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Half Full

December 18, 2013

NY Post Cover -- Bow Wow -- 12-18-13

It’s the holiday season, so I thought I would share a heart-warming story. Blind dude falls onto subway tracks; seeing-eye dog (named Orlando) follows his guy down to the tracks; construction worker coaches blind dude to nestle in the trough between the tracks to avoid oncoming train while passengers yell at the train operator to stop. How’d it turn out? All is well.

Holy crap. I just clicked on one of the stories, and it looks like Orlando and his dude (named Cecil) are okay, but he’s going to have to give him up:

Williams said the Labrador retriever, who will turn 11 on Jan. 5, will have to be put up for adoption soon because his insurance will no longer cover the cost of caring for the dog. Williams said that if he could afford it, “I would definitely keep him.”


Well, worry not, the interwebs are in motion and people are raising money for Cecil and Orlando to be able to stay together. Even net of all the scammers, these dudes should be good to go.

Cue Bing Crosby. Ah, fuck it, cue Joan Jett.


December 17, 2013

Last night I turned on WWOZ for a bit. Now if you don’t know what WWOZ is, you should learn. It is a great radio station out of New Orleans that, thanks to the wonders of the interwebs, the Yankee likes of yours truly can now partake in from the comfort of his own kitchen.

And why should you listen to WWOZ? Because in just a few minutes of listening, I came across the following. First (actually, I think this song came second, but never mind all of that), they played a song by the Asylum Street Spankers called “Beer” that contains the immortal line “Tripping on acid makes you flaccid.” Right? Hard to beat that one. Here’s the whole shebang:

Second (actually, first), they played a song by a group called the Prisonaires. That’s an interesting name, isn’t it? Well, here’s a bit of their story, courtesy of Sun Records:

As their name suggests, this doo-wop group was formed while each member was in the State Penitentiary, Tennessee, USA. The founding member was lead singer Johnny Bragg (John Henry Bragg, 6 May 1925, Nashville, Tennessee, USA, d. 1 September 2004, Madison, Tennessee, USA). The group was paraded around a variety of receptions and civic functions as demonstration of the jail’s enlightened rehabilitation programme, where they played a mix of blues, gospel and pop songs under armed guard. New warden James E. Edwards then arranged for two talent scouts from Sam Phillips’ Sun Records to see the group.

They were subsequently driven down to Memphis in June 1953 to record a song written by Bragg and fellow inmate Robert Riley, “Just Walkin’ In The Rain”. The record took hold first on radio and then became a major seller, moving over 250,000 copies, despite a competing version from Johnny Ray that sold eight times that amount. They gradually became high-status figures in Tennessee, and never betrayed the trust placed in them by trying to escape their guards on their numerous forays outside the prison. A second single followed in August 1953, the highly spiritual “My God Is Real”, followed by “I Know” and its autobiographical b-side, “A Prisoner’s Prayer”. While recording it they made the acquaintance of Elvis Presley, who later visited them in prison.

And a trailer for a documentary:

Well, how about that? Who knew? There you have it. Two reasons (of many) to listen to WWOZ.

Guns & Ammunition

December 3, 2013

Junior Murvin, who originally sang the fantastic reggae song Police & Thieves (later popularized by The Only Band That Matters), has passed on.

Born Murvin Junior Smith – most likely in 1946, although some sources say 1949 – he was raised by his great-grandmother in the bustling coastal market town of Port Antonio. His father died when Murvin was young, and his mother subsequently emigrated. At the local Methodist church, Murvin operated the pump for the pipe organ but he was too shy to join the choir.

Armed with some of his strongest material, addressing the political and social upheavals that were having such adverse effects on Jamaica, Murvin travelled to Perry’s Black Ark studio in May 1976. Police and Thieves immediately captured Perry’s attention and, after adding lyrics of his own, Perry arranged for Murvin to record it with the drummer Sly Dunbar, the bassist Boris Gardiner and the guitarist Ernest Ranglin. Murvin’s debut album, also named Police and Thieves, was highly acclaimed, but a planned follow-up was scuppered by Perry’s breakdown in the late 1970s.

Man, “scuppered” is an awesome word. I’m going to have to use that shit more often. Anyway, rest in peace, Mr. Murvin. You were scuppered far too soon.


November 24, 2013

Today the New York Times, formerly known as the Paper of Record, put a picture of a woman’s dead body above the fold on the front page of the Sunday paper (and no, I’m not linking to it). Not to sound like the old fucking man I am, but reputable newspapers didn’t used to put pictures of dead bodies on the front page, and they certainly didn’t do so to illustrate a story that was not “breaking” in any way.

It’s ridiculous. What the fuck is wrong with these people?

Well, now that I’m on about dead people, here’s the Dead Kennedys. Seems timely.


November 22, 2013

One of the problems with the hiatus from posting is that I’ve totally missed out on commenting on the brilliant crackhead Mayor Rob Ford saga playing out up in Toronto.  So, to catch up, here goes:

(Thanks to Animal.)

The M Train

November 20, 2013

One of the reasons that I needed to get back to posting, which I’ve intended to do for some time, is that I came across this image today that apparently was snapped on the M train. Now I used to ride the M train way back when it stopped at Cortelyou Road. I don’t even know where it goes now, but I know it’s turned from brown to orange.

Since I saw this fantastic image on New York Shitty, I figured I needed to post it here, where far fewer people will ever see it. The original image is from Greenpointless, and is brilliant.


Don’t call it a comeback…

November 20, 2013