Program Notes 24

Near the end of some of his live shows Steve Forbert sings about how "you cannot win if you do not play." Being a certified loser, I wouldn't know. In the summer season of the Southwest YMCA basketball league, the New Times team won its conference and played last Thursday night in the league championship game. We were up against an undefeated, and extremely talented, team called Executive Car Care. Not that we don't have our own guns -- in fact, even though we lost, our point guard, Frank "Franchise" Tomasino, was named the league's Most Valuable Player. Pat "Choirboy" Flood, with purple welt shining beneath his left eye, and Kirk "Make It Simple" Semple pounded inside; Todd "Sloppy Joe" Anthony played one of the best games of his career, which is saying a lot; Richard "Rich" Santelises provided additional offensive spark; and Steve "Nut" Almond contributed his usual ferocious defense. It took us to the championship, but we lost. Thanks to all our friends at the Y A much-maligned scorekeeper Jerry Suarez, his brother Jesse, all the referees, and especially those who came out to watch and cheer us on. Even if we are losers. Until next season.

All you can do is laugh. Monique, the big-boobed comic who's truly funny, appears at 1060 Laughs tomorrow (Thursday) through Sunday. And speaking of 1060 Laughs, my friend Betsy Wise, who works there, just underwent an emergency appendectomy. Get better, kiddo.

Before I get outta here for my emergency lobotomy, a few shout-out thanks to friends: Miami Herald movie critic Bill Cosford, my mentor when I was starting out in this sick business by working at the daily, who I called to check a simple fact. I left him a message, and when I reached him the next morning he had not only given the minor question much thought, he had gone through years of history in computer files, just to help me out. The guy's solid. And Lenny Large who took my wife and me out for munchies and lots of beer and live jazz the other night. Had a blast, babe. And Brother Chuck for treating us to clams and oysters and lots of beer the other day. And Rafael for the funky postcard from London, Nicole for the funky postcard from Scotland, Billy for the funky postcards from Houston or Mexico or wherever he sent them from.

I thought Load manager and Off the Beaten Path host Bob Slade was a friend, but he's peeved at me. "What's with all these dog pictures? Why don't you use that space to run photos of bands, or at least something relevant?" Don't worry, Slademan, no more dog photos. What do you think this is, some kind of game?

I'm not sure if Laurie Hibberd is a friend or not, and I would never waste this space to respond to a letter to the editor, but since she phoned me and seems vaguely interested in New Times, I'll add to the debate she fostered. In a recent feature about Load, the band's drummer, Fausto, attempted to explain why the punk group gets no mainstream media coverage, like maybe on Laurie's "The Buzz." She's afraid of us, Fausto suggested, because "we'd rape her." In her letter Laurie noted that there's nothing funny about rape, which is true. She noted that female New Times employees should be outraged. First of all, Fausto wasn't talking about rape, and he wasn't speaking literally. He was saying that Laurie must think that way about Load, must be afraid of them even though there's no good reason to be afraid, because it's not like they would rape her or something. Bob Slade says Fausto's own wife found the comment amusing and telling. I received a note from one female New Times worker who insists, "It was a joke. Laurie needs to get a life." Can't we all just hug?

October 9 is girls night out at Churchill's Hideaway, with Lunachicks, Demonomacy, and Jack Off Jill. Oh, great, now I'm a sexist 'cause I called 'em girls. You just can't win.

This Friday at Squeeze the Baboons will attempt to deflate arguments that they aren't a "real band." The poetry/percussion-heavy gang will plug in the amps and play electric for the first time. With Nick Spicer (Sun Ra, Charles Mingus) working sound, I bet they pull it off big time. There'll be lots of in-progress art and good food, too.

Culture -- one of the all-time great reggae bands -- pops into Stephen Talkhouse this Sunday. That's an amazing booking.

My old friend Valerie Caracappa, along with Jabberwocky, gets funny at the Unitarian Universalist Society on Saturday. Larry Benson opens the 8:00 p.m. show. Call 279-8100.

Okay, one dog gets in. Before the big Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg show, I called Fantasma to make double sure the show would happen, considering the murder allegations against Dogg and all. "It's definitely gonna happen," my Fantasma friends assured me just a few days before they faxed in the cancellation notice.

The mighty Le Coup drops in Saturday at the Edge.
The new issue of scrape is out, and the cool Rush cover alone is worth the price of a copy. It's free.

Mind Mural heals all wounds tonight (Wednesday) at Plus 5.
Bobby Ramirez and his jazz trio play Saturday night at the Miami Beach Ocean Resort (3025 Collins Ave.) to help raise money for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Call 819-9685.

Lots of cool stuff coming up at Musicians Exchange: Melodic Rape (Laurie Hibberd's fave band) tonight (Wednesday), Natural Causes with Broken Spectacles tomor-row (Thursday), and Third Wish on October 7.

Butthorn of the week: Loren Gallo at Stephen Talkhouse nominates me for declining to judge the finals of the Tanqueray talent contest, which took place last night at the club. I was happy to help my booze-making friends last year, when the finalists came from New Orleans, Orlando, and Tallahassee. This year the three groups were all from South Florida, and I felt unqualified to judge them. They're my friends for crying out loud.

The media circus: Recall all the hype here about the second pop-music gun the Herald was hiring to co-crit with my friend Leonard Pitts? My friend Steve Sonsky, Herald features boss, phoned Friday night to fill us in: The new guy -- told ya it'd be a guy! -- is Fernando Gonzalez from the Boston Globe. He specializes in international and jazz music and will also scribe about mainstream stuff. He begins in mid-November.

Pet corner: The Bachelor Book throws a singles party to raise money for Adopt-A-Pet this Saturday at the East 50th Rock and Roll Cafe. Call 341-8801. Years ago in this column I called for the murders of the subhumans who dumped stray cats at the patio of Tobacco Road. Then I found out from a Road employee, my good friend Susan, that I was an idiot. The kitties had been born there. My friend Ron Mann took one of the kittens home, named him Max Superfly Orange Guy. He's now four years old (Max, not Ron). That's winning.

P.S. This really is the last "Program Notes." (Until next season.)

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Greg Baker