Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Move Over Replacements for the Return of the Best Band to Hail from Minneapolis: Willie & the Bees Reunion October 10 @ Cabooze Bar

As Much as I appreciate Paul Westerberg's songwriting skills and the Mats last 3 albums before calling it quits, the reason I never caught one of their drunken, self-indulgent hit or miss concerts back in the day was because I was usually on the funky West Bank having a beer at the 5 Corners or a dark and tan at Palmers, talking music with Joel at the Viking (God I miss Joel, I had just got to know him pretty good after spending an evening talking music while a mutual friend pitched investors for her restaurant shortly before he passed away) or more likely seeing Willie and the Bees at the Cabooze, Union Bar, or my favorite venue Moby Dick's.

As good as the Hayes brothers, Doug Maynard and Mr. McCabe's bands were in the late 70's and 80's nobody could touch the musicianship, original material and authenticity of the incredibly under appreciated Willie Murphy and his phenomenally funky band the Bumblebees later simply the Bees.  Other than James Brown's music with its unique concept of time and the earlier incarnations of NRBQ and their unique groove they called the zibiglia (sp) Willie and the Bees are about the only other band that I can think of that could take any song and put their own unique stamp on it.  It was like someone took a great soul record from Hi or Stax and then speeded up or slowed down the turntable to give it just the slightest hint of dissonance like a Parker, Coltrane or Miles bop record, it made you appreciate the sweet parts by contrast.

Whether it was Zoogies (formerly the Longhorne), the Cabooze show with Dr. John which was a rehearsal for the Survivor's movie at the Blues Saloon, the Union, the  countless Cedar Fests and River Flat Jam out door shows or those incredible shows at Moby Dick's (10 year anniversary show with special guests like Bonnie Raitt and Tony "the Grinch" Glover) where the crowd would demand "Cheerleaders on Cocaine"or later solo piano shows at the 400 or happy hour at the Viking, Willie Murphy and the Bees:  Maurice, Joe, my old friend  Howard, Jose (the heckler) and the horns always played as if it was their last show.

One of the music highlights of my life was the reunion show at First Ave which was the last performance by Koerner, Ray and Glover who warmed up.  If there was ever one show, one encore from a Minneapolis band not to be missed, it would have to be Willie and the Bees.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Neil Responds to a 911 Conspiracy Theorist Colleague


Now you’ve done it:  A bridge too far.  Lord knows no one despises GWB and his travail of incompetence and corporate cronyism more than eye (said the blind man) yet not even I will swill the poison Koolaid of the Patriot AM 1280 and Alex Jones let alone that cracker Hannity and his nattering nabobs of negativity.  Ms. Thomas, in your heart of hearts do you really believe that our own government purposely killed over 3000 of its own citizens for a little more scratch when they already have the system gamed?  More compelling is the number of accomplices that such an undertaking would involve and not one of them have sold their story to TMZ?  Hardly.
Where is the evidence of the crime of the millenium?  “Loose Change” you say.  More like “Loose Screws”.  “But what about the WTC Towers and Building 7 collapses?” you say.  More than sufficiently explained in NOVA special and National Academy of Scientists investigations.  The so called experts with their cherry picked arguments and photographs do not hold up under the weight of truly scientific evidence. Over simplified “common sense” analogies are the last refuge of scoundrels who profit from their misinformation whether they are called conspiracy theorists, Tea Partiers or Republicans.

When the truth becomes too hard to swallow, the easy out is to not handle the truth as that great patriot and retired USMC officer Jack Nicholson so famously said.  What?  Oh, that was only a line in a fictional movie?  "Well there you go again Mommy", trying to tear down the greatest false hero in the pantheon of fake Amerikan leaders Herr Rotten Ronnie, Ronnie Rotten.*


*Hey hey, my my
The USA can never die
Sometimes there isn’t more to the picture
Than meets the eye.
Hey hey, my my.

Out of the
red and into the black
You pay for this, but they give you that
And once you're gone, you can't come back
When you're out of the
red and into the black.

The king is gone but he's not forgotten
Is this the story of Ronnie Rotten?
It's better to burn out 'cause
Alzheimer never sleeps
The king is gone but he's not forgotten.

Hey hey, my my
The USA can never die
Sometimes there isn’t more to the picture

Than meets the eye.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Excerpt from "The Ideal Lawyer" by David Brewer circa 1906

...So I sum the matter up with the statement that the ideal lawyer will not be thoroughly honest in all his relations to individuals and the public; that he will be a constant student; that he must possess brain power and common sense; and that he will never forget that he is a citizen, and that the weal or woe of the public depends largely on his loyalty to high ideals.

Does any profession appeal more strongly than that of the lawyer? The minister speaks for the life beyond. The doctor cares for our bodies. But the lawyer takes social and business men as they are, and strives to adjust their actions to the present well-being of all. Truly, without disparagement, I may claim for the profession to which I have given fifty years of constant devotion, that it makes high appeal to every brainy, honest young American; and add that to the great roll-call in the last assize the response of the ideal lawyer will be, Ever present and on duty.