Saturday, March 14, 2009

Keepin’ it real real, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

That kook
You watch “American Idol”? Don’t you just love that cute little crazy Paula Abdul? She jumps up and down and sways back and forth. It’s like having a puppy that gets drunk.

Not nice
The show Sesame Street is laying off workers. And it is mean how they are doing it. They have the Count at the front door saying “One, two, three, four, four workers fired, ha ha ha.”

The economy is hurting spring break. Instead of going to Florida, Mexico or California, students are just doing Jello shooters in a tanning bed.

Big deal
The stock market was up today. That is sort of like Amy Winehouse doing one push up.

That would explain it
Did you see “American Idol”? Paula Abdul told the blind kid, Scott, playing the piano, she liked it when his hands were on his instrument. That must be how he went blind.

Midlife terror attack
Osama bin Laden turned 52 yesterday. You can tell Osama’s getting older, he declared a jihad on erectile dysfunction.

That’s what happens
An Indiana man was arrested for masturbating out by his mailbox. Police say they this is what can happen when the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit edition arrives two weeks late.

Southwest Airlines is adding flights to Minneapolis; oh goody, now there are even more ways for Idaho Senator Larry Craig to get to the Minneapolis airport men’s rooms.

“People” featured pictures of Orlando Bloom taking his shirt off and canoodling with his girlfriend, Miranda Kerr. That is shocking. Orlando Bloom is straight? How did that happen?

Double standard
“People” featured pictures of Orlando Bloom taking his shirt off and canoodling with his girlfriend, Miranda Kerr. You notice only gorgeous movie stars are described as canoodling? You or I do it is called nasty groping to shouts of “Get a room.”

Not good
The Golf Channel has a show where Tiger Woods’s swing coach, Hank Haney, tries to fix Charles Barkley’s golf swing. How bad is Barkley’s golf swing? His last drive off the tee was so erratic, he got another DUI.

How bad is Barkley’s golf swing? His round is typically interrupted three times by ambulance crews attempting to resuscitate his downswing.

But Barkley is serious. Today he had Alex Rodriguez’s cousin inject steroids into his butt.

Since you asked:

The great thing about being undeclared as far as political parties go is that I am free to despise with equal intensity both bloated, sweaty and blochy political bullies and former swirlie and wedgie victims, Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore.

It is a good indication what your political position is if you hate one or the other less. Because there is nothing worse than when a former dork and victim of endless bullies gains a modicum of power to abuse and they use it bully people back, ala Rush and Moore.

Basically, Rush Limbaugh is Michael Moore with a better tailor and a slightly better sense of hygiene. (Although, believe me, you don’t want to follow either one of these guys in an airplane bathroom, if you know what I mean)

Am I going crazy or wasn’t Rush Limbaugh recently all hopped up on hillbilly heroin, Oxycotin? Now he is the face of the Republican party? What is Ann Coulter? The hot flash of the face of the Republican party?

And does that make Nancy Polosi the scary fourth face of the democratic party? Seriously, Pelosi gets one more face lift and she is going to look more like Abraham Lincoln, if you know what I mean . . .

Friday, March 13, 2009

Here's the Fun Cooker, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

That’s old
Swindler Bernie Madoff could be sentenced to 150 years in prison. Do you realize, when he gets out, how old he’ll be? He’ll be as old as Larry King.

Get it?
An Indiana man was arrested for masturbating out by his mailbox. Police say the man wanted to show his neighbors “who was boss.” Apparently this boss was a total jerk-off.

Bringing new meaning to honor student
In Utah, two women teachers were charged with having sex with the same underage boy; or as that boy is known in Florida: an over-achiever.

Not good
This economy is so rough, you know “The Bachelor” Jason who dumped Melissa for Molly? Now he’s dumping Molly to the highest bidder.

How rough is it?
This economy is so rough, you know “The Bachelor” Jason? Today he started sobbing again, not over Melissa and Molly, he looked at his 401K.

Jeeze, pal
Amy Winehouse was charged with assault for punching a fan. How whimpy is that guy when a skinny drug addict like Winehouse can knock his lights out?

I knew it
The Department of Homeland Security is pursuing a study that claims an increase in human body odor determines if somebody is lying. See, I knew those cab drivers were lying about over-charging me.

In a related story, it appears the entire country of France is lying about something.

That explains it
Are you watching “Dancing with the Stars? Nancy O’Dell had to drop out. Not because she can’t dance, because she’s not a star. It’s not “Dancing with the Vaguely Familiar Gossip Show Host.”

Convicted dog-fighter Michael Vick’s suburban Atlanta 8 bedroom, 11 bathroom mansion went on auction for a minimum bid of $3.2 million and there were no bidders. How perfect is that? The economy is now even biting Michael Vick in the ass.

Could happen to anyone
Katie Couric is trying to interview Rush Limbaugh. Then I thought, didn’t Katie already do a probing in-depth interview of Rush Limbaugh? Then I remembered, no, that was the video of Katie’s colonoscopy. Easy mistake.

How bad is it?
Spring break is being hurt by the economy. Drunk female students are still flashing their breasts, but now it’s because they can’t afford to buy a blouse.

Since you asked:

HBO has a special on the Duke-North Carolina basketball rivalry. “Battle for Tobacco Road.” In the words of the great announcer Keith Jackson: these two teams just flat out don’t like one another. Duke is seen as a snobby and nerdy by North Carolina, the oldest state school in the country, and the elite Duke thinks North Carolina is a bunch of country hicks and rubes.

More channeling for Keith Jackson, when these two teams strip down to their a fightin’ togs, they bring a loooooad when they hit you and those big uglies flat out tote that rock to the peach basket, ladies and gentlemen.

This is where the term no blood no foul derived and even then sometimes its no foul when those Duke Cameroon crazies start acting nuttier than a moonshine shack rat on a full moon and shouting and making more of a ruckus than Uncle Zed’s mule Nellie when it got it’s tail caught in the laundry wringer.

Folks, now I been places and et in Hotels, but I ain’t seen nothing like when those Duke Blue Devils and those North Carolina Tar Heels set to bangin’ bodies against one another, it’s enough to make Picket’s ghost charge them damn Yankees again, I do declare.

(Polite applause building to a crescendo roaring ovation)

To put it in California terms, Duke and North Carolina make the USC-UCLA rivalry seem like “The Hills” Lauren and Heidi’s snit fits.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We gotta sky up outta this here beee-hah-hah-hah-yatch, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

“The Wall Street Journal” reports Donald Trump-related real estate projects are in trouble in Mexico and Las Vegas. So see that? There is some good news in this economy.

The dog has it ruff
Oprah Winfrey has a new puppy Cocker Spaniel named Sadie. As if the economy wasn’t bad enough, how does it feel to know a former homeless dog is richer than you could dream to be?

“The Wall Street Journal” reports Donald Trump-related real estate projects are in trouble in Mexico and Las Vegas. It’s bad, if it gets much worse the bank may foreclose on Trump’s toupee.

T.O.’s b.s.
In a press conference after his unwanted trade to the Buffalo Bills, Terrell Owens said; “I beat to my own beat” Isn’t “I beat to my own beat” Chris Brown’s latest single?

An article in “Parade” magazine questions whether the US has enough spies; personally, I think we have enough spies as long as the lone wolf runs silently over the snowy plain, repeat, the lone wolf runs silently over the snowy plain.

I, uh, I did not know that
Since Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday, I have been reading up on Lincoln. Did you know Lincoln was a successful trial lawyer? He did Larry King’s first divorce.

Oprah Winfrey is upset Rihanna is getting back together with Chris Brown because Oprah says when a man hits he always hits. That’s not true, look at Alex Rodriguez in the Fall.

More accurately
President Bush is preparing to go on a National Speaking Tour. Although, in Bush’s case, technically it is a National Misspeaking Tour.

Especially that one
Ingredients in ice cream have been found to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Especially Ben and Jerry’s new flavor, Trekkie’s Virgin Vanilla.

Historians are questioning the authenticity of some of the personal items of Mahatma Gandhi being auctioned. Specifically Gandhi’s cell phone and iPod.

Alex Rodriguez had successful minor surgery on his hip. You know what the problem turned out to be? They found in A-Rod’s hip a broken tip off Madonna’s cone bra.

Did you hear? Bernie Madoff was leaving his luxury penthouse for a walk, and an angry swindled investor confronted Madoff and Madoff was so scared he soiled his pants. That didn’t happen, but wouldn’t it be great if it did?

Since you asked:
Saw “Cadillac Records” and loved it. Though I could get that some might not.

My love of Little Walter and Muddy Water’s music makes me biased. And the movie’s phony attempts at lionizing the sleazy Chuck Berry as a civil rights hero were almost comical.

And the flick kind of drags a bit at the end. But do not let that deter you. It is a great musical history lesson. If you love the rock and the roll, you must see this.

My head nearly exploded with joy when they showed the studio session where Little Walter first amplified his harmonica. Until then, the harp was viewed as a sort of cross between a rhythm instrument and background harmony. Little Walter turned into a lead instrument and even recorded the first harmonica instrumentals. “Juke” hit #1. (For harmonica buffs, the guitars are in E so you play crossharp in the key of A on a Marine Band Hohner into a Hohner Blues Blaster bullet microphone plugged into any good guitar amp and turn up the reverb)

Sorry, got a little technical there.

One movie flaw: the first time Walter was playing through a guitar amp in the studio, he was playing right into a bullet-shaped harmonica microphone. They weren’t invented yet as this was the first time anyone had played the harmonica on the microphone through the guitar amp instead of just playing acoustically a foot away from a stand up mike going through the P.A. system.

But I doubt most folks would have noticed.

But from accounts I have read and even one angry tirade/rebuke from a recording engineer in the studio on one of his albums, it was impossible to get along with Little Walter. He was the opposite of Muddy Waters. But I had heard that Howlin’ Wolf was one scary dude and that was played to menacing perfection by Eamonn Walker.

Now I can play “Juke” pretty well. Am I a good harmonica player? Yes. Am I the greatest harmonica player of all time? No, Little Walter was. But Little Walter was terminally crazy/stupid/uneducated. The guy took the doors off of his Cadillac on a hot day. It was common knowledge he had shot and killed people. Not a great guy. Listen to the Temptations lyrics to “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” They could be Little Walter’s biography.

Beonce Knowles was great as Etta James if not a tad over-the-top. And the story Hollywood-up’d the truth. Little Walter did not die in the arms of Muddy’s sweetheart. He was not even beaten. He died as a result of a blood clot, probably from a previous beating. And Leonard Chess did not die of a heart attack in his Cadillac immediately after locking up Chess Records for the last time. He had sold Chess to a record company and died of – yes a heart attack – but months later.

As far as Leonard Chess and Chess Records “CR” raised more questions than it answered. Did Chess exploit poor black artists or was he a father figure who loved them? Both. He couldn’t have recorded them and stuck with them if he didn’t care about them. But he did take advantage of them financially. That is what business people do or they go broke. Deal with it.

And the movie sidesteps the moral issue that Leonard Chess’s increasingly violent South Side bar mysteriously burned down right after Chess had increased his insurance policy and that was how he funded the recording studio.

Not to condone all of Chess’s business deals, but people sign bad record deals to this day. And it is still common practice to lure young artists with expensive champagne, luxury hotel rooms and Private Jets and then turn around and pay for those luxuries out of their side of the recording profits. Chess just did it with Cadillacs. Plus the artists needed to drive to radio stations and gigs.

Chuck Berry was given far more credit in “Cadillac Records” than he ever deserved for being a civil rights combatant. He didn’t stay in white-owned hotels because he was fighting prejudice, he didn’t stay in them because he was too cheap. If they were owned by black people Chuck wouldn’t have stayed in them either.

Chuck Berry was so cheap he nearly chose to go to prison a third time rather than pay taxes. And he went to prison the second time for sleeping with – and traveling across state lines for immoral purposes – a 14-year-old girl. The first time Berry went to prison for carjacking a guy. (He was ahead of his time with carjacking) Chuck Berry was an oily scumbag and a pervert and I never did like his music. It was way too corny and pop-like. But this movie, and a great job by Mos Def, makes Berry truly likeable. No easy task. Oh, I’m being hard on the legendary Berry?

“Spy” magazine revealed how Chuck Berry had hidden cameras installed in the women’s bathroom in a sleazy roadhouse he owned so he could watch women going to the bathroom. Yuck. The real Chuck Berry was a totally emotionally ill immoral degenerate.

The movie makes no bones about the fact that Etta James was a hooker hired by Chess. (Cameo for Jack White as her pimp) Chess gave these artists their break. But, although he was not the devil, as some broke blues artists want you to believe, Chess was clearly no saint. But good job by Adrian Brody.

To my enduring shame, my buddy, Woody, and I walked in and out of a wildly under-publicized Muddy Waters concert attended one hot summer night by about six people at the Winnetka Park District skating rink. Why did we walk out? Because there were no girls there. Oh, the humanity.

One of the great myths of rock and roll is that it was built on the bones of horribly ripped off blues players. If it wasn’t for Chess Records the blues artists would have had no way to make albums in the first place. Prior to getting the radio stations to play “race” records, the only money these folks made was playing in dangerous South Side bars, mostly for drinks and tips.

And they talk about the exploited black artists struggling along traveling the South in the Chitlin circuit. Guess what? The Chitlin circuit is still thriving.

True, Willy Dixon successfully sued Led Zeppelin over the rights to one song, but most great bluesmen, like B.B. King, are openly grateful to the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton for introducing their music to a younger white audience that would neither of heard about them nor purchased their records.

“Chicago Tribune” deceased columnist and violent drunk, Mike Royko, tried to rouse some free publicity when a poor old black grandmother came to him and said Eric Clapton stole her song “Give Me Strength” and recorded it on “461 Ocean Blvd” without her permission and with no compensation. It made for a great two or three columns for Royko and it would have been an even better story if it turned out to be even remotely true.

The press just loves to believe that rich evil white record producers and spoiled white musicians are stealing from poor sainted long-suffering black artists. The problem is it isn’t true.

Nobody told Muddy Waters to support many illegitimate kids and get divorced four times. Waters’s fortune went to alimony, not just Leonard Chess. Muddy Waters was a great man and a music pioneer, but, no matter how much “Cadillac Records” tried to make him one, Waters was no saint. Saints generally don’t repeatedly cheat on their wives.

Yes, the blues are the musical foundation of rock and roll, but so was Elvis Presley. And if you want to credit the great Muddy Waters and great Little Walter and that greasy little dirtbag, Chuck Berry, with inventing rock and roll, go ahead, they probably deserve it.

But you also have to give equal credit to Leonard Chess, the Beatles, Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones.

What does the world need now? A really good Eric Clapton biopic. My choice for the title? “What’ll You Do When You Get Lonely?” Sadly, from his tragic childhood, to years of substance abuse and even now that he has found family and fortune and sobriety, loneliness is a rich vein running through Eric Clapton’s life. But it is what drove his music to such unbelievable heights.

And I vote for Orlando Bloom as E.C.

Blues songs you must own:

“Thrill is Gone” B.B. King

“Juke” and “Key to the Highway” Little Walter

“Good Morning Little School Girl” and “Chitlin Con Carne” Junior Wells.

“Help Me” Sonny Boy Williamson

“Scratch My Back” Slim Harpo.

“Boogie on Raggae Woman” Stevie Wonder (Yes, I know it’s not the blues, but the harp is amazing)

“Hoochie Coochie Man” "Mannish Child" Muddy Waters.

“Rambling on My Mind/Have You Ever Loved a Woman” Eric Clapton.
(This is a must for blues players because it takes those two songs through many key changes - about six or seven - and shows the effect that different keys have on the songs. Clapton calls out the key changes as they occur)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This just in:

2005 #1 draft pick and bench warmer San Francisco QB Alex Smith has agreed to a pay cut from $9 mil a year to $3 mil a year.

Not only that, but Smith now has to sit on a spot on the bench that’s also one third smaller.
Livin' the dream . . . oh, that's so sad, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

Can you believe that weasel, Jason, on “The Bachelor”?

I haven’t seen a guy cry like that since, well, me when I looked at my 401 K balance.

Don’t forget
This weekend I hope you remembered to set your clocks forward one hour and your retirement plans back ten years.

What’s in a name?
Porn star Jenna Jameson has a perfume, it’s called Heartbreak.

Apparently the name Ode to Ho was taken.

Bad year
An angry woman called 911 emergency three times because McDonalds ran out of chicken McNuggets.

This has just not been Bernie Madoff’s wife Ruth’s year.

That explains it
An angry woman called emergency 911 three times because a McDonalds ran out of chicken McNuggets.

She was angry because she wanted to eat before her “People Against Stupidity and Entitlement” meeting.

Two can chew
Bernie and Ruth Madoff said they’re entitled to $69 million dollars out of the $50 billion Bernie swindled.

It’s good they picked the number 69, because they can both go bite themselves.

Rush Limbaugh is the new face of the Republican party.

But don’t worry, Sarah Palin is still the republican party’s hot MILF body.

Alex Rodriguez could be out with a sore hip.

After cheating on his wife, getting a divorce and lying about cheating with steroids, the official cause of A-Rod’s injury? A strained credibility.

Porn star Jenna Jameson has a new perfume, Heartbreak.

Instead of dabbing it behind their ears, with the porn perfume, women are supposed to blast it all over their face.

Too cute by a lot
To mark new relations, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton gave the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, a reset button.

That’s cute. And did she also give him a no-kooties invisible shield?

Be careful parents
“Milk” is out on DVD.

I feel sorry for the poor parents who rent "Milk" thinking it’s an instructional video to get their child to drink milk. “Mommy, what’s that man doing to the other man?”

Good tip
Airlines may start charging passengers to use the bathrooms.

Here is a travel tip if they do charge for the bathroom: psst, the air sickness bags are still free.

Don’t confuse these

Jet Blue Airlines is offering a Manny Ramirez special from Los Angeles to Boston for $99.

Now don’t confuse this with the Alex Rodriguez special, that flight is a pain-in-the-butt and stops flying altogether early in the Fall.

Charles Barkley began his jail sentence for a DUI this weekend in Arizona.

So Sir Charles went from the round mound of rebound to the tower flower of the jail shower.

Southwest Airlines painted the picture of “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit bikini cover model, Bar Rafaeli, on the side of one of their planes.

But then an old bitter Southwest flight attendant kicked the plane off the runway for dressing too provocatively.

Since you asked, the pipe dream edition:

It is still my dream to do a documentary and coffee table book on a Western tour of my experiences sitting in at comedy clubs and bars doing stand up and or playing the harmonica with bands. All I need is a sponsor/investor to rent me a tricked-out Airstream with air conditioning and a high def satellite and screen and a high quality video camera. And a tricked out gas grill.

What happens when an unknown comedy writer/comedian/harmonica player/barbeque chef/stand up paddle boarder/world class wise ass raconteur embarks on a tour of comedy clubs and roadhouse bars in search of great stories, adventure and recipes?

And by unknown comedy writer, I mean there are times when I haven’t even heard of myself.

In all condor, I am a damn good comedy writer. And I am a good stand up comedian and harmonica player. But am I a world class stand up comedian or harmonica player? Obviously no, if I was I couldn't fit in to pull this off.

At this project's heart are the usually good - but sometimes lousy - struggling musicians and comedians who are out there trying to make it. They won't be tempted to smooch my butt to catch their big break because I am not famous.

Heroically not famous.

Not to mention I do not know Bo nor Didley about making a documentary, editing it and promoting it. Nor making a coffee table book. That is where the expertise of the investor/producer comes in. Besides coming up with the coin, groin.

One thing I have learned about playing with bands and doing stand up is that people who perform at both are wildly interesting to bordering on crazy. Every band has intense drama and a history and every comedian thinks they should be rich and famous. At the very least they all have some great story to tell that would nicely fill a travel documentary and a coffee table book.

It would be a comedy/music talk show on the road.

Starting with coastal towns in California - so as to stop and stand up paddle board now and again* - and then moving east to Arizona and New Mexico. The desserts and mountains of Arizona and New Mexico are magnets for interesting folks and great roadhouses and bars all teeming with with hilarious colorful characters.

For $75,000, some brave/lucky publisher/producer/network/studio would make ten times their money in book and DVD sales. HBO? Comedy Central? World Wide Pants? Big Dog Productions? Bob & Alice Productions? The Sundance Channel? Are you out there? Let’s talk turkey. Wait, I don’t want to talk about turkeys. I want to get an investor.

The tough part would be being away from Virg, AC, and beasts for a solid month, but that is the price I am willing to pay.

The important part is to strike a legitimate deal first and then sit down with some sharp production assistant and map out the route of bars and comedy clubs up the coast of California and out to Arizona and New Mexico and back. Hit lots of spots on Route 66, etc.

In addition there would be supplemental cooking and barbequing segments as I grill my way across learning local secrets and recipes on the road. It would take me one day to learn how to use the cameras and I would be set. The point would be to let this project take on a life all of it's own and let that happen without trying to force something else. But it would be a comedy with music and grilling.

(I’d finance the book/documentary myself but, as I mentioned, I don’t know the ins and outs of publishing and the production bidness. And, besides, right now I am not, um, liquid enough for a venture capital idea. Yeah, that’s it. Although financing myself is still a remote possibility)

Sundance Film Festival, here we come. And I would actually snowboard when I was there.

You just keep thinking, Lex, that’s what you're good at.

*A portion of the proceeds would go to A Standup World,, two adventurous guys, Ekolu Kalama – brother of famous surfer Dave Kalama – and Del Mar’s own John Perell who have quit their day jobs to promote stand up paddle boarding and charitable works across the world.

P.S. Once this project is completed I would begin the screen play for the movie version of it.

Monday, March 09, 2009

An old classic:

Dr. Irwin Bupkin was the pride and joy of his hometown of Summit, New Jersey. He became such a brilliant cardiologist he wrote the definitive paper on heart disease. His hometown of Summit invited him to read it in the city auditorium at their annual medical fundraising gala. The whole town was there for the black tie event.

Dr. Bupkin walked up to the dais to wild applause and put his paper on the lectern and adjusted the microphone. The microphone slipped down and knocked his papers off. Bupkin turned to pick up the paper and the microphone was right on his butt. When Bupkin bent over to pick the papers from the floor, out came the most unfortunate and loud and longest fart ever emitted and it was amplified by the microphone and blasted over the auditorium speakers.

In shock and horror, Bupkin picked up his papers and ran out the back door to his car vowing never to return to his hometown of Summit ever again.

Many years later, unfortunately, Bupkin’s mother became ill and he came back to town and checked into the Hyatt at midnight in the cover of darkness under the name Cohen.

As Bupkin was checking in, the friendly young hotel clerk asked;

“Welcome, Dr. Cohen, h
ave you been to Summit before?”

“Yes,” said Bupkin, “actually I grew up here, but I haven’t been back due to an embarrassing incident that happened years ago.”

“Well, Sir,” said the helpful clerk, “it’s been my experience that what people think was an embarrassing incident usually wasn’t even noticed in the first place. And, besides, if it has been years, like you said, if they did notice, I am sure they’ve forgotten all about it, whatever it was.”

“You know, you may be right,” said Bupkin.

“How long ago did it happen?” asked the Hotel clerk.

“A while now.” said Bupkin.

“Well,” the clerk asked, “was it before the Bupkin fart or after?”