Can’t Make It Here & Having Us a Time

I’m way behind in music blogging –  on old & new favorites, tours, festivals & local heroes.  Seeing James McMurtry at the Neptune back in September seems a good place to start. A couple of his songs keep running through my mind, and one in particular seems especially relevant . . .

We Can’t Make it Here:

I like McMurtry’s songwriting and this song gets to the heart of the downsizing of America.  I’ll save my own rant for another day, but the working poor, those in poverty and the homeless don’t even count into most political equations.

That being said, Obama, like most of the Democrats, does at least throw us a few crumbs, saved Detroit (though the auto execs probably got too good a deal) and tried to get jobs programs through congress that were blocked by the Republicans.

I wasn’t going to get into a partisan political rant on this post, but the ad below on the right appeared while I was searching for the YouTube video above for my post:

Vote Romney-Ryan because our country needs jobs? Jobs?  Romney? Unless your idea of a job is training your replacement worker in China, that isn’t going to happen.

Especially ironic seeing the Romney = jobs ad next the We Can’t Make It Here video:

Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I’m in
Should I hate ‘em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
All lily white and squeaky clean
They’ve never known want, they’ll never know need
Their shit don’t stink and their kids won’t bleed
Their kids won’t bleed in their damn little war
And we can’t make it here anymore

All right, more music. “I don’t want another drink, I only want that last one again. . .”

I like the story telling in McMurtry’s songs. That one line above has already been running through my mind for my own “Can’t Make It Here” experiences (not to worry about me, it’s true “minimum wage. . .won’t pay for a drink,” or at least only a rare one). Obviously the song has been running through my mind this past week due to Hurricane Sandy. My heart goes out to those lost and the survivors. Glad, for the most part, people are coming together to help. Especially glad to see Occupy members pull together for those forgotten in housing project. More about that in another post, but we need more of that.

All these solo videos would give you the idea James McMurtry show was somber and acoustic. The Gourds opened it and got things going real good. Seattle-ites dancing! Who knew? McMurtry brought his band, too, and they rocked the rest of the night away.

In addition to my own ambivalence on trying to kick my photo taking at shows habit (or at least my excessiveness), I didn’t think cameras were allowed at the Neptune, nor that McMurtry would drop his video ban, so I didn’t bring my camera. Glad he did, as the YouTube clip below highlighting the band probably wasn’t authorized, either.

Fans don’t take pictures, post videos and blog in an attempt to piss off their favorite musicians. At least most of us, honestly!

All right. One more song I wanted us to include, and I did mention having us a time – Choctaw Bingo!

Wait, it’s that woman for Romney again. The one in the baseball cap telling us he’ll bring us jobs. This time it’s a video ad before the video. . .

There are a whole bunch of women in the ad voting for Romney, binders of them!

Hmm. Does that mean Mitt approved this message?: “Strap them kids in, give ’em a little bit of vodka in a cherry coke. . .”

Mitt & Ann, please leave the dog home, though. . . Aww. . .

In the words of Devo, Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro!

Hey, maybe we’ll get Slate writer Ron Rosenbaum’s wish and Choctaw Bingo will become our new national anthem!

Ann and Lynn come down from Baxter Springs
That’s one hell raisin’ town way up in Southeastern Kansas
Got a biker bar next to the lingerie store
That’s got them Rolling Stones lips up there where everyone can see ’em
And they burn all night you know they burn all night you know they burn all night

. .  . and we’ll have us a time!

Shout out to Easy Street Records, who I won a pair of tickets from! Also my friend, Merri Ann, for buying me a drink. I was a shameless freeloader that night. . .

Not proud of that, just a little broke. . .though not as much as now, while I’m contemplating yet another show tonight after I figure out my finances. . .

Live music is one of my few vices. . .

Actually am proud of that!

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