price? Does it come with a poster? Bon Iver’s phone number? She said I could open the pouch it was in and I did. There was nothing extraordinary, nothing worth the high price for an EP.

She said there might be a used copy but there wasn’t. I bought the NASA CD instead. I find myself buying more CD’s than I have in a long time but reluctant to spend that much on a 4 song EP. Years ago I wouldn’t even have blinked. Now it’s a different story.

I put the EP in my iTunes shopping cart at home. NASA is pretty good, definitely funky. The guy behind the register at Tunes recommended it as I was paying for it.

He asked me if I knew anything about NASA and I told him friends had recommended it and I saw a couple of their videos on YouTube. I said they were on Anti Records so they can’t be that bad. He didn’t know anything about the Bon Iver pricing though.

After that I wandered over to Hoboken Cigars where they were having an event for a cigar maker. I sat and read a newspaper and enjoyed a cigar and listened to some local guys talk about men fist fighting with sharks and the economy.

Of course one of them was complaining about politics in general then he started ragging on democrats in particular, minutes after. I mentioned that he should check out the flip side of what he was saying and he went ‘Oh yeah, the republicans are bad too’.

He was also stunned to learn that there was a Communist Party in this country. I told him there was also a Socialist Party as well and he basically felt they were the same thing.

I knew better than to follow that line of conversation since they cigar store owners could be Cuban and you know how the majority of Cubans in the US feel about Communism and Socialism.

I just wanted to enjoy a free cigar in peace. And the Joya De Nicaragua 1970 Robusto Grande is a good, free cigar! Viva la revolucion!

Oomingmak

It’s Saturday. And it’s freezing outside. Right now, according to the New York Times it’s 18 degrees. That’s 11 degrees more than it was when I woke up this morning. Still alive, carbon monoxide detectors are doing their job and not beeping. That’s a good thing I think.

Last night was a quiet night, just me and some Bushmills. Perfect for a winter night, some sipping. I watched Elvis Costello’s TV show on the Sundance Channel, Spectacle. Watched 2 episodes. The first featured the Police, Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland.

The first time I heard the Police was in 1978, riding to school in Scott Miskuff’s car. It was his brother’s 8 track actually and to my ears it sounded like Boston was doing reggae. I don’t know why I thought that, especially since they don’t sound like that at all.

Roxanne was the big hit and they were considered Punk so I eventually bought it. It was ok, their better record was the second album, Regatta de Blanc. I was more into Elvis Costello at the time so when he was putting down the Police, I paid even less attention to them.

Elvis: I just wish Sting would stop singing in his cod Jamaican accent.
Sting: I wish Elvis Costello would stop singing in his cod American accent.
Meow!

Now they are all nice nice. It was ok. Andy Summers in now 79 years old, Stewart Copeland is a gangly goofy father of 7, and Sting has gotten handsomer and his voice carries a resonance it never had 30 years ago. The Watching the Detectives/Walking on the Moon medley was adequate.

After the Police I watched Elvis Costello with Rufus Wainwright. That was ok. Rufus to me, came off like a 30 something gay guy from Manhattan, which is exactly what he is. He did part of Memphis Skyline which is his song about the late Jeff Buckley and a complete version of My Phone’s on Vibrate for You which was great as it always is when Rufus hit’s that high note.

He really is a good singer songwriter. He’s playing the Wellmont Theater in Montclair in a month or so, just him and his piano. His half sister Lucy Wainwright Roche is opening so I guess there will be a duet or two. I’m not going. Not in the budget you see.

Like I said, when I woke up it was 7 degrees outside. Bitterly cold, I walked outside, past Mr. L’s. I was due for a haircut but I didn’t have enough cash on me. I went and got bagels instead and stopped by Alexander Lopez’s apartment and talked with his dad.

It had been about a month since I last saw Alexander so he had completely forgotten about me, making me this exotic thing in a leather coat in the middle of his kitchen. Julio was telling me that Alexander weighs 22 pounds now and wears the clothing of a 12 month old. He’s only 8 months old. It was good to see them. Stine was in the shower and I only saw her briefly, clad in a bathrobe.

After doing laundry I decided to head into the city and visit Farfetched. Lois and Harpy were working and it was busy. Not much left in the store, everything was up for sale, sometimes with an 80% discount.

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Lois & Harpy

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That didn’t stop people from trying to haggle. Things that were on sale for $50.00 were marked down to $10.00 and that was still too much money for some people. Some woman wearing a big ass fur coat was the Marvin Hagler when I was there. And she wasn’t marvelous.

For me it was a bittersweet visit. I got a bib for Alexander and some cards as well as a Wicked Witch of the West key chain that has Margaret Hamilton’s voice cackling, saying ‘How about some fire Scarecrow?’ among other things.

It was too cold to enjoy a Padron and walk up to 33rd street so I made a beeline to the 14th street Path station. I also bought Elton John’s Madman Across the Water for $5.00 in the soon to be shuttered Virgin mega store on Union Square, next to the rapidly closing Circuit City.

Also picked up Bon Iver, whom I saw on Letterman last month and posted their appearance on this blog. While walking around I was playing Bob Frank and John Murry, World Without End. That’s a album of murder ballads, each and every one quite gruesome, but it sounds amazing.

I bought that last night using the iTunes gift card my brother Brian and his family gave me over the holidays last month. I heard one song by Bob Frank and John Murry sometime last year and it was really good and when I picked up the latest issue of Uncut and saw they had another track on the free CD I decided to dive in and buy the album.

Like I said, it’s gruesome, hearing them sing, ‘He cut her throat and gutted her insides’. Basically they took murder stories from the past 100 years and put them to some down home country tinged music. Murder ballads aren’t new at all, a strain of folk music for the past century.

Worth checking out I think, both Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever ago and Bob Frank and John Murry- World Without End.

Also bought a new CO detector and got a haircut from Tony at Mr. L’s. He once again outdid himself, trimming gray hairs from my goatee, trimming my nose and ear hair as well as trimming my eyebrows. He earns his tip every time.

Bill is quite ill right now, laid up in Stuyvesant Town with a fever and sore throat. That sounds like what I had back in October. I hope to go see him tomorrow and on the way I’ll pick up some chicken soup from a Chinese kitchen on the way. A quart or two for Bill and his mother.

It’s supposed to be warmer tomorrow they say. Could make it into the 20 degree range. Almost beach weather.

Add my friend Billie in Washington DC to the unemployment rolls. He invited Bill and myself to stay with him if we wanted to go to the inauguration, but I said thanks but no thanks. It’s going to be too cold and very crowded. I can watch it on TV.


Release the Stars

Late night posting. Or later than usual. Just got back from Manhattan after attending a memorial service for a friend of Bill’s David Sheppard. Nice gathering, quite a lot of people, theater folk since David Sheppard was a director at the Theater for the New City on First Avenue.

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Bill helped organize the memorial through Facebook.

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Facebook! For all your impromptu (or planned) organizing needs!

Bill also played some piano at the service and it’s always good to hear Bill behind a piano.

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Right now, Broadcast News is on. Such a good movie, I keep getting distracted. Why haven’t Holly Hunter and Albert Brooks made another movie together?

Last night was a good night for TV. I somehow started watching a special on WNYC on Men’s fashion which I thought would appeal to me, but it turned out to be a piece on 2 Dutch designers, Viktor and Rolf who really put on a fantastic show at their couture viewings.

Not your average runway walkers either. One show had all the women done up like Tilda Swinton, pale skin and red hair. The real Tilda Swinton was feature, she being such a good pal of Viktor and Rolf. Other runways had the models wearing lighting scaffolds as they walked the gangplank, or wearing motorcycle helmets, or wearing 10 jackets over 10 shirts.

You really had to see it, it was mesmerizing. And surreal in the proper sense of the word. Surreal is a word that gets used too frequently and improperly these days. Andre Breton must be spinning in his grave and adding more names to his list.

After that I wound up watching Charlie Rose interviewing the recently deceased Harold Pinter and that was incredible. What a mind, what a playwright. No Ouija boards were involved since it was taped a year prior to Pinter’s death on this past Christmas Eve.

Charlie Rose makes anyone interesting, and if the guest is interesting already, the conversation goes up several notches.

After that I decided to take Rand and Bill’s advice and give Craig Ferguson a chance. Ferguson wasn’t on yet and I caught the band on the Letterman show, Bon Iver who were surprisingly very good.
And here is that clip.

Craig Ferguson was pretty good too.

Ooh William Hurt in braces! Sorry Broadcast News again.

I was up, not tired and wound up channel surfing and watched Louis CK doing stand up. He was hilarious. Usually not my cup of tea but the stars seemed to be aligned and I found myself laughing out loud as he discussed his wife and children.

If only Julio were around to hear Louis CK talk about changing diapers, I’m sure he could relate. Sounds pretty gross for all concerned. After all that entertainment and intellectual stimulation I needed to go to bed.

I woke up and did my usual rounds around Hoboken. People are beginning to return to Hoboken and the holidays are almost over. Used Christmas trees line the gutters.

Julio and Stine return with Kal-El on Monday. It will be good to see them all again.

I have to see them, I have their mail