Long may you run

It’s Neil Young’s birthday
No, let’s make that Youngs’ – there are
So many of him

Heart of gold folkie
Blow the doors off hard rocker
Flayed one-note solos

Protesting for peace
Living the good Earth’s green life
Helping found Farm Aid

Movies directed
“Bernard Shakey” behind cam
That’s Neil’s nom de film

Bridge School benefits
Helping those who need it most
Breaking down some walls

Godfather of grunge
Radiohead tuned in, too
Musical offspring

And all the great songs
Tales of conquest and romance
Blinding, soul searing

Springfield, cinnamon
And sugar, sand and powder
The hurricane’s eye

All the waste of war
The toll of lies, corruption
Drugs’ dark nights, death’s kiss

The comforts of home,
Playing with good friends, old man’s

Showed us how to keep
Creativity’s fire lit
Don’t burn out, don’t rust

Hello, Mr. Soul
You’re still strange, all the changes
Never regret them


Dave Alvin’s Folly show, redux

Another great thing about 11-11-11 is it’s the birthday of Blasters’ alum and rockin’ blues man Dave Alvin. His latest album — “Eleven Eleven” — is his 11th and has 11 songs on it. I had the pleasure of catching him at the Folly this summer, and of trying to capture some of the flavor and feeling of that show with these. The YouTube clip is from the same tour. And these are followed by a couple of other concert batches — for a Sarah Jarosz show and the Concert for Bangladesh.

From July 9

Dave Alvin hits town
It’s American music
Rock, rhythm, and blues

He writes those stories
So real — of love, death, heartbreak
Of people he’s known

He sings those stories
Cigarettes-for-breakfast voice
And beer for dessert

He plays those stories
Electric and acoustic
With scorpion’s sting

You can taste the dust
See the waves of heat rise up
As he spins those tales

Waves of emotion
Build and crash — great work by Dave
And his three band-mates:

Silver-haired shaman
Of slide; Telecaster set
To “telepathic”

Bass man slick and tall
He could’ve been a Blaster
30 years ago

Powerhouse drummer
All the little touches, too
Like tick-tock woodblock

They rocked the Folly
KC’s century-plus gem
Right place, righteous act

It all added up
To one whale of a show on
A hot July night

Anniversary 22 haiku

I was married Nov. 4, 1989. Amazingly, I still am. Thanks, Tina.

Groom walks down the aisle
That crazy percussive sound
Was his knees knocking

Twenty-two years passed
I’m not sure now what I feared
Shouldn’t have worried

Went without a hitch
— Except for the one we planned —
And we’re both still here

Thanks Yael, Alison,
Gary for standing with me
My two brothers, too

And Bob for singing
“From a Distance” for Tina,
For me, and our world

The Kelley Hunt Band
Rocked out at the reception
It was quite a day

Lots of memories
And two great children later
I count my blessings

You gotta love it

A tip of the hat,
John B. Stetson, size 7
To Lyle Lovett

Lyle Pearce Lovett
Came out writing songs, this date
In ’57

Wonder how he looked
As a baby? He’s truly
One of a kind now

That sweet, goofy grin
First ‘do like ball of black yarn
The cat had played with

Handsomely homely
Married Julia Roberts
How did she catch him?

That one didn’t last
But his talent surely has
Consistent brilliance

Killer band, backups,
Or just Lyle, his guitar
You’ll be entertained

Transcending showbiz
By mastering all its tricks
To showcase his art

Fine storytelling
Meaning — or at least fate — pulled
From slightest details

Insightful writing
Claiming life’s joys and sorrows
By lampooning them

So what’s it all mean?
Not sure he would say he knows,
But you have to try

That hallowed feeling

Halloween horror:
Came as my best self — no one
Could recognize me

Jack-O-Lanterns carved
Porch light switched to the red bulb
Scary music’s on

Cider’s warming up
Scarecrow’s in the front porch seat
Time for trick or treat!

Ghosts and princesses
Little pumpkins, bumblebees
Vikings, vagabonds

Witches with itches
Darth Vader wheezing, sometimes
Costumes just don’t fit

All will take your stuff:
Pirates and politicians
Just dress differently

First-time toddlers cute
Jaded teens out for some loot
And that sugar high

All brought to you by
The American Dental

Enjoy this fine rite
The little ones’ lack of guile,
Sense of make believe

Their masks worn but once
We put ours on every day
— And don’t get candy

“Once more with filling,” redux

From a visit to the dentist, where actually I’m always treated well and kindly, by dentists and hygienists alike. This is the first of some “Everyday things” postings, followed by an annual checkup and a haircut.

From Feb. 22:

Dental cleaning day
My God, excruciating!
Hearing “lite” FM

They didn’t numb gums
Or teeth, but Jeez my poor brain
Went catatonic

“Easy listening”?
To rock ‘n’ roll ears that’s just
A big freakin’ lie

Molars, incisors,
Bicuspids all were agreed:
This music bites it

They thought I had lost
A filling. “No, music’s lost
“All feeling,” I said

“Please switch the station,”
I beg; they refuse, tell me
I should know the drill

Next time I’ll demand
Some Hendrix, or else I take
Hygienist hostage

Or maybe protest
Nonviolently, eat box
Of Oreos first

Or I will wimp out.
The mean hygienist, Flossy,
Always has me cowed

But please, just no more
Little River Band; how ’bout
Root canal instead?

Note: The “lite FM” station has changed formats, so on my recent dentist visit for the first time in memory I did not hear “Reminiscing” — and I didn’t miss it a bit.