Quote of the Day

"Buzz, buzz."--Hamlet

The opinions, rants and absurdities expressed herein belong solely to the founder of RBPD. Read with caution. Content may induce nausea, confusion, vertigo, tears, hallucinations, anger, pity, reflexive piety, boredom, convulsions, lightheadedness, a fit of ague, or an opposing view.

Books by RBP writers: Round Bend Press Books. For RBP's writing and editing services go here.

Friday, August 31, 2012

End of the Line

Starting tomorrow light rail and trolley service in Portland's downtown core, an area for years referred to as "fareless square," will no longer be free.

You see, in the days prior to this epic and sleazy turnabout by Tri-Met, the region's governing transportation overlord, you could hop on a train and ride five or six blocks to get to the doctor or grocery store (or the favorite bar) and feel good about the state of the community.

For the unemployed, underemployed,  the impoverished and the sick and the infirm, the old system was a lifesaver, particularly in inclement weather, something rainy Portland knows well.

No more.  Tri-Met's facile incompetence has at last presented this option:  You may ride one city block on the Max train or Portland trolley for exactly 2.25 American.

Which is the same price, short a nickle or two, it costs to ride to the Max terminus in Hillsboro, a 14 mile trip, or to the one in the opposite direction in Gresham, a 15 mile trip from Portland's central city.

I don't mind paying for long trips, and in fact can see why I should.  I'm able, at this stage of life, to walk about anywhere I want to walk or have to walk to take care of my business within Portland's core area.

But I will not pay 2.25 American to ride two blocks.

Many of Portland's downtown residents, however, aren't as fortunate as I am to be able to avoid the necessity of using the public system in Portland's core area.  The burden placed on them to cover Tri-Met's gross negligence is absurd and simply another example of how the poor have been blindsided by Tri-Met's inability to compute the social costs of its policy and management decisions.

Tri-Met, kiss my ass.

There is not a single goddamned reason in hell why a person riding one block should have to pay the same amount to ride Max as a person who is riding the train to its terminus 15 miles away.

Unless that reason is to rip people off or make the system as inequitable as you possibly can in your bureaucratic, over-paid haze.

The planning in this policy change has been atrocious and has created another weapon in the armory of those who believe, like I do, that we've arrived at yet another example of how Tri-Met has lost its way.


TS


Chaos Theory



How can American football hater Deemer argue with this as entertainment?  Not to mention the inherent metaphor.  People are confused!


TS

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Games Begin

Following my annual tradition, I watched a couple of opening games of the college football season this evening.

I stayed with the Vanderbilt vs. No. 9 South Carolina game and was pulling for the underdogs from Nashville.  They almost pulled it off.

USC was helped by a non-call late in the game when a DB held a Vanderbilt receiver's arm on a fourth down pass.

The pass interference non-call cost Vandy a new series of downs and a chance to score the go ahead TD with just under two minutes remaining.

Too bad, but Vandy is much improved these days. The brainiac school has long been a constant doormat of the SEC.

The Washington State vs. BYU game is a penalty-marred affair at the half.  WSU looks awful.  It might be a long first year for Mike Leach, the eccentric WSU coach who did wonders at Texas Tech not long ago.

I've watched the highlights of the UCLA game as well; the Bruins appear to have finally found a quarterback in Brett Hundley.  The kid is fast and led the way as UCLA clobbered Rice, the other brainiac team that played tonight.

I'd like to see Vandy and Rice face off in a chess tournament next.  Pay money to see that.

I'll catch the Boise State vs. Michigan State game tomorrow night.  I can watch because the game is being played in East Lansing and not Boise where that stupid blue turf gives me a headache.


TS

Looking Ahead

The original plan was to bring out K.C. Bacon's first novel for RBP, Moon Over New Rotterdam, this month.

We will look ahead and hope for Sept. instead, and a second and third Bacon offering after that. 

Two certainties exist, however, regarding a couple of other planned books.  Charles Deemer's opera libretto, Varmints, will appear in October, and Charles Lucas's second book, Rust, will be published in November.

Unless something major falls into my lap or circumstances change between now and the new year, that is the plan.


TS

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Oregon Promo



This is what it is all about from my perspective.

This photog and his crew had access to summer practices and made the most of it (few did).  An insider's view of what it takes to play football at Oregon.

Clever as heck, a real surprise manufactured by the UO athletic department.

Bring the games on, starting tomorrow night when Mike Leach's Washington State team takes on BYU.

I can't wait!

TS

The Deemer Interview



Here it is almost one in the morning and this video is finally done after a couple of false starts tied entirely to my own incompetence.

I hate me.

But I love Deemer.  He is the author of many books, three of which I'm proud to say have the Round Bend Press imprint on them.

A fourth, Varmints, will appear in October about the time Deemer's screenwriting class at Portland State gets serious.

I hope you enjoy this version of the interview; it was hell to produce!

But that is another story.

TS

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Me Generation


Bryan Bennett, newly anointed backup quarterback to Marcus Mariota on the University of Oregon football team, is in a funk.

He's mulling a transfer.

Where?

When?

The better question is, why?

Mariota could break a leg in the first quarter of the first game of the year!  Kids today are too selfish.  It is all about me and me and me.

Kid ought to stick around for this year, assess things and then make a decision.  Hell, he could play for a Division III school next year and still catch on in the NFL.

It's not like the scouts don't know his talent level.

Jesus, I knew this would happen.



TS

Monday, August 27, 2012

Slugging it Out

(Jim Wylie and Deemer)

The work is tough for this old cowpoke, but I'm plunging ahead with the short film on Charles Deemer.

I've managed about five minutes so far and it's not bad, just rendered with my usual lack of technical expertise, which is partly why it's taking time.

I'll live with it, and so will you if you want a glimpse of this unique character.

I'll sure in the heck let you know when it's finished!

This Deemer poem from In My Old Age opens the film.


TS

Love Poem




TS

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Pogues



There is no better way to begin your Sunday than by listening to "Dirty Old Town."

Here is a history of the song.

TS

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Classic McCormick (2001)



Miranda July narrated Matt McCormick's "The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal," a classic of short short cinema.

If you haven't seen this in its entirety, find it.  It is a masterpiece.


TS

The Who



"Just like yesterday..."

TS

The Doors



And why in the hell not?

TS

Free Fall

As if I need evidence to back my post below, there is this keen analysis from Michelle Chen at Common Dreams.

This reality is not an unknown mystery.  It is, however, why there is so little substance to our national discourse.

Those who have security won't talk about our struggle; those who don't can't find representation or a coherent voice.


TS

Friday, August 24, 2012

Another View


The former star quarterback/safety/punter of the Cal Tech freshman football team takes me to task here for my ecstatic preview of the upcoming college football season.

Wherein he recycles his usual bag of neurotic tropes against the game:

* Nike is evil and the University of Oregon is now Nike U., run by the malevolent and despicable Oregon alum Phil Knight, whom Deemer once interviewed and found disagreeable. Also a Stanford Business School graduate, Knight has famously endowed that fine university as well as the University of Oregon.  He is also known to have put up the cash so that Oregon State University could keep its excellent baseball coach, Pat Casey.

Corporate patronage exists in the university system?  I had no idea.

Let's focus on the real issue in plain sight here.  The endowment/patronage system, coupled with increasingly high tuition costs at every university in the land, is creating a new class of permanently impoverished former college students with mountains of debt and limited opportunities for advancement.  That system aids two elements within the structural makeup of the education hierarchy:  Bankers and college administrators.  The very notion that in order to "succeed" in life one is required to accumulate massive debt is a cruel joke being played on everybody.

It is better to have a rich uncle named Sam.  The merit system is all but dead because there are too many bright, unemployed people out there and too few good jobs.

The nation needs more poor intellectuals like it needs another hole in its head.  Perhaps one advantage that may come from this, likely long after I am buried and forgotten, is that the disenfranchised intellectuals will rise up and one day seize control of the instruments of power.  Education along with health care will become available for all and not just for the privileged.

* Corruption is rife in college football.  I agree.  It is also rife in Congress.  I'm more worried about Congress than I am the simple-minded game of football, which after all is merely an entertainment.  We are possibly losing the fight against corruption on an enormous scale, one that matters, one that causes our worries about mere games to pale.  Corruption is everywhere.  There is no getting around it. To eradicate the corruption in big-time college football the designers and funding bodies of all our institutions must first deal with the grieving spirit of the body politic.  All of it is linked to the almighty dollar.

Football is a gnat on a fly's ass, in other words.  It is sitting in the third-class section of the collective flight to ruin that is the corruption inherent in the flailing U.S. empire.

Well, I can be a generalist, too.

* Dancing in the end zone upsets Deemer.  He apparently doesn't realize that dance steps have been outlawed in college football for years now.  To dance is to be penalized and draw the wrath of the head coach, never mind the player's position coach.  The corrupt NCAA made that rule in case you are interested.

Oh, how today's players would love to dance if they could.

*The "thugs" versus "character" issue in college football is an interesting one, albeit rife with racial overtones.  There are thousands of college football players in the U.S.  I don't have a clue as to how many are thugs or how many are "character guys." I read the sports pages and see that players year in and year out get arrested for a variety of criminal behaviors. Many, particularly recently, are kicked off their teams.

I don't read much about the upstanding guys in college football because they're seldom written about.  I do recall a story  awhile back about Oregon's John Boyett volunteer-mentoring in his hometown high school every summer, so I know there is at least one character guy at Oregon.

Bless us.

* Deemer has an issue with the student/athlete and sees a landscape wherein the athlete is perhaps getting a free pass academically.  I've been to college.  I've seen many students who failed to grease their academic wheels.  Few of them were athletes, perhaps because the numbers were disparate, but most failed because they were too immature to study and take academic training seriously.  In my own case, I nearly flunked out the year I played college football at a small Oregon school.  I'm absolutely certain this was because I didn't apply myself to the work.

I eventually made things right.

At the University of Oregon, I watched a trust-fund kid or two flunk out, laughing all the way.  Here's a story about an Oregon, yes, "student/athlete," who did a bang up job last year.  In the classroom and on the field.

The same kid has intimated he left Los Angeles to escape some poor scenery and bad acting in his old neighborhood.

*As for Deemer's constant comparison of futbol and football (soccer and American football), I'd like to say that I too think soccer is a wonderful sport, though the American Major League Soccer organization is another cruel joke.  Millions around the world can't be wrong about soccer, particularly those in the traditional soccer nations.

Soccer, however, is not remotely related to American football and should be part of a separate discussion.  All they have in common is the name football.

My short video on the subject of Charles Deemer will appear here soon.  Watch it or turn somnambulant.


TS

A Fan's Notes

The college football world turns its collective gaze to Eugene today to find out who starts the season as Oregon's quarterback.  The choice:  Bryan Bennett or Marcus Mariota.

I personally think too much is made of decisions like the one head coach Chip Kelly will announce later this morning.  One young man will be anointed the role of savior for this season; the other will take a clipboard to the sideline and keep notes.

Oregon is in the enviable position of having two fine young quarterbacks that could play just about anywhere except USC this year, where the incumbent golden boy, Matt Barkley, is said to walk on water.

But one of Oregon's guys is going to be very unhappy at the end of the day.  Will a sudden transfer be the second headline soon thereafter?

The funny deal is that both Bennett and Mariota are likely to play a lot in the early season, unless Oregon is vastly overrated and finds itself struggling against teams it is supposed to handle with ease.

First up next Saturday is Arkansas State.  ASU had a fine season last year, finishing 10-3, and has the core of that team returning and a new head coach with pedigree.  Gus Malzahn coached at football hotbed Auburn and knows his stuff.

But the Sun Belt Conference is a mid-major conference and supposedly is unworthy of competing with the big boys of the PAC.

We'll see.

The day is drawing near, folks.  If you've read this blog with the diligence that I have long suspected of you, you understand that college football is my number one entertainment.

Some folks prefer a long bike ride along a sunny path, but I'd rather sit at the bar or on my sofa and watch others exercise.

I like college football better than bad movies in the cineplex; a carnival ride doesn't compare. Hiking and mountain climbing are not even close; a long walk on the beach with a fine babe is okay, as long as it winds up near a television by 9 a.m. PT on Saturday mornings when the weekly ritual begins.

If she sits down next to me in the bar and consumes the game with the same passion I have she will win my heart.

Hell, I'll buy her a beer if she wants one.

Next Saturday I shall celebrate the dawning of a vital new thing, an annual second lease on life, an otherworldly experience that some have compared to the ingestion of a good drug.

The quarterback drama playing out in Eugene today?

I don't care who gets the job as long as the Ducks win, baby.  Yeah!


TS

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bigelow on Zinn


Portland educator and writer Bill Bigelow with a fine piece on the legacy of Howard Zinn.







TS

Doubling Out

Now this sounds like something that might float my boat.

I've worked in a few beer joints that featured dartboards.  Off duty (sometimes) I'd partake.

If I consumed the appropriate quantity of a favorite beverage my accuracy never failed to increase.

For awhile.

But as with pool and storytelling, the trick is in knowing when one's edge is fading.

When you've won enough to be a few rounds ahead of your competition it is time to return the feathered missiles to the shelf and move on to the next distraction.

In my day, that didn't necessarily mean it was time to go home.  It just meant that bullseyes might not be a realistic quest for the remainder of the evening.


TS


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kerouac & Allen



It's been awhile.

TS

The Painter/Neil Young



TS

Sacco and Hedges Team Up

This is certainly a different view of the good old U.S.A.

Here is a good movie that covers this delightful aspect of Americana.

Hedges and Sacco are a formidable team.  Either would make a good Cultural Minister in the R&R administration should it bless us with its presence, but we'll get stuck with somebody like this.

Or worse, this guy.

So while you are following the bouncing ball, read this.

The guy is brilliant.

TS

Monday, August 20, 2012

Augusta National Opens the Floodgates!

(Atlanta)

I'm just a little curious about why the brass at Augusta didn't make room for Annie Mae Potts of Bankhead (Westside) Atlanta.

Augusta National  has long maintained the right to discriminate because it is a private club.

However, I also have the right to make fun of you if you are stupid.

What a joke.

TS


A Rarity

The Oregonian is famous for its steady dearth of meaningful content, but if anybody on that staff is going to step outside the boundaries on occasion it is usually David Sarasohn.

He put his thinking cap on for this one yesterday.

Thanks for the gesture, Mr. Sarasohn.

ED. Note:  I ran into Sarasohn on the trolley this afternoon (Tues.) and commended him for the piece on FISA.

He said, "it's not something people like to think about."

I said, "most people are sheep."

Sarasohn didn't say anything and found a seat as far from me as he could.


TS

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Life


Yesterday, in perfect weather for shooting video, I gathered the material for a piece on Round Bend contributor Charles Deemer.

We sat in the Park Blocks in and around Portland State, where Deemer has taught screenwriting for the past fifteen years.

It was cloudy and cool under the canopy of the park's many trees.  A few drops of rain fell and a relaxed discussion ensued.

We covered a lot of territory, more than enough to fill a ten-minute bio/assessment of his work.  Now comes the chore of paring it down to a literate whole.

I'll take a little time with it, see what transpires.

I like the possibilities inherent in this one.  Deemer is a natural storyteller, so this piece could go in a myriad of directions.

I need to brood about it and play with it.


TS

Friday, August 17, 2012

In Play


Once again CD has put his work in the hands of the judges at the Oregon Book Awards.

His Sodom Gomorrah & Jones and Eight Plays.

May luck and good grace be his.



TS

A New Life

I must say it'll be nice when the temp cools tomorrow here in Portland. This has been one of the few stretches I can remember wherein I've longed for AC.

We don't even think about having AC around here, or most of us don't. But yeah, sleeping comfortably has not been the easiest thing to do.

Tomorrow should be a big day. I'm expecting to see the files of K.C. Bacon's (check out his work at the sidebar) first fiction for Round Bend, a novella titled Moon Over New Rotterdam.

Looking forward to that, as he and his design team have put a lot of work into making this one polished to a high sheen.

This book is about a character who has lost his way in life only to return to his hometown of New Rotterdam to make a new beginning. Forced by circumstances into a new existence of meditative observation, the middle-aged protagonist in the novella discovers some things about life that he'd managed to overlook, until memory awakens something new in his spirit.

I have the feeling I'll be pleased with the production values for this book, and I hope you are as well when you dig deep into your savings and purchase this must read.

Next month at about this time, Bacon will follow up with a second novella. More on that later, along with perhaps some other press-related news.

More big doings: I've approached another RBP contributor about an interview and video project that partly summarizes his career while looking ahead at his latest ideas. I'll shoot that tomorrow if possible.

If I get what I need I'll begin to assemble it next week and release it here ASAP.

All in all, I have good things to look forward to in the next days: Cooler temps; a new book; a video project. 


TS

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Perfect Game
























I was at the ball park today when Felix Hernandez threw his perfect game.  Lucky for me I had my "Bloggie" handy and was able to snap off a few high quality shots before true bedlam set in.*

If you've never seen a perfect game in person, I recommend it.

*I'm making this up.

TS

Dooley Reads Spicer/For RP Thomas


Periodically my old pal RP Thomas of Phoenix, Oregon has pleaded with me to have Dooley read a poem by the highly influential San Francisco poet Jack Spicer.

Well, Bob, here is Dooley reading Spicer just for you.

Here is the text in case you cannot decipher Buddy's speech.

TS

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Basketball Shoe/Buddy Dooley


















Several people have inquired about this.  It is a paintbox/graphic by
Buddy Dooley.

And no, it is not for sale unless you want to mortgage your house.


TS

Artists

















Terence (right) and I working on a project and a few drinks.


TS

Letterman

Eaton and Letterman.  David is impressed even if he doesn't like showing it.









TS

Jack Spicer


To satisfy the odd urges of RP Thomas in Phoenix I have set in motion a plan to deliver a video of Dooley reading Jack Spicer, the voice of the San Francisco Renaissance.

Ed. Note:  Thomas called Dooley's book, People, Polemics and Pooh-Pah, "splendid."

Spicer, who spurned the "Beats" after co-founding the Six Gallery with a group of painters; who argued intelligently that poetry does not come from writing but rather from Martians and other "Outsiders."

This is the poem Dooley shall tackle, with visuals I have yet to complete while risking nothing but the fucked-up fate of my dreams to relate:

A Poem For Dada Day At The Place April 1, 1958

I

The bartender
Has eyes the color of ripe apricots
Easy to please as a cash register he
Enjoys art and good jokes.
Squish
Goes the painting
Squirt
Goes the poem
He
We
Laugh.


II

It is not easy to remember that other people died
          besides Dylan Thomas and Charlie Parker
Died looking for beauty in the world of the
          bartender
This person, that person, this person, that person
          died looking for beauty
Even the bartender died


III   

Dante blew his nose
And his nose came off in his hand
Rimbaud broke his throat
Trying to cough
Dada is not funny
It is a serious assault
On art
Because art
Can be enjoyed by the bartender.


IV

The bartender is not the United States
Or the intellectual
Or the bartender
He is every bastard that does not cry
When he reads this poem.


TS

Monday, August 13, 2012

RIP Johnny Pesky

The legendary Johnny Pesky dies at 92.

This guy was before my time, obviously.  But growing up, a baseball player or fan knew about his great affiliation with the Red Sox.

He batted in front of Ted Williams, which meant he saw a lot of good pitches.  He made the best of the situation.

He was a fixture in the American League, revered in his home towns of Portland and Boston.


TS

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekend

What a nice relaxed weekend.

Saturday morning I walked over to Portland State and took in the Vikings' first fall football scrimmage. Then I had an idea related to that and a video shoot I want to do next weekend.

If something comes of it I'll post the piece next week, and I do think something special might be in store.

Last night I entertained myself with another documentary, watching  Third Reich: The Rise and Fall.  Not to be confused with the more familiar Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, based on William L. Shirer's mammoth 1960 study of the war, it is rather a smaller project that I found quite intriguing for its use of home movie footage shot by both civilians and soldiers.

I suppose I'm the last soul in the world to have seen these images, but they were new to me, so that was meaningful last night as I watched.

I've not seen much of the home footage for whatever reason, but it was nicely integrated with much of the familiar news, combat, and propaganda reels we are used to from documentaries about Nazism.

Or, perhaps I've forgotten some of the material.  In that case shame on me, for it is the kind of stuff that should never be forgotten, even as we watch other disasters at home and abroad unfold before our eyes.

Fifteen years ago the late Michael Marantic showed me a home movie his father had made in Germany in 1938, and I thought about how well that footage would have fit into the movie I watched last night.

Marantic died suddenly a few years ago at just 43 years.  I hope that valuable piece of family history found its way back to the family vaults, because it was really quite amazing and should be preserved for the record.

A month or so ago I read Jim Thompson's noir novel The Killer Inside Me, so I picked up another today and find myself once again enjoying his style.

It took me awhile to get to Thompson, but I'm glad I finally have.

The trick this week will be to combine that reading with some press-related reading that I'm committed to.

Things should roll easily, for I am an amazing man by my own calculation, hip as heck, and not to be denied.


TS

Friday, August 10, 2012

Country Voices/Mel Tillis/on Porter Wagoner's Show



RP Thomas of Phoenix finally pleased the publisher/editor/god of Round Bend and sent me one worthy of the name Country.

After his debacle of submitting surf music in the name of country I am forgiving.

He writes, "One more entry, this one is special as it's Mel Tillis..."

No shit, RPT!

TS

A Fishy Story

Holy smokes!

It looks like Ambrose Berg,* a trust fund moralist, is dead set on buying the New Rotterdam Smelts, a minor league baseball team that just may be as wild and dysfunctional as the old 1970's Portland Mavericks, who were owned by this guy, managed by this guy for a season, and once had this guy on the roster, along with the owner's son.

*Ambrose Berg is a fictional character created by Tacoma writer K.C. Bacon.  Ambrose will appear for the first time in Thanks, Joaquin, to be published by RBP in September.  He does not buy the ball club in Thanks, Joaquin, but I'm certain he will eventually.

TS

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Eaton's Gold

Some nice photos and the story of Ashton Eaton's predictable victory in London.

The decathlon champ is the world's greatest athlete.  It's hard to argue that fact.

This is the one Olympic event that I'd have paid money to watch.

But that is just me.


TS

Painting and Poem/K.C. Bacon
























GOODBYE "UNA FURTIVA LAGRIMA"

Italy
In browns and velvet,
Deep green;

I saw this soul
Once nearby
Crooning

Into a barrel of flames —
A woman
Like him, singing

To the same heaven
Where God
With man

Is right
And hot with life
Yet —

Of course I applauded —
Of course I did
And then of course

I died.

Goodbye, "Una Furtiva Lagrima."


K.C. Bacon's first RBP novella, Moon Over New Rotterdam, will appear later this month.


TS


The Natural



































The kid looks poised and ready to do some damage.
All the pitchers in his neighborhood are frightened.
I wouldn't want to pitch to him, either.

TS

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

After an Exchange of Notes with a Poet



Enjoy!


TS

You Don't Have to Wait

Now you may already know about this cool documentary site, but I'm a relative newcomer to things Internet and didn't discover it until last year.

With a calculated desire to thieve from the best and apply those cribbed techniques to the memoir project I'm creating for next year, I've spent considerable time browsing and watching the films in this collection.

Some are of course better than others, but it offers a wide spectrum of content and styles for documentary fans.

Give it a try while you wait for the astonishing Round Bend Press production that is in the works.  It'll temper  your excitement and give you something productive to do until my film appears.


TS

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Country Voices/Willie & Merle/Okie from Muskogee



Why in the hell not?  Two voices.  Two legends.


TS

Monday, August 6, 2012

On This Day in 1945

A not so gentle reminder from Chris Hedges.










TS


Country Voices/Southern Culture on the Skids/Mudbuggy



Bob of Phoenix, Oregon thinks this is country.  Sounds more like surf music to me.  But with him being Round Bend's  biggest surfer I posted it anyway.

"These bastards are just plain fucking good," Bob writes.

Mr. Thomas, I've warned you about swearin' on my blog.  Don't make me ask Dooley to clean up after you, if you know what I mean.

TS

Blazing Sun

We posted a high today of 91 in Portland, down from the previous two afternoons.

Heck, it'll be raining before we know it.  Aside from not having air-conditioning and having additional troubles sleeping on top of my usual troubles with insomnia, I rather enjoy the bright, hot days.

It'll cool down to a mild, sunny 75 in a few days, which is fine with me.

TS

Riskin' Multitudinous Corruption

How many of y'all know what today is?

Probably not many of ya because y'all so bright and being literary types you could give a shit 'bout what I think, but I'll tell y'all anyways.

This is the first day of college football practice for the University of Oregon leadin' up to the Ducks' openin' game Sept. 1 against Arkansas State.

If y'all don't know what that means for this old country boy y'all ain't been payin' attention.

It means one, I'm back in the saddle and I'm as pleased as a pig in a slop farm.

It means two, I can start bitchin' about the way Chip Kelly has closed off his practice sessions at my alma mater and turned the public university's football program into a goddamn elitist secret affair that stinks just like that slop farm I'm talkin' 'bout.

Now let me be the third or fourth hundred folk to say it and say it nice 'n' loud.

By takin' the transparency out of that football program y'all be treadin' on some dangerous terrain.

Now I ain't sayin' the football program at the University of Oregon is approachin' Penn State's degree of multitudinous corruption.

I'm jus' askin' why y'all even want to risk bein' so dumb?

And another thing folks.  I'm really sorry 'bout slippin' into this phony country vernacular I been usin' in this post, but y'all see I been listenin' to so damn many country tunes of late, well, I'm startin' to talk like Tom T. Hall.


TS

Country Voices/Patsy Cline/Walkin' After Midnight



Another from Bob in Phoenix, Oregon who writes sensitively:  "We don't want to forget the great Patsy Cline; this is for Betty in Baltimore and if we were in a bar I'd try to buy here a beer and get her drunk and..."

What else is country good for, I ask you?

TS


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Country Voices/Lucinda Williams/Changed the Locks



Betty from Baltimore says, "Hey guys, how about puttin' the women out there for once?  Don't make me lock you sexist pigs out!"

Thanks, Betty.

In fact, we do love Lucinda.  I'm on record with that if you care to look it up.

TS

Country Voices/Hank Williams Jr./All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)



Deemer with another, and these wise words: "Man, all your country songs were making me nostalgic and ready to break out until I remembered drinking is a young man's sport. And what song says it better than this one?"

Well, a pacemaker will give you a little jolt along with some horse sense that is for sure!

 TS

Country Voices/Toby Keith/I Love This Bar



From Buddy Dooley who writes, "Kiss my butt, this is the real America and this is the greatest country song ever written.  You can have your Haggard and the rest of that crap.  Give me Toby Keith any day of the week and three times on Sunday.  Get a job, RBP.  You suck!"

Buddy Dooley, folks.  What can you say?

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Country Voices/Merle Haggard/Sing Me Back Home

I can't embed this one, but Chris Pilon of Houston demands I post it "in memory of our good friend, Roger Blakely III."

There is no doubt that Haggard is the best.

But come on people!  There are others out there.

Keep 'em comin'!



TS

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Country Voices/Doc Watson/Storms Are on the Ocean



 From Chris Pilon in Houston, "because I am waiting for a category 5 hurricane to come ashore."


 TS

Don't Look Back


Bob Dylan is a liar!










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Country Voices/Steve Earle/The Mountain



Steve Earle in a later period; still fantastic, submitted by John Thomas of Ashland, Oregon.

With this: "Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis"

Too bad for Car Talk, but great for Round Bend.



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Country Voices/Merle Haggard/Big City



Damn! Haggard truly is an institution.

RPT weighs in right after Deemer with another Haggard classic, writing "Country music that makes me want to drink cheap beer at the bar."

How true.

Question for all: The bigger genius? Dylan or Haggard? I call it a tie.


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Country Voices/Merle Haggard/Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down



The first RBP reader to weigh in with the wisdom of his Country nailed it big time.

Charles Deemer writes, "Because the late John Basham, good friend, sang it to me the night I met him in an Oregon campground on the coast and it brought tears to my eyes it sounded so true. He told me to listen to the guy that wrote it, Merle Haggard, so I did. Basham's version was just as good."

My God, Merle Haggard! It don't get any better than this, but keep 'em coming!

TS

Country Voices/Steve Earle



"This song makes me want a shot of whiskey and a Lucky Strike first thing in the morning, chase it with a nice iced Bud long-neck," writes R.P. Thomas of Phoenix, Oregon.

I can't remember RPT ever drinking anything other than a cold beer or two back in the day, but he obviously knows what the good life entailed for some of us once upon a time.

He sent this video to me this morning, a kind of wistful recognition of Steve Earle's genius and an unrecoverable past life, when living recklessly and for the moment was the ultimate.

Only a man with extremely good tastes and a heightened aesthetic like RPT could say it with such clarity.

Meanwhile, Steve Earle is in a class of his own and has been for years.

If any of you other hardcore RBP fans have a favorite country link send it to my email at roundbendpress@yahoo.com and we'll add yours to this Country Voices thang.  

Like Mr. Thomas, tell me in a line or two why you dig it.



TS

Friday, August 3, 2012

Country Voices/Jerry Reed



The wonderful things that happen in this video are numerous.

If you don't know Reed, give it a chance.  His self-deprecating humor to start with is a big part of his charm.  You'll see when he plugs in his guitar and doesn't fully set the plug.  He thinks the amp is off or turned down.

He and his band then proceed to smoke Dylan's "Don't Think Twice (It's All Right)" with some advanced pickin' and singin'.

Jerry Reed passed in 2008 at age 71.


TS

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

An essay by CD's favorite historian: here.







TS

Water Polo: WTF?

How absurd.

I ran an errand this afternoon and stopped at a joint near my destination to say hello to an old acquaintance who once worked at yet another joint--us current and ex-bar jobbers get around--where he served me the occasional pint of cheap beer.

I don't drink quite the quantity that I did in the old days, so the visit was a short one, which was a good thing.  He was engrossed in the Olympics on television, watching of all things a goddamn water polo game between England and the United States.

This is what it has come to, a great American tragedy playing out right in front of my eyes.

Water polo.

Glancing at him watching the event I couldn't help but feel pity for him.

Water polo?

Jeezus be unto man, I cannot wait until this horseshit is over and football begins.  I too will be able to stick my nose in a television and ignore everyone around me.


TS