Coal mine, Fremont PA

March 20, 2014

This weekend we did a little exploring up in coal country. Each of these chain links is as large as my torso.


Before and After: Pantry

February 24, 2014

If your closets are like mine and they’re infected with these horrid white vinyl covered wire shelves then I feel for you brother.

I finally tore them out of our pantry because I couldn’t stand the mac n cheese boxes toppling over like dominoes one more time.

pantry shelves before and after

I replaced them with maple veneer 3/4″ plywood from Home Depot, then faced them with 1 1/2″ maple trim. Unfortunately HD only carries pine and oak in that dimension so I had my Dad make it for me in his woodshed.

pantry shelves befodre and after 2

pantry shelves before and after3

I don’t have a wood shop of my own so I have to work out in the snow and rain.


Next is the master bedroom closet. My wife likes to buy clothes so it is going to be a considerably harder job.


Found Footage

February 21, 2014

Sadly there are too many musical acts that have zero video clips available (at least on youtube). Ike and Tina Turner are one of the few soul acts that have a decent amount of videos available, and they’re almost all top notch.

Chances are, you’ve seen them perform Proud Mary countless times, but I’m betting you haven’t seen this footage. It’s got everything: Bright pink mini skirts on the Ikettes. Tina’s perfectly choreographed dance moves. Full horn section. Best of all? It’s LIVE on television. God I’d pay anything to have been in that audience.

Taken from 1969’s The Hunter

MP3: Ike and Tina Turner-Bold Soul Sister

Without exageration, this is absolutely my number ONE desert island track. No. Not number 8, nor number 3, not even 2. The Stones are not higher. Neither is Aretha, or Neil Young. It is this, and I will listen again and again and again…
Earth Wind & Fire is the backing band and it was produced by Maurice White btw.

Deniece Williams from This Is Niecy, 1976


Next Read

January 31, 2014


I’ve always been fascinated by the plight of the passenger pigeon ever since my mom told me about them when I was a kid. So when I heard that Joel Greenberg, a Chicago author and natural history researcher was speaking at the Wagner Free Science Institute of Science five minutes from my house I had to go.

passenger pigeon

Above is a stuffed passenger pigeon from the lecture, on loan from the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.

John James Audubon rode the 55 miles from Henderson, Kentucky, to Louisville one day in autumn 1813, and through the whole long day, he rode under a sky darkened from horizon to horizon by a cloud of passenger pigeons. He estimated that more than a billion birds had passed over him. In 1866, a cloud of birds passed into southern Ontario. It was a mile wide, 300 miles long, and took 14 hours to pass a single point.

A single nesting area could cover 50 square miles, with nests covering every branch of every tree.

Mind blown.

You’re in luck since you missed the talk. You can listen to yesterday’s interview with Greenberg on WHYY’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane.

Greenberg’s Passenger Pigeon Project

Greenberg’s Book: A Feathered River Across the Sky



January 31, 2014

Burn Your Bridges For No Good Reason

January 29, 2014

Gotdamn it’s been a while since I’ve posted. No worries– here’s some old gems and some new nuggets for 2014. Git busy!

Angel Olsen (no not one of the twins) new LP next month (2/14).

Been meaning to post Nashville’s DeRobert & The Half-Truths for a month now. Finally a comtemporary soul act worth its salt that’s NOT from Europe:

I'm tryin DeRobert copy

New album I’m Tryin’ on the GEDSoul label, also outta Nashville.

Also been meaning to give these youngsters a proper post of their own but will have to toss ’em in here for the sake of time.
They’re Lancaster PA natives (not Pennsylvania Dutch as far as I know), and they all moved to Philly. They’ve already supported White Denim and are now touring with Dr. Dog. Wow.

I can’t embed their BandCamp track but you can check out more about them at Weathervane Music.

Here’s a rarity; A Jamaican DJ giving a ‘big up’ to a policeman. This 80’s King Jammy-produced dancehall is fantastic in all levels, but the lyrics are just perfect. Major Worries copped this from Echo Minott but kills it. download here.

I am Constable Brown they call me Boy Blue.
I have here a warrant to arrest you.
cuz you beat up de girl till she black and blue
and ask what the hell the police can do?
I come to show what police can do
I’m gonna show what police can do
I have a baton… like a rock stone
I’m gwan introduce it to your jawbone…

Punany Riddim

Ironically, Major Worries died violently in the late 80s.

Speaking of violence, this next track is from Philly’s own Steady B, whose career was cut short for taking part in the murder of a Philadelphia police officer.

Lutan Fyah from the 2012 Shank I Tun Up Riddim

Dang Bo Diddley did some nice work in the early 70s.



January 6, 2014

There are a lot of great versions of this track that first appeared in 1955. The first one here is arguably the best.

Dawn Penn first recorded You Don’t Love Me for Studio One in 1967, but then re-recorded the rocksteady original with a bouncy dancehall hit with Steely and Clevie in 1994.

Eve‘s cover with Stephen and Damian Marley is a close second. 2001.

Willie Cobbs‘ 1960 version is the version most of the covers copy. It is based loosely on Bo Diddley‘s 1955 version. This is a bluesy scorcher.

Ike & Tina

Sonny & Cher‘s version surprisingly isn’t too bad.

Bo Diddley‘s original in ’55.