- One fine day a few years back, on my way to the optometrist's to pick up my very first pair of bifocals, I popped one of my favorite discs into the CD player in my station wagon. All of a sudden I had to pull over and get my heart rate down. Bifocals...Station Wagon...Tom Jones in the CD player. Dear God, I'm MIDDLE AGED!
But dammit, Reload is a great CD. You haven't heard Portishead's "All Mine" until you've heard it crooned by Jones' operatic voice, rendering it the Bond soundtrack it always should be. And Stella and Sam love "What's New Pussycat?" from his Greatest Hits album. Shit, who doesn't love "What's New Pussycat?"? But back to "Reload." Of all the people who have covered the Kinks' "Sunny Afternoon" who better than welshman Mr. Jones? And then he turns around and duets with Van Morrison on "Sometimes We Cry" and that's when you stop laughing. The man always could sing. Sometimes he's over the top in drama (like my other obsession, William Shatner) but still.
Anyway, I have tickets with my girlfriends to see Tom Jones tonight. I can't wait. The End.
- After Tom Jones I'm headed to Linneman's -- not just for Dr Chow's Love Medicine, but for the Sandmen -- a Morphine tribute band. (Named for the late, great leader Mark Sandman, get it?) This will be a perfect comedown from Tom Jones, just some good psychedelic blues and the cool cool jazzy blues of that wonderful band. I loved Morphine, and I love the Twinemen (the band formed of the survivors and this one woman singer they found with a great aloof coolness.)
- Saturday night it's another of those great dueling stages shows at Kochanski's -- this time is the Uptown Savages vs Crazy Rocket Fuel. CRF features Ginny W on guitar. She was my replacement in the Psychobunnies -- and she's a damn good axeslinger. All-girl rockabilly -- I'm there.
- Otherwise, there's a free show with Floor Model and Danny Price and the Loose Change at the Uptowner on Saturday night.
- And I'll be talking the kids down from the fireworks at the South Shore Frolics. As we were up north for the 4th (as is our tradition), we missed the big independence day shows. We could have gone to a show in Alpha, Michigan, but last time we attempted that, let's just say the locals go a bit overboard. I felt like I was in Beirut or something. I actually feared for my life, or at least my eyesight. Last straw -- a 6 year old kid throwing a firecracker two feet away from 6 year old Stella -- and teh family getting mad at me for "overreacting." Whatever.
- Finally, as you can see, we wrapped up our vacation stopping by Maribel, WI, to see the Maribel Caves. You couldn't have told me that these way cool caves were only a mile off the interstate between Green Bay and home. From the highway, it just looks like just another treeline amongst the corn pastures. But drive in, and you've got this magnificent natural beauty, that apparently was once carved out by the sealine. And it's just a county park -- not even a state park! Beautifully conserved, and clearly a party spot for the local teens, the larger caves now require a guided tour. Supposedly it's for our safety, but the locals we talked to said the real reason was that they were getting vandalized. Sheesh.