Monday, July 31, 2006

Gentlemen Prefer Concrete Blondes

I finally found a DVD of Concrete Blonde videos last week. Concrete Blonde was one of my favorite groups of the 1990s and I wasn't aware that they made that many videos, let alone released them on DVD. Yet they did -- on a little disc entitled Still in Hollywood: The Videos.

Unfortunately it doesn't have every single video they ever made and indeed, the most frustrating aspect of the DVD is the number of videos -- the one from “Bloodletting (The Vampire Song),” for example -- that are not available on this DVD. (Indeed, the only place you can see that video is on the youtube.com site.)

Moreover, most of the videos aren't exactly visually inspired. Just multiple shots of the band playing with an occasional extra to break the monotony. But the songs are still good. “Caroline” is still as haunting as it was when I first heard it back in 1990 though why they set the video for it in a strip joint is something I never quite figured out. “Someday” is good, too, and “Ghost of a Texas Ladies' Man” gives lead singer Johnette Napolitano a chance to dress up in period costume.

I still would have liked to have seen a DVD release of the black-and-white video for “Bloodletting (The Vampire Song).” Or even the video for “Tomorrow, Wendy,” a song Concrete Blonde covered for Andrew Prieboy. (Unfortunately, the one video available on youtube.com is the Prieboy version, but Johnette sings backup on that one as well.)

Oh,well. I guess you can't have everything...

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Amor Es una Rosa

And I'd better not pick it. It only grows when it's on the vine. Handful of thorns and you know you missed it. Lose your love when you say the word “mine.”

Not that I will admit to being in love at this time. Okay, I am. And I'm actually in what appears to be a sane relationship for once. More than that I dare not say.

Let's just say some good stuff has been happening in my personal life, but I'm not free to talk about it.

Which is just as well. After all, I hate thorns...

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Monday, July 17, 2006

El 4 de Julio

July 4th means many things to many people, but to me, it will always mean first and foremost my late father's birthday.

My father was not born in the United States but he eventually became a citizen here, and had he not come to this country, the chances are my siblings and I would not exist.

He was not a perfect man but he was a good man who always tried to do his best, and by his example alone, he taught me more about true virtue than a hundred sermons ever could. He was not always wise but he was one of the smartest men I knew. He always encouraged me to be a better person than I thought I could be, and for that alone, I'll always treasure him.

I don't know the words to truly do him justice. But I like to think I'm following his path every time I go out of my way to help someone or I speak out against injustice.

He was my father.

There's little more I can say apart from that.

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