Saturday Odds & Sods: Mysterious Traveller

Photo from the Mysterious Traveller cover by Helmut Wimmer.

It’s been unseasonably warm in New Orleans this week. It’s also the time of THE POLLENING. The gorgeous oak trees that dominate the city’s landscape are spewing the sticky dust that I’m allergic to. Achoo.

I have the local NBA team on my mind. The New Orleans Pelicans got off to a great start but have faded badly because of injuries. They’ve built the team around former number-one pick Zion Williamson who when healthy reminds me of a taller Charles Barkley or a chunkier Clyde Drexler.

Unfortunately, Williamson is never healthy. In his four years in the NBA, he’s played in 114 of 292 games as of this writing. Instead of being the next great star, he’s on track to be the next Bill Walton or Ralph Sampson; great players whose pro careers were wrecked by injuries. So it goes.

This week’s theme song was composed by the late, great Wayne Shorter for Weather Report’s 1974 album of the same name.

We have two versions of Mysterious Traveller for your listening pleasure: the studio original and Weather Report live in Berlin.

We’re not quite done with travelling yet:

Dave Sharp is the former lead guitar player for The Alarm. He lived in New Orleans for four or five years and played a regular solo acoustic gig at Kerry Irish Pub in the Quarter. I enjoyed attending his shows and buying Dave a beer. Nice man, fine musician. In my experience, men named Dave tend to be nice.

We begin our second act by revisiting the malakatude of Dilbert creator, Scott Adams.

Dilbert In Disgrace: The WaPo has a fine piece about the rise and fall of Scott Adams. He seems to have always been a wingnut but kept his more extreme views in check until the Kaiser of Chaos ran for office. Then things went haywire, and he became a caricature of himself. The malakatude, it burns.

For the details, get thee to the WaPo.

Another segment, another Kinks song. This time from an album with a cartoony cover:

Remembering Graham Jackson: Jackson was a Black musician and entertainer from Georgia. Much of his career was spent coping with Jim Crow. His biographer Dave Cason wrote a fascinating piece for TPM Cafe in which he wondered if Graham Jackson’s story could be taught under laws recently passed in Florida and North Dakota.

Here’s the money quote:

As one of the first Black musicians to play on national radio, Jackson is best known for the April 13, 1945, photograph of him that was published by Life magazine, one of the leading publications of its day.

In that image, Jackson, dressed in his U.S. Navy uniform, is seen playing the song “Going Home” on an accordion as the train carrying the body of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt leaves the station in Warm Springs, Georgia, for his burial in Hyde Park, New York.


Jackson’s tear-filled face mourning the death of the nation’s longest-serving president became a symbol of the nation’s grief.

Food for thought in states being starved by right-wing Governors.

The last word of our second act goes to Graham Jackson on The Ed Sullivan Show:

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature,

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: Vampire movie chick Kristen Stewart played Elvira lookalike rock star Joan Jett in the 2010 biopic, The Runaways.

BTW, the Elvira remark isn’t an insult. I dig Elvira almost as much as Joan Jett digs rock-n-roll:

The Movie List is taking the week off in anticipation of the Oscars. I’ll have a Sunday Dozen on that very subject. Be there or be square.

Best Of Letterman: I love Dave’s Top Ten lists. This one is performed by the core cast of The Sopranos.

Saturday GIF Horse: This Oscar moment is as memorable as Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, but infinitely less violent. The presenter is, of course, Oscar-winning actor and Hollywood memoirist David Niven. The streaker is some dude.

That reminds me of a song. I know: everything reminds me of a song. This time it foreshadows our last segment as it’s Jackson Browne’s Running On Empty with a slide guitar solo by the late great David Lindley.

Let’s throw in a Lindley solo track for shits and giggles:

Tweet Of The Week, Caturday Edition: One of my favorite follows is the resolutely unpolitical Bodega Cats. Dig the sign in the window:

Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.

Saturday Closer: Earlier this week, I wrote a brief tribute to the late David Lindley at the end of a post. Here’s another brief tribute. If you’re interested, watch it while it lasts. This one may disappear. RIP, Mr. Dave.

That’s all this week. The last word goes to Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter.

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