I got home from work, put on Bad Religion's new one, Stranger Than Fiction. One of my brothers, Rog, a heavy-equipment operator, knocked on the door. "Bro," he says when I let him in, "I came within an inch today." A friend of ours, one of his co-workers, had knocked down a live power line, nearly killing several people. Then the phone rang. It was JB, a close friend of mine for more than twenty years. His mother, Emily Winkelmann, had just died, at age 73. All of us called her Big E, but not in a mean way A rather as a term of endearment, a nickname. A former Marine who served during World War II, she often cast herself as the villain, yelling at us for something or another, but we were the screwups, and no one didn't like her. Some of us argued with her, made fun of her, but in our hearts we never held any enmity. And often her kindness knew no bounds. She made the best stuffed cabbage you could ever dream of. I remember one time, many years ago, sitting with her and going through her old scrapbooks. I remember a lot of things. She will be missed in my neighborhood.
Up at Musicians Exchange tonight (Thursday), two cool bands, Live Bait and the Kazuals, take stage.
How much suffering could be alleviated, how much death could be postponed, if people had free access to marijuana? Too much. The weed would only save the friggin' planet. On Saturday at Churchill's Hideaway, bands such as Natural High, Smoking Toad, Da Tribe, and the Baboons perform at the University of Miami's Hemp Awareness benefit concert. Be there or die.
I can't be bought (for less than a beer), just tell me what you want plugged and I'll tell the eight or nine idiots who read this alleged column. And be careful -- you take a real risk when you say that if I plug your band here, you'll play free at my next party. That could get you banned from this space. A new band threatening or promising to play my next party free if I plug them, Red Road, plays at Stephen Talkhouse on Sunday with the Baboons and Second Coming.
And speaking of banned from this space, those snotty little punks whose asses I'm still going to kick, the Holy Terrors, cause trouble tonight (Thursday) at Rose's.
The craziest band from the old country I've seen in my life, Limpopo, plays on Wednesday at the Talkhouse, with I Don't Know. I saw Limpopo on Star Search (don't ask me how I came to be watching that) A they play bizarre instruments, dance like monkeys that ate spiked bananas, and generally make for fun. My editor says he even saw them on a Kit-Kat candy bar commercial. But I don't eat that junk.
So, no more Friday-night concerts at Squeeze, huh? Tomorrow (uh, Friday) Atlantic recording artists Collapsing Lungs play a concert at Squeeze.
Recipe of the week: I know it's a pathetic apathetic attitude, but I kinda think that if the animal is dead anyway, I might as well eat it. In France, it's not uncommon that people save the blood of the chickens they murder, cook the blood and some garlic into pancakes, and then use those in other recipes such as salad and a type of omelette. In that spirit, I offer one of my favorite dishes: Buy a package of chicken guts (available at most grocery stores in packages of about one pound and at a cost of about one dollar). Do not buy chicken livers. Buy guts (gizzards), and, if you can get them, hearts. Wash thoroughly and drain. Heat (on medium) a large skillet. Combine in any way you like any of the following: butter, olive oil, vegetable oil, bacon drippings. Pour a layer about a quarter inch thick into the pan, add the guts. Mince fresh garlic (two or three cloves -- live a little, it's good for ya) and toss it over the guts, then chop or slice about half an onion and toss that in, too. Season with Old Bay and black pepper. Cook the gizzards, stirring often, until they are gray in the center. Serve with a variety of hot sauces and some sort of bread, or, my preference, potato chips. Enjoy.
Tonight (Thursday) the Nicoteens smoke at the Talkhouse. Long ago they were known as Screaming Iguanas of Love, and folks, they rock. Also at the Talkhouse, on Saturday, folk great and fine fisherman Bill Morrissey.
This week's guest on the Danny Jessup Show is Matt Sabatella.
The Partners for Youth Talent Showcase (Saturday at 8:00 p.m. at the Joseph Caleb Auditorium) looks like a winner: G-Bop, Michael Rosario, Shades of Passion, Fab-Ski Culture, Horizon, Chris Brazzle, Antasia, Iman Jeffrey, Jaz, Gary Tennyson, Interlude, and Steven Watkins are the competitors for the $500 top prize, with special guests In Total Control, Angelo Camponi, Live in Color Dance Troupe, and O'Grady and Black Magic also performing. And there's something called Disco Dayz with China Doll on the bill.
On Wednesday jazzers Richie Cole and Turk Mauro join with Tony Castellano, Danny Burger, and Lew Berryman at the Musicians Exchange.
The great saxman and Geraldo sidekick Leo Casino has a new tape out, Nine Steps from the Sun. Casino says that when he visited Jamaica, he didn't want to come home, and the eight-song release includes a tune named after the island nation as well as doses of Jah-make-ya influence (a cover of "My Girl" done up reggae style, for example). There's plenty of funk, too. Recorded at the Studio, the tape features fine backing by the Florida Players and groovy production (especially considering it cost about $500 to make). "Rat and Looch," says Leo, "those guys are the best, man. Can you imagine what this town would be like without them?" No. Casino says he intends to donate half of the proceeds to Rev. Clennon King's church. And as for Geraldo, Casino expects to make his third appearance on the show for a Halloween episode. "Maybe I can get a permanent spot, like Ed McMahon on Johnny Carson."
Mr. Tasty and the Bread Healers play a free show tonight (Thursday) at the Gallery of the Unknown Artists. The following Thursday they play Rose's.
Sixo and Milk Can play their first Broward show on Sunday for Squeeze's Wide Open Mike. The following Sunday, Michael Kennedy headlines a tribute to John Lennon, who is dead. (The guy who shot him hasn't been slayed yet.)
Butthorn of the week: JCPenney, for pitching life insurance through a form letter that didn't quite work out in my case, me being a Miamian and all: "Gregory M. Baker, it's a sad fact that accidents can happen anytime, anywhere...without warning. Even in MIAMI."
The media circus: Vietnam was called the living room war thanks to nightly news reports of the carnage. The Gulf War was called the teevy war thanks to constant feeds broadcast live. And now we have Haiti, the first war that ever was fought entirely, completely, totally in and by the media. There's no need for bombs and bullets, diplomacy and invasion. The president announces that the U.S. has some problem with some foreign nation, and we leave the rest to Dan Rather and CNN and the others. I love it. People don't get killed.
Pet corner: I hate animals and eat nothing except meat, but I'll plug the following event because the name of the participating catering restaurant -- Alive and Well (in Davie) -- ties in to this week's theme. The event itself, to take place on Sunday at noon at Tree Tops Park (3900 SW 100th Ave., also in Davie), is the World Farm Animals Day luncheon presented by the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (968-7622). See, the thing is, six billion farm animals are abused and slaughtered each year. It says here they're crowded, deprived, mutilated, suffocated, and manhandled. The meat industry contributes to heart disease, world hunger (the grains cows eat could be consumed by humans), and environmental devastation (like the destruction of rain forests). Who cares? Let's get to the (ahem) meat of the matter: vegetable "sushi," tofu nuggets, stromboli, salad, eggplant rolatini, blackened ravioli, wild mushroom Wellington, bread with herb butter, fruit cobbler. The stuff of life.