Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's brooding

By James Carroll | December 31, 2007

WHAT IS MORE worthless than the ripped off page of a calendar? Indeed, what is more brusque than that act of ripping off? On New Year's, you start over with a new calendar, and the fresh pages, each with its day or week or month, are innocent and beautiful. You move through time by sullying each page, tearing and discarding it. In the black-and-white cinema of your mind, a locomotive forever chugs along its tracks, while in the foreground, the pages of the calendar flip by, into the wind. Is that all there is to time?

The trouble with the image of time as a calendar with pages to be torn and tossed is that it can reinforce your general feeling of disconnectedness, as if the events of life cohere no more than one page does to another. All that stands between you and the cinder pile of history are a pair of staples. You, too, are a mere page on the calendar, and the dull roaring in the back of your head is that locomotive, bombing into the unknown, with no relationship to what it leaves behind. No relationship, finally, even to you - unless, of course, you are the train. Past, present, and future are nothing but a set of unchosen tracks along which you move, picking up speed - leaving behind the litter of what just happened. This is time experienced as mere chronology, one damn thing after another, and then it's over.

The benign brooding of New Year's suggests another way to think of time. The Greeks distinguished between chronos and kairos, one a railroad track spanning the surface of life, and the other, say, a spiral winding down into the depths of wisdom and true knowledge. There is chronological time, with its detritus [debris or discarded material] , and there is contemplative time, where nothing is lost. The first depends on the skill of forgetfulness, while the second nurtures a feeling for the past through memory. To the first, the future is the next surprise; to the second, the future is familiar, because the past and the present prepare it.

The word contemplation has a Latin root, suggesting "time with," as if in contrast to chronology as time alone. But the "with" here is not merely social. Contemplative time is time in which connectedness is perceived as essential. There is no fully human knowing unless it is knowing "with"; knowing, especially, how one experience links with another. The connection is what matters, and in contemplative time, the connection is what shows itself. As the scientists tell you, there is homo sapiens, the creature who knows; and there is homo sapiens sapiens, the creature who knows that it knows. Who knows "with." And "knowing with," of course, comes to us from Latin as conscience.

That double knowing is the realm of meaning. It is what you live for, and why you aim to move from mere chronology to contemplation. The first is episodic, with events following each other as if randomly. The second is dramatic, with events joined not by mere sequence, but by causation. In contemplation, where you perceive the "with" in time, you see that the past, present, and future flow into one another not accidentally, but as choice flows into consequence, which flows into a new choice, and an ever-larger consequence. In the spiraled knowing of contemplation, you see that choice is the seat of connectedness, which makes time the realm of morality, as well as meaning. You grasp your part in the simple wholeness of all that is, a part defined by freedom and responsibility. The episodes of your life, therefore, are not discrete pages to be discarded one by one, but form a moral unity, the purpose of which is to be understood. Every day you have lived has been preparing you for this day - the fullness of time. Kairos.

The timespan of Earth stretches back across thousands of millions of years, with the cosmos stretching farther back through years without number. Your lifespan is less than a blink of the eye of time, and so, for that matter, is all of humanity's. The law of chronology suggests that, on such a scale, what you make of the turning calendar means nothing. But the law of contemplation is otherwise. Today, the previous span of cosmic incomprehensibility adds up in the sum of your thoughtfulness. New Year's is the joyful celebration of all that has ever transpired anywhere, aware of itself now in you.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Using my photo

I took this photo:

Before a Clippers v Jazz game last year.

I got this email this morning:

Hi Fred,

I am writing to let you know that one of your photos has been short-listed for inclusion in the fourth edition of our Schmap Los Angeles Guide, to be published mid-January 2008.

Clicking this link will take you to a page where you can:
i) See which of your photos has been short-listed.
ii) Submit or withdraw your photo from our final selection phase.
iii) Learn how we credit photos in our Schmap Guides.
iv) Browse online or download the second edition of our Schmap Los Angeles Guide.

While we offer no payment for publication, many photographers are pleased to submit their photos, as Schmap Guides give their work recognition and wide exposure, and are free of charge to readers. Photos are published at a maximum width of 150 pixels, are clearly attributed, and link to high-resolution originals at Flickr.

Our submission deadline is Sunday, January 06. If you happen to be reading this message after this date, please still click on the link above (our Schmap Guides are updated frequently - photos submitted after this deadline will be considered for later releases).

Best regards,

Emma Williams,
Managing Editor, Schmap Guides

Kinda cool

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Top Ten for 2007

Great year for music. Too many good releases to fit in a top ten.

1. Mark Olson "Salvation Blues" - simply his best in awhile. I wasinfatuated with this from the first listen, but seeing these intimate songs performed in small venues turned that into an enduring mature love. I really like Olsen's unassuming nature and awkward innocence.

2. Peter Case "Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John" Great moving songs from start to finish, which is actually pretty amazing; Song writer with an acoustic guitar folk records tend to get a little samey. Not this one. Weakest track, unbelievably is the duet with Richard Thompson. This also benefited from seeing the songs live.

3. Josh Ritter "Historical Conquests of..." This could have been, maybe should have been, my #1. In past years it certainly would have been. I spent weeks spinning this over and over again, and Ritter put on a great show at the El Rey.

4. Wilco "Sky Blue Sky" Another beautifully written, well performed record that was spun non-stop.

5. Band of Horses "Cease to Begin" Beards and flannel rock, which is intimate and personal while at the same time abstract.

6. Joe Henry "Civilians" This record creeped up on me.

7 Richmond Fontaine "Thirteen Cities" As with Peter Case, I'm
perplexed that this band doesn't get more love.

8. Bettye Lavette "The Scene of The Crime" feels like my weekend jeans.

9. Glossary "Better Angels" Great garage rock that's more complex than it seems on first listen

10. Two Cow Garage "III" Much improved song writing without sacrificing any of the energy.

Missed, but would have been in the top 10 in other years:

National "Boxer"
Okkervil River "Stage Names"
Arcade Fire "Neon Bible"
Dexateens "Hardwire Healing" Rawk.
John Doe "A Year In the Wilderness"
Sharon Jones & Dap Kings "100 days, 100 nights"
Patty Griffin "Children Running Through"

I've really been listening to the "I'm Not There" soundtrack, Stax
50th anniversary set. I decided to eliminate them and the Centro EP
from consideration


Iron & Wine Shepherd's Dog
Golden Smog
Dogs "Dirty Shop"
Son Volt (I listened to and enjoyed out of the box, but now when one
of those songs comes up on shuffle, I'm tempted to hit "skip")

.....and I made salt with Ghandi

Romney fields questions on King
Campaign says claim not literal

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said he watched his father, the late Michigan Gov. George Romney, in a 1960s civil rights march in Michigan with Martin Luther King Jr.

On Wednesday, Romney's campaign said his recollections of watching his father, an ardent civil rights supporter, march with King were meant to be figurative.

"He was speaking figuratively, not literally," Eric Fehrnstrom, spokesman for the Romney campaign, said of the candidate.

The campaign was responding to questions raised by the Free Press and other media after a Boston publication challenged the accuracy of Mitt Romney's account.

In a major speech on faith and politics earlier this month in Texas, Mitt Romney said: "I saw my father march with Martin Luther King."

He made a similar statement Sunday during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press." He said, "You can see what I believed and what my family believed by looking at our lives. My dad marched with Martin Luther King. My mom was a tireless crusader for civil rights."

Romney's campaign cited various historical articles, as well as a 1967 book written by Stephen Hess and Washington Post political columnist David Broder, as confirmation that George Romney marched with King in Grosse Pointe in 1963.

"He has marched with Martin Luther King through the exclusive Grosse Pointe suburb," Hess and Broder wrote in "The Republican Establishment: The Present and Future of the GOP."

Free Press archives, however, showed no record of King marching in Grosse Pointe in 1963 or of then-Gov. Romney taking part in King's historic march down Woodward Avenue in June of that year.

George Romney told the Free Press at the time that he didn't take part because it was on a Sunday and he avoided public appearances on the Sabbath because of his religion.

Romney did participate in a civil rights march protesting housing bias in Grosse Pointe just six days after the King march. According to the Free Press account, however, King was not there.

Broder could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

The Boston Phoenix reported Wednesday it could find no evidence that Romney and King ever marched together.

Mitt Romney's older brother, Detroit attorney Scott Romney, said he recalls his father telling him the elder Romney marched with King, possibly in 1963, but he could not remember exactly when the event took place.

Fehrnstrom called the Romney brothers' recollection and the historical materials a "pretty convincing case that George Romney did march with Dr. Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders in Michigan."

The governor's record was one of supporting civil rights. He helped create the state's first civil rights commission and marched at the head of a protest parade in Detroit days after violence against civil rights marchers in Selma, Ala., in 1965.

Mitt Romney's campaign planned today to further research George Romney's papers for evidence of his march with King.

Free Press Library Director Alice Pepper contributed to this report.

Find this article at:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Edwards and Obama's treatment by Faux News

The Faux News Network is using their reporting on Obama and Edwards in an attempt to get these candidates to appear on Faux's "news programs." These Democrat realize that appearing would legitimize Faux News as a source of information rather than the propaganda machine that it is, and have refused to appear.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Can't Tase This

Comic Gold

Jim Wallis' prayer

The year of 1968 was very significant in my life, and a decisive one for the nation. It was the year when the hopes borne by the social movements of the 1950's and 60's were dashed by the assassinations of, first, Martin Luther King Jr., and then Robert F. Kennedy.

If Robert Kennedy had lived to become president on the inside (as he surely would have) and Martin Luther King Jr. had lived to lead a movement from the outside, the U.S. and the world might be very different today. But the most hopeful political leader of his time and the most important movement leader of the century were both struck down, and 1968 was the turning point when everything began to go wrong in America. I remember my feelings at the time vividly. King had been the leader of the movements that had captured my imagination and commitment as a young activist; and Kennedy was the only politician who won my political trust. I was getting ready to take a break from college to work on his presidential campaign when he was killed.

Ever since 1968, the door has been closed to real social change in the U.S. Since 1968, we have been wandering in the wilderness. The coming New Year -- 2008 -- marks 40 years of that wandering, a passage of time I have been pondering as we enter into it.

I taught my last class for the fall semester at Harvard this week. The title of the course was "Faith and Politics: Should They Mix and How?" In the midst of a final class discussion of the central role faith is playing in this election season, a student abruptly asked me a personal question: "How many times have you been arrested?" I thought for a moment and replied, "Twenty two times." I told them that's what happens when social movements confront closed political doors. I said I was willing to do civil disobedience again, if it was called for, but that I was now hoping there might be a significant paradigm shift about to occur. I explained how social change seems to most readily occur when social movements push against open doors. Real social progress seems to require that combination - strong social movements and open political doors.

I believe we may be approaching just such a time. I have written before that we now have open political doors to the fundamental issues of social justice both in London, with the election of Gordon Brown, and in Australia, with the recent election of Kevin Rudd. Both understand the power of social movements and seem to be inviting them to push against the reluctance of political power to make real changes. In the U.S.'s election season this time, the operative word is now "change." The Democratic frontrunners are now mostly debating how real change can best occur, not whether it should. And the Republicans are distancing themselves from their own president, who has led the nation to a place that both alienates and embarrasses most U.S. citizens of both parties. The wrong direction didn't begin with George W. Bush, but he has certainly demonstrated how absolutely wrong the direction of the U.S. now is.

The people of the U.S. are very unhappy with the direction our nation has taken, and the polling about that is consistent. There will definitely be a snap back after the extreme and disastrous policies of the Bush administration. The Democrats hope the snap back will result in their victory; the Republicans hope they can still retain power by offering a change in direction themselves. But we must hope and work for a snap back that goes much further than either a Democratic or Republican victory. Indeed, whoever your favorite candidate is, he or she will not be able to really change the biggest and most significant issues at stake in the U.S. and the world without a social movement that pushes them to make those changes. Remember that Lyndon Johnson did not become a civil rights leader until Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks made him one. It was a social movement pressing on an open door.

That will be the vision and strategy of Sojourners in this crucial year of 2008 and beyond. We are in the business of building movements, not winning elections. This election is vitally important and we will be working hard to put the most important issues on the agenda. But we are already looking past the election to the kind of organizing and movement building that will have to be done. And the good news is that we see that movement already growing, more that I ever have since the fateful year of 1968.

Everywhere I go, something is happening. My new book, out on Jan. 22, profiles an emerging spiritual movement with a social agenda. It's called The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith and Politics in a Post-Religious Right America. The book charts how "great awakenings" in the past have featured a "revival" of faith that also changes society. It describes how we may well be on the verge of another such movement to make dramatic change on issues like poverty, pandemic diseases, climate change, human rights, and war and peace.

During my work on the book this year, the writing, praying, and vocational discernment got all nicely tangled up together. The "book tour," which will take us to many cities in early 2008, may feel more like a series of mini-revivals, and, this spring, we will begin a series of "justice revivals" that will last for many days in cities around the country over the next few years.

The dramatic changes occurring in many of our faith communities and constituencies, the energy and commitment of a new generation, and the openness of politics for change may indicate the beginning of a new and more hopeful period in the life of this country and the world. It may even be that after 40 years, we might finally be ready to come out of the wilderness. That is my hope and prayer as we enter the New Year of 2008. But it is a hope and prayer that will require, from all of us, the work of faith.

Jim Wallis is the Editor-in-Chief of Sojourners and blogs at

James Carroll article

James Carroll was born in Chicago in 1943, and raised in Washington where his father, an Air Force general, served as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. ( His father was the one who told Kennedy about the Cuban missile silos.) Carroll attended Georgetown University before entering the seminary to train for the Catholic priesthood. He received BA and MA degrees from St. Paul's College, the Paulist Fathers' seminary in Washington, and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1969. Carroll served as Catholic Chaplain at Boston University from 1969 to 1974 and then left the priesthood to become a writer. He writes frequently for The Boston Globe.

The politics of religion in America

WHAT IN THE name of God is going on in American politics? Mitt Romney's "Faith in America" speech, riddled with mistaken assertions about religion, was itself a warning. But other presidential candidates, debate moderators, pundits, and religious leaders all share a dangerous confusion about questions of faith and citizenship. Here are only a few:

Is America's goodness grounded in God? When Romney and others assert that American virtues, generally summed up in the idea of "freedom," are based on faith, a cruel fact of history is being ignored. The politics of human rights, like the idea of individual freedom, were born not in religion but in the Enlightenment struggle against it. When Thomas Jefferson located "inalienable rights" in an endowment from the Creator, he was decidedly speaking from outside the mainstream of any denominational faith. Jefferson's point was not to affirm God, but to deny King George.

It is not an accident that "God" does not appear in the Constitution. Following the American lead, religions, too, learned from the nonreligious improvements of modernity, but it is dishonest to claim after the fact that religions somehow sponsored them.

Were "the Founders" religious? It is a convention of political speechmaking to ascribe faith to the Founders, but what kind of faith, and what Founders? The Pilgrims, for whom "freedom" and "rights" meant nothing, wanted a theocracy. One hundred fifty years later, the Deist revolutionaries assumed a distant God whose interest in creation, much less the young nation, was minimal. By Lincoln's time, traumas of war drove piety, and it was only then that present notions of public devotedness were born. (It was Lincoln who established the motto "In God We Trust.") In truth, the power of faith in American politics has waxed and waned. There is no consistent tradition to be upheld or to be betrayed.

Is "secularism" dehumanizing? When Mitt Romney praised vital American religion in contrast to Europe where churches are "so grand, so inspired, so empty," one could wonder what the collapse of institutional faith in Europe actually means. Romney condemned the "religion of secularism."

Yet such American smugness seems to miss the largest point of difference between the Old World and the New. In the very years that majorities of Europeans were walking away from organized religion, they were resolutely turning away from government-sanctioned killing, whether through war or through the death penalty; they were leaving behind narrow notions of nationalism, mitigating state sovereignty, and, above all, replacing ancient hatreds with partnerships. All of this stands in stark contrast to the United States, where the most overtly religious people in the country support the death penalty, the government's hair-trigger readiness for war, and the gospel of national sovereignty that has made the United States an impediment to the United Nations.

Does God send people to hell if they vote wrong? You would think so if you listened to the American Catholic bishops, who said in November that forbidden political choices "have an impact on the individual's salvation." The five Catholics running for president all hold positions that, in the bishops' view, might earn their supporters eternal damnation. Whenever preachers appeal to hellfire as a way of reinforcing injunctions, you can bet they have failed to make a persuasive moral argument.

What is discouraging here is that the bishops, aiming to reinforce their squandered moral authority, are resuscitating an image of a threatening, violent God that religious people generally, and Catholics in particular, have struggled to leave behind. Religion aims not to "save" from an unmerciful God, but to reveal that God's mercy is complete.

Is Mormonism a religion of myth? The answer, of course, is that every religion is a religion of myth. The symbols, rituals, and sacred texts of every faith grow out of contingent historical circumstances that seem at odds with the transcendent claims that religions make. Joseph Smith's origins in upstate New York might seem disqualifyingly banal, yet so did Jerusalem to those who lived in Rome, as did Galilee to those who lived in Jerusalem. Religions claim to be above such history, and that myths are revelations - but the glory of God is that God reveals through human invention. What Mormons believe is outlandish - which is the point.

Politics and religion, like art and music, aim to accomplish the same thing, which is to overcome absurdity with meaning. Religion does this by seeing God's hand in history. Politics does it by affirming that, if history is all there is, it is enough.

James Carroll's column appears regularly in the Globe.

© Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Universal Studios

The secret is out:

The best day to go to Universal Studios is during a cold windy day in December. Lines were short and the kids had a great time.

I took Jack and whatever friend he chose as a reward for a terrific report from school. You know the parent/teacher conference is going to go well when it leads with the teacher saying, "I'm absolutely convinced that Jack is going to be President some day."

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Pablito in Sanctuary Pablito is staying in the Parsonage of our church, UCC Simi Valley, with his mother, Liliana. Pablito, his two siblings and father are American Citizens, but Liliana is not. Her family legally immigrated to the US when Liliana was still in high school. She stayed in Mexico to finish her education with her friends, and when she tried to immigrate to the US to be with her family, she found, because she was now an adult, that she could not do so legally without a US employment sponsor. Her family arranged for her to be smuggled across the border to be reunited with them, but she was caught with a falsified birth certificate. She was able to cross undetected at a later date. After settling here in Ventura County, she met the man, Gerardo, she later married and started a family with. Gerardo works two jobs and this family was able to purchase a house in Oxnard. Over the years she has repeatedly tried to gain legal status, but because of that mistake that she made when she was 18, she is "permanently barred" from gaining legal status.

Not long after Liliana gave birth to Pablito, ICE came to her door one morning to detain and arrest her. When they realized that she had an infant, they gave her five days to arrange for his care and report to be deported. This episode was the latest in a series of instances where the person who is charged with enforcing US Immigration Law became familiar with what they were doing and used what ever discretion they had and backed down. Instead reporting for deportation, she entered into "sanctuary" in a Long Beach church where she stayed for two months before moving to UCC Simi Valley where she will remain until a final disposition of her case is made.

I've become committed to engaging in quiet witness and civil disobedience in being part of this "New Sanctuary Movement" We need sane, fair and moral reform to our immigration laws. America is stronger if this child, and his brother and sister, grow up with their mother and father.

Please join me.

Wilco at the Santa Barbara County Bowl

I've got to say that I've been thinking about the show,trying to decide if it really was amazing as I thought it was while I was there, or if my feelings were colored by the fact that it was capping off what was a truly magnificent day with my wife. I've decided that it
was that good.

I do think we could have gone to any show and come away with a glow; We met 25 years ago and lived in Santa Barbara the first five(childless) years of our marriage. In many ways, I came into my own while living in SB, and consider it as much my hometown as KC. And so it seemed to be a no-brainer that we'd build a little mini vacation around the show. We got to SB Sunday Morning and walked up and down State Street. I hit up Morning Glory Music, Just Play Music and tried to get over to American Pie Records, but they were closed. The biggest disappointment of the day was getting my tastebuds set for a hoaggie from the Italian Greek Deli and finding that this State St institution was closed. We ended up at Joe's, another Santa Barbara mainstay instead.

Our Hotel was down on Cabrillo Blvd, which is right on the beach. It was a beautiful day, and we spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the Art Walk and the area around Stearns Wharf. Veteran's For Peace had set up crosses for an Arlington West monument, and we were there taking in the magnitude of the number of men and women that have been killed in Iraq when this freak wind storm hit. It felt pretty ethereal and very moving, with the cold wind dropping the temp by ten degrees in a matter of minutes and the sand kicking up all around.

For those of you that have never seen or been at the Santa Barbara Bowl, you've missed out. It's an outdoor amphitheater that is carved out of the hillside above SB with a view of the ocean and eucalyptus and California Live Oaks completely surrounding it. It was built in the 1930's as part of the WPA project as a showcase for a centuries old Santa Barbara celebration "Fiesta."

Like much of SB though, The Bowl has changed and improved in the last decades. Gone is the original stage, and in it's place is a beautiful, state of the art performance area: a square, stone version of the Hollywood Bowl.

I've read other's reviews of Wilco for this tour, and I have to agree with them: This band is one of the most talented, expert bands touring today. The new songs sparkled with Jeff's enthusiasm for them, and the older songs, while not losing their charm, benefited from the careful and sober rendition they were given. Far from sterile, they seemed to have new life and shine. Just as Nels broke into those sublime chords that begin Impossible Germany, the moon broke out from behind the eucalyptus trees standing behind the stage.When they broke into Too Far Apart, the front section rose and Jeff encouraged them to come forward. During Spiders, the crowd rose to their feet during those chords, and began clapping in time with the relentless beat. With Jeff's encouragement, the crowd kept clapping and the band faded out until it was just the handclaps echoing through the hills. When they got to California Stars, I was covered with goosebumps, in this venue built in Woody Guthrie's time under those very stars, with my wife's hand touching mine. By the time they wound down with a chilling Lonely 1, I was ready declare this one of the best shows I've ever been to. Rock music at it's finest. I didn't even care that they skipped playing M

Peter Case & Friends - March 7th 2008

I've always been able to take off to a show and grab a ticket. Tonight was sold out. Luckily, someone was unloading an extra, and I got in no problem.

For all the shows I've been to, I've never been to one at McCabes. I own more than a few bootlegs recorded at McCabe's, and I think I'm going to enjoy them a bit more now that I've taken in a show there.

They host shows in the back room of a "guitar shop" which would more aptly be called a "guitar museum." The stage is at one end, with stairs going up to a loft where the talent hangs out. The other three walls are covered with every imaginable guitar and permeation of guitar.

The show started out with Peter playing "Who's Gonna Go Your Crooked Mile" and then a traditional mining song where he was joined onstage by a woman who played the fiddle. It was really nice.

The format of the rest of the show was intended to be a succession of several artists that played on "A Case for Case" cd (a cd to benefit "Hungry for Music" a non profit that brings music and instruments into
classrooms). They'd play the song that they had contributed, and then one or two of their own. Or so the plan was.

First up was Claire Holley, who did "Two Angels" and did a lovely job with it. She also played one of her songs, which I found compelling. If you want the rock, not for you. If you want a beautiful voice, lilting melodies, interesting guitar drifting in and out, then it'd be for you.

Next up was Amelia Spicer, who did "Never Coming Home" and one of her own songs. Meh. Her vocals on the Case song were too breathy.

What happened next made me worry. It made me embarrassed that I had pimped this show to postcard.

Gary Heffern. If you ever see him on a bill, playing a show, and are curious as to what this is all about, after all his piano player used to be in The Motels, do yourself a favor and go, no run, away. You'd be better off viewing the tubgirl video. It was like William Shatner doing beat poetry and singing blues, but with no idea about things like harmony, rhythm and key. HORRIBLE. I turned to Bruce and apologetically said "this guy is horrible" He nodded.

Victoria Williams. Love her, hate her, you have to admit that she's a trip. She came on and played a few songs with Van Dyke Parks, Don Heffington (Lone Justice) playing a tambourine and a box that he sat on and thumped and a trombonist. I really enjoyed her set, but I think most of the crowd didn't. She did "This Land is Your Land" and I think she was channeling Woody. She never got around to playing the song that she contributed to the cd, "Drunkard's Harmony" would have been interesting.

There was a short break, and I went to get a soda and the cd, and feeling a bit disappointed in the show. I remembered that Missy from said
that she was going to be there, and I saw a woman that looked familiar from pcfh gallery or her website or something and introduced myself. It was her indeed, and she seemed quite lovely, and maybe a bit
creeped out that this strange guy seemed to know who she was.

The second half of the show was absolutely stunning: Starting with Marvin Etzioni playing piano, then mandolin. Then mandolin and a very loud bass drum.

He was joined by Victoria Williams on a song, and seemed surprised. So did she. She seemed to have accidentally wandered onto stage and spent about half the time singing harmony and the other half sorting through a handful of harmonicas, which she didn't didn't use for the song, save blowing one note.

Apparently, they were for the next song, which Peter joined them on. They blew the door off the joint with a rousing rendition of "Old Blue Car" Peter on piano, Etzioni on mandolin, Duane Jarvis. (Great guitar player and songwriter. Co-wrote Still I Long for Your Kiss with Lucinda Williams, played w/her for about 10 years) on guitar and Victoria on Harmonica. I though, and even said "that was worth the price of admission.

But they weren't over yet. Peter would look up the stairs between songs and squint, seemingly trying to remember who was next, and they invariably wouldn't be ready when he called, and there'd be some trotting up and down the stairs. This is what happened when it was Dave Alvin's turn. Dave finally came skittering down, and played one of his songs, told a story about how he used to drink more (really?) and would chug a pint of milk before shows so he wouldn't pass out, (Peter interjected that it really didn't help that much). At one gig that The Blaster's were playing with the Plimsouls, the bouncer wouldn't let him bring his milk in so he got indignant and cancelled
the show, then saw Peter and told him about it, and Peter threatened to pull the plug on the show unless Alvin could take in his milk. Dave, Peter and the fiddle player did the song they played on the Mississippi John Hurt tribute, and then "On My Way Downtown" Alvin's contribution to the cd.

Peter did a few of his songs from Beeline, including "Somethings Coming" as an audience sing along, which was interesting. "I Hear Your Voice, Everywhere I Go" was sweet.

More squinting up the stairs, and finally they found Lester Chambers who joined Case on piano with Alvin, Etzioni, the fiddle player, another guitarist, Duane Jarvis, a bass player. and ripped into "Time Has Come Today" with Lester on cowbell, and the entire crowd on the "Time!" interjections. Victoria Williams was grooving to the song on the stairs, and about halfway through, her trombone player came and had a seat on the stairs with his horn and added some riffs to the
song. Wow.

They did a blues song with Lester adding harmonica, and then turning to each of the guys on stage for them to take a solo. Duane Jarvis acquitted himself nicely on slide guitar.