Smile Politely

Music: it’s like a poem dancing…or not

It seems like there’s been a lot of music things going on lately with even more to come, so let’s make this column about music, OK? It’s either that or we can talk about how it hasn’t rained for about 2 months. Fine, we’ll talk about music then. Let’s get it on.


Baroness played a reasonably packed show at Highdive on Saturday evening. Here’s my initial review for it. It was really good and I liked it. Here’s my other review for it. I liked it and I got kind of a cool t-shirt that was sort of expensive but I still enjoy. Here’s my actual review of it. It was great music but I’m getting older and I simply don’t have much interest in watching any band play for a long time.

That’s nothing against Baroness at all. I will continue to listen to their music in my regular life. It’s just that I will be doing something else while I listen. That’s pretty much what I did on Saturday anyway. It’s just tough to stand around watching a bunch of guys you don’t really know when there are a lot of friends at the show that I would enjoy talking to much more.

I feel comfortable that I can have it all. I can stand on the back patio smoking drinking and talking and still hear Baroness in the background. Yes, the younger me would kick the older me’s ass on this particular issue, but that’s sort of how it goes sometimes.


As I get older, I’m not a big fan of going out 2 nights in a row. Wow, I sound like a total candyass in this column so far…probably because I am. Either way, this upcoming weekend I’m going to have to suck it all up and go out the entire time.

Friday night is the return of Turquoise Jeep to the Highdive. They were pretty fantastic when they were here a little bit ago. You can read my half-assed show review here if you like, but I can make it much easier for you. It’s fun, sort of dirty, and about an hour long, so what’s not to like.

The hard rocking instrumental sounds of Dibiase are also at Mike and Molly’s at roughly the same time, but the venues are close together so I may just run back and forth, but I probably won’t because it’s hard to drink and run and watch music at the same time.

On Saturday, of course, there is the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival. I could give a rat’s ass about eating corn, but Kansas will be playing and that may be really amazing… or it may suck, which would also be just fine with me. Yes, it’s a pain in the ass to stand in line to get a ticket and then stand in line to use said ticket to get a beer, but I plan on having plenty before I get there so I’m sure I won’t have to do that a ton.

It’s funny. I don’t even like “Dust in the Wind”, or many Kansas songs, all that much, but I love “Point of No Return” and :Carry on My Wayward Son” enough to make up for all of the other stuff. If they don’t play those 2 songs, they may have some trouble on their hands.


I was going through some CDs the other night and I came across a few little gems that, while not forgotten, had slipped through the listening cracks for a time. The first one was the wonderfully titled album, “Why Do Lonely Men and Women Try To Break Each Others Hearts” by Star Room Boys. I got that CD totally not by accident but still in a weird awesome way. There used to be a little record store called ACME Records sort of near where Cowboy Monkey is now.

Anyway, I was in there one day and Caroline Ford handed me the CD and said something to the effect that it seemed like the kind of music a person like me might enjoy. It turns out she was right, even though I sensed a hint of smart-ass in her voice. It sounds sort of like old school country with far more time spent on the lyrics. I’ve listened to it four times in the past week and haven’t regretted a moment.

Another fun fact, John Neff who played in the band eventually went on to be in Drive By Truckers, though I don’t think he does that anymore, but he might…but it’s a fun fact either way.

The 2nd album I pulled out of storage was June and the Exit Wounds, “A Little More Haven Hamilton Please.” It’s a wonderful slice of the Beach Boys having a fist fight with Todd Rundgren put together by my pal, Todd Fletcher. It sounds so fucking good every time I listen to it that I’m just amazed.

The 3rd piece of music wasn’t really lost in the general sense, but sort of. I bought the reissue of a classic Bobby Bare album a while ago at Exile on Main Street called “The Real Thing.” It’s a good title because he’s the real deal. I remember listening to it as a kid and to go back and rehear all those songs now that I’m older is a welcome treat. I will mention that the liner notes give the impression that they were written in one language and then translated back, but that only makes the whole process more endearing.


Fine, it’s not really a video, but since I was talking about Star Room Boys earlier, I figured I’d put it in. I’m all for freedom and all that, but if it were up to me, I’d pass a law that says these guys had to get back together and put out a record once every 6 months for the rest of my life.


  • A person wearing cowboy boots seems weird to me. They might be handy if you’re actually riding a horse, but for grocery shopping, it just seems like a little too much.
  • When I was in grade school, this one kid, Billy, pointed out that the way he remembers how to spell “together” was to say this sentence. “To get her…together.” I suppose that was a fine little spelling reminder for Billy, but now every time I write that damned word, I think of him and his little theorem. It doesn’t make me feel nostalgic. It just reminds me of how much snot used to be hanging out of his nose of most days. It was that kind of snot that would ebb and flow from his nostril with each breath and it still sort of makes me throat vomit even after all these years.

Buona sera, senorina, kiss me goodnight.

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