Category Archives: Odds & Sods

Saturday Odds & Sods: Swing To The Right

Saturday Odds & Sods is back in all its punny glory. Hopefully, that’s a good thing for our readers. If you feel like heckling, cut me some slack, Jack. Life is hard in Debrisville right now.

My pitched battle with FedEx ended with the delivery of the new HP PC on which I’m writing this post. I’m still avoiding FedEx like the plague. I would only be in the same room with them if they double-masked and showed me their vaccine card. Repeat after me: in transit = in trailer.

I was so disgusted by the MSM’s coverage of Afghanistan that I’ve dialed back my cable news viewing. I’m down to The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell because he does not feel the need to hype every story to the limit. That’s why I called him The Last Sane Person On Cable News. Maddow used to be my fave until she morphed from smart ass to sob sister. I could not take the on-air sighing and hand-wringing that now characterizes her show. So it goes.

September has been Todd Rundgren and Utopia month at my house. Hence another Todd tune as this week’s theme song. It’s the title track of Utopia’s 1982 album, Swing To The Right. I reckon you figured that out already. I’m using reckon in the fancy British sense, not the hillbilly American sense. Does that make sense?

We have two versions of Swing To The Right for your listening pleasure: the studio original and Utopia live in Japan.

Ladies and gentlemen, Kasim Sulton on lead vocals.

You probably guessed that Todd is a librul based on the album cover and song title. You are correct, sir, he said in his best Ed McMahon impression.

Now that we’ve swung to the right, let’s jump to the break in utopian unison.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Love In Action

The Lovers by Man Ray.

I had hoped to have a full-blown Odds & Sods post this week. The fates have conspired against my plans. We’ll have to make do.

My old computer has been ailing for quite some time. I left it at home during our brief Ida exile and when we returned it was at death’s door. Last Monday, I ordered a new one directly from HP, but they use the dread FedEx as their delivery service. My new computer is sweltering in a trailer in Covington, LA. Oy just oy.

Since I’ve been on a Todd Rundgren/Utopia jag this month, our theme song is one of Todd’s signature tunes. It was written in 1977 for Utopia’s Oops Wrong Planet album. It has remained a mainstay in his setlists ever since.

We have two versions of Love In Action for your listening pleasure.

We’d usually try and stop love in action after the break but there’s no break today.

It can’t be stopped, it’s also the answer:

We begin our second act by skipping it altogether.

Our third act commences with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth:  This time two cartoon villains: Jeff Bezos and Dr. Evil.

Saturday GIF Horse: I had a lot of fun writing The Stapling about my head injury and the stories it inspired. I’m getting unstapled today,

I mentioned my newfound identification with Boris Karloff. It is not shared by his putative bride played by Elsa Lanchester.

Boris Karloff Horror GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Saturday Classic: One of my favorite anthology albums. Guess who the artist is:

The opening track asks the immortal question: Who’s the crybaby now?

That’s all for this week. The last word goes to Utopia circa 1977.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Paint It Black

Got Me Rocking by Ron Wood

The summer of our discontent continues with Hurricane Ida in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. A and I are planning to ride it out. I’m not eager to evacuate with Claire Trevor. She hates riding in the car and she’s a biter. She’s not as sweet as she looks but we love her anyway.

The weather is one reason I’m keeping this week’s entry short and focused. The second act is a tribute to the late, great Stones drummer Charlie Watts. Hence the Ron Wood featured image.

This week’s theme song was written in 1966 by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It’s as good an example of Charlie’s drumming as I can think of. Bim-bam-boom.

Since this is a tribute to Charlie Watts, I’m skipping the covers of Paint It Black and sticking to the Stones. A solid plan in my estimation. We have three versions: the studio original and live in 1990 and 2006.

I almost forgot this version by Charlie Watts with the Danish Radio Big Band:

Now that we’ve faded away and not faced the facts, let’s jump to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Tired Of Waiting For You

The Chair Car by Edward Hopper.

There’s an environmental component to my righteous indignation this week. It’s fucking hot even for New Orleans. There’s a high keeping tropical stuff away from us but that puts us in the high Nineties. Oy just oy.

On to more pleasant things.

Ray Davies wrote this week’s theme song in 1965. It was one of the earliest Kinks hits.

We have three versions of Tired of Waiting For You for your listening pleasure: the Kinks original, a 1994 live version, and a brilliant cover by Dwight Yoakam in which he transforms it into something that would fit in on the Friday Cocktail Hour.

I assume that you’re not too tired to hear this swell tune by Dwight and Deanna Carter:

It’s time to escape Hopper’s chair car by jumping to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Summertime Blues

Two Boats by Henri Matisse.

I’m keeping the nautical theme this week. That harbor water looks cool as well as cooling. Anything to beat the August heat in New Orleans. Merci, Monsieur Matisse.

Dr. A is visiting family in Richmond, Virginia. She’s braver than I am and flew. She double masked on the flight and seems to have survived nicely. My goal during her absence is to convince young Claire Trevor to become a lap cat. Last night, she sat on an end table by the couch and nearly jumped in my lap. Close but no cigar. Stay tuned.

I did something last Monday that I never do on First Draft. I complained about restaurant service in a post about the difficulty of living in TFC: This Fucking City. It’s important to me since I come from a restaurant family. I suspect you’ve heard of Greek diners. My folks never ran one, but my extended family is honeycombed with restauranteurs.

In this case, a public complaint resulted in burying the hatchet (cleaver?) with the eatery in question:

Stay tuned.

This week’s theme song was written in 1958 by Eddie Cochran and his manager Jerry Capeheart. It’s been covered many times but I’m sticking to three versions. We begin with the Cochran original followed by Brian Setzer who played Eddie in the 1987 Richie Valens biopic La Bamba,

As far as I’m concerned, the definitive version of Summertime Blues is by The Who. It’s long been a highlight of their live shows, especially when John Entwistle was still with us.

We’ll continue our search for a cure for the summertime blues after the jump.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Sail On, Sailor

Fishing Boats by Georges Braque.

My birthday was last Thursday. We celebrated by going to Brigtsen’s a great restaurant in Uptown New Orleans. It was my first time eating out with a mask mandate in place and only my third time in an eatery since the lockdown. It was kind of weird but so am I.

As a result of the weeklong festivities, this edition of Saturday Odds & Sods will be somewhat truncated. Pity that I’m not a show biz kid so I can’t make this pun: “born in a truncated.” I guess I just did…

Cubist artist Georges Braque may not be synonymous with summer, but the Beach Boys are. This week’s theme song was written by Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks and two dudes I’ve never heard of for the Beach Boys 1973 album Holland. It’s nautical yet somehow still naughty or some such shit.

We have three versions of Sail On, Sailor for your listening pleasure: the studio original, Ray Charles with the Beach Boys live, and Los Lobos from their new album of California songs, Native Sons.

Now that we’ve sailed the ocean blue but not in 1492, let’s jump to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Wouldn’t It Be Nice

The Great Wave by Hokusai.

I’ve been having wild dreams lately. I actually dreamt about writing The Truman Myth. The opening line came to me in my sleep: “I was present at the creation of the Truman myth.”

Present At The Creation was the title of Truman’s Secretary of State and unlikely friend Dean Acheson’s memoir. It’s not quite as fanciful as Miller-McCullough Man but it comes close.

It’s been crazy hot this week. I’ve been huddling under ceiling fans with the AC roaring and I’m still sweating. Oh well, what the hell.

I realize that the featured image has become something of a cliche since it appears on tchotchkes and such. Don’t blame the Hokusai guy for that or me for using it. It fits the Beach Boys like a glove.

This week’s theme song was written by Brian Wilson, Tony Asher, and Mike Love for the Beach Boys finest album Pet Sounds. Even professional asshole Mike Love did something right from time-to-time.

We have two versions of Wouldn’t It Be Nice for your listening pleasure: the studio original, the Beach Boys at Live Aid, and Alex Chilton.

Nice was my mother’s favorite word. She used it to praise people, places, and things. She liked this nice song as well:

Now that we’ve made nice let’s jump to the break,

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Hamburger Midnight

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.

Dr. A is more disciplined that I am. She’d been on a rather stringent diet until she came home craving a burger but not at midnight. We ordered delivery from Shake Shack in the broad daylight. I’m not sure if the Nighthawks are eating hamburgers but I wouldn’t be surprised.

This week’s theme song was written by Lowell George and Roy Estrada in 1970 for Little Feat’s eponymous debut album. It’s a long-time favorite of mine; one that I used to request when I saw the band live. They ignored my pleas. And I wrote such a lovely tribute to Paul Barrerre in 2019. Oh well, what the hell.

We have three versions of Hamburger Midnight for your listening pleasure: the studio original, a 1973 live version, and a 2014 live version with guest vocalist Vince Herman.

Little Feat’s first single was Hamburger Midnight/Strawberry Flats. Here’s the B-Side:

Now that I’ve made you flat-out peckish, let’s jump to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Don’t Let Go The Coat

The Concert by Johannes Vermeer.

July has been wet, wet, wet in New Orleans. As long as it’s not flood-level precipitation I don’t mind it. It keeps the heat down. That’s summer in the Crescent City: too hot, hot, hot or too wet, wet, wet. My needle seems stuck, stuck, stuck…

Pete Townshend wrote this week’s theme song for the Who’s 1981 album Face Dances. It’s a criminally underrated record that I’ve loved since the first time I gave it a spin. It was the soundtrack of my life in the year I moved from San Francisco to Washington DC.

Don’t Let The Go was inspired by Townshend’s guru Meher Baba who urged his followers to “hang fast to the hem of my robe.”

We have three versions for your listening pleasure: the studio original, Townshend’s demo, and the Who live on German teevee.

Don’t let go the coat as we jump to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Silent House

House By The Railroad by Edward Hopper.

Since the recent death of a family member, I’ve had mortality on my mind. Hence this week’s theme song and an appropriately somber featured image by Edward Hopper.

Silent House is a song about grief and loss. It was a collaboration between Neil Finn and Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, and Emily Robison of The Dixie Chicks. For more information about the song, click here.

The Dixie Chicks recorded Silent House first on their 2006 album Taking The Long Way. Crowded House cut their version for 2007’s Time Of Earth. Since I’m more of a Crowdie fan and prefer their version, we’ll start with it. Sorry, Chicks.

I hope everyone remembers the whole The Dixie Chicks controversy involving their opposition to the Bush-Cheney administration’s War in Iraq. In this Rodney Crowell song, the Yuppie neo-con narrator calls them out.

Now that we’ve heard Rodney sing “give it to me” repeatedly, let’s jump to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Wicked Game

The Witch Of Endor by William Blake.

It’s been wickedly hot across the country. It’s been hotter in Portland and Seattle than in New Orleans; that’s some weird shit. We all have air-conditioning and most of my friends in the PNW do not. Imagine how hot Paco the Maine Coon mix was during the heat wave. It’s hard having a luxurious fur coat.

I’m sticking with a witchy/magical theme this week. How can I follow Witchcraft with a chirpy tune? I used a painting by proto-surrealist artist William Blake since Magritte and Ernst are overheated and didn’t feel up to it. I know, dead guys can’t suffer from heat stroke, but some humor was in order.

Chris Isaak wrote this week’s theme song in 1989 for his Heart Shaped World album, which established him as a major rock star. The video for Wicked Game established him as a major heartthrob. Some guys have all the luck.

We have three versions of Wicked Game for your listening pleasure: the sexy video, a 2006 live version, and Tom Ellis at the piano in Lucifer.

Dr. A and I watched the second half of season 5 of Lucifer this week. It had its ups and downs, but an emphatic up was Bloody Celestial Karaoke Jam in which the gang broke into song at the behest of God played by Dennis Haysbert. I was three years behind God at San Mateo High School. Go, Bearcats.

Here’s one of the songs featured in that thrilling episode of Lucifer:

Now that we’ve gone to hell and back, let’s jump to the break where more wickedness awaits.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Strange Magic

My Brother Imitating Scherzo by Andre Kertesz.

You’ve probably noticed by now that I like themes that tie my posts together. This week’s theme is book and movie magic, music magic. and today Strange Magic.  I even included Jeff Lynne’s interpretation of Bewitched in this week’s Friday Cocktail Hour. One could say that this week has been magically delicious, which is the untrue ad slogan for the disgusting cereal Lucky Charms.

This week’s theme song was written by Jeff Lynne in 1975 for ELO’s Face The Music album. As if by magic, the single and album were strangely successful.

We have three versions of Strange Magic for your listening pleasure: the studio original, ELO live, and a 2012 remake.

As if by magic, it’s time to jump to the break, strangely enough.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone

The Long Line Of Texas. Near Dallas by Dorothea Lange.

It’s Juneteenth. It marks the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas learned that they’d been freed two years earlier. It’s been a Texas holiday for decades and just became a federal holiday over the objection of 14 Republican congresscritters.

The featured image is a photograph by Dorothea Lange when she worked for the WPA documenting the ravages of the Great Depression. The number at the top is its Library of Congress reference number. I’m not quite sure that I get the title, but the picture was taken in Texas.

This week’s theme song was written in 1969 by Glenn Martin and Dave Kirby. I’ve always associated it with Doug Sahm, but it was first recorded by Charlie Pride.

We have three versions of Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone for your listening pleasure: Charlie Pride, Doug Sahm, and the Texas Tornados.

Since I mentioned Galveston, let’s run this Glen Campbell-Jim Webb song up the flagpole and see who salutes:

Now that we’re done saluting, let’s jump to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: To The Island

Tahiti and Picnics by Paul Gaugin.

This was the week that the celestial pendulum swung to full tilt summer in New Orleans. We’re looking at nothing but ninety-degree highs for the foreseeable future. Time to crank up the air-dish and the ceiling fans. It’s fucking hot, y’all. That concludes this week’s weather report.

I wished Neil Finn happy birthday late last month. The celebration continues with a theme song from the new Crowded House album. Dreamers Are Waiting is the most cohesive and consistent album the band has released since Together Alone.

I think the band’s new lineup has a lot to do with the excellence of the new album. Neil’s sons Liam and Elroy are onboard, and their presence seems to have inspired dear old dad. The family band twist is reflected by Bee Gees and Beach Boys influences vocally, but unlike the latter, the Finns seem to get along swimmingly. They may even have fun, fun, fun til their daddy takes the T-Bird away. I doubt that Neil would do such a thing. He’s the epitome of the cool dad.

To The Island is the first single from the new album. It was written by Neil Finn. Anyone surprised?

We have two versions for your listening pleasure: the video and the Crowdies live on The Ellen Show. FYI, she’s not from New Orleans but from Kenna, Brah.

I think To The Island is destined to join Don’t Dream It’s Over as fodder for a future New Zealand tourism campaign. It’s that catchy.

We have another islandy number for you before we jump to the break. It’s an instrumental from The Band featuring the multi-instrumental wizardry of Garth Hudson:

Now that we’ve gone to the island, let’s jump to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Carry On

Albino Sword Swallower At A Carnival by Diane Arbus.

The featured image is a photograph by Diane Arbus who was an extremely interesting and deeply weird photographer. Her motto was: “Take pictures of what you fear.” Words to live by.

I’d amend that to say: Deal with what you fear. I’m trying to do that in my own life. I’ve long had a fear of heights and a bridge phobia, which has intensified as I’ve aged. The bridge phobia is particularly unfortunate as I’ve always lived in places where bridges are a fact of life. I just white-knuckle it and muddle through. What else can I do?

My phobias also explain why I’m taking it slow in regard to the COVID after times. I may be fully vaccinated but many are nor. It’s why I’m proceeding with caution. I did, however, eat in a restaurant on our anniversary. A small triumph for trying times. Oh well, what the hell.

Before moving on to our theme song, some Diane Arbus trivia. She was married to actor Allan Arbus who is best known as army shrink Sidney Freedman on MASH. Allan was also a close friend of Montgomery Clift. The late Patricia Bosworth wrote excellent biographies of both Monty Clift and Diane Arbus. If you like tragic tales of talented people who died too young, they should be up your alley.

Stephen Stills wrote this week’s theme song for CSNY’s 1970 album Deja Vu. As the opening track, it gets things off to a rousing start and remains a staple of his set lists. I’d say CSN’s set lists but Crosby’s malakatude has made a reunion impossible. Imagine pissing off the most mild-mannered of rock stars, Graham Nash.

We have two versions of Carry On for your listening pleasure:  the studio original and a raucous live version featuring shouty, off-key vocals and sensational guitar playing by Stills and Young.

Ready to visit Disambiguation City?  JJ Cale wrote and recorded *his* Carry On in 1981:

Now that we’ve had deja vu and worn shades, let’s jump to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: She Said She Said

The Therapist by Rene Magritte.

We finally had our first day with a high of 90 degrees. As someone who lives in a semi-tropical climate, I prefer Fahrenheit to Celsius: 30 degrees Celsius does not sound as hot as it gets in New Orleans. It’s where ice people go to melt.

Surrealism and the Beatles go together like peas and carrots hence the featured image by Rene Magritte. He’s my other go-to Surrealist. I hope Max Ernst doesn’t mind.

She Said She Said has an opening stanza worthy of Surrealist poet Paul Eluard:

 She said “I know what it’s like to be dead I know what it is to be sad.”
And she’s making me feel like I’ve never been born.

This week’s theme song is credited to Lennon and McCartney but it’s all John. Once again, it’s from 1966’s Revolver album, which has a suitably surreal cover by the German artist/bassist Klaus Voormann.

The session at which She Said She Said was recorded was a sign of trouble in Beatle World. Macca didn’t like the arrangement and didn’t play on the track. George Harrison played bass. Yeah, yeah, yeah or is that no, no, no?

We have three versions of She Said She Said for your listening pleasure: the Beatles original, Gov’t Mule, and The Black Keys:

Now that we all feel like we’ve never been born, let’s jump to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: I Want To Tell You

The Bird, The Cage, and The Forest by Max Ernst.

It’s been another bad weather week in New Orleans. I’m actually looking forward to what is forecast to be a hot weekend because I’m so tired of rain and being weather-aware. Hell, it’s not even hurricane season yet. Btw, my name is on the hurricane list and I don’t mean my pen name, Adrastos. I’m not displeased, I don’t mind scaring people.

Beatles month continues with one by George Harrison. He wrote this week’s theme song for The Beatles 1966 album Revolver. It was their first record to take a walk on the experimental side, especially in Lennon’s songs. George’s lyrics for I Want To Tell You are somewhat surrealistic hence the Max Ernst featured image. Max is my go-to surrealist.

We have four versions of I Want To Tell You for your listening pleasure: The Beatles original, George live with Eric Clapton’s band, The Smithereens, and Jeff Lynne from the Concert For George.

Like George, my mind is filled with things to say. I’ll share them after the jump.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Getting Better

Chez Tortoni by Edouard Manet.

The weather remains the leading topic of conversation in New Orleans. A tornado ripped through the city causing property damage but no serious injuries.  It took place a mere two miles from Adrastos World HQ ,but I slept through it. I seem to be turning into a cat.

First Draft contributor Ryne Hancock came over to record his podcast with yours truly as his guest.

Beatles month continues with this week’s theme song. It was written by Lennon and McCartney for 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. It’s mostly a Macca song but has a mordant aside written by John: “It can’t get no worse.”

We have four versions of Getting Better for your listening pleasure: the Beatles original, Cheap Trick, Peter Frampton & the Bee Gees, and Gomez.

Feeling better? Let’s jump to the break before it gets much worse.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Nowhere Man

May is a month for themes at First Draft. Yesterday, I declared it Cole Porter month at the Friday Cocktail Hour. Today, I declare May to be Beatles month since Tell Me Why was last week’s theme song. I do declare. Stop me before I turn into Scarlet O’Hara. I’d look lousy in a hoop skirt…

President Biden visited New Orleans as part of his infrastructure push. He toured the Sewerage & Water Board plant in the Pigeon Town neighborhood. Our water system has been in bad shape forever. They’ve tried muddling through with what we have but what we need is money, money, money. The presidential visit is a good sign that it may be forthcoming. John Neely Kennedy insists that water plants aren’t infrastructure. I insist that he’s an asshole who can still go fuck himself.

This week’s theme song was written by Lennon and McCartney in 1965. Once again, it’s essentially a Lennon song. We’ll get to Macca next week. It was featured on three Beatles albums, Rubber Soul in the UK, Yesterday and Today in the US, and on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack worldwide. That was exhausting. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

We have three versions of Nowhere Man for your listening pleasure: the Beatles original, Randy Travis, and Paul Westerberg.

If you’re feeling stuck in Nowhere Land, there’s an easy fix: jump to the break.

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Tell Me Why

Cuban Movie Theatre by Walker Evans.

Now that I’m fully vaccinated, things are slowly but surely getting back to normal at Adrastos World HQ. A close friend of mine paid an extended visit the other day. He’s an engineer so when he noticed that one of our front stairs was wonky, he insisted on fixing it. His motto is: “I fix shit.” Thanks, pally.

I’ve been listening to a lot of early Beatle. The music and lyrics may not be as sophisticated as their post-Revolver work, but the harmonies are to die for. They sang live in the studio back then and the blending of John and Paul’s voices is sublime. The best example of Beatly greatness I can think of is the fact that George Harrison was the third best singer in the band. And George was no slouch. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

There are many songs titled Tell Me Why. I picked three of them. The Beatles song is basically a John Lennon song and was written in 1964. The Beatles recording history is complex, the early US and UK albums were quite different. In the UK, it appeared on Hard Day’s Night and in the US on Something New. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Our second theme song was written by Neil Young in 1970. It was the opening track on the album that made him a star as a solo artist, After The Gold Rush.

Our third theme song was also written in 1970. Barry Gibb wrote *his* Tell Me Why for the family band’s 2 Years On album.

Now that I’ve told you why, let’s jump to the break.

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