Dodo/Lurker

1. For as long as I’ve been blogging, I’ve titled omnibus posts — meaning those with short, multiple topics — after songs by specific artists. In the beginning, these posts all had titles from songs by The Who. Then I used Bee Gees song titles for several years, and I’ve been using Frank Zappa song titles since around 2010 or so. Tonight, I feel inspired to honor a new band. Props to the music geek who identifies the new omnibus post titling band first. I should note that I am making the switch after watching about five hours of documentary interview footage online about this band’s back catalog. Because that’s how I roll, yo.

2. Marcia and I went to Omaha last weekend. It was our first time in Nebraska’s largest city, and we went to see a classic car exhibition at a restored historic manor house there, as a prep and research tour to support the exhibition that my staff and volunteers will be offering at Salisbury House. We stayed right downtown, and really enjoyed the Old Market area, with loads of stores, restaurants and bars packed into about a sixteen square block area abutting the Missouri River. We had an absolutely divine dinner at V. Mertz in a subterranean passageway in the Old Market, with excellent, knowledgeable service, an outstanding wine list, and some truly innovative and perfectly prepared entrees and small plates, largely featuring fresh regional meats and produce. I had a rock shrimp appetizer over polenta with a buckwheat fritter and great, tasty fruit and sauce accompaniments, while Marcia opened with a heritage tomato salad that looked like a work of art. I don’t care for tomatoes, but Marcia reported that its taste lived up to its appearance. For our main courses, Marcia had a duck dish that was built around the best tasting, most tender duck breast I have ever eaten, and I had a salmon entree prepared over a creamed wild rice bed, livened up with apples, turnips and fennel. We capped the evening with a beautiful, leathery 30+ year old Pedro Ximenez sherry and a flourless chocolate cake served with almond ice cream. We even had a perfect table, tucked into a little niche in the corner of the restaurant, where we could unobtrusively people watch, without being overwhelmed by other peoples’ conversations or traffic in and around the restaurant. It’s definitely a contender for the top ten list of greatest meals I’ve ever eaten. Highly, highly recommended the next time you find yourself in Omaha. Or anywhere nearby even, since it’s worth a trip in and of itself.

3. On our way to Omaha, we stopped in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to play a round of golf at the Dodge Riverside Golf Club, immediately adjacent to a large Harrah’s Casino. The course was pretty busy, so we waited at the tee box at most holes behind a foursome who were good golfers, but of that obnoxious variety who spend way too much time thinking about club selection and walking back and forth from their carts and swinging a dozen practice swings before each meaningful stroke of the ball. When we rounded the ninth hole, we headed straight for the tenth without stopping, hoping that we might leap frog the guys who had to throw grass in the air before every stroke, since we are pretty much “ready golf” kinds of players who just want to keep moving. When we got to the tenth hole, however, things did not look good: there was another foursome there who were clearly inebriated, having a loud conversation with a ranger. We sat back from the tee box so as not to crowd them, but one of the players saw us and waved and invited us to play through. We gratefully accepted. In the tee box, the foursome introduced themselves to me by first names, mentioning that they were in Council Bluffs for work, and that they lived in Los Angeles. I politely inquired as to what brought them to Iowa, and they said that they were in town to play a concert at the casino the following night. They asked me where they could get a good steak in town, and I apologized for not knowing the area well enough to give them a tip. We chit-chatted a bit longer, and then my music geek curiosity got the best of me, and I asked, “So what’s the name of your band?” Their answer? Weezer. Oops. I think they were kind of disappointed that I had to ask but, hey, I was really too old for college rock when they were at their creative and commercial pinnacle, so they aren’t on my “recognize immediately” radar screen. We thanked the four of them for letting us play through, though, and then amusedly watched them fall farther and farther behind us throughout the back nine. I think they must have stopped golfing altogether at some point and just decided to hold court in a bunker around the 16th hole.

4. One of the more entertaining things about being a long-time blogger is when people who have been reading my words for years without ever commenting decide to de-cloak and reveal themselves to me. Since I know the total traffic levels that my sites generate, and I know how many of those folks actively comment, I can deduce that something like 90% of my readership falls into the category of “lurkers:” people who happily read from the sidelines, without ever actively participating in the conversation. I appreciate this, since there are lots of sites where I do the same thing. So in honor of this post’s title, I formally applaud the lurkers of my various website . . . and if the spirit moves you to de-cloak via e-mail or comments, I’ll be delighted to have some idea of who you actually are. Holla!

5. My sister the artist honored by one her region’s leading arts businesses as the Asheville Area’s Artist of the Month, which she has concluded entitles her to assume the title of “Miss August.”

14 thoughts on “Dodo/Lurker

  1. Hi Eric, Alan Hedge here. Sorry we never got together before you left Albany. Just wanted to say good luck in your endeavours in Des Moines.

    • Thanks, Alan. I’m sorry we didn’t get together too . . . like lots of things, it always feels like there’s enough time to get around to making it happen. . . until there isn’t!!!

      • I’m willing to go as far as the eponymous studio album, if only for Home By the Sea parts 1-2 and It’s Gonna Get Better.

        (And come on, the studio side of Three Sides Live was five of the best tracks in the post-Gabriel years! Well, okay, four and “Paperlate.”)

        • Yeah, those studio cuts from “Three Sides” are indeed great . . . but they’re all “Abacab” out-takes and leftovers, so just bolster my position further!!!

          I really have a bad reaction to the SOUND of the band post-“Abacab” . . . I think the self-titled album was the first one where everything was digital/midi-ed, so the keyboards and drums always sound really stiff and rigid to me, and you don’t hear much organic sounding guitar or bass from Rutherford. Same with the albums that follow, for me . . . whereas on “Abacab” I can still hear distinguishable keyboards, bass and guitar parts, and the drums and drum machines have a warmer, analog feel to them . . . My fondness for the “Wuthering” –> “Three” –> “Duke” –> “Abacab” run of albums has grown immeasurably over the years . . . especially after seeing the 2007 reunion shows, and how good so many of those songs sounded live . . .

          • Tickets for those reunion shows were too rich for my blood at the time (I think they were going for $95 for the Clevo show?), and so I passed… been kicking myself ever since.

            And I’m certainly willing to admit that I can’t listen to the eponymous album without hearing a ghost of what those songs (and esp. HBtS1-2) sounded like live–Genesis in ’83 was my first live show, or one of my first few, can’t remember. (Chester Thompson… damn. One of my early heroes.)

            • Related: I’d sort of stopped following Steve Hackett over the years, but his new record with Chris Squire is dynamite, and it led me to get his 2011 studio album, “Beyond the Shrouded Horizon,” which is the best thing he’s done since “Voyage of the Acolyte” I think. Both worth hearing.

  2. Fine. Whatever. I’ll de-cloak and reveal my secret identity. Sheesh…the pressure…

    Hahahahahaha! I’m SO not a lurker. I think you know I’m here just about every time you post — love your stuff as always, friend! Good stuff here — nice to hear about good times in your new hometown.

    • Thanks, Mikalee . . . always a pleasure to see you in the comment section, representing Team De-Cloaked! And loads of happy happies belatedly sent your way regarding the big news about Fiancee Fearful-Flyer!!!!! I’m really delighted for you both, and can’t wait until you hire Alice and move into those groovy Brady 2.0 digs with the sunken living room and the open sided stairs and whatnot . . .

  3. I was distracted by local media frenzy on Trader Joe’s opening, but noticed no one has come right out and said the bands name: Genesis. My entry point to the band was Wind & Wuthering, still a favorite of mine.

    • Gold star!!

      “Wuthering” is one my faves now, too . . . though it wasn’t when it came out. It’s ironic that Hackett left at the end of it, feeling creatively shut out by Banks, since it actually feels like it bears more of Hackett’s stamp than any other Genesis album. I think I had to get into his solo stuff and then go back to this one before it really clicked for me accordingly (except for “Eleventh Earl,” which I thought was classic from the git-go). I now think the “Unquiet Slumber . . . Quiet Earth” medley is my favorite thing on the record.

  4. I wonder, have you ever had the experience where you or your spouse met someone in real life who then realized they knew your blog? I’ve had that weird experience with Hoxsie a number of times. I don’t really have my name front and center on it, and a number of times I or my wife have run into people who were talking about something they saw on my site, not realizing it was my site. Very surreal experience.

  5. Yes, I have had it happen a few times with blogs, and even more times when I was a print music critic. Prior to hosting “Sounding Board,”Love I kept an intentionally low profile around Albany music scene so peole would not know who I was at shows. I heard a lot of speculation about myself from musicians over the years accordingly, invisible in their midst.

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