Archive for January, 2004

  • Rob Spectre
  • 28
  • Jan
  • 04

New Hampshire comes and goes with predictable results. Between the Stuart Smalley bodyslam and firing his campaign manager, I must admit my distaste with Howard Dean is growing to a point that his fundraising capability can’t counter. Initially, my attraction to Dean was in his anti-war stance and innovative Internet-based small-contribution fundraising system. To my estimation, electability in the actual presidential race is all about dollar bills. When faced with the quarter billion warchest of Dubya (none of which has been touched during this Democratic squabbling), he who controls the message in the summer is going to be the victor in 2004. But, with Joe Trippi on the freelance, a Kerry nomination could still pick up Dean’s fundraising infrastructure without the Dean campaign’s total inability to react to even the most trivial campaign problems. DFA likes to blame the media and the sniping of Democratic rivals for the fall, but I didn’t see John Edwards twisting Howard’s arm to talk smack about every middle-class mortgage-payer’s best friend. We’re seeing true political natural selection here; he who fails to adapt gets left in the dust.

In non-political news, with still-unintroduced drummer Mike still recovering from a severe intestinal virus (don’t ask), we got a weak practice in last night. Though it’s still apparent he’s not running on all eight cylinders, we got enough out of him to work on some new changes for the stage show. The ultimate goal is some wicked new surprises to shine up the Shaft bandwagon for a shocking summer. But its the start/stop 4 bar covering development stage that I really love about being in a band, a concept that I have always been enamored with in the first place. We’re still getting accustomed to the space and, really, each other, but its still has the potential to be the most exciting time yet in the Shaft’s two year history.

At very least I can shut everyone up about calling it a “band.”

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 24
  • Jan
  • 04

And with a frozen smile and inside smirk the merchants of tyranny will be sitting in their leather seats around a wide-screen TV smoking Cuban cigars lit from municipal bonds sold to pay for federal shortfalls, all catching the real SuperBowl as it goes down one week early. With sadistic congratulation and good-ol’-boy backslaps, each will sleep safe in the knowledge that their minority control will not be shaken anytime soon, with the disarrayed seekers of truth instead occupied with the incessant sniping and fund diverting of a crowd of too many braves and not enough chiefs. For every empty dollar that they toss away, the war chest of corporate interest grows by two, one by the hand of the rich white man and the other by our own by sacrificing valuable dollars in the battle for the battle, leaving the wounded victor barely able to peep during a summer where every word in every newspaper, on every screen, and in every registered voter’s head will be supplied, written, and edited with moolah from the Grandest of Poobahs.

Leaving you and me, again, without our voice in a country not seized from us, but rather plucked in an action so effortless it was like taking candy from a baby.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 21
  • Jan
  • 04

After a Dean defeat on Monday (thanks to the Kucinich powerplay that you didn’t read about in MSNBC) and a Bush State of the Union on Tuesday, to be quite honest I thought the entire week was a total wash.

Fortunately however, an old friend had a pick-me-up in my mailbox. If you haven’t yet, send that $10 payable to Christopher Howard for signs.comets from howie&scott. A two-disc magnum opus from the up-until-this-record dynamic duo of acoustic rock, you have the Shaft guarantee for a pair of record that will blow your hair back. I’ll have more to say, of course, later… But right now all I can do is listen to Blues or Astroblue? and count the privilege of playing with these gentlemen among the fondest of memories… and tantalizing of futures.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 19
  • Jan
  • 04

How do we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the most Americanest holiday of the year? By genuflecting to four rich white guys of course! I will never cease to be amazed by what I see on the front page.

Now, I’m as pissed as the next Commie about the “prescription drug benefit” which apparently was a benefit for prescription drug makers as opposed to prescription drug consumers. But, seriously, you think The Petition Site is going to attract the attention of Congress?

I’ve always gotten a bunch of these online petitions things and every single time I’m reminded of junior high school. Rural and reasonably shitty, Medicine Lodge Junior High was a hotbed of grassroots political activity. Whenever The Man tried to raise prices at the candy machine or take away gum and baseball hats or even – Allah be merciful – retain a principal who was quite clearly a dweeb, you could bet that the activists at the ignominously renamed Medicine Lodge Middle School (changed under duress. seriously. we had, like, 2 pages of signatures – college ruled even) had the GI Joe notebooks circulating.

Even after our repeated attempts to impeach the gym instructor failed, we still kept chanting our mantra that the pen was mightier than the sword. It’s good to see some folks tapping into that pre-adolescent fantasy world for political inspiration. Maybe along the way they’ll hit their local caucus.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 18
  • Jan
  • 04

After finally dethawing following the freeze, the band got around to moving into our new space yesterday. Sound Principles in Johnston provided the hookup, and though it is a closet, it’s still the best rehearsal space we’ve seen in our month long quest to find a place to jam. In a complex shared by several other names on the local scene, Paul seems to be running a tight ship with a restoration project that actually has visible results (in stark contrast to my apartment, which appears appears entirely mythical). Security’s tight, soundproofing nonflammable, and a PA straight from one of the best PA guys in Rhode Island; the limiting factor on our rock is now entirely in our hands.

After practice, I got out to the big WaterFire volunteer end-of-the-year party, which, in true WaterFire fashion, was held several weeks after it was supposed to. In a last minute fit of insanity, Tree roped me into instructing a small program on how to swing dance, for which I have no earthly qualification. In fact, I considered in nigh an insult for a Kansas boy to tell any one from the East Coast how to cut rug, but apparently this concern was lost to the interests of expediency.

By far the most humorous moment of the night came when I was having a cocktail with the salsa instructors who were to immediately follow my presentation.

A particularly attractive Latino dancer saddles up next to me and says, “So, how long have you been teaching?”

“Oh, about T-minus 15 minutes.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“Nevermind.”

awkward silence.

Valiantly trying to save the conversation, she asks, “Where do you teach?”

“Um… Nowhere.”

“Ohhh,” she says with a consoling voice, “the market has been tough on everybody this year.”

Fighting a chortle, “Yeah it has.”

“Well, here’s my card. Send me your resume next week and I’ll see if we can get you some private lessons.”

Funny, I didn’t see her extend the offer again after the lesson.

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