Saturday Odds & Sods: This Forgotten Town

Subway Portrait by Walker Evans.

The weather in New Orleans has been almost as crazy as President* Pennywise this week. We’ve had record heat as well as torrential rain that caused some street flooding. There were thunderclaps so loud that they interrupted PD’s beauty rest. Now that’s loud.

It’s also lizard season in the Crescent City. They’re everywhere. I have to look down as I descend our front stairs to avoid stomping on them. The cat is obsessed with capturing and tormenting lizards whenever they get inside. I’ve rescued several already this year. Leapin’ Lizards.

A new Jayhawks album dropped last week. XOXO is more of a collaborative effort than past records. It features songs and lead vocals by band members who are not named Gary Louris. Tim O’Reagan and Karen Grotberg’s lead vocals are a welcome addition to the Jayhawks’ musical arsenal.

This week’s theme song, This Forgotten Town, is the opening track on the new album. It was written by Gary Louris, Marc Perlman, and Tim O’Reagan. We have two versions for your listening pleasure:

This is not Gary’s first town tune. There’s also this unforgettable song from Smile.

Let’s leave this town and jump to the break.

Before moving on to our second act, two more town tunes. The first one is set in the North of England, not Minnesota from whence the Jayhawks hail:

We begin our second act with an ode to the Jayhawks.

The Jayhawks Get Some Love: Underrated is an overused word as is underappreciated. Both accurately describe the Jayhawks. Rolling Stone’s Jonathan Bernstein interviews Gary Louris about the band’s 35 years of rocking on and out.

Unfortunately, Rolling Stone slides them into the wrong pigeonhole: country music. Former co-leader Mark Olson was the country guy, the band’s current sound is closer to power pop than anything else.

Here’s another track from the new record, featuring drummer Tim O’Reagan on lead vox:

In addition to being a rocking O’Reagan tune, it foreshadows a later segment. All shall be revealed in our third act.

In our next segment, we visit Southwestern Louisiana for a taste of corruption, not music or food. They have plenty of all three in Acadiana.

Clay Higgins is a batshit crazy Congressman from the Gret Stet of Louisiana. He’s near the top of the list of dumbest, craziest, and weirdest House Republicans. Higgins is also a former police officer who left law enforcement under a cloud. He’s not only dumb, he’s dangerous.

My Bayou Brief publisher, Lamar White Jr, has written a detailed account of Clay Higgins’ checkered past and crazed present. It a must-read piece, y’all.

Here’s a concise description of Lamar’s epic by the man himself:

The last word of our second act goes to the Gret Stet’s very own, Sonny Landreth:

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth: I’m uncertain if I’ve ever done an all critter edition of SAB before, but this one spoke to me or is that barked at me?

I’m not going to spoil Harry Dean’s landslide victory with any pictures of him. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather look and sound like Sam Elliott. Sorry, Harry Dean.

The last word of this canine edition of SAB goes to Squeeze who put a picture of Chris Difford’s pooch on the cover of the Domino album. This song is not from Domino but from Play:

The Weekly Galbraith:  In which Ken Galbraith applies his mordant wit to the dismal profession.

This song has nothing to do with Ken Galbraith, but I gave myself an earworm after citing Domino:

Before moving on, another song with the same title. This one was a big hit:

Van may not want to discuss it, but it’s time for us to look at the film career of a fellow Irishman.

The Movie List: I love character actors and actresses. One of my all-time favorites is Edmond O’Brien who won an Oscar for best supporting actor in the #2 movie on the list.

The list is calibrated to reflect the importance of O’Brien’s part in a given film. On the merits, Seven Days In May and Liberty Valance would be farther up the list but O’Brien’s parts were smaller than in some of the other pictures. That’s the big picture, y’all.

My Top Ten Favorite Edmond O’Brien Movies:

  1.     White Heat
  2.     Barefoot Contessa
  3.     711 Ocean Boulevard
  4.     DOA
  5.    The Killers
  6.    1984
  7.    Seven Days In May
  8.    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  9.    The Bigamist
  10.    Pete Kelly’s Blues

Before we move on, here are two versions of the Liberty Valance theme song: the Gene Pitney original and a cover by James Taylor. In the first video image, Edmond O’Brien is seated to the left of Lee Marvin as the title character.

Saturday GIF Horse: Dr. A and I are currently binge watching Lucifer on Netflix. It was recommended by the same friend who turned me on to The Good Place, so we went for it. It’s devilishly clever.

I love the characters in Lucifer be they angels, demons, cops, or the devil himself. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I do.

We’ve watched the first two seasons. Thus far I give Lucifer 3 1/2 stars and an Adrastos Grade of B+.

Weekly Vintage Music Video: Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness is a song the late John Prine wrote and first recorded in 1986. The duet below with Nanci Griffith dates from 1993.

Let’s close out the post by circling back to the beginning with some more music from the north country.

Saturday Classic: Here’s the Jayhawks annual holiday concert in St. Paul, Minnesota from 2019. You know, right before the world went even more to hell than it already was.

That’s it for this week. The last word goes to your humble blogger and Jayhawks vocalist/drummer Tim O’Reagan. I cornered him before a gig at Tipitina’s in 2016. Tim appears to want to escape. I cannot blame him.