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“Cracklins” (Sunday P.M. Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in country music, I Heart My Love-Tribe, I Heart Tricksters, Music & Life & Sundays, Mythos, punk rock, Rock & Roll, Spirituality & Religion, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2010 by alphabetfiend

I gotta find some weed and some wine! I just got to find some trouble sometime!  

They’re called The Gourds. They say their music is for “the unwashed  & the well-read.” I’ve oft-referred to them as “Austin in a can”…frothy, cold and startin’ to sweat straight outta the icebox. Pop the top and out comes the sound of Austin in a musty, malty swoosh.  

The Gourds are (left to right): Max Johnston, Claude Bernard, Jimmy Smith, Keith Langford and Kevin Russell.

Goof-damn, there’s been so many good gourd-carved memories!  

Hearing ’em live for the first time ever at the tiny Cactus Cafe, a room as big as y’all’s den; dancing with Leah at Antones, on one of her last A-TX visits before she got married and became Sophia’s momma; flirting with Cha by the lake at twilight as The Gourd’s tore it up cuntry-style.  

Then there was that sticky sunset, driving into El Paso on my way to The Unified Science of Consciousness Conference in Tucson (University of Arizona.) After a long blistering day on I-10, I celebrated crossing the Texas border (finally!) by repeatedly cranking “El Paso.” Cigarette on a rumble seat, drive all day got nothing to eat. I’m Drivin’ all day,  got nothing to get me to where I’m going to. El Paso I’m going to, El Paso I’m going tooo….  

Let’s see? What else?  

Ah, the annual New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball. One in particular, at The Parish. I wore my elaborate indian headdress & daisy yellow tights under a black mini-dress (trusty LBD of the day) and all night long I played the hell outta my tiny toy accordion! We passed a bottle of bubbly (my prize for best-dressed) and we sputtered laughing cause it was just the kinda New Year’s Eve that you expected to have as a kid, while all the Grups were out partying and you stayed home to watch the ball drop with Grandma. The RobotBoy had a robot mask and we danced all night –rung in the new year right.  

Yep, so many of the gourds-soaked memories are romantic: like “Hallelujah Shine” on the radio those days, those nights in a dark dash-lit car, when the Robot and I were first falling in love.  If you want to meet the Jesus, you gotta go down there brother. If you wanna meet Muhammad, you gotta get in the water. If you want yer hallelujah shine, you gotta go under. You gotta go under Jordan’s mighty waters. This hallelujah shine is mighty dark & old!

If we ever get married — the ‘bot and I — we’d love to have an old-fashioned country carnival: snake-charmers, burlesque dancers, fried chicken and gin-soaked watermelon. RobotBoyLoverMan would don a seer-sucker suit and candy-striped socks. My dress would be all sweet & kicky; something shorter, since a long train would collect grass-stains. Instead of flowers —  as my “bouquet” — I’d tug a swaying, bobbing bunch of balloons. My bridesmaids would sparkle beneath paper parasols, six gorgeous faces shadowed from the Mississippi sun. Speaking of that sun! Let the sucker set! As the sun melts like a butterscotch, The Gourds’ll kick off a raucaus set with “Cracklins!” (Maybe later they’d indulge with a cover of Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love.”???) 

(At this point, after 11 loyal years together, it’s worth waiting until gay marriage is legalized or until we have the budget for The Gourds.)
 
  
I’ve only  just arrived back here in Podunk, Mississippi, having come from Austin, Texas (at this point, I call both cities home… each one homey for different reasons) and after a long roadtrip, I’m thinking damn if it isn’t high-as-hell time that we featured “Cracklins” by The Gourds as a perfectly punk-ass Punk Rock Gospel selection. 
 
The song makes me wish I was a wicked cracklins connoisseur but no. I’m no fan of real-life pork skins. They’re stinky and they’re furry. I prefer my snack foods to be hairless. But hey, I got nothin’ but good things to say ’bout some weed and some wine and some trouble some time.
 

 

“Cracklins” is about recovery, reinvention, redemption! 

Reincarnation! Resurrection!! 

“Cracklins” reminds us that “living out loud” (as G*word would say) is a joyous & good thing — a great big noisyness, a holy ruckus, a prayer the gods are sure to hear!!!
 
I just gotta find a little trouble sometime.
 
When Blood of the Ram first came out( in 2004) I played “Cracklins” for my friend Mary Knott and she thought I was nuts! Especially when I started crying at the end — weeping really, like a stone statue of Mary. All overwrought & goof-touched. All giddy & awe-struck.
 
It’s been years and “Cracklins” still gives me chills.
 
Them Mississippi state police chased me, Pascagoula all the way to Metarie. I robbed a federal bank with a rack of ribs. A jar of sauce, some white bread and a bib.
 
“Cracklins” is an anarchist psalm & a trickster yodel. A holy hell holler & a crooked halo.

An ode to the outlaw! 

A sly nod to all that’s mysterious & mischievous & miraculous about the human spirit.

 Hot DAMN! 
 
Come all ye holy hedonists, this shit’s for you!

  

Listen up! 

Don’t read the lyrics until you’ve listened to the song or you will spoil the surprise at the end which is the very best part and the reason why “Cracklins” makes for good gospel.   

   

Cracklins  

31 days my fingers feel like rain. 

This jail was built on cracklins and cocaine. 

Policemen knocked me down and then charged me, 

With smokin and inciting vagrancy,

yes ‘ey did, yes ‘ey did. 

***

Chicken sneezed, eatin’ my cracklins. 

Buttercup, bloomin in the badlands. 

Kaboom kaboom, piss on the curses. 

Hospital, kiss all the nurses. 

I got to find some weed and some wine. 

I just gotta find some trouble sometime. 

***

Them Navasota troopers ran me down, 

Escorted me right out of town, 

For cherry pickin’ squirrels and feedin’ dogs, 

And dreamin of Jamaica in a fog.

Yes I did, yes I did.

***

Chicken sneezed, eatin’ my cracklins. 

Buttercup, bloomin in the badlands. 

Kaboom kaboom, piss on the curses. 

Hospital, kiss all the nurses. 

I got to find some weed and some wine. 

I just gotta find some trouble sometime.

***

Them Mississippi state police chased me, 

Pascagoula all the way to Metarie. 

I robbed a federal bank with a rack of ribs, 

A jar of sauce, some white bread and a bib.

Yes I did, Yes I did.

*** 

Chicken sneezed, eatin’ my cracklins. 

Buttercup, bloomin in the badlands. 

Kaboom kaboom, piss on the curses. 

Hospital, kiss all the nurses. 

I got to find some weed and some wine. 

I just gotta find some trouble sometime.

Time, time. I’m gonna find ya, I’m gonna get it.

*** 

I was eatin cracklins as the Feds were closin’ in. 

They watched the water as my car went rollin’ in. 

They dragged the river and notified my next of kin. 

But brother, pigs do fly and so can a man! 

When he’s full of fried pork skins!!

Yes, sir! 

Whew!

**********************************************************   

Love love love! 

How ’bout a talisman to honor The Gourd’s teachin’? By PaganGypsy, only $5 bucks on etsy.  

 

In the mood for pork cracklins? See Emeril Legasse’s recipe for homemade cracklins!  

 Go thee to the gourds website  

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Lori Gottlieb’s Shot Gun Wedding: She says Settle, I say “I Do” to Love

Posted in Feminism (Shades of Gray), Friendship, Hooray for Choice!, I Heart My Love-Tribe, Intuition & Gut Intelligence, Psyche & Sexuality, Romance, Romance & Relationships with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2008 by alphabetfiend

 

A friend of mine was bummed after discovering an article in the Atlantic that urged women to settle. She emailed it to me with a one-word message: “depressing.” After reading the tedious thing, I didn’t feel depressed so much as annoyed. The writer Lori Gottlieb might as well be holding a shotgun to women’s heads and shoving them towards the unsuitable mate that awaits them at the altar.  She thinks she knows what we all want and need.

“Ask any soul-baring 40-year-old single heterosexual woman what she most longs for in life. Most likely, she’ll say that what she really wants is a husband (and, by extension, a child). To the outside world, of course, we still call ourselves feminists and insist—vehemently, even—that we’re independent and self-sufficient and don’t believe in any of that damsel-in-distress stuff, but in reality, we aren’t fish who can do without a bicycle, we’re women who want a traditional family. Every woman I know—no matter how successful and ambitious, how financially and emotionally secure—feels panic, occasionally coupled with desperation, if she hits 30 and finds herself unmarried. Oh, I know—I’m guessing there are single 30-year-old women reading this right now who will be writing letters to the editor to say that the women I know aren’t widely representative, that I’ve been co-opted by the cult of the feminist backlash, and basically, that I have no idea what I’m talking about. And all I can say is, if you say you’re not worried, either you’re in denial or you’re lying.”
What a presumptuous A-hole. “If you’re not worried, get worried. If you’re happy where you’re at, you’re a filthy liar.” Here it comes: YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. Obviously Ms. Gottlieb wishes she were a Missus who’d made different choices. That’s cool. It’s her right to assess her own life. But, if she’s made such a mess of things, should she really be giving the rest of us advice?
“My advice is this: Settle! That’s right. Don’t worry about passion or intense connection. Don’t nix a guy based on his annoying habit of yelling “Bravo!” in movie theaters. Overlook his halitosis or abysmal sense of aesthetics. Because if you want to have the infrastructure in place to have a family, settling is the way to go.”
I, for one, don’t want to be saddled with someone whose breath curdles. And a fella with no taste, no thanks. I’m a voluptuary who would be desolate if stuck with a man who couldn’t appreciate the gorgeous shoes on my feet — satin peeptoe wedges, the satin printed with swirling fishes. Who didn’t even notice as I ooed & ahhed over them.  Who wouldn’t then secretly order them and present them to me on my birthday with a card that read “Shoes for the mermaid who walks on land.” This man exists. But had I married previous suitors, what then?

“Those of us who choose not to settle in hopes of finding a soul mate later are almost like teenagers who believe they’re invulnerable to dying in a drunk-driving accident. We lose sight of our mortality. We forget that we, too, will age and become less alluring. Which is all the more reason to settle before settling is no longer an option.”

No wonder she gave my friend the blues. Frankly, it pisses me off. I want to grab my friend by her luscious shoulders and shake the shit outta her. Don’t listen to the fear-monger egg-hoarder Lori Gottlieb. Her creepy advice is misguided at best and dangerous at worst.

“By 40, if you get a cold shiver down your spine at the thought of embracing a certain guy, but you enjoy his company… is that settling or making an adult compromise?”

If my friend came home from a date and said “Yea, I enjoyed his company but then when he hugged me, I got the cold chills, whaddaya think?”  RUN!  Pump them knees, change your number, block his emails. Too often women ignore their guts out of misguided politeness or because they think they are being “shallow” when really their body is trying to tell them that something is veryy wrong. Maybe the guy’s a misogynist rapist or maybe he’s just a really bad match genetically. Or spiritually. We are animals with animal instincts/signals.

  1. Another friend had a guy pal who she wanted to dig. “He’s so kind and he really likes me, ” she’d say. One night she woke up in a ice cold sweat with a stomach full of stones to find him in bed with her. After months and numerous apologies, she finally gave in to his advances. He turned out to be a cruel bastard and a cheat. I was about to say “Your tummy told you so” when she burst out crying, “That night, my skin was crawling, I wanted to puke, I knew who he was. I always knew.”
  2. When my mom was a young reckless hitchhiker she accepted a ride from a guy who was handsome and charming. She settled into his V-Dub Bug and they began to chat congenially. She was thinking “What a nice guy,” when suddenly her whole body revolted against that thought.  She bailed but years later she saw a photo in the newspaper and recognized the handsome face. He was the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. If my mom hadn’t listened to her inner-alarm, I wouldn’t even be here.
  3. I resisted the friendship of a girl who I found annoying and “ugly.” Her presense agitated me, her voice made my skin crawl. I struggled with immense guilt, grossed out by my own unkindness. When I yielded to her pursuit, things quickly spiraled into a terrifying single-white-female situation. Even in friendship, it’s a mistake to settle.

Lori Gottlieb’s advice is reckless and reeks of desperation. Don’t listen to her, listen to yourself. Don’t listen to your guilt, listen to your gut. This is the real world, with real dangers. It’s not an episode of “Friends.”

“And while Rachel and her supposed soul mate, Ross, finally get together (for the umpteenth time) in the finale of Friends, do we feel confident that she’ll be happier with Ross than she would have been had she settled down with Barry, the orthodontist, 10 years earlier?”

Rachael did lots of growing and changing in those ten years. And wasn’t Barry a total creepoid? Didn’t he pull some real skeezy stuff? I seem to recall something about Barry getting married but still trying to get into Rachael’s pants and then some weird vengeful ick at his own wedding right in front of the woman he was settling for. Which is the problem with settling. It’s not a good deal no matter how you look at it, for any of the parties involved.

It’s equally questionable whether Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, who cheated on her kindhearted and generous boyfriend, Aidan, only to end up with the more exciting but self-absorbed Mr. Big, will be better off. (Some time after the breakup, when Carrie ran into Aidan on the street, he was carrying his infant in a Baby Björn. Can anyone imagine Mr. Big walking around with a Björn?)

Aidan’s lucky Carrie didn’t settle. He wanted something else and he got it. Good for him. As for Carrie, it’s hard to say. Big did leave her at the altar but Carrie still chooses to deal with Big’s damage. For better or for worse. Carrie may not even want kids, in which case Big is a much better choice than Aidan ever was. Whose to say that even if Carrie had married Aidan that he wouldn’t have still gone on to fall in love with that baby-mama? Settling is strewn with sticky wickets.

“I’ll likely need to settle for someone who is settling for me…. My friend Alan justified his choice of a ‘bland’ wife with whom he shares little connection this way: ‘I think one-stop shopping is overrated. I get passion at my office with my work, or with my friends that I sometimes call or chat with—it’s not the same, and, boy, it would be exciting to have it with my spouse. But I spend more time with people at my office than I do with my spouse.”

Who want’s to be weighed down by someone who has “settled” for you and who shares more passion and spends more time with people at the office? What about that is “family friendly”? Let’s raise up some damaged kids who someday someone will settle for. The guy who gives you the shivers, with whom there is no sexual connection, maybe you will look back one day and say “Is it any wonder?” But it will be too late then. He’ll have already raped your daughter in her little girl gingham bedroom. From the time she was 5 ’til he she ran away and joined a cult at 15.  Sure, you want a partner in parenthood, but is the wrong partner better than none at all? How many childhoods have been shattered because selfish mothers believed a bad man was better than no man?  

“They, like me, would rather feel alone in a marriage than actually be alone. In practice, my married friends with kids don’t spend that much time with their husbands anyway, and in many cases, their biggest complaint seems to be that they never see each other. So if you rarely see your husband—but he’s a decent guy who takes out the trash and sets up the baby gear —how much does it matter whether the guy you marry is The One?

If you never see your husband and if what you know about him is “he’s a decent guy who takes out the trash” then what the hell is he doing in your home with your kids? Are you sure he’s a such a decent guy? Ask your daughter. She might know a lot more about him than you do. Ask your doctor when you go for that HIV test because if you’re not blowing him, who is?

In my formative years, romance was John Cusack and Ione Skye in Say Anything. But when I think about marriage nowadays, my role models are the television characters Will and Grace, who, though Will was gay and his relationship with Grace was platonic, were one of the most romantic couples I can think of. So what if Will and Grace weren’t having sex with each other? How many long- married couples are having much sex anyway?

If Grace had decided to spend her life with Will and raise a few kids, I’d say what I always say, “Hooray for Choice!”  Grace knows Will inside out. He’s a good person with a lot of love to give. And who says a family has to be what it’s always been? Lori Gottlieb says so. She’s not saying “grab a pal, raise some kids, be happy.” She’s holding a shotgun to your temple and saying “Settle. Or Else.” Will and Grace almost went that route, they came very close, but then they got swept up in romance and raised kids with their honey-pies. Either ending is acceptable. Hooray for choice! Goof love it. But Gottlieb says, “Don’t be choosy.” 

Screw that, I’m as choosy as it gets, I’m a modern girl that way. Over time I realized I was too much of an exhibitionist Ham to be with a jealous man, too wary to be with a sheltered mama’s boy, too liquid to be with a man who wanted to box me in (I leaked through the cracks and defied definition.) Eventually I met a man in the Laundromat. A punk rock Robot genius with a heart of gold. His take on this: “I used to wonder about you all the time but I never thought you actually existed. I thought I’d wait forever but I was waiting.” The vision he had of me defied all logic, where was that wierdo anyway? And then, one day, there I was — with 16 overflowing laundry baskets stuffed to the gills with silky bits — and wearing a vintage 1970’s Prostitutes Union t-shirt. He’d been waiting for me… so he was single. And I’d been picky… so I was able to pick him right out. You look really familiar. Don’t I know you from somewhere? 

Problem with your shotgun wedding is that someone's liable to end up a bloody mess.

Problem with your shotgun wedding is it's liable to end up a bloody mess.

Bitch, if you don’t get that shotgun out of my friend’s unbearably beautiful face, I’m gonna wrest it away and shoot you with it. Now Go. Go. And don’t come around here no more. Bang bang.

 Alphabetfiend is a writer & a prime choice luxury cut. Eat that!

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