Saturday, August 20, 2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

On hiatus.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


This weekend I've been cruising through nearly twenty years' worth of posts to my blog. Here are a few of the items I found.

March 21, 2001. Marti and I attended the opening of The Sex Obsession of R. Crumb, a major exhibition of the artist's work at the Musée de l’Erotisme de Paris. We hung out with Robert for a while, he and his friend Fabienne played a mini-set of the old-timey music he loves so much.

August 26, 2013. Our friend Michael Herrman, joined by The G Man on bass and Serigne Gueye on drums and percussion, performed a couple of tunes at the Chair de Poule. Michael told me later that he had issues with Serigne's playing, but frankly I thought it helped ameliorate that arch Portland sound in the music.

September 29, 2000. Grateful Dead Hour radio host David Gans, visiting Paris with his wife Rita & an entire posse of Northern California friends, joined several members of the Parisian tribute band Deadicace for a jam session. When David first phoned the day before, I mentioned that Marti & I had a bunch of French friends here who played Grateful Dead music. He said he'd be thrilled to meet them. So I got on the horn & within a couple of hours we had organized a gathering at Christine & Bill Giles' apartment on the Quai Malaquais. I brought along the Gurian acoustic guitar I inherited from my late brother Peter (and later restored) for David to play.

April 10, 2009. Departing Amsterdam after a pair of Bob Dylan concerts at the Heineken Music Hall.

May 28, 2012. Pentecost. A Monday holiday in France. Footage shot in the 15th arrondissement of Paris. Locations include Square Adolphe Cherioux, Place de la Mairie du XV, Rue Peclet and Square Saint-Lambert. All within a block or two of our apartment building.

February 10, 2001. Our friend Alan Merrill, who wrote "I Love Rock 'n Roll," plays at one of the acoustic jams we used to stage at the little couscous restaurant across the street from our apartment. Doug Brodoff and Marti are in the back singing along.

May 30, 2012. Chris Kenna & Melissa Cox in concert at L'inattendu, a bar-restaurant I believe they only played this one time.

June 17, 1998. Widespread Panic after party at Le Bataclan. Marti, Nikki Matheson, Christophe Rossi and John Bell.

November 29, 2007. After many years of filling out and submitting and resubmitting forms detailing just about every detail of our long lives, Marti and I were naturalized as citizens of France. This development did not affect our U.S. status in any way. Except that now we were card-carrying members of two populations that half the planet hates.

And looking ahead: the view from the balcony of the apartment I'll be renting for several months this fall and winter at Agios Mammas beach on the Greek island of Spetses.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Grilled Asparagus with Spicy Parmesan Sauce

Kosher salt
1 pound asparagus, tough stalks snapped off at the base
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon milder hot sauce, such as Tapatío or Frank's Red Hot
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a pot of water to a boil and season it generously with salt. Add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute, then drain.

Coat the asparagus with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil and cook the spears on the grill directly over the coals of a medium fire until they begin to char, about 4 minutes. Remove the asparagus to a platter.

Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the hot sauce, and Parmesan and stir to combine. Pour the sauce over the asparagus and serve immediately.

Source: The Splendid Table

Wednesday, July 13, 2016



07-11-12 Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn NY

Many years ago our Washington DC-area pals Gina and Aaron turned Marti and me on to Los Lobos, a great band from East Los Angeles. Yesterday I was following a thread about Los Lobos on Facebook. For a number of dates they'll be on the Wheels Of Soul Summer Tour 2016 with the Tedeschi Trucks Band and the North Mississippi Allstars. Coincidentally, today Marti (shown here with Gina in 2006 in Barcelona) reminded me that her BFF was flying down to Nashville from suburban Maryland to hang with her for a few days. In their honor I went on a search for a good Los Lobos concert on the Interwebs.

Here's the audience tape I found:
Brooklyn Bowl
Brooklyn, NY
*Part 1*
01. [intro]
02. Canto a Veracruz
03. El Cascabel [Lorenzo Barcelata]
04. La Pistola y El Corazón [*]
05. [banter]
06. Los Ojos de Pancha [Juan Romero]
07. Saint Behind the Glass
08. Teresa
09. [banter / tuning]
10. Chuco’s Cumbia
11. Will the Wolf Survive?
12. Angels with Dirty Faces
13. Wicked Rain
14. Short Side of Nothing
*Part 2*
15. That Train Don’t Stop Here
16. One Way Out [Elmore James / Sonny Boy Williamson]
17. Kiko and the Lavender Moon
18. [banter / tuning]
19. Let’s Say Goodnight
20. Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio [Santiago Jiménez]
21. How Much Can I Do?
22. Not Fade Away [Buddy Holly] [#]
23. Bertha [The Grateful Dead] [#]
24. [encore break]
25. Don’t Worry Baby [#]
26. Mas y Mas [#]
* with Jolie Holland
# with Livingston Leo
Source: AUD > Milab VM-44 Links (cardioid) + Schoeps MK22’s [> CMC6 > Sound Devices USBPre2] >> Edirol R-44 (WAV @ 24-bit/48kHz)
Lineage: R-44 > PC > Adobe Audition (mixdown, downsample, dither, tracking) > WAV (16-bit/44.1kHz) > TLH (check/fix SBE’s, FLAC conversion) > FLAC ( level 8 )
Recorded by: acidjack and Johnny Fried Chicken Boy / Produced by: Johnny Fried Chicken Boy

For a limited time, a free download:
Los Lobos 07-11-12 Part 1 mp3 file set is here.
Los Lobos 07-11-12 Part 2 mp3 file set is here.

I'm pretty sure the first time the four of us went to see them live was at a tiny club called Adam's in DC's Foggy Bottom neighborhood. This would have been in the mid-1980s. At the time Los Lobos were still playing Los Angeles-area weddings interspersed with their early tours! And they had remained their unassuming selves a few years ago when Marti and I got to hang with them after a gig in Amsterdam. I believe our pal Steve Haze took us backstage and we chatted with them as if we'd known each other forever.

Straight-ahead dudes.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Lang Lang


Today in physical therapy I was listening to the great Chinese pianist Lang Lang on my stationary bike ride. I just pre-ordered New York Rhapsody, his forthcoming album, from iTunes. The preview single is a marvelous version of "Empire State Of Mind."

Marti and I are avid fans of this guy. We've gone to see him play a number of times. I even caught a free rehearsal session at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam one time. A few years ago we heard him give a solo concert at the fabulous Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona.

We got to speak with him briefly at the CD signing after the concert. He was wearing a butter-soft leather jacket. I showed him the G Clef sox I was wearing in his honor. Nice dude.

Here's Lang Lang's appearance on the 56th annual Grammys with Metallica, performing "One."

And this is George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," which will appear on the New York Rhapsody album. Here Lang Lang solos with Christian Thielemann, Staatskapelle Dresden, 2015.

Sunday, July 10, 2016


Garbo Talks

(Full Movie)

Nominated three times for an Oscar, Greta Garbo (Swedish-born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, September 18, 1905 – April 15 1990) was an international movie star and popular culture icon during the 1920s and 1930s. Garbo received an honorary Academy Award in 1954 for her "luminous and unforgettable screen performances." In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked her fifth on their list of the greatest female stars of Classic Hollywood Cinema, after Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, and Ingrid Bergman.

Often mistaken as a recluse, Garbo lived a private life for decades in Manhattan, leaving her apartment frequently for daily walks with companions or alone. She loved to go antique and gallery shopping. She kept a luxurious, tasteful home.

I watched this film the other night. It's not a world-beater, but Anne Bancroft's performance is not be missed. I hope you enjoy it.