I see that Fox is going to air a special next week called "Bridezilla" about
brides freaking out over their weddings. Welcome to our world!

I also could not resist peeking in on the new "American Idol", mostly so that
I could say that my comments would be based on experience. The show (to me,
anyway) still represents the worst of our current society -- the valuation of
image over substance, the belief that shortcuts on the road to fame exist,
the absolute absence of originality (why does almost every singer in the
world now believe that they must sound as if they were raised in the Black
Baptist church?), the utter lack of any degree of self-examination that would
lead most of these people to realize that they really have no natural singing
skills (and people, vibrato is NOT talent!), and, basically, the lemming-like
instinct to expose oneself to nationally-televised ridicule on the off-chance
that you'll actually win the contest, disregarding the evidence of your life
up to this point. I despair...

I was going to let this rant spill over into politics, but I'll leave that
for another (probably post-war) day. I just got word from Bill Dinwiddie that
we lost another one -- Cy Touff just passed away, apparently from
complications resulting from a fall in which he broke his hip. Cy was another
one of the older guys who didn't have to be but was very kind to me when I
was just a tad. The reason why I try to be supportive of the youngsters on
the scene is precisely because of guys like Cy and Kenny Prince and Tommy
Ponce and Boyd Rolando, who were encouraging and helpful. In the words of my
poet-friend Marc Smith, "pull the next one up."
This week Steven Hashimoto will try to defend his world-view at:

WEDS. 1/29: at GREEN DOLPHIN STREET (look it up, I don't particularly feel
like helping these jokers out), 8:30-12:30, with Guy Fricano's Big Band.

THURS. 1/30: at ANDY'S, 11 E. Hubbard, noon-2:30pm, with guitarist Pat
Fleming; then at MARTYR'S, 3855 N. Lincoln, with Al Rose & The Transcendos
(Al, vox & guitar; Laura Blye, vox; Steve Doyle, guitar & dobro; Carter Luke,
keys; Sarah Allen, drums), for our CD release party. 9-ish, I imagine.

FRI. 1/31: at THE GREEN MILL, 4802 N. Broadway, 1:30-3:45am, with The Green
Mill Quartet (Barely Winograd, bari sax; Bob Long, piano; Rick Shandling,
drums) for The After-Hours Jam Session.

SAT. 2/1: I think a jobbing date with Lenny Marsh (if so, thanks, Lenny!);
then, later on, at MAGNUM'S STEAKHOUSE on Golf Rd. in Schaumburg, with Souled
Out, the 10 (or 11 or 12-piece) R&B band. 10-ish, I think.

SUN. 2/2: at THE GREEN MILL, 4802 N. Broadway, with poet Marc Smith and The
Pong Unit (Mike Smith, guitar; Dave Flippo, keyboards; Ted Sirota, drums) for
The Uptown Poetry Slam.