Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hugh X Lewis-can't judge a 45 by the singer's

Disappointment comes in all sort of flavors. For me when it happened when Hugh X Lewis turned out to be a country singer and not a fire breathing Muslim. The song "blues sells a lot of booze" had my hopes high. The label should have been a give away that this was no soul record, but hope springs eternal. Picked it up in a church sale 45 treasure trove while on vacation. Had all week to dream up stories about this record with no computer or turntable to set me straight. Why couldn't this have been a Muslim inspired conspiracy theory that Jews invented the blues to keep black people drunk???? Why god Why? I found this record with a bunch of other soul 45s, so that is what got my hopes up.
Hugh X Lewis is not even some great uncle of the more well known Huey Lewis. He is just a country balladeer
In the pantheon of acceptable country topics, lamenting alcohol is a common subject and Hugh does an admirable if not original turn on the mic, but he will never be able to live up to my fantasy..

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cycling round up

Zabel gets a win in Holland-at the most intensely named Profronde van Surhuisterveen. Probably a big fuck you to Germany for not bringing him to the Olymoics. Thomas Dekker was racing for Rabobank-even though they are releasing him from his contract. He also has some funny blood values hanging over his head

BobkeStrut hits it out of the park with these Get Your War On homage. #3 had me spraying coffee on the keyboard.

Paul Kimmages Slipstream tour articles were good. This one really deals with the wanting to be a fan in a skeptical world angle. Calling Hamilton the "the angel-faced maestro of deceit" is a real turn of phrase....

Finally the mad, mad world of David Clinger. If you are not getting results, you can always get attention.

I was scrolling through results from the US Elite and Juniors National TT, when I saw that Dave Clinger was racing and got DQ'd??? I thought he was riding for Rock, but a quick check of their site doesn't have him listed on the team roster anymore.
He was listed as riding for "Van Dessel/Bike Warrior" and a quick google of that shows he has been racing a lot under this affiliation and apparently Road Bike Warrior is going to be a documentary dvd about him?????
Is this another case of a former Postal guys going off the rails?

2 days til Bettini's day of reckoning!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

5 Golden Rings

Italy and Spain are obviously the strongest teams with 2 favorites (Bettini and Valverde), but when was the last time you commented on how strong a squad Luxemborg was sending? Featuring the Schlecks and Kirchen, they stand a chance if they let the stronger teams do all the work and wait it out. Germany can't be counted out with Schumacher,Voigt, and Wegmann. Belgium is fielding a weak squad-no Hoste or Devolder. Psuedo Belgian and great name possessor, Borut Bozic will be there representing Slovenia. Russia has a strong squad Menchov,Karpets,Efimkin,and Ivanov. Would have been stronger with Gusev, but he got snagged with funky blood values. But like the US team, they have strong individuals-but who is motivated and who will ride as a team
B World Champ Ivan Stevic will be there so maybe he can have a show down with Bettini.
Lots of my favorite young guns will be their Gesnik and Terpesta for Holland, Augustyn for S.Africa, Kreuziger for the Czech Republic, and Siutsou for Belarus (4 riders representing Belarus???)

Did a super-nerd breakdown of the 45 countries competing. First off where is Khazakstan? 4 riders from Belarus and none from Khazakstan?
7 countries have only one rider. That is a tough hand to play. At least with 2 or 3 riders you can anonymously drop out after a few laps when your lungs explode. No such luck if it is just you. Another 12 countries get only 2 riders. A lucky 13 countires get 3 riders each and 3 countries get 4 riders.
9 countries have the max five riders and it will probably be up to them to burn matches making the race. Although of those 5 France,Australia, and the USA look a little unlikely to ride a united race. Australia might be a dark horse but Evans and Rogers will be saving themselves for the TT and O'Grady goes well in the heat, but not so much uphill.
Slovakia, Slovenia, and Serbia are each fielding a team-don't get them mixed up.
Much like Luxemborg, Canada has a strong 3 man squad. I would love to seen Tuft or Hesjedal make a move.

Heat,Smog, and a long hard route will probably have huge impact. I would imagine less than 50% of those that start will finish. 245K is a long race and 7 laps with a big climb will melt the peleton.
Spain is the strongest on paper and a Spain vs Italy battle seems likely, but what other dark horses could get in the mix? Schumacher? Siutsou? Kirchen? Schelck(s)?,Sanchez?,Kroon?,Gesnik? Who can spoil the Bettini vs Valverde showdown.
Russia and Luxemborg could be big suprises....
At the end of the day, I have my fingers crossed for a Bettin Victory. Let the cricket retire at the top! If I can't get that give me some action from Canada, Luxemborg, or the Netherlands. Finally, my US pick would have to be Vandevelde, but he must be cooked from the tour.


This has been on a bunch of blogs, but still this is nuts.

Michael Cassidy Interview Krsna Rock #26

In all my Krsna Rock research, one name seemed to be always surface-Michael Cassidy. Regardless of the label or band name, he seemed to be involved. So you can imagine how suprised I was when he got it touch and directed me to his website! This was a major breakthrough!
He is still playing and was kind enought to help me sort out some of the confusion I had about various Krsna related records. These stories document some pretty wild times.

WWDIS: How did you get involved in Krishna consciousness? Were you in bands early on?
MC: I first heard the maha-mantra when I was in a band in high school called Gobi Desert. The mantra was on a record our drummer picked up in the East Village. Later in 1970 we had a group called the Moon Farm Band. We rented this great place just outside Walden, New York. I met a devotee couple who moved into the cottage just behind the band's farmhouse. I dropped in to say hi one evening and they had an LP of A.C. Bhaktivedanta singing the Brahma Samhita. I asked them what is was and the guy picked up the album and pointed to Prabhupada on the back cover and said “It’s the Swami. He’s spiritually very high.” Then he turned the LP over and pointed to a picture of Radha and Krishna and said, “This is God and this is His Girlfriend. He’s got His own planet.” I just look in amazement and said, “Of course.”

WWDIS: Did either Moon Farm Band or Gobi Desert record? (can't help it, I'm a record nerd, first!)
MC: Gobi Desert did some basement recordings. One was an original called "Sunday Kind of Love" but I have no idea where any of those are. The Moon Farm Band was a good sounding five-piece acoustic folk-rock group with guitars, bass, fiddle, and hand drums. No recordings.

WWDIS: What was the progression of the albums and labels?
MC: The first temple I visited was New Vrindavan in West Virginia—January 1st, 1971. But I ended up staying in the Columbus, Ohio temple and found a guitar in the basement. I wrote a song a few months later called "Lord Chaitanya's Moon is Rising. *Note: Early roadshow impromptu recording put to kirtan footage:

When Kirtanananda Swami came to Columbus to do a radio show, he heard my song and asked me to play it at the interview so I did. The people at the station liked it and Kirtanananda had me join him for several more shows. Later that year he formed The Roadshow—a drama/music troupe. We did college engagements throughout the South. It's all in a book called Radha-Damodara Vilasa by Vaiysaki dasa Adhikari.

So The Roadshow was the first Krishna-music band I was in. We did a lot of gigs but our biggest was the Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We toured for a little over a year and also played in New England and Montreal.

WWDIS: Was there a second Golden Avatar record?
MC: In 1975 I played some demos of my songs for my teacher A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami at the Golden Avatar studio in Los Angeles to ask him what he thought. He listened to three songs and said, "Do it. It will be successful." At that point I felt the whole project was blessed. My partner Carl Lang and I soon met David Stout, who was a great arranger. David agreed to work on the project for a minimal amount and a lot of free studio time. Besides a pretty decent 16-track, we didn't have much. I didn't even own a guitar. John Fahey, who lived in the neighborhood and sometimes dropped into the studio, had offered me his Martin to record. That's how we made the demos.

Carl and I soon got a $4500 personal loan from a friend to produce the LP "A Change of Heart." Later when the person who loaned us the money heard the finished product, he told us to consider it a donation.

Everything was perfect, well almost. To make a long story short, I soon lost control of the LP "A Change of Heart" in 1976 because of a temple leader. The temple used the name of the studio, Golden Avatar, as a band name. So that's how that band name happened. I got the Master Recording back in 2000.

The album never got me any monetary gain, but my real purpose was served. I had said to my teacher my idea of the LP was to promote the values and concepts of Krishna consciousness, and as he predicted, that happened. MIllions of LPs were distributed all over the world.

"A Change of Heart" received a Gold Record in Canada for units sold. Six years ago I spoke to the former temple president of the Toronto Temple to see if he would send me the mounted Gold Record plaque. He said that back then they regrettably considered the award mundane. It was tossed into a closet and he hadn't seen it in 25 years.

I still receive letters of appreciation about "A Change of Heart"—from the U.S. and Canada, and from people in Europe, South America, and Australia.

In 1977 I released "Nature's Secret." I produced this project myself and was able to get more of the sound I was looking for. A friend who heard The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo gave me Steve Bartek's number. Steve and I got along great. When I heard his solo for the song Spirit of Reason, I knew he was the man for the job. I ended up having him play on "Beyond Illusion" as well. *Note: "Nature's Secret" on his current site, but not "Beyond Illusion":

I went for a bigger production in 1978 with "Beyond Illusion." I asked David Stout to do the arranging. We recorded at Spectrum Studios, Venice Beach. I sent a finished copy of that LP to Jaya Tirtha, then head of London temple, to see if he wanted to buy the rights to manufacture and distribute it in the British Isles. He said he loved the album but wasn't able to make that happen. Two months later a friend living in South Africa sent me a copy of the London Temple's new LP "Progress" which was a mutated bootleg version of "Beyond Illusion" redone with a few other songs on it. I sued Jaya Tirtha for $4000 dollars, my original asking price, and won.

In 1979 I recorded "Take Me Back." It was a bluegrass acoustic album I did with Virginia Johnston. On all of those original four LPs, I used some songs I had co-written with my good friend Jeffery Armstrong. These days he's a published author and still writes great poetry.

WWDIS: Have you seen a Golden Avatar record called "Pastimes"? Were you involved in this or was it another hijack?
MC: I found this “Pastimes”:
I'm not sure, but it appears someone in Australia re-packaged "Beyond Illusion" as "Pastimes." Just a note about "Pastimes": The songs listed on the album are the songs from "Beyond Illusion" but the credits were copied from the back of "A Change of Heart" and pasted as the "Beyond Illusion" credits. My best explanation for these copyright infringements is that many early ISKCON devotees had a misinterpretation of "Everything belongs to Krishna."

WWDIS: Was the Golden Avatar Studio a Krishna enterprise or was it outside the movement?
MC: The business was owned by the temple, but it was a hybrid; we were allowed to book the studio to local acts to make money to upgrade the equipment, and we traded studio time for help with our own projects.

WWDIS: What was it like to meet Prabhupada?
MC: He was grave. He was focused. He was funny. He was an exciting man to be around. I had been in the movement for five years and had attended eight or more lectures in different temples across the country where I heard Prabhupada speak in person. But to sit and talk with him face to face about something that meant so much to me, and was so controversial in the movement, had to be the most intense experience of my life.

After Prabhupada listened to three of the demos we made, he asked "What is this for"? I told him "To convey the values and concepts of Krishna consciousness to Americans." He asked "So what's the problem"? I told him that some of the big men, the temple leaders, said it was maya (meaning it was a waste of time). He looked at me, then smiled and said, "Let the cows moo." That's when I said "So it's okay to do this"? and he said, "Do it. It will be successful."

WWDIS: Why the two different covers for "Nature's Secret"?
MC: With "Nature's Secret," I had very little money after recording and mastering. I told an artist my cover idea, but he wanted more money than I had, so I put together the first cover thinking that after I sold some albums, I could pay him. And that's what we did. I loved his cover. Unfortunately the original art piece wasn't included in the price—just the use of the image. A few years later, the artist started working for the Disney animation department. He's done a lot of well known work for them including the huge landscapes for "The Lion King."

WWDIS: Were you involved with Hansadutta? How did you end up recording some of his tunes?
MC: I only met Hansadutta for the first time in West Virginia in 2003. I've never recorded any of his melodies. I co-wrote songs with Jeffery Armstrong that were used in The Roadshow. Hans may have put his own tunes to some of Jeffery's lyrics later on, but I can't say because I've never heard any of Hansadutta's songs to date.
(WWDIS-I got the chronology wrong, Hans must have covered these songs already written by Michael and Jeff. Protoplasmic Crud is one of the songs in question.)

WWDIS: Were you aware of other KC bands like Rasa or Murari? Rabarinda or Benediction Moon?
MC: I heard of Murari but hadn't heard their music until I moved to Tennessee in 1997 and went to the Murari farm. There I met the drummer, Gayatri, who played on the Murari recordings. He has since played on my last two AverageSoul CDs ("Lay It Down" 2004 / "Do What You Do" 2005) as well as on my "Trying to Connect with You" CD 2002.

WWDIS: Were there any other bands who never recorded or have any lost classics in the vault?
MC: Gayatri has two CDs on the AverageSoul website and iTunes under the artist name Guy Autry. Check them out. ("Rescue Me" / "Gardens of Gold"). My wife Yamini, aka Joie Frye, has three CDs of children songs: "Krishna Pastimes" (Vol. #1 & #2) and "Meeting Lord Chaitanya." I also did an album called "The Hare Krishna Festival" 1976. It was released on cassette only. It had full marching band orchestration, and some of the music was played by a professional marching band in the 1977 San Francisco Ratha-yatra Festival.

WWDIS: What other projects did musicians associated with you go on to?
MC: There is a list of the musicians on the back of the "Change of Heart" LP. Jerry Peterson / sax, did some solo stuff. Harry Kim / trumpet, recorded and toured with with Phil Collins.

I do have a few notes on some of the innovative instrumentation we used: On “A Change of Heart” we used a Moog for the solo in "Time for Going Home." That was a big deal back then. The take you hear was the Moog player's first time through never having heard the song. We did twenty more takes but none of them came close. On “Nature's Secret” we used a Mellotron on several tunes—Spirit of Reason, Hidden Worlds. It was used by the Moody Blues on Knights in White Satin, so I thought I'd try it. This thing looked like a harmonium but the musician dropped this shiskabob of little, round prerecorded tapes into it with one violin note per little round tape. It was crazy. Check out:
On Protoplasmic Crud, Arnie the engineer suggested I blow into the straw of my milkshake. He recorded it, added some reverb, and that's the sound of protoplasmic crud in the opening of the song.

WWDIS: Are you still involved with Krishna consciousness?
MC: I think it's important to differentiate between these:
1. Krishna consciousness—a state consciousness.
2. ISKCON, which is an institution.
3. And the Hare Krishna Kirtan movement—a grassroots movement dedicated to delivering Hare Krishna Kirtan to every town and village. My teacher's encouraging words declared clearly that Hare Krishna Kirtan is not limited to the musical style of any one culture. Praising God as a person is the definition of kirtan, and its presentation is not limited to a particular musical style or language. I have been an advocate of chanting-meditation and been part of the Hare Krishna Kirtan movement since the early ‘70s.

WWDIS: Are you/were you aware of KC's presence in the hardcore punk scene?
MC: When I moved to Central California in 1985, I paid the rent and fed the kids by playing country bars till I left for Nashville in '97. I found out about the Krishna-core punk scene when I first got on the internet in '96. So It seemed like the whole thing came and went while I was buried in the lounge at Harris Ranch playing Turn the Page. I was sorry I missed the heyday. I hope it comes back.

Thanks again to Michael for his time!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Curved top tubes

Why are more and more top tubes starting to resemble VW bugs rather than traditional bikes?
Are curved top tubes the compact/sloping top tube replacement for the new millneium?
When Once first roled out the compact Giants, they were pretty shocking on the eye, but over time they became pretty normal. Giant, Fondriest, Colnago.. it seems like everyone is giving it a go. I hope it is the same with curved top tubes, but these two bikes have me wondering. Look? Serisously-look at that thing???? Fondriest. This whole bike is a mess to me.
Can you really have two triangles making up a bike if you take out the straight lines?

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Tour wrapped up while I was on vacation. Sastre gets the biggest win of his life and one his has been shooting for for years. Despite only being 33 he has been around forever and it is nice to see him get the win before the door closes on him (levi....)
Steegmans tries to ease the pain for Quickstep by getting the last stage win, but was it for them or to help him in negotiations with Tinkoff/Katusha?
Friere gets the green which is amazing-amazing that he made it through the whole 3 weeks.
Kohl gets the polka dots and a podiumjavascript:void(0)
Save Now spot which should help in off season transfer to a new team.
Vandevelde in 5th-good tour for him and Garmin-Chipolte.
CSC dominated. Columbia ruled the sprints. Lots of aggressive racing. This was good tour if you weren't one of the dopes that got caught.


The yearly vacation at the beach rolled around and not a moment too soon. I was dying for it.
Rode everyday. Solo. Riding down here is totally chill. Farm roads and beach roads. Hard to believe you are in Mass. Try it yourself.
Rode with an Ipod for the first time. Definitely an upgrade.Also rode with a camera one day. No epic Rapha pics-just some fun stuff

Mandatory photo taken while riding....

Missed the book fair this year, but was there for the big Church yardsale. 15 45s and a book for a buck.
I can score records even when I'm not trying Stax and Atlantic promos. Get serious.

Last but not least, I stumbled upon the legend of the Westport Turnip

Next year I am definitely taking 2 weeks....

How not to get ready for a race

So there was a race in Norwell on the first day of my vacation. Not too many races left on the calendar and I want to upgrade, so I decide to do it.
Mistake one it's about an hour from my vacation spot and I spent the entire last week in my car not on my bike. Recipe for disaster. Legs? Who needs legs.
Strike two, we go out for dinner the night before-2 margaritas and slow service puts me to bed later than I wanted.
Roll out of bed, no time for usual morning routine of dog,coffee, food, shit. I like that routine so I'm stressing.
Dunkin Donuts provides 3 out of the 4 above.
Get to the race and sign in. Go to my bag of gear. Change in the porta potty cause I forgot a towel. Can't find socks. Awesome. Dig out a pair of argyle sock guy socks in my trunk. Tight look. Oh and the rain. Perfect.
Go out to ride some of the course-why isn't my computer working? Oh right, no wheel magnet. I am riding this on my old wheels and I jacked the magnet. Back to the car and I grab a magnet off my good wheels and get to together. More stress.
Warmed up for only about 2 miles or so which is way less than I needed to wake my legs up.
Line up for the race, neutral roll out for about a mile. SRAM support. Always makes you feel pro. One over-inflated tire pops and someone is out of the race 100 meters in. Next is a crash at the back-had to have been at least 3 guys down-in the neutral section. Ouch.
Norwell course is a 2.2 mile loop with a short steep hill-finish is at the top of the hill.
The finish? Your guess is as good as mine. I puked up some margarita leftovers around lap 7 and that was it for me. Not guts, No glory. So much for trying to race when you are in vacation mode. Will try again next year as long as it doesn't line up with beach time.