The Spyglass Chronicles: 08/01/16

Posted: August 1st, 2016 | Filed under: Cinema, Community, Music, Spyglass Chronicles | 3 Comments »

chron“Wild Night” Van Morrison (It’s Too Late To Stop Now, Vol. III)  The kid scores a fake ID, borrows a disco shirt from his older brother, heads into his first Saturday night out and about, and walks into the hot new bar in town. Morrison’s voice cracks,

“Ooooewuoooo Oooooooooooh Weee!!!!! Wild night is callin’.

VM’s Spring/Summer ’73 tour with the very hot Caledonia Soul Orchestra is Van Morrison at his loosest and best, scatting, soaring and swooping through melodies as only he can. 300 new minutes worth of live tuneage from that tour have just been released as “. . . It’s Too Late To Stop Now . . . Volumes II. III. IV & DVD.” Easy to understand why these versions weren’t included in the original volume. A burp here, a clank there, Morrison consumed by the music like a celestial mass sucked into a black hole, but so damn what?

Which is obviously what Morrison finally thought when he authorized this release forty years later. This is not some ersatz money grab, full of outtakes. The music is righteous.

Holly Houston Interview. Louisville Magazine. The local attorney/ activist/ Woman About Town dropped the F Bomb in one of her As to the zine’s Q & A. (Spelled as most mainstream mags are won’t to do, “f***ed.”) A reader, someone obviously on the sphincter transplant list, wrote a letter to Ed complaining. At the end of the reader’s screed, she asked, “My grandchild asked me what “f***ed” meant. What should I tell him? Please share this with her.”

Ever feisty, Ms. Houston answered for print. Read the rest of this entry »

Father’s Day with “Deli Man”

Posted: June 22nd, 2015 | Filed under: Cinema, Community, Culture | 4 Comments »

delimanThe true and experiential transitional moment came during the summer of my 13th year.

This was months after the ritual of my Bar Mitzvah, where I was called on a cold shabbos morning to say the prayers over the Torah, recite my Haftorah and deliver a canned “Dear parents, grandparents and friends” speech provided by my Rabbi. Upon the completion of which, I was considered an adult, according to the tenets of my Jewish faith.

Obviously there was plenty more to learn.

That summer, as with most in my youth, I worked at my parents’ handbag store at Sixth & Market Streets. On the fateful day, I was sent to bring back lunch for my dad, Sam Cohen and Joe Rosenthal. They owned the dress and shoe shops on the same block.

I was to go to the deli a couple of blocks away, and bring back sandwiches. I don’t recall the name of this deli, since it was not one of the more memorable of my youth. It had neither the panache nor longevity of Greenwald’s or Schneider’s on Bardstown Road, or the one run by Barry Sherman’s dad on Preston Street, where we stopped on Saturday evenings on the way home from the store, to get lox, bagel, corned beef, smoked fish, etc, for that night, and Sunday. Read the rest of this entry »

Rants & Raves: National Pot Hole Convention

Posted: April 20th, 2015 | Filed under: Community, Culture | No Comments »

historyYes, those of you with elephantine memories do correctly recall that several weeks back, during my Saturday shtick on FPK 91.9, I vowed not to talk about pot holes.

I lied.

I lied, because at that time, I hadn’t fallen victim to the peril. Thus, I hadn’t reached the point of saturated vexation.

Then, one of ’em got me. Got me good.

At which juncture, it became imperative that I vent my spleen.

You notice how many cars are driving around with spares?

You know why?


For further edification, listen up.

Audio MP3

Rants & Raves: We Crave The Lurid

Posted: March 3rd, 2015 | Filed under: Community, Culture, Personalities | 1 Comment »

historyLouisville is the epicenter of college hoops.

It’s a fact. Check out the TV ratings, come NCAA tournament time.

And, like most places, Louisvillians become entranced with the lurid side of life, such as when celebs get in trouble.

Those two tendencies clashed last week, thus trending upward, like some sort of Ohio Valley Vortex.

So, Saturday, during my gig with James at FPK 91.9, after we schmoozed as usual, I weighed in on the confluxation of those two societal tendencies, college hoops meets tabloid fodder.

Listen up:

Audio MP3

Caffeinated Chronicles: State of Grace @ Dirty Kroger

Posted: February 20th, 2015 | Filed under: Community, Culture | No Comments »

coffee1Should you happen to know or cross paths in the Lower Clifton area with a thirtysomething African American woman with short cropped hair, a pierced nose, wearing a black Carhartt jacket, bless her and wish her a good day.

Her name is Cynthia.

I stopped by the DK (Dirty Kroger) this Friday afternoon, needing only one item.

I’d run out Splenda.

I was behind Cynthia in the checkout line. I’d never met nor seen her before that moment.

As she was paying, I set my box of sweetener on the counter.

She nodded to me. Then, turned to the clerk, and said, “I’ll pay for the man’s Splenda.” Read the rest of this entry »

Vin Diesel is Still Alive & Other Internet Contemplations

Posted: May 27th, 2013 | Filed under: Community, Culture, Personalities, Ruminations | No Comments »

At lunch the other day, my pal Don was talking about a TV interview he’d seen the night before in which Vin Diesel was schilling for the latest cinematic rendition of “Fast and Furious.” Number 6, it is.

“Wait a second,” I interjected, “Vin Diesel is dead.”

He and our other lunch mate Mike looked at me incredulously.

Normally, in such situations, having read and stored such insignificant information, and being totally confidant with the extent of my wisdom, I would have self righteously pounced on what I would be sure is Don’s mistaken memory of the evening before.

This time, realizing that I’d read only one nugget about Diesel’s demise months ago, then not heard another thing, and aware that he was starring yet again in this cars uber alles franchise that just opened at a cineplex near you, I was a little less insistent of the correctitude of my thoughts.

“I swear I read somewhere on the internet awhile back that he was dead.

“Mike, get out that new iPhone of yours and look it up. Vin Diesel’s death.” Read the rest of this entry »

JazzFest ’13: Saturday, Sunday, Sayonara

Posted: May 6th, 2013 | Filed under: Community, Culture, Music | No Comments »

I am a traditionalist. A Beast of Habit, a man who plans a rhythm to his life. And sticks to it. Friends and family have called it OCD.

Even at an obsession as harum scarum as JazzFest can be.

Whether it’s the route I take to the Fairgrounds, or time of arrival. Canal to Jeff Davis then along Bayou St. John to the backside. Early for the opening acts. Or, parking. With my man Joe, along DeSaix. Or, first libation of the day. Frozen Cafe au Lait. Even last Friday, when it was chilly. Or, favorite hydration. AJ’s chocolate sno ball. (The ladies behind the counter have seen me enough they call out my order before I get to the window.)

Or, act I never miss no matter who else is playing. Allen Toussaint.

One of the odder little affectations of mine is that, as much as I love the festival — more than anything besides the Film Babe and Louisville basketball (we’re national champs, you know) — I never go on the last Sunday.

I understand. It makes no sense, really. But, it’s just what I do. Actually, don’t so. Thus, I shall be only able to comment peripherally on yesterday’s action. I trust it was mucho crowded, and that the muck had dried up some, but was still aplenty and that the Klezmers would have rocked my boat at Lagniappe.

* * * * *

But, I did watch a smidge of AXS-TV’s coverage yesterday afternoon, after returning to my home in Derbytown. (Where the out of towners who came to Louisville for the Derby, looked just as bedraggled at SDF heading home, as the crowd at MSY, leaving New Orleans.) Read the rest of this entry »

JazzFest ’13, 2d Friday: Mud, Malo, Marcia & Mo’ Mud

Posted: May 4th, 2013 | Filed under: Community, Culture, Music | No Comments »

The gates opened about forty minutes late.

One figures the powers that be were trying to make moving around easier in the above the ankle muck. Whatever efforts they made were to little avail. The word quagmire comes to mind. But, for all the havoc and inconvenience it caused, there were mighty few grimaces and complaints.

On our way in, we stopped for a quick Royal Teeth fix. The percussion-heavy pop jammers had an infectious energy. It was a super first sound of the day.

We had a mission though, and that was to make it to the Blues Tent for Spencer Bohren, hopefully in time to get a seat close enough to the speaker bank so the sound was listenable.

Which we did, and it was, catching the last two tunes of his abbreviated set. Read the rest of this entry »

JazzFest ’13: Daze Between Dwindling Down

Posted: May 1st, 2013 | Filed under: Community, Culture, Music, Personalities | 1 Comment »

The festival kicks up again in the morning. (That would be tomorrow a.m., Thursday.)

If you happen to be on your way down, here’s a tip. Think inclemency.

It’s rained every day this week. Without significant periods of sunshine to dry up the Fairgrounds muck we’ve come to know and love through the decades.

Forecast: Musical. Muddy.

And, oh yeah, more rain.

* * * * *

Other than last night’s special evening, celebrating the 75th birthday of Allen Toussaint, which you can read about here, I’ve been essentially taking a respite from tuneage.

I did stop by LMF yesterday on the way back from a late lunch/ early dinner, and caught the last half of slide guitar master Spencer Bohren’s in-store.

It had been a strange day when I’d had a little misunderstanding with an old pal — now resolved I do believe — but was feeling low. Read the rest of this entry »

Mr. Poole is Gone, Some of this City’s Soul with Him

Posted: February 3rd, 2013 | Filed under: Community, Culture, Ruminations | 4 Comments »

The image is indelible.

The scene: One of those sacred booths up rickety stairs to the back on the second floor of the original Cunningham’s at 5th and Breck. The walls festooned, floor to ceiling, with RG Potter photos. Images of fair damsels and finaglers. Pols, pugilists and pretties. Jockeys and their mounts. Louisville ephemera. Oertel’s 92 signs. Derby regalia.

It was a spot, by the time I got there, the burnish long lost from once elegant woodwork, that reeked of clandestine sorties, torrid tales of trysts at every turn. Some apocryphal. Some true.

In later, tamer years, you could still hear the giggle of hookers. Mary Polly’s “sisters.” The slap of a poker hand hitting the felt, the defeated player’s grunt. The tinkle of tumblers filled with hooch. James Cunningham didn’t let his station as LPD captain deter his involvement with a bootlegger by the name of Coleman.

This was a seminal place, inextricably intertwined in the helix of Louisville’s DNA. Its tired creakiness was well-worn. It was a joint where bon homie reigned as it had from its initial incarnation in 1870 as a deli and stable.

There were six of us, maybe eight around the round table on the nether side of the booth’s swinging door. None of us of age. None of us with a worry we wouldn’t be served. Read the rest of this entry »

Sandwith Eater Chronicles: Monday’s ABCDEs + P

Posted: January 28th, 2013 | Filed under: Community, Culture, Personalities, Ruminations, Sandwich Eater Chronicle | 1 Comment »

Hello there. I know it’s been awhile. I’ve been off my feed, to use a horse racing metaphor.

But, bolstered this morning by a breakfast of Smucker’s Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter on Honeycrisp apples, I want to weigh in on several of the burning cultural issues du jour.

A is for Apple. The corporation, not the fruit. The company sold 48 million iPhones over the holiday period. 48 million. The company posted the biggest quarterly profit of any non-oil company. Ever. Ever, as in the history of companies seeking profit.

In 2012, Apple earned $41.7 billion in profits. That’s billion with a B. As in $41,700,000,000.

So, how did Wall Street react to this pretty stunning move?

Apples stock immediately dropped 12%.

Riddle me that.

B is for Beyoncé. The hot singer is getting hammered because she had the audacity to lip sync the national anthem during the inauguration. Read the rest of this entry »

History, Hogan’s Fountain Teepee & Williams Food Shop

Posted: October 8th, 2012 | Filed under: Community, Ruminations | 7 Comments »

The iconic teepee pavilion at Hogan’s Fountain needs to be saved at any cost.


Any high minded “conservationists” who feel otherwise, under cover of “preserving Olmstead’s legacy,” are wrongheaded dunderheads.

I shall have a few slightly more rational words, stating my case about the issue, in a moment.

First I want to talk about Williams Food Shop, which used to be at the corner of 5th and Market.

In the current Louisville Magazine, there’s a feature about some of our favorite restaurants that are now RIP. Dan Crutcher, bless his heart, laments the loss of the best burger joint this town ever knew, perceptively describing the scene with fondness. Read the rest of this entry »