Tuesday, November 6, 2012

EASY AUTUMN - Fiona Apple, Smoking Popes, Baseball Hall of Fame

O Autumn, laden with fruit and stain'd
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof, there thou mays't rest
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe -
                                                     William Blake in one of his funnier moods

Nothing to say on Election Day. The two American cheer leaders fall silent. America buzzes like a swarm of bees. And then fall dead again. Twiddle-dee-dee or Twiddle-dee-dum, one is all empathy and one is no fun.

At least if I vote for The Socialist Party, I'll have entertaining delusions that the CIA is watching me.

My older bro', cool insider to all things show, gave me 4 tickets to the Fiona Apple concert at Kleinhans Music Hall. He called me up the morning before the show and said, "Do you want tickets for the Fiona Apple show?", I said, "Sure, get me two tickets", he said, "I can't get you two , I can only get you four", I said, "OK, give me four".

So I held a  lottery with an intimate group of friends and made them jump for the tickets like sharks to a dangling hunk of chicken. What cruel fun four tickets were for five friends.

The show was fantastic with Apple cruising us through sound waves of minor chord extravagance guided with a hard positive power edge by her flashy lead guitarist and solo opening act, Blake Mills.

                                                                       Fiona Apple

Exactly one week later, I caught Smoking Popes at Mohawk Place in Buffalo. They played a Tuesday night gig with Screaming Jeans and Roll the Tanks, a power pop night of  rock 'n roll delight. The Popes played their classic 1994 album, Born To Quit in its entirety and were a fast and tight outfit of guitar and drum syncopation, highlighted by electrified fave songs from that beloved album - "Just Broke Up" and "Need You Around". Screaming Jeans played a grungy and entertaining set that recalled the power pop of late 60s American bands The Blues Magoos with a hint of ancient Jay and The Americans boy-singer-with-a-trill swagger, and Roll The Tanks, from California, borrowed some Smoking Popes riffs to introduce a fantastic set that found addictive and complex vocal arrangements snugly fitting into the guitar dominating scenario of intelligent power pop. It was a great show that played for a ridiculously paltry crowd of about 25 people.

Smoking Popes Need You Around Video - YouTube

                                                                    Smoking Popes

Did a Saratoga weekend and drove up to Cooperstown, NY to visit The Baseball Hall of Fame, on the eve of the disappointing and drab World Series.

Cool museum, if a little stiff. Could get lost spending an entire day laboring over the artifacts and history of America's favorite past time. Bought some mementos and cards and watched old film footage in the Babe Ruth room and did the Abbott and Costello "Who's On First?" routine.

Took a day trip to Vermont and took this pic of a covered wooden bridge along the way. I neglected to note exactly what bridge it is or what town I was in.

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