Darren Dreger’s Dive Bar on TSN

Darren Dreger sits back, trying not to look too jowly, in his faux European cafe. Darren Dreger wants to be someone important by casting aspersions, or stirring the shit, as he might say. He wonders aloud if there is a rift between Coach Mike Babcock and Auston Matthews. Babcock replies with civility because that is the business. But the truth is that Dreger’s methods – TSN’s desire for ratings – are nothing more than muck-racking. This tendency in sports journalism is nothing new – noted for its low bar – but why can’t it be hosted in a place where we will all get the point, loud and clear?

Buffoon, The Movie

Buffoon is a comic adventure script that follows Harl, an Englishman, on his search through Europe for his doppelgänger.Harl’s poor language skills (“Tutti vestiti!”) and his meeting with a Werner Herzog doppelgänger in Prague marks the beginning of the hijinks to follow.

Or is this too much like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?

Q107 SuperSet: Greatest Emotions of Man

I won the Q107 SuperSet Competition as a 15-year-old with my entry “The Greatest Emotions of man” which included David Bowie’s Five Years, Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day and Black Sabbath’s Iron Man. The idea of the Q107 Superset was to create a set of songs and see if the radio station would play it. And, yes, my high-fallutin’ concept of being sad, happy and mad won that night. I couldn’t believe it. I might have even screamed and jumped up and down.

I went down to the station the next morning to collect my prize – my own album from the Q107 collection – and was directed into a drab office by an indifferent secretary to pick something out of a cardboard box. “Take whatever you want.” I flicked through the discards – the telltale rectangular notch in the upper right corner – and begrudgingly took something yellow. It was as I descended the cement staircase that I realized that there was an emotion I had neglected to cite – disappointment – but there were no songs for that.

Dumpster Office

I got a job. And it’s a good one.Flexible hours and a place to hide.

Yeah, do you know what it is?

It’s the old buildings you don’t look at, the underside of the bridge, the fat woman eating chips, the cemetery rows, the lonely of lonely eating you out. It’s not a big thing. It’s a nothing thing. It’s the shit of existence, stuff we don’t want and paint and smile about and drink. It’s where those existentialist fucks got their start. It’s just death, realizing that. But my spin goes deeper than that. It’s wonder in the nothingness, thinking, praying, believing it might be there, my eyes coming open, remembering I found something in my life, that surge and flight, that collection of drugs we call love. I have that. Knowing it’s not what it’s supposed to be, knowing it’s a lie that I hold. I am going to be dead. That is my mantra. At least I pretend it is. It should be. I would do things the way I want if it was. I treasure this moment. I wait for the next moment in fear, in delight. Everything is now. And if not, in a bit.

The Animals’ Initiative

The animals started their plan with the giraffe enclosure; the bars were minimal and so not so easy to notice. It was done in an hour, mostly by the baboons. And sure enough, nobody noticed. The kids pointed as usual, the adults on their phones, management more concerned with developing a new logo for the zoo. And so the animals removed the barrier to the Galapagos Tortoise habitat. And nobody noticed. The animals removed the netting from the African Pavilion, the moat from the Arctic and the fence from the Americas. They were all free to go wherever they liked, but they stayed and were fed, like nothing had changed, and then they were gone – on the winter solstice, the longest of nights – and were never seen or heard of again.

The Davis Trilogy: Desperate to Be Not Bad

The Davis Trilogy follows the eponymous character from high school through college and on to work. Which do you prefer as a tagline?

Desperate to be someone, he learns he can’t be anyone else.

OR

He’s not as bad as everybody thinks.

The Black Hole in Grateful Dead Releases

By my count, there have been 148 concerts officially released by The Grateful Dead. These releases have come in various incarnations, most notably Dick’s Picks, Road Trips and, the series of late, Dave’s Picks.And while it is a boon for Deadheads to receive any recordings from the archives, a black hole has emerged in these releases – 1982-86 – which is coincidentally the years of my touring. A grand total of four shows have been released from this era –  amounting to only one third of the 1977 releases alone. Even if we excuse the release of all 22 shows from the 1972 European Tour, this works out to a lousy 3% of the releases from almost 20% of their touring years.So what gives with Dave Lemieux and company? Is it that these years were particularly weak? I would argue the opposite, that these years offer stellar shows with stellar versions of stellar songs.

Check out these recordings on the Grateful Dead archive and hear for yourself:

Greek Theater 1982/05/22 (Lazy Lightnin’-Supplication)

Madison Square Gardens 1982/09/29 (Loser, China Cat-Rider)

Seattle Auditorium 1983/08/27 (Jack Straw)

Indianapolis Sports and Music Center 1984/06/30 (Shakedown-Playin’-Terrapin)

Worchester Centrum 1984/10/08 (Terrapin-Samson)

Augusta Civic Center 1984/10/12 (Cold Rain, Uncle John’s, Morning Dew)

Hartford Civic Center 1984/10/14 (Estimated Prophet)

Oklahoma Zoo Amphitheater 1985/09/02 (BerthaMe and My Uncle, Stagger Lee)

Henry J. Kaiser 1986/02/11 (Bird Song)

Hopefully one day Dave will wake up and get these shows packaged and shipped. (Providence 1986/03/30 is pretty good too.)

Slow Motion Brain into Genius

I think that I remember something that I have to know. I remembered it. It was there. I had it in my head. With it, everything made perfect sense. I was there. I knew it. And then I forgot it. I was awake, not as aware. I let it escape.I need to sleep. I know that. And I will. But not now. I’ve whittled the unnecessary parts out of my head. I’ve made my head vulnerable, the heliocentric core exposed, the truth of my existence right there. I only have to remember it again. It’s that fucking easy.

The Beautiful Drift

The beautiful drift, muttering those words to myself, thinking I knew something real, a fundamental truth or at least a way inside to where I had never been let in, the godsend or baby with shining stars, something beyond me, beyond the game that I insisted on playing to prove I was right. That was what was going through my head as I accosted the family cat.