The Boondoggles Weblog
A collection of all things in and around the World of The Boondoggles
(Archives are to the right)
Friday, February 06, 2004 :::
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!
In keeping with our established reputation as being three of the most romantic,
sensitive and well adjusted men in the greater New Orleans area, The
Boondoggles will perform on Valentines day at the world famous Rivershack
Tavern on the historic River Road. It's better than a Honeymoon Suite at
Niagra Falls, and no cover charge! We hope to see all of you there.
Events of recent days have really driven home to those of us in The Boondoggles
the importance of luck, hard work and timing. At this point there's really no
point in trying to keep secret the fact that WE had been working on a "costume
reveal" to be incorporated into this very important show. In fact, we'd even
had our share of "wardrobe malfunctions" in rehearsals. Now we've been
upstaged and beaten to the punch by Janet and Justin. We've faced a lot of
adversity as a band, but this has almost been as tough as when we
wrote "Everybody Wang Chung Tonight", only to have it stolen and made into a
hit by somebody else. I guess the only bright spot is that we hadn't yet
settled on who had to wear the silver sun shaped piece of jewelry held in place
by a body piercing, and as such nobody in the band has holes in his body where
no holes should be...
But I digress. In addition to being Valentines Day, February 14th is also the
first Saturday night of parades in New Orleans, so we expect everybody to be
well oiled and laden with beads. Remember, he who dies with the most beads
wins. And you can't take it with you - so do the math on that (I, personally,
was told there would be no math on this exam).
Have I mentioned that I've been drinking? Ah, life in New Orleans.
::: posted by robert at 5:14 PM
Friday, January 16, 2004 :::
ARCTIC TEMPS LEAVE EASTERN U.S. COLDER THAN ICELAND
This is an actual headline that appeared today on Yahoo! news. And you get three guesses where I'm going with this (and the first two don't count). Yep, New Orleans is the only city in the United States of America worth living in. I used to just love the city I was fortunate enough to be born in. But over the years that early blush of affection has blossomed into a deep and abiding dislike of all Non-New Orleans American cities.
It's this time of year in particular that stokes these fires. We are a mere four weeks away from the first weekend of Mardi Gras parades. In the Northeast, well, just read the headline above. We've already celebrated Twelfth Night here on January 6th. As good Catholics, this is also known to the locals as the Feast of the Epiphany. The rest of the country calls it, uh, January 6th. It's the traditional start of Mardi Gras, the first day when you can buy a "legal" king cake, and the Phunny Phorty Phellows ride up and down the streetcar line, in a bit of an ad hoc first parade. They may be nerds, but they're our nerds.
We're heading into the season of marching bands, crawfish boils, Mardi Gras, followed six weeks later by Jazz Fest, and in between you get to pass Lent and collect $200. It's also the only three months out of the year in which you can absolutely count on not getting bad news out of the New Orleans Saints. And the rest of the world shovels snow. Tons and tons of stinky snow (o.k., maybe it doesn't stink).
You'll forgive us if we spin ourselves in circles, pour beer on our heads, and say "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA". And that's just our elected officials.
::: posted by robert at 8:53 PM
Saturday, December 20, 2003 :::
OUR OWN LITTLE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE
Holiday greetings to all from here at Boondoggle central. I sit here having hardly moved from my beloved green chair all day, still waiting for the bleeding-from-the-ears hangover to subside. You see, last night was the annual Boondoggle Christmas Party, and it is entirely possible that it was the best ever. I qualify that because my recollection of all others is hazy at best.
The concept is that each year the three of us, our spouses, and those friends of ours who have supported us the most during the previous year get together and drink enough to make the Seventh Fleet fail a breathalyzer test. And the meal is cooked by the band members (except, of course,
dessert by Dannal, another annual tradition). My last memory of last night was of all of the non-smokers standing on my back porch smoking cigarettes with Johnny. I think I smoked mine with my nose. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
And last night's soiree also probably got a little out of hand because of the unexpected undoing of a certain significant turn of events. We had sort of kept this under wraps, but our beloved and irreplaceable bass player, John "Porkchop" Malone, was due to move to Philadelphia, PA the day after Christmas. He was going to fly in to do a show or two in 2004, but this would obviously have put a bit of a crimp in our ability to make beautiful music together. We learned last week that, for various reasons we won't go into, Johnny is now staying put. Which was a relief, not only because it gave The Boondoggles a new lease on life, but because Billy and I didn't know where we were going to come up with the crystal meth and child porn that we were going to plant in Johnny's desk at his new job up North. Again, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
So what was shaping up to be an Irish wake turned into a bit of bacchanal instead. And an opportunity for us to again reflect on how much we love this band and each other. We also took note of the fact that, in a mere eight weeks, it WILL NOT be Mardi Gras in Pennsylvania.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the three of us to all of you, and may the fortunes shine on you as they have shone on us.
::: posted by robert at 7:47 PM
Thursday, October 30, 2003 :::
I GROW OLD, I SHALL WEAR THE BOTTOMS OF MY TROUSERS ROLLED...
It had to happen.
I was actually moved to buy a CD because I heard a song from my past in a Volkswagen commercial.
I even had to order it from amazon.com, because the only actual record store near where I live that hasn't been driven out of business by downloading is The Mushroom, and when I go there it makes me feel, well, old.
So I logged on and ordered something like six Cure CDs after hearing "Pictures of You" being used to entice me to buy a small German car. When they arrived I listened to them all the way to Lafayette and back. And you know what, The Cure are totally, irresistibly brilliant. I mean it. It also brought me back to my dorm at UGA when the guy next door to me had a stereo so big it could have been used to demolish buildings, and he played "The Head In The Door" over and over and over, and we did all sorts of things that will prevent us from ever pursuing careers in politics. Ah, the salad days. The Hoodoo Gurus, R.E.M. (hated them then, still do now) and The Squalls - a great band whose members would swap instruments in a clockwise fashion every 5 songs or so - were blaring all over the place back then. They weren't the best years of my life, but I sure understand why they seemed like it.
Of course, I also ordered a Big Country CD and (do I dare admit this?), "Too-Rye-Ay" by Dexy's Midnight Runners. The former was sort of depressing. But the latter......
::: posted by robert at 9:14 PM
Monday, May 19, 2003 :::
Keeping with our usual form, we started out strong with this thing, but the combined effects of Lent and our preternatural laziness have led to approximately 10 weeks of nothingness here on the Blog.
Well, we've been busy. Writing new songs, going to ALL EIGHT DAYS of Jazzfest (raise the bar?, take that you m*&%$!), and getting ready for our fantastic May 24th show at the world famous Rivershack Tavern.
Some new music you need to check out:
The Continental Drifters, one of the great American bands of all time, have released what was their original album recorded back in 1993. This record pre-dated the Susan Cowsill - Vicki Peterson era (steady boys) and is worth buying for lots of reasons, not the least of which is "Side Steppin' The Fire", one of the absolute drop-dead brilliant songs of all time. You can learn more and pick up a copy here: The Continental Drifters Website
Chris Whitley is a songwriter and guitar plafyer without peers, due to the fact that NO ONE sounds anything like him. Whitley plays Dobro resonator guitars from the 1920s and 1930s in delta blues slide guitar tunings - except he doesn't play the blues. Instead he writes brilliant, spare, utterly modern sounding songs that are elegant, inspired, and captivating. You should check out his new album, "Hotel Vast Horizon", and pick up "Dirt Floor" and "Live at Martyrs" while you're at it. Click Here.
As I recover from a truly blue Monday, more posts will follow. In the meantime, be inspired.
::: posted by robert at 9:37 PM
Monday, March 03, 2003 :::
'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE MARDI GRAS...
Well, here we are. It's 8:00 p.m. on Monday, March 3rd - a mere 12 hours before the first Bloody Mary at Igor's while awaiting Zulu's inevitably late arrival, which occurs approximately 2 hours later than the very latest you could ever imagine them being. We at Boondoggles central have been awash with the festivities attendant to Mardi Gras, and I must say we have put up some good numbers despite some truly rotten weather. Billy rode in Bacchus, Johnny was in the court of the MOM's ball (if you've gotta ask, don't bother), and I, well, I drank a whole lot and caught a bunch of beads and not one, not two, but THREE SPEARS!!! This all happened last Sunday, which shall hereafter be referred two as the BEST DAY EVER!!
So, some folks reading this may not be from New Orleans, which is of course a condition insusceptible of justification or explanation (I mean, how can you stand it?). In fact, as I was standing on the neutral ground at Napoleon and Prytania drinking my, oh, third or maybe fourth beer yesterday (i.e. Sunday) a friend mentioned that much of the rest of America was probably in church at that moment, and he said, "You absolutely cannot convince me that if Jesus were alive today he would not be riding on a float, throwing beads."
And that's really what it comes down to, doesn't it? The beauty of this town, of Mardi Gras, and of our little lives that we take for granted so much of the time are things that we NEED to stop, enjoy and appreciate. So we're a little fatter, a little drunker, a little (o.k. - a lot) more sketchy than folks in say , Birmingham or Des Moines. But so what? Everywhere else in America it's Monday night. Right now in the French Quarter people are having the time of their lives. And if you don't believe me, click here. Or here.
I personally think that while we are having this incredible, cathartic, totally out of the box experience everyone else in this country is shoveling snow. And I mean EVERYONE. The totality of this country is one large driveway with 36" of new powder in it, and anyone not on the parade route is holding a heavy shovel thinking "Jesus, it is really cold, and this is going to take a really long time..."
Finally, all drunken ramblings aside, we had a great show last Saturday at The Rivershack. We played some new songs of ours, and some choice covers including "Boogie Shoes" and "When I Think About You I Touch Myself" - one of the great political songs of all time.
So take care all, and remember to either do or not do something for Lent - it's good for the soul.
It is now only 11.5 hours until that first Bloody Mary....
::: posted by robert at 8:18 PM
Thursday, February 20, 2003 :::
YOU MUST SEE AND HEAR THIS
I am not joking or making this up. The first "greatest cover of the year" and, for that matter, "greatest musical non-sequitur of the year" has to go to Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails (I really am not making this up). Not only is The Man In Black's version of this song brilliant, improving considerably on the original, but the video will floor you.
Click here to visit the Johnny Cash page and watch the video
::: posted by robert at 11:07 PM
THIN LIZZY - GREATEST BAND OF ALL TIME?
Let me start by saying that I'm definitely off the reservation here, and that the views expressed herein are only those of the guitarist of The Boondoggles, and not of Billy or John (though they should be). I know most of you are accustomed to seeing the words "greatest band" preceded by, oh, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Boondoggles (oh wait, hallucinating again...).
Anyway, I defy anyone to go to the following link and play "Cowboy Song" (how great a title is that?) and tell me that Thin Lizzy does not belong amongst the exalted ranks of the Rock Gods. I mean, how many bands can pull off a line like "I am just a cowboy, lonesome on the train/Lord I'm just thinkin' about a certain female"
And if that doesn't convince you, you need only click on "The Boys Are Back In Town", the greatest guilty pleasure song of all time. Admit it - when you're in the car alone and it comes on the radio, you turn it up loud, really loud - don't you.....
Click Here To Listen and be Awed
Agree? Disagree? Click Here To Post Your Assent or Rebuttal
::: posted by robert at 10:34 PM
LOVE LETTERS AND HATE MAIL
My God, will Mardi Gras ever get here!? I'm so desperate for it that
seeing tourists walking around downtown wearing beads they bought on
Canal St. doesn't even bother me anymore...
I found myself waiting outside my house at 4:30 a.m. this morning just
so I could yell "Throw Me Something Mister!" to the guy that delivers
I have dyed my dog purple, green and gold...
Well, you get the picture. The good news is that it's ALMOST, FINALLY
here, and what better way to kick off the 2003 festivities than to head
to the world famous Rivershack Tavern after the Saturday parades?
(That's February 22, 2003 for those of you keeping score at home.)
We'll be starting up at the usual 10:00 time, and playing until we can
play no more. This epic set will be our only Mardi Gras appearance, as
we will be devoting our efforts for the remainder of the carnival season
to catching beads and, um, drinking until we can drink no more.
In parting, let's review a few of the official Boondoggle Mardi Gras
1. You may not wear beads TO a parade. You may only wear what you
catch AT the parade...
2. Buying beads is a felony and a mortal sin. Even going to Billy for
confession afterwards won't help you...
3. There is no crying in Mardi Gras. You cannot "take a night off",
nor is "I'm just drinking mineral water tonight" an option. Eye of the
4. Repeat after me: "Purple, Green and Gold really DO look good
5. He who catches the most beads wins. There are no exceptions to this
Remember, you have all of Lent to recover from this, so let's leave it
all on the playing field...
AND THE BEST REPLY TO DATE, RECEIVED FROM CALIFORNIA
It is so refreshing to receive e-mails like this. An entire city
devoted to the consumption of as much alcohol as possible in one week.
This type of fanatic devotion to set goals is precisely what this
country needs. Viva New Orleans!
CLICK HERE TO POST YOUR OWN THOUGHTS OR RANTINGS ABOUT MARDI GRAS
::: posted by robert at 1:48 PM