A Plea for Help

Okay – I’m in a musical rut. I need some new music & I need it quickly. (It’s my music & I need it now!) So here’s the question that I want you to answer for me;

If there was ONE ALBUM that you are currently listening to, that you would suggest to fellow music lovers, what would it be? It doesn’t have to be from any specific genre or anything – I like music of all kinds. Just something that you can’t stop listening to & you think other people would enjoy too.

Saturday, my daughter suggested Jakob Dylan’s new album Seeing Things. (I can answer for her since she’s at church camp for the next week with little or no access to the internet.) And I will definitely give it a shot – especially since I was planning on picking it up anyway!

For me, I guess I would have to suggest the SteelDrivers’ self-titled debut album. I suppose it would be referred to as “Progressive Bluegrass”, but with a harder edge than say, Old Crow Medicine Show, South Austin Jug Band, or the Infamous Stringdusters. It’s really good.

So help me out – please leave your suggestions in the comments section below.

Friday Five – 4th of July

I asked Willie this morning what topic he was going to pick for this week’s Friday Five, but alas, he was on his way to “the lake”. (Color me jealous.) However, he said he was considering something to do with Independence Day/Freedom since the holiday is next week. In fact, he already had a list in his head! So I told him I would do the leg-work & post both of our lists in one power-packed, super-sized blog post! (All while trying to avoid both Martina McBride’s Independence Day & George Michael’s Freedom!)

Here we go:

Free – Donavon Frankenreiter w/ Jack Johnson
4th of July – Aimee Mann
Freedom – Rage Against the Machine
4th of July – Shooter Jennings
I’m Free – the Soup Dragons

BONUS: A stirring live performance of one of the great civil rights anthems; Joan Baez with Oh, Freedom:

And, as promised, here is Willie’s list:

Freedom – Jimi Hendrix
I’m Free – The Who
Set You Free – Allison Moorer
4th of July – Dave Alvin
4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Morning Headlines

I love reading news headlines. Most of the time they are much more interesting than the article that follows. It’s no wonder that the majority of the Onion’s material is based entirely on the headlines. Here are a few that I found funny today;

You know, as opposed to taking up heroin to kick your cocaine habit.

I know Britney’s little sister is young, but somebody needs to fill her in on the fact that all babies leak! Just when you think you’ve got it under control by putting that absorbent padding around their butt – they start leaking from the other end… it’s a vicious cycle, Jamie.

…as well as a checkered present, and their future ain’t looking all that bright either!

Too much what? Too much media exposure?

Family Photos

Earlier this month my brother requested that I post some portraits of my bugs to my blog. Being one who doesn’t like to disappoint, here they are. Please excuse the sub-par photography.

ELVIS:

Elvis is a Chilean Rosehair tarantula (Grammostola rosea). He is by far the most docile and gentle spider I’ve had in a long time. You can’t tell very well from the picture, but Roshairs have exactly that, rose or pink colored hair. Thier bodies are mostly brown, but the long hairs that stick out, especially on thier cepholathorax and legs are pink. They can be best seen right after molting and in a good lighting, neither of which were ture at the time of these pictures. Rosies are probably the most commonly sold spiders in pet stores across America. They’re quite easy to come by and are usually very well tempered. They make an excellent starter spider for anyone who’s looking to get into the hobby. My first T. was a Rosehair named “Precious”. Elvis spends most of his time in my wife’s Kindergarten classroom, but during the summer he resides on my computer desk. Soon after “Priscilla” passed away, who was another Rosie but slightly bigger and much more brightly colored than Elvis, we acquired this lovely lady…

HILLARY:

Hillary is an Arkansas Chocolate tarantula (Aphonopelma baergi). These are the only tarantulas native to Arkansas. And this one was caught live for us by my wife’s coworker’s son. He moved to Arkansas a few years ago and went “rock-flipping” just to see what he could find. In addition to Hillary and a few other Chocolates, he found a few small scary-looking scorpions. (I think I would’ve just let them stay under the rock personally.) Even though she’s fairly small & lacking in color – I think she’s a very pretty spider. She is fairly skiddish though, so not disturbing her to get this picture was a challenge. Speaking of shiddish…

HERMOSA:

Hermosa (which is spanish for ‘beautiful’) is a Costa Rican Tigerrump tarantula (Cyclosternum fasciatum). Hermie is by far the smallest and most reclusive spider I have ever had – so getting her picture was even more challenging than Hillary! I eventually had to feed her & then snap these shots down through the entrance to her hiding place. If you look closely you can see the cricket in her clutches sticking out from under her body.

I guess it’s pretty obvious how the “Tigerrump” gets her name; It’s cepholathorax is solid bright orangish-red and it’s abdomen has those pretty tiger stripes as you can see in the picture above.

Well that’s it. Those are my current arachnids.
Hope I didn’t creep everyone out too much.

Friday Five – Higher Ground

This week it’s my turn to pick a topic for Friday Five, so we’re going up the mountain today with 5 songs that take us up where the air is thin & the view is majestic!

Magnolia Mountain – Ryan Adams, A beautiful song from one of my favorite Adams albums.

Wolverton Mountain – Southern Culture on the Skids, I know it’s an old Claude King song – but the SCOTS version is what’s on my iPod – and that’s all that matters!

Blue Side of the Mountain – the Steeldrivers, somehow, out of the blue, I started getting into bluegrass music… don’t ask me how.

Lookout Mountain – Drive-By Truckers, Guitar heavy southern-style rock & roll – I love these guys!

The Rough Side of the Mountain – Rev. F.C. Barnes, this one’s for Dad. There was an extended period of time that no matter where we went in the car, we had to listen to this song… and sing along, like it or not!

Okay – there have to be some more out there, so c’mon guys – let’s get high! (not high like the Black Crows – high like the two peaks of Kilimanjaro!)

The Battle of the Database Server

After a few weeks of going to battle with some ugly Persians (some folks calls ‘em Trojans or Viruses, but I calls ‘em Persians). The enemy has finally been defeated and purged from our server with the help of a fellow army (also known as “consultants”) from a Northern territory. We have secured our borders and fortified our troops and are now in the process of rebuilding the resources that we lost to their evil weapons. But the hardest part is over. The rest is expensive and time consuming, but the villagers can finally rest easy and feel secure within our borders for I, King SysAdmin, have arisen victorious!

SPAAAAARTAAAAAA!

For Bethany

Jewel is my beautiful daughter’s favorite artist – and not just because they share a birthday. As a musician Beth & her Hummingbirdherself, she connects with her on many levels; from her low-key singer/song-writer style to her lyrics & poetry. She never seems to take herself too seriously (hosting Nashville Star would be one indication of that) but continues to make gorgeous music without falling into the traps so many pretty little musicians fall into. I admire her for that – and Beth does too. So when I saw this interview/acoustic performance today, I knew I had to share it with her.

I love you Beth – Thanks for a great Father’s Day!

Friday Five – Guitar Songs

Songs about guitars? (Thanks Will! I’ve been wanting to do a Friday Five and had no clue what to do it on.)

Guitars, Cadillacs… – Dwight Yoakam, One of those songs that once suggested will get stuck in your head for the rest of the day

Play Guitar – John Cougar Mellencamp, a pretty good track from the first album he was allowed to use his real last name on.

Guitar Town – Steve Earle, The title track from Earle’s debut album – my only question is why Will didn’t list this one!?!?

Anyone Can Play Guitar – Radiohead, Had to throw a bit of a curve in here somewhere! I like this one – even if it doesn’t really fit with the rest of the list.

Yakety Axe – Chet Atkins, a guitar song that’s actually a “guitar song”! And one that you’ve probably heard a million times and may not have ever known the title.

BONUS: From Elvis Presley’s 1968 Comeback Special, the King performing(?) Jerry Reed’s Guitar Man