22 August 2006


A fat envelope between my doors held five copies of the new issue of sub-Terrain, plus a cheque for 50 bucks. It's nice to see "Hunkamooga" emblazoned across the top of the magazine's back page. It's nice to have a regular column again. It's nice to actually get paid for my writing, even if it is such a modest amount. I'm 47 years old and I'm excited at getting $50 for 1,000 words.

Go figure.

In other news, on Saturday I met my shrink outside his building (well, the building that contains his office), and he was wearing a harmonica-holder around his neck. He told me he was going to play me some songs upstairs. So, up in the office, he stood in front of me, fitted a harmonica into the holder, picked up an acoustic guitar, and played Phil Ochs' "Love Me, I'm a Liberal" (with some cool Toronto-specific lyrics added) and Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice It's Alright." He was amazing. He could really sing. As an added treat, he rounded it off with a 1951 song by David Levy, who he said was "a nice Jewish boy." The song was called "Sigmund Freud." It was pretty damn funny, but it didn't show off my shrink's voice as well as the Ochs and the Dylan.

Speaking of Zimmermans, I recently received a wonderful gift in the mail from the wife of Roy Zimmerman, a comedy-political-folk singer-songwriter from California. I got the gift because Melanie had just found out that it had been I who named Zimmerman's listserv fans: the Roi Polloi. Anyway, this disc is a Best Of from Zimmerman's former group, the Foremen. I'll write in more detail about it later. It's a wonderful record (as bipeds of my generation call music-bearing discs).

Speaking of music, I'd been avoiding buying any for a while, but last week had a bit of an old-fashioned CD blitz. Picked up Chinatown by the Be Good Tanyas (so far don't like it as much as their masterpiece first album); Master of Disaster by John Hiatt (which is way better than it looks, with its Mexican-wrestler cover art); Bananamour by Kevin Ayers (though I already have it on vinyl, along with just about everything else he's recorded); the fifth American Recordings disc by Johnny Cash (which I think will be unbearably sad, so I haven't listened yet, because I don't want unbearably sad); and a disc by Miranda July. Gotta be in the right mood for just about all those platters. The John Hiatt sounds good on the car stereo, though: John Hiatt always does.

O Beach Boys, the summer's nearly over and I wonder where it's gone.

Over and out.


At August 22, 2006 8:55 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

note: cash amarican V is not as depressing as it is "even," however even makes the lows less low, the highs less high and although overall i like it better than "the man comes around" it isn't as stimulating or interesting or deep or depressing as it's predecessor. that said, "if you could read my mind" never sounded more poignant and multi-layered, and his own "i came to believe" steals the show. the accompaniment is always tasty and surprisingly complex in it's simplicity. no worries, stu. dive right in.

At August 23, 2006 6:10 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

speaking of phil ochs, i remember seeing him in vancouver (1969) at the first ever (yep, that's right) greenpeace benefit concert (they were brand new way back then) which also included chiliwack, james taylor and his new flame joni mitchell. joni was debuing songs from her soon to be released "blue" album (my personal fave). the highlight of the evening was a double encore of "the circle game" featuring everyone on the bill including manager peter asher (formerly of peter and gordon). as for phil, he was one of the best ever protest singer/songwriters (although he preferred to be called "topical"), heir to woody guthrie, and that night he proved it. apparently, the FBI had a 410 page file on the guy (j. edgar crossdresser must have hated him for his humanity). too bad his mpd and bi-polar disorder helped contribute to his eventual undoing (hanging). now, there's a sad tale, yet a classic case study for your shrink.

p.s. love your photos steph.

At August 23, 2006 6:20 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

bytheway, my fave john hiatt tune is "icy blue heart" as sung by emmylou harris (while bonnie riatt sings backup) on her most xcellent "bluebird" recording which also features great songs by rodney crowell, tom rush, the mcgarrigle sisters and johnny cash.


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