Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Huskies suck again in the clutch; Davie Jones dies.

But there's always Kristen Wiig:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

If it is Tuesday, this must be Providence..

MUST-WIN for the UConn Huskies tonight in the inappropriately-named Dunkin' Donuts Center (there is no center in a Dunkin' Donut)... They never have an easy time there.

Good warmup for Jazz Fest with Anthony Jack's Mardi Gras dinner next Thursday, complete with Abita Beer.  Barry will probably rot in Hell for doing this during Lent, but that's his problem.  I'm good. Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya    That same night, the Dex Romweber Duo returns to Cafe Nine in New Haven.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

JR (the artist formerly known as Johnny Gumbo) rips Jazz Fest...

This morning brought howling winds following yesterday's (when all my troubles seemed so far away) surprise snowfall.  It also brought an email of blistering criticism towards the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival:
Piano Shirt Friday shirt
Sorry, JK. Just looked through the line-ups and days and think the first weekend has the second one beat by a long shot. But it also seems they continue to get farther and farther away from the real stuff...the real JazzFest music... cajun, blues, honky tonk, and jazz. Guess you have to play to the masses and get the “pop”. Bring in the dollars. Will be interested to hear your take on the music. Guess I’ll become one of those dis-enfranchised critics. - JR
1st Weekend- Fri Sat Sun
2nd Weekend- Thu Fri Sat Sun

Hey, JR, how are things in the Great NorthLeft?  Since I have always respected your taste in music, your pointed opinions about this year's schedule and the state of Jazz Fest in general bear notice.  Your point about 1st weekend versus 2nd may have some merit.  Let's look at the matchups, noting that weekend two has a four-day to three-day built-in advantage:
  • Headliners- Beach Boys, Bon Iver, Tom Petty, Feist, Trombone Shorty, Springsteen, John Mayer vs. Eddie Vedder, Florence + the Machine, Zac Brown, Grace Potter, the Eagles, My Morning Jacket, Foo Fighters, Neville Brothers, Bonnie Raitt.  I suppose I would agree with you here.  The Beach Boys reunion would have some nostalgic/historical interest, though their performance at the Grammys was disappointing; I'd be very interested in Bon Iver because I haven't 'gotten' them/him yet; Tom Petty would be a solid set; Leslie Feist would be fantastic; Shorty is always great; I've become a bit bored by Springsteen (and he did nothing at the Grammys to change my opinion); we saw John Mayer (very good) a few years ago.  Overall, I'd give it a B.  So, compare those with Eddie Vedder acoustic (okay, but Pearl Jam was great a couple years ago); I'm a big fan of Florence + the Machine; I can take or leave Zak Brown; Grace Potter is worth a look; the Eagles could be very good (or possibly just old and boring); I have no interest in Foo Fighters or My Morning Jacket; the Nevilles are the Nevilles (and that's a good thing) and I love Bonnie.  I'd give it a C.  The big disappointment was not getting the Black Keys for either weekend (especially since Dan Auerbach just finished a new album produced by Dr. John).
  • The New Orleans standard bearers- This group of Nola musicians perform almost every year, are always great, and there is an effort made to keep them fresh by mixing them with each other and with visiting musicians.  Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Eric Lindell, the Iguanas, Amanda Shaw, Theresa Andersson, Tab Benoit, Sonny Landreth, Marcia Ball, Terrence Blanchard, Galactic, etc. are tremendous.  It's a push (with an A), because you can't lose.
  • Looking forward to see-  Texas Tornados (Doug Sahm's old band), Chuck Leavell w/ Bonnie Bramlett, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Janelle Monae vs. Esperanza Spaulding, Mavis Staples, Levon Helm, Steve Earle, Malone Brothers (potential for some great guests), Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings.  Although I'd love to see Carolina Chocolate Drops and Janelle Monae, I've got to give the edge to 2nd weekend here (LOVE Esperanza Spaulding). 
Which brings us to your issue with the state of the current New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the eternal cry of "you're selling out the old fans who made you." My less-than-humble perspective (despite this year being only my 8th Jazz Fest) is that the BIG FESTIVAL business is extremely competitive, and there is an absolute requirement to know your product and your customer.  Being one of the oldest festivals does not guarantee future success, and, when compared with Coachella, Bonnaroo (taken from the Dr. John album Desitively Bonnaroo), SXSW, it can be viewed as a negative by younger patrons.  What makes Jazz Fest unique is its setting, New Orleans- the music, the food, the culture.  Jazz Fest started out many years ago as a copycat of the Newport Jazz Festival.  When did it sell out?  When, after its infant years in the city proper, it tried to get bigger by luring people from outside Louisiana and moving to the Fair Grounds?  Screams of selling out were heard then. Around 2004, like it or not, Jazz Fest was in financial trouble and was forced to change or disappear.  National acts became an important part of the mix.  The purists were disgusted, the soul of the festival had been compromised.

Reality check: we don't live in a vacuum.  It's crazy to think that many of the outside acts that play Jazz Fest have not been influenced by the musical heritage of New Orleans, and, equally important, it's narrow-minded (and wrong) to think that the opposite has not occurred!  As for the scurge of 'pop'ular music infiltrating the Fest, there is bad, good, even great pop music, evidenced by New Orleans' own Fats Domino, Lee Dorsey, Dixie Cups, etc.  Somewhere in my old vinyl collection there is a frayed Sonny & Cher album cover with a picture of a young session piano player named Mac Rebennack on the back.  Hell, Dr. John lives in Connecticut for Christ sakes and Allen Toussaint spends great periods of time in NYC.  It can be a win-win.  I love hearing the reverence for New Orleans from the visiting artists; love having Trombone Shorty show up in a Kid Rock set or Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas drop in on Paul Simon.  And some the best shows I've seen were outsiders (example: the Ike Turner show in the Blues Tent).

But even if you hate the outsiders, where else but New Orleans can you stop in for the best stuffed chicken wings and Bloody Marys for pre-Fest lunch at Emeril's Nola (where, if you eat at the bar, I've heard you need not tip) or have a heart stopping Lucky Dog with ALL the fixings on Bourbon Street at 3am, or kick a couple of Pool Hall Studs' asses at pool, causing them to whine for the next five years (the very best)?  And where else can you annually avoid running into the lovely (well, maybe not REAL lovely) and talented Scarlett O'Hara and her watermelon hat, toast a few with the Mark, Lisa and their New Jersey crew, and have a great Monday night getaway dinner with our old pals, the Shoe Ladies (complete with Entourage).

The defense rests.

Friday, February 24, 2012

So Mitt Romney's wife tools around in a coupla Caddys ....

Honey, I just wonder what you do there in the back 
of your pink Cadillac?

I love you for your pink Cadillac
Crushed velvet seats
Riding in the back
Oozing down the street
Waving to the girls
Feeling out of sight
Spending all my money
On a Saturday night
Honey I just wonder what you do there in back
Of your pink Cadillac
Pink Cadillac

Cadillac Man (The Jesters)
Cadillac Song (Reckless Red)
Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache (Robert Gordon)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Linsanity Sunday...

New episode airs TONIGHT at midnight on WCCT (your CW affiliate, channel 11 or 20 on your cable system) - featuring the Suicide Dolls, the Sawtelles and The Can Kickers!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another disappointing UConn fan effort by Keith 'n Vinnie...

Why not a Vin Big Face?
These guys are just not getting the job done.  Blame Jeremy, Shabbbbbbazzzzz, Olex, etc. all you want, but the real reason for the Huskies' colossal collapse is the very poor performance up in the stands by KNV.  In an ill-advised move, Vin tried to rally the team, then down just four, during a timeout by shouting down to start singing RESPECT.  Respectful of the storied laxman alum, the players tried, but none of the Huskies could spell it right, so Ryan Boatright decided to talk some SHIT instead and wound up with a technical (which they also couldn't spell).  Game over.  With four games to go in the regular season, there is not much time left.  How about you STEP IT UP!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wednesday morning at five o'clock as the day begins...

Johnny GreatNorthLeft rants on The Answer:
(Exclusive email sent from resort condo while on holiday in Mexico) I luv reading these stories of these NBA cockheads who blow tons of money 'cause they ain't got no smarts to begin with. Why do we emulate them when all they can do is put a round ball in a round cylinder? Sorry, just needed to vent a little about the lost priorities in our world. OK, I feel better now! 

JK comment- I think it's because you can't put a square ball into a round cylinder, but I could be mistaken.  And it's nice to see you have not lost your compassion for your fellow man, JR. 

Dos Equis- The Most Interesting Man in the World:
"He's been entangled in love triangles, pentagons and hexagons."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be my Valentine...

Valentine's Day playlist:
Chances Are (Johnny Mathis)
At Last (Etta James)
Love Make a Fool of Me (Al Anderson)
Girl In a T-Shirt (ZZ Top)
Love Slave (Leon Russell)
Love Is a Losing Game (Amy Winehouse)
Brown-eyed Girl (Van Morrison)
Paradise By the Dashboard Light (Meatloaf)
I Wanna Thank You, Baby (Delbert McClinton)
Stardust (Hoagy Carmichael)
Bring It On Home to Me (Sam Cooke)
Blessed (Lucinda Williams)
Lovely Rita, Meter Maid (The Beatles)
You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go (Bob Dylan)
Howlin' For You (The Black Keys)
My Girl (Otis Redding)
Groovy Kind of Love (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
Passionate Kisses (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
Baby, Let Me Take You Home (The Animals)
Is That You In the Blue? (Dex Romweber Duo)
I Feel the Same (Bonnie Raitt)

In a related love note, rumor has it that JR has gone vegan:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Grammys...

Patti Scialfa?
I thought LL Cool J was an actor?... The Boss opens up with a pedestrian new song. C'mon, Bruce, come up with a new E Street Shuffle or something...... What's the over/under on Whitney tributes?  She kind of stole the "dead person of the year" thing from Amy and Etta..... Bonnie & Alicia Keys' Sunday Kind of Love tribute to Etta James was nicely understated.... Chris Brown singing????..... Beached Boys looked like zombies; was hoping for some magic; bad song choice, should have gone with simple, uptempo with some energy....  John Lennon must be turning in his grave listening to Macca do these old songs (props for Joe Walsh and Diana Krall though)... Hey, I like Bruno Mars (some nice James Brown moves).... Heartfelt ovation for Adele after performing Rolling In the Deep.  Great voice.  She doesn't have Amy Winehouse's edge and phrasing, but she's got plenty of soul (and she's alive)... Tribute to Glen Campbell (who toured as part of the Beach Boys back in the 60s) included Allen Toussaint's Southern Nights; and Glen was great... Bon Iver????  Who would have guessed?  Cool... Tony Bennett, is he still alive, hard to tell .....Hey, is that guy up there droning on about some bullshit the guy from CPTV????.... Now rolling the dead guys.... Well done, Jennifer Hudson, you didn't try to knock it out of the park.... shout outs to Don Cornelius and Gil Scott-Heron... Adele wins every award.... McCartney redeems himself with the finale.... And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make....  good night  (New Yorker view)

Keith & Vin again fail to spur the Huskies, this time losing to the 'Cuse...

Saturday was opening night for Head Rush at Bleachers in Bristol.  Could an SNL guest appearance be next for this buzzed-about band?

Yes, I will attend the Grammys tonight.  Putting on bow tie for red carpet appearance.  Since The Reet can't go, I will be accompanied by Lana Del Ray (to help give her damaged ego a boost).

Pool Hall Studs in Cabo with Mark from Jersey, cooking up plans for this year's Jazz Fest.  And my so-called connections got me nowhere in trying to get a six-o'clock dinner reservation at AJ's on Valentine's Day.  Four o'clock!!!!

R.I.P. Whitney. (New Yorkerstory  I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Friday, February 10, 2012

New Low Cut Connie in the works, but when will they play up here at Cafe Nine?...

Authentic, ambitious rock-and-roll blues.  Low Cut Connie made its mark on the critics

(Philadelphia Inquirer)  With several successes under its belt, Low Cut Connie plans a grand agenda for 2012. Along with Weiner's impending July nuptials, LCC is recording its second album, Call Me Sylvia, for September release. Among the titles are "Boozophilia," "Guns and Knives," "No More Wet T-shirt Contests" ("a protest song," Finnemore said), and "You Got Everything." After that, Low Cut Connie wants to tour on a cruise ship and get in shape with a strict boxing regime.  "We are going to achieve all of our goals this year because that's what the Connies do," Weiner said. "We take care of business."  Read More

February Sawtelles...

FRI 10th: typhoon thai, main st middletown, 6p. byob

SAT 11th: J drums w/ Zoo Front at the Willi Co-Op 91 Valley Street, Willimantic, Ct. 06226 for it's 32nd b'day bash. music starts at 11:30, ZF @ 3p.

FRI 17th: javapalooza, main st m'town, 7:30-9:30p

SAT 18th: neverending books, state street new haven. 7p. various acts.

SUN 19th: P drums w/Pete Brunelli on guitar at the outer space, 6p. free.
if you have facebook go to our page, j.p.sawtelles, which has a coupla fliers for various events we're playing.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Quick trip to Barnes & Noble to spend my Xmas gift card...

Soul Journey (Gillian Welch)
Let It Burn (Ruthie Foster)
Go-Go Boots (Drive-By Truckers)
The Big Chill- Deluxe Edition (Various Artists)

It's a bit disheartening to browse at what passes for record stores these days. No depth at all.  I'm generally not a 'those were the days' kind of guy, but I do miss wasting time in a good record store.  On Dave H's recommendation, I was looking for the new J.D. Souther, but no luck.  No Pistol Annies, either.

Gold on the Ceiling...

Monday, February 06, 2012

Just another manic Monday...

Jersey Giants nip Hartford Patriots.  Gisele tells Brady to stop whining.  Cleveland Browns have been installed as the early favorite to win next year's Super Bowl, but the question is:  Which washed up singer/group will be picked to play (actually just act) at halftime?  Early favorites:  Cher and Neil Diamond.

The Sawtelles at Typhoon Restaurant on Main Street in Middletown on Friday at 6:30pm (BYOB).

Saturday, February 04, 2012

It's put up or shut up, whatcha got?...

Beantown vs. The Big Apple!
Okay, you rabid (and very lucky, both should have lost) NY Football Giants/ New England Patriots fans, who wins the battle of the minutiae?
  •  The Pats moved to nowhere Foxborough from Boston, but the Giants left NYC to play in the swamps of Jersey.  Which is the more egregious?   Penalty points on the Pats for blowing smoke up our governor's ass and teasing him with a possible move to Hartford.
  • Yankee Stadium vs. Fenway Park?   The new Yankee Stadium is much better than the 70's-style remake of the original, but you've got to give the edge to a true original (even though actually watching a game there can be painful).  Penalty points against Boston for allowing that old clubhouse guy to Sandusky young boys for so long.
  • TD Garden vs. The World's Most Famous Arena?  No contest once the C's left crappy old, but venerable Boston Garden (where I once scored 3 KEY points in a prelim-to-Celtics game) for its slick new digs. Extra points to NYC for bringing the Nets to Brooklyn.
  • MA senator JFK vs. NY carpetbagger senator RFK?  I guess we should really ask Marilyn Monroe.
  • Ted Williams vs. Mickey Mantle?   It wouldn't be fair to bring out Jeet.  Oh wait - Jeter vs Bobby Orr?
  • Boston Strangler vs. Son of Sam?  Spike Lee vs. Ben Affleck?  Do the right thing.
  • Who got more - Joe Willie or Brady?  Penalty points on Broadway Joe for the Suzy Kolber thing. Penalty points on Brady for being a whiner.
  • Dirty Water (The Standells) vs. Empire State of Mind (Jay-Z and Alicia Keys)?  The Ramones vs. Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers?
  • Manhattan clam chowder vs. New England clam chowda?  I never warmed up to the red stuff.
  • Knickerbocker beer vs. Samuel Adams Boston lager?  Do they even brew Knickerbocker anymore (they sure don't brew a good basketball Knick anymore)
  • Hudson River vs. the Charles?  The Bronx vs. Southie?

    Thursday, February 02, 2012

    2012 Jazz Fest Poster...

    Porch Song: A Portrait of Trombone Shorty
    By Terrance Osborne
    A rising Troy (Trombone Shorty) Andrews graced the 2009 Congo Square poster. An emerging Terrance Osborne created two other prized Congo Square posters (2007 Philip Frazier; 2010 Uncle Lionel Batiste). The Congo Square poster project showcases promising artists deserving of wider exposure, while the classic Jazz Fest poster features established artists. The two talents twinned on this year’s Jazz Fest poster ascended from “promising” to “established” so rapidly that their accomplishments demanded timely recognition. We think the result was worth not waiting for.  Read More

    Wednesday, February 01, 2012

    Signing off: We wish you love, peace and soul!...

    (ABC News)- Don Cornelius, the man who created Soul Train, was reportedly found dead Wednesday morning at his Los Angeles home.  Police sources tell that Cornelius appears to have taken his own life; sources say he died from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  He was 75.  Cornelius created "Soul Train" and hosted the show in national syndication from 1971 to 1993.  It was the first real venue on American TV for soul music, and as the show's writer and producer, as well as host, Cornelius played a vital role in bringing stars like James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson to a wider audience.  Some have described the show as "a black American Bandstand," though Cornelius was not a fan of that comparison.  As the host, he was known for the catchphrase with which he closed each episode: "I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!"

    "Soul Train," which ceased airing in 2006, also spun off the Soul Train Music Awards and the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards.   Its most famous theme song, "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)," by MFSB became a massive pop hit in 1974.