Looking For Shelter In This Thunder And This Rain

I have been bought, I have been sold in the city.
I’ve dined with the demons, and I drank of their fear.
But you, you have known, and waited in silence.
Come, cradle my heart in a homecoming tear.
—- Jimmie Spheeris, I Am the Mercury

The musicians play next to the reflecting pool in front of the Opera House

I’ve read a couple of times lately that vinyl is now outselling compact disks. I’ve also read that digital downloads are becoming fewer and fewer and soon – vinyl will be outselling MP3s. I’ve read this on the internet so it must be true.

Everybody nowadays listens to streaming music.

For me, old person that I am, streaming music means internet radio. Hey, it’s free, there are thousands of stations… and it does leave me a bit of a link to the past… it isn’t over the air, but it is radio… more or less.

And my favorite online radio station – by far – is Radio Paradise. They have a handful of different mixes, all brilliantly curated. I listen to their main mix all the time and their mellow mix while I sleep. What I especially like is the stations ability to mix familiar excellent tracks with new and/or odd stuff that I have never heard – but will go out and look for.

The other night I was listening to the mellow mix when an old song came on that brought the memories flooding back. It was I Am the Mercury, from the album Isle of View by Jimmie Spheeris.


I was immediately transported back to 1974 – my freshman year of college. I could see that 12 inch album in a pile on a dormitory floor, pick it up and spin it on a cheap turntable. The quiet ethereal mysterious sound builds to a climax. Music has such an ability to bring the past back… and vinyl with a 12 inch album cover work of art especially so.

My 1986 Cannondale and Fergie

“Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television.”
― Woody Allen

My 30 year old touring bike in The Cedars, Dallas, Texas

On the hidden art bicycle tour, everyone else was looking at a mural behind a building, but I found this ad for a new album. Art is where you find it.

What I learned this week, March 21, 2014

People make fun of me because I am so adamant about riding my bicycle as much as possible and trying to reduce driving.

I give you this:

As a matter of principle I don’t drive on LBJ 635 unless it is absolutely necessary – and it rarely is. I have written two short stories based on experiences in the area where that news report was shot.

If you are not familiar with the Dallas Fort/Worth area – Highway LBJ 635, where this jam occurred, was featured in a well-known and iconic movie.

Outside Four Corners Brewery

Outside Four Corners Brewery

This is truly the best of all possible worlds.

The Rise Of The Bike Shop/Bar

Riding up outside Community Brewing in the Dallas Design District

Riding up outside Community Brewing in the Dallas Design District

Deep Ellum Brewing Company - Dallas Blonde

Deep Ellum Brewing Company – Dallas Blonde

Deep Ellum Brewing company

Deep Ellum Brewing company

The Craft Beer Boom Continues

Heavy Hitter beer flight at Luck, in Trinity Groves, Dallas, Texas

Heavy Hitter beer flight at Luck, in Trinity Groves, Dallas, Texas

A Pollinator Bock on the right, Dallas Blonde on the left.

DEBC – A Pollinator Bock on the right, Dallas Blonde on the left.

Cities on the Rise in Texas

Cities on the Rise in Texas



I have a chest style deep freezer. Maybe it isn’t too late to fill it with Swanson Fried Chicken Dinners. You know the ones, mashed potatoes with the weird putty-like texture, the odd tasting veggies, and that “dessert” – some sort of extruded apple-thing. I still remember trying to scrape the last bit of that stuff that had chemically welded itself to the Aluminum Foil. The chicken had enough salt to adsorb lake Erie.


The only thing odder was the “Salisbury Steak.” I still don’t know what that term is all about – I doubt the original meaning was “Rubbery Oval Brownish Slab with Mysterious Gravy.” Looking it up on Wikipedia – it was invented in 1897 by an American physician named Salisbury, an early proponent of a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss.


What not-so-fresh (frozen actually) hell is this?

Still, it was what we had.

America Is Falling Out of Love With TV Dinners

I never knew that Sony made a transparent AM/FM radio that runs on a single AA that is intended exclusively for sale in prison commissaries.




The tradition is that these are left behind when the owner is released. They have become collectors’ items out in the free world. Here’s one on Ebay.

The MP3 player is making inroads and soon is expected to displace the SRF-39FP… but for now, the old school is still king.

Not to sound like an old fart (even if true) but I miss LPs because of the album art. A CD (let alone a digital download) simply doesn’t do justice. As a matter of fact, someone needs to figure out how to distribute artwork with a digital download – PDF? Printed, folded poster in the Mail? Gift Certificate at local tattoo shop?

Five Album Art Cliches

I used to buy albums back in the day simply because I liked their album art. Looking back on it – I think that was as good a way to pick music as any other. Some of my favorite albums were bought because of that.

For Example:

Are you ready Eddy?

Are you ready Eddy?

Born to Die

As I was thinking about leaving work to go home (I tend to work until I’ll too tired to do anything reliably well) I texted Candy if she needed anything from Target. She texted back that she wanted some reduced-fat graham crackers. Everything is so exciting in this – the best of all possible worlds.

I was going to stop at Target because today is when Lana Del Rey’s album dropped. I’ve been a fan for a while now and have written too much about her before. Still, I wanted the CD. I could have downloaded it from iTunes or Amazon, but… maybe I’m a bit of an old fart – but I still like to have something in my hands for my hard-earned money.

Plus, a little surfing at lunch told me that Target was selling the real, live, and solid Compact Disk for eight bucks – plus two bonus tracks. A pretty good deal. There were only two left when I got there.

So, do you want a review? How can you review music? Like always – Lana Del Rey is the kind of thing you will like if you like this kind of thing.

She is criticized for being fake – and she is. Her music is a lush laconic illusion. There isn’t much there, but there is a vision, however manufactured, and the vision is unique, entertaining and fun to listen to. In this age of the music “industry” what more can you expect? The title song starts with the words, “feet don’t fail me now.” I like that.

Christ, who knows what’s good and what isn’t in these days? I have a stack of albums that once meant a lot to me; I thought that the sounds from them were genius. I turned to these for solace during difficult times and now I can’t even listen to them anymore because they take me back to those times and I can feel the panic rising. I wish I was young and listening to Lana Del Rey – she is better if you don’t have to worry about anything. Shit, why waste time writing about something you don’t like? Life is way too short.

Here, I’ll list just a few of the WordPress blogs from the last few hours with a Lana Del Rey tag. Read ’em and make up your own mind, please, while I try to get some short story scenes pounded out, ride my exercise bike for a while, and listen to Born to Die on repeat.

Don’t listen to me, I couldn’t even find the reduced-fat graham crackers.

Oh, I do have one legitimate complaint… one of my favorite Del Rey works, Kinda Outta Luck, isn’t on the CD. Well, at any rate, here it is. For your pleasure.