Business as usual.
And some leather.
I haven’t worked with leather in many years. I dated a guy who worked at Tandy in the late 90’s, so I caught a little swag in the form of odd scraps and beads and other leather goodies purchased with the help of his employee discount. I recently found a humongous bag full of leather studs and those funky concho thingees at a thrift store for something ridiculous like $6, so I dug the leather out from the back of my closet and got busy for an evening. The studs alone are worth hundreds of dollars – those things were not cheap 20 years ago, I can’t imagine how pricey they are now.
If memory serves, the concho things were popular with the line dancing/pseudo rancher crowd in the latter part of the 20th century, along with lace-up cowboy boots adorned with fringe and, of course, Glamour Shots. Just think, if we could convince those hipsters with skinny jeans and gawdawful neckbeards to lace their floopy scarves into these concho things, we could bring back Ranch Fabulous in an amazing way. And I could make a mint selling them on etsy – seriously, look at what the hipsters did to bacon prices. It couldn’t be that difficult, most of them already think the unkempt truck-driver look is the tippity-top of fashion. I’ll be glad when that fad has passed and clean shaven men (or at least manicured beards) are back in favor.
And some Moonlighting. Ever watch this series? It was on in the late 1980’s and it starred Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd. My step-dad Bruce absolutely could not miss Moonlighting, and I hated it. As a 7 or 8 year old, I found Bruce Willis to be old with a receding hairline, Cybill Shepherd to be old and matronly and Allyce Beasley to be adorably charming. I didn’t get any of the quirk or hilarity, and even the vaudevillian perp chases were lost on me. As an adult, I love this show. I find Bruce Willis as David Addison to be absolutely hunkerriffic, Cybill Shepherd as Maddie Hayes to be astoundingly gorgeous (her clothes, though – not exactly) and Agnes Dipesto’s character to be quite annoying. Funny how things change as you get older. TV totally blows chunks now. Change isn’t always so good.
In other news, I pay way too much for crappy cable. I’m sure everybody does, but that isn’t my point. In this crappy cable package I get channels 1-24, almost all of which suck, plus some other random stuff somewhere between channels 25-2000. On the latter end of the dial are several music channels. No music videos, mind you, but songs are played while photos of the band members and trivia and occasional ads flash across the screen. Even MTV doesn’t show music videos anymore, just rehashes of whatever new absurdity popped up on YouTube that day. (There you have it: the cheapening of everything in one prime example.) You can have your pick from R&B, reggae, oldies, “alternative” and loads of other genres. Today’s alternative is not the same as it was 20 years ago; for that type of “alternative” you have to tune in to the “indie” channel. I don’t like most of what’s on there either, but every once in a while they play something good.
Kim Gordon’s “Murdered Out” from 2016
As a long-time Sonic Youth listener, I’m thrilled. I can’t wait to hear more from Kim Gordon solo. I never quite knew what to think of Kim Gordon when I was younger, in the pre-internet era. I tried to imagine her face while smoking cigarettes in dim light with my friends as “Kool Thing” droned out of my old boom box. In the few photos I saw of her she seemed older than most of the people making that kind of music at that time, and I wondered what her story was. Now that I have internet, I can finally know. Turns out she’s just a dedicated artist and musician and is my mother’s age. However old you are, you’re never too old to noisily rock out.
Iggy Pop: Post Pop Depression (2016)
So, it’s 2016. What’s an elderly punk star to do? Release an album, duh, and prance around shirtless with the energy of a 30 year old on the stage of Austin City Limits. My first awareness of Iggy Pop was the song “Candy” featuring Kate Pierson (from the B-52’s) in the early 1990’s. Later on that decade, it was “Lust For Life” featured in the movie Trainspotting. In other words, I’ve never been a die-hard Iggy Pop fan, but always had respect. I was surprised and pleased to hear something a bit different from Iggy Pop late one evening when I tuned into the indie channel. Something titled “Sunday”: something a bit Saturday night fever kinda funky that ended with a fancy orchestral ensemble. I had to hear more, so off to Google Play Music I went. Why was I not surprised to find Josh Homme’s name in the credits? Josh Homme is my favorite rock star, probably because he isn’t just a rock star surrounded by parties and babes. He’s a serious musician who turns every project he touches into solid gold rock. Post Pop Depression is no exception, even considering Pop’s signature (in my opinion, a bit awkward) lyrical style. I need to check out the other guys who contributed to this album.
If you know anything about Yoko Ono at all, you know she’s pretty weird. Considering the misogynistic and racist BS she endured as John Lennon’s wife, it’s understandable… but really, though, I think she was already weird. And that’s okay! Some folks might not be aware that Double Fantasy was not the extent of her musical career. Yoko is still getting down like a kicked chihuahua with her son Sean and just about any other established musician who feels like throwing their hat in. My favorite one from this album is Cheshire Cat Cry, as it has a distinctly post-punk feel to it. By the way, I didn’t hear this one on the indie channel – I heard it on my favorite local radio station, 91.7 The Spy.
And then there was a song by Ty Segall, and I heard only enough of it to be curious so I googled him and found a mention of him making a video about something called “emotional mugging”. Instead of going straight to that video, I just googled emotional mugging and stumbled onto the website of one Martha Beck. The first few sentences of Beck’s Emotional Mugging article showed in the google search results, and the cynic in me thought “here we go… I know I’ll feel like posting something like “is this a joke?” in the comments section, but won’t, since I’m not that much of a cynical jerk. Or an emotional mugger, as it were.”
But in keeping with my vow to give everything (and everyone) a chance to prove itself worthy of serious consideration, I clicked on the link and read it. Then I read several of her other articles. I have to say, for a self-help type of person, Martha Beck is somewhat atypical. Her message is very easy to grasp, probably because her writing style is conversational and humorous. She’s quite likeable, you probably won’t feel like she’s telling you what to do. I haven’t noticed her using words like “narcissist” or “sociopath”, which, in my humbly unprofessional opinion, are inappropriately bandied about too frequently these days. The more of Martha Beck I read, the more I like her. I feel like she’s giving practical advice, ways to deal with people as they are, rather than diagnosing anyone or encouraging people to drag their loved ones to therapy. And hey, it turns out my vague, esoteric blog posts about my emotions and lot in life are actually a healthy way of dealing. Yes, it’s probably a bit unconventional, but I know for sure it’s preferable to attacking or blaming or grabbing a captive ear and yammering endlessly. And the beauty is, I’m not making anyone read anything. There’s that back button at the top of the browser and everyone can feel free to use it at any time. And don’t feel badly about it, please. Live and let live.
Oh, and beads:
I’ve been busy with that sort of thing, and I’m working on some stuff for Etsy. Hopefully I’ll have everything together and ready to go by the weekend. I’ll check back in soon and give you an update. If you like anything posted above, give me a holler and we’ll see what we can do.
Thanks for reading!