A night (post-gym) of drinking Argentine wine (farewell Marshall Field's wine shop) and munching on Indian flavored crispy things (thank you Trader Joe's) put me in blogging mode, but I somehow lost my first take. Note to self: save drafts. Anyway, I planned to catch up and lay down some things I've had in mind for a while, but all of those ideas seem to have left me right now.

Must have/throwin it on the iPod
Beth Orton - Comfort of Strangers (Astralwerks)
Folky, moody but with a soul jazz lightness to it at times, just got this today and I'm loving it, comes out Feb 7.

Actively disliking
Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat (Team Love)
This is just kind of icky, thin faux country that leaves me cold. Why is she getting so much press? Maybe because she dated Donnie Darko, I have no idea.


So blogging has not been a priority in the new year and that is unlikely to change. On top of that, I’ve somehow lost all the mental blogging notes that I am usually in the habit of keeping. I’ve been trying to just get the last cough out of my system from this annoying cold I had last week. Which brings me to the story of the cold, and how colds evidently are some kind of reaction to stress. The Tax went to Ohio for the weekend to play some shows in Athens and Columbus with the Tough and Lovely. I ended up renting the vehicle (Mitsubishi Galant = solid!) and doing most of the driving. While driving all day isn’t always a great way to get amped for a live gig I actually think I played better than I have in some time. I’m kicking myself for not recording both nights. I also learned that rockers in Ohio partee all-night in the manner of Quiet Riot and city slickers like me just can’t keep up. So everything went ultra smooth. I particularly like visiting college towns that the hip bands of the moment completely ignore. Athens isn’t all that remote, but its just out of the way enough that it rarely shows up on a tour itinerary, except for that of comedian Jeff Garland who was playing the night after us at the University. So I get home and 24 hours later I feel awful. Ohio thrifting wasn’t as spectacular as I had hoped but one of the guys somehow walked in and found several Flaming Groovies Cds just waiting for him. There was that kind of magic in the air in Ohio.

My Norwegian posse was just in town and hanging with Anita and friends was probably the biggest shot of inspiration I’ve gotten in years. Lots of amazing chit-chat and eating and drinking type action. Typical of Anita… I give her directions to Cabrini Green which she wants to see on the way out of Chicago, the Norwegians hug goodbye and set off in their blue bomber and a I get a text later that she’s met someone at Cabrini who’s lived there their entire life and is making a documentary about the project before it comes down forever and she’s totally psyched. The combination of that enthusiasm for life, desire to follow your own interests and the do-it-now attitude is pretty rare. I wish I could have some kind of infusion of that zest every few months. We’re planning a Numusic junket for the fall with a few days at the family compound in “the archipelego” on the fjords outside of Stavanger, can only be heavenly.

In other news, I’ve just got a voracious appetite for music biographies, documentaries and critical surveys. I’m pounding about one book a week. Don’t ask me why. I’m wading through the somewhat dry Under Review DVDs for Syd Barrett and the Small Faces. The British take a single by single analysis of a band’s career, which makes for some really compelling analysis.

I’m going to see Jah Wobble a bit later tonight after mojitos, expecting a dubby, roots reggae kind of thing, but I have no idea.

As for writing (I just typed wiring), I promise to get back in the swing of things. Entry to come… Whats with friends of mine dating famous writers, getting their book jacket photos taken by famous photographers? Why is it that I’m drawn to the idea of working with undiscovered talent? Its not that I’m cheap, or is it? Or is their a camaraderie of being semi-am or semi-pro that makes things more fun than working with big names and bigger egos?