Happy Friday, readers. I don't have any, er, "big" thoughts today, just lots of unconnected little ones:
--Every March I think about going to SXSW, you know -- the South by Southwest music fest in Austin. And every year I skip it because, having had more than a little experience with music fests in my not-so-distant past, I am, well, kinda done with them. It's a blast, or it can be, but a certain level of "I'll sleep when I'm dead" Warren Zevon-isms coupled with copious beer and energy-drink consumption are how I got through all of those prior multiday extravaganzas. And, really, in these paleo/primal days, I think about the current state of health of Mr. Zevon (hint: he's "sleeping"; he's dead) and I think about how poorly beer treats me when I dabble in it lately, let alone when I dive in head-first, and what a miserable MF I am when I am overtired/exhausted/etc., and yeah.... I'll pass. But damn, I wish I had been in Austin this past week. No, not so much for SXSW -- although I would have been better with that if I just dropped in for a gig here and there if I were already in town -- but rather, for the Paleo FX conference. Tons of smart paleo/primal people learning new things, trading stories, shooting the proverbial shit.... Would have been good times. If you went and wanna share some of the experience in the comments, that'd be cool.
-- As for beer, I think I am pretty much done with it. I mean, yeah, I was pretty much done with it anyway. I think that, since early October, I had only had something like a grand total of three beers, but Sunday we went to a "Brewers' Plate" dinner to benefit the fine folks at Fair Food, and I had probably the equivalent of three 12-ounce beers, albeit in the form of a bunch of three or four-ounce samples. Monday: blech. Irritable, cranky and sporting some lovely zits on my neck that sprouted up overnight. Oh, and yeah, they don't call them "beer farts" for nothing. Thanks, gluten. Thank you very much for reminding me why I need to avoid you. Lesson learned? I like to think so.
-- With elbow surgery pending in only ten days, and, looking at a four-month recovery period because this is a full-slice into the elbow, not an arthroscopic one, I am starting to think about some dietary tweaks that I can do to optimize my recovery. I have my eyes on some mega-hiking in the Sierra Nevada in August, so I wanna be close to 100% for that trip. My thoughts so far are on drinking lots of bone broth, eliminating all booze and upping the consumption of organ meats. I am a little less clear on whether a full-blown autoimmune protocol without eggs, nightshades or dairy would be beneficial. We will see.... I kinda hope not; I love eggs and (grassfed) dairy.
-- If you have a chance to check out Henry Rollins on his current spoken-word tour, do it. I caught it last night in Philly and, damn, if he isn't still smart, interesting, funny and well worth your time, 30-some years after joining Black Flag. The ticket said: "Doors at 7, show at 8," and Henry walked out onstage at 8 p.m. sharp, and proceeded to talk straight through, no breaks, for more than two and one-half hours without so much as a sip of water. The dude is still hardcore.
-- If the state of the (music) world has you, like me, often wondering where all the great albums are, check out the latest from former Screaming Trees lead singer Mark Lanegan. It's called Blues Funeral and is credited to the Mark Lanegan Band. As a real-live-human-being sort of drummer, I do not easily recommend albums that are, at times, awash in drum machines, but this is dark, brooding gold. I had a small epiphany with it on a recent early morning fog-filled 50-mile drive. Truly awesome. Here is a sample:
-- And finally, if you want to make your way through a crazy, schizophrenic beast of a record that never is content to settle on one style of music, but, rather, weaves and turns through punk, shoegaze, twang and even a credible Sonic Youth imitation, head for Open Your Heart by The Men, a band from Brooklyn whose debut, the sometimes-engaging, sometimes spotty Leave Home, left me wondering if they would turn noisier or more melodic for their second venture. They have answered that with more melody... noisy melody. Well played, Men. Here's the Sonic Youth-sounding one:
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