My Musings

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Young Punks


In the next five-to-ten years, I expect the letters of the Roman alphabet to form their own association, with annual awards in a variety of categories (best letter in a supporting role, e.g.), and while the letter S will have huge popular support (so curvaceous!), I’ll be lurking in the background, lobbying hard on behalf of X.

There are so many reasons to love the letter X, beginning with its shape. I happen to like symmetrical letters, and one that has two firmly planted legs, two victoriously outstretched arms, and virtually no tummy flab strikes me as a letter that is very fit. Also, without X our language would be lacking in key words, such as “Sox” and “Pixies”.

X is such as great letter that an L.A. punk group used it as its band name. The heyday of “X” (the band) might have been in the 1980s, but I can assure you, from having seen them just four nights ago, that the band still exudes authentic punk nearly 40 years after it was formed, despite the wrinkles and increased BMI. Of course, it never hurts to be playing at a superb venue, which The Sinclair (in Cambridge, MA) certain is: intelligently designed, with the bar (mostly) separated from the music, no damnable posts to interfere with sight lines (take that, Paradise!), and excellent sound all around make this my favorite small venue in the Boston/Cambridge knot of human activity.


Punk Never Sleeps


It occurred to me, when I saw the show listed months back, that seeing aging punk rockers in a small venue that might not entirely sell out (unclear if it was) would be just too depressing (for aging fans, including me, and for the band itself), but after being steeped in all the great energy, excellent vocals and harmonies, and guitarist Jesse Dayton’s expert performance sitting in for Billy Zoom (get well soon!), I can assert that the experience was the very opposite of depressing. I walked out of the show thinking that this band isn’t so very old after all (and maybe neither am I).

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Please Pass The Riceboys


Among the very few things I remember from my first year of college was a flyer for the punk band Einstein’s Riceboys, which was posted on the campus of St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, where I was badly botching my freshman year. (When I think about what a lost year that was, I wonder why it never occurred to me to take a year off after high school. Wait – that did occur to me! So why didn’t it occur to me to listen to myself?)

Einsteins Riceboys r              Not The Flyer I'm Trying To Find

Einstein’s Riceboys more likely came to the town of Clarkson, NY, some ten miles away, rather than to Canton, the bleak little dot on the frozen landscape where I was sentenced to a year of utter apathy.

The poster I recall was of the Riceboys’ headshots, cut and pasted (that is, cut crudely with scissors and physically pasted, not Photoshopped) onto the bodies of contortionists, then photocopied onto colored paper and stapled onto telephone poles around town. This was 1982 or 1983, when, if you had access to a computer, it was very likely introducing you to the concept of losing all your data.


What you see above is the cover of the band's first album, "Milk of Amnesia"; this is yet another example of Punk Rock's knack for producing more hilarious band names and album and song titles than any other genre of music.  I probably never actually saw the Riceboys, although from what I've read the singer was also the drummer, and I definitely did see, in the basement of one of St. Lawrence's many beer-steeped fraternity houses, a loud punk band whose blond haired drummer "sang" all the "songs."  (This is enough for me to claim that I might have actually seen the Wisconsonian punksters). 

I'd love to know where Einstein's Riceboys played that year to ascertain if it's even possible that I attended the show. You can find Milk of Amnesia and some good Riceboys imagery at a blog called "Cheap Rewards" (and yes, I did ask Mike, the blogger, if he has a copy of the flyer, but, alas, he doesn't).   I managed to download the whole second LP, Civil Rice, at the site (with MKE being an abbreviation of the city of Milwaukee, I believe).

But what's more important to me than the music itself is finding that darned flyer. The time may come when I attempt to contact one of Einstein's famed Riceboys in order to see if any of those flyers withstood the test of time.   

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Daily Haiku


Cats oft’ void their guts.

They cough out fur balls. They puke.  

We tread carefully.  


College Tuition

We dig ourselves a deep hole

Need a second job.


Now that I’m sixty

People think I’m a wise man

Probably, I’m not


I’m in my Fifties

But tomorrow I’m Sixty

Will need a sports car


My PCP Says

“Keep doin’ what yer doin’”

Prob’ly I should not


It’s St. Patrick’s Day

We eat beef that has been corned

Whatever that means


Robots and A.I.

I will make use of these soon

To do my taxes


Strange Oscar night end

Pacino failed to mention

Best pic nominees


Who’s this Katie Britt?

Scary. Wierd. We could have used

A Trigger Warning


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