Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Power of Vinyl

As a child of the 1970s (or at least an adolescent, being born in 1960), being a music geek meant you had many, many vinyl albums, EPs and 45s (I was even a member of the SubPop Singles Club) before cassettes, CDs and eventually digital music changed things. I still have thousands of pieces of vinyl here at our house and at my mother's house. It didn't help that I worked at Cavage's at the Seneca Mall for a while.
Although I ended up replacing a lot of that vinyl music, there are more than enough albums that I never was able to replace and missed hearing as I slowly moved to cassettes and CDs. Not having the physical space to store all of my vinyl for years didn't help in listening to a lot of it, either. But leave it to having a serious and seriously talented DJ, writer, artist and friend such as Mark Wisz for convincing me of the value still existing in my vinyl collection; in the last few months, more and more of it has made its way to the Hosey-Dunne Estates and to my turntable.
I've bragged about some of the music I've been listening to recently, but tonight has been an absolute blast because I have listened to two albums and am currently listening to a third album that I absolutely loved and haven't heard in their entirety in years. I started off with "Album" by Flipper, featuring 7 minutes and 45 seconds of "Sex Bomb," then listened to the Tom Robinson Band's "Power in the Darkness," and playing as I write this is "The Right to Be Italian" by Holly and the Italians.
I'd like to write more, but the music is calling me.

Sounding Good, Looking Awful

A couple of Saturdays ago, Val and I had come home from either an art opening or a concert and were in that period where we weren't ready to go to bed but didn't want to start watching a movie or something we had recorded to DVR.
While she proceeded to use her laptop, I switched on the television and started to channel surf, which, if she isn't online, really annoys the lovely Val. If I find nothing interesting (and because of Val's place of work, we get just about everything), I turn to the "Retro-Active" channel on Music Choice.
Well, VH-1 saved me here, as it was doing a live weekend; I turned there in the middle of a live Cure concert from either late 2007 or early 2008. The music sounded really good, and Robert Smith's voice was excellent, still showing a good range, hitting all of the high notes without cracking and just really impressing me. On the other hand, when the camera came in for closeups, Smith, wearing his trademark black clothing, white facial makeup with black eyeliner and lipstick, looked way too close to Heath Ledger's Joker in "The Dark Knight."
I mean, wow, it was bad.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Missing the Missing Planes

This is a late apology to Michele Buono, Matt Barber and Tommy Stanford of the Missing Planes, whose recent CD release party for their double EP release at Mohawk Place, "Leaving the Scene," we were not able to attend.
The Missing Planes are an excellent band and their invitation to the shindig, an imitation airline boarding pass, was very entertaining and clever. We hope to catch up with the band soon.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cat Got My Tongue, Er, Keyboard?

So, it's Monday morning, this weekend was rather busy, and I don't seem to have any interesting, entertaining or pithy remarks to lead off the week; sadly, this post included.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Val Stars in Major Arts Weekend

Well, Val is certainly taking part in a major arts weekend starting today, Friday, July 25.
First, she will be participating in the Buffalo Infringement Festival by displaying some of her work as part of the Film Photographers of Buffalo's exhibit at El Museo, 91 Allen Street in Buffalo, with the opening from 6-9 p.m. Friday. The exhibit will run through August 3.
Val will also have a piece of her photography in the Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center members' show, which will have its opening from 8-11 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at Hallwalls, 341 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. The theme will be "Karma Cab Boa," an anagram for Barack Obama.
And something I forgot to mention: Val continues to have five pieces from her successful "Ireland and Spirit" exhibit from last fall/winter on display at Dolci, 732 Elmwood Avenue (at Breckenridge) in Buffalo, throughout the summer.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Do You Like Good Music? Yeah, Yeah

As Val and I drove to her birthday dinner last, night, a song from the past started playing on the radio.
At first, I couldn't remember it, but then it began to come to me; I turned to Val with a broad smile and asked. "Is this 'Sausalito Summernight?'" She laughed "Yes" to my excited state, but I could not remember what band played this early-1980s classic power pop/rock road song.
As soon as we got home, I checked iTunes, and found out the band was Diesel, a European band, and I immediately bought the song.

The Republic Still Stands

Well, it's been a little more than a week, and despite the obvious threat to our government and way of life, the United States of America still exists and operates in a democratic republic manner despite the Barack and Michelle Obama cover of The New Yorker.
It took all of us, humor appreciators and humor deficient, satirists and literalists, left, right, center and wackos, and those of us who subscribe to The New Yorker and those who couldn't find it on a newsstand to work together to get us through this national crisis.
Good job, America.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dear

I want to wish a Happy Birthday to my loving wife, Val (photographer Valerie Dunne to those of you new here), and as you can imagine, posting will be light here for the rest of today.
Unfortunately, neither of us could get the day off of work, so the celebration will start later this afternoon/early evening.

(Back) In the Neighborhood

I forgot to mention it yesterday, but as you can tell, Val, Walker Evans and I are back from our jaunt to the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Region of New York. Val got to work on several photography projects and we all had a needed getaway.
There's lots more to mention about our trip, but yesterday was WAY too busy a day for both of us to allegedly have off (at least no going in to work for either of us), so stay tuned.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

We Are Truly Sorry

Unfortunately, there is one less groundhog in Tompkins County as of Saturday morning, and we do hope his little soul rests in peace.

So Close ... So Close

When Val and I arrived at the place I am writing from, we were shocked and joyed for a moment.
As we pulled in, next door was one of the those combination McDonald's/service stations, and the first sign we saw said $3.99 per gallon; of course, as we got closer, we noted that it actually read "$3.99 per gallon with car wash." But the price for regular otherwise is still $4.09 per gallon, so we will be filling up here shortly and talk/write to you fine readers soon.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh .............

Well, we're in air conditioning, there's a pool very nearby, Walker Evans is comfortably sleeping and Val and I have just filled our stomachs with A&W food and root beer; yay.
And there are Tootsie Pops and Blow Pops for dessert.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Just Get Me Past 4 p.m.

Oh, dear Lord (or who/which/whatever supreme power or being you do or don't believe in), just one more day; just one more day.
This message brought to you by Citizens for the Preservation of Kevin and Val's Sanity and the Coalition for Air Conditioning for Humans and Canines.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys

As part of its Wednesday free concert series, Artpark up in Lewiston will host Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys in what will probably be a great night of Cajun music tonight, Wednesday, July 16.
Unfortunately, I am not sure Val and I will be able to make it up to Artpark tonight; of course, the two shows all summer we really wanted to catch at Artpark are on consecutive nights, as Blue Rodeo played there last night/Tuesday, while Val listened to Gurf Morlix while laying in the MRI tube.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Another Night with the Medical Profession

Val and I will be spending some of our night at Buffalo General Hospital tonight, as she undergoes another MRI as part of her ever-exhilarating MS treatment.
I'll tell you, I don't know how she does it sometimes, keeping up with all of her treatments, photography, work, therapeutic horse riding and everything else without using it as a crutch, but she does.

Hope to See It Live Soon

Like me, you've probably heard about the cover of this week's edition of The New Yorker, which shows presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee U.S. Senator Barack Obama depicted as many of the wrong, intentionally hurtful cliches some of his opponents project and/or believe he is: Moslem, terrorist friend cavorting with the likes of Angela Davis and disrespectful of the flag, county and office of the presidency.
The humorous (although not meant to be hilarious) cover is generating some discussion on the rhetoric and lies of the campaign, and as a subscriber to The New Yorker, I'd sure love to get it soon and see it larger than an inch or two as I have on the Internet and elsewhere.
Unfortunately, this edition won't his my mailbox until Wednesday at the earliest.

Monday, July 14, 2008

As the Birds Started Chirping ...

I got up about 20 minutes early on this Monday morning because I am starting off my week with a bang by going to a doctor's appointment.
It's routine, and is part of a larger story/situation that I have planned to write about but haven't gotten to yet; don't worry, things are turning out fine, although if I have to spend one more way longer than normal appointment at Quest Diagnositcs, I will have my mail sent there.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Music Is Art Festival 2008 Set September 13

It's back in the city, folks; the Music Is Art Festival 2008 is scheduled for 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, September 13, at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo.
The local music shindig, the mastermind of Robbie Takac (Goo Goo Dolls, Good Charamel Records) was held for several years at the same time and in the same neighborhood as the Allentown Arts Festival, until some, er, misguided organizers made it almost impossible to co-exist with. The Festival moved to the Hamburg Fairgrounds for a year but will return to Buffalo this year.
As soon as more information is available, we will have it here for you.

Wishes for a Great Life, Erin and Rand

Val and I want to send all of our best wishes to Erin and Rand as they celebrate their wedding today and start this newest chapter of their lives together. We hope that the rain did not throw off any of their planned celebrations today.

Borderline, and I'm Going to Lose My Mind

I think I really committed a major faux pas today.
A beach party/bonfire was planned at the summer home of the director of the Buffalo Arts Studio, Joanna, and her partner, Kerry, today; Val is a resident photographer and member of the board of directors of the BAS. The party was located in Southern Ontario, and we live across the border and Peace Bridge in Buffalo.
Well, I started last night, and after several more hours of searching today, I was unable to locate either my passport or birth certificate, so obviously, we were not able to even try to cross the border to go to this shindig.
Val has been rather understanding and nice about this, despite my knowing that having helped plan this party and being an artist-elected member of the board, she really wanted to go and have some fun on the beach. I feel really bad about not being able to find my passport and birth certificate, and hate having Val feel bad.
I still cannot find either document, so I will be digging, searching and searching again anywhere and everywhere I can in this house to find them.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Here We Go Again?

As I sit here a 6:55 a.m. Friday morning, I look and listen out the window, and it's raining again; what a surprise.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oui*73 to Perform at Nietzsche's July 11

I have mentioned this before, but it deserves repeating; Oui*73, one of the best bands Buffalo has ever produced (I am not exaggerating), will perform a reunion show Friday, July 11, at Nietzsche's 248 Allen Street in Buffalo. The show will start with the opener, Here Come the Comets, at 10 p.m.
Anyone who read The Hosey Report or other articles I wrote mainly in the 1990s and early 2000s knows that Oui*73 was a great band that I highly and repeatedly praised; their sound was loud, hard but melodic, often blending the power and pop of Oasis with the the dissonance, punch and brittle melodies of bands like Sonic Youth, as well as some rather moody and foreboding lyrics. The band was and is made up of Tony Christiano (also A Potter's Field and now Nancy's Candy) on guitar and vocals, Rich Coffman (former SplatCats and Stitches, current Invisible Choir) on bass and vocals, Holly Ann (Christiano) on guitar and Craig Voigt (former Ramrods) on drums. Oui*73 released two excellent CDs, its debut, "Princess," and later "Sex, Bullets and Fire Engines."
While the band went through a couple of minor personnel shifts and, like all of us during those times, some personal changes and clashes, this lineup was the one that the band kept together for the vast majority, and best, of the time. To be honest, the band got me through a couple of bad/interesting times, as did Tony, who eventually became one of my best friends.
Of course, it wasn't always this way; Tony frequently reminds me of an early review of Oui*73 that was nowhere near as complementary as most of mine were, and although I was living in an apartment building owned by his two uncles, Frank and John Christiano, it took us a few years to meet, because not only did he not even know who I was professionally, he thought I was one of the Soviet immigrants living in his uncle's buildings.
This should be a great rock and roll show Friday at Nietzsche's, so join me in enjoying the hell out of Oui*73 again.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Jamie Lembeck Service Wednesday

A funeral/memorial service for Jamie Lembeck, the arts, music and handicapped community supporter for many years, will be held at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, July 9, at the Unitarian Universalist Church at Elmwood and West Ferry in Buffalo's Elmwood Village.
There have been good pieces on Jamie in several places, including the Buffalo News, Artvoice, John Massier's blog and by Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center Executive Director Ed Cardoni, which is part of Massier's blog entry.

Where There's a Will, There's ... Zzzzzzz

After watching "Antiques Roadshow" and a couple episodes of "Family Guy" last night, Val went upstairs to bed and I followed moments later to get some writing and other stuff done. I actually made it through "Antiques Roadshow" without dozing and I felt pretty energetic.
Of course, I barely made it to the computer before falling asleep and woke up after 11:30 p.m., so besides wasting time, I was groggy as hell and had fallen behind in Walker Evans' dinner preparation.
So, I will have to wait until sometime tonight to get to a couple of topics I had meant to address, including "It's Academic" and Jamie Lembeck's memorial service Wednesday, July 9.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Douchebags in the Neighborhood

It was bad enough that kids and adults in the relatively close neighborhood were shooting off (illegal) fireworks until about 2 a.m. Friday night/Saturday morning, allegedly celebrating Independence Day but mainly disturbing our dog, Walker Evans, and keeping Val and I awake.
Well, as I wrote the previous entry, someone on our street and around the corner decided to shoot off/fire off some firecrackers and other fireworks. I hesitated to yell out the window at them, but I did, knowing that 1)they would set off more fireworks, but 2)that they would probably use up the rest of their stock of fireworks, which it also appears that they did, because of the now-silent neighborhood just 10-15 minutes later.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Mmm ... Chocolate Chip Cookies

While Val and I celebrated our sixth anniversary last week, I have had one 45-year or so relationship that most people who know me are well aware of; I love chocolate.
Chocolate chip cookies are one of the classic vessels for this manna from the gods, and there may be nothing like a great chocolate chip cookie to send me to the heights of food heaven. So I am happy to report that a recent/new cookie has nicely caught my attention.
The Lexington Co-Op has started selling a large, all-natural chocolate chip cookie (as well as a companion vegan cookie I haven't tried yet), and it is excellent. The first time I tried one, the cookie itself was excellent, tasty and moist, and the chips were very chocolatey, but there weren't too many of them. The cookie I bought earlier tonight (on our way home from a wonderful pool/concrete pond party at the home of Richard Kegler and Carima El-Behairy) was all of the above except that there were 2-3 times the chocolate chips in it. This made it so good that after two attempts, I have barely eaten half of the cookie, but I did have some chocolate wood.
While on the topic of the Lexington Co-Op, my favorite current coffee is the organic Sumatran beans I have been getting there. Bold, very flavorful, strong and not bitter; damn, I like it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Independence Day

Val and I want to wish everyone a happy Independence Day and to remember all of the freedoms that we too often take for granted, and yes, that means all of the Constitution and its amendments, and not the vile belief that only the "original" Constitution is valid.
Also, due to my years as a journalist and editor, I am pretty adamant on calling it Independence Day and not July 4 or the Fourth of July, since we celebrate the holiday, not the date.

Good Hold Music? Really?

I was on hold a few days ago with the Rite Aid Pharmacy; I had dropped off two prescriptions there the previous Friday, and while my new one was filled, the old one was not and the pharmacist told me to check back to see if the medication was discontinued or if they could fill it.
So, during my Tuesday callback, I was placed on hold while the pharmacist checked to see if they had any of the medication to fill at least 30 days. Having taken this medication for about 7 years, I was annoyed at the chance that it was discontinued.
Needing something good, I smiled wide when I heard the hold music: "Caravan," by Van Morrison. And talk about perfect timing; as the horns began to fade at the end, the pharmacist returned. Sadly, I am in search of a new medication or medication source.