Thursday, November 23, 2017

It's Turkey Day (An Annual Series)

From 1969, here's the original classic lineup of Procol Harum...

...and their utterly gorgeous "Pilgrim's Progress."

Pilgrim -- get it? It's not rocket science, kids.

As long-time readers may recall, this song is something of a Thanksgiving tradition around here by now. Although I'll grant you that given we're now in the era of President Engelbert Trumperdinck it's not quite the same anymore.

In any case, enjoy the cranberry sauce and stuffing, everybody.

Also -- Matthew Fisher is God©.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business

Had a long, productive but ultimately exhausting night in the studio yesterday putting drums on a new Floor Models track.

Kudos to the great Glen Bob Allen (seen above) for his yeoman work.

Here's an even better look at the session.

Regular and refreshed posting resumes on the morrow.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Annals of Manhattan Nightlife (An Occasional Series)

Attentive and/or long term readers of this here blog may recognize the name Ronnie D'Addario for two reasons.

First, because out of the great goodness of his heart, he sang the angelic McCartney-esque background vocals on Letter From Liverpool, a song featuring a band with a bass player whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels.

And, secondly, because he's the proud dad of the hippest young band on the planet The Lemon Twigs.

But even coooler than that, Ronnie's also been producing exquisite Beatles-influenced pop/rock -- both as a one-man band (a la Emitt Rhodes, who is probably the figure he most closely brings to mind) or in various group contexts going back for decades.

And this evening, Ronnie -- backed by the aforementioned Lemon Twigs -- will be performing some of that stuff at my favorite NYC club.

Specifically, I assume, material from his fabulous new CD career retrospective.

Here are two songs from the collection (the second is one of my favorite indie singles of the New Wave era) that should give you an idea of just how terrific he is.

You can -- and definitely should -- order First Songs over at Amazon HERE or at You Are the Cosmos HERE.

And, of course, if you're in the Big Apple tonight, hie thee over to Bowery Electric to hear Ronnie and family. It's just down the street from where CBGBs used to be.

And tell 'em PowerPop sent you.


I'm gonna be on friend of PowerPop Captain Al's intertube radio show Lost at Sea today, starting at 11:00 am EST. Or maybe 11:15 or 11:30. Depending on traffic.

You can listen to the show over at Area 24 Radio HERE>. We'll be taking requests and death threats -- I'll announce the e-mail address on the air.

It's a theme show -- I won't give it away till later -- and a splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Weekend Listomania (Postscript): Special Rock is Here to Stay, But Nobody Tells Me Where -- I Don't Have the Room Edition

So as you may recall, we ended last week with a Listomania whose theme was THE GREATEST COVERS THAT NEVER WERE!!!

I.e., some really fabulous song(s) you'd really like to hear some favorite artiste -- solo or group -- perform or record, but so far they haven't gotten around to it (the bastards!!!).

And commenter J. Lewellen came up with this brilliant idea (amongst some others -- check the Friday post for the rest of them).

To wit:

Jerry Lee Lewis's "High School Confidential"...

...should be assaulted by The New York Dolls.

You know, the guys who did this affront to musical dignity.

I should add that I actually saw Jerry Lee -- before his big country comeback, after being disgraced as the Roy Moore of his generation -- live in 1965, at Waukegan (Illinois) High School.

There were maybe fifty or sixty of my fellow college hippies in the audience, as well as maybe another 100 angry greasers. It was the most exciting rock show I had ever seen up till that point in my young life, and very few I've seen since then have even came close.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Weekend Listomania: Special Hey, a Boy Can Dream, Can't He?

[I first posted a version of this in 2007, back when this blog and the world were young. I've rewritten parts of it, and made some substitutions, just to prove I'm not a complete slacker; please enjoy. -- S.S.]

Okay, fellow kids -- here's a fun project to contemplate:


You know -- some really fabulous song you'd really like to hear some favorite artiste -- solo or group -- perform or record, but so far they haven't gotten around to it (the bastards!!!).

And my totally off the top of my head Top Nine is/are:

9. The Hold Steady -- The Boys Are Back in Town[Thin Lizzy]

They've probably jammed on it a thousand times -- it's about time they go public for gosh sakes.

8. The Posies -- Carrie Anne [The Hollies]

They already proved they were genetically bred to do Hollies songs with their version of "King Midas in Reverse" -- just think what they would bring to the sunniest of the Clarke-Hicks-Nash classics.

7. The Pretenders -- Every Little Bit Hurts [Brenda Holloway]

My fave 60s soul ballad/torch song would be a natural for Chrissie Hynde, I suspect. Fun fact: This was written by the same guy who wrote "Dirty Water."

6. Neko Case == The First Cut is the Deepest[Cat Stevens]

Because she'd do it better than Sheryl Crow, duh.

5. Steve Earle -- Street Fighting Man [The Rolling Stones]

C'mon -- this is the job he was born for.

4. Bob Mould -- Calvary Cross [Richard and Linda Thompson]

On the 1994 Thompson tribute album Beat the Retreat, Mould turned the rockabilly tinged "Turning of the Tide" into a killer piece of buzz-saw punk. I swoon to imagine what he could do with Thompson's most intensely doom-haunted song.

3. Emmylou Harris -- Withered and Died [Richard and Linda Thompson]

Actually, now that I think of it, this song is so intensely heartbreaking, if Emmy sang it we might not survive the hearing.

2. The MonaLisa Twins -- Excuses, Excuses [The Floor Models/Gerry Devine and the Hi-Beams]

Because I've always wanted to hear gals covering this one. And my new favorite group seems like just the ones to do it.

And the number one cover I'd love to hear is....

1. Wilco -- Get Out of My Way [Paul McCartney]

This is one of my favorite sort of obscure McCartney tracks. And if you've ever heard Wilco blowtorching its way through "Monday" you'll understand why I think they're the right band band for the job.

Alrighty, then -- what would YOUR choices be?

And have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Your Thursday Moment of I Can Now Die Happy

And why you ask? Because the Australian Broadcasting Company is going to air a two-part bio-pic about my heroes The Easybeats, and it looks like they've done it right.

A joint production between the ABC, Playmaker, Screen Australia and Screen NSW, Friday On My Mind stars Christian Byers as Stevie Wright, Will Rush as George Young, Mackenzie Fearnley as Harry Vanda, Du Toit Bredenkamp as Dick Diamonde and Arthur McBain as Snowy Fleet.

Directed by Matthew Saville (Seven Types Of Ambiguity, Please Like Me, The Slap) and written by Howzat and Paper Giants scribe Christopher Lee, the series is set in the 1960s and follows the story of the five musicians and young immigrants, who meet in a Sydney migrant hostel before taking up instrumental arms together and ultimately changing the face of Australian rock on an international level.

Here's a teaser.

I'm not sure whether the band is lip-synching to the actual Easybeats song in that clip or not, but if the music is being provided by sound-alikes, they're dead on the money.

Also no word yet whether the thing will be broadcast on an American network, or if there will be a video release, but at the risk of gloating, I have a friend down under who's gonna record it for me. Nyah nyah nyah.

I'll keep you posted.

[h/t Peter Scott]

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business

Had some dental problems yesterday, so no posting today.

Regular posting, with my chompers choogling at peak efficiency, resumes on the morrow.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A La Recherche du Floor Models Perdu

[Okay, herewith an update of a post from August. Trust me, there are two audio clips at the end that will make it all worthwhile. -- S.S.]

So as long time readers are aware, back in the early 80s I toiled in a 12-string pop band called The Floor Models. And also that Andy Pasternack, one of our principal songwriters (and our Rickenbacker ace), passed away unexpectedly in 2012.

I should add that apart from being immensely talented, Andy was also one of the sweetest guys who ever wore shoe leather; as Gerry Devine (our singer and other principal songwriter) put it to me recently -- Andy never got the memo that if you're a genius you're supposed to be a dick to other people.

In any case, there was a song of Andy's called "You Can't Tell Me Anything" that I particularly loved, and which we used to do live for ages, but for some reason never demoed, which has been a sort of sore point with me for all these years. So recently I decided that we should record it for a possible posthumous EP as a sort of tribute.

Only problem was nobody could remember the lyrics. Ack.

Then a month or so ago I discovered a crude live version, taped by someone with a boom box in front of the band at one of our legendary weekend gigs at The Other End (bless you, Pat Kenny!). We edited it -- removing a duplicate verse and a brief instrumental solo section that didn't really work -- and presto! We had a click track for a concise three minute song that seemed to encapsulate the entire esthetic of the band.

So then ace drummer Glen "Bob" Allen, myself, my old 70s bandmate Tony Forte (on Rickenbacker 12-string), and brilliant guitarist J.D. Goldberg (who came in for Andy in a later incarnation of the band) headed into the studio to recreate the song from the ground up. (Gerry did his vocal at home and then intertubed it to us.)

And here it is in completely finished form..

With all due respect, I think it's fricking gorgeous.

BTW, if you want to hear the 1982 live version... can check it out HERE.

I should add that the EP -- which will be titled (per Andy's concept) 4 X Floor -- will also include a raga-surf instrumental written by Andy and Gerry, a new recording of a recently rediscovered Andy song that is about the most sad and beautiful thing I've ever heard, and a new recording (with strings, yet) of a song that power pop great Mark Johnson wrote for us -- and will hopefully be ready for release early next year.

Although if I've learned anything since I've started working on these projects, it's that it always takes longer than you think.

Monday, November 13, 2017

I'll Have What They're Having

From 2017, and their just released album Orange, please enjoy the fabulous Mona Lisa Twins and their new single "Waiting for the Waiter."

And yes, the mysterious Man in Black at the bar playing the familiar sounding blues harmonica is in fact former Lovin' Spoonful frontman (and personal hero of mine) John Sebastian.

Most of the Twins' stuff is considerably more Beatles influenced (their Fabs covers, like this one, are to die for...)

...and closer to the subject of this here blog, but "Waiter" does it for me anyway.

In the meantime, you can -- and should -- order Orange over at the Twins website HERE.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday Video Roundup

[As some of our long-term readers may be aware, I am still on the mailing lists of various video companies, who -- inexplicably but generously -- continue to send me freebie copies of their new releases. Herewith, a brief consumer guide to the most recent discs that have crossed my desk; unless otherwise noted, I viewed all of them on DVD. Enjoy. -- S.S.]

1. Murder on the Orient Express (ACORN)

From the Poirot tv series, this remake from 2010 is considerably darker and less fun than the Sidney Lumet-directed '70s version, and it takes liberties with the source material in terms of back story that not everybody will dig. Still, the period detail is smashing, David Suchet remains the definitive Poirot, and Eileen Atkins as Princess Dragimiroff (the role played by Wendy Hiller in the original) is absolutely sensational. I await the new version with Kenneth Branagh (in theaters today) with breathless anticipation.

2. Wonder Woman (WARNER BROS., two discs, DVD and Blu-ray)

I haven't liked a superhero/comic book movie since the original X-MEN, and Zeus knows this adaptation of the (frankly, quite silly at times) DC superlady franchise was fraught with peril (by which I mean it could easily have been an unintentionally funny camp piece of crap).

Against all odds, however, the thing works like a charm. Backdating the story to World War I was a brilliant idea, and the chemistry between stars Gal Gadot (hubba hubba) and Chris Pine is sizzling. Yeah, it runs out of steam with a cliched climatic super battle (David Thewlis in a devil costume? Seriously?) but until then Wonder Woman is old school Hollywood storytelling at its most entertaining.

3. Rumble: The Indians That Rocked the World (KINO LORBER)

AKA the secret history of Native Americans and what we refer to as the rock-and-roll field. Fantastic stuff, and not just because of the Link Wray footage. Nobody interviewed in the thing says it, so I will: Play this film loud.

4. The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille (RANDOM MEDIA)

The true story of a magnificent obsession: one man's quest to find the sets for DeMille's 1923 silent version of The Ten Commandments, which were buried in the California wilderness no one knew precisely where. The fact that this is an actually real thing boggles the imagination, and if the film's ending doesn't make the hair on the back of your neck stand up you probably need medical attention.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Your Thursday Moment of Words Fail Me

From 2014, please enjoy the remarkably monikered Kaki King and ETHEL ambling (I keed, I keed) through the most powerful instro piece I've heard in ages.

This absolutely blows me away. Seriously, it sounds like what might have happened if Bernard Herrmann had ever decided to rock out.

[h/t Capt. Al]

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business

Had some dental problems yesterday.

Regular non-tooth related postings resume on the morrow.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

From 2001 and the soundtrack CD to TV's Crossing Jordan -- a show I must admit I never watched -- please enjoy the reliably astounding Richard Thompson and his cover of Donovan's venerable “Season of the Witch.”

A version that -- as the friend who hipped me to this last week observed -- makes all previously recorded performances of this song sound like "The Monster Mash."

Good lord, this

[h/t Matt Mitchell]

Monday, November 06, 2017

The Return of Chet Catkins

From 2017, please enjoy power pop god Richard X. Heyman and a hilarious feline-themed video -- from his latest album Incognito -- of the utterly infectious "So What."

You can read more about Richard over HERE, specifically my review of his 2007 masterpiece Actual Sighs. Plus you can listen to an Mp3 of my favorite song from the record. Prepare to have your mind blown at the sheer gorgeousness of it.

And you can -- and definitely should -- order the new album over at AMAZON. You'll thank me.

[h/t Brooklyn Girl]

Friday, November 03, 2017

There's a "Boy, Did I Get A Wrong Number" Joke in Here Somewhere

Amd speaking, as we were yesterday of The Thieves (featuring Gwil Owen) and their fabulous 1988 Marshall Crenshaw-produced album Seduced by Money...

...please enjoy the haunting rocker "All the Lines are Down."

Damn, that's a great song and a great performance. I'm really gonna have to cover that one of these days. In the meantime, see if you can find a copy of the album -- just about everything on it is that good.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

In honor (late, alas) of Halloween, please enjoy the criminally underrated Gwil Owen...

...and his fabulous country rocker "Haunted House."

I first encountered Owen when he was the lead singer (circa 1988) of alt-rockers The Thieves, who made an absolutely sensational album -- Seduced by Money -- that was produced by none other than Marshall Crenshaw. If you can find a copy, grab it immediately; it's a classic. The song above, if I recall, was from the follow up album Phoenix, which I believe Gwil self-released.

In any case, I lost track of the guy over the years, but I just Wiki'd him, and he's done really well for himself since then, including an Oscar nomination for a song he wrote for the soundtrack of The Horse Whiseperer.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business

The pipe under my kitchen sink has come apart, and I'm waiting for the guy above to come fix it. No joke, except the monkey part.

Regular and hopefully well flowing posts resume on the morrow.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Classics Never Get OId!

From sometime in the late 60s (or possibly early 70s), please enjoy the incredibly great Bonzo Dog Band with their cover of Terry Stafford's "Collusion."

Okay, actually the song is called "Suspicion."

But it's not like there's really a great deal of difference.

Monday, October 30, 2017

I Knew There Was a Reason I Liked This Guy

From 2011, please enjoy Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers -- with special guest front man Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam -- and an absolutely gorgeous version of Petty's "The Waiting."

Words, as I am wont to say at times like these, fail me. Jeebus H. Christ on a piece of challah toast, but Vedder sings that brilliantly.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

My New Favorite Band...

...unfortunately broke up four years ago.

Regardless, from 2013, please enjoy New York's finest...The Regulars...

...and "Down in the Basement."

If there's a better ode to the joy of making rock-and-roll for the sheer love of it -- and BTW, The Replacements reference of their moniker didn't escape me -- I haven't heard it.

You can hear -- and download (seriously, do it) -- the rest of their album over at Bandcamp HERE.

But in the meantime, Regulars auteur Joseph Benoit is in the process of working on a solo album; I'll keep you posted on its progress.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Your Thursday Moment of Words Fail Me

From 1983, please enjoy the great Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes doing a live medley of...Eddie and the Cruisers songs?


I hadn't heard about this till last week, but there was a scene in the original script in which the character played by Tom Berenger -- the keyboard guy from the Cruisers back in the 60s who can't escape his past -- goes to a Jukes show and is stunned to hear the band playing songs by his old group. Director Martin Davidson actually shot it, although ultimately it didn't make the final cut, but as you can hear the audio has survived.

I must admit that the film is a sort of guilty pleasure for me, as are the songs on the soundtrack, which of course are written by John Cafferty, aka the poor man's Bruce Springsteen. It's not a very good movie, really, but it has a couple of interesting things to say about dreams that don't come true, friendship, and things of that nature.

Plus: Ellen Barkin.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business

Had a long, but productive, night in the studio tweaking the drum track to the "new" Floor Models track.

Regular tanned rested and ready postings resume on the morrow.

Monday, October 23, 2017

George Young 1946 - 2017: Part Deux

I am disconsolate over the death of George Young, one of the co-founding geniuses of The Easybeats, and one of the most important auteurs of rock-and-roll who ever wore shoe leather.

And here is one of the greatest records he was involved with.

You can read the rest of the story about that song OVER HERE.

May I say again, and for the record, that this death shit is really starting to piss me off?

George Young 1946-2017

Goddamnit all to hell.

He's probably best known in this country for having produced the first five AC/DC albums (starring his kid brothers), but his real claim to fame is the stuff he did with The Easybeats in the 60s.

And if there's a better rock-n-roll record than this one...

...I for one have never heard it.

This death shit is really starting to piss me off.

Happy Birthday to Me

So as some of you may have heard, a certain Shady Dame of my acquaintance took me to see Bruce Springsteen's new and highly acclaimed one person show on my birthday over the weekend...

...and boy, was it disappointing.

Bruce was drunk and all he did was KISS covers.

Okay, obviously I'm kidding.

In point of fact, despite a certain level of solemnity, Springsteen on Broadway was moving, funny, poetic and brilliant. With nothing more than a guitar and piano (here's what the set, and the word set is something of an overstatement, looked like)...

...Bruce did what felt (somewhat) like a stage adaptation of his recent autobiography, and managed to be about as riveting a performer as I have ever seen.

The setlist:

1. Growin' Up
2. My Hometown
3. My Father's House
4. The Wish
5. Thunder Road
6. Promised Land
7. Born in the USA
8. 10th Avenue Freezeout
9. Tougher Than the Rest
10.Brilliant Disquise
11.The Rising
12. Long Walk Home
13. Dancing in the Dark
14. Land of Hope and Dreams
15. Born to Run

Highlights, for me, were "Land of Hope and Dreams," a song which I had largely ignored in any of its recorded versions, and "Thunder Road," during which I totally lost it. But the entire thing was great theater, and let's just say it was the best birthday present ever.

BTW, I am reliably informed that a high quality recording of the show from Saturday night is now available on the intertubes. For a variety of reasons I'm not going to post anything from said recording, but if our old friend Capt. Al could find it, so can you.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Blue Ash Fan...

...if you happen to see this post, e-mail me. I have something for you to hear that I think you might like.

Hint: It involves Mark Johnson.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Weekend Listomania: Special Broadway is Not in Asbury Park Edition

Well, it's Friday, and as you may have heard, tomorrow is a) a major milestone birthday and b) the day a certain Shady Dame of my acquaintance is consequently taking me to see Springsteen on Broadway.

From the NY Times review of opening night:

There came a moment the other night, near the end of Bruce Springsteen’s overwhelming and uncategorizable Broadway show, when it seemed possible to see straight through his many masks to some core truth of his being.

This was when the audience, which had mostly restrained itself through the first 13 songs of the 15-song set, could no longer sit on its hands as if in church. The show had been, to that point, quite solemn — and would continue to be.

But now, entire swaths of the Walter Kerr Theater, apparently unmindful of downbeat lyrics like “I ain’t nothing but tired,” started clapping along to “Dancing in the Dark,” Mr. Springsteen’s biggest hit, from 1984.

He stopped cold. “I’ll handle it myself,” he said, shutting them down with a small, sharky glint of a smile.

Would he ever! Make no mistake, “Springsteen on Broadway,” which opened on Thursday evening, is a solo act by a solo artist with an artist’s steel. Even though Patti Scialfa, his wife, shows up to harmonize on two numbers, this is not a singalong arena show or a roadhouse rouser. Even less does it try to be a feel-good Broadway book musical or a slick, whitewashed jukebox like “Jersey Boys.”

In other words, this is not an "And Then I Wrote" retrospective.

That being the case, a coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to the first reader who -- to my satisfaction -- comes up with a list of the following:

Best or Worst Springsteen Songs He Probably Won't (Or Shouldn't) Do in His Acclaimed New One Man Show!

And my totally top of my head Top Five is/are:

5. You'll Be Coming Down

From Magic, which was precisely the moment when I stopped being a lapsed Bruce fan. Sort of cynical folk rock, and the band performance and production are chilling.

4. The Girls in Their Summer Clothes

Also from Magic, and one of Bruce's best Brill Building homages ever.

3. Candy's Room

This has always struck me as one of Bruce's most under-appreciated British Invasion pastiches; I mean -- does anybody else think it sounds kinda like The Yardbirds? In any case, thematically I just don't see it working in the show.

2. Prove It All Night

I'm sorry, I have never warmed to this one for any number of reasons I won't get into. Although I will admit that part of it is that I hate Jon Landau's production on Darkness with a white hot hatred and always have.

And the number one Springsteen song that should be a rock standard that I won't get to hear tomorrow unquestionably is....

1. Rendezvous

His big power pop move. He used to open with it on the Darkness tour back in the late 70s, which was a pretty ballsy thing to do given that he wouldn't release the song officially for another couple of decades.

Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?

PS: I love you, BG.

And have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business

Had a long, but extremely productive, night in the studio last night.

The results of which I will share with you guys tomorrow, but in the meantime I'm taking it easy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Your Tuesday Moment of Self-Indulgence: Special Four Strings Good! Edition

Okay, the short version.

A few months ago, two significant others of my old garage band chums The Weasels were coming back from picking up a pizza when they noticed a bass guitar -- specifically, a Fender Precision Lyte (a model I used to own back in the 90s, in fact) -- in a trash can in their neighborhood. It was a mess, but they were intrigued enough to bring it back to the Weasels home studio and try it out. Turned out it was, however unsightly, totally playable and its electronics intact.

I heard the story, and a few weeks later I was at the Keuka Kafe, my local watering hole down the street from a certain Shady Dame's home in Forest Hills. BTW, if you're in the neighborhood stop by and tell 'em I sent you.

But I digress.

Anyway, this particular afternoon, I struck up a conversation with a young guy having lunch at the bar who, as it turned out, was a guitar tech who specialized in restoring instruments like the aforementioned Fender Precision Lyte, so it seemed serendipity dictated I give him the job of bringing new life to our trash can bass.

Cut to last week, when said job was finished. Here's how it went.

And here's me, looking frighteningly like Groucho Marx, checking it out.

Bottom line: The bass now looks great and plays great.

And a big PowerPop No-Prize to Gabe Mera, who did the restoration. I can't recommend his work highly enough; if you have a similar job for him, contact him here.

Monday, October 16, 2017

My Subconscious at Work

True story: In the last two weeks I have had bizarre dreams involving pop music.

In the first, I dreamt that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were hosting a show on ESPN.

Titled The Rolling Stones Sports Desk.

Hey -- to quote Judy Tenuta, it could happen!

In the second, and more disturbing, I attended a concert by an underground rock band.

Called The Papoose of Pop.

I am not making any of this up.

In any case, I think it's getting increasingly obvious that my decades of obsessing over rock-and-roll have gotten me into a weird area here in my Golden Years.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Sad Songs Mean So Much: An Occasional Series

This is an oh so tragic story, so please try not to laugh.

A long time ago (no Spanish American War jokes, thank you) I was going through a really painful breakup, by which I mean I was at the beginning of a three year depression that made me all but impossible to hang out with because of my annoying habit of saying things like "What's there to live for?" in response to questions like "Would you like fries with that?"

As you can imagine, my emotional state was impacting my listening habits, and at one point the then new 1991 album Anything Can Happen, by Nashville alt-pop rockers The Questionnaires, happened to cross my desk.

One song from the album in particular -- the (I thought) ragingly beautiful breakup ballad "In the Back of My Mind" -- hit me pretty hard and I began listening to it obsessively, to the point where I think I basically ignored everything else on the record, the rest of which could have been Lithuanian grindcore for all I knew.

Anyway, one day a critical colleague of mine -- toiling at Entertainment Weekly, as I recall -- happened to ask me what I was listening to, and I recommended said Questionnaires album, rather heartily, as I also recall. A few weeks later he called me up about a review assignment, and he finally said "Uh...Steve? You know that Questionnaires thing you made me listen to? It...really sucks."

To be honest, I didn't really see the point in arguing, and I'm sure I figured that my own judgement probably wasn't all that reliable anymore, for obvious reasons. So I put the CD away out of earshot, and eventually mislaid it somewhere, probably while moving to a new apartment a year or two later.

Cut to the present and, for whatever reason the song popped into my head unbidden yesterday. So out of curiosity, I went through my iTunes library and checked out "In the Back of My Mind" for the first time in at least two decades. And guess what -- I still think that it's ragingly beautiful in a sort of Brian Wilson/early Association/lotsa harmonies kind of way.

Okay, no larger point, but you can listen to it here and make up your own mind about whether or not I'm the biggest pathetic wimp who ever lived.

Incidentally, the guy who wrote the song is big band jazz great Woody Herman's grandson. What Woody would have thought about any of this, of course, is anybody's guess.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business

Dealing with doctors today.

Nothing serious, but still annoying and time consuming.

Regular incredibly posting -- including, possibly, the triumphant return of Weekend Listomania -- resumes on the morrow.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Great Composers Steal, Mediocre Composers Borrow

So as I noted yesterday, the single from The Searchers' fabulous 1979 comeback album...

...was the first cover song my 80s band The Floor Models learned as we were getting our act together.

Compare and Contrast: This song by my 90s band Gerry Devine and the Hi-Beams (aka The Flo Mos Mark II).

Doesn't sound remotely similar.

Nah. Not at all.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Best News I've Heard All Year

They're doing a deluxe reissue (with bonus tracks) of the two great comeback albums made by Brit Invasion legends The Searchers between 1979-81.

From Omnivore's press release:

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — During the British Invasion, there was another Liverpool band topping the charts worldwide. The Searchers had 11 Top 40 hits between 1963 and 1966 in the U.K., including three #1s with “Needles and Pins,” “Sweets for My Sweet,” and “Don’t Throw Our Love Away.” There were eight hits in the U.S. including a #3 cover of “Love Potion No. 9.” By the end of the decade, the group’s chart presence may have slowed down, but the Searchers didn’t. They continued to hone their sound on the live circuit, adding a modern musical crunch to their incredible harmonies. After seeing the band perform, Sire Records head Seymour Stein offered them a home on his new wave flagship label (home of the Ramones, Talking Heads, Dead Boys, and soon, Pretenders).

The Searchers returned in 1979 with a self-titled release, featuring originals and covers of tracks from Tom Petty, The Records, Bob Dylan, and the Mickey Jupp-penned “Switchboard Susan”—a concurrent hit for Nick Lowe. Produced by Pat Moran (Be Bop Deluxe, Dr. Feelgood, and Rush —yes, that Rush), it was a sonic powerhouse. That album was followed the next year by Love’s Melodies (titled Play for Today in the U.K.), with Ed Stasium (Ramones, Talking Heads, Smithereens) joining Moran as co-producer. More originals, and more covers (Big Star, John Fogerty, and others), and another great album.

These are two of my favorite records ever, both for the originals (the first cover song The Floor Models learned was "It's Too Late," the single from the 1979 album)...

...and the covers (the version of "Almost Saturday Night" is IMHO the best one ever by anybody).

Have I mentioned that this is the best news I've heard all year?

Monday, October 09, 2017

In Case You Missed It...

...this was the cold open of Saturday's episode of SNL.

His intro was a little apolitical/boilerplate -- a mention of gun control would have been nice -- and Jason Aldean isn't much of a singer, really. His band absolutely nailed the song, however, and I have to admit I was moved. Good on Aldean for doing it; I can only imagine how horrific last Tuesday must have been for him.

Host Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) was pretty great, too.

Friday, October 06, 2017

From 1977, live as you want them, please enjoy Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and "I Need to Know."

Basically, my second favorite of their early songs.

I should add that I saw them in a small club around the time this was recorded, opening for Roger McGuinn, whose cover of "American Girl," which he inadvisedly performed at the same show, was shall we say disappointing.

Petty and company were dressed all in black, played extremely loud, and were pretty much the coolest band I've ever seen, before or since.

BTW, did you know this Taylor Swift cover of "American Girl" was actually a thing?

I didn't, and Jeebus H. Christ on a piece of challah toast it's fucking awful.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Get Your Kicks...

...with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, live in 1977...

...on "Route 66."

I once got into a big internet brawl with a more celebrated rock critic than moi over this track. He thought it was the worst ever cover of the song, and I thought it was phenomenal, dripping with a sinister quality of menace barely hinted at in the song itself. Kinda like the Stones transformed Bobby Womack's jaunty original of "It's All Over Now" into something way darker. In retrospect, I think I may have overstated my case, but since then said critic has blocked me on Facebook forever. Oh well.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Your Wednesday Moment of Words Fail Me

I had no idea this was actually a thing.

Hopkins is a mensch, obviously.

As was Petty for doing this for his old band.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Into the Great Wide Open

From 1991, the Tom Petty song I always wanted to cover

I don't wanna end up
In a room all alone
Don't want to end up someone
That I don't even know

I think it's the most personal thing he ever wrote. And those lines have been haunting me since I heard the news of his passing yesterday.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Tom Petty 1950 - 2017

I have been weeping non-stop since I heard the news. Obviously, that's partly because I'm sensing my own mortality, but goddamnit I loved his music and he was too fucking young to go. Just saw him in concert last August and he was spectacular.

Aw, fuck.

it's the Last Gasp of Chris Hillman Week!!!

From his incredibly terrific new Tom Petty-produced album...

...please enjoy founding member of The Byrds (and the biggest influence on my own, inadequate by comparison, bass playing) Chris Hillman and "Here She Comes Again."

This was apparently originally written back in the late 70s for a McGuinn, Clark and Hillman studio LP (although I'm told it only ever appeared on an Australian live album) but it's obviously a pretty cool song despite its previous obscurity. And yes, Roger McGuinn himself is doing the great Rickenbacker 12-string stuff; Hillman plays bass on the record (his first appearance on the instrument he essayed in the Byrds in 30 years).

Bottom line: The performance is gorgeous, and for the two minutes and thirty-two seconds it's blasting from my stereo, I can't help but feel that God's in his heaven and all's right with the world.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Oh, Screw Chris Hillman Week -- Here's the Greatest Song of All Time!

From 1950, please enjoy the great Phil Harris and his incomparable hit version of "The Thing."

This was actually my favorite record as a kid. I mean, the hell with that rock 'n' roll crap -- this was the real deal.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

It's Chris Hillman Week: Part III -- Special J.S. Bach Edition

From the incredibly great Chris Hillman's swell new album...

...please enjoy his terrific remake of Gene Clark's magnificent "She Don't Care About Time."

That was originally the b-side of "Turn Turn Turn" back in October of 1965. Here's what it sounded like then, in case you've forgotten.

Je repete -- a b-side. I don't want to say "those were the days," but by golly they were.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

It's Chris Hillman Week: Part II -- Special Senior Citizens Edition

From the incredibly great Chris Hillman's new album Bidin' My Time...

...please enjoy a remarkable bluegrass remake of The Byrds 1967 classic "Old John Robertson."

Now called "New Old John Robertson."

That was written by Hillman and one of my other Byrds heroes Roger McGuinn and as you will hear, the original version is beyond belief great.

And as I sort of suggested yesterday, although I'm really a purist about this kinda stuff, I really like both of these versions more or less equally.

More on this subject tomorrow.

Monday, September 25, 2017

It's Chris Hillman Week: Part I -- Doing the Ttwistfrugwatusijerk to a Song About a Welsh Mine Disaster

From his just released new album (his first in a decade) Bidin' My Time, please enjoy the incredibly great Chris Hillman and his remake of The Byrds' "Bells of Rhymney."

Hillman is one of my genuine all-time musical heroes, but I'll have more to say about that later on in the week.

In the meantime, this is just fricking gorgeous.

In case you've forgotten, here's what it sounded like on The Byrds' debut album from 1965, back when the world and I were young.

I'm kind of a purist on this sort of thing, so I never thought I'd say this, but I like both of these versions pretty much equally.

And a special coveted PowerPop No-Prize© to the first reader who identifies the literary reference in the title of today's post.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Hey -- It Was No Bigger Fraud Than the Trump Administration

I actually owned that album on vinyl LP back in the day, although I didn't pay for it due to being on the Warner Bros. mailing list as a baby rock critic.

It was really lousy, actually. Although "Can't Get No Nookie" was good for a couple of laughs.

And, of course, anything that pisses off Brian Williams obviously has some socially redeeming value.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

We're Back! And To Prove It We're Here!

I was in Google hell for the last couple of days -- don't ask -- and consequently unable to post.

Our long national nightmare is over, however, and regular postings will resume on the morrow.

I thank you all for your patience, and also -- fuck you, Google.

Seriously, why am I not surprised that somebody had already done the appropriate graphic to express that sentiment?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Grant Hart 1961-2017

Goddamn, this pisses me off. That's much too young.

And yeah, I know Hart didn't write this one, but it's my favorite Hüsker Dü song. So sue me.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Okay, You Dragged It Out of Me

From the Me, Myself and Irene soundtrack in 2000, here's the Brian Setzer Orchestra and their smokin' rockabilly-ish cover of the Dan's "Bodhisattva."

BTW, one of these days I'm gonna post something by Setzer's pre-Stray Cats downtown New Wave band the Bloodless Pharaohs. I really like the guy, but that outfit was the biggest steaming pile of crap you've ever heard in your life.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Okay, Maybe It WON'T Be Butch Walker Week

From 2000, and the soundtrack to the mediocre Jim Carrey vehicle Me, Myself and Irene (which is a de facto Steely Dan tribute album)...

...please sort of enjoy Butch Walker and the Marvelous 3 (who I had, deservedly, nice things to say about a couple of days ago) and their cover of the Dan's "Reelin' in the Years."

I'm sort of a born again Butch Walker fan, but I gotta say...this one doesn't do it for me. The phrase that comes to mind immediately is -- rinky-dink.

That said, the original is so perfect that I can't imagine anybody else doing justice to the song.

Your thoughts?

Press Releases We're Glad We Read

We get e-mails from publicists and occasionally we open them.

To wit, this one that came in over the transom last week:

In celebration of the band's 25th Anniversary, pop-rock trio HANSON are releasing their Middle Of Everywhere - The Greatest Hits, their first comprehensive career-spanning collection. The album includes hit singles spanning the last two decades, including "Mmmbop", "Where's The Love", "Weird", "This Time Around", "If Only", "Save Me", "Penny And Me", "Thinking 'Bout Somethin'" and "Get The Girl Back", plus their brand new single "I Was Born" that NPR music calls "impossible to resist".

The album includes 26 songs from the multi-Grammy nominated band's six studio albums, many of which are featured in their live show on the Middle Of Everywhere 25th Anniversary World Tour. The extensive world tour has seen the band performing to sold out crowds in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Latin America, and begins it's North American leg on September 12th.

"It's incredible to be able to reflect on 25 years of making music together, and even more amazing to have been able make such a strong connection with music fans around the world", said keyboardist Taylor Hanson. Added guitarist Isaac Hanson "The response to the tour so far has blown us away. Releasing the album and kicking off the US tour in the same week is very exciting."

I always thought those guys were a lot better than their initial teeny-bopper celebrity suggested, and I will never forget the time in 2000 when a rock crit friend of mine handed me a Walkman and said "Listen to this song and then guess who it is." When he told me who the auteurs were, you could have knocked me over with a feather.

As you will have noticed, it's a song about mortality, fer crissakes, and coming from a bunch of kids whose testicles had barely descended I think you'd have to admit it's pretty damn audacious and wise beyond their years. Maybe that's why it flopped. I still love it, of course.

Meanwhile, you can -- and should -- order Middle of Everywhere over at Amazon HERE.

And because I love you all more than food, here's a little piece about Hanson that's one of the funniest things written in English in the second half of the 20th century.

It's by Jon Stewart -- yes, him -- and originally appeared in his 1999 collection Naked Pictures of Famous People.


December 15, 1996


Greetings and happy tidings to all, in this the beautiful season to celebrate the Savior's birth. The tree is up and the Christmas Ham is awaiting my apricot glaze, so once again it's time to check in for our yearly Hanson Family update. A promise from the heart to keep this year's news-letter as brief as possible (I hear you sighing, Uncle Jack! Just kidding, I can't hear you!). It's hard to believe that a year has passed since my last correspondence. Time sure flies when Jesus is flying the plane! It's a crisp afternoon here in Sooner Country. Gary and the boys are off hunting snow rabbits so the girls and I broke out the old Smith-Corona to fill everyone in, Don't worry, Peg, there's a Pumpkin Pie waiting for my men when they return -- hopefully with a fresh kill.

We're awaiting a wonderful Christmas. As is our family tradition, no gifts are exchanged but all the children will prepare a drawing, poem or play. This year's theme is Genesis. The girls are painting a beautiful mural of God's creation of man, using only the juices of fruit they grew themselves. Isaac and Taylor are preparing a heartwarming skit on the Garden of Eden (Taylor makes a beautifully innocent Eve) and little Zach, well, let's just say shouting "Let there be light" and Clapping the Clapper on and off doesn't show great inspiration. It doesn't matter. We love all our children equally, and still believe greatly in last year's Christmas theme, "Abortion Is Murder."

Some Hanson Highlights: Gary's working on a book about our methods of teaching the children called All I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, at Home with My Parents; Who Taught Me Better Than Any Government-Run Public School That Denies Prayer Could. The girls once again won the yearly Hanson Home School Science Fair. They devised a method for testing the bacterial content of foods using only Litmus Paper, Paper Clips and a homemade Centrifuge. These girls are going places! The boys did well too. They built a mobile depicting the fallacy of evolution. As for Zach, well, let's just say sneaking something into our dinner and waiting to see if anyone would eat it and become ill didn't impress these judges. But we love all our children equally and hope one day Zach will tell us what it was, and why I can no longer hold down solid foods.

In Hanson Sports News, it was a very good year. The Hansons played a very strong schedule, going head to head with the only other Home School Team in the area, the Jurgensons. It was great fun.

Oh, before I forget, the boys continue with their little music project. They recently played the Devlin County Pan-Asian Wet and Wild Jamboree for Vietnamese Exiles. I don't want to go into too much detail, in this, the season of good tidings, but the crafty little Asian gentleman who organized the fair tried to cheat the boys out of their $50 performance fee. We nearly came to blows over the matter, but eased off when both parties quoted the same piece of foreboding scripture at the same time. I can't say I condone the boys' interest in this pursuit of popular music, but as I always say, "Encouragement is next to Charity, which is next to Faith, which is next to Cleanliness... and we all know what that's next to."

Jesus loves you,
Eileen and Gary Hanson and the Hanson Family

P.S. Any donations to the charity to help that poor boy in our neighborhood with the cleft lip would be greatly appreciated. We've raised some money, but he still looks odd when he eats in public, which is often. Remember, Charity begins at home, which, as you know, is where we have our school.

December 25,1997

Dear Hanson Super Fan Friends and Family,

Hey everybody! It's that time of year again! And what an amazing year it's been. I apologize for the Fan Club stationery, but it's all I could find. Normally I would just ask Carmen where she put the newsletter paper, but I gave her the day off. Most of her family is somewhere in South America, but bless her heart, she still seemed set on not working the holiday. Although I'm sure you could make a case that that's when I would need her most.

I feel bad about the stationery even though I'll bet none of you care. I'll bet you're just impressed that with all the amazing things happening to our family I still make a point of personally sending out the yearly holiday update. I agree! That is exactly what I told Gary, who was of the mind that if you all really need information, you can visit our official Web site like everybody else. But that's crazy. Being stars doesn't mean we can't take the time to stay in touch with our friends and family. By the way, the unofficial sites are not sanctioned and contain a great deal of fabricated information. I can't stress that enough. Our official site has received over two million hits to date!!

You're probably saying to yourself "Wow, that must be making them a fortune!" You would think!! Although perhaps you are not taking into consideration a poorly negotiated contract that paid a one-time up-front fee and neglected any back end or merchandising considerations.

But you know our Gary. I think when the Lord was passing out business acumen, Gary was downstairs getting good hair. Of course you can't tell that to Gary. I guess he figures his year and a half of technical school and previous work experience selling homemade knickknacks at mall art fairs qualifies him to manage a world-famous band.

A big "I'm sorry" on behalf of Gary, the boys and myself for not being at Ned and Irene's annual family reunion picnic. The girls told Carmen it was a hoot. Unfortunately that was the weekend before the Grammys and as you might imagine we were swamped. While the boys were sad to miss Irene's annual mock apple pie, their dinner with Fiona Apple softened the blow. I had heard through the grapevine that Irene was a little bent out of shape. I'm sure that's not true because Irene and Ned are God-fearing people and very aware that envy is a sin.

Ooops! Please excuse the sloppy penmanship. I'm jotting this update from the back of a Limousine the boys bought me for Christmas, and the slick leather interior doesn't offer great stability. Lincoln, my driver, and I have developed a very funny joke where he calls me Miss Daisy and I pretend that's my real name.

Well, enough chatter, I better have Lincoln take me home. The boys and Gary are in Dnsseldorf, but Zach still likes me to spend at least six hours a day in his room, cleaning the shag carpet, strand by strand, with my teeth. Anything for my little angel, because, as I always say, I love all my three boys equally.

It's been a wild year. The Lord sure works in mysterious ways, or as I like to say, "What a long strange trip it's been!"

Jesus loves us,
Eileen, Gary, Zach, Taylor and Isaac
(collectively known as Hanson)

P.S. You can stop sending money for the gimp boy with the Cleft Lip. It turns out we had enough money left over from just one mall show to ship him and his entire family off to Nebraska.

December 28, 1999

To Whom It May Concern,

HO, HO, HO! Zach has Herpes. There. Are you Happy now? You try controlling an eleven-year-old multi-millionaire with a hard-on for strippers. For those of you wondering about last year's newsletter, there wasn't one. If you must know, I was at a retreat in Hazelden, Minnesota, and they didn't allow pens, pencils or any other sharp implements for that matter. It's been quite a ride... quite a... I sit here, alone in my Hotel suite. Pen in one hand, bottle of Glenlivet in the other. A gun at my feet. Darkness all around me...

First of all, to all you Nosy Parkers in the crowd, I did not embezzle money from my family, I don't give a rat's ass what that judge says. I am their manager... co-manager... was their co-manager. I had every right to that money. I gave birth to those boys. What did Gary do? His three minutes of dirty business? Foreplay?! Please. Whispering "The Bible says be Fruitful and Multiply" before ejaculating and passing out isn't foreplay. Seven times I allowed that man to sully me... seven times.

I'm tired ... so very tired. Someone had to have some fiscal responsibility. Christ! Do you know what Taylor and Isaac did on their big "Africa Tour"? Sat in a hotel restaurant ordering Lasagna made from 1,000-dollar bills and White Tiger's Blood. Not all the time, of course. No, sometimes they would lock themselves in their hotel rooms doing what looked and tasted like high-grade Brazilian Heroin. Where was their father, you might ask? Oh I don't know, maybe shacked up in some Backwater Indonesian Fuckee Suckee bar. Maybe it's just me, but I still believe in a thing called Statutory Rape Laws.

You think I'm bitter? You think I'm beaten? You think I might take the pills I have in my hand, wash them down with Scotch and glide off into a world of euphoria where all my pain will cease? HA! No, this old girl has some fight in her yet. Believe it!! I know things. Things that would be worth a lot of money if they got out. And not the usual bullshit, the "Taylor is fucking Naomi Campbell" shit. I could put a lot of people in jail... Think I'm bluffing? Try me... I dare you... I... I miss my angels. I just want to talk to them. To tell them Mommy loves them... to ... tell them... I could fucking kill Gary with my bare hands and not blink. I could stare into his eyes as he begged for my mercy and forgiveness and I could snuff out his life and then go back to my lunch as though nothing happened. I miss them so much. Do they care? Of course not.

Hey, some crude garage mix of the little bastards rehearsing Christmas music just went to Number 1 on the Holiday Charts. Think Kenny G is choking on his own cock over that one? I believe these tiny ingrates, who I gave life to, could sing into a bag of their own shit and ten million girls whose life ambition is to someday get breast implants would spend their hard-earned abortion money just to cradle it in their arms.

But hey! It was a great run, huh? Better to burn out than fade away! What do I care? I still have more money than any of you will ever have in a lifetime of being paid by the government not to grow corn.

Merry Fucking Christmas,
God is dead,
Eileen Hanson

Friday, September 08, 2017

Annals of the Age of Consensual Hallucination

And speaking as we were yesterday of T-Bone Burnett's great Trap Door EP, here's my other favorite song from it.

Which is obviously a deeply prescient ode to our current Nazi-in-Chief, but let's not bring politics into it.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

[h/t William Gibson]

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Your Thursday Moment of Words Fail Me: Special "A Goddess Walks Amongst Us" Edition

From 1983. please enjoy the divine Emmylou Harris and her utterly astounding version of the Carol Channing/Marilyn Monroe classic "Diamond's Are a Girls Best Friend."

This is the same arrangement T-Bone Burnett did a year earlier on his great Trap Door EP, but how this happened and who came first is a mystery that I have yet to unravel. If any of you guys knows what the deal is, please enlighten me.

[h/t Capt. Al]

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business

Real life distractions today.

Regular posting -- in this case, involving a genuine goddess -- resume tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Chicago and San Francisco Confidential: A Photo Essay

So, as you may have heard, a certain Shady Dame and I recently had a transcontinental vacation -- flying into Chicago for couple of days, and then taking the California Zephyr train to San Francisco.

We had a thoroughly splendid time (and I heartily recommend a similar train trip to everybody). So herewith, as is my wont on these occasions, a little visual look at our trip. (Click on the photos to enlarge).

We saw this in our cab from O'Hare Airport on our way into town. I think if you look at the second from the bottom fee, you'll conclude, as we did, that Chicago is a town that really knows how to party.

The Pritzker Pavillion and the famous Cloud Sculpture. The locals have assured us that these are actually the pods that ALIEN hatched from.

At the Chicago Art Institute. Who knew that Ivan Albright had painted a highly flattering portrait of me?

And speaking of the Art Institute, here's my favorite exhibit -- which is on display at their cafeteria year round. Artist unknown, but obviously pretty frosty.

A Catholic book shop near the museum. Have your picture taken with Pope Frankie giving a big thumbs up!

Near our hotel. Obviously, I was just about to get my kicks.

The view from the dining car on the California Zephyr, at our first stop (in, I believe, Bumfuck,Nebraska.)

In San Francisco. Why do I have the feeling that Orson Welles once visited this building?

Okay, these people need to get a life.

Seen in front of a hotel that caters to show biz folk. But how did she tell such funny jokes with such tiny hands? (They're bigger than Trump's, but still...)

Does anybody else find it weird that horrible medical conditions...have their own phone numbers and galleries in this town?

A famous Beatnik hangout in North Beach. As you can see, the late Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane was a regular.

The Roz Chast exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. The aforementioned Shady Dame seems somewhat nonplussed.

P.S.: Unlike as in my previous photo essays on Quebec and Stockholm, there was no evidence I could find that folks in either Chicago or San Francisco are particularly interested in mooses.