Opening bells (August 10, 2003)

[Note: Concerning not only music and politics but the first stirrings of my interest in the Freecycle movement, which later culminated in my forming a chapter in Austin two months later.]

Tonight the Mrs. and myself saw the first televised presidential campaign spot of the 2004 election, for Howard Dean, whom both of us thought has mucho cojones for taking on GWB over the Texas airwaves. (I shall refrain from commenting on the circus in California, since I don’t live there.)

I’d like to hear more about the Tucson Freecycle Network, which intrigues me — it’s an e-mail list (almost 1000 people on its own Yahoo group) where people give away items for free to others who could use them, and in turn receive what they need/want/crave. Charity/barter — what a concept. I don’t know if it has an exact counterpart in any other US city.

I was reminded of this when Mrs. Pogoer (who’s a very good-hearted soul) was talking about giving away her spare tiara to a needy bride-to-be (the one she didn’t use for our wedding — it was lost and then found after she’d already bought another; we blame the cat). Give and ye shall receive, that kind of thing…

Musically speaking, last Friday I caught Neko Case live at the Mercury in Austin, with Kelly Hogan singing backup. Totally unpretentious performers with amazing talents — Call it Americana, or alt-country, or (my own term) Music for the Real World, it’s great stuff. One of the things I most like about going to concerts like this is they invariably inspire me to attempt creating neat stuff myself…not necessarily musical, but hey…

Does anyone here read Paste Magazine (“Signs of Life in Music and Culture”)? They celebrate exactly this kind of groove, encompassing X, Radiohead, Gillian Welch, even (yikes) Fleetwood Mac. Me, I’m currently playing lots of Fountains of Wayne, which one critic likened to “the Beach Boys covering Nirvana.”

And life goes on, as it has a tendency to do…


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