Monday, October 26, 2009

You have been Warned!

I'm going on a little 4-show Halloween weekend tour-ette with the Chandler Travis Philharmonic this weekend, and it sure would be much appreciated if any of you reading this were able to show up and see us! Also, if you have friends (or enemies) who you think might enjoy (or hate) the band, please encourage them to come out and see us, too.

We will be terrorizing the following towns:
  • Thursday, October 29, 8pm - The Turning Point Cafe in Piermont, NY (468 Piermont Ave, Piermont, NY - (845) 359-1089) - $15

    Our first appearance at the Turning Point. I've been hoping to play this spot for quite some time, and we're all really excited about playing there. Personally, I think the admission price is worth seeing how we're going to fit all 9 of us in the general vicinity of the stage!

  • Friday, October 30, 8pm - The Avalon Theatre in Easton, MD (40 East Dover St. Easton, MD - (410) 822-7299) - $20

    Our return to the wonderful Avalon Theatre. We were there in the spring of 2008 and had a great time. It's a beautiful old vaudeville theater with a great sound.

  • Saturday, October 31, 8pm - Godfrey Daniels in Bethlehem, PA (7 East Fourth Street, Bethlehem, PA - (610) 867-2390) - $18.50

    We're back in steel country for the 3rd time since last November, when we played this intimate listening room for the first time. We were back again this summer for the Bethlehem Music Festival. And heck, it's Halloween - how much more fun can you have than seeing the Philharmonic on Halloween!

  • Sunday, November 1, 8:30pm & 10pm - The Rodeo Bar in New York, NY (375 3rd Ave, New York, NY - (212) 684-6500) - FREE!

    The first of our Month-o-Sundays at the Rodeo Bar, our new home in NYC. We'll be there every Sunday in November except the 15th. Two sets, no cover charge. Come on down!


If you haven't seen or heard this band yet, be sure to check out the website; we have quite a few audio & video samples there. If you have already seen or heard the band, well ... please ignore what you remember and show up anyway!

I'm not 100% certain, but I believe the band lineup for these shows will be:
Chandler Travis - guitar, vocals, King of the World
Rikki Bates - drums
Dinty Child - mandocello, mandolin, accordion, guitar, vocals
John Clark - bass
Phil Clements - keyboards, vocals
Mark Chenevert - tenor sax, clarinet, vocals
Keiichi Hashimoto - trumpet, vocals
Bob Pilkington - trombone, vocals
Fred Boak - vocals, valet

Sure hope to see youse - be sure to say "hi" if you make it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Here's a tip ...

... if you're worried about being embarrassed by your pharmacy purchase, it's probably not a good idea to draw attention to yourself by yelling at the sales clerk.

I just saw it happen at the local CVS. A customer was purchasing something at the back sales registers, where the pharmacy stuff is normally handled. Apparently, they didn't have a bag large enough for her purchase. The cashier apologized and offered to run up to the front register and get a proper sized bag, but the customer was having none of it and stormed out, saying she was going to another CVS branch instead. Of course, everyone in the area noticed.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Jody

Sorry not to have written much in the last few months. I'll admit it, I've kind of become addicted to Facebook and have been enjoying meeting up with old friends, playing the scrabble-like game "lexulous", and trying to come up with pithy status messages.

Sadly, something has come along that makes me want to write a longer piece.

This past Monday, a good friend of mine, a spiritual brother, Joseph "Jody" Duncan, died at the far-too-young age of 41. His friends & family are saying goodbye to him today in ceremonies in Henderson, KY; there's another group of his friends who won't be able to make it, because we're far-flung all over the country. Most of us met Jody because of our mutual love for and obsession with the band NRBQ.

Jody was the guy who always knew the name and original artist of any obscure cover that NRBQ played. Or at least he had the music library at hand to figure it out. I would send him mp3's of cuts I didn't know, and he usually could get back to me with the right name & artist. Usually fairly quickly.

The first time I really spent any significant time with Jody was around Labor Day, 1999, when my then-wife, Maia, and I flew out to Louisville, KY to catch 4 Q shows in 4 days. The first of those shows was in Evansville, IN, which happened to be Jody's hometown. I remember ahead of time he recommended a hotel to stay in (cheap, but not too shabby, and in a decent neighborhood, if I remember). He met us at the club, introduced us to all his hometown crazies, and we were fast friends. The next night was in Louisville, KY, and it was more of the same. He showed us such wonderful hospitality. Later that year, we made a trip to see NRBQ in Chicago (OK, really Berwyn, IL) and Champaign/Urbana, and, of course, Jody was at both shows.

A few years later, a special NRBQ fan weekend was put together by Stacey Q. Naturally, it was called "Wild Weekend", and was held in Hartford, CT. Jody made the trip, along with a I don't know how many other Q-balls, and now, everyone knew each other for real, not just online. The Chandler Travis Philharmonic was one of the opening acts for the shows, and I still remember Jody's smile when Chandler sang "Surf's Up".

Here's one story that to me is pure Jody. The NRBQ 35th Anniversary shows, which featured almost all living members of the band, past & present, were held in Northampton, MA. Jody made the trip but wasn't sure if he could until practically the last minute. As I was filing out of the Calvin Theatre the 2nd night, the place was almost empty, except there was Jody, still sitting in his seat (the last seat in the far right corner of the last row of the balcony), with tears in his eyes.

Jody's graveside service starts around 2pm CDT today. I plan on playing something joyous by NRBQ (maybe "Me & the Boys") and raising a glass of Kentucky bourbon to Jody. I'm sure more than a few tears will be shed, too.

photo: Jeff Wilson

Until we meet again while travelling the spaceways ... I love you, Jody.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I still think this is a good idea ...

So, there's this band I like, NRBQ, and several years ago they released an album called "Dummy". Apparently, they ended up with a whole bunch of extra promo/"cut out" copies of the album, because whenever you buy something from their website, you get a free cut out copy of "Dummy" added to your shipment.


Now, over the last few years, I've made several purchases from their website, and I've would up with a whole bunch of extra copies of "Dummy". I've given away some, and figured most of my friends already had a copy (though I just found a friend who doesn't, so he'll be getting one soon enough). I was thinking of what to do with the remaining extra copies, and hit upon what I think is a pretty cool idea ... take a copy with me whenever I need to rent a car, and leave it in the car when I return it.

Well ... I tried it yesterday ... returned my rental car and left a promo copy of "Dummy" in there. Unfortunately, when I got home, there was a message on my answering machine from the car rental place, saying that they had found the CD and it was in their lost & found.

*sigh*

I still think it's a good idea ... maybe I have to hide the CD somewhere in the car or something.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What a cupcake

Via Universal Hub, I was directed to this blog entry about a cupcake shop in Davis Square (Somerville, MA). Two things:

1) There is a CUPCAKE SHOP IN DAVIS SQUARE!!!!

2) Among all the cupcakes they sell are DEEP FRIED cupcakes!

Of course, the place has a great name, Kickass Cupcakes.

I just have to get to this place - Chandler, can we please play Johnny D's again sometime soon?

I hope they last longer than Coolidge Corner's Pudding It First did.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It seemed somehow fitting ...

One of the best radio stations out there, WFMU, is having their big fundraiser marathon right now, and there's a special online-only promotion. In addition to other cool swag, if you make a paid pledge of $180 or more by March 8th (using a credit card or PayPal, they'll give you naming rights to an item or person at WFMU Headquarters for one year.

I present to you, The Chandler Travis Intestinal Fortitude Scale Model:

It, along with other named (and yet-to-be-named) items/people can be seen on Flickr as part of WFMU's 2009 Adoption Gallery

I highly encourage any of you who dig free form radio to help out this great station if at all possible. They have great swag and other cool promotions, too. For example, next Friday (March 13) from 8-11 pm is the annual Yo La Tengo plays cover song requests for your pledges event - pretty freakin' cool.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hey, It's a "Clip Show"!

I'm feeling lazy, but want to post something, so here are a few random videos I've run across the last few days.

Horrible story, but check out the mugshot:

Direct YouTube link here

You think YOU don't like clowns? You probably have nothin' on this lady:

Direct YouTube link here

This is just insane ... but still pretty freakin' cool:

Direct YouTube link here
(and I have no idea why the video starts with guys in underpants shooting off fireworks)

Meet Ackbar - the Jerry Springer of the Star Wars Universe:

Direct CollegeHumor link here

How to Date, circa 1949

Mustache Dance!

Direct YouTube link here

Eyebrow Dance!

Direct YouTube link here

OK, I've seen this one on several sites, but it's just so gush-durn k-yute, I jest can't help myself ... and it seems like a good one to use as a closer:

Direct YouTube link here

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Are you flippin' kidding me?

I went to the Wellfleet movie theater to see "Gran Torino" with my buddy Lou this evening. We both thought the movie was great ... and then the fire alarm went off in the theater ... film off, lights on, annoying alarm ... all four movie theaters in the building had to evacuate.

They gave us passes for a future movie (good for a year), but neither of us really wants to sit through the good portion of the movie (about an hour & a quarter) that we've already seen. We're thinking we might end up using the passes to see another movie, but get to the theater early and sneak in to catch the last half hour or so of "Gran Torino".

Anyway ... it looked to be a really good movie. Good performances, good writing. Just wondering how the freakin' thing ends!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Girl Scout Cookies

I bought a box of Girl Scout Cookies from some scouts who had a table setup at the grocery store the other day and was handed this along with the box of cookies and my change:


I never got a thank you note with my cookies before ... I thought it was a nice touch.

Surfin' Word

So ... here's a little idea, I'm hoping it catches on ...

For the blogger version of my blog (http://valetconfidential.blogspot.com/, as opposed to the MySpace or Facebook copies of the same blog), I have the commenting setup so that you have to enter a "word verification" in order to comment. I've noticed that here at blogger, the words are usually nonsense combos of letters. Either that, or my Word Power is a whole lot worse than I thought it was, anyway.

So ... my idea is that whenever we comment on a blog and enter one of these confirmation words, also add the word to the text of your comment. If you want to try and come up for a definition of the word, too, that would be a great extra bonus.

Just an idea ...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Speaking of being 'bout stinkin' time ...

Yet another way over-due appreciation of one of the greats is the announcement that Wanda Jackson has been elected to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I got to see Wanda play 12 or so years ago on a tour she did with Rosie Flores for Rosie's album "Rockabilly Flores". Wanda is still singing these days, belting out her old hits.

















Wanda's one of the true great voices of real Rock & Roll - it's great to see her finally recognized for it by the Hall of Fame. It's a semi-dubious recognition, given that their definition of "Rock & Roll" has turned into "post-Elvis dance pop" ... it includes heavy metal, funk, disco, etc ... this year's other inductees are Jeff Beck, Chic, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Metalicca, Run-DMC, The Stooges, War, and Bobby Womack. All of which had their impact on the music scene, certainly, but I sure wouldn't call some of 'em "rock & roll". That argument aside, every once in a while they do the right thing and give props to someone who truly deserves it and isn't so well known by modern music fans.

Let's Have a Party!

Who are You (who who? who who?)

According to Lady Trout, it's National Delurking Day!

I had forgotten/didn't know; I better hurry and break out the Delurking deocrations, play traditional Delurking games, and listen to all of my favorite Delurking music.

I know I have a few regular readers - via Google Analytics I know there are a fairly good number of regular hits to blogspot version of the blog - plus at this time there are 4 subscribers to the blogspot version of my blog, and 6 to the MySpace copy of it.

So, if you are one of my anonymous readers, please feel free to comment here and say "hi" - or not, if you prefer to remain anonymous. If you don't feel like commenting but want me know who you are, you can send me email!

Anyway, thanks for reading this, folks.

And remember, just 365 shopping days until next Delurking Day ...

'bout stinkin' time!

Just heard that Jim Rice was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his last year of eligibility. I'm so glad he finally got in.


There are a few baseball games I remember fairly clearly, here's an example of one that sticks in my memory purely because of Jim Rice.

My first game at Fenway Park was in the fall of 1980. I went with some MIT fraternity and a group of freshman during MIT's "rush week". We sat way in the back of the bleachers section, on honest-to-goodness real bleachers, if I remember correctly (I think that was the last year of real bleachers in the bleachers section at Fenway). I think we were just underneath the front of the centerfield video scoreboard (back then it was still black & white, and if you were looking straight up at it, it was basically unwatchable). The Red Sox were playing the Billy Martin-managed Oakland A's (this was the height of "Billyball"). The Sox were down in the 9th inning and Jim Rice hit a home run to start a game-tying rally, then another home run in the 10th to win the game.

Here's a box score of the game.

That second home run was one of the longest I've ever seen hit at Fenway. The back of the centerfield bleachers is FAR away from home plate, and I swear it landed just a few rows in front of where I was sitting.

Congrats, Jim-Ed! You deserve it.

Oh, and congrats to Rickey "Hot Dog" Henderson, too - no doubt he deserves it, too. Hell, I half expect him to come out of retirement and play in the majors again after being elected to the Hall of Fame.