Friday, September 07, 2007

Raley"s Lifetime Achievement Award

I scanned this CD cover because there are no copies available anywhere (mea culpa, Henry's website has it available for purchase there). This was my "Boston".
Right before Henry did "Shannon" (song about a dog for goodness sake), he released a monster recording that after all this time, had my CD Player today on my trip to Washington. Henry Gross is a fine guitar player, owner of a massive falsetto voice and employing a crack studio band. Even though this album was produced by Terry Cashman, it ranks right up there with Boston's first and Journey's "Infinity" as some of the ballsiest production projects. The phrase I can use to describe this album is crisp, pop music. Sweet guitars, great playing, fun writing has made this album (that is out of print) one of my alltime favorites. Henry Gross may be one of the most underrated guitar players of our time. I am not sure why this cat wasn't a huge star. Sometimes, it's like that, just ask the members of Shooting Star

Thursday, September 06, 2007

R I P Luciano

ROME (AP) - Luciano Pavarotti, opera's biggest superstar of the late 20th century, died Thursday. He was 71. He was the son of a singing baker and became the king of the high C's.
Pavarotti, who had been diagnosed last year with pancreatic cancer and underwent treatment last month, died at his home in his native Modena at 5 a.m., his manager told The Associated Press in an e-mailed statement.

This is one guy who could bring me to tears with a note. We have lost maybe the greatest voice ever. Glad to see his wife, daughters and sisters were there when he passed.

Thirty Years On...

Hey, Vick! Can you believe that I almost forgot what today was? It truly amazes and astonishes me how quickly time flies. Love ya, Dad. Too bad I never heard you say those words to me. Did he ever say that to you, Vick?

Post 900!!! My Dream Job

KUOO-FM, Okoboji’s Information Station is looking for a hard working and ambitious afternoon drive personality for our A/C station in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Live and work in the great Okoboji resort area. The successful candidate must have at least one year live on-air experience.Responsibilities included but not limited to…Air Shift, Production, Remotes, writing scripts, host community events, Produce and execute on-air radio show that is both entertaining and informative to the listening audience. Experience with Cool Edit, STORQ, and Audio Vault a plus. Please send your air check, resume, and references to Marty Spies, PO Box 528, Spirit Lake, Iowa 51360. For more information, call Marty Spies 712-336-5800 or e-mail KUOO is an equal opportunity employer.
In the words of Simon and Garfunkel.."if I could, I surely would.." Very beautiful part of Iowa, but brother does it get cold there. Maybe someday.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Time For A Bit of Culture

Ron Mueck is a London-based photo-realist artist. Born in Melbourne , Australia , to parents who were toy makers, he labored on children's television shows for 15 years before working in special effects for such films as Labyrinth, a 1986 fantasy epic starring David Bowie. Mueck then started his own company in London, making models to be photographed for advertisements. He has lots of the dolls he made during his advertising years stored in his home. Although some still have, he feels, a presence on their own, many were made just to be photographed from a particular angle one strip of a face, for example, with a lot of loose material lurking an inch outside the camera's frame. Eventually Mueck concluded that photography pretty much destroys the physical presence of the original object, and so he turned to fine art and sculpture. In the early 1990's, still in his advertising days, Mueck was commissioned to make something highly realistic, and was wondering what material would do the trick. Latex was the usual, but he wanted something harder, more precise. Luckily, he saw a little architectural decor on the wall of a boutique and inquired as to the nice, pink stuff's nature. Fiberglass resin was the answer, and Mueck has made it his bronze and marble ever since. Ron Mueck's work became world-famous when a poignant sculpture of his dead fathers small, naked body caused shock waves in the Royal Academy's Sensation exhibition in 1997. The attention to detail and sheer technical brilliance of his figures are incredible, but it is Mueck's use of scale that takes your breath away.

His work is lifelike but not life size, and being face to face with the tiny, gossiping Two Women (2005)or the monumental woman In Bed (2005)is an unforgettable experience.

Mueck's huge 4.5m crouching Boy was the centerpiece of the Millennium Dome in London and of the Venice Biennale in 2001. The artist's work is becoming ever more intriguing, ranging from smaller-than-life size naked figures to much larger, but never actual, life size. Consequently his hyper-realistic sculptures in fiberglass and silicone, while extraordinarily lifelike, challenge us by their odd scale. The psychological confrontation for the viewer is to recognize and assimilate two contradictory realities.

My Summer Home

This house looks right out of "The Little House On The Prairie" doesn't it? This is where my grandfather lived when I was growing up on the farm. Just about 4.5 miles out of Ava, Mo in the middle of nowhere. His house had running water (finally) and what we would call electricity. The wood stove provided the heat and the tin roof provided quite the treat in the summer (not). While looking at the picture, to your right would be the outhouse, to your left would be the spring fed cellar. Before you could step in the outhouse, you had to pepper the walls and roof with rocks to scare out the animals that could make your "going" experience very interesting. Behind you would be the swimming pond, always cold and a very inhospitible place to swim especially when the water moccasins wanted to cool off. They would literally look you in the eye when you came up for air. Scary ass shit. We didn't care. This is the house that held great carefree memories of riding bikes or horses and literally being lost in the woods for hours. In May, my cousin Jim would visit from the Quad Cities and we would create the greatest havoc ever imagined(it was to us, anyway). We would spend Sunday afternoons watching Cardinal baseball (that was the ONLY time you got a game on local TV back then). After the game, we would watch some movie that had been shown a hundred times before. It didn't matter because during that movie was when Grandpa Mac would dish out some ice cream. He would take a gallon carton, cut it half and give half to us. We had to eat it right out of the carton and quickly enough so it didn't melt while all the while he would cuss up a blue streak at his percieved lack of acting ability being currently dislayed on that snow filled screen. He actually made up cuss words. August was hard, Jim would leave to go back home and I would have to get used to being alone again. I hated August, maybe still do. There really wasn't much to this place and my kids still don't understand how life could be so hard but yet so full of fun. It's hard to explain how little we had and how much we did with it.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Picture of the Day

Instructions for a fun time on the interstate...............
Step 1. Tie balloons to car.
Step 2. Drive like a bat out of...
Step 3. Watch people freak out!!!!

Roger Lextrait: Eight years alone on South Pacific island

The Private Islands blog has a story about Roger Lextrait, who lived practically alone on a small island in the South Pacific atoll of Palmyra for eight years.
Each day he woke promptly at 5AM, to the calling of a hundred thousand birds. Nowhere else on the planet do these creatures gather in such numbers. After fixing himself a Palmyra Cocktail (1 part Rum, 1 part Red Wine, 1 part Tang), he called up his radio contacts in Tahiti and Honolulu. A shower on the beach in his makeshift bathing system and he was ready for the day. The bath and latrine systems Roger built are still used today by the current research teams that visit the atoll for brief expeditions.
Roger had a variety of things to keep him busy. Not least of which were his 3 dogs TouTou, Blackie, and Padou. He trained them to hunt sharks, helping to keep the predators population under control. Always near were his 2 cats Tiger and DouDouche, and the 2 birds he raised from hatchlings, lovingly named Felix and Oscar.

Experience made him an excellent fisherman, using only a diving knife, fishing net, and spear gun. This was dangerous work as the reef contained a number of less than friendly creatures. Roger had his share of run-ins with everything from sharks to stingrays, but never suffered any serious injuries.

Singing, playing his guitar, and drumming on an old wheel barrel helped him pass the time and keep the loneliness at bay. Despite his best efforts, Roger still describes experiencing intense feelings of depression and despair. “It (Palmyra) is so secluded, so isolate,” he says.


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