Observations Along the Road

Theatre Writeups, Musings on the News, Rants and Roadkill Along the Information Superhighway

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On The Other Side of the Ledger

Written By: cahwyguy - Mon Jan 21, 2008 @ 7:58 am PDT

This morning, the Sheriff came out and did the regular celebration of birthdays. I must, alas, address the other side of the ledger:

  • The LA Times is reporting the passing of Suzanne Pleshette, the delightful comic actress who made her name as the deep-voiced wife of Bob Newhart on The Bob Newhart Show. She’ll always be remembered, though, for the last scene of Bob’s following series, Newhart, when it was revealed that that entire series was just a bad dream. Her death comes less than a year after the death of her third husband, Tom Poston, and two weeks before her 71st birthday, when she was to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

  • CNN is reporting the death of John Stewart, a very well known songwriter from the folk and rock era. Songs written by Stewart include “Daydream Believer” (made popular by Davy Jones of the Monkees), “Strange Rivers”, and “Runaway Train”. But for me, John is best known for his work with The Kingston Trio, one of the better known folk groups from the early 1960s (others include Peter Paul and Mary, The Brothers Four, The Chad Mitchell Trio, the Weavers, the Limeliters). Although not an original member (he joined the group in 1961, replacing Dave Guard), he was heard on a number of albums. According to the KT website, he recorded over 45 solo albums following his seven years in the Kingston Trio, and it is estimated that he wrote more than 600 unique and highly personal songs. I think I’ll need to look into some of his solo work.
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The Honor of His Company

Written By: cahwyguy - Mon Dec 03, 2007 @ 11:41 am PDT

Last night, we went to see the early Tom Paxton concert at McCabes Guitar in Santa Monica. For many, many, many, many years McCabes has been holding concerts in their back room; Tom is a long-time regular.

For those unfamiliar with Tom Paxton, he is one of the greats in American Folk Music. Tom started in the 1960s folks scene with greats such as Pete Seeger, Ian & Sylvia, Peter Paul and Mary, and other “New Folk” performers, and is still going strong in his 70th year. I never pass up a chance to see him when he is in town. He is one of my favorite folk performers (he’s even starting to eclipse PP&M), and McCabes is one of my favorite venues (ever since I first saw Shep Cooke play there in the early 1980s).

Attending the concert with me were nsshere, ellipticcurve, and ixixlix (in gf_guruilla’s stead, as she was sick [she gave me the cold I have today]). After a wonderful dinner at Rae’s (see “Dining Notes” below), all but EC got on line at McCabes. EC joined us about 10 minutes before the show started.

On to the show, which consisted of a single act (as I recall, Tom’s last show was also single-act, although the show before that had an intermission). Note that I didn’t keep a formal playlist — song titles are from memory. Tom mostly did songs from his new album “Comedians & Angels” [indicated with *](which will be formally released in the US early next year — it isn’t even on Amazon yet). These are mostly slower love songs. Songs that I remember Tom doing during the show are:

How Beautiful Upon The Mountain* The First Song Is For You*
And If It’s Not True* I Like The Way You Look*
A Long Way From Your Mountain* Jennifer and Kate*
You Are Love* Comedians and Angels*
George W. Told The Nation Katy
Jennifer’s Rabbit Bottle of Wine
The Last Thing on My Mind Ramblin’ Boy
The Bravest  

As a result of the song selection, the show was much slower in tone; something I also remember from Tom’s last show at McCabes. I miss the heavily political Tom and the faster songs, but I also understand that song tastes and selection changes as one ages. Tom, as always, was in fine form, and was ably assisted by the ever wonderful Fred Sokolow.

Currently, there’s nothing up coming on the concert agenda. I am thinking about getting tickets to Peter Paul & Mary at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in March 2008. As our “New Folk” musicians age (and especially given Mary’s health problems), this may be the last time they are in the Los Angeles area. McCabes also has a few interesting concerts coming up, including Odetta and Holly Near, but I’m not sure if I’ll get tickets. This is McCabes’ 50th Anniversary year, so they should have a spectacular concert schedule (including a big concert in the fall at UCLA). Of course, if the Austin Lounge Lizards ever bothered to come to Southern California (they visit NoCal regularly, but haven’t been down here in almost 5 years), I’d snap up tickets in a minute!

Dining Notes: Dinner for the evening was at Rae’s in Santa Monica. Rae’s is an old-time diner, in business since 1958. Not a chain, but a small local hangout with a few booths and a counter, super-friendly waitresses, clean facilities, and super-cheap prices (cash only). I had the Chicken Fried Steak, and it was excellent… and everything, from the soup to the potatoes, was home made. ixixlix had the turkey with stuffing, and nsshere had a ham and cheese omlette… both of which were supposedly excellent. Rae’s is one of those top-notch dives, an homage to 1950s diners that is real, not manufactured (read “Mel’s Drive In”, which we ate at on Friday night).

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Protected: I’m Changing My Name to Chrysler

Written By: cahwyguy - Mon Aug 27, 2007 @ 6:19 pm PDT

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My ears! They burn!

Written By: cahwyguy - Fri Mar 02, 2007 @ 4:56 pm PDT

Bob Dylan sings Dr. Seuss

You know, I never thought I would appreciate William Shatner.

[Thanks to coyote3502 for bringing this to my attention.]

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Monday Morning in Paradise

Written By: cahwyguy - Mon Jan 22, 2007 @ 5:40 pm PDT

So you say your Monday didn’t go well. Then try these lyrics that I referenced this morning instead:

The toast is burning, the kids won’t eat.
The bacon splattered on my bare feet.
The kids are screaming, the dog’s in heat.
It’s Monday morning in paradise.

Grandad’s complaining about his heart.
The brand-new toaster just flew apart.
It started snowing, the car won’t start.
It’s Monday morning in paradise.

It’s Monday morning, a brand-new day,
A new day dawning with hell to pay.
It’s Monday morning, I mean to say,
They seem to come every other day.

     My son, the genius, has lost a shoe.
His father’s socks are one black, one blue.
And here comes my old friend, the flu.
It’s Monday morning in paradise.
It’s Monday morning, a brand-new day,
A new day dawning with hell to pay.
It’s Monday morning, I mean to say,
They seem to come every other day.

The toast is burning, the kids won’t eat.
The bacon splattered on my bare feet.
The kids are screaming, the dog’s in heat.
It’s Monday morning in paradise.

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Lyrics for a Monday Morning

Written By: cahwyguy - Mon Jan 22, 2007 @ 7:17 am PDT

This morning, as I selected my CDs for the day, I included the Tom Paxton album Up and Up. This has one of my favorite songs on it–something I wish for all the readers of this journal:

May the sound of children be your music.
May your blessings be the ones you earn.
May your days be filled with sun.
May you deeply love someone.
May that someone love you in return.
Life – May yours be long and loving.
Peace – May you enjoy its blessing.
Joy – May it be yours to savour.
Love – May it be yours forever.

May your only sorrows be the small ones.
May they leave you stronger when they go.
May the love of friends be yours.
May you live with open doors.
May you feel the love within you grow.

Life – May yours be long and loving.
Peace – May you enjoy its blessing.
Joy – May it be yours to savour.
Love – May it be yours forever.

    May your smallest moment be a full one.
May your life be all that it can be.
May you come to love yourself,
And hold that love above yourself,
And hold that love for all the world to see.
Life – May yours be long and loving.
Peace – May you enjoy its blessing.
Joy – May it be yours to savour.
Love – May it be yours forever.

Have a great week. Of course, if it isn’t starting so well, perhaps Monday Morning in Paradise is a better song for your week. Alas, the lyrics aren’t online, so I’ll transcribe and type them in when I get home.

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Lizards Invade Bay Area! News At 11!

Written By: cahwyguy - Wed Jul 19, 2006 @ 4:52 pm PDT

For those in the Bay Area… My favorite satirical bluegrass group, the Austin Lounge Lizards is invading Berkeley this Saturday. I can’t see it, but you lucky folks in the area can. So go see them for me! They will be at Freight & Salvage, 1111 Addison, and have two shows: 5:00 & 8:00 PM. More information can be found here.

[Friday, they will be in Mendocino, at the Mendocino Music Festival, in a tent on Main Street at 7:30 PM. Oh why, oh why, can’t they come to Southern California!]

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Folk Music in the News

Written By: cahwyguy - Thu Jun 22, 2006 @ 11:35 am PDT

The Daily News has a nice article on this year’s Summer Solstice Folk Music, Dance and Storytelling Festival. The festival was started by Clark Weissman, a seminal person in the Computer Security arena (and one of my co-workers at SDC, who is responsible for getting me into my career). It was unclear if the festival would go on this year, given the loss of Clark’s lovely wife Elaine. It is nice to see the festival is going on.

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