Do NOT Miss This Show

In 1980, John Landis made a nominally funny movie that changed my life forever.  Up until that moment, I was a typical Police, Cars, Boston, Kansas fan.  Then I saw the Blues Brothers.  It’s not a great movie.  But it reintroduced me to my musical roots, and exposed me to Stax records and its personalities for the very first time.

Well, not the very first time.  My parents raised me on Sam and Dave, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett.  That means, of course I was familiar with the work of such people as Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn.  But I didn’t know of THEM (and consequently, what horrible actors they were).  Cropper and Dunn are featured prominently in the movie.

After seeing the Blues Brothers, a love affair was born, and I devoured all things Stax.

It’s funny, Lintilla prefers the sugary-sweetness of Motown.  That’s OK, but to me, it lacks the deep-down gospel soul of Stax music.  It doesn’t matter if the song was about love or sex or food or religion, it always made me want to shout “AMEN!”.  And, I contend that Green Onions was the “coolest” song ever recorded.  You could have a video of Bill Gates walking down the street, and if you put a soundtrack of “Green Onions” in the background, even he would appear to be cool.

Now, PBS is airing aspecial about the whole Stax records pheomenon, on Great Performances tomorrow night.  If you care about great music, if you care about music history (or even the history of the great state of TN), do yourself a favor and watch this show. 

Also, if you’ve seen The Commitments, you are familiar with the music of Stax records, and probably didn’t even know it. 

Watch the show tomorrow night.  Then, those of you who know me will understand why I sing the way I do.

Yes, Kleinheider, But Then, No, Too

Kleinheider asks a very interesting question:

Should immigration be an issue in a local campaign? Are any of these candidates really serious about making the issue a priority or are they just pandering in search of votes?

I’ll answer the second question by answering the first.

Constitutionally, this issue belongs to the Feds.  The fact that the Feds have absolutely dropped the ball (for at least a generation), affects the real answer.

Of course, it’s a local issue.

It’s a local issue because our numbers and demographics have changed.  This very fact brings about new challenges and opportunities.  It’s a fair question to ask each candidate: how will you handle the changing demographics of our city?  Will you embrace it?  Fight for the old guard?  Nashville is not the same town it was 20, or even 10 years ago.  There are quite a few new residents amongst us, whether we agree with them being here or how they got here.  Many of them do not speak English.

Our feelings about this are quite beside the point.

I think every candidate should have answered this question: how will you respond to the new numbers and changing demographics of our city’s populace?  The election’s Thursday, and it’s a little late to have an honest discussion about this.

Heading To Prison Again

X-Alt will be going back to Riverbend Maximum Security Prison this Sunday, to provide the music for a Sunday Service.  As I have said before, it is a life-changing experience for those who take part.

I am so, so, SO happy that Katy Seale will be joining us.  We have missed her “high lonesome” voice when we’ve done these prison trips.

(Personal aside to Katy: what happened to you this week was awful, just awful.  I am so sorry, and I can tell you that I am never going to look at that particular person the same way again)


We are also taking contraband. 🙂

It’s taken a lot of arrangement (and some hilarious non-phone phone conversations), but Ginger will be coming with us.  I had been thinking of this for a long time, and when I heard her sing at the Blogger Karaoke Bash, my wheels started turning.  Normally we go to the prison with a skeleton crew, and here you have this woman with an incredible voice and a heart for those in prison – well – let’s just say I was “convicted”.

Interestingly, this time we have less of a skeleton crew, so we will have quite a contingent.  We will truly make a joyful noise.  add in “Happy Jack” (a prisoner with a poweful voice) , and they’ll hear us downtown.

Last night we rehearsed, and there was a point in the evening when I was almost driven to tears.  To hear the sounds of these dear people who are family to me, in their usual beautiful harmony – to hear it in an entirely new way is a gift indeed.

Thank you Ginger, for giving your talents to glorifying God with us Sunday, and thank you, X-Alt, for indulging this old man in a vision he’s had for some time.

I can’t wait till Sunday.

Maybe It’ll Show Up on YouTube

I’ve had more than one person tell me that they’ve seen my children in a television commercial that’s airing right now.  What’s weird is that I haven’t seen it yet.

They filmed it a couple of weeks ago at summer camp – it involves Cornerstone Financial Credit Union and the Parent Teacher Store.  I know nothing else about it, except that we got to go see Ratatouille because of it. (I’m already becoming a Hollywood dad, sponging off my kids).

You don’t know how requests we’ve had, from people who claim to be professional photographers, to photograph Trillian.  We have refused thus far.  Too many creeps out there.  We might rethink things soon though.  We, er, I mean she, could really use the money. 

Please don’t take that last sentence seriously.  If she wants to profit from her natural beauty when she is an adult, that’s her business.  But right now, until she hates me because I won’t let her go to the dance with Johnny Nosering, I will not share her, for any money.  UNLESS she actually comes to me and asks to be a child model, or actess, or whatever.  Right now, she doesn’t have any extracurricular activities to put on her applications to high schools. 😉 .  Seriously, I would allow it, if it were her idea.  Just like Zaphod with football.  Otherwise, just do your math homework, little lady.

Anyway, all I want now is to just see the darn thing.  I’ve stopped fast forwarding through commercials on DVR for my Food Network shows (it’s a cable commercial), but to no avail.

Have any of you guys seen the ad for Cornerstone CU with a couple of beautiful Asian children it? 

It Is Well With My Seoul

Oh,my goodness.  I have a new favorite Korean restaurant in town.  The just-opened Seoul Garden on Edmonson Pike (just off Nolensville Road). 

I’ll give you the full review soon, when I get the food blog up and running.  All I can say is that it’s everything that Koreana was, when it was at its best, and then some.

I’ll tell you two things now.  One, they’ve divided the restuarant in two (BBQ you own, and traditional service).  And two, the little bowls of “sides” they brought out were so perfect for us, it makes me wonder if they sized us up (caucasion couple with obviously adopted Korean kids) and brought us “sides” (what do they call those little bowls?) that fit American sensibilities.  Nothing fishy or seaweed-y.  Wonderfully seasoned kimchee, (cucumber and cabbage, bean sprouts, “hot” tofu – my goodness, it was soo good!)

Of course, we all had bibimbap.

Anyway, I’l tell you more later.  But y’all go check it out, the place was wonderful!

Posted in Food. 6 Comments »

Miller Time

Remember that scene in Stand And Deliver, when the testing service demands the kids re-take the AP Calculus test because their grades were near perfect (and the teacher Escalante also thought it was because his students had Spanish surnames)?

 Well, that’s how well I did on my Microsoft certification exam today.

I didn’t just pass it, I kicked its butt and left it for dead.  By my calculations, I missed two questions out of 43.  In three of the six areas of study, I got a perfect score.

I’m so excited; I’ve got two more to pass to get my MCAD, three more to get my MCSD (at which point Bill Gates will own my soul).

I’m not bragging, I’m just sitting here in shock.  I was an idiot last night, and didn’t take my Ambien (worried about being cloudy-headed today).  Well, whenever something’s happening the next day, you can be rest assured that my mind will be running a mile a minute ALL night, which happened.  I’m running on zero sleep.

So, I ingested so much caffeine and sugar, I came close to running around screaming “I am Cornholio!” at some points during the day.  So, that, along with the fact that all my studying didn’t seem to be “sticking” — I thought that would be a recipe for disaster.


Now, I’ve come down from the high of both the caffeine and they joy of still being able to kick butt on exams.  I am exhausted.

I know I owe a few of you some communications, but I think I’m going to take a cat nap, then go get a beer.  I’ll see y’all on the other side.

Under Pressure

I love, love, LOVE cooking with a pressure cooker.  I know they scare most people, and that’s probably why I’m so attached to them.  There’s a certain element of danger.  When I use the pressure cooker, I pretend I’m Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka, driving the Womkamobile, with noise and chaos all aound, screaming, “She might BLOW!”

And, at the end, you have these wonderfully softened and seasoned green beans and new potatoes.  So pretty and peaceful – you totally forget the rush of a few minutes before.

I just love cooking on the edge.

Posted in Food. 3 Comments »