General Chaos

Rib night!

Last night, the whole family went to Bill Bateman's Bistro in Towson for Rib Night. As the night progressed, and we stripped our racks clean, the soundtrack of the evening started to seep into my conciousness. It was like someone had uncovered my high-school-freshman record collection from 1978 and produced a mix tape….the playlist sticks in my brain like a splinter.

Pink Floyd's Pigs.
Bowie's Ziggy Stardust
Edgar Winter's Frankenstein
Fleetwood Mac's Tusk
Queen's “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Journey's “Wheel in the Sky”

While my adolescence flashed across my ears, we shifted into the game room where my sons demonstrated their pool skills. If “Werewolves of London” had come on at that moment, I would have known someone was playing with my mind…

General Chaos, Headline Haiku

It's dark at five o'clock
the rain is washing away the leaves
another season flushed into oblivion
leaving piles of flotsam and regret

The sky is grey at eight a.m.
tinting memories of Saturday's sun
with a mask of autumnal finality
I hate Standard Time.

But there's nothing as beautiful
as a child on a leaf-strewn trail
beneath a canopy of maroon and gold
with holes of cold, crisp blue

And there's nothing quite as sweet
as grabbing that moment of mortality
It's fall, it's harvest time
and you're reaping the fruits of summer memory

General Chaos

iTunes iSerendipity

I found this band, the Weakerthans, on iTunes, and fell in love on the first clip play. This is the sort of discovery I used to make on the radio, back when they played stuff like this. Now, I listen to a public radio alternative station and hear mostly stuff I liked 5 years ago–and that's my best option.

The Weakerthans are from Winnipeg. But they sound like someone did a statistical analysis of the contents of my iTunes library and record collection and created an optimized band ( “3/4 Icelandic”, as their site proclaims) matched specifically to my musical tastes.

And the lyrics…

How I don't know how to sing,

I can barely play this thing,
But you never seem to mind,
And you tell me to fuck off,
When I need somebody to,
How you make me laugh so hard,
How whole years refuse to stay,
Where we told them to back off,
Locked up blindly in a word,
Or a misplaced souvenier,
How the past chews on your shoes,
And these memories lick my ear.

I know,
You might roll your eyes at this,
But I'm so,
Glad that you exist.

–the Weakerthans, “The Reasons”

General Chaos, Headline Haiku

The Asterisk Blues

Asterisk Boy sits alone in his lair/
he don't give a damn about what's hangin' in the air/
His ears are closed to the voice of outsiders/
He only hears the yes-men and crooked advisers/

Asterisk Boy's got an itchy trigger finger/
He's a fat-cats-first-kill-the-rest right winger/
God made him king so he knows he's right/
He never lets his people stay away from a fight/

He tells a lie until he thinks it's true/
Asterisk Boy knows what to do/
he'll lock up anyone who gets in his way/
The voice in his ears tells him what to say/

Four more years of a nasty habit/
He's not going to let anybody else have it/
The money pours in from the corporate coffers/
Blood and profits is what he offers/

I've got the asterisk blues/
I can't win I can only lose/
It's treason they say/
to protest in this way/
I've got the asterisk blues…