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Entry date: 6-10-2024 – Six more days to Go – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

 

The title of this blog today speaks directly to the general feeling of discomfort I have regarding the last six days of summer camp. There is one particular group of kids, as I mentioned last week, that I just don’t dig. I will not be bummed to tell them goodbye.

 

I can do it, though.

 

***** 

 

After summer camp, I have another meeting with the musical curriculum selection committee. Today is the day we decide on our recommendation for the school board. It’s kind of exciting. I don’t know if I will throw my hat in the ring for this kind of thing again, but it is an interesting process.

 

People certainly approach this responsibility differently. Perhaps I am not taking it seriously enough but based on the irritation and frustration of some of the other committee members, you won’t convince me they are doing it the right way, either. It is voluntary, so if you didn’t want to do it, you probably should just not participate.

 

I’m going to be very bummed if the curriculum I like is not selected. If I were ever going to switch over to teaching music again, I would like to use this particular curriculum. (Sorry for being vague here, but I’m happy to talk about it off-line if anyone is interested.) I would have certainly liked to have had access to it when I was teaching music online a couple years ago.

 

***** 

 

We had a nice lunch yesterday. I joined Michael, Tracey, and Ryan along with Tom, Renee, and Quentin at The Windsor. The food was really good, and the company was even better. I had an Arnold Palmer at it was very refreshing.

 

Afterward, we had an LRC jam and that was great. We played for well over two hours and came up with some cool stuff. Bill couldn’t make it, but we soldiered on. That will be our last jam for over two months due to traveling and such. We made the most of it.

 

*****

 

Tonight, I’ll jam with Amy, Dana, and Ward. It’ll be a busy music week as we have Hillbilly practice on Tuesday and a show on Wednesday. I hope my hands can hold up.

 

*****

 

As I said when I wrote about another one of their EPs, when I fell in love with the Butthole Surfers, I fell hard. It was an obsession and I quickly realized there was a community of likeminded weirdos out there who were also searching for the elusive records. Now, this one, today, was not one of the elusive records, but it was an important one for me.

 

One of the things I love the most about the Butthole Surfers is there really isn’t a recipe. They have a sound, of course, but they also deviate from it a lot. As a band, they were often all over the place and I love that about them. When I first picked up this record, which is only four songs, I had no idea what a wild ride I was in for.

 

Cream Corn From The Socket Of Davis came out in ’85 which was a couple of years before I first listened to them. I immediately fell further in love with them when I heard “Moving To Florida.” I think the line about “Carving White Castle sliders out of India’s sacred cow” was what did it for me. There is also something absolutely jaunty about the way the song unfolds. The music just sort of unfurls itself then repeats and repeats a few more times.

 

Then chaos.

 

I was so stoked when I saw them for the first time in 1989 and they played “Moving To Florida.” I have a bootleg recording of that show, which was at a place called The Underground and they rendition is pretty fucking flawless. Say what you want about the Surfers, but if you have seen them live, you cannot argue with the fact they were an amazing live band.

 

In a way, “Moving To Florida” is quintessential Butthole Surfers. There are great and irreverent lyrics from Gibby Haynes, Paul Leary is masterfully fucking up the guitar in ways that only he can but it sounds amazing, and the drums from King Coffey and big and bouncy. I learned recently that Leary also played the bass on this recording, too. I had no idea.

 

The band followed up “Moving To Florida” with “Comb.” The second song on the A side is one of the Surfers’ songs that only a true fan will dig into and enjoy. For those who found “Moving To Florida” to be kind of weird and out there and noisy, “Comb” is a mind blower. It’s essentially five minutes of what sounds like a looped drum beat and noise.

 

Talk about chaos.

 

The Butthole Surfers invented their own kind of chaos. They are the type of band that you aren’t going to find a lot of covers of their songs. Only a few bands have tried to do them justice on a recording and very few have succeeded.

 

“To Parter” is a favorite of mine looking across the whole catalog. It’s super noisy and the guitar part sounds backwards. I love it. The lyrics are great, too. Listening to it reminds me of sitting at the counter top in my studio apartment on 7th Avenue and Earll. It was a studio apartment and had a built-in counter that was part of the dividing wall between the kitchen and the main room. I’m sure some of the residents ate at theirs, but I mostly sat and did bongs and listened to music. I also typed my papers for school there, too, so it wasn’t all nefarious things.

 

It was also the home for my answering machine. I guess I thought I was important enough to need one. I probably paid way too much money for it. But I digress….

 

 

I sat there, though, and listened to this EP pretty darn loud a lot. The B side is excellent. After “To Parter” is a song called “Tornadoes” that is short and sweet compared to the other three tracks. It is reminiscent of several other Surfers’ tracks that make up their more punk rock side. There is a certain level of melodicism in “Tornadoes,” though, that transcends punk rock

 

When I got the CD of Rembrandt Pussyhorse, the songs from Cream Corn From The Socket Of Davis were included on it, too. They fit with those songs really well, but I have to believe that they are the strongest of the 13 tracks on that CD. I’ll probably write about that record one of these days.

 

***** 

 

See you tomorrow.



Obviously.

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