The Rebellion is Here

I’m sitting here listening to The Rebellion is Here by Hanslick Rebellion, possibly the finest band to ever call Albany home. A truncated version of this amazing live album was issued on cassette back in the mid-’90s and is one of the few tapes I ever listen to anymore. Until now, when I don’t have to anymore, because this CD restores the original concert to its full length (including the cover songs cut from the original release), with spectacular clarity and intense you-were-there vibrancy. An instant classic of its day made even classicker, with spiffy new packaging to boot. This record has my strongest, most enthusiastic and emphatic recommendation.

As does the in-process Hanslick Rebellion saga unfolding on Rebellion singer-songwriter-keyboardist Jed Davis‘s website (click the numbers under the “Rebellion” header in the left side-bar, preferably in order, duh). This is essential reading for anyone who has ever been in a band, or ever plans to be in a band. Rock and Roll 101, kids. Read it and weep.

Now . . . even more delightfully delicious is the fact that there’s a new website listed on the back of The Rebellion is Here: When you visit this site, you will find two very interesting surprises:

1. The Rebellion is Here can be yours, free of charge!!! It is not for sale. It is for you. Press the link, e-mail Jed, and it will arrive in the mail. How cool is that? Very, very, very cool. Do it now. You have no excuse. None at all. Don’t e-mail me or talk to me or look at me until you have done it. I mean it. If you need convincing, though, you can stream the songs before it is sent to you for free. My personal fave cuts are “Big Hot Monday,” “Why James Likes Indie Rock,” “Starlet” and “Grub.” (Language warning on these cuts, for the sensitive among you).

2. The very special record reissue precedes a very special band reunion: the freshly re-formed (though not liked reformed) Hanslick Rebellion will be playing at CBGB on September 22. That’s exciting news, if you’re a person who happened to be in and around Albany at a very special time in its musical history. And it’s exciting news, if you have no idea what or who I am talking about, but you like smart, kick ass rock and roll delivered with chops and charisma. Go to the show. Go. But get the CD first so you can sing along.

Saturday Morning Meanderings

To those who say you should only lose a pound or two in a week, I saw “foo.” This morning (day six) I weighed 216. That’s eleven pounds in six days. Although, as I said at the beginning, the first ten are almost cheating, since I just put them on in the month. But, still, that’s progress towards the goal. Which actually moves forward by two days: we are leaving for Prague on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, so I don’t plan to be worrying about scales or weight while in Europe, meaning the 94 day time span is now a 92 day time span, and six of those days are gone. So there’s 29 pounds to go in 86 days. A little over five ounces a day. Two and quarter pounds per week from here on out.

I think there may be an article to pitch in this when I’m done, actually, about body image and how we respond to what we “should” look like and weigh. I took some “before” pictures on Monday, and if I gave them to people who didn’t know me and asked “Does this person weigh 40 pounds more than they should weight,” I would be surprised if very many of them answered “yes.” When I’m done (I probably should say “if I’m done,” but I feel confident), if I give the “after” pictures to people who don’t know me and ask “Is this person too skinny?”, I have a feeling the answer will commonly be “yes.” Why is that? Are the people and organizations who are supposed to be most concerned with our health actually the very ones who perpetuate the Barbie Doll/Ken look that usually gets blamed on advertisers and media types? I think it’s an interesting question to pitch, using myself as a guinea pig. (So, there, that’s a move on the “moves management” chart).

Enough on that, for now. More on Prague. Yes, we are going to Prague for Thanksgiving, the three of us plus a friend and professional colleague of Marcia’s. How did this happen? I’m sort of not quite sure, actually. Last Sunday, Marcia saw an ad in the paper with a great rate for Thanksgiving in Prague and called “Can we spend Thanksgiving in Prague?” to me while I was sitting in my office wasting time on the computer. I didn’t say “no,” and so six days later, it is reality. We don’t normally do things on whims quite like this, especially since I really don’t care for flying that much.

But . . . the one key lesson that I learned when my dad passed away unexpectedly was that life’s too short and unpredictable to not jump at things when they’re offered, and that it’s best to experience things that you want to experience when you can, since tomorrow, you suddenly might not be able to. I’ve become much less ascetic and rigid in temperment since he died, much more willing to enjoy things at face value and as they come. And, so, we are going to Prague for Thanksgiving, flying on a Lufthansa 747-400 (a plane I’ve never been on, so that’s cool too) to the Czech Republic, with a stop in Frankfort for good measure. Then back again the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Then to Asheville, North Carolina (where my sister lives) for Christmas. Then to the Pacific Northwest next April, where two of Marcia’s sisters live.

On a work front, we began the Fall 2005 Performing Arts Series at the C+CC last night. We’ve got a good schedule. Last night was something of an experiment for me, since I don’t usually start doing shows until after Labor Day weekend. The music was great, but turnout was lighter than I would have liked, so I think next year we go back to kicking things off with the Labor Day Picnic. My student employees are beginning to drift back into town (they start classes on Monday), and I am at the office this morning, resuming Saturday work schedule (which I curtail in the summertime).

I have six new freshmen assigned to me this year, after having had the core group of students who have been here since my Day One graduate last May. In a nice little piece of elegant connectedness, one of my favorite students here actually got a job at the Naval Reactors contractor facility in Schenectady where I used to be the government contracting officer and field representative, the job that actually brought me to Upstate New York and (eventually) here. Pretty cool.

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