Tag Archives: Brother Brian

The Wait

It’s Thursday again. Not such a bad day though I didn’t sleep well last night. At the movie with Lois I got popcorn and a diet coke. It was the diet coke that kept me up. Way too much caffeine. I should have known better.

And of course I don’t follow my own advice of getting out of bed if you can’t sleep, but being awake at 2:30 makes me feel guilty about being up so late. I mainly go to bed not because I’m tired but more from thinking that ‘I should be asleep by now.’

Still I got some sleep though not as restful as I had hoped.

Inglourious Basterds was a good movie. Not a knock out but worth seeing. Good revenge on Nazis movie. It veers sharply from history but seeing Hitler getting shot in the face was worth a smirk. It’s more of a fantasy than anything.

If you haven’t seen it in a movie theater you might as well wait for the DVD. Overall I would give it a ‘B+’.

I’m just hanging out right now. I got a phone call from Billie in DC who was just checking in. He asked if I got the birthday card he sent and I said I did. I didn’t really, but it seemed like the thing to say. It was a short phone call and Billie mentioned before it ended that he hoped I could use the money.

I hung up thought to myself, ‘Why did I say yes?’ I didn’t mean to upset Billie basically. I eventually went out to the supermarket and saw I did get a birthday card from Billie, so I did tell the truth though I didn’t know about it initially.

Heard from Juan, nursing a broken heart. All I could tell him was that perhaps Time heals all wounds. He’s truly heartbroken though. Sad to hear him that way.

And now I’ve just gotten back from the world famous Apollo Theater on 125th Street in Harlem USA. Brought my brother Brian, always good to hang out together like this. Lot’s of laughs, no beer. They sold it, much to my surprise but we didn’t realize it until we were in out seats.

Elvis was great, looking like a Beauregard or rather Rhett Butler with a hat like Gable’s and from where we sat, a moustache? Perhaps it was an homage to the Band. It was a taping for Spectacle with… Elvis Costello, with Allen Toussaint, Richard Thompson, Levon Helm and Nick Lowe.

Larry Campbell formerly with Bob Dylan sat in with Elvis and the Imposters (the Attractions sans Bruce Thomas) and Ray LaMontagne sang the Weight at the end.

It was an enjoyable evening, certainly out of the ordinary. Brian had never been to the Apollo before, I was there in the 1980’s to see Boogie Down Productions with DJ Red Alert and Rob Base. It was a Christmas night show, went with Rand and Maurice Menares.

We were at the early show, sitting in the balcony, the negative image of the ants in the sugar bowl. People around us wondered what three white boys were there and we simply told them we were into rap. And we were.

That was a good show and our timing was good since at the later show there was a shooting.

Tonight was good timing as well. Brian made it to Hoboken, caught the Path then an uptown express. Had to wait online outside the theater for a while but that was fine, good to catch up with Brian. The show was entertaining and an interesting look at how a show like Spectacle is put together.

One can only imagine Victor Spinetti in the control booth.

Since Ray LaMontagne suddenly appeared and sang The Weight, they had to redo it with a proper introduction for LaMontagne. Brian and I split, caught an express back downtown where we found a Path train back to Hoboken waiting for us.

As soon as we took our seats the doors closed and we were en route. Good karma. Saw Brian off on a train to the hinterlands of Bergen County.

A good night with a good friend, my brother Brian.
Apollo Marquee

photo by Brian

Singin’ In The Rain

Well I am home again, first official 3 day weekend. I’m presently listening to a version of Singin’ In The Rain by a Brooklyn band called Just Water. It’s a song I had as a 45 that I bought after hearing the song a few times on the old WPIX- FM back in the late 1970’s.

It’s more of a power pop song, you could imagine Cheap Trick singing it, or maybe Shoes. I’ve been looking for it online for a while, since finding songs online was the thing to do. Found it on iTunes oddly enough even though I could swear it wasn’t there a few months ago.

Still, for $0.99 I couldn’t resist. I’m sure when I originally bought it, it was more than $0.99. It was an independent record then and reading about it today, I found that it was picked up by Stiff Records back in the day.

I used to love Stiff Records and would buy the compilations of their artists and sometimes artists that weren’t on Stiff. Music by John Cooper Clarke, A. More, The Modettes etc. Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Ian Dury & the Blockheads, Lene Lovich were all on Stiff at one point, as was Madness. But I never really liked Madness once they left 2 Tone Records.

That’s the type of music geek I was. I would search out record labels. I guess that’s how it’s always been for music geeks. If you liked a certain type of Soul and R&B, then buying Atlantic, Motown or Stax among others, you probably couldn’t do wrong.

With Punk, New Wave and Post Punk, it was almost the same but sometimes you could get a real stinker. Those were the days when there was lot’s of spending cash, and $40.00 spent in a record store would have you coming home with a few albums and singles.

I’d ride the Path or the bus home and just look at the album covers, anxious to play what was inside. I’m the guy who would trek up Rochelle Avenue, boom box resting in the crook of my arm on Friday nights, buying whatever I could get at Sam Goody or Alexanders where most of the albums were on sale for $4.99.

My brothers and sister were all possessive about their music so it wouldn’t be surprising to find 2 or 3 copies of Sticky Fingers by the Rolling Stones, or anything by the Beatles. My father couldn’t understand it and once stopped me from getting the Stones Some Girls album with the original artwork (which they got sued over and forced to change) for myself since my brother Brian had a copy.

Yes, I hate to say it but I was Shattered.

It was also around the time where I would go to St. Marks Sounds and buy countless import 45’s at $5.00 a pop. Special versions, different mixes, posters, colored vinyl always made money leave my pocket and wind up in the register of the British woman with the red hair, or the dread locked brother who managed the bag check. I was in awe of that woman for some reason. I think I had a weakness for strong, judgmental women.

Around the corner from St. Marks Sounds was Free Being, which I mentioned last week. That was a dreary store but also had great selections. Sounds is still around I think, Free Being isn’t. St. Marks Place is a shopping mall these days and you probably wouldn’t see Prince walking down the street (like I did), or the Rolling Stones shooting a video on the 4th of July weekend in St. Marks Bar & Grill.

I also downloaded for free from Popdose today, The Inmates covering Dirty Water, another song from my WPIX FM listening days, as well as 2 versions of Peter Gabriel, Steam which was way after WPIX-FM went to ‘love songs, nothing but love songs’.

I recommend checking out and subscribing to Popdose. Every night I get interesting articles about pop culture and occasional free downloads.