Ill Communication

  I get ill all the time, but no one wants to hear about that. – Paul Theroux   I was in Dick’s Sporting Goods recently and found myself laughing in the aisle. Twin 2, who has begun to suspect her father is unusual, asked what was so funny. “They’re playing a silly song,” I […]

The Nimrod Variations

    Jules, if you give that… nimrod fifteen hundred dollars, I’m going to shoot him on general principle. -Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction   Listening to Radio Free Amazon the other day I was all: But soft, this is my jam! But the thing was I didn’t know what it was. So I lifted myself […]

Sic Transit

    I watched a documentary on Chicago the other night. Quite a career, transforming from a rather terrific horn band – with Hendrix-approved guitarist – to earnest power ballad millers. I did spill my bedtime tea when I saw Peter Cetera wearing, in this video, a Bauhaus t-shirt. It’s got the artwork from their […]


There is so much crap in this world, and then, suddenly, there is honesty and humanity. -Ryszard Kapuściński, The Soccer War If you were to recommend a band to me, and describe them as a Thai funk/surf soul trio, my central nervous system would probably execute some sort of armadillo maneuver. And if you were […]

Talent Agencies

Embed from Getty Images 1. Frank Sinatra Has a Grievance The situation was not helped by the attitude of the American Federation of Musicians, the US equivalent of the MU [Musicians Union], who sought to block any application for a foreign band to tour the US. It was a tactic that proved remarkably successful. In […]

The Southern Affront

  A famous Australian children’s author was detained upon arrival at Los Angeles recently. She described the experience: I have never in my life been spoken to with such insolence, treated with such disdain, with so many insults and with so much gratuitous impoliteness. I haven’t read her books, but even if they’re that bad, […]

The Heuristicks

  If you need more than one reason to do something, Nassim Nicholas Taleb says, don’t do it. Otherwise, you’re just trying to convince yourself. I’ve been watching ABBA documentaries lately, and Taleb’s wisdom comes to mind. There seems an awful lot of explaining why ABBA are so good. They doth affirm too much, methinks. […]

The National Anthem

  1. Who’s on First? Last week it was fractions, and I spent some time trying to explain how “equivalent” differs in meaning from “equal.” We used currencies and first names as examples. Then we got into national anthems. I’ll spare you the transcript, but there were several iterations of: Mr. Sipe: Yes, but what’s […]