Velcome to my veblog!
Folk Music for Families
The Hollow Trees
CD out now!!!

Greg's Music
Greg's Art
Greg's Pictures
Greg's Links
Greg's Crazy
Greg's Wishlist
Jackson's Blog

Greg's 2004 CD:
The Many Sides of
Gregory Vaine

GREGORY VAINE: The Many Sides of
Order Now!

More Info

Greg's movie review rating system explained

Tuesday, July 31, 2001

What could be better than pictures of Champion and people partying and singing?

posted by Greg 12:11 AM

Monday, July 30, 2001


Joeseph Beuys:"'Creativity isn't the monopoly of artists. This is the crucial fact I've come to realise, and this broader concept of creativity is my concept of art. When I say everybody is an artist, I mean everybody can determine the content of life in his particular sphere, whether in painting, music, engineering, caring for the sick, the economy or whatever. All around us the fundamentals of life are crying out to be shaped or created. But our idea of culture is severely restricted because we've always applied it to art. The dilemma of museums and other cultural institutions stems from the fact that culture is such an isolated field, and that art is even more isolated: an ivory tower in the field of culture surrounded first by the whole complex of culture and education, and then by the media which are also part of culture. We have a restricted idea of culture which debases everything; and it is the debased concept of art that has forced museums into their present weak and isolated position. Our concept of art must be universal and have the interdisciplinary nature of a university, and there must be a university department with a new concept of art and science'

posted by Greg 11:40 PM

Quite a weekend this! Very active. Including Thursday night, I went out four nights in a row and saw 8 bands (I'm counting the two half sets I saw as one.) I also worked an extra shift and had an impromptu cocktail party. Here's the scoop:
Is this learned behavior, or is he just aping it? Friday night was the premier of "Planet of the Apes" which our friend Shira worked on, so a bunch of us got together and went to the Vista to check it out. It was a lot of fun, not a great movie, but a good one (I'll review it later), and exiting to be there on opening night. After that a bunch of folks headed over to CIA in North Hollywood to check out Champion's first show with the new drummer. Cause I'm not a big drinker, I thought the club CIA was really cool, but the lack of alcohol was hard on some of my friends. Champion started out a little stiff but got a lot better after a song or two, and I thought it was a great show. After that many people headed to Ken and Laura's house to drink long into the evening. Our buddy Don was down from Oakland, so that was my excuse for staying up till 5 two nights in a row. Somehow I manipulated Ken and Laura into asking me to bring guitars over, so we made lots of beautiful music all night.
On Saturday I slept in till I got a call from Os and Don asking if I wanted to have some cocktails at our house. I said, "by all means," and started cleaning up. Don, Os, Ken, Kim, and Barney came over and we had a great afternoon saying things that were false but entertaining.

I'd been looking forward to Saturday night for over a month cause my favorite band Red Meat was coming to town to play at The Mint. They are the great Honky-Tonk band from San Francisco that played at my wedding. We rallied the troops and headed over there for dinner. Coincidentally it turned out that Rich's band Shurman was opening, and it was Rich's birthday so his parents and sister were there. They played a great set of country rock with nice hooks and excellent execution.
Then Red Meat took the stage and did a great set. If you like original country music, you should check them out. They have 4 or 5 songwriters in the group, highlighted by Scott the rhythm guitarist/fiddler/trombonist. He writes some very clever and well thought out tunes, and he was the reason I started liking that band. On stage, the front man is Smelly Kelly a great leader and joke teller. The group also includes Mike on lead Telecaster, Max on pedal steel and guitar, Jill on Bass and vocals, and our good buddy Les James on drums. This band is very versatile and can play lots of different kinds of songs. Unfortunately they only had about 50 minutes, and the sound guy wouldn't let them do an encore despite applause and hooting that lasted 5 minutes, through one song he played on the PA and into another.
Cousin Lovers We got a nice treat with the closing act, the local band The Cousin Lovers, who played a sort of punked out bluegrass that the crowd really responded to. I really liked them cause they were all good players and had a great time on stage.
It's not often that you can see three bands you really like on one bill, I consider myself lucky.
On Sunday, after work I went into the studio with Don and Os and had a reunion of a combo we used to jam with up in San Francisco, which might have been called the Fast Clams, but we can't remember. We reached back into our brains and pulled out such stellar nuggets as "Electric Boogie - Body Poppin'," "Headspin," "Moonwalking," and a 20 minute version of Neil Young's "Love to Burn." Very fun.
Then I went to check out my buddy Dave's new project the James Coombs band at the Knitting Factory's Alterknit Lounge. Dave was the drummer for Baby Lemonade, and their old bass player Dave's new band Harvette played after them. I liked both bands, but was a little out of it as you can imagine. Also, the Knitting Factory sucks.

posted by Greg 3:32 PM

Friday, July 27, 2001

It's time for ye olde Greg's Blog™ Book Review Corner. I recently finished two books as I waited for someone to finish Ken's book "Dot.Con" so that I could read that.
This book is very sad.The first one I started is one I got from the library called "Bad Moon Rising - The Unofficial History of Creedence Clearwater Revival" by Hank Bordowitz. The name of the introduction chapter is the quote, "The saddest story in Rock and Roll," and I have to agree. The guys from Creedence grew up in El Cerrito, near Berkely, and the book describes how they met and the various high school bands they were in. The four that became Creedence got together in 1959 as The Blue Velvets, and eventually changed their name to the Goliwogs (to sound English,) and then finally to Creedence Clearwater Revival.
They signed a horrible contract with Fantasy Records and put out their first record as Creedence in 1968, and had their first hit with "Born on the Bayou" in 1969. They followed that with great hit after hit, releasing 5 albums in '69/70, with at least one single continuously on the charts. At that point it seems that the other members, especially rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, got sick of John writing, singing, arranging, and producing everything, and demanded more input. Apparently John was a dictator in the studio, doing all the vocals and instrumental over dubs himself, and mixing alone. But what a sound he created! When John balked at giving up control, Tom quit. Creedence made one more studio album as a trio, but John insisted that Stu and Doug (bass and drums) each write and sing a third of the songs, and so the album sucked. Not long after that the band broke up.
So the band breaks up about one third through the book, leaving the rest to cover the horribly acrimonious relationships John had with his record label and ex-band. As much as I love his music, it sounds like John Fogerty is kind of a jerk. He may have had a reason to be angry, but he's held his grudge till today, and he is always complaining to the press about how screwed he got - not a good idea. And complaining that he can't write new music cause he's so pissed off - this lasts for ten years!
This book was such a bummer that I couldn't read it straight through, I had to take breaks. The funny thing is that Fogerty never got into drugs, so you can't blame his irrational behavior on that. He's just self-centered and bitter, an ugly way to be. But boy did he leave us with some great songs.

I don't believe you. One of the books I read while taking a break from the Creedence book was "Positively 4th Street," a book about Bob Dylan, Joan and Mimi Baez, and Richard Fariña by David Hajdu that recently came out. My dad bought this book and gave it to me after he read it.
The book follows the lives of these four up until the separate motorcycle accidents that killed Fariña and changed Dylan forever. Fariña was a poet, novelist, song writer and dulcimer player who was in the early folk scene and eventually married Joan's sister Mimi and formed a duo with her. He sounds like a fun guy, the life of the party. It's an interesting look at the early 60's folk movement, chronicling many of the personalities involved and trying to explain the charged atmosphere of the times, where young intellectuals embraced old rural music, and how Dylan ultimately rejected it and returned to his Rock and Roll roots.
It paints Dylan as quite an asshole, manipulative and cruel at times. He was the shy calculating liar, ripping off other people's ideas and using folk music as a step ladder to fame. It implies that he basically used his relationship with Joan Baez to advance his career, then dumped her once he got bigger than she was.
It's hard for me to say this is a great book for some reason. It was interesting and easy to read, but I guess the author's slant or spin on the story was a little too transparent. I got the feeling that he was only using the anecdotes and quotes that would further his thesis. He takes pains to explain away or diminish Dylan's song writing, but this backfires because there is no way to deny the genius of his achievements, no matter who he was influenced by or what a jerk he was being at the time. Songs like "The Times They are a Changin'" or "Ballad of a Thin Man" are timeless works of art that rise above the particular circumstances in which they were created. By not admitting this, the book loses much of it's power, and functions best only when it explains what happened and doesn't comment on it.
I would recommend this book if you're interested in Dylan or the folk movement in general, it covers several Newport Folk festivals, the Cambridge and Greenwitch Village scenes, and Dylan's electric debut. But I don't think it has the universal appeal of, say, Chuck Berry's stunning autobiography.

posted by Greg 3:46 PM

Oh boy, do you have a treat coming!
It's just me. I don't need no big introduction. I just wrote some notes out after the one of the bands we saw tonight at Mr T's on Shady Lane in Shadyville. Mr. T's is the place where all the crazy Los Angeles drunks wind up eventually. As we walked in, it looked like 'Blue Noise' from Austin were setting up to play. Then I thought they were actually playing. They were actually playing for like 10 minutes and I could have sworn that they were still setting up. Yeah, they were free jazz. So I borrowed Greg's notebook after the set and scribbled this nonsense, "Free Jazz just encourages annoying behavior."

we went to see my friend Rich's band, The Wedding's Off. The first band was this jazz rock thing called the Blue Noise Band. They had a horn.

Looking over my notes again, there was one guy all in white sitting on the ledge behind me kicking his feet up into the air, trying to get them above his head (not quite) in time with the music. Dazzling us on the dance floor, ultra-skinny guy dressed in all red started doing some sort of epileptic break dance. Freak show! In the middle of freeform jazz they broke into Destiny's Child "I'm a Survivor."

This is rich's drumz

Rich played this crazy drumkit that included a bass drum, snare, chair with bongos, heat sink, and various round metal things. He made it sound great. They had a very unique sound that included excellent bass playing by Andrew on the cool Rickenbacker Bass, and guitar, banjo, trumpet and all kinds of other things by two other gentlemen players.
The Wedding's Off

But what was up with Rich wearing only one shoe?

Rich's friends from his UCI days Pat and Kirsten were there, I hadn't seen them in 8 years maybe? They went to art school with Rich (I met him at Otis Parsons art school) and live downtown in a great studio I saw once long ago. It was great catching up with them. Pat's a crater, which I think is cool.

Hey look, It's Kirsten and Pat!

Mr. T's is a classic place, with a bar full of drunks totally oblivious to the music. I overheard a drunk guy yelling to some stranger during a quiet part of the jazz band's set, "Bob Dylan! Do you know who Bob Dylan is? Bob Dylan? ... he's great."

It's a great stage though. The bar and the music scene have a peaceful coexistence. The Wedding's Off reminded me of Rube Waddell, a wacky sounds band with some true talent back in San Francisco. They had a lot of fun, which is the most important thing on a Thursday night in Shadyville.

Marshall High School at night.

posted by Greg 2:49 AM

Thursday, July 26, 2001

The ME-262

This is the ME-262, the first production jet aircraft. Originally develloped by Germany starting in 1939 under the code name "Stormbird", some guys in Seattle and Texas are building some more of them for fun.

posted by Greg 2:05 PM

Wednesday, July 25, 2001


posted by Greg 9:45 PM

Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Shoot that flash in my eyes and then let's see how far I can drive blind!

Joe and I went down to see our good friend John Davis and his wife Michelle last night. They were just in town for the weekend for a wedding, visiting from Myrtle Beach, SC. John is a great guy, a talented actor and chef, and a lot of fun to hang around with. So is his whole family! Much fun. Unfortunately the digital pictures I took didn't come out so good. Oh well.

Bellmer self portraitOne of the artists that I always look for books and stuff about is a guy named Hans Bellmer. He was a German born surrealist who lived in France and made his name with sexual and distrubing photographs of disfigured manequins. He also drew crazy line drawings like this:
Hans Bellmer - This is your art!

posted by Greg 1:11 PM

Monday, July 23, 2001

I'm almost pretty sure that my theory is correct.

Aha!: Foxes taking over London. I'm beginning to think that due to the hole in the ozone layer the excess radiation has caused a mutation in the animal kingdom making them smarter and more ruthless. They are slowly encroaching on man's habitat and soon will launch their final assault on humanity, with the ultimate goal of killing off the human species. I'm talking about Coyotes in Los Feliz! Not to mention that there's just too many monkeys! And wolves! Well, here's the link to LA Animal Services cause you know you're gonna need it. But be careful what you tell them, I think there's a mole in the organization.

posted by Greg 1:12 PM

Sunday, July 22, 2001

I'm a teenage fanny! So we got to see the awesome Teenage Fanclub on Thursday at the Troubador. What a treat. Here's what they played. This was my third time seeing them, if you count an acoustic in-store performance, but it's been a long time since they've been in the states. They had a different drummer this time, the third I've seen them with, and he did a fine job, including singing a lot of harmonies. I just read on the internet that this was their original drummer from even before the first album. They create a huge rock sound with the two guitars, Ray playing harmony lead lines over Norman's open and barre chords, and smooth harmonies. And they have so many great songs to choose from that one wants them to just keep going and going. As it was it was almost a two hour set including encores.
tfc is good, and good for you! Ray was playing a gold top Les Paul with P90 pickups through two Fender amps that looked to be twin reverbs. (I missed the Guild Brian May model Ray was playing last time I saw them.) On a few numbers he switched to a sweet old Fender Jaguar. Norman played a tobacco sunburst Gibson ES335 through a Vox AC30 amp, switching to a Taylor acoustic for a few songs. Gerry switched between two Fender P basses, a yellow one and a white one.
My favourite was Ray's "Your Love is the Place Where I Come From" off of "Songs from Northern Britain" because that is one of the song's we had Dan K. play in our wedding. Very special. Other songs that stick out were "Alcoholiday," "Neil Jung," and "I Need Direction."
Norman was in great spirits, announcing each song to a round of cheers, even though we could barely understand his Scottish accent. The whole crowd sang along to most of their songs, and I'll never forget everyone whistling along to the whisling solo on "Mellow Doubt." Here's where you can find pretty much all of their songs in tab format.


Another thing I did this weekend was not so hip but very fun. I checked out the rest of the Star Trek movies from the Library and spent a bunch of time Friday and Saturday watching the movies and painting pictures. Here is my analysis of each episode:

Star Trek - The Motion Picture - This is the first movie so they spend some time re-introducing us to all the characters. There's an unknown entity heading towards Earth, made of pure logic. The movie is about the battle between logic and emotion. Good effects and an interesting plot twist at the end. Rating: 7
Star Trek II - The Wrath of Kahn - Ricardo Montalban delivers a powerhouse performance as Kahn. He is sort of a captain Ahab to Kirk's Moby Dick. This movie introduces the "Kobayashi Maru" idea, a no-win training scenario that is referenced in later movies. Lots of interesting things happen in this one, including a bug living in Chekov's nervous system. Many consider this the best of the ST movies. Rating: 8
Star Trek III - The Search for Spock - I'm glad Spock isn't dead. This one has fewer philosophical ideas, but it's fun and we get to see Kirk steal the Enterprise. This is the first one that Spock directed. Christopher Lloyd as a Klingon was hilarious. Rating: 7
Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home - Also known as "the one with the whales," this is the second one that Spock directed. Though it's a little corny, I liked it a lot. It starts out almost like the first movie, something heading for earth sucking all the energy from whatever it encounters. The first third plays as an action movie, the second third where they're in San Francisco in the present day plays like a comedy, then it goes back to an action movie at the end. My favorite part was Chekov asking the policeman where he can find the "Nuclear wessels?" Or Kirk explaining Spocks eccentricity by claiming he took a lot of "LDS" in the 60's. Rating: 8
Star Trek V - The Final Frontier - This is the one that Kirk directed. There is an evil cult leader who hijacks a federation craft and heads for "heaven" through the great barrier at the center of the universe. He converts people by showing them their innermost fears and then telling them he can eliminate the fear. Is this a reference to L. Ron Hubbard? Or is it the Heaven's Gate cult? Kirk seems to be obsessed with rock climbing, with at least three rock climbing scenes in the movie. Rating: 7
Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country - This movie, coming 12 years after the first one, has the most modern pacing of them all. Perhaps the director had seen some good Hong Kong action movies recently. This movie is about racism and tolerance, namely of the Klingons. It's also a cold war metaphor about how some people love the cold war and fear change. There's even a reference to the movie One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, a powerfully depressing movie about a Russian gulag from the book by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Even though the cast is pretty old in this one, I'd say it's my favourite. Rating: 9
Os, this is your capsule speaking.

Whew! Being a film scholar is exhausting. Now I just have the three Next Generation movies to review. And alas, Star Trek X - Nemisis, another Next Generation movie is on it's way in 2002!

Charlie and BarneyBarney and Charlie

Dino Might! I did some more yoga this weekend. I would say I'm getting better at it, but that would be quite a stretch. Don't sweat it though, it doesn't matter. I don't deserve any props.

Did you ever wonder what a baby carrot would look like at the moment it was shot with a .22 rifle? Now you can see this and other moments for yourself:

posted by Greg 2:14 PM

Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Hey You, don't watch that, watch this.This morning coming into work I was listening to KXLU (I think) and I heard two songs that brought me back. One was "My Girl" by Madness, still sounding very fresh. I was very into them when I was in Junior High. I even had a One Step Beyond t-shirt. The other was "I Don't Want to Hear It" by Minor Threat, and it also sounded very good. I was a straight edge punk for about two weeks in high school, mostly because Minor Threat was so good. Then I heard them when I was drunk and they sounded even better. Don't tell them I said that though.

Go to Townes! Anyway, I wanted to do another poetry corner featuring Townes Van Zandt, but it's really hard to pick only one of his songs. So I decided to do a funny one and a scary one, but here's the whole list if you want to read some great stuff.

Talkin' Thunderbird Blues by Townes Van Zandt:

Among the strangest things I ever heard
was when a friend of mine said "Man, let's get some thunderbird"
I said "What's that?" he just started to grin
slobbered on his shirt, his eyes got dim
he said "You got fifty-nine cents?"

I said "Yeah, I got a dollar, but don't be a smart-aleck
I ain't gonna spend it on no indian relic"
and he said "Thunderbird's not an old indian trinket,
it's a wine, man, you take it home and drink it."
I said "It sure don't sound like wine to me"
and he said he'd bet me the change from my dollar

We hustled on down to the nearest U-Tote-Em
the guy wanted my ID, I whipped her out and showed him
he got a green bottle from the freezing vault
my friend started doing backward somersaults
through the cottage cheese

Took it back to his house, started drinkin'
pretty soon I set in to thinkin'
"Man, this thunderbird tastes yum, yum, yummy
and I know it's doing good things to my tum, tum., tummy."
it's how you reason when your on that crap

Got a few more bottles, chugged them down
I pulled myself up off the ground
decided I go see my dearest sweet wife
who met me at the door with a carving knife
said "Get them damn grape peels from between your teeth."

I could see we're gonna have a little misunderstanding
I said "Dear, I better get in touch with you later"
She said "Forget it, man, you're never touchin' me again!"

Now I've seen the light and heard the word
and I'm staying away from that ol' dirty thunderbird
a message come from heaven radiant, and fine,
all I drink now is communion wine
six days a week

Rake by Townes Van Zandt

I used to wake and run with the moon
I lived like a rake and a young man
I covered my lovers with flowers and wounds
my laughter the devil would frighten
The sun she would come and beat me back down
but every cruel day had its nightfall
I'd welcome the stars with wine and guitars
full of fire and forgetful

My body was sharp my dark hair clean
and outrage my joyful companion
whisperin' women how sweet did they seem
kneelin' for me to command them
And time was like water but I was the sea
I'd have never noticed it passin'
except for the turnin' of night into day
and the turnin' of day into cursin'

You look at me now, and don't think I don't know
what all your eyes are a sayin'
Does he want us to believe these ravings and lies
they're just tricks that his brains been a playin'?
A lover of women he can't hardly stand
he trembles he's bent and he's broken
I've fallen it's true but I say unto you
hold your tongues until after I've spoken

I was takin' my pride in the pleasures I'd known
I laughed and thought I'd be forgiven
but my laughter turned 'round eyes blazing and
said my friend, we're holdin' a wedding
I buried my face but it spoke once again
the night to the day we're a bindin'
and now the dark hair is like fire on my skin
and even the moonlight is blinding

His words just blow me away. And I wish I could play the tunes for you, cause his voice puts them over so well.

Where, where the hell is Spock? And you'll be happy to know that I got Star Trek III - The Search for Spock from the library and it turns out that the end of Star Trek II isn't so sad after all!

posted by Greg 1:49 PM

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Yeah Ken!! Wooooo!Yeah Ken!! Wooooo!Yeah Ken!! Wooooo!

Someone over at Internet just emailed me to tell me that you can buy Ken's book for $12 now including shipping right here. Apparently Internet Wire is mentioned in the book, so all the executives want a copy. Go Ken!!!

You are a good person, despite what I may tell you.

posted by Greg 2:42 PM

Monday, July 16, 2001

This ain't no picnic!
Edgar Allen Poetry  Welcome to the Greg's Blog™ poetry corner. Today we consider "Maybe Partying Will Help" by d. boon of The Minutemen:


As I look out over this beautiful land
I can't help but realize that I am alone
why am I able to waste my energy?
to notice life being so beautiful?
maybe partying will help
What of people who don't have what I got?
are they victims of my leisure?
To fail is to be a victim,
to be a victim of my choice
maybe partying will help


This just in from tipster Molli! Dr. Dean critiques the media.

posted by Greg 3:19 PM

Sunday, July 15, 2001

Here's a great picture of my parents in the limo we got last night:
Hollywood nights, in those Hollywood hills, looking so right, in her diamonds and frills

My sister and I (and spouses) took them and our out-of-town visitors Coco and Amy out to dinner at Cafe Stella in Silverlake as a big Thank You.
Working on the night moves, trying to make the front page drive in news

Also, we realized it was Bastille day, so it was a double celebration. Cafe Stella has awesome food, good wine and atmosphere. Can you see the 4 bottles of wine on the table? Then we came back to Aloha St. and sang songs together. A great night. Look what we did to the "pot au chocolat:"
rock and roll never forgets

On Thursday night I got to see some of my old "Thirsty Thursday" drinkng buddies from the Isla Vista days at Chris' great house in Venice. It was a ton of fun to see Mike, Rob, Chris, Jenean, and of course Tony:
k k k k k k k katmandu, I'm really really really going to

Everybody's doing great; older, wiser, but still the same. Bob Seger was right when he wrote: "See some old friends, good for the soul."
Like a Rock!

Still running against the wind

posted by Greg 9:25 AM

Saturday, July 14, 2001

Who loves the sun?

posted by Greg 3:25 PM

Thursday, July 12, 2001

Cheers, dirty rodent!

I've been trying not to write about my backyard wildlife situation, but last night there was skunk musk outside stronger than I've ever smelled it, and this morning my loved one was startled by an Opossum on the trellis! Anyway, in reading about Possum, I found this hilarious Australian story that will make you laugh. It involves explosions. Also, did you know that Possum are a huge problem in New Zealand? They have about 20 possum for every human there, and the possum as a non-native (it was imported to start a fur trade) is killing many trees that have no defense against it. (The possum is native to Australia, where many of the trees have spikes or poisonous leaves to ward of the pesky marsupial.)

Be prepared to be sad.Be prepared to be sad.Be prepared to be sad.

I saw Star Trek II - The Wrath of Kahn last night. It's great, although the ending is very sad. And there's a new prequel Star Trek TV show coming out.

posted by Greg 12:28 PM

Wednesday, July 11, 2001

This is so Schad.

posted by Greg 2:52 PM

Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Yeah Ken!! Wooooo!

My good friend and blog master Ken Layne has written, and more importantly had published, a brand new book called "Dot Con." It's published in Austrailia, but don't worry, it's in English. Apparently it's a novel about an internet jounalist and an evil tech CEO. Ken's an awesome writer so I'm sure it's filled with clever wordplay and insightful, well, insights. I can't wait to read it. Here's the publisher's site, and the fictional author's site too.
Most importantly, you can order it right here for a total of about $20 US including shipping. Do this right now. Molli did and we received our copy in only 5 days!

posted by Greg 9:33 AM

Monday, July 09, 2001

Slim Pickens - Gut Shot and Blue

Last night I watched a copy of Sam Peckinpah's "Pat Garret and Billy the Kid" that I checked out from the Los Feliz branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.
What a fine western that is. After "The Wild Bunch" and "Cross of Iron," I'd say it's his best film. Like "Wild Bunch," it's a meditation on the end of the west, and on growing old. Kind of about how what you want from life changes as you get older, and also about how some people cling to their past glory and pretend that they're not getting older. James Coburn plays Pat Garret, an ex-outlaw turned lawman, tasked with driving his old riding buddy Billy the Kid (Kris Kristoferson) out of the territory. Pat pursues him as slowly as possible, hoping he'll go off to Mexico, but Billy won't give up his old ways (and his senorita.)
Harry Dean Stanton is in it, and Bob Dylan plays the mysterious knife wielding "Alias" and does the great sound track.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Bob Dylan

Slim Pickens has a small part that's one of my favorites. He's a lawman who dreams of sailing away on a boat he's perrenially building. He and Pat are rousting out some outlaws and he gets gutshot. Then there's a great scene where he walks over to the water and stares out smiling as his seniorita (who just shot gunned a bad guy or two) crawls in grief over to him:

Peckinpah really knew how to make a violent and exiting film that makes you think. An action movie with characters that you care about. I love how he disregards the usual Hollywood cliches: he makes all his characters more or less flawed or compromised, and he doesn't force a love story into the movie where it doesn't belong. And he comes up with great images, such as the chicken getting their heads blown off for fun by Billy's gang, then the children picking them up and running away, or the great scene of the kids playing on the noose like a tire swing up on the gallows. Not to mention R.G. Armstrong as a righteous bible spouting violent deputy getting blown away by his own shotgun filled with dimes. 16 thin dimes.

Aw, mom, you always hog the cough syrup!

Did you have an erector set when you were growing up? I did. Here's a good article about how we should be giving our kids erector sets instead of legos so that they'll become real engineers. (Hint: Europeans call erector sets Meccano. And you thought that the Beatles were the only good thing to come out of Liverpool!)

Up Yours, bloody worm! Don't bug me, Winston.

Helpful Hint: If you have a 3 inch potato bug in your room at bed time and you don't want to chase it around all night, just get a copy of Winston Churchill's condensed World War Two Memoirs to drop on it. If the book's from the library, it'll be covered in plastic so that the bug guts will wipe right off. You're welcome.

I've been using a lot of KaZaa, a file swapping software deal that works pretty well. Not as good as Napster was, but still pretty neat. I've been on a Minutemen kick as usual, and downloading DK Dead Kennedys and more Ray Charles.
Go Ray!

Eat that Rat

And it seems I'm not the only one having wildlife issues. Here's a site from my friend Joel about killing rats. Don't miss the movies!

posted by Greg 11:13 AM

Sunday, July 08, 2001

Nasty Critter!

I saw our neighborhood raccoon taking a dip in the pond on Fiday night. He/she didn't seem too scared of me. He was going after the new water plant we bought to replace the one he shredded. Now I've been reading all day about what we can do to stop them from eating our fish. Looks like it's cayunne pepper and moth balls, or making up a solution with soap, water, pepper and human urine. Sounds fun, huh?

Too Bad.

I went and saw A.I. this weekend. While it was engaging in parts, I must give it a thumbs down. It's an interesting movie to see because of how it came about, but I found myself wanting it to end about 1 and 3/4 hours into it's 2 1/2 hour running time. As a collaboration between Kubrick and Speilberg should be, it left me knowing I didn't like it but not sure exactly why. Perhaps cause the character you're supposed to identify with is a machine. So much potential. Too bad.
Oh yeah, and that kid isn't such a great actor. I mean, he seemed like a robot for almost the whole movie!

posted by Greg 2:57 PM

Thursday, July 05, 2001

Click for Pix!

posted by Greg 5:38 PM

Here's something pretty useful: Google is beta testing a new image search engine. It works pretty well, and you can see thumbnails of the pictures in the results. Great if you're trying to make a coyote samuri or somthing. I used it to find this picture of a painting called "Sin" by Franz Von Stuck, a German Symbolist:

Watch out for that viper!

I saw this painting in the Neue Pinakothek Museum in Munich, Germany, and it was quite striking. The darkness of it draws you in and makes you look closely at it. It has a huge gold frame that you can see in this version, which further draws the viewer in.

posted by Greg 12:59 PM

Wednesday, July 04, 2001

I'm gonna kill you, filthy raccoon!The damn Raccoons have struck again in the night! I feel like that villiage in "Seven Samuri" (or the western town in "The Magnificent Seven.") I'm beseiged, under the yoke of barbarians!! Opressors! I need to send out someone to hire some samuri (or gunfighters.) Perhaps a coyote Samuri?

Will he?  He will!And before you go looking for it, let me tell you the sad news that the Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic has been cancelled this year. But you can still see the webcasts from last year or 1998!

Need to know how to finger an F6 chord cause you're trying to add a Beatles song to your repertoire? Try It works!

What are they saying?I saw that movie Snatch last night. It was a good caper type film, some fun characters and ideas, but not overwhelmingly amazing. I'll give it a 7 out of 10.
We all do.

posted by Greg 10:17 AM

Monday, July 02, 2001

Check it out: Molli is letting me put the poem she wrote for Steve's birthday in my blog, to be immortalized forever! Here it is:
Click here for more pictures


by Molli Rudnick

In decades past a child came to be
the youngest brother, but not the least.
His mother doted, nay not to blame is she,
on life and laughter he does feast.

As he frets with restless whirls,
the teeming crowd he does dare
to be hypnotized by fancy twirls
of sticks in hand and in the air.

Behind cymbal, snare… away in back
sits working man in cowboy hat.
Crashing in like a ground attack
in perfect time a-rat-a-tat-tat.

Music feeds the frenzied soul
whose stories never cease to amaze.
The phoenix reborn to rock n' roll
each time his drums are set ablaze.

A hero, he is, on a summer's day
as magic is grilled and deftly shared.
Spirits drank and wantoned away
'til mind grows calm and then impaired.

He disappears without a trace
swiftly flying across the ground.
Perhaps he finds a state of grace
as dawn rolls in without a sound.

If in some sorrow he breaks to tears
a gentle heart resides within.
Yea, stong enough to face his fears,
ne'er weakly to disguise chagrin.

With dedication he pursued his love
near Paradise she lived, yet not in.
To him she is an angel from above
he endeavored her heart to win.

What wondrous old friends they are
and now true loves they have become.
Each gone from far to near to far,
together now they make a home

In our wild friend we do delight
lest we forget why we are here…
To him a starry future bright
and to dreams he stay sincere.

Amazing, huh?!? When she read it around the campfire, tears were shed and laughs were shared. Thanks Molli!!!!!

posted by Greg 6:49 PM

Sunday, July 01, 2001

Fire Good!

We went camping this weekend up in the Angeles National Forrest for Steve's birthday. It was great fun. Getting dirty, hiking, playing horseshoes, dominoes, genus III, and rummy, and Steve and Heather's wonderful cooking! A weekend in the woods, and only an hour away!
Bellow is a funny picture: Steve and Jeff jumped down to this log, but it was a little farther down then they thought it was. Here, Jeff is telling us to toss down one more bag of ice. The funny thing is, we'd already thrown down 9 bags. Poor guys!
Send down one more ice bag, please.

posted by Greg 5:11 PM

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Read more in the Weblog Archive