Sunday, November 30, 2008

Video - Coyote

This Joni Mitchell song played on our Oread home turntable (930 Ohio) a million times during the 85-86 school year. I've heard two other versions of it, there's the original studio version (not bad), and another live version on a Joni Mitchell record with a jazz arrangement (not so hot). This version, captured live as part of the documentary, The Last Waltz, is my favorite. Thanks to Nik Huffman for posting a link to it on my Facebook wall.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Video - 1986 Lawrence Opera House Exterior

A brief look at the Opera House, now Liberty Hall, in downtown Lawrence, KS.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

25 Years Later

I attended the Shawnee Mission North 25 year reunion Friday night at The Other Place bar in Olathe, KS. We chatted, drank, and reminisced for five and half hours. The bar reserved a large section of tables for the group. I didn't realize the management decided to proceed with their regularly scheduled karaoke program.

I don' t have anything against it. I'm pro karaoke, believe me, but the volume was deafening. I asked the squat karaoke maven to turn down the volume. We reunion people were there to talk and we didn't require music or extra entertainment. She refused. The manager, who was busy with regular bar/restaurant duties, said he'd see what he could do, and did nothing. I lost the karaoke battle. I looked at the microphone and some of our reunion people were singing along to David Alan Coe and Salt N Pepa. Perhaps I was was wrong about the added entertainment value.

I had a blast at the reunion, despite the karaoke loudness. 75 classmates, plus assorted guests and loved ones, toasted one another, took pictures, and in some cases got re-acquainted, but for the most part, our old bonds, our previous relationships, picked up as if we'd never been apart.

This reunion was supplemental in the sense that it was put together because if we didn't do it, there would have been nothing. It was never meant to be a full-blown weekend like the 10th or 20th parties. There was no Saturday night 'hotel reception' evening with speeches and meatballs. I am grateful to Joe and Laura Campbell for taking the initiative and setting it up. The Olathe location worked well. Many alums no longer live near the old high school on Johnson Drive, west of the Mission business district.

Here's my best recollection on who attended. I may have missed a few but I think this roster is pretty accurate:

Jeanny Alt
June Audley
Kim Bagley
Pat Barry
Bryan Bird
Shelly Blakey
Joe Campbell
Ben Custer
David Draskovich
Linda Dunn
Nancy Earlenbaugh
Kim Edwards
Amy Enfield
Greg Fornelli
Dan Gadwood
Dan Garcia
Jeff Gilliland
Sally Grandgenett
Derron Gunderman
Lynn Heckerson
Joe Johnston
Fowler Jones
John Kelsh
Paul Kidder
Kenda Klemme
Angela Larson
Shelly List
Ben Lofgren
Martha Macher
Bill Moerlein
Kathy Nicholson
Jeanette O'Connell
Lora Pate
Thad Pearson
Janet Pinney
Tammy Pittman
Kim Pritchett
Betsy Proctor
Julie Robrahn
Randy Ross
Debbie Schwerdtfeger
Kim Schmelitz
Tony Schmelitz
Sarah Smith
Beth Sulzen
Carrie Thomas
Ross Thompson
Sharron Timmons
Steve Uhlmer
Sandy VonElling
Mike Wagers
Kurt Westhoff
Curtis Wilkerson
Teresa Wilson
Perry Wiscombe
Eileen Zeller

~~~~~~~~~~~ Other guests
John Courtney
Rick Passantino
Terry McCallum
Roger Anderson
Steve Parker

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Bowling Report for November 10th

Routine night at the bowling alley with the usual assortment of strikes, spares, cocktails and laughs. We won three of four games from the second place team. Kurt and Craig contributed strong games as did the rest of us at times. I was down and up and in between - a 474 series.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Video - Nightmares

We played the Violent Femmes too much on KJHK back in the 80s in retrospect and I was a chief offender. Nobody knew they'd break through to the mainstream and that's a bitter pill for the avant garde to swallow when it happens, but never mind because it happened to better bands than the Violent Femmes.

They had a high burn-out factor, thanks in part to the over exposure on the Claire Danes program, My So Called Life. Blame the Femmes themselves. They didn't withdraw from the publicity. They transitioned into a bubble pop band after starting as a cynical, quirky trio with off-beat lyrics and lots of adolescent angst. I flipped past a Disney channel original program not long ago where they appeared as themselves. It was some kind of Pre-teen comedy and Gordon and the boys appeared at a record store with hilarious consequences.

My other Violent Femmes story happened about two weeks ago in Olathe. I took my son to the high school football game and the home squad marching band performed a medley of 80s songs at halftime. They mentioned all five or six artists by name over the PA system; artists like Falco, Whitesnake, Cyndi Lauper, but no Violent Femmes. They played a few bars of Blister in the Sun. The announcer introduced it as, "And who could forget this dance club hit...". Somebody in the Olathe school district is afraid of the term Violent Femmes! Doesn't that slutty move to the Disney Channel allay a small minded high school administrator's paranoia? Lameness. Either that or they didn't know who performed it, but I doubt it.

Having slagged the Violent Femmes, I still think this is a fun song.

Video - 20th Century Boy

I don't have a back story on this. I found it over at and thought it was cool, except for the excessive guitar flourish at the end, but this was made a long time ago. It's T-Rex and they rock. Enjoy it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Meanwhile at FaceBook

I tagged my favorite Republican!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Video - Jocko Homo

DEVO and this video pre-dated MTV, although this particular copy was cribbed from music television. I remember seeing it on rock shows like Don Kirshner's Rock Concert and The Midnight Special as early as 1978, along with another film by the band for the song Mongoloid. Johnson County Telecable aired a video show Friday nights and they showed Jocko Homo and Mongoloid too. Look for a cameo by Mark Mothersbaugh's father as the general.

The song and visuals worked together to introduce young impressionable minds like mine to the concept of de-evolution and asked the immortal rhetorical question, "Are we not men?" Answer: We are DEVO. See for yourself.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Video - Homosapien

Buzzcock Pete Shelley's attempt at mainstream U.S. chart play. I remember thinking it was real new wavey, mechanical. I find it somewhat melodic now.

Oliver Hall had a big screen TV in the multi-purpose room next to the cafeteria. MTV aired as the default station on many days, at least until the soaps came on around lunch time. MTV was still a novelty in 1983. Many local cable outlets had not added it. Sunflower cablevision was an early adopter of MTV and that's where I saw this one.

Here's Pete Shelley on a typical early video set, with a cheap chroma key backdrop behind the blinds. That was a classic video move, have your singer look or sing at you through the blinds. Dig the early PC too.

Video - Big Electric Cat

I found this at the site. Another no-hits hit from mid 80's college radio. I didn't realize he released a video for this song. Michael Bassin and I saw Adrian Belew at the River Market version of Parody Hall in 1986 or 1987. He put on a good show.