Puppet show. Spinal Tap.

Kate’s band had a gig last night. It was a Groundhog Day Eve event at one of the city parks. It was the usual clusterbump — the organizer thought “a PA system” referred to the one with speakers in the ceiling. Scott thought he could use the music school’s electronic drums, and he could, but we had to go fetch them. And then we got set up, and looked around. They thought it would be like the elementary school ice-cream social they played last spring, but it turned out to be even younger kids and a table of developmentally disabled adults. They were the final act, after the nature presentation on groundhogs.

“I feel like we’re in a Seinfeld episode,” Kate said.

“More like a Fellini movie,” I corrected.

But they did fine, even it was a little strange, their alt-rock repertoire with the little kids and the adults and the guy in the groundhog suit. But there was cake — how bad could it be? They finished the show with three verses of “I’m a Little Groundhog.” You don’t know that one?

I’m a little groundhog, furry and round
I’m coming out to look around
If I see my shadow, down I go
Six more weeks of winter, oh no!

I have it on video. I’ve been warned that if I put it on the internet, I will never be forgiven. Can’t really blame her.

So, happy groundhog day. Six more weeks of winter? We haven’t had six weeks of winter, period. Another ridonkulous day of above-40s temperatures, and the daffodils are now a full inch above ground. I’m thinking this is maybe it.

So, some bloggage?

Is there anything to say other than this? Don Cornelius is dead. One more line dance, for old time’s sake:

Happy Thursday, whether your groundhog sees its shadow or not.

Posted at 12:53 am in Popculch, Same ol' same ol' |

38 responses to “Puppet show. Spinal Tap.”

  1. Dexter said on February 2, 2012 at 1:27 am

    I was in the bars or on overtime back in the 70s and never, ever watched TV, so I didn’t know who Don Cornelius was, and was surprised at how much attention his alleged suicide brought to the story. He was 75.
    Damn, he was a monster superstar, battling Dick Clark in court over show-rights, and according to an African American music expert I heard today, Don Cornelius was a huge influence in the Black population, with Soul Train leading the way. I understand a lot of whites watched it, too…but just not me. I listened to a lot of Blues back then, and I hung around Wise Fools Pub in Chicago on weekends, and other Chicago Blues joints, and I never gave a damn for dance line soul music. When my Blues jones burned out, I paid attention to Jazz as much as I could. Soul never grabbed me.
    Happy Groundhog’s Day!

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  2. David C. said on February 2, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Looking back at my band playing days, I realize I learned more from bad gigs than from good gigs. We had a lot of bad gigs. It’s not that we were bad players, it was usually just a crowd(?) (never more than 30) that wanted to dance and we didn’t play dance music. I learned that maybe engineering would be a more fruitful endeavor.

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  3. beb said on February 2, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Aside from hearing that he had committed suicide I haven’t heard much about his situation. Had he been despondent? Was he broke? Because often suicides do have a reason. I saw one mention that he had had some “medical problems” recently. So maybe it was something incurable and he made the rational decision to avoid future pain and suffering.

    Detroit had its home-grown version of Soul Train. I’m just an immigrant to the city so I can’t recall off hand the name of the show.

    Tbogg offers a fun way to support Planned Parenthoood and shame the Koman Foundation at the same time. Make a donation (as an “Honorary Giving” to PP in the name of:
    Karen Handel
    Senior VP of Fail
    c/o Susan G. Komen Foundation
    P.O. Box 650309
    Dallas, TX 75265-0309

    Handel is the uber-conservative Georgian Republican who seems to have pushed Koman in this direction.

    Kate’s concert kind of reminds me of the scene in The Blues Brothers when the band usurps a gig by some country and western players only to realize that they don’t know any C&W music.

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  4. coozledad said on February 2, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Small groups of people are the hardest to perform for. In high school, our choir did a Christmas show (a collection of renaissance pieces plus Britten’s ceremony of carols) for one of the rest homes operated by Duke Med.
    The acoustic profile of the building was roughly the same as a parking garage, and we outnumbered the wheelchair bound audience about three to one. The intervals and odd time signatures in the Britten piece plus the wiry raven-haired woman who accompanied on the harp had already visibly disturbed a prone female patient on a gurney, who’d begun to whimper.
    By the time one of the girls in the choir stepped forward and unholstered her piccolo flute to play the Coventry Carol, she was experiencing some kind of anxiety attack, and she was right. The flautist, a blond girl who figured she wasn’t blond enough, and used a lot of peroxide, was a good sight reader, but she had no concept of dynamic level changes, and the flute was always about a half-tone off. On a good day, it was the auditory equivalent of having your peripheral nervous system dipped in a cylinder of liquid nitrogen.
    By the time the piece got going, the woman was thrashing around, yelling, “Oh God! That white-haired girl is playing that thing! Stop it! Stop it!” while the rest of the audience sat in mournful silence.
    They wheeled her off through some big metal doors as the piece ended to her muffled screams.

    Every time I hear some artist talk about liking to play “intimate” venues, I know they are full of shit.

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  5. Minnie said on February 2, 2012 at 8:58 am

    beb, thanks. Made an “honorary” gift and will forward information to friends.

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  6. del said on February 2, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Everybody knows that starting at 1:07 of the video we are watching Fred “ReRun” Berry (That’s My Momma!) with his awesome slow mo.

    Love it!

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  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 2, 2012 at 9:24 am

    “Love, peace, and soul! Don Cornelius, out.”

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  8. Dorothy said on February 2, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Every single hairdo and outfit in that video took me back immediately to my high school yearbook. I tried to find a date on that video but could not – I’ll venture it was 1974 or thereabouts.

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  9. Kim said on February 2, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Outstanding visual, Cooz, as usual.

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  10. peter said on February 2, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I couldn’t stop laughing when Cornelius introduced David Bowie’s “Fame”: “And now, from our blue eyed soul brother…”

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  11. Dorothy said on February 2, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I forgot to mention something in my comment above. The newspaper where my daughter works, The Virginian Pilot, is looking for a new copy desk chief. My daughter was recently promoted to assistant copy desk chief, so this new hire would be her boss. They brought in two candidates in the last 10 days, offered someone the job last night but he turned it down. I just thought I’d throw this out in case any of you in or formerly in the newspaper business can tell someone about the opening. I can’t find a job posting anywhere for it yet, but very soon I’m sure they’ll be putting out notices for it again. The Pilot is based in Norfolk, VA.

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  12. Sue said on February 2, 2012 at 10:36 am

    beb, I went to Komen’s website yesterday, printed out a donation form, wrote “no thanks, I think I’ll send a donation to Planned Parenthood instead” across it, and sent it to their corporate address. I made a copy of the donation form and sent it to my local PP office with a small donation.
    I also commented on Komen’s website that I was surprised to find that they are a political organization.

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  13. Jeff Borden said on February 2, 2012 at 11:53 am

    The effrontery of the Komen Foundation pisses me off. And, as usual, it will be poor, largely minority women who get the shaft because some Christianist decided to play politics with what should be a non-ideological goal. Screw `em. I sent $50 to PP and did in in the name of Karen Handel after reading tbogg yesterday.

    On the positive side of the news, did anyone see what a female Virginia state senator has proposed? Upset that the males in the legislature are making women who seek an abortion jump through various medical hoops at their own expense –including an ultrasound, I think– she has introduced a bill that would require any man seeking a prescription for an erectile dysfunction drug like Viagra or Cialis be required to have a prostate exam.

    Don’t know if this will gain traction in the legislature there, but I sure hope so.

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  14. Dexter said on February 2, 2012 at 11:58 am

    A radio guy was telling us yesterday about a running joke he and his zoo partner employed. They mimicked Don Cornelius by saying “… there they are, the Jackson Five! Introduce yourselves now…”
    Cornelius was, I guess, above all else, a business whiz. He didn’t give a damn about any performers and never knew any of their names. The O’Jays were the O’Jays, period.

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  15. Scout said on February 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Sue, I hope PP is getting flooded with donations and SGK is getting the equivalent in comments like yours. Breast cancer is not a red or blue issue and has nothing to do with the choice/anti-choice debate. SGK’s action in this matter may now spotlight the reality of how relatively few of the dollars raised go to R & D, and how many fund a very top-heavy organization. There is a documentary to this effect (Pink Ribbons, Inc.) coming out this week: http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117946099/

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  16. Julie Robinson said on February 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Komen has always been in bed with the wrong people, IMHO. All that merchandising sent a lot more $$ to the pink water bottle makers than to breast cancer research.

    The Virginia senator thinks like Indiana legislator Vi Simpson, who introduced a poison pill amendment to the Indiana creationism bill. It provides for theories from multiple religions, which may include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology. The bill passed in the Senate and is now in the House.

    I never watched Soul Train or American Bandstand; I was always at extracurricular activities. But that clip shows me how much I missed. It has to be mid-70’s from the clothes and hair. I had a few of those plaid bell-bottoms–what were we thinking?

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  17. coozledad said on February 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Failed White Russian prostitute and author of “The Serial Masturbator’s Bible” Ayn Rand would have been 107 years old today, but instead she’s spent thirty of those years molding in the earth, microbes and worms mooching off her dead, dead ass.
    Never change, babe.

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  18. Scout said on February 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Second link to show and tell for today: Jon Stewart on Rmoney’s (the official spelling) latest Master of the Universe gaffe.

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  19. Sue said on February 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Scout, I never paid much attention to Komen other than my usual reaction to a non-profit that is hugely branded – I figured they must be doing ok financially to have their name attached to all sorts of widgets and gimmicks. The bigger issue for me on this is that it brought home the realization that the attack on women’s reproductive rights has expanded from the political arena to the private sector. It seems likely that what worked at the political level – get your people into decision-making positions and then start directing policy – is now going to work at the corporate and nonprofit level.
    Jeff Borden, I disagree with what the senator in Virginia did. Since this is a fight for reproductive rights, I think her amendment should have required men seeking ED drugs to submit to a sperm count. Not spermy enough? No drugs for you! Only gazillion-shooters should be allowed access to the gallery.

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  20. Sherri said on February 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I was already unhappy with Komen over their heavy lobbying to keep the mammogram screening recommendations from being changed, despite evidence that annual mammograms don’t really save lives and in fact, result in unnecessary over-treatment. I didn’t like the heavily branded nature of all the pink stuff, either. After the weaselly stunt with PP, I’m done with Komen, and I sent a donation to PP yesterday.

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  21. caliban said on February 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Sarah G. Komen Foundation, Profiles in Cowardice. Stearns is a rightwing demagogue on a witch hunt of an operation that is far more transparent than the super-PACS that support this kind of bad behavior, or than SGKF, for that matter, and Komen hired a Teabanger nitwit as a VP for Public Policy. My mom died of breast cancer and I’ve given money to Komen ever since, but never another dime. I’d prefer to support the health care services provided by PP, of which less than 3% involves abortion at all.

    The most notable thing about the life of the great Objectivist Individual Responsibility Snake Oil purveyor Ayn Rand is that she smoked so much, she got lung cancer and had to live off the public teat. What a fracking hero. Weren’t no John Galt after all. Ayn Rand, welfare queen:


    I’m sure she bought cigs with her government money.

    I wish that Virginia state senator had written her bill to specify that the pre-Viagra prostate exam include four fingers and a thumb. She did also include stress testing, which might have knocked off a few of these lardass chauvinist aholes. This sonagram requirement as anti-abortion legislation shit is so vile and contemptibly misogynistic, it actually seems too low for even GOPers to resort to. What intention is there to this but to debase women in a vindictive manner for not meeting some moral standard that does not match the prevailing opinions of Americans. Next thing, I wouldn’t be surprised, requiring a home visit of the remains after the procedure to scare the crap out of your kids, a la Santorum. But heaven forbid these women should have access to contraceptive and educational health services in the first place. Great Teabanger idea: Let’s do everything possible to ensure more unwanted, insupportable pregnancies and then vilify the moms. This sort of mindless and vicious spite is incomprehensible.

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  22. Dorothy said on February 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I knew I read this here – thanks to Nancy’s search feature I found it (and thanks to Moe for the original post in December 2010):


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  23. moe99 said on February 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    How about some basketball hijinks for today?

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  24. Bitter Scribe said on February 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Komen has always been in bed with the wrong people, IMHO. All that merchandising sent a lot more $$ to the pink water bottle makers than to breast cancer research.

    This. When I worked for a trade magazine that covered packaging, I used to get so goddamn tired of all those e-mails about how this or that box or bottle would sport pink trim to “play its part in the fight against breast cancer.” I’m sure breast cancer was quaking in its boots.

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  25. Julie Robinson said on February 2, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Does anyone else wonder how much the Komen execs are making? Googling around, it seems at the top it’s around 500K. That’s enough for me to withhold any donations. No one should get rich doing charitable work. Adequately compensated, yes; rich, no.

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  26. caliban said on February 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Ayn Rand’s real name: Alisa Zinovievna Rosenbaum.

    Name Ayn Rand used to collect government entitlements secretly when her lung cancer was doing her in: Ann O’Connor.

    Hypocritical Sack O’ Shit.


    And, is their a more perfect personification of abject self-aggrandizing bufoonery than Donald “Hair Club” Trump announcing his own Press Conference to announce his endorsement for a GOPer presidential kandidate?

    Reading comments all over the web , appears SGKF has a self-inflicted mortal wound to the foot over PP. Morons. What in the name of Montressor ever possessed them to hire that Teabanging viper Karen Handel in the first place. As things stand, the organization may as well align itself with James Dobson and Focus on the Family. Komen board members are unpaid, Julie, but the Foundation President is indeed paid $half a mil. It’s incomprehensible that these people could bring on a Teabanger tool like Karen Handel, whose last campaign for public office in GA was a bitch’s brew of misogynistic’bagger bulshit, and put her in charge of public policy. Maybe they are aiming for some Koch Bros. cash.

    Beb, the Detroit teen dance show back in the ’60s was Swingin’ Time, hosted by the incredibly uncool CKLW and WKNR (Keener13) DJ Rockin’ Robin Seymour. The show was live 1/2-hour weekdays and taped 1-hour on Saturday pms.The Rationals were practically the house band, but the show is where I first saw George Clinton and Parliament, before the Mothership took flight. I remember Frank Zappa showing up with the Mothers once, and not appearing very inspired by the show, looking like they’d rather be anywhere else. I remember seeing Seger and the Last Herd on the show, Richard and the Young Lions, Third Power, along with all of the Motown acts and James Brown. MC-5 appeared on the show at least a couple of times, and I think this performance comes from the show:


    Robin’s colleague was Russ Gibb (DJ and owner of the Grande Ballroom, first place I ever smoked pot decades before it was priced stratospherically out of affordability). Speaking of rock ‘n’ roll back in the day, I just finished A Visit From the Goon Squad, which I really enjoyed, despite typical trepidation about anything that popular on NYT lists. Not for everyone (69 of 412 Amazon reviews are 1 star). Very inventive formally with disparate chapters with barely overlapping characters except by previously established associations. Tied up very nicely in the end. A bit like The Savage Detectives (Bolano), huge cast of characters connected by threads.

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  27. Bitter Scribe said on February 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    No one should get rich doing charitable work. Adequately compensated, yes; rich, no.

    Boy howdy. I stopped contributing to Feeding America when I saw their CEO was pulling down $400,000, and said so to the guy who called to hit me up. Now I give the money to a local food bank.

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  28. caliban said on February 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    SGKF and scientific credibility: a rum tale of willful dissemination of phony information.

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  29. beb said on February 2, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    caliban, we’re think of two different dance show. The one I recall was all-black, like Soul Train, very, very, icredible cheap sets and was broadcast of channel 62. It came on at 6 because that was part of its opening lyrics, “It’s six o’clock and its time to rock, and we rock non-stop till seven o’clock….”

    Something that occurred to me today is that the actions of the Koman Foundation isn’t the first slam against Planned Parenthood. There was also Ohio efforts to defund PP as well. What I think we’re seeing is a replay of what the Republicans did to ACORN. They targeted it with complaints about bogus scandals and investigations until the community action group went out of business. Clearly anti-woman conservatives are trying to undermine PP with the death of a thousand cuts in hopes of killing it.

    As has been pointed out by others, the conservative platform is extraordinarily radical in scope. The “conservatives” aren’t trying to preserve older traditions, they’re trying to tear down and totally remake society.

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  30. Brandon said on February 2, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    You might find these links interesting.



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  31. Dexter said on February 2, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    When I lived close enough to Detroit to get a few cable stations, I especially loved “The Ghoul” and of course old, venerable Bill Kennedy, as he hosted his movie show. Channel 50 used to broadcast a lot of Pistons games on free TV, why, right over the airwaves! Goll-eee! 🙂

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  32. alex said on February 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I don’t know if anyone remembers, but last year Indiana’s rogue Republican legislature voted to defund Planned Parenthood—in defiance of federal law, which has some say in how federal funds given to the states are to be used—and in June 2011 there was a court injunction against the law taking effect. Indiana is in the vanguard when it comes to enacting the GOP base’s most radically backward initiatives.

    I saw an interesting story today and I’m amazed this hasn’t gotten any press until now. I knew nothing about it.

    Apparently, in 1957 the Republican-controlled Indiana legislature imposed the same sort of “right-to-work” legislation that it passed yesterday. It caused such a backlash that the Democrats eventually won back both houses and repealed it.

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  33. caliban said on February 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    That one escapes me, beb. Was it called The Scene? And the monster movie weekend host was Morgus the Magnificent, great movies like The Tingler:


    The Ghoul:


    A few years later, WSBK had Sir Graves Ghastly.

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  34. brian stouder said on February 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Alex, interesting link.

    It is funny that the same propaganda machine that screams and wails about “oppressive government regulation” and “nanny state” and all the rest, thinks that women and men who run businesses cannot negotiate their own contracts with their own employees’ unions, withOUT government intervention.

    Big Guhmint says ‘you cannot have a clause in your contract that says everyone in the bargaining unit has to pay dues to the union’; except GM says – errr, sorry, nothing is changing, or at least not until the end of the current contract.

    This isn’t “right to work”; it’s the end of collective bargaining – ie – a direct assault on economic freedom….a big guhmint thumb on the scales, to provide a ‘safety net’ for the plutocrats!

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  35. dull_old_man said on February 2, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I was struck by how skinny those kids were in the “Soul Train” clip. I saw one chubby boy and no heavy girls. I don’t think spicy potato chips and Mountain Dew was the breakfast of choice in those days.

    I loved “Soul Train.” “Bandstand” and Dick Clark were already tired and I knew where to go to get more glide in my stride. Rest in peace, Don Cornelius.

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  36. basset said on February 3, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Sir Cecil Creape did the Saturday night horror movies in Nashville… we weren’t here yet, still up in Indiana watching Sammy Terry on channel 4 from Indianapolis.

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 3, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Beb, the term you’re looking for is “reactionary.”

    Re-reading the post this morning, I love the idea of Kate’s band doing “Rawhide” for the gathered unexpected throng. They probably didn’t, but the idea is fun.

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  38. beb said on February 3, 2012 at 8:08 am

    No, Jeff, The Republican party has become radical.

    Caliban, “The Scene” sounds right.

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