Program Notes 47

Allow me to explain. My life sucks. And I couldn't be more grateful for it. I regret the past and resent the future and find it impossible to live in the present. But I've got ears and eyes and arms and legs and I've got Heaven, as that butthorn Robyn Hitchcock used to sing. I got this column, for once which I'd like to explain: These are what they call 'em, notes, what happens to me that's important enough (to me) to write down. You, of course, can't be bothered to pen me a note or call me up and cuss me out and tell me what a butthorn I am. It's just not that big a deal, folks. A few more blinks and it'll all be over anyway.

Just to keep things in perspective, we note the passing of Big Mama Blu, one of the true bluesters, all heart and no hubris. Sad to lose a good person and a giver of joy, but cheering to watch the blues community pull together with benefits and tributes.

Open closes at the end of the month. For the newborn, tourists, and space travelers, Open Books & Records is/was one of the coolest record stores in the universe, the way groovy domain of Leslie Wimmer, one of the coolest people in the universe. For more than fourteen years she's been dishing the discs, vinyl really, and staging live music in her store as well. There are many ways to measure the greatness of a music retailer, but let's put it this way: Open had a cat. And a couch. Ms. Wimmer intends to continue selling product (she would never call it "product") by mail order and at record shows. Drop by to say bye and buy music during her close-out sale (until March 17). Leave/get a contact number in case you need a favor, like that special import-only picture disc, in the future. Ah yes, the future. Open is at 44 NW 167th St. (940-8750) until March 31.

No rumor this, a big Marilyn Manson show on Saturday at Plus Five.
Dave Daniels has found the man for the job of hosting Wednesday night open-mike semi-acoustic jams: Mark Snow. I once saw Snow and his past band Soup Town rip the roof right off the Church (maybe this gig is some sort of restitution), and he's getting a hand from Dave Rubinstein of Broken Spectacles, so, don't expect anything. The future is now. (And what does "semi-acoustic" mean? "Electric guitars allowed -- but watch it!") Call Mark at 899-9419 for more info.

Dania Morris gets with Miles Hie and company at the Zoo's acoustic thang tonight (Thursday).

Jose Tillan called to say, yes, it's tahwooo, they're just FtN now, memories of the past (can you have memories of the future?) forgotten. The band plays a true concert with Meester Lara and Arlan What's-his-name at the Colony Theater tomorrow (Friday). Just a reminder in case you forgot last week's mention.

WZZR-FM in Port St. Lucie is debuting this month a radio show -- brace yourself -- that will play Florida-made rock. (There are a few bands in the state that have recorded.) Get some airplay. Get some buzz. Get some. The show, called The 25th Hour, will broadcast only CDs, but if you don't have anything on CD, a nice guy named Dan Gindin might be able to help. Call him at 407-626-4496.

A really good band called Falling Corpses returns to Shortstops tomorrow (Friday) and a band I've never heard of called Electric Fred plays the Kendall club on Saturday.

Tonight (Thursday) Green Day gets hard, with Tilt and Bingomut, at the Plus Five.

It's been raised up and is making a hard run for the mainstream, the snaps, a.k.a. the dozens. One way this is happening is a nifty new book called Snaps, with the unwieldy subtitle "If Ugliness Were Bricks, Your Mother Would Be a Housing Project...And More Than 450 Other Snaps, Caps, and Insults for Playing the Dozens." Besides the fact that your mother is so fat if she sat on a quarter she'd squeeze Dave Barry out of Washington's nose, I wanted to mention this because among the entries in the book is one from Miami's own James T. (for Thomas, of WEDR-FM fame): "Your mother is so fat, when she stepped on the scale it said, 'To be continued.'"

Muse marches into the Stephen Talkhouse tomorrow (Friday).
Everybody's moving. The Purple Grotto will now fill Sunday nights at the Roxy (4000 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). The debut at the new location this Sunday will feature the band reigndance (of MTV's The Real World fame), who are moving to South Florida from New Jersey.

Road up: Rolling, rolling, rolling are the Goods, who'll play the South all month, including a big stop in Memphis for a showcase. And Mary Karlzen leaves tomorrow for Tampa, Macon, Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville, Dallas, Texarkana, Austin, New Orleans...and also returns at the end of the month.

Leo Casino and the Florida Players jam at a supposedly hot new club called Time and Place in Boca Raton tonight (Thursday).

Butthorn of the week: My publisher -- my publisher for crying out loud -- says it's called the People Mover, not the Metromover, but because no one cares, besides Greg Stier, I'll wear it this week.

The media circus: So what is a "butthorn"? Many times in the past I've been asked, and until the present I've declined to say or weaseled out of an explanation or just plain lied. But a while back my main man William Safire of the New Yawk Times wrote an entire column about the word "horny." Safire claims "horn" can be traced to the Latin "cornu...," adding, "This scholarly material is being larded in [to the column] to reassure nervous editors." Good attitude, Bill! Safire also writes that "Standard English has no dirty words." Cool. But for all his semantic flailing, Safire never mentions "butthorn." Apparently the pundit wasn't at Washington Square that night way in the past when I was (dis)honored on stage, paper-crowned and filled with tequila as "butthorn of the year" or somesuch (I remember the bottle of tequila, the worm, and not much else). The Square dudes called it but-thorn, but the proper pronunciation is butt-horn, taken from an old Gary Busey movie, in which, with guns blazing, he screams at some bad guys: "You butt horns!" I stole it from there because I would never use asshole in polite company and because I always attempt to reassure my editors.

Pet corner: I've said it before and I'll say it again and I'll say it as long as animal-rights groups mail me literature and until the victims are no longer blue in the face. Boycott Procter and Gamble. Boycott Comet, Dash, Ivory, Mr. Clean, Tide, Crest, Fixodent, Scope, Head & Shoulders, Safeguard, Zest, Lava, Vidal Sassoon, Bounty, Charmin, Sure, Luvs, Pampers, Vick's, Clearasil, Crisco, Duncan Hines, Folgers, Pringles...but I love Pringles...and all the other many products under the P&G imprimatur. In order to "test" some of its products, P&G brutally and pointlessly tortures mammals. (Humans are mammals, but that's another column.) I think big corps use animal testing so that if they get sued by some injured consumer, they can fall back on the ol' "but we checked it thoroughly, and it didn't blind a rabbit until we poured fifteen ounces directly into its eyes while it was strapped down and couldn't wipe away the pain and...." There is no moral or scientific reason to test such products on living things, especially not in a way that causes immeasurable (but surely severe) suffering. So contact PETA or ARFF and get a complete list of items produced by companies that employ primitive and useless and evil product-testing methods. About those animals: They have no futures and the present is pure hell. Theirs are lives that really suck.

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Greg Baker