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Sunday, January 21, 2018
rainy day John Prine still kinda sucks
Listening to:Chris Thile's radio
Reading:The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves

It's a new year and I don't have a dad anymore. It happens to just about everybody, your dad dies. Mine died in September so I'm still in that year of firsts and still having those moments of "my dad might be interested in that, I'll call and tell him. . ." oh yeah, nope.

We're on probably on some spectrum, at least those of us with dads, of how much he drives you crazy and how much you like hanging out with him. Mostly my dad and I had opposing views on politics (I'm a socialist, he an oldschool conservative repub) and social stuff (I support potsmoking and free love, he supported scotch drinking and heterosexism), what we considered to be fun (I like my chickens he liked guns) and what was important (I want a good-running gas-efficient Japanese engine under the hood he wanted a shiny dashboard and no dents). So there was plenty of driving each other crazy there. I honestly didn't generally want so spend more than a day or two at his house, whether it was the big house at 510 Wolfe Street in Alexandria where I visited him one weekend a month as a kid, or his suburban colonial-style house in the cul-de-sac in Manassas where he lived that last 25 yrs of his life. My patience for the mansplaining and ordering everyone around was short.

But I recognize that much of the luxury I enjoy is because my dad either taught me (sometimes by negative example) or gave me the means to get it. I am content to not give a shit about money because I always had my dad the great safety net under me. With him around I would never be homeless or broke or in need of anything important. I never needed to access that safety net, but knowing it was there gave me the comfortable freedom to get and keep my own shit together. I am a saver, not a spender. Same as my dad.

It's a slightly rainy overcast Sunday, so I'm all stereotypically reflective and whatnot. Since Chris Thile took over for the now-scandalous Garrison Keillor I'm trepidatiously listening to the show formerly known as Prairie Home Companion on my local pubrad station. This week's live show is actually pretty much killing in many ways, but I must publicly now admit, I'd rather eat glass than listen to John Prine sing. I know, so uncool amongst all my musician friends, my hillbilly friends, my good liberal friends, to denigrate the great writer of Paradise and Angel From Montgomery. I'm not saying some of his songs aren't great, though some are as frickin monotonous and boring as hell to me, but there is not one single tune of his that isn't infinitely improved by a performance by just about anyone other than him.

When I lived in Bloomington IN in the late 80's John Prine came through on a tour. Several of my crew out there were all stoked, got tickets as soon as they came out. But that same night Jonathan Richman was also bringing his solo tour through town. NO FUCKIN DOUBT I grabbed my ticket to the Jonathan Richman show, which was at a very cool venue, an lovely old ballroom kinda bar called the Second Story up above the gay bar Bullwinkles. I went by myself and it turned out to be one of the most memorable club shows of my life, it did not disappoint in any way and I had high expectations having seen him several times before. All those Prince goers so missed out, imho. They don't even know. This show I'm listening to now is buttressing my argument bigtime. Thank goodness the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is killing after that insipid 3 chord country rap I just endured.

Robin spotted in Barbour County yesterday. After weeks of below 0 nights and below freezing days I am cautiously enjoying the hope of an early spring.

permalink posted by cat 2:02 PM

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rainy day John Prine still kinda sucks