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Entry date: 4-30-2024 – Dispensing with the Wisdom – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

 

After 861 blogs, you might think I have some understanding about why I do this, but as I was driving home last night from a really fun and crazily inventive jam session with three friends, I wondered why I do this every day. Why not take a day off? Hell, why not a week?

 

I couldn’t answer the question in my head, and it was discomforting.

 

I’ll chalk it up, though, to a long day. Yesterday was tough. The jam was awesome, but it took what little strength I had left after a day of dealing with little people. Some of the littles are wonderful, of course, and entertain the hell out of me. Then there is the Cocaine Baby.

 

He spent the weekend in Los Angeles. He likes it there. His Papa is there and I’m guessing Papa dotes on him in small doses. He wanted to stay there, but his dad wouldn’t let him.

So, what did Cocaine Baby do? He tried his best to drive me and everyone in the classroom crazy. He’s got all the tricks in his bag, too. The little fucker was acting like he had Tourette’s. Wouldn’t that be just par for the course. He goes off his meds and develops Tourette’s.

 

Apparently, he’s in the prime age range for Tourette’s to start being very noticeable. Lucky me. Lucky, lucky me.

 

Gotta love the little dude, though. He just wants to be with Papa. If there is a God, let him look out for Papa and let Cocaine Baby get more time with him.

 

*****

 

Stupid me listened to sports talk radio yesterday. That’s all I need to say. I’m going back off the talk radio. It’s ridiculous.

 

*****

 

Smart me, though, went after a couple of cool opportunities at work. Let’s see how they work out. I’m excited about them both and think there is a good chance of them happening.

 

*****

 

During my Slope Records years, I got to know Jimmy Giorsetti, AKA Don Bolles, a little bit. He’s an affable guy who has great stories. He’s also a survivor. How the dude has managed to get by all these years on being “Don Bolles” is incredible. It really is. Watching him work a room is like watching a master cat burglar.

 

Now, I’m not saying Don is a thief. Don’t get it twisted, but he’s like a character David Niven would have played if he were high on some sort of weird, cool drug. Don’s smooth and, again, I dig him.

 

One of the most fun things I’ve gotten to do with Don is hanging out right there with him when he DJs. The guy has incredible taste in music and spins like a mofo. I love watching (and listening) when he works because he picks up the vibe of the space really well. Maybe he makes the vibe, actually. Either way, it’s a lot of fun.

 

I think it was 2017, give or take, Don used Rhondi’s DJ gear at a party at Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas. We were hanging out and he was just on fire with the records he was spinning. Toward the end of the set, he started asking, “Hey, have you heard this?” and then he’d throw on a record that was just awesome. I have to admit that I’ve bought a number of records after hearing Don play them.

 

One of these was by a San Franciso band called Tuxedomoon. They have this great song from 1979 called “No Tears.” After Don played it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it and immediately went home and ordered if off of Discogs. I ended up getting a 12” 45RPM of it and a few other songs. I like the others, but “No Tears” is just so good.

 

I’m not ashamed to say that since I bought the record, I spin it when I DJ most of the time. It’s got this cool, creepy, early new wave/post-punk kind of feel. It makes you wish that you had written it.

 

During the last couple of years, I’ve been listening to a compilation of their music called Solve Et Coagula. There are two versions and I listen to the one from 1993. A lot of the songs on it kind of remind me of Sparks. They are very theatrical and the lyrics, when there are more than short phrases, are pretty funny.

 

Another band they sound like, at times, is Bauhaus, but if they were focusing on their mellower and noisier stuff. “Dark Companion” is one of these songs that reminds me of Bauhaus. I like it a lot.

 

There are a lot of different feels happening on Solve Et Coagula. “Atlantis,” for example, is almost like a song from Cabaret. It has this great bass line that just creeps along throughout the song being groovy and cool.

 

That might be the best way to describe most of Tuxedomoon’s stuff. It’s kind of creepy and cool. “The Waltz” sounds like music from a soundtrack where the heavily distorted bass line is slightly off-time and great with the trumpets soaring over top.

 

Tuxedomoon also makes liberal use of drum machines. You have to love the simple, almost Casio-esque drum beats on some of the early songs. “What Use?” is one of these. It’s kind of Gary Numan meets Chrome.

 

“The Cage” is probably my least favorite song from this collection, but only because it is so damn awkward. It’s like, beautifully awkward. The words are amazing, though, and I would love to see this live. “The boy from Santo Domingo said, ‘cocaine.’”

 

“Tritone (Musica Diablo)” is another really cool one. It’s got a similar feel to “No Tears” without aping it. They were written about a year apart, I’m guessing. How cool would it have been to see Tuxedomoon in 1980. They would have blown my 11-year-old brain. I wouldn’t have known how to process it at all.

 

I still don’t, really, but I’m going to keep trying.

 

*****

 

See you tomorrow.



This table belongs to a really cool dude. I'd like to hang out with him again sometime. He's awfully busy, though. People who play in the E Street Band tend to be that way.

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