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Entry date: 3-29-2024 – Good Vibrato – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

 

Off to the eye doc today with the kids and then lunch with Michael and Bobby. After that, doing a little jackhammering. Should be a day filled with adventure and learning.

 

And dust.

 

Yesterday ended up being a pretty decent day. Work was satisfying and I left feeling like I was ready to finish the year strong with an eye toward preparing for next year. I have some really good people to learn from when it comes to being a good teacher. There are some question marks, for sure, with new leadership taking over, but I’ve been through much crazier work situations.

 

Professionally, I’ve had a ton of bosses. I wonder if there is an average amount of supervisors a person has in a career. I read somewhere that the average American has 12 different jobs during their lifetime, so that would probably equate to 18-24 supervisors for the average person. I’m well over that number.

 

One year, I had three principals, and I wasn’t the one changing jobs. I shudder to think how many supervisors I’ve had, so I’m used to a change in leadership at my jobs. I was hoping to work for my current principal for a bit longer, but no such luck. I’m excited about how next year will look, though, and maybe I can be a resource for the new admin team to help make some necessary improvements.

 

*****

 

Cocaine Baby almost made it through the week without any bonehead maneuvers, but at the end of the day today, he decided to jam a small piece of plastic into his iPad. With state testing beginning next week, I was at a bit of a loss for words. He had such a good week, though, that I really couldn’t muster up much more than to tell him I was disappointed and worried about how he was going to take our tests. Hopefully he comes back next week with a similar attitude.

 

*****

 

(The Bet)

“Hey, man,” said Rick after he extricated himself from what Sean thought was probably a painful conversation.

 

“What’s new?” Sean asked as he stuck out his hand.

 

The two men executed a perfect “Bro-Hug” before Rick said, “Let’s go to my office.”

 

Sean followed Rick through the store towards a door that read, “Employees only” but also had a giant “What’s Up, Jimmy?” sign on it where President Carter’s face and head was shaped like a big peanut.

 

He had been back here plenty of times before. Usually, Rick would ask Sean if there was any promo stuff he wanted, but today they headed straight to the office. As they walked, they talked about how their day was going and made a little small talk.

 

There was a long black leather couch in the large office that was shared by the two managers. Rick had been there the longest, but he was happy to have the help of Dave Knight, who would be in later that day to cover the night shift. Rumor had it that many a rockstar had made “friends” with fans on that couch, but Sean never asked. It looked clean and was comfortable, so he always made himself at home when Rick took him back to the office.

 

 

“So, I hear Aidan is getting a little frisky with his co-star,” Rick said with a grin.

 

“Funny you say so,” Sean replied. “I was going to ask if you knew her.”

 

“Friday? I’ve never met her, but I did have quite a thing for her mom when I was a teenager. Oh, my my my,” Rick said with a combination of lust and reverie.

 

“Janet’s still a looker,” Sean agreed. “Friday’s no slouch. She’s been at the house more than a few nights.”

 

“Good for Aidan. He better play his cards right. He fucks that up, he’s toast.”

 

“Her mom is a pretty big star, that’s true…”

 

“It’s not her mom he needs to worry about,” Rick replied.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Her dad’s Freddy Adams.”

 

“I know that. He’s probably just as famous as her mom…”

 

“True…but he’s also got a reputation around this town. You don’t fuck with Freddy Adams.” Rick twisted his face up like he was James Cagney and used his best gangster voice to say, “Ya fuck with Freddy Adams and he and his friends fuck you.”

 

Sean wasn’t sure what to say, so Rick continued.

 

“Look, from what I’ve seen of Aidan, there’s nothing to worry about it. You’re a good…no, great guy,” and he smiled at Sean, “and I trust that you wouldn’t live with the guy if he wasn’t the same. But…he should be careful.”

 

“I hear you. There is something about Friday that I have been struggling with a bit. I like her, and to be honest, I’ve only talked to her a little bit (Sean made a motion with his thumb and forefinger to illustrate how little it had been), but she freaks me out a bit.”

 

“She’s the child of old Hollywood, man. Unpredictable. I hear, though, she’s a good actress,” said Rick.

 

“Aidan raves about her. Said she’s ‘stealing’ the movie.”

 

“Well, there you go. You’re just looking out for your bud. Speaking of…wanna toke?”

 

 

“Why not,” Sean said. He had a little over two hours before he had to work.

 

“Got some Panama Red and a new import of Warren Zevon. Wanna check it out? It’s called Excitable Boy.” Rick laughed and added, “Just like you.”

 

*****

 

Over the past few days, I’d been listening to Vee Vee a lot on a streaming service to prepare for writing yesterday’s post about it. I’m not proud of using a streaming service, but I’m also not embarrassed. I don’t have a CD player in my living room or bedroom anymore so it’s vinyl in the living room or my computer in the bedroom.

 

But that’s not what I wanted to write about, really. At the end of Vee Vee, the first song the algorithm would pick was “Vibracobra” off Polvo’s great 1992 record, Cor-Crane Secret. The first time it came on after the last song on Vee Vee, I was like, ‘what is this? I know it and it’s great.’

 

I looked and saw it was Polvo. ‘Holy fuck,’ I thought. I loved this record 30 years ago. For whatever reason, I haven’t listened to it since then. I’ve been relishing revisiting it for the past few days. It’s so damn good.

 

‘Vibracobra” starts off so lush and kind of awkwardly beautiful. I love how the bass just sort of ebbs and flows like a big, fat, and hungry snake looking for its prey in a blinding light. Steve Popson is the guilty party here and his bass line on “Vibracobra” is epic.

 

Polvo’s songs are long. They have a ton of shit going on. This is definitely not the band for the ADHD set, although, if you were able to take Cor-Crane Secret in pill form, maybe it would have the same effect as Ritalin does.

 

“Kalgon” is sort of backwards and dissonant. I love it. There is something about it that reminds me of Chavez, who came a bit after Polvo, but it’s kind of like a Chavez song was turned inside and given a half dose of a downer. I suppose it is possible that some of the guys in Chavez were big fans of Polvo.

 

Especially on the next song, “Bend or Break” which is fucking great. It’s a song that I listen to now and wonder what influence it has had over me in the last 30 years of being away from it. My friend, Alex, made me a cassette tape of this record on one side and Unwound’s New Plastic Ideas in 1994 and I wore that fucker out.

 

‘Bend or Break” is so good. I don’t even care that it lasts for five and a half minutes. It could keep going if it wanted to do so. “Can I Ride” comes next and it is so hopeful sounding. The late Eddie Watkins’ drums set a great pace and drive the song really well. I’m not sure he and Popson were on the same page through half of the song, but that makes it even greater.

 

The outro bit with dueling guitars is noisy and beautiful and messy and precise all at the same time. This, again, is thanks to Watkins. Ash Bowie and Dave Brylawski really had something great going on between them and their guitars.

 

“Sense of It” has that same enthusiasm for joyful noisemaking, “Ox Scapula” steals the scene so righteously. I mean, if you listen to “Sense of It” by itself, you would be sure to think, “What a great song,” but then “Ox Scapula” shows up and says, “Bitch, this is my fucking record. Step off.”

 

“Ox Scapula” would never use a word like “Bitch.” It’s mute and I am ashamed I even thought it. I’m ashamed to say, though, that I love this riff. It’s kind of like the most fucked up song from a Disney-sploitation film about the Orient ever. Instrumentals like this one make it fun to play fucked up songs.

 

Popson rules again on “Channel Changer” with a cool, rolling bass line. When the vox kicks in with the bendy guitars, I just drift off in a good way. Oh, Cor-Crane Secret, I’ve missed you.

 

“In the Hand, In the Sieve” is a bit of an outlier here. It starts off with this really fast riff then disintegrates into this slow, plodding riff that builds and builds. It’s got a real power that many of the other songs don’t quite have. Super intricate with lots of parts. I always kind of want to be a fly on the wall in the practice room when songs like this are on. I’d have loved to hear how they put it together.

 

Is there a bad song on this record?

 

No.

 

“The Curtain Remembers” is super clever and cool. Just a ‘groover’ as Robyn Hitchcock would say. “Well is Deep” is the penultimate track and it has a lovely quality to it, too. I really like the guitar line, which is pretty and perfectly plucked then the huge, feedback-laden stuff comes. Polvo was so good.

 

“Duped” finished things off. It’s so goddamn good, too. There is not a weak moment on Cor-Crane Secret. From start to finish, it just soars through the noisy, murky, slightly-backwards and definitely twisted world it creates. Their shows in those early 1990’s days must have been epic.

 

It seems to be indie rock week here at Ergonomic Mischief.

 

*****

 

See you tomorrow.



Freddy Adams later in life.

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