“The Daniel Boone National Forest embraces some of the most rugged terrain west of the Appalachian Mountains. Steep forested slopes, sandstone cliffs and narrow ravines characterize the land.”
It’s only a couple of hours from Cincinnati, but it’s light years away from the rat race. A great place to unplug, unwind, and reconnect with nature. A New Year’s Restitution, if you will.
The older brother and sister-in-law of our neighbor are the instigators, they’ve been gathering the ol’ gang down there every January for years. Last year, thanks to our neighbors, we were added to the crew.
Happy hour and a leisurely and lovely potluck dinner Friday evening. Long hike (with an on-trail lunch break) on Saturday, followed by another happy hour and potluck meal, then carousing until the wee hours (which for our age bracket means 10:30). A shorter hike Sunday morning, then back to the reality of jobs and kids (or grandkids in some cases) and bill payments and oil changes and the other quotidian duties that can fill your calendar but not fill your heart.
Saturday’s hike was challenging… quite a few narrow ledges and snow-covered 2×4 board bridges, with a few icy spots throw in for good measure. But the sexagenarians (and one septuagenarian) were up to the task. And the scenery payoff was worth it.
You can keep your Ritz Carlton and your high-society parties, I’ll take a rustic cabin in the woods and some down-to-earth friends any day.
Believe it or not, I actually have to pay money to operate this blog. But I do it gladly so that you, the few, the proud, the dubbatrubba blog faithful, can get your semi-weekly dose of semi-coherent ramblings. You’re welcome (not sure if I should punctuate this with a question mark or an exclamation point…maybe I’ll do both)?!
The company from which I bought the dubbatrubba.com domain (surprisingly, there was no bidding war…) is always trying to sell “extras” to me. Their latest pitch gave me pause:
Whoa, I can actually get rubbadubba.com too? I’m thinking I should lock it down, and corner the market on goofy names. Perhaps later I can sell rubbadubba.com at a profit to Three Men In A Tub, LLC.
But what really got me was the fact that “dubbatrubba.com” isn’t considered a premium domain, yet “batrepellant.com” is.
Guess I’ll have to spend the weekend figuring out other ways to “monetize” my site.
NPR is streaming an album of outtakes, demos and alternate tracks from the 1996 Wilco double album Being There. I love listening to it, because that album was fantastic, and a quantum leap forward from Wilco’s debut A.M. the previous year. The difference-maker was Jay Bennett, who joined the band between those two albums. A multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, engineer and producer, he took Wilco from their alt-country roots to a more expansive, experimental sound. Ask pretty much any Wilco fan and they’ll agree that the three Wilco albums that feature Jay Bennett are the golden era of Wilco. My buddy Joe and I saw them play during that era at a crappy little club in Cincinnati (R.I.P. Ripley’s), in front of about 40 fans, and Jay was amazing, moving from guitar to organ to piano to pretty much whatever instrument was lying around on stage, cigarette dangling from his lips, long blonde hair flopping in front of his face. It remains one of my top 5 concerts of all time.
Jay got kicked out of Wilco by bandleader Jeff Tweedy in 2001, shortly after they finished recording their epic Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album. (Some of the drama is captured on camera in the documentary I Am Trying To Break Your Heart.) He released a few solo albums but largely faded into semi-obscurity, a footnote in the career arc of Wilco. That’s a shame, because without Jay Bennett’s prodigious contributions, Wilco might never have become the critic’s darling that they are today.
“When Jay was with Wilco, he really expanded the palette of the kinds of sounds and the instruments and arrangements that they were doing,” Loerzel says about him today. “You know, maybe Jeff Tweedy would have moved in that direction on his own, but Jay certainly helped him, and I think the two of them grew together in the band.”
What’s even sadder is that Jay Bennett died in 2009, from an accidental overdose. His health insurance wouldn’t cover his much-needed hip replacement surgery, so he was using a prescription painkiller – a fentanyl patch – to fight the pain while he worked to raise money to cover the surgery. (Think about that when you hear talk of repealing the Affordable Care Act.) He died in his sleep, at the age of 45.
I can’t listen to the outtakes album without thinking about Jay. Wilco is much more polished now, but I miss that grit, that soul, that energy. A couple of folks are making a documentary about Jay, and have already reached their Kickstarter goal. Check out the trailer below.
Looks like Cincinnati is a good place to be for New Year’s Eve if you really want to cut loose… in a fiscally responsible way. WalletHub crunched the NYE numbers using criteria like “legality of fireworks,” “average price of a New Year’s Eve ticket,” and “forecasted precipitation” to rank cities and the ‘nati wound up #6 on the list.
I like indie/alternative/cutting-edge music, but within that broad and hard-to-define genre, I tend to stick with bands that have a traditional guitar(s)-bass-drums setup ala my old favorites like the Replacements. I’m not a dancer (as my wife will readily attest) and usually don’t go for the newer bands that skew toward dance/electronic music. That said, I’m really digging the new album from Chvrches, a band that consists of two dudes on keyboards/synths/sequencers/whatchamacallits and a female lead singer.
Check out this video from their performance of “Clearest Blue” from The Late Late Show. Granted, the instrumental break sounds eerily similar to Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough”… but it’s a real toe-tapper for sure, and I love the lead singer’s frenetic energy.
“It’s just one of those things you’ll need to learn to deal with. If you’re easily offended, then maybe the music industry isn’t for you”
But why should women “deal” with this? I am incredibly lucky to be doing the job I am doing at the moment – and painfully aware of the fact that I would not be able to make music for a living without people on the internet caring about our band. But does that mean that I need to accept that it’s OK for people to make comments like this, because that’s how women in my position are spoken to?
I absolutely accept that in this industry there is comment and criticism. There will always be bad reviews: such is the nature of a free press and free speech. When you put your work out there, you are accepting the fact that people will comment on it, but it is your choice whether you read it or not. (Kathleen Hanna sums this sentiment up nicely in this interview.)
What I do not accept, however, is that it is all right for people to make comments ranging from “a bit sexist but generally harmless” to openly sexually aggressive. That it is something that “just happens”. Is the casual objectification of women so commonplace that we should all just suck it up, roll over and accept defeat? I hope not. Objectification, whatever its form, is not something anyone should have to “just deal with”.
Chvrches new release is called Every Open Eye. It’s wonderfvl.