One Reporter's Opinion

Proud sponsor of The Partnership for an Idiot-Free America. Andy's random observations -- a potluck of politics, a mix of music musings, and whatever else transcends the transom. (Unless otherwise specified, all pictures are copyright of this blogger. Some rights reserved, subject to the terms and conditions specified under the Creative Commons license.)

Friday, March 18, 2005

Hey Bill! Why Don't You Subpoena Their Dog?

Partisan quack Bill Frist, in a fit of Republican desperation, has issued a subpoena ordering a vegetable to testify before Congress.

More evidence that these people, rather than advocating smaller government, are most interested in interfering in the most private moments of your life. This is hideous micromanagement at its most base, and it's an obvious bid to entrap Michael Schiavo into an obstruction of justice rap.

Forget his senate credentials -- just how does Bill Frist get off calling himself a Doctor of Medicine?

I fully expect that Frist will next call upon the family dog to testify before Congress, and if the animal doesn't find a way to speak somehow, that he'll subject that poor animal to the sort of experimentation which would be barred by the Geneva Conventions if performed upon human subjects.

Oh wait, maybe they'll just hold Rover Schiavo as an enemy combatant.

These are the actual values that these proto-Maoist jerkoffs hold? Horrible. Unspeakable. Craven. I can't describe how disgusted I am, especially since that helmet-headed talking anus is my supposed representative.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Friday Bird Blogging



Rufous-sided Towhee.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Wankers of the New Millenium


Daniel Akaka


Daniel Inouye


Mary Landrieu

These, ladies & gents, are the Democratic Senators who made drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge possible.

To make matters worse, seven Republicans voted with the Democratic minority, and if just two of these three had any conscience, the Senate Concurrent Res. 18 would have been amended to protect one of the last vestiges of wild lands in our country.

Gutless, spineless, stupid, myopic, cowardly excuses for legislators.

If I ever get so much as a phone call from the DNC, they're getting the riot act from me. This is the sort of worthless logrolling brinksmanship bullshit that is going to leapfrog us all down the path to ruin.

Once all the wilderness is gone, who will rescue our Damnation?

Behold the faces above and know that these are the people that I've cast my lot with, the guardians of the public trust, the loyal opposition.

Way to man the barricades, assholes.

***

"From the redwood sawmills to the toxic landfills, this land is owned by industry."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Picks of Hump Day

Grimey's run this evening...

1) Roxy Music -- Avalon (6ch/2ch SACD).

2) Hoodoo Gurus -- Stoneage Romeos (remastered and expanded)

3) Superdrag -- In the Valley of Dying Stars

4) Stiff Little Fingers -- Your Head is Full of Ideas that Don't Mean a Thing

5) Nick Lowe -- The Wilderness Years
The Books of 2005:

1. Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, Hunter S. Thompson. (Finishing a book started in 2004.)

2. Learning How To Die, Greg Kot.

3. Perfectly Legal, David Cay Johnston.

4. Get In The Van, 2nd ed. Henry Rollins.

5. The Race to Save the Lord God Bird, Phillip Hoose.

6. Guide to Wildlife Photography, Moose Peterson.
One Count Fraud, One Count Conspiracy to Defraud, Seven Counts of Filing False Securities Information

It doesn't make up for this completely...



...but it helps.

I always believed that Bernie was a fraud, but now it's official.

Today, I'm surprised. I'll wait for the sentencing phase to figure out if I'm "pleased."

My sympathies to his wife and family, although none were extended to me when they terminated my employment. Hell, I didn't even have the courtesy of a merged document.

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Recommending Ear

And goddamnit, if you don't already have it, go buy a copy of New Pornographers' Electric Version. Now. Go. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? Buy! Listen! Dance!
What's the Opposite of Damning with Faint Praise?

There are a few bands that I keep coming back to, year after year, to find solace, inspiration, or a good soundtrack for a long lonely drive.

No surprises among a number in this bunch... The Beatles are perennial favorites. I return to the Descendents every few years for a good high-tempo shakeup. Elvis Costello & The Attractions are popping up higher and higher in my playlist as time goes by. And XTC, what can I say? If there's nothing else to listen to, a good time can be had from anything from Black Sea to Drums and Wires to Wasp Star.

Then there's this little Aussie combo who call themselves Hoodoo Gurus.



I was fortunate enough to catch one of their shows stateside circa 1988. This was after a friend from the dorm flipped me a dubbed copy of Mars Needs Guitars! b/w Stoneage Romeos. Straightforward as it gets -- 3-chords, 2 guitars, no waiting. The songs are mostly intelligent pop songs about girls and good times, minus twee pretensions or skull-thumping rock-star 'tude. Dave Faulkner and Brad Shepherd are the formidable front of this quartet, having put forth about 10 studio albums and a scattering of live recordings, EPs, and impeccable singles.

I lost track of them somewhere around the release of Kinky, but like I said, I keep coming back to them time and again over the years. Unfortunately, they haven't done much touring stateside since being dropped from US distribution.

I caught up again in 2003 when I went to Sydney and talked shop with the bloke behind the counter at Red Eye Records off King Street. He (whoever he was) tipped me off to the newly reformed incarnation of the Hoodoos, called The Persian Rugs. They were credited with one EP and one full length CD, which I happily snapped up and wore thin over the next month. News had it, also, that they were reforming the band to do the 2004 Big Day Out tour in support of the forthcoming Mach Schau. As timing would have it, I missed that. But I did catch up with Mach Schau, which is as fine a record as anything they've ever done. Import only, alas. Doesn't seem like the US market caught up to them along with me.

And here in '05, there's more new Gurus goodness to be had -- the DVD retrospective, Tunnel Vision. Region 0 PAL encoded, so it'll play OK in many computers, but not so much in every TV configuration (unless you have multiscan). If you're not a Gurus fan, I don't know if this will win you over to them, but if you are, this is a "gotta getcha one." Even with the tanking dollar, there's still a favorable exchange rate with Australia, so find a copy if you're so inclined.

The set includes vids from their entire career, some live footage, and even a bonus documentary.

Get while the gettin's good, as this may be the last new output from the Gurus for some time. The rumors indicate that the Gurus are on semi-permanent hiatus.

Then I guess I'll have to discover what I can out of Paul Kelly's back catalogue -- another Aussie fave around the house here.