i don’t consider myself any sort of beer snob, expert or anything. merely an appreciator of really good beer. it’s good time to enjoy beer. it was always a given that you had to have beer originating from the sausage eating parts of the world to really get the get stuff, or at least head to the U.K. but now with the craft brewers of America absolutely polluting the market with incredible product it’s just a matter of finding what you like and sampling as much of it as you can…well, that’s my little philosophy anyway. here’s to Lexington’s growing beer community and the makers and drinkers of the product.
i remember when there used to be debate about whether Christmas was “becoming” too commercialized. that argument sounds quaint now. don’t get me wrong, i am as materialistic and shallow as the next guy, (although i have better shoes than that guy) but wow, we have turned gift buying into something that drives a whole economy, hell, a couple or three of them from China to Japan, to the U.S. to all points in between where cheap labor can be traded for corporate profits for the manufacturers and sellers of these goods. people seemed outraged that stores would open for Christmas shoppers on Thanksgiving Day, only to see the nightly news featuring insane amounts of people camping out, storming the doors and fist-fighting over cheap, large-screen televisions. shopping has become competitive, buying has become sport, saving has become a blood lust and it all leaves me wondering whether any of this is really about giving in the any sort of real spirit of the so-called season. i think we all enjoy the getting part of the giving just a little more than we like to admit. we ‘Mericans we love a game, pretending we beat a retailer at theirs for 25% of list price is something we “win” at every time we see a mail circular touting a bargain and a limited quantity. i can’t believe the sucker-society we have become. and i’m no better.
a boy blames everyone and everything but himself when he loses, a man takes responsibility for what happened. lessons you learn in competition. if you lose, you do it with some dignity, some grace and you learn what to do to lessen the likelihood of similar outcomes. so the fall soccer comes to an end great victories, stinging defeats. now, rest, regroup and work on the things that make you a better player, a better person and work on that man you are becoming.
“It is the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket.
Lou Reed’s passing got me thinking about the songs that shape us all in one way or another. at my age, there’s thoughts of 45 rpm records, greatest hits albums, crappy K-Tel compilations, am radio jams and that occasional hum and crackle of “oldies” being played on Friday nights. which brings me to The Shangri-las. the all-girl teenage group from new york that had a #1 hit with Leader of the Pack in the mid-60s. every boy my age remembers the goosing of the motorcycle throttle in that song. but there other “big” single was “Remember (walking in the sand).” something about the hauntingly melodramatic, almost weepy doo wopping is one of those songs that sticks with you, in the same way a kick to the groin does. in stark contrast to sunny beach songs about sand, surf and fun, this one is about heartbreak, memory and that feeling of an inability to move on. all of that wrapped up with a nice bow, brought to you with teenage voices from a songwriting factory in NYC. doesn’t sound too punk rock does it? nonetheless, this one is a downbeat classic in my eyes and the vocals from lead Shangri-La, Mary Weiss are soul scorching. hindsight is 20/20, Mary is credited to inspiring the Runaways, the Go-Gos, Blondie (Debbie Harry has always tried to ape the vocal style), Hole, L7, the Donnas to more modern acts like The Vivian Girls and the Dum Dum Girls. of course the Shangri-Las have been covered by everyone from the Beach Boys to Aerosmith to the Chipmunks to the Carpenters. here’s to Mary and the Shangri-Las. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy8_38U3xLU
i think i once heard this line attributed to Lou Reed, it went something like, “my bullshit is worth more than other people’s diamonds.” without wasting a bunch of time googling the phrase, i will guess it was during one of his contentious back and forths with Lester Bangs. this sort of sums up the Lou Reed I love. self-important, self-effacing and selfish in his music. selfish in the sense that it is overindulgent, off-putting, and at times pure noise. wonderful, nasty, pure noise. that noise that splattered the paint that formed picture that his words described. to some weird kid from Kentucky, his work exemplified everything i ever attributed to New York City. before the Ramones, before Patti Smith, Blondie, Television, Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground had me longingly wondering about the filth of the city, it’s alleyways of junkies, cocksuckers, cookers, lovers, artists and mainliners. that city sounded like the most frighteningly fantastic place on the earth. i knew it was hard being a man, living in a garbage pail. Lou told me that, but if some girl would just show up, Shelly, Candy, Stephanie, Jane, Jackie or Sister Ray, hell, it’d be alright.
the city, at some point, mainly due to pukes like Rudy Giuliani deciding that it needed scrubbing and sanitizing and turned into Disney world, changed shape from the wild decades of the 60s, 70s, 80s and lost some of that sleaze that the V.U. seemed to not-so-subtly hint at. but that being said when i step foot on the sidewalk there, in my head, it’s always contrasty black and white, i’m wearing wrap-around black shades, my collar is turned up and i searching for something, anything somewhere between white light and white heat. Lou Reed is New York City, his words, doo wop riffs and feedback are the haze that hangs over the island. everyone should have an Elvis and i’ve had more than one, including Elvis, i guess, Lou Reed you are one. now, i’m gonna do something that i do at least once every week, i am going to put on Foggy Notion and when I hear Lou chuckle, i am going to smile, ‘cept this time i will swallow the lump in my throat as i do it.
as October wanes and the temperatures get more full of bite, there’s still a rash of good soccer to play. the weekend means The Adidas Blue Chip Invitational, then we there’s a couple of league games left to assure that we win the MRL and we wind up in Raleigh in November at the CASL Boy’s Shootout to finish up the most hectic soccer season that boy has ever been a privy to. here’s to finishing out with a ton of effort, some balls in the net and and a trophy or two. #lfc #8 #bringthenoise
boy memories should always include, drizzle, buckeyes, roller coasters, faux eiffel towers, wet feet, white knuckles, your dad’s jacket and laughing at yourself and others equally.
soccer, er, football has something called “a friendly” which is somewhat foreign to American sport fans who do not follow the game. imagine playing a game that doesn’t count for anything other than warm-up or practice, maybe as an exhibition or tryout even for some players. those are “friendlies.” problem is, most you compete in, watch or follow are rarely that friendly because when you keep score of anything, there’s a winner and loser and losing doesn’t make one feel very friendly.