December 2009

Fairytale of New York - Billy, Florence

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Billy Bragg and Florence and the Machine's version for the BBC.

Mon 12.21.09 - The best part of this video is the pink striped furry who hugs Billy and Florence at the end.

Happy Solsitce | Yule | Hannukah | Christmas | Kwanza | Festivus!!!!

An Electric Arms Holiday

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Everyone knows Ms. Jen really knows how to throw a party and that she did at the Electric Arms 2009 Holiday Party! Thanks Ms. was great to see everyone. Good Food, good company and a good time!



The Accidental Scrooges

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Our neighbor Penny, who lives almost directly across the street from us, sets up an elaborate holiday display on her front lawn every year. This year, she inherited even more decorations from a friend, so she has outdone the entire neighborhood even more than she usually does. Here's Penny's house:

Neighbor's House.jpg

And by contrast, here's our house:

Our House.jpg

Yep, not a Christmas decoration in sight.

I think between my dad's knee surgery and my unexpected move back home, none of us could stand the thought of any more work or trips to the storage unit. No matter. No one's going to be looking at our house, anyway. They'll all be blinded by the Christmas cheer that is Penny's doing!

Happy Holidays!

Record Weirdo - My Favorite Record Store

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Melody Records - Chico, CA

If you ever find yourself in Chico - which is about halfway between Sacramento and Redding - I command you to go to Melody Records. You don't need the address, just go to downtown Chico and you'll find it. I would give a link to the website, but there isn't one. Somehow, the store has managed not only to stay open, but has maintained its old-school, incense-scented, record store ambience despite the ravages of time and fashion. The store has been in downtown Chico for at least twenty-five years - maybe even fifty. For all I know, Ray, the owner and proprietor, came out west during the gold rush in a covered wagon full of used records. I lived in Chico during the late 80's/early 90's and spent a great deal of time and money in the store. Back then, there were four record stores in the 3-block-long downtown Chico area. The students of Cal State Chico had a strong and long-standing tradition of selling their records and CD's for beer money. Since mp3's have no resale value, the other 3 stores have shut down. God only knows what those poor students of today are selling for beer.


Fifteen years after I moved away, Ray still remembers me. That's either really good customer service or gratitude that I spent enough money in his store to pay for his house and put his kids through college.
The store has moved a few times over the years, which is the best I can do to segue to some trivial knowledge I would like to share. The space that the store now occupies was once a live music venue called "The Whispering Clam." The first time I saw the Cadillac Tramps was in that room. As you can imagine, it was quite cozy. I also saw Royal Crown Revue there - twice. They played to an enthusiastic crowd of about 10 people and liked it so much that they came back a short time later and played for about 20.

Chico, don't be discouraged. The man he ain't so hard to understand.