Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The Kansas City wants to be like Chicago, the same way Philadelphia wants to be New York. Unfortunately, it can't be and will never be, but that's ok, because it's just fine the way it is. The skyline looks like a scene from a 1940's movie. The big buildings are all limestone and art deco. There is one gorgeous new building downtown, the HR Block headquarters. It's shapely like a bloated football. HR Block is actually named for HR Bloch, but nobody knew how to pronouce "Bloch" correctly, so they changed it.
There's no music more satisfying to me right now than classic 50's Honkytonk. Born in the grimy roadhouses of the Deep South, this music was hard country (called "hillbilly" in its day), spare, stripped down, and sung with an unapologetic twang. Honkytonk lyricists dealt with drinking, fighting, cheating and the guilt that inevitably followed. It's pure and unaffected, completely Southern and blue collared.
I've created mix tapes of the great honkytonkster anthems to listen to in my car... that way I can imagine it's 1951 and I've stepped into a roadhouse in southern Oklahoma and plopped down next to the Wurlitzer jukebox. Here's one of the songs that might have been playing: "In The Jailhouse Now," by the great Webb Pierce, backed by the eventual king of the spoken word trucking song, Red Sovine. It's country schadenfruede, an "I told you so" tune with a buoyant call and response chorus and the kind of close harmonizing that never goes out of style.
At this point, drums were still way too "black" for a white country song. All the rhythm came from guitar strumming. When the white boys like Elvis finally added drums, you got rock and roll, and the rest is history.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Great concept from the Austin Chronic... readers vote and comment on snapshots of area Garage Mahals.
Fun Fact: The average U.S. home size was 2,434 square feet in 2005, up from 983 square feet in 1950, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
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Another article here:
Friday, July 6, 2007
Countless squirrel lives have been saved thanks to this hand painted folk art sign. The squirrels scamper across the street with barely a care in the world.