Program Notes

Nights of the town fable:The Sceptor Six mix at Penrod's digs underground on Thursdays. Evolution revolves around G.B. Reef on the Key on Saturdays; arrive early 'cause there's free brew till 11:00 p.m. and other drink specials to go with the DJ mixes. Crawdaddy's restaurant is going jazz (I use the term advisedly) with bands and duos on weekends and with the masterful Tom Toyama cooking during "crabfeast" Wednesday evenings.

TV tip: Tonight WLRN-TV (Channel 17) airs What Kids Want to Know About Sex and Growing Up. C'mon, you can turn MTV and its attendant bimbos and slagboys off for a little while to (help your kids) learn something. While we're at it, Channel 17 took some hot heat lately because of some show in which a Latin actor wore blackface in character. The show was pulled. Funny, but the late Benny Hill's show, rerun on WPBT-TV (Channel 2), included blackface and nobody's complained.

The Los Angeles chamber of commerce has a new slogan: "Come to L.A. We'll treat you like a King!"

Go figure dept.: You know those T.G.I. Fantasy weekend cruises on the SS Britanis? (Call 800-423-2100 if you don't, but want to.) The junkets feature live music. This week that comes from heroic and brilliant flutist Nestor Torres. Sold out. May 22's stars the illustrious Gary King and the Dream. Virtually sold out at press time. Down-the-road shows are also selling well. But...but...but the May 29 trip with the Roach Thompson Blues Band - without question one of the best blues bands in America - is not moving those $149 tickets. I guess the blues don't sell any more than blues players sell out. What's your guess?

From small things, baby, good things sometimes get all screwed up. Of course, to reggaeman Junie Strongheart, it was no small thing. And for those who loved the jammy-sweaty environment of the Hungry Sailor when Junie's posse was rockin' steady, it's a pretty big deal, too, because it's the reason behind the end of Strongheart's run at the Grove club.

"I always do my gigs on time, I have a reliable reputation," Strongheart notes. But he walked out on a scheduled appearance at the Sailor a while back without notice. His reason: He had been paid by the club with cash that included a counterfeit $50 bill. When he went to pay off credit with Ford, he says, the $50 was rejected and "my heart fell to floor." Then, Strongheart adds, the management at the Sailor jerked him around, ignored his calls, refused to make good on the debt. "I'm out $50, that's no big deal," he says. "But having a Secret Service file for passing a bogus bill is a big deal."

On the other side of the wooden coin is Oliver Bragolusi, assistant to Sailor captain Tino Bottanelli. "It's a really stupid thing," Bragolusi says. "Junie got paid. He comes back the next day and tells Tino he wants $50 back. Tino says okay, give me a copy of the $50. The same night Junie didn't come and didn't call. I called him three times, left a message, and he never called back." The way Strongheart tells it, it was Bottanelli who was avoiding him. "I beeped him, I went down there and talked to [staff members]," Strongheart says. Bragolusi, though, adds, "Maybe Tino doesn't speak English well, or Junie misunderstood, thinks Tino doesn't want to give him the $50. But only bring me a photocopy of the fake money, we'll give it to him." With Strongheart absent, the club had to rely on a DJ that night, and Bragolusi points out that the Hungry Sailor "is famous for having a band every night." But not Junie Strongheart's any more.

Doc Wiley is still accepting tapes from bands that would like to be included on the second live-at-Washington Square CD. Call 534-1403.

Butthorn of the week: You don't have to have good taste in cornbread to have good taste in stuffing. The parts and their sums, you know? Tom Petty deserves 100 butthornings for releasing his instant riot song/video before the embers even had time to cool. Not only is the tune a piece of "Dirty Laundry" garbage, the sentiment seems bogus, and seeing it on the tube made me sick to my stomach. Told you I've been watching too much teevy.

The media circus: There isn't a whole lot of difference when it comes to local teevy news. Last week, I arrived home from a league b-ball game tired, defeated, and hungry. As soon as the food was placed (spouses are wonderful things) before me, Channel 7's news came on with a visual of a scalded baby. Needless to say, the channel was immediately switched and the food went untouched. Later I checked the other stations, and all of them reveled in their shot of the horrifically burned infant. (I know this newspaper has published gruesome photographs, but they were contextual and important to the stories they illustrated. I also am aware that teevy news lives and dies on the strength or weakness of footage. If it ain't got pictures, it ain't news.) There was no reason to show that gruesome shot, especially without warning.

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