Saturday Odds & Sods: Jacob Marley’s Chain

Jacob Marley’s Ghost by John Leech.

Things had slowed down in New Orleans on the COVID front, but it looks as if we’re about to be hit with another wave. I know of at least 10 people who have been exposed to the highly contagious Omicron variant. I’m glad the Carnival parading season is late this year. We may still be able to salvage it. Stay tuned.

This week’s seasonal theme song was written by Aimee Mann for her classic 1993 album, Whatever. It’s more of a Dickensian song than a holiday song, which is why I like it so much.

We have two versions of Jacob Marley’s Chains for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a live solo acoustic version with an amusing introduction by the songwriter.

We’ve all been foolish, but I for one have never been part of a chain-chain-chain of fools:

It’s time to stop fooling around and jump to the break.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: Jacob Marley’s Chain”

Saturday Odds & Sods: A Hazy Shade Of Winter

Houses Of Parliament, Fog Effect by Claude Monet.

It’s been foggy this week in New Orleans. I love the fog as long as I don’t have to drive in it. It’s a by-product of growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Monet loved the fog too. Perhaps I should have named my black cat Monet instead of Manet. Oh well, what the hell.

It’s runoff election day. If you’re in New Orleans, please vote. I’m eager to see the backs of several candidates, but even if they prevail I’ll be glad it’s over. No more lying fliers. Huzzah.

There’s a measure on the ballot in nearby St. Tammany Parish that would bring a casino to the dull suburban burg of Slidell. Both sides are spending buckets of money on teevee ads and making extravagant claims about the impact of a casino. It cracks me up: casinos are never as beneficial as their proponents would have you believe or as bad as opponents claim. So it goes.

A reminder that you can hear my views on today’s election by listening to The Ryne Show.

This week’s theme song was written by Paul Simon for 1968’s Simon & Garfunkel album, Bookends. It’s my favorite S&G record. It’s both arty and garfunkelly at the same time.

We have three versions of A Hazy Shade Of Winter for your listening pleasure: The S&G original, followed by the Bangles, and Hugo Montenegro:

If you’re feeling hazy, let’s shake it off by jumping to the break.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: A Hazy Shade Of Winter”

Saturday Odds & Sods: More Than This

La lumière, la solitude by Yves Tanguy.

The weather has been beautiful this week in New Orleans: brisk, chilly, and sunny. Yet I’m still cranky verging on irascible. It must be the news cycle.

We went to a Confederacy Of Dunces themed birthday party last night. It was fun even though Burma Jones was not there to mop the ho flo. The birthday boy’s wife went to high school with former First Drafter Jude. As Jude would surely say at this point, it’s a small fucking world, after all.

As you know, the holidays are hard for me. This year I’ve been plagued with calls from telemarketers. I even marked one of them as SPAM RISK, but they keep calling from a variety of Gret Stet exchanges. Blocking them is emotionally satisfying but doesn’t work that well. It makes me appreciate caller ID even more.

This week’s theme song was written by Bryan Ferry in 1982 for Roxy Music’s Avalon album. It was also the title of a 1995 compilation album. It contains one of Ferry’s finest vocals more or less or is that more than this? Beats the hell outta me.

We have three versions of More Than This for your listening pleasure: the Roxy original, Robyn Hitchcock, and Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs.

Before we go off hoffs-cocked, let’s join hands and jump to the break.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: More Than This”

Saturday Odds & Sods: Name Of The Game

Clown at a diner on Thanksgiving in Reno, Nevada by Thomas Hoepker.

The New Orleans weather yo-yo continues as temperatures rise and fall. Making matters worse is that it’s happening in the middle of the night. We’ve had more than a few days where the high or low was at the stroke of midnight. Oy, just oy.

The weird weather has led to some weird dreams. The most puzzling one involved staying with two friends who were married in my dream but don’t know one another IRL. They refused to change bathroom lightbulbs or allow me to do so. I am not a fan of showering in the dark. I did it after Hurricane Ida but didn’t like it. I have no idea what this dream means but it’s sufficiently weird to share.  Oh well, what the hell.

Our Thanksgiving was pleasant and low key. We didn’t get the turkey dinner at the drug store because such a thing is impossible in 2021. We had a quiet dinner at home then visited some friends we hadn’t seen since the lockdown. It was an exercise in Gamalian normalcy. Not bad for a guy who has developed a crowd phobia. It’s a far cry from the rock and roll infused days of my wayward youth.

This week’s theme song was written in 1972 by Pete Ham for Badfinger’s Straight Up album. It marked Ham’s emergence as a songwriting force to be reckoned with. Sadly, Pete Ham killed himself just three years later. It was a great loss.

We have two versions of Name Of The Game for your listening pleasure: the Badfinger original and a recent cover by Susanna Hoffs and Aimee Mann.

It’s time for another trip to disambiguation city. Bryan Ferry wrote The Name Of The Game for his 1987 album Bete Noire.

Now that we’ve pondered names and games, let’s jump to the break,

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: Name Of The Game”

Saturday Odds & Sods: Into The Lens

Noir et blanches by Man Ray.

New Orleans weather is as variable during the fall as it is unchanging in the summertime. It’s been cold and dry then warm and muggy, but I have not resorted to air-conditioning. So it goes.

The Orleans Parish runoff election is scheduled for December 11th. I’m supporting an old school NOLA pol in one race and a reformer who’s running against an old school NOLA pol in another. Sometimes I even confuse myself.

I voted to reelect Jay Banks as my district city councilmember. He ran first in the primary despite all the mud thrown at him by his “reformer” opponents. They lost me forever when I saw that they’d rented a billboard together to plug their primary candidacies. Collusion is a bad look.

In the Sheriff’s race, longtime incumbent Marlin Gusman just missed winning in the first round. He’s a terrible sheriff but an excellent politician. I’m voting for his opponent, Susan Hutson, but she looks like a long shot because of all the local political muscle massed against her.

Like many others on the left, Team Hutson seems to underestimate how conservative many older black people are. When I was a neighborhood leader, the most rabid people about crime were elderly black folks. They’re also comfortable with Gusman who is favored to stay in office despite all the outside money being spent on behalf of his opponent.

This week’s theme song was written by Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes in 1980. It began life with the title I Am A Camera and was intended for the Buggles second album. Then Horn and Downes joined Yes, and it became Into The Lens, the first track of side two of the Drama LP.

We have the song in both incarnations for your listening pleasure. I prefer the Yes version because of Howe’s guitar and Squire’s bass, but Downes excels on keyboard on both versions.

There’s an oddball link between our theme song and this week’s Friday Cocktail Hour. Cabaret was based on John Van Druten’s 1951 play I Am A Camera, which in turn was adapted from Christopher Isherwood’s 1939 novel Goodbye To Berlin. It doesn’t get much odder than that.

Before we nod off like Lee Miller in the May Ray featured image, let’s jump to the break.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: Into The Lens”


I’m something of a Cabaret obsessive. I’ve seen the Bob Fosse flick as many times as I’ve seen Casablanca, Citizen Kane, The Godfather, Notorious, or Sunset Boulevard. I’ve seen the play several times over the years and enjoyed it mightily. Hence this Friday Cocktail Hour selection.

The song Cabaret was written for the 1966 play Cabaret by John Kander and Fred Ebb. The song is the grand finale of both the play and movie based on it. It’s also a swell and swinging song in its own right.

We begin with Liza Minelli with her Oscar winning performance as Sally Bowles in the 1972 Fosse film:

Satchmo knew a great tune when he heard it:

Continue reading “Cabaret”

Judging Judges Schroeder, Walmsley & Shea

Judges are in the news right now. Judge Bruce Schroeder who is presiding over the Kyle Rittenhouse case fancies himself an insult comedian. He’s luxuriating in the national spotlight by making racist jokes and yelling at prosecutors.

Judge BS considers himself a “tough on crime” jurist but not in this case. He seems to empathize with the defendant. I think we all know why. Cryin’ Kyle is a white vigilante who shot and killed two men in defense of property that wasn’t his. Oy, just oy.

Meanwhile in Glynn County Georgia 3 white dudes are on trial for killing Ahmaud Arbery. There was some racist grandstanding by one of the defense attorneys yesterday. Kevin Gough objected to the presence of Al Sharpton in the courtroom.

Upon seeing the famous activist and pastor, Gough had the vapors and objected to the presence of black pastors in a public court room. At least Gough didn’t call the Rev an “outside agitator” but the implication was there.

Mercifully, Judge Timothy Walmsley is nothing like Judge BS in Wisconsin. He handled Gough’s objection like a pro:

Walmsley said he was made aware Wednesday that Sharpton would be sitting in the courtroom instead of someone from Arbery’s family.

“And my comment to that was simply, as long as things are not disruptive and it’s not a distraction to the jury or anything else going on in the courtroom, so be it,” Walmsley said. “But if it violates the court’s rules with regard to the conduct of the trial or violates my orders with respect to how people are to conduct themselves in this courtroom, I will take it up with whomever I need to take it up with.”

Walmsley said he noticed Sharpton once “and that was it.”

“And the fact that nobody else even noticed that he was in here, means that everybody complied with this court’s rulings on sitting in this courtroom and listening to the evidence,” Walmsley said. “I don’t hear a motion and I will tell you this, I am not going to blanketly exclude members of the public from this courtroom.”

“If individuals, based on the limitations that we have, in the courtroom, end up sitting in the courtroom, and they can do so respectful of the court’s process and in compliance with this court’s orders with regard to the conduct of the trial,” Walmsley said, adding that if a person wasn’t a distraction, he wouldn’t do anything about it.

The name Walmsley triggered a memory. It’s a famous name in New Orleans. T Semmes Walmsley was Mayor of New Orleans from 1929-1936. He hated Huey Long and his machine with a fine fury. The enmity was reciprocated. The Kingfish’s nickname for the mayor was Turkey Neck Walmsley. It’s a complicated story so I’ll link to a 2016 Picayune piece by my friend James Karst to tell part of this twisted tale.

The memory triggered by the Walmsley name has nothing to do with Huey Long or Turkey Neck Walmsley for that matter. It’s a Judgey memory that was also evoked by Judge Schroeder’s misconduct in the Rittenhouse trial.

Continue reading “Judging Judges Schroeder, Walmsley & Shea”

Saturday Odds & Sods: Bluebird

Toucan by Henri Rousseau.

It’s cold enough in New Orleans that I broke down and turned on the central heat. We’ve been making do with space heaters and extra blankets. I hate the burning dust smell when the unit is first switched on. It usually gives me a headache and it happened again. Oh well, what the hell.

Sunday is a Saints home game against the arch-rival Atlanta Falcons. A friend gave us his tickets so I’m going. It’s the first real crowd I’ve been in since the Cursed Carnival of 2020. I’m nervous but vaccines or negative COVID tests are required. The mask mandate has been lifted here but I plan to mask up like Zorro. I’ll leave the saber at home for obvious reasons. I’ll let y’all know how it goes.

This week’s featured image is a Toucan by French primitive artist Henri Rousseau. This week’s theme song is about a different bird altogether. Bluebird was written in 1967 by Stephen Stills as a follow-up single to Buffalo Springfield’s monster hit, For What It’s Worth. It was an Odds & Sods theme song last year, FWIW.

There are many swell versions of Bluebird out there. We’re showcasing four: the Buffalo Springfield original, the James Gang with Joe Walsh, Bonnie Raitt, and Los Lobos.

Now that we’ve been mesmerized by the depth of her eyes, let’s join hands and jump to the break.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: Bluebird”

Saturday Odds & Sods: Wild World

Hirondelle Amour by Joan Miro.

We’re gearing up for a municipal election in New Orleans and I’m disinterested at this moment. One reason is that two of the major offices, mayor and one at large city council seat, have pre-determined outcomes. Mayor Teedy will be reelected as will Council President Helena Moreno. I’m resigned to the former and pleased about the latter, but my level of interest is not high right now. Oh well, what the hell.

We received letters this week informing us that we won’t be voting at the Catholic school where we’ve voted since Katrina. I’m old school and still prefer casting my ballot on election day. Sorry, Shapiro. Instead, we’ll be voting at the former HQ of NOPD’s second district. I wonder if we’ll get to see the former holding cells. Beats the former hell outta me.

This week’s theme song was written by Cat Stevens for his 1970 album Tea For The Tillerman. In addition to being his commercial breakthrough, the album title inspired several Tea For The Tillerson posts in the early days of the Trump regime. It’s a pity that Rex hasn’t spilled any tea about the man he called a “fucking moron” when he was secretary of state.

We have three versions of Wild World for your listening pleasure: the Cat Stevens original as well as covers by Jimmy Cliff and Maxi Priest:

Oh baby baby it’s time to jump to the break.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: Wild World”

Saturday Odds & Sods: Art For Art’s Sake

Ambiguous Figures by Max Ernst.

There are rumors of a cold front later this morning. It’s really a cool front but cold front is the technical term and I’m a stickler for something or other. I’m just looking forward to not running the air-conditioner.

We’ve been talking Carnival in New Orleans. We all want it to happen but it’s unclear when it will be safe to cavort in the streets with strangers. Perhaps we should consult with Laurence Olivier’s character in Marathon Man:

Is It Safe Dustin Hoffman GIF by Top 100 Movie Quotes of All Time - Find & Share on GIPHY

Beats the hell outta me, Larry.

The City is allowing the annual Halloween parade for tourists to roll. It’s called the Krewe of Boo and this year it’s going to serve as an experiment into public gatherings. Contact tracing will be involved. If things go well, the chances of Carnival 2022 happening increase. If not, stay tuned.

This week’s theme song was written by Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart for 10cc’s 1975 album, How Dare You. That’s what Dustin Hoffman should have said to Olivier.

Here’s Art For Art’s Sake, money for God’s sake:

Graham Gouldman trivia time. He also wrote this wildly successful Hollies hit:

Let’s pick up our umbrellas and jump to the break.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: Art For Art’s Sake”

Saturday Odds & Sods: People Are Strange

Twin Sisters by Diane Arbus.

Things are slowly returning to normal in post-Ida New Orleans. The trash problem seems to have abated somewhat, but there’s still a lot of tree and construction debris about. It’s time to take the debris out of Debrisville.

I usually only have a Spring allergy problem, but that’s no longer true. I suspect it has something to do with the dust in the air after the storm. Whatever it is, I wish it would relent. Achoo.

I’m getting my Pfizer booster shot at noon today. Unlike Gary Cooper in High Noon, I won’t beg for help. I can take a jab with the best of them.

This week’s theme song was written by Jim Morrison and Robbie Krieger for the Doors’ 1967 album Strange Days. It was originally credited to the whole band. That’s what hippies did; not that Morrison was a hippie. He was one of the original goths.

We have two versions of People Are Strange for your listening pleasure: the Doors original and a cover by Echo & the Bunnymen from the 1987 movie, The Lost Boys.

That was almost as strange as the Diane Arbus featured image. Those twins have always given me the heebie jeebies.

Now that I’ve creeped you out, let’s join arms and jump to the break.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: People Are Strange”