Look Out Below!

Helicopter over backyard. Rochester, New York
Helicopter over backyard. Rochester, New York

It is so good to see Kevin’s blog come back but so sad, the circumstances. Tommy Ramone was a great drummer. He cut out the crap and nailed the tune. He made the Ramones sound fresh and pop. Too bad for everyone that radio wasn’t ready for them. Now that all four original members are dead you can hear the chorus of a song Tommy wrote every night at Red Wing Stadium.

In 1977, when the “Do You Wanna Dance/Baby Sitter” single was released, the Ramones played the Penny Arcade and the leading rock station here, WCMF, printed t-shirts for the bartenders at the Penny Arcade to wear that said, “Punk Rock Sucks.” Like they would know what sucks. I got this sleeve signed by the band that night. They were unbelievably good.

I learned quite a bit learned quite a bit from Tommy. The band I was in did a few Ramones songs. I can’t remember which ones. Even though I had loved The Voidoids drummer when I saw them in in New York, I was bummed when Marky replaced Tommy. Long live the Ramones.

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Reacquainted With The Me

Margaret Explosion's limited edition 45 cover for "Juggler/Purple Heart" on press at Printing & Book Arts Center in Rochester, NY
Margaret Explosion’s limited edition 45 cover for “Juggler/Purple Heart” on press at Printing & Book Arts Center in Rochester, NY

I’m not much for talking on the phone but Brad Fox and I are in the habit of talking on our birthdays. He is the same age as me for two days, the two days between our birth dates. This year he reminded me of something we did a long time ago, so long ago that I had to get reacquainted with the me that would have done something like this. I had a summer job mowing lawns at apartment buildings during the day and then sweeping parking lots with this tank like machine at night. Brad worked with me for a few weeks and we stopped at Harry’s Hots on East Ridge for a late night snack. They had juke box there with satellite machines at each of the tables and Brad remembers us loading up the juke box with about ten plays of Bobby Goldsboro’s “Honey” and then leaving the restaurant.

Steve Lippincott is in town for a few days and he offered to cook dinner for us last night at Tom Kohn’s new house in the city. Tom’s place is in our old neighborhood and we just loved the house. Tom was was spinning records including the double, white vinyl, live Television album that was released on Record Store Day a few weeks ago. Steve is working on a cookbook and we were a live test group for ten spice chicken and vegetarian tortilla with fresh corn. We gave it our thumbs up.

I check in with So Many Records every day. The juke box in the sky that at first seemed like a museum now feels like part of current culture. With the resurgence of vinyl I thought it would easier to find die cut blanks for a 45 sleeve but the only ones I could find were chip board from Stumptown Printers in Portland Oregon so we ordered a hundred. With the help of Bill and Geri at the Printing & Book Arts Center Peggi and I ran the first color of our two color package on a Vandercook letterpress and tomorrow we are scheduled to run the black.

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Less Is Still More

Street kids sketches by Paul Dodd, oil on craft paper

Painting never gets any easier. Make that a big PERIOD at the end of that last sentence. Developments, realizations and even breakthroughs only open the door to a new set of problems. Last night I sat down in front a Crime Face painting that I recently considered done. It still had a problem with it and I tried a few things that only made the problem more obvious so I sat back down and thought, “Do I really enjoy the struggle?”

Without answering that question I carried on and found a familiar solution. White paint! I painted out the problem. Gone. It’s a funny thing how often the “less is more” method works in art or music. It can’t be any sort of modernist concept because it is too sturdy. And it only intensifies the remaining interactions or dialog.

I started a new painting project with some street kids from a local shelter. I took photos of them so my source material is considerably better than the tiny mugshots from the Crimestoppers page of the newspaper. I’m hoping to involve the kids with the whole project somehow but I haven’t figured out the details. I did these sketches the other night and may try some more tonight.

Duane Sherwood is guest posting to Kevin Patrick’s “Juke Box in the Sky” site and that can only mean vintage Jamaican music like this gem from Prince Buster.

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Summertime And The Living Is Easy

Abbott\'s Custard napkin

The alkalinity was out of whack at our neighborhood pool so Peggi had to dump in five pounds of a baking soda like mix to get it under control. We brought our laptop down there and had our pick of three unprotected networks. We listened to songs on Kevin Patrick‘s blog and basked in the sun. “A Little Bit of Soap” by the Exciters sounded fantastic. We discovered there is a 1960’s era transistor radio built into our laptop.


Getting Our Digital House In Order

Bird In A Nest
Bird In A Nest

I spent some time adding gadgets to our iGoggle home page this morning. We took a break at noon and went down to the street pool. The air temp is in the nineties and the water was 78. Peggi checked the chlorine levels and the ph. We swam for a bit and came back to work.

I finished converting a stack of Sun Ra cds over the weekend and that completes the big rip. I tidied up the duplicates folder and made a backup. Big time Party Shuffle tonight!

Still don’t have a cell phone but we could use one now. A client is desperately trying to reach Peggi and she is with her Mom at a pain clinic. I see Apple’s new phone is twice as powerful and half the price of their last one.

I’ve been following Kevin Patrick’s, “So Many Records, So Little Time” for the last few weeks and I’ve put a link in the right hand column. It is a pop aficionado’s paradise and timely too. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, shipments of LPs jumped more than 36 percent last year while shipments of cds dropped more than 17 percent during the same period.

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