Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Jack Corker Jambalaya

Jambalay means improvise. Its about roux and beer. And Hank Williams and Fats Domino. As my mentor Boston chef Ted Laska said, feel free to put whatever is in the refrigerator there in terms of meat. Shredded chicken is popular. Using what is at hand is key. I use butter or oil more than the olive oil as described here. Okra can suffice for celery. Green or red peppers can be used. Don’t forget to put on a Louis Armstrong record.

¼ lb ham, diced
¾ lb sausage, cubed
1 can diced tomatoes
1can whole tomatoes
1 small can tomato juice
½ cup cooked rice
1 medium Vidalia onion diced
3 stalks celery sliced
1-2 cup stock [your call: vegetable, beef, chicken, fish]
1 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon sweet pepper relish or similar
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Jamaican Pickapeppa sauce
10-12 shrimp, deveined shelled

1 tablespoon Jameson’s Irish whiskey

1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pepper, salt to taste

1- Brown ham, celery, onions, garlic in skillet of olive oil. Add Worcestershire and Pickapeppa. Add seasoning. Reserve about a half of a cup. Place remainder in large casserole or the like.
2-Add tomatos to casserole mix. When mixture comes to slow boil, add stock. Add 1 cup of water
3-Cover and cook for half hour at low.
4-Cut and Brown sausage in reserved browned celery-onion portion. Add to casserole mix. Also add sweet pepper relish. Use ½ cup of water to roux the pan and add to mixture. Cook at low for 15 minutes
5-Near the end, add rice and stir.
6-After rice is added, lightly saute shrimp. This needs to be added to mix, along with Jamesons. [If at this point you reserve out a portion of the main mixuture, and add these ingredients to that, unused Jambalaya can be stored longer than it can if you add shrimp to main mix.]

Serve with beer or ginger ale, Tabasco sauce, and buttermilk biscuits.

Say 'levee'

The New Orleans disapora comes into bas relief this day .. as it is Madi Gras. It's like a band that lost its original bassist. And pianist. The walking blues has a different meter. Something like that. John Pareles has been in N.O. for NYT to report on the status of the culture there, which is first about music. He sees Kermit Ruffins at Vaughan's. And they play Bing's Wrap Your Trouble in Dreams. Read it and weep.

Down at Vaughan's with Kermit

Fats Domino Sets an Example for New Orleans

Madri Gras Dawns With Some Traditions in Jeopardy

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Moon room

A lot of people ask us what it looks like in the Moon Herald Traveller news room. Jake took the time here to depict the scene. He is busy these days with art school portfolio work. We hope you appreciate having this look behind the scenes.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Back on the corner, maha, with the crazy gods podcast

-- A review of 23rd st. Tantric Siddhas show invited me to get out the old cut-up technique. The gods of this show are crazy mystics. Craziness as insight has its limits. Recent visit to S.F. showed me the Street Corner Conductors - still recalled. Anyway, poem is based on this article. Pic at left shows what it is about. --

Download this poesy as a Podcast! 2megs, 2 minutes

[NOTE: Our first experience is in. For now, Podcasts will post and then remove in 1 month. If you access this page one month after publication, the podcast link will have expired..sorry. Get it while you can.]

Back on the corner
Back in the days of the Hindu crazies
A holy madness compulsively turned the bloody history wheel.

The karmic machines dropped their little pearls
In the pantheon of sloth and contraption of careful wisdom.

At the same time a picnic of gods would dive into the river
Wash their cultural fabric
Watch the dye eternally flowing
And tree limbs hung with gauzy saris

And the people would ask the siddhas and mahasiddhas
How can I gain wisdom?

That was back when the sun began to move
And the mad monks said
Their ohms over oatmeals and bread.

Oh the holy madness dance. The maha. Blue maha. Dance.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Futurism in Rear View

Spacesuit Still Alive, Giving Weak Signal
The cats in the Space Station are not dulled floating in orbit. It occurred to them to stuff clothes into an old space suit, attach a ham radio, set the mess off into space. Strangely it evokes a 2001 [1969] moment. Dave, I am concerned about the mission. ABC News. Anyway. It has turned now into a great event for the real true futurists: Hammers. Follow it. Use links below

Biomass: Hope and Hype - Technology Review
National Resources Defense Council and researchers at Dartmouth and Princeton project that by 2050, in part through harvesting both protein and cellulose from corn and switchgrass, existing agricultural land could both supply our food needs and replace. But, the supermarket systems and the farming infrastructure are not prepared. Or primed to prepare. From Technology Review.

Biotech's Sparse Harvest - New York Times
Frankenfood is a damn strange story. With little public scrutiny, but with plenty of backdoor political chicanery, the doctored tomatos and corns got out of the lab and onto the farm. But nothing went right. Most especially, the Monsanto coffers did not fill. Euro folks with a variation on the American political system waved the reddish flag. From New York Times.

Reviewed: 'World as Laboratory: Experiments With Mice, Mazes, and Men'
It’s beyond pretty spooky what scientists under the influence of delusions of insight are capable of. Insight and omnipotence seem to be the worst combo. The psychological scientists at work in North Korea about the time that I was born were working under suc a cloud of omnipotence. They tortured captured Americans with a vengeance. No pictures I have seen coming out of Abu Grave lead me to think the US social scientist if in the thrall of omnipotence is capable of any much different. After Korea the CIA got into LSD as a means to make the world a lab. New York Times Book Review.

Restoring an Icon of Optimism - New York Times
Over the years various new roles were suggested for the Atomium that was built for the 1958 Brussels World Fair, including a casino and a museum dedicated to the Belgian cartoon character Tintin. Before the restoration, the feeling say some who crawled the Atomium was of living in a Russian submarine. You who have purchased Russian Army Navy Ware know what I am talking about.

Found Shroud in Thomas Pynchon's V. Well, will helmsman on!

SHOCK was a marvelous manikin. It had the same build as SHROUD but its flesh was molded of foam vinyl, its skin vinyl plastisol, its hair a wig, its eyes cosmetic-plastisol, its teeth (for which, in fact, Eigenvalue had acted as subcontractor) the same kind of dentures worn today by 10 per cent of the American population, most of them respectable.

Meanwhile found discussions on web of "Pynchon’s neo-luddite dislike of machines and his symbolic realizations of men becoming machines.





Saturday, February 11, 2006

Phantom Jets Podcast

You can trace elements of the style of rap back to Bo Diddley and shave-and-a-haircut. [I know last time I saw Bo he said he invented it.] But in my opinion the immediate precedence for the style were Black poets and Black militants. How do you describe the Last Poets? Maybe as Black Poets. Certainly as incredibly imagistic, highly rhythmic and very musical poets. They were Black poets on vinyl in my younger days. In the early 70s in New York we were aware of them .. and heard cats with a bit of a similar bent, including John Giordino. With this as background, and with the newspapers penetrating my mind like knives, I wrote a poem that could be called Phantom Jets. I am trying to work out the kinks in a podcast system, and I picked that poem for that purpose. You can download it to your iPod, I am told. [Or to other devices including desktop computer.]

Click here to download Phantom Jets MP3- 1 min - 939kbytes

[NOTE: Our first experience is in. For now, Podcasts will post and then remove in 1 month. If you access this page one month after publication, the podcast link will have expired..sorry. Get it while you can.]

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Doug’s Pool Hall

Recent visit to San Francisco and evening and pool with friends Dave and Jim brought to mind a time in the late ‘70s in Doug’s Pool Hall on State St. in Racine. There’s a thread that connects I think .

Doug’s Pool Hall has got a little bit of ’63 Kennedy sculpture
A smiley Johnny with a Santa’s face -
There’s a genuine 1957 Braves’ team photo
And beautiful Breck hair girls of 1947.

Doug’s clothes hang here and there lightly on nails -
Nails in the four by four that holds up that one hunk of ceiling.
Everything is memory brown
Except of course for the green felt tables.

One giant of a man looks up at tonight’s TV - wears a brimmed-down fishing hat
Same as his smaller friend.

It’s nine o’clock summer night in my hometown
On Lake Michigan and Doug exchanges news with Jim.

Where is Dave?
Gone to California.

Where is Jeff?
On his way from New Mexico.

Did you know that Gene Ammons died?
We look at the floor. Oh he was my favorite, Doug says.

With soft touch, he racks for us.
Coke and Sunrise orange soda and Racine gospel group on the juke.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Blues Reunion

Covered the VSLive conference in S.F. Just started on second TechTarget Web site known as TheServerSide.Net. Chanced to hear the Chicago Blues Reunion band. Listening now to Stand Back Here Comes Charley Musselwhite’s Southside Band. Here’s how I got to here.

Inside the Lobby. Sir Francis Drake Hotel. San Francisco. Three Japanese business men and a Hindi She Doctor. The new has worn off the crystal chandeliers since I was here in utero. Voice comes to me, as I finger the Financial Times, and sink into the upholstery. “The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.” Time for my ride.

Five o’clock exact – Dave and Jim show up – all of us ever pressing time – they, eating fiddlefaddle and calling out for wine. We hug, up from Union Square, natty drakish doorman in red and pontoons – there is a Dump Bush Demonstration in the Square -- pretty much like old days but for four or five helicopters hovering overhead. It is night of State of the Union. “Up for the demonstration?!” say I. “No, dinner!” is the answer. And we are off.

So we go up the hill – and the destination is suddenly less determinate – although Jim has a plan – Dave is driving – possession is some significant part of the law. And North Beach seems to call - Up; Grant – lo a place to park - hey just down the street from the Savoy Tivolli – where Dave and I went on the night we arrived in San Francisco together in 1977 – it’s closed but the guy opens the place for us. Doors are opening. We wander to dark pool tables – ordering shots and beers...then talking about pasts and passings. La France. Pat Burke. Lucky Cue. The now. The kids. It is warm - it is like Doug’s Pool Hall in a way. Coming and going. “Nothing is as energizing as being with your old pals.”

I was a stranger here. City of Psychotic corners, ruled by many kings. My Hope is flown away. Had hope, and expectations, when I first got here, but lost it somewhere, dont expect a thing. Now I see the bums – say why not me – and feel the cold. Whadya think about that? Says Dave “it's death.” You dont know how much time you have left.” And so, he suggests, you think that way.

In the car: Pickett sings Funky Broadway, Walter sings Long as I have You. Townes Van Zandt. Dan Penn sings You Left the Water running. at the end El Cannenero. When Walter plays Your Baby Aint Sweet as Mine always I recall Milwaukee...

Dave and Jim had jobs involving welding. Dave stopped with fellow worker for beer after work on a Friday. Some discussion ensued, and the fellow says "Your baby aint sweet like mine" out of the blues. Dave runs home. Hey, he says, it's not just music, its a way of talking, and a way of thinking. And I came again to this idea when meeting Sunnyland Slim with Paul DeMark.

Whenever he gets in a car on Thanksgiving Dave recalls... the pumpkin pie that went flying when he, the kids, Carole, Cecelia and I pulled out of the driveway in a flash.

Now down toward Columbus we skedaddle. Joke starts: Were you shooting at me? I call the Italian restaurant Ukranian because I never did sat in a room with some many colors. Easter Egg colors. Wierd trinkets and boats aloft as decor. Faces on the seats Nothing better for old time socialsim than the Italian dinner. Courses of green pesto pasta, red meaty ricottis, voluptuous mussels, $30 chianti, my suggestion of eggplant shot down but hey I am having a good time. Prawns in pearly cream oninon sauce. Must finish it all. That is an old boys trait. The old times carry on. They boys ponder the Mexican help – the kitchens of the world every now Latin – These Italian Mexicans keep pouring the wine. Punch line of the bear hunting joke: You dont come here for the hunting, do you?

And again Billy Ittner wields a ruler on monitor Stetka. Ruler king Sister Vincent demented tells the story of Leopold and Loeb. The hunter contines to shoot at the bear in the joke. You like writing poems about drinking and riding in cars, says Dave. That’s true. Jim recalls our prowls: the UWM dorms.

Down from a bar where I saw Bloomfield, a store is dark and closing where I want a Burroughs' shirt for Jake. But, again, lo, the door opens. And more than the Burroughs' shirt I find. Get Pull My Daisy, Jack Kerouac’s only movie. It turns out we are at The Beat Museum. Was on and off the itinerary a couple of times. Now I cant credit totally the idea of a Beat Museum. And the living residing place of Beat has to be City Lights. This is a store, but they are planning movies and displays. The owner is nice. Dave buys On the Road pins for each of us, and a Beat Museum baseball hat for future golfing jaunts.

So we had an original plan for New Orleans music downtown. But the fact arises that Nick Gravenites, Barry Goldberg, Harvey Mandel and some other folks are playing too. For $25. Yikes. That’s a bit. I’m thinking “Harvey Mandel!” The other folks are: Tracy Nelson, Corky Siegel and Sam Lay. Yikes – stripes! A lot of talent. And it unbelievably starts at the fiftogenarian time of 7.30 pm! So...

We go to the inevitable Club du’ Nord [‘Hit the North,’ in English] .. of course there is convenient parking, popcorn, and we found money machines on the way - cash is carrion - and we enter as the band hits the stand. Sycnhro in The City.

It’s Chicago Blues. Actually: Chicago Blues Reunion. A package. Sixties’ blues stars. Which has the drawbacks of the revue - Tracy Nelson could have sung every number to our thinking .. but it’s got the up-points of a revue too .. things keep moving.

The roominess in the club is tight, and we just see bobbing heads and bits of the artists behind that – a lot of people got here before us. This is an old band and many of the majors are sitting on chairs – but hey-yah!

They kick it off with Born in Chicago. There follows I’ve Gotta Find My Baby. Wine. Buried Alive in the Blues. Boogie. Walk Away. Hound Dog. This is all homey stuff for us. Broke our teeth on it stuff. Room is tight but we find the pool table. And the blues music flows.

So writing this started with me listening to ChaCha The Blues – I keep coming of late back to Charlie Musselwhite Vanguard records that back in the day were vastly overshadowed by Paul Butterfield, who too got vastly overshadowed soon enough as I found Muddy Waters, B.B. King. But sitting listening to ChaCha The Blues now .. I think .. if it was only Ethiopian, the retro hipsters would gorf it on up. Put it on soundtracks. And VW commercials. Pipe it into the Flagship iPod electronic audio jewelry store down on Powell And it would flower money for the Northsiders. The guitar burns, the organ is ethereal. Its Mandel and Goldberg.

Now listening to Mandel .. I hear the Ventures. Blues, of course. And spores of psychedelia. I knew he auditioned for the Stones. Didnt know he was with Canned Heat at Woodstock. But I am pickin up on this stuff. Bloomfield got back in the conscious with his stiletto presence in Bob Dylan PBS Special No Direction Home [Best guitarits I ever hear I think is how Dylan put it.] – and when you listen to the old Musselwhite stuff you realize Mandel was just a step away. I sure was ready to grab a chance to see him.

Takes a while for Harvey to warm up. His moves are slight. Very unguitar-heroish. He holds notes, pierces, hovers, snakes and stings. He is a major contemporary of creators – and a creator himself of – a style whose elements have gone baroque and pervasive. His playing still is from first principles. Over powering but not flashy.

You can call these cats North Side Bluesmen. If it matters to you, I don’t care a whole lot about such distinctions anymore. I snake up to the stage for just one number, which turns out to be Wine. Which I first heard myself from Gravenites with Electric Flag. This is guaranteed to pump a crowd. Pass that bottle to me!

Tonight, as I can imagine in a thousand bar nights through time Tracy Nelson’s singing positively soars above all including microphone amplification. Classic blues mama gets the feeling in the vibrato. Finds it inside and blasts on Walk Away. Take these chains and set me free. [This material can be found on [entitled Buried Alive in the Blues CD.]

Bar music is the magical key. When the Great Eight Nations collapse and nanobots are rusting in the mire, there will be blues in bars. My recollection of one of our great avant garde Milwaukee moments was a poetry meeting Dave did that ended with us stealing him off-stage in mid poem, and piling in a 57 Chevy delivery truck and ending up at a [Corky]Siegel-[Jim]Schwall Band performance. Was blues, daddy. It is comfortable to be together. Playing pool. With the blues music in the air. Chat of now. Recall then. Taunt the guy who missed the easy shot. Tomorrow we all have jobs. Tonight we are as we were when we heard Johnny Young – with Lee Jackson and S.P. Leary – in 1970 or 1971 at St Stephen’s Company in Racine.

With the record of Chicago Blues Reunion you can get a DVD with the band in performance, and talking kind at length about the long strange trip. What Tracy Nelson said burns this evening in steel: “Nothing is as energizing as being with your old pals.” Those who in Nick Gravenites’ by way of Muddy Waters’ phrase: “Remember me when I was a young man.”

At the end I buy a CD and get Tracy Nelson to sign it, and introduce her to Dave and Jim and tell her we’re from Wisconsin. “Badgers,” she says, “we are all Badgers.” “Yes, we are Badgers!” we exclaim. I’m back on Union Sq. at 10.30. The State of the Union has been described. Farewell for now oh gang o’ mine.

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Oppy at Harvard

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