The Snapshot Chronicles: 6/27/16

Posted: June 27th, 2016 | Filed under: Cinema, Culture, Music, Personalities, Ruminations, Snapshot Chronicles | 4 Comments »

chron“Step On Up” Billy Joe Shaver (Sirius XM Outlaw Country). If Muddy Waters was the most masculine of the electric blues singers — and you know, really, he sang “I’m a Man,” and felt compelled to spell it out, in case his point wasn’t indelible enough — swamp blues master Slim Harpo was the most sensual.

Don’t move your hands/ Don’t move your lips/ Just shake your hips/ And do the hip shake thang

And if author/rock & roll historian Robert Gordon, an inveterate Memphian, came as close to a legit definition of that genre as anybody, when he declared “Rock and roll is white rednecks trying to play black music,” then a sure enough classic example blew through the box in my car the other day.

On the Outlaw Country channel no less. It’s all mixed together now, folks.

Corsicana, Texas’s Billy Joe Shaver was singin’ — no “g” at the end of that verb — “Step On Up.”

The lead is a boogie shuffle — thanks John Lee Hooker — with its back strokes on the guitar. Then a little six string vibrato tag that oozes from the swamp primordial. All Slim. All bayou slinky.

Redneck white boy playing black music. Bingo, RG. Rock & roll.

As an exclamation point, the lyrics assure the listener Billy Joe knows Muddy too.

Step on up here baby/ I’ll show you what’s it about/ You know I’m packin’ something/ Something you can’t live without

“Thunder Road” (2016 Sundance Festival Short Film Tour). The finale of this fascinating eight film potpourri, the pick of the litter of thousands submitted this year for Robert Redford’s annual fete in Utah, was written, directed and stars a guy named Jim Cummings.

Remember the name.

Cummings plays a cop, who gets up in uniform as if on a short break from his duties, to say a few words at his mother’s funeral, sharing at the start that his two siblings weren’t able to attend. With which aside, the audience is forced to give pause and wonder about the family’s dysfunction.

The dozen minutes that ensue are part pathos, part hilarity, ever awkward and an exploration of emotions as raw as I’ve seen on celluloid in awhile. Like many of us, he’s conflicted about his feelings for his mom, but not their depth and his love for her.

Soon enough, after mentioning how much she revered Springsteen, he gets around to singing along (and dancing, like a kid in his room after bedtime with too much energy to stay under the covers) with a tape of “Thunder Road.”

He had me at “Screen door slams.”

Bosch Parade 2016. At lunch the other week, my pal Don was talking about a new favorite TV show called “Bosch.” I asked if it had any relationship with Hieronymous Bosch?


“The artist, you know, “Garden of Earthly Delights.”

His memory wasn’t jogged.

The next day somebody posted this video of the ’16 edition of an annual floating parade held in the Netherlands to honor the memory and skewed vision of the beloved Dutch artist.

Take that, Tournament of Roses.

Robo Call 6/19. I’ve long since accepted that the Attorney General’s Don’t Spam Call list doesn’t really work. And, damned if I don’t still pick up, even when I don’t recognize the number, and know it’s going to be some tape recording (most of the time), wanting to sell me some sort of extended coverage insurance.

Even if it’s a real human, I give them about four syllables, then say “No thanks” and hang up.

The other day I got one that, in retrospect, I wish I’d have stayed on to hear the whole spiel. I let the tape say, “Hello, this is Credit Card Relief. We’ve been monitoring your accounts for the last six months . . .”

As soon as I hung up, I was pissed at myself. I should’ve stayed on, waited until a real human joined the call at the other end. Just to see how he/she tried to get my social security number and other telling info that would allow them to get into my accounts. And I could’ve asked, “Just how have you been monitoring my accounts?” And, “If you have, why do you need the info you’re asking for?”

I’m a dumbass. It would have made my day.

“Floating Piers” Christo. This guy is The Great Artist of Our Time.

His latest awe inspiring project.

A Regular Five Way. Skyline Chili. I know enough to always answer yes, when asked if I want a bib. Cuts down on the cleaning bills. To ask for extra oyster crackers, and to leave with two thin mints to cleanse and sweeten the taste from my palate at the back end. What I’ve not yet learned, after all these years, and stolen moments, sneaking off to Skyline for its delicious spaghetti-laden delicacy, is how to eat it? If you’ve been there, you know, the signature part of the dish is cheddarish cheese piled way high over the mix of that spaghetti, beans, onions and unique chili sauce. If you try to mix it up, as is my wont, a lot of it falls on the table.

The other day, for the first time, I just dug in, without trying to dictate that each bite would be equally all five ingredients. It was okay. Still a sublime treat. But I still wonder: What’s the proper way to eat Skyline?

— c d kaplan

4 Comments on “The Snapshot Chronicles: 6/27/16”

  1. 1 ken said at 7:39 am on June 27th, 2016:

    my favorite is the call about “the problem with your computer”. I respond that I don’t have a computer… they continue, and I again say I don’t have a computer, would they like to give me one… silence…..

  2. 2 ken said at 7:41 am on June 27th, 2016:

    probably with a lipitor,Maalox and Beano chaser

  3. 3 Marty said at 12:54 pm on June 27th, 2016:

    Regarding the credit call, don’t be too upset. You are sure to have another opportunity.

  4. 4 » Blog Archive » Rock & Roll RePast: Vanilla Fudge “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” said at 7:48 am on June 30th, 2016:

    […] . . in my most recent version of Snapshot Chronicles — You can read it here — I referenced a viable definition of “rock & roll” by Memphis provocateur […]

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