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Mama’s Got A Squeeze Box She Wears On Her Chest

My advice to aspiring entertainers has always been pretty straightforward: Give any audience a compelling reason to pay attention to you. It’s really just that simple. A trainwreck is as good as a Traviata in this respect. Cut a fart and stick out your hand and say ta-daa. But don’t just stand there.

If all else fails, you can always buy one of those pianos with emphysema, and a plus-size bustier. 



Those Darn Accordions

(Thanks to that deaf, dumb, and blind kid, Vanderleun, for sending that along)

Colon Day 2011

I remember Columbus Day because I used to play music in a hundred and one bands anyone that would have me and try to make money to eat and get cigarettes and I don’t smoke and there still was never enough money and I played at a tee-totaling biker association party for two members’ wedding not gay a man and a woman that arrived on a motorcycle with the woman I think wearing a white wedding dress and no helmet and we played for one hundred sober bikers and ninety-nine of them were like accountants and one was like a serial murderer but they all looked exactly the same so you had to assume they all would kill you if they got the chance instead of the more likely thing that they’d do your taxes if you asked nice and I never played Born To Be Wild for a wedding song before and the bride’s father was in jail I think so she had to dance with the groom twice and the whole thing was held at the Italian-American Club on Gano Street in Providence but everybody calls it Guano Street for a joke haha and it’s a real long time ago but it might have been the Portuguese-American Club I don’t remember but I do remember it was Columbus Day and I went into the bar to get away from the sober biker accountants and that one serial murderer that were in the function room and it didn’t matter if it was the Italian-American Club or the Portuguese-American Club or the Knights Of Columbus Hall haha that would be funny but I don’t really remember but I distinctly remember a guy with a knife a real knife not a just a knife a dagger that came to a perfect point and didn’t fold or look like you could do anything wholesome with it it just looked one hundred percent like it was designed and made to gut a bass player and that guy held that knife right under my chin and explained to me in Portuguese that Cristobal Colon was Portuguese and don’t you forget it and my Spanish was very sketchy and Portuguese sounds like Russian to me not Spanish anyway but believe me I understood every damn word he said and I advise you all to answer the question did you know Cristobal Colon was Portuguese in the affirmative at all times.

The end.

What It’s Really Like To Work At A Music Store

My son saved up his money and purchased an amplifier for his guitar. It was DELIVERED yesterday by UPS. It was DELIVERED TO OUR HOUSE. It came via a PACKAGE DELIVERY SERVICE. We did not GO TO THE MUSIC STORE. I SAID, WE DID NOT GO TO THE MUSIC STORE. THE STORE. THE MUSIC STORE. MUSIC STORE. WE DID NOT GO THERE. 

This is how people who live in Western Maine shop for guitar amplifiers, and everything else Aubuchon Hardware doesn’t have — you take the Intertunnel to England:

Dumb Fun. Serious Business

My goodness, but Kutiman helps me have fun on the Intertunnel.

My older brother sent me this one, via a webpage for music stores and such. The page (I assure you, it’s not my brother) contains the breathless “As you watch this thing, about half-way through it you begin to think about the power of this well-crafted song and Jimmy Page’s timeless licks.”

No. No I don’t.

Look, I hate to break it to you, but it’s tripe. It’s beaucoup lugubrious and mega-stilted.  There’s a kind of random element to the whole thing, no rhyme or reason — or meter, for that matter–to the whole shebang.Every time I hear Jimmy Page attempt to play a solo, a vision of a chicken pecking a toy piano with a herpetic beak comes to mind. I’ve been in a hundred garages and heard a thousand guys who would never emerge from them tell you about songs they’ve written like Black Dog, and they’d painfully demonstrate them, “This is the part that goes like this, and you do that for a while, and then you do the part that goes more like this, and then I wail while you do something else.” The words were always along the lines of Otto the bus driver’s advice for heavy metal, “Real songs are about deals with the devil, far-off lands, and where you’d find smoke in relation to water.” Black Dog itself is the pinnacle example of what we used to call a “Room Clearer.” No one but one person wants to hear that song, and even they lose interest in it about halfway through if you’re fool enough to play it for them. There’s a very good reason so many versions in the video are being played in a room, alone.

Oh boy. “musical geniuses” are mentioned. Listen; it’s dumb fun. There’s nothing wrong with dumb fun. People play cornhole and tube behind rusty speedboats and get sunburned in right field waiting for their uncle to ground out to short at the family picnic all the time. People need dumb fun. There’s nothing wrong with getting your dumb fun from Led Zeppelin, I suppose, although you could find a lot smarter dumb fun to amuse yourself without risking even dipping your toe in intelligent fun. Kutiman makes dumb dumb fun for me out of all the very serious dumb fun he harvests from the Intertunnel. Can’t we just leave it at that, without putting people that can’t sing and can’t play on Mount Rushmore?

I Told You. No Stairway To Heaven

Most mornings I wake up my older son by barging into his bedroom and playing Stairway To Heaven. Badly.

I never really cared for STH. I never cared enough about it to loathe it, either. I caution my Intertunnel friends that becoming completely, monomaniacally interested in persons and things you dislike will make you crazy, and make you seem so to others, to the detriment of your original cause. Remember the words of the prophet Lebowski: You’re not wrong, Walter; you’re just an ***hole.

Anyhow, I made my son learn it, and I learned it at the same time to make sure he did. It’s a terrific running joke at our house. He’s a proper teenager, and always asleep when he’s not lying around. He opens one eye and glares at me most satisfactorily while I hack away at it. He used to hate it for its own sake, but now he hates to hear me do it because it’s irritating to hear me slog through it, as he can bang it out effortlessly.

I promise not to get any better at it, son.

I’d Like My Own Personal Blimp, Please



Ah, great to see the Boston Globe has decided to quit the newspaper business and attempt the “Garrison Keillor-on-Seconals-and-bourbon-NPR-style-mumbling-over-grainy-video” method of disseminating information. It’s the wave of the future, I hear.

Anyway, the makers of the object of my desire, Skyacht, who seem about as organized, efficient, and businesslike as rodeo clowns, say they’d be nifty for “such things as eco-tourism and forest canopy research”.

I was thinking more of looming over my adversaries and tormentors and mercilessly raining fire and death and destruction down on them from the heavens like some crazed Jupiter, accompanied by a cadre of leggy henchwomen in leather Mrs. Peel jumpsuits.

Did I just say that out loud? I meant I want one for eco-tourism. No, really.

I Told You Before. NO STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

This band needs a nom de plume. Hmm, the eighties.

Frank Zappelin. Orchestral Maneouvres In The Ditch. A Flock of Goateegulls. The Alien Persons Project. Bob Sagan & The Salver Billet-Doux Bund. Bruce Stingspleen. The Commode Ores. Cyndi Leper. David Lee Wroth. Depest Mode. Any Money. Fine Young Cannonballs.

I know.

Frankie Goes to Houses of the Holyweird.

Tag: I told you no Stairway to Heaven

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