My dad taught me that. My parents taught me to grow.
Back to organic gardening. Even with the nuclear summer I'm still harvesting magnum yellow habaneros that blow away the Yucatan's best in size, shape, texture, and hotness. Even Zap had to spit and rinse after putting a microdot in his mouth.
It's the end of a world we once knew. Yardbird, among the last hard-core vinyl record stores, a place to find blues, jazz, R&B, Latin, soul, reggae, opera, punk, ska, et al. is closing its doors at 6344 Bird Rd. with a 40 percent off everything (including memorabilia, books, ephemera) sale beginning this Sunday. The legendary Michael Dean and the Cynic hope to find a new location down the road. If you listen to music, you should know of Michael Dean. In fact you should take him to lunch at Cooper's. Even if you don't know him, you probably owe him. He quietly contributed to Miami's musical growth in ways beyond the capabilities of this space to describe. I saw him at jazz fests and rock shows, though I never heard him play his accordion. One scenester describes him as "Mahatma Gandhi meets Noel Coward."
Primarily dirt. They call us dirt people and if you aren't careful and a little brave, the media industrial complex will co-opt you, or at least what you do. I started with dry muck my brother Chuck gets me wholesale, delivered. Brother Roger, a heavy equipment operator who digs this stuff, explained the nature of the muck. You must know your dirt. Zap, whose garden last year yielded boatloads of jalape*os and other good green stuff, turned me on to a connection for free, composted horse manure so sweet and with straw, too. My other brother, Doug, hooked me up with sand and a hand.
After two great CDs and countless live shows that exploded like ammonium nitrate, Cell 63 breaks up with a farewell show on Saturday at Cheers.
The other day my wife found an old nigh-blind poodle stumbling around in the middle of Calle Ocho. We have eight cats. She took the mutt to our house, tracked its owner through its license, and returned it to its home.
The weekend of May 20-21 made a few of us proud. Arlan Feiles signed a recording contract with Island Records. He was working with Tom "The Legendary Tom" Dowd under a development deal, and on the day before his 26th birthday, Arlan (he's dropping the last name for professional purposes because almost everyone either misspells or mispronounces it anyway) signed the big deal ("Uh," Arlan told me live on radio that night, "the deal is that we'll be making some records"). Then, on Sunday, a blowout party at manager Keith Schantz's attended by many proud people, including Arlan's family, who flew in from Los Angeles. Then, Arlan solo and with his band live at Rose's. I was there. I saw it. I heard it. Jon Landau has not seen the future of rock of roll.
Tommy F. (penner of that volatile cover story re: the demise of the Stephen Squawkhouse) assures me that Churchill's Hideaway is still open. Tomorrow (Friday) it's Harry Pussy. On Saturday enjoy a big party with a number of top bands. (See "Clubs.") Go to Churchill's and have a beer with the legendary Dave Daniels. Someday even Churchill's will be gone.
Open also is Tobacco Road, where tonight (Thursday, June 1, Marilyn Monroe's birthday) you can hear Arlan with band (Joel Schantz, Derek Murphy, Sean "Art" Gould), plus opening act Bro's of Different Mo's, all of this courtesy of sponsor -- wait, I don't do plugs. (Okay, it's Pete's Wicked Ale, which I chase with a Bud.) Beast and Baker host (you know us from our radio show on Saturday at midnight on WAXY-AM , don't you?) after we finish mixing muck, sand, peat, horse manure, et cetera. Arlan also performs live tomorrow (Friday) and Sunday at Rose's. His Island debut is slated for a fall release.
Sprinkle cornmeal on your garden if you have trouble with cutworms, the biggest pests this side of journalists. The cutworms eat the cornmeal, which they can't digest. When they take in water, they explode. (I'm not kidding.) This also happens to some journalists.
One of the best rock bands to grace South Florida for the past five years, Halo, is taking their Picasso Trigger Is Dead! album title to its literal conclusion. They play their last show June 10 at Cool Beans in North Miami.
Where? Coral Gables? Yep, a major bluesfest organized by Mozart Stube this Sunday, free. Roach Thompson Blues Band, Fleet Starbuck and his crew, SoBe Blue, Lynne Noble, and Piano Bob and the Snowman deliver the music. Call 446-1600.
Shout out to my national correspondents: Lenny the Pro and Susie in Indiana, Ben and Nancy in Detroit, Chris Johnny Punk Rock Potash and D. in New Yawk/San Fran, Brother Noel and D. in Gainesville, the Hood, and all you bands and friends that sent me postcards from all over the world.
Butthorn of the week: Old news, but I saved it. Gary Busey. The herbs and mushroom salad sounds like a tasty lunch, but the coke's gotta go. I mention this mainly because it was Busey who coined the word butthorn in some movie, the title of which I'll never remember and couldn't locate even with the help of Todd Anthony.
The media circus: Speaking of T and hitting the threes, the New Times basketball team has had an eventful season so far this year. In our first game, newcomer Robert Powell, hired from XS, went into the game, scrambled for a loose ball on his first play, and got his head busted wide open when he slammed his face into the floor. These Broward guys have to realize this ain't no pussy game. We still have Pat "The Worm" Flood in the middle and Funky Daddy Frank at the point, Steven and Kuhk, not to mention our good players. Basketball and rock and roll. Can I have two religions, or does that count as one?
Pet corner: Congrats to Ron and Sue. Get God on the job, Julie. Hey Greg S., this call's for you, not me. Nice editing job on this alleged column Jim F. Mullin. (Bet Mullin doesn't even remember the essence of that joke: When he was hired here more than seven years ago, he was introduced to staff by one of the owners of the corporation as "Jim Mullin, but you'll be calling him 'fuckhead' soon enough." So we bought a classified ad for "Jim F. Mullin.") Big thanks to the music and the real dogs: Roxy, Kina, and the stray you drive by today. I still can't believe they named a dog after me A Kina Baker, what a joke. Life's a joke, and jokes are good things, not bad. Sorry, I have to grow now. No jokes this time. For once this really is the last "Program Notes" for me. Peace.
(Just kidding about the "peace.