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September 29, 2006

Friday Random Top Ten


Here it is In the tradition of American Idle and Rox Pop, every Friday I will turn the I-Pod to shuffle and see what it spits out. This Friday's Top Ten:

1. The Young New Mexican Puppeteer - Tom Jones
2. Vintage Man - Jack Logan
3. Two Little Hitlers - Elvis Costello
4. Honky Tonk Blues - Hank Williams
5. Accidents Will Happen - Elvis Costello
6. Angel Band - The Stanley Brothers
7. Wash Me - k.d. Lang
8. This Time Darlin' - Social Distortion
9. Do You Wanna Party? - K.C. and the Sunshine Band
10. My Father's Mansion's Rooms - Pete Seeger

What a wacked out list! That Tom Jones song has got to be one of the worst. Favorite song this week - Country Girl from Primal Scream. Just a great toe-tapping, sing-along song. Puts a smile on my face every time I hear it.

What's your top ten?

September 26, 2006




twins win.jpg

Ron Gardenhire addressing his team after the Twins clinched a playoff spot:

"From where we started out to where we are now, it doesn't get much better, boys. It's all because you got behind each other, you pulled for each other, you cared for each other. Congratulations! It's a wonderful feeling watching you guys play the way you have. Continued success. We're not done, boys. We're not even close to done, boys. Let's go!".... The room exploded.

What else can you say?

If you like those musical montages that TV stations put together to celebrate a team’s success, this one doesn’t get any better.

September 22, 2006

Friday Random Top 10

Here it is In the tradition of American Idle and Rox Pop, every Friday I will turn the I-Pod to shuffle and see what it spits out. This Friday's Top Ten:

1. Pop Phenomenon - The Push Kings
2. Paranoid Android - Radiohead
3. Elderly women behind the counter in a small town - Pearl Jam
4. Pencil Test - Yo La Tengo
5. Puddin' Fingers - The Handsome Family
6. Coo Coo Bird - Clarence Ashley
7. In Bloom - Nirvana
8. Yesterday - The Beatles
9. Outdoor Miner - Wire
10. Jane - Golden Smog

Nice mix. Favorite song this week is a little sentimental. It's Wouldn't it be Nice by the Beach Boys. Great sweet song, that I think should actually be classified as bittersweet as I think Brian Wilson is singing about something that he doesn't think will happen. Even with that knowledge it's hard to listen to this song and not smile.

September 15, 2006

Friday Random Top Ten

In the tradition of American Idle and Rox Pop, every Friday I will turn the I-Pod to shuffle and see what it spits out. This Friday's Top Ten:

1. Smile - Jayhawks
2. Contra La Por - Raimon Padilla
3. Stay Hungry - Talking Heads
4. Party Like It's 1999 - Prince
5. Carry that Weight - The Beatles
6. Live in a Hole - Big Black
7. Wave a White Flag - Elvis Costello
8. Iron Man - Black Sabbath
9. Fitter, Happier - Radiohead
10. Trip through Your Wires - U2

Nice mix again, plus The. Worst. Radiohead. Song. Ever. Favorite song this week? Statue of Jesus by the Gear Daddies. Even if you've never been drunk sitting under a statute of Jesus, thinking about your lousy life, I think everyone can relate to this song. That first verse is a killer: Well I'm sitting downtown night crying 'neath the statue of Jesus/Both of us so lonely and cold, hope no one can see us/I know I'm drunk here but I don't think that He cares/surely He must understand these crosses that I bear/so I'm sitting downtown crying 'neath the statue of Jesus.

September 13, 2006

Primary Results

As predicted, no Twins ballpark supporter came even close to being toppled in yesterday's primary election and it looks like all who supported a ballpark will roll to easy victory in November. Since it is extremely rare that a politician is booted out of office for supporting public subsidy of a stadium, it should come as no surprise. Let's hope the ballpark whiners can now just sit back and enjoy what promises to be a fantastic finish to this year's Twins baseball season.

In other primary news, it looks like the 5th Congressional District will be represented by a Black Muslim. Back in May or June, I opined that there should be a primary for the 5th CD seat. I thought that it wasn’t right for 119 party
activist to speak for over 350,000 voters on who our Representative in Congress should be. Even though I was favoring the endorsed candidate, I was still hoping we would have a Primary. Campaigns can tell us a lot about a candidate…how they face adversity, how well they can speak to different groups of people, how much money they can raise (unfortunately important these days). Given the fact that realistically, in the 5th CD, the winner of the DFL primary was going to D.C., I wasn’t worried that a Primary would “tear the party apart? and that it would open the door for a Republican to win.

Well careful what you wish for, you just might get it. Unfortunately these past few months, we heard more about Ellison’s parking tickets than his policy stands. I didn’t take the stand that these peripheral issue shouldn’t be talked about, they should, especially given the number of tickets and the campaign finance fines. It does reflect on
Keith Ellison and the way he has conducted himself. But it shouldn’t have been the only or deciding issue.


What we have also learned about Keith Ellison is that he is passionate, curious, a hard worker, someone who represents his constituents to the fullest. He’s willing to look at all sides of an issue and he’s willing to roll up his sleeves and craft a solution to the problems facing his district. Many supporters have compared him to Paul
Wellstone, however, I have found that while he is a passionate as Wellstone, Ellison also is willing to engage in the hard work of “legislating.? (Something Wellstone, bless his soul, didn’t spend a lot of time doing).

Given the vanilla safeness of the other candidates, I wasn't surprised that some took the easy route and voted for one of other candidates. My wife, for instance, voted for Ember based solely on the fact that ERY was a woman. However, It's apparent that a plurality of voters wanted a vibrant, hard-working, passionate voice representing Minnesota’s 5th District, someone who is inspirational AND gets things done.

Now in the next 50-some days the Republicans are going to lie, exaggerate, and smear Keith Ellison. They are going to say he's anti-woman, anti-jew, supports the terrorists. Don't believe it for a second. Their efforts have nothing to do with Keith Ellison, they know he's going to win -- the 5th CD is too overwhelmingly Democratic for that not to happen. What the Republicans do hope to accomplish is to tamper enthusiasm, suppress the vote, so that liberals, Democrats, and progressives, don't come to the polls and don't vote for the DFL candidates for Senator and Governor. Let's not let them get away with it.

September 10, 2006

Bob Dylan's Dinkytown

Hey did you know that Bob Dylan is from Minnesota and lived in Dinkytown? Actually Dylan’s time in Dinkytown, though short, plays an important role in the myth of “Bob.? Dylan arrived in Dinkytown in the fall of 1959 intending to enroll at the University of Minnesota. After spending about 15 months and never enrolling at the U of MN, he headed off to NYC and the rest is history. However it was in Dinkytown that Dylan traded his electric guitar for an acoustic, was introduced to folk music, and most importantly to Dylan’s early career, heard Woody Guthrie and read Bound for Glory for the first time.

Since I work in Dinkytown, I thought I would take pictures of the some of places made famous by Bob Dylan during his short stay.

As most Bob-philes know, Bob Dylan lived above Gray’s Campus Drug. Here it is today, now a chi-chi pasta bar.


In Chronicles Vol.1 Dylan said that his room ($30.00 a month rent!) over the drug store was a small room overlooking the alley. This picture shows that alley.


This is the house where the so-called Party Tape was made. The Party Tape is one of the first known recordings of Bob Dylan actually performing. You can hear the Party Tape at the Minnesota History Center.


Here, sadly is the site of the 10:00 Scholar – a coffeeshop where Dylan performed. It has been a parking lot for as long as I can remember, at least 30 years. The 10:00 Scholar was a beat coffee shop much like the coffee shops at Harvard Square where Joan Baez was starting to get some notice. Koerner Ray and Glover also got their start at the 10:00 and this is where Dylan met "Spider" John Koerner.


Directly across the 10:00 Scholar was McCosh Bookstore, where Dylan used to hang out. It is still a bookstore but I’m pretty sure it is not the same building. In Chronicles, Dylan describes a guy named Jon Pankake who lived above McCosh. Pankake was a huge influence on Dylan's path toward folk music.

UPDATE! According to an entry in the comments below, the site of McCosh Bookstore was across the street from this site. It was right next to the 10:00 Scholar and is now a parking lot. See the picture above.


Besides living above Gray’s Campus Drug, Dylan also lived in the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity house, although he never pledged. The Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity is now located on 5th Street, which I found confusing because in Chronicles, Dylan describes watching the cars go by on University Avenue from the frat. I found out that Sigma Alpha Mu was on University Avenue in the late 50’s and early 60’s. Here is the Frat (oops Sorority) House currently at the address where Sigma Alpha Mu was located. To my semi-trained eye, it looks like this building was built in the 70’s.


You can’t tell by the photo, but Interstate 35 is 50 yards away from this site. I wouldn’t be surprised if the original fraternity house was demolished when the Interstate went in and this house was built later.

Finally, you don’t find any plaques or celebrations about Dylan’s time in Dinkytown. Minnesotans are not like that, however I found this sign interesting. During Dylan’s time in Dinkytown, he also performed at a little pizza shack in St. Paul called the Purple Onion. There is a coffee house in Dinkytown called the Purple Onion, an obvious homage to Bob’s time here.


So there you go, the spots that Bob Dylan made famous. As you can see, not a lot remains as it was some 45 plus years ago, Minnesotan’s don’t cotton to calling attention to itself or preserving it's past.

If anyone has any other information, more addresses, corrections, etc. please let me know in the comments section.

September 8, 2006

Friday Random Top 10


In the tradition of American Idle and Rox Pop, every Friday I will turn the I-Pod to shuffle and see what it spits out. This Friday's Top Ten:

1. Levitate Me - Pixies
2. Cold Beverage - G. Love and Special Sauce
3. Big River - Johnny Cash
4. Rock & Roll - Led Zeppelin
5. 23 Beats Off - Fugazi
6. Unchain My Heart - Ray Charles
7. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2
8. Who'll Stop the Rain - Creedance Clearwater Revival
9. Sailin' to Hawaii - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
10. Lady Godiva's Operation - The Velvet Underground

Wow! My favorite top 10 yet. Nice mix of songs and styles, I love everyone of these songs. Favorite song this week? Workingman Blues #2 from Dylan's new album Modern Times. Just a beautiful song, great lyrics. Easily Bob's best song since Tangled Up in Blue. (Sick of Love a close 2nd). Btw, T(T.F.)S, let me know how the Dylan concert was in Rochester, I almost called you up to see if I could hitch a ride, but family obligations got in the way.

What's your top 10?

September 5, 2006

Worst. Summer. Movie. Season. Ever!


Labor Day marks the official end of the summer movie season and I say good riddance! You know it's a bad movie season when the two movies that that provided any entertainment was Al Gore giving a powerpoint presentation and a movie about some motherf*%!king snakes on a motherf*%!king plane. The trailer for The Devil Wears Prada was more entertaining than most of the movies I saw.

Movies were so bad this year that I only went to a few (see list below) but I have to direct my ire at the undisputed box office champ: Pirates of the Caribbean. Now I liked the first POTC, it was a fun, rollercoaster of a ride. But this year's version was a big pile of stinking dog crap. It was so bad that it makes that other bad 2nd movie, Matrix: Rebloated, look like The Empire Strikes Back. So here is a short review of the movies I saw this summer.

Mission Impossible 3 - Not a bad way to burn a crappy May evening. Don't think too hard about the plot.
Nacho Libre - Why Jack Black why? One funny scene that I can't remember now
Pirates of the Caribbean - See above. Bad, stupendously bad, Green Bay Packer offensive line bad.
Superman - It's a Superman movie. You get what you pay for.
Prairie Home Companion - Saw only the first half, then the Lagoon Theater lost power. Will rent to see what happens.
My Super ex-Girlfriend - Better than I expected, moderately funny
An Inconvienent Truth - Actually enjoyable and thought provoking, well worth the $8.00
Snakes on a Plane - The only movie this summer that made me laugh, made me jump out of my seat, made my heart pound.

What movies did you see this summer?

UPDATE!! How could I forget The Davinci Code. Maybe the fact that I did forget about it tells you something.

September 1, 2006

Friday Random Top Ten - Labor Day Edition


In the tradition of American Idle and Rox Pop, every Friday I will turn the I-Pod to shuffle and see what it spits out. This Friday's Top Ten:

1. New Soft Shoe - Gram Parsons
2. Peace on Earth - U2
3. Black - Pearl Jam
4. John Wayne Gacy Jr. - Sufjan Stevens
5. Misunderstood - Wilco
6. Heat Wave - The Half Dozen
7. Big Star - Jayhawks
8. Rosie - Joan Armatrading
9. Only the Lonely - Roy Orbison
10. With a Little Help From my Friends - The Beatles

Favorite song this week - Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday. This is a very powerful song about lynchings. It was performed by Billie Holiday in the 30's and 40's when lynchings of black men went practically unabated in the South. The quiet rage she brings to this song, the bewilderment, the sadness...cuts like a knive.

What's on your top 10?