Jun 23, 2009

Be careful what you wish for...

Welcome back to Midst The Hum, a blog that covers a little bit about everything but not a whole lot about anything. You might even say that this blog is holding up the Seinfeldian tradition by being a blog about nothing. You know you've gotten pedestrian when you've lost count of the times you've blogged about the weather. I have particularly pissed and moaned about the great draught of 06-08 and the great browning of the deep south landscape. In my defense, watching the lush green scenery drain from Greenville has been traumatic. I'm a home boy - and Spring and Summer means drenching thunder storms, tornado warnings, and getting hammered by the remnants of tropical storms; not weeks without rain, humidity in the 20's and rationing water. If this is what it's coming to then I may as well move to Arizona.

But for now, the draught is over; and it's death throes were violent and tragic. Storms passing through last week knocked down trees all over the place (due no doubt to draught weakened root systems), resulting in the complimentary property damage and power outages. The airport recorded a 75 mile per hour wind gust which, of course, has the capability to do things like push over a 75 foot maple tree into a swimming pool.

And what good summer storm is complete without some dime sized hail?

With as much complaining as I've done about our recent arid conditions, I'd be foolish to begin complaining about too much rain. Bring it on I say... for now; but should the weather Gods decide to be kind, we could do without the hurricane sized wind uprooting everything in sight and leaving us in the dark. A nice gentle, steady rain that tempts you to grab a good book and throw open the windows would be nice. Meanwhile, back to the vortex.

Jun 5, 2009

Snow Queen of Texas

Oh yeah, we're getting into dangerously low pulse territory here.

I'm sure John, Michelle, Denny and Cass weren't strictly lude and weed types, but they did some pretty mellow stuff. The cover of People Like Us shows just how glassy eyed the Mamas and Papas had become...and today's selection was surely a product of those sessions. Be that as it may, Snow Queen of Texas has a special place in my musical heritage. The boys and me (Peace, Wilder, T. Durham, Reid, etc) used to get together in my Augusta Road apartment and sing like drunken fools to the M&P's; and Snow Queen became a favorite of ours...and most likely cause for my neighbors to roll their eyes and turn up the TV.

The first time I heard Snow Queen was on a local AM radio station (WFBC to be exact). The DJ for that station was a local TV/weatherman/kids show/radio guy name Monty Dupree. Thinking back, I doubt if Mr. Monty was hip to the obvious drug references in SQOT; he was, after all, a pretty square peg. I think, like me, he just dug the song. He may have figured it out if he had bothered looking at the Album cover that depicted the M&P's in various altered states of mind. You would think the lyrics would have been a dead giveaway:

Snow Queen of Texas
Left Paris in a cloud of smoke
They say she may be beaten
But I say that shes not broke
She's living in a cool green farmhouse
If you go to Houston, be quiet as mouse

In any event, when Denny Doherty died last year, I couldn't help but think back to my living room in 1984, stereo turned up considerably past neighborly consideration, and Peace styling out Denny's smooth baritone:

She's living a fairytale
Mending her heart (ooh, ooh, Deborah forever)
That's a good motto
For some junk man's cart
For the record, Peace can do a mean Johnny Cash as well. He'd have us rolling on the floor with his rendition of A Boy Named Sue.

The Mamas and Papas Snow Queen of Texas

Jun 1, 2009

Sha na na na na na na na na it'll be alright

In my ever increasing lurch toward the hills and hollows of the mellow lands, I give you BJ Thomas. I saw BJ in Greenville, South Carolina circa 1972. Every blue haired old lady there waited breathlessly on Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head which was made famous in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (remember the bicycle scene with Paul Newman and Katharine Ross). In those days BJ was as well known for his various substance abuses as for his awesome baritone voice; and I suspect he was pretty buzzed at the beginning of the show. Thankfully, that night he sobered up in time to perform a haunting rendition of Rock and Roll Lullaby, which is what I remember most about the evening. I stood with the the blue haired old ladies and cheered. 35+ years later T. Durham and I saw BJ again at the Newberry Opera House...and Rock and Roll Lullaby still sounds as sweet as it did back in 1972. Now I haven't attained blue haired old lady status...yet, but I did give a slightly arthritic standing ovation as the last notes of RARL drifted through the opera house balconies.

I can hear you mama,

my, my, my my mama.

Nothing moves my soul

like the sound of a good old

rock and roll lullabye