August 24th, 2006


Time you're old enough, the honky-tonks will all be gone

The Bride's post this morning on Bob Dylan's radio show linked a couple of songs I didn't think had anything in common: T-Bone Burnett's "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" and the Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane", but on rereading her post I realized that my brain had skipped the V.U. reference and automatically assumed she was talking about the slammin' (parodistic?) live version Lou Reed does on Rock And Roll Animal. But she's not; I vaguely remember hearing the older version and recall that it's actually closer to the Cowboy Junkies' cover, which I hated with a passion since it was so...limp, so drained of energy. Like they were all on smack, which I suppose fit the whole hipster alt-country image they were trying to project.

Anyway, I don't tend to like covers of older tunes, because so many of them are just unspeakably lame in terms of technical merit (and worse, so many of them are live cuts, which just accentuates the problems) but once in a while the remake is actually better than the original. I wonder if my attitude towards remakes is because the "original" got fixed in my head as the "correct" version? That's certainly true about a number of Blue Oyster Cult songs that I first heard live in concert and later off the On Your Feet Or On Your Knees double album; the studio version of "ME 262", for example, just completely lacks the furious energy of the live track. Would I feel differently if I'd heard Secret Treaties first, though? Would the studio track sound more authentic to me now? There's no way of knowing, of course, it's just one of those things that bubbles up occasionally and gets me to thinking.

Not happy, John

Well, after being all buddy-buddy with Dubya these last few years, it looks like the Senior Senator from Arizona decided to take a leaf from the Stalwarts' playbook and stick it to the President on the Iraq War. This kind of attention-whore, media suckup behavior is what put so many of us Republican voters off McCain in the first place, to say nothing of his pissing on the First Amendment, screwing around with judicial nominations, and his grandstanding on torture. It shouldn't surprise anyone who pays attention to either the movement conservatives or the hard libertarians that McCain has next to no support from the GOP base. The only people he's tried to keep happy in his time in Washington are the Washington press corps, and we all know what the base thinks of Helen Thomas & Company. He can try to lock up all the state-level operatives he wants, but when push comes to shove in 2008 he's not going anywhere at the polls.


Some folks are clearly desperate for bodies

I haven't even completed my listing on, which is a job site for aspiring teachers, and already I'm getting e-mails from Alabama, Arkansas and Nevada asking me to consider them as potential employers. I don't even have my damn certification yet!