So I'm on the bus, not the real bus, an independent thing, but like a bus, just me and the driver, near the last stop, which is my stop. He points out how there's many people walking around downtown Miami. "Uh, it's a nice day," I say. He's some kind of foreigner, and says with a heavy accent, "It's Friday." "Oh," I tell him. He rubs his thumb against the first two fingers of his right hand and says, "Payday. They have pay and now they go to spend it." I think I understand, and then I'm off the bus, and walk through them like a ghost with nothing to sell.
As the finishing touches are being put on their next CD, FtN hits the road, again, playing Winter Park and Clearwater this weekend and Tampa on April 15, the Talkhouse on April 16, then West Palm Beach and Gainesville before their April 28 show at UM.
Tonight (Thursday) and tomorrow after the Grateful Dead shows, you can join in the after-Dead fun of Stone Soup Bowl. You pay $15 (at Stephen Talkhouse) and receive a pass that gets you into the Talkhouse, the Spot, and Velvet (yeah, like I could get into Velvet) each night, all inclusive, total. The Spot and Velvet will be hosting parties, but the action is at the Talkhouse (surprise, surprise) where tonight members of Natural Causes join members of Beluga Blue and Raw B. Jae and A.J.'s Stick People and other local superstars to play cover songs. Some of the money from the passes goes to help save rain forests. The passes or a Dead stub will also get you into the Talkhouse tomorrow (Friday) for George Porter's show. Yes, I'm confused, too. And I'm not even a Deadhead.
Tomorrow (Friday) the Causes hit Rose's Bar, where Raw B. Jae will funk things up on Saturday.
Captain Jimmy's begins a series of weekly "block parties" this Sunday at 2:00 p.m. with Velvet and Nails playing live.
Jen Pudsey's Locals Only show on WVUM-FM (90.5) A a.k.a., 90X A has moved to Monday nights from 8:30 to 11:30. Do yourself a favor and dial in.
The other morning I was waiting for the bus. One came, and drove right by. When the next one came, I stood in the street blocking its path, figuring it'd stop and I'd get to work on time, or it'd kill me, a fine solution to tardiness (except at Northwestern High). The bus stopped and the very nice woman behind the wheel said, "I wasn't going to pass you." I said, "Well, the last one did."
A hot Atlanta band called Stuck Mojo cruises into the Plus Five tonight (Thursday). The reviews of this act I've read proclaim Stuck Mojo a must see.
Bobby Ramirez and his jazz trio full power the opening of the new exhibit at the Gallery of the Unknown Artists tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. It's free. Call 532-2265.
If you're on the bus, so to speak like Ken Kesey, you know, and these things are supposed to be cryptic and secret, merry pranks, so the TILTx2 rave is this Saturday. Call 579-1999.
Minianka tribal rhythms made with traditional African instruments (including my fave, talking drum) will be brought to Earth and taken back where they came from when Yaya Diallo conducts workshops this weekend.
The Mali, West Africa, drummer/dancer/mystic/author will be hands-on Saturday and Sunday. Call 460-3665 or 460-3206 for details.
Those Holy Terrors play tomorrow (Friday) at Squeeze and on Saturday at the Zoo.
Hey, let's do some lines. These are things that have been said, mostly to me, recently. "Incoherence is your only defense" A Steven "Weavin'" Almond. "You have nothing compelling to say, you're just compelled to say something" A my wife. "Catch it and stroke it and you'll get it to go down" A a March Madness basketball commentator on teevy (I picked Florida vs. Arkansas as the championship game and also had Duke making the Final Four.). "Love versus money, love wins" A Twisted Tina on behalf of Mr. Twister. "Our moshing music columnist would rather get shot in the head than die of Natural Causes" A XS magazine. "Never is forever" A me.
The Fort Lauderdale Seafood Festival takes place all weekend and sounds like a blast A a bunch of great musicians and, well, seafood, the best food there is. Call 463-4431.
Maybe I'm just taking a piss in fortune's sweet kiss (is that Springsteen's line?) but I'm ready for a bus ride to nowhere and remembering still Bukowski, he'll never die because he wrote it down. Now Choirboy, in sympathy I guess, is feeding me Denis Johnson like pablum, just to hold on, and here's a piece of dialogue from a story called Steady Hands at Seattle General, included in Johnson's book Jesus' Son. One hospital patient, the narrator, Johnson I guess, is shaving the face of another patient:
"Someday people are going to read about you in a story or a poem. Will you describe yourself for those people?"
"Oh, I don't know. I'm a fat piece of shit, I guess."
"No. I'm serious."
"You're not going to write about me."
"Hey. I'm a writer."
"Well, then, just tell them I'm overweight."
"I been shot twice."
"Once by each wife, for a total of three bullets, making four holes, three ins and one out."
"And you're still alive."
"Are you going to change any of this for your poem?"
"No. It's going in word for word."
"That's too bad, because asking me if I'm alive makes you look kind of stupid. Obviously I am."
"Well, maybe I mean alive in a deeper sense...."
The great writer (and friend) Rafael Navarro sent a postcard from Land's End in England. He intends to marry in the fall and is eating all kinds of weird food in Cornwall. The great band (and friends) the Goods sent a postcard from New Orleans, the tour was going great, and "we saw the ghost of the Boss hanging out barefoot in an alley on Sixth Street in Austin, Texas." Michael Kennedy, scheduled to host this Sunday's Wide Open Mike at Squeeze, sent me a bunch of Rooster Head outtakes and some incense, both of which I'll tell you more about in the future. For now I just wanted to say thanks.
They let me and my New Times colleagues play roundball in their adult b-ball league, and they offer many other activities, for young and old, so I'm going to plug the Southwest YMCA. Softball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, all kinds of stuff goes on there and they're great people. Call 'em at 665-3513.
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Butthorn of the week: Mo Morgen, owner of MoJazz Cafe. Happy first anniversary, hope there are many more. Congrats on winning Best Jazz Club in "Best of Miami." Now shut the fuck up. Mo wrote a note to me and Bob Weinberg thanking us, noting that his being a pain in the butt yet still winning made him even prouder of the honor. Then he added, "Whoever wrote that piece hasn't been at MoJazz since last September. 80 percent of the bar has a clear view of the stage and the other 20 percent can see the stage using the wall mirror. This is a disservice to us and the public to tell them something so untrue and will keep many people away." The person who wrote that item A I won't identify him or her A was at the club two weeks before. Several of my friends, including my wife, have been to MoJazz since. Hey, it's the best jazz club in Miami. What do you want?
The media circus: The new scrape, number eleven, is out. Get it, read it, then you'll get it. The other night I was going home on the bus, reading Denis Johnson. I looked up and realized I'd gone about two miles past my stop. As I got off I told the driver, "Damn, man, I missed my stop because I was reading." He told me something profound: "Don't read."
Pet corner: I'm not even going to try to interpret this, just let it flow, a written message from Velvet and Nails, playing Captain Jimmy's as noted above, about that guitar-playing rodent pictured herein: "This is our band mascot, Mr. Reuben Kinkaid Hamster. He loves to climb onto Frankie's guitars and pluck at the strings...the funny thing is, he plucks them so hard (like Hendrix) that you can actually hear notes coming through. The really funny thing is that we named him after the Partridge Family's booking agent and in the ten and a half months we've had him our bookings have doubled.... Thanks for having 'Pet corner.' I think it's cool you care about the underdogs...I contacted ARFF and PETA." Thank you Velvet and Nails, Tiffinni and Frankie, and Reuben. And by the way, the name of the dog on the Partridge Family teevy show was Simone. Just thought I'd throw that in for you trivia buffs.
Bonus: This past Friday Lenny "Large" "Geedo" Pronesti packed it up and hit the road to God's country 'cause Indiana wants him. Bless you my friend, for everything, from that fine cognac-soaked Cuban cigar to allowing me to work the grill to the whiskey and everything else at that two-day-long farewell party and all those Causes shows and those Road nights and the rides. All those rides A we're going to Homestead! Because of you there were many times I didn't have to take the bus but was on it anyway.