Episode 41: Oh, That Was the Night We Podcast Outside

Show Notes:
Recorded Wednesday, June 13 2007 (10:00 PM - 11:15 PM), at Joe’s Prime Time, Brownstown MI
    “The group is kicked outside, where we discuss Barometer Soup and make fun of Greg.  Special guests: Schmoe’s kids and Elise.  Background music by AC/DC.

    No bikers keeping us out of the back room this week.  Instead, it was a wedding rehearsal dinner.  It was nice outside, except for the mosquitoes; so big thanks to Prime Time Gina for the citronella candles.  Schmoe wanted enough to start a citronella bonfire; he took a liking to that name and wondered if he could fashion a drink for it—at the same time I was wondering if he was going to try steeping citronella in his next tequila concoction.  (And thanks to Gina for also turning down the AC/DC, later in the episode.)  Scott was unable to join us today, as he’d injured his knee last Friday, competing in the 2007 Shark Invitational.
    As mentioned, here’s Listener Sandy’s first-hand report of the Paris concert:

The trip to the concert today was great.  As soon as the taxi dropped me off at the New Morning at 6pm for the 8pm concert, there was Utley and Greenidge walking on the sidewalk next to me.  After getting in line (approx 50 at this time,) behind three guys from Chicago, we were exchanging pleasantries and all of a sudden Jimmy comes walking down the street on the way to what I think was a pre-party at the Best Western a few doors down, waving to all of us calling his name.
    After going in to the club, it reminded me of some dive bars that you find at MSU.  Red walls, a small stage , a small pit area and bistro tables and chairs.  While you were waiting for the concert all of the band members were walking back and forth thru the bar saying hi to everyone.  I got a seat approx 20ft from the stage.  Grass skirts and shark hats were everywhere.
    Jimmy and the entire Coral Reefer band comes out.  He starts with Changes in Latitudes and it only gets better from there.  He played all of the big 8 (fins, pirate,southern cross, etc.)  He also played Artour Roche, petites enfants, pencil thin mustache and woman gone on caroline street.  He ended the concert after the encore with He went to Paris.  He kept saying he was playing songs that he’s wanted to play in Paris for 30yrs.  He also said that this is not the last time he would be playing in Paris.  (I’d go back!)
    They were video taping everyone at the concert…a dvd is probably to come.  They taped everyone . they went in between rows, closeups , when you were walking in…
    The best of all….I got one of Jimmy’s guitar picks!  It was a once in a lifetime experience.  Classic Jimmy having fun.

    00:02 - according to FSGL.net, Greg’s nicknames include Oops, Gregular, Dr. Feelgood, Giggles, Veal Parmesan, Mack Daddy, DAMF, G.Love, Poison Ivy, Slingblade, Oh Shit, and Chicken Taco Guy
    03:59 - Schmoe’s aural double-take gets my vote as the highlight of the show
    04:32 - Wal-Mart’s 2007 Shareholders Meeting page.  The news about Buffett playing there comes from Blogging Stocks.com (by way of BuffettWorld.com). 
    11:10 - sorry Scott.  That was just uncalled for.
    12:21 - Schmoe is teasing Greg because a search for 1995 setlists led Greg right to my own Buffett fan site, causing Greg to e-mail us and ask if we thought the guys in the page’s photo look like us.
    12:26 - and I’m teasing Mike over his belief, back in college, that the best way to study is to sleep with your text book under your pillow, where you can learn through “osmosis”
    12:51 - don’t listen too closely to the AC/DC songs; this section of the episode was heavily edited.  But fear not, it ends at 19:00
    14:13 - the audio from Jimmy’s CompuServe upload is actually an edit.  Here’s the complete “BADHABIT.WAV” sound file, plus some historical context:  

    17:24 - We go into more detail on how I ruined “Jimmy Dreams” for Mike in Episode 32.
    17:59 - We seriously need to do a Buckeye Lake podcast, but until then here are Mike’s and my parody lyrics, for “Don’t Chu-Know” and “Remittance Man”, from August 5 1995.
    20:58 - here’s an excerpt from my journal for August 1995, describing Mike’s and my first listen of the Barometer Soup  CD, at Dearborn’s Blockbuster Music, on Saturday, July 30 1995:

I didn’t see Mike’s car and I didn’t spot him inside when I got to the place.  I parked on the side.  As I walked around the front to enter I spotted someone I assumed was Mike already sitting at the circular counter in the center of the store.  It still didn’t look like him, but the other two people I could see were definitely not him.  As I went inside and approached I realized it was indeed Mike.  He had shorts, a tank top, and a gray and black Caribbean Soul cap on.  The girl manning the counter said something to me but I didn’t catch it; I even had her repeat it too.  I think it might have been about my t-shirt.  She probably recognized the radiation symbol but not what the shirt meant.  [It was my red Simpsons Radioactive Man t-shirt, which I’d won in a Bongo Comics contest.]  The girl asked if she could help me and I pointed to the CD in front of Mike and told her I’d come to see it, that I had weekend visitation rights.  She promptly disappeared, replaced by some skinny tall nerdy guy.  He asked if he could help me, I asked if he had another copy of the album but sadly they didn’t.  Mike and I had to share.
    Mike told me the album was great, especially the opening title track.  He touched a flat colored button on the panel in front of him and gave me the headphones.  They were light, cheap, black Koss headphones.  There was no bass whatsoever.  We could’ve been hearing an AM broadcast on a tiny transistor radio.  The song was okay but I wasn’t as impressed as Mike.  I got so wrapped up in reading the liner notes that I hogged the headphones and almost heard all of the song.  I gave Mike back the headphones and continued to read.  He jumped around the track listing and we continued to switch shifts.  The booklet was very attractive and certainly much nicer than I’d been led to believe by those Internet descriptions [at AOL’s Parrot Head Madness, Usenet’s alt.fan.jimmy-buffett, and the Buffett listserv].  Mike was pretty harsh about those reviewers too, saying what jerks they were and how they knew nothing.  There was a sign on a stand directly in front of us bearing the cover of the album and the announcement that we could hear it in advance, starting Friday July 29, and then buy it on sale Tuesday August 1.  It was nice to see MCA was actually promoting a Buffett album.  Mike said it was a shame they didn’t allow drinking here; the counter and stools were very much like a bar, and it would be perfect to just have a margarita sitting there in front of us.
    Our panel had no kind of read out to tell us what tracks we were on so we pretty much had to guess when switching between tracks, consulting the lyrics to find out where we were.  I have little recollection now of what songs I listened to.  I do remember thinking “Don’t Chu-Know” was a standout which I instantly liked.  I couldn’t believe this had only gotten passing grades when Buffett had performed it live during his spring tour.  In order of appearance, but in no way the order I heard them: “Barometer Soup” was an instant favorite of Mike’s, but didn’t strike me as particularly special; “Barefoot Children” was a pretty obvious attempt at connecting at the young parents in the audience and I could understand why it hadn’t been received too well in the spring; we both thought it was pretty funny how “Bank of Bad Habits” sounded just as tinny now on these headphones as it sounded on our poor quality upload, there was no difference despite what we’d hoped; “Blue Heaven Rendezvous” sounded like “Pre-You” all over again, but at least was a better attempt; I remember hearing “Jimmy Dreams” but pretty much tuned it out as soon as Mike informed me, handing the headphones over again, that it was a slow one; I remember reading about the Jim Harrison/Legends of the Fall influence on “Lage Nom Ai” but don’t recall much about first hearing the song; “The Ballad of Skip Wiley” sounded like “Hey Bartender” to me: Mike thought the lyrics sounded like the explanatory tale which would begin a sitcom: “It’s ‘The Skip Wiley Show!”; “The Night I Painted the Sky” was one of the songs I desperately rushed to get to before we left—I didn’t hear much but did enjoy the lovely string introduction; Mike played “Mexico” for me and said sadly it wasn’t what he’d expected.  He said he was uncertain about the horn parts, and that it might take some getting used to.  Being unfamiliar with the original, and not knowing the extent Mike had been privately hoping Buffett would cover this song, the arrangement didn’t bother me.  I thought it was catchy and likeable, and I told Mike I doubted it would take too long for him to get used to it.
    Perhaps I should take this opportunity to include Stu Gittelman’s review from many weeks ago, since it was much on our mind during our first listen:

Subject: Barometer Soup - Comments and Critique
Date: 12 Jul 1995 20:22:52 -0500

Well, my advance copy of Barometer Soup (I can’t wait to start calling it ‘BS’ in alt.fan) came today…so, it’s time for the King of the Grumpy Old Parrotheads to speak…my overall reaction: eeehhhh.  I think this is certainly a much more *consistent* album than Fruitcakes (and somewhat better) overall.  It at least has an overall texture to it that doesn’t leave you quite as schizoid as FC.  It’s also certainly better than OTSTL, and, I guess, about the same as HW to me.  All in all, it seems JB is trying to be the King of the Ballad on this one.  That said, I’m not sure this album is that *good* either - but, after the last few, a step in the right direction.  Good points summary: less produced, more Fingers Taylor, more downscale songs, fewer covers, consistent.  Bad points summary:  silly ranting on several tracks, it ain’t A-1-A a bit dull at times.  As for the individual tracks: Barometer Soup - sets the tone pretty well: eehhh.  Nothing to dislike, nothing really to like.  The yuppies will like the part about escaping.  Barefoot Children - given the “Buffet (sic) and Terrible Twos” thread going now on alt.fan, I’m sure this’ll become a favorite for a couple of weeks over there.  A nice song, but not great.  Bank of Bad Habits - I had high hopes for this song.  Thought it might be a chance to have some fun.  Which it was, at first.  Then the crap about the seven deadly sins and the 8th deadly sin: PIZZA!  Sheesh.  Ruined a perfectly good song.  Prediction:  The pizza thing will make 5 .sig files in alt.fan w/in 1 week. Upbeat.  Remittance Man - This is a good one.  He put some thought into this one and it really shows.  Downscale, good lyrics.  Diamond as Big as the Ritz - I didn’t care for this one in concert, although it sounded better on disk.  Again, not bad, not great.  Blue Heaven Rendezvous - There’s a stinker on every album and this one is it.  Combine his awful crooing on the Sinatra duet with an idiotic song like ‘Frenchman for the Night’ and you can get the picture.  Brutal.  Jimmy Dreams - WOW!!! This one blew me away.  What an absolutely fantastic song.  This is the best song he’s done in many years, IMHO.  For the first time in a while, we’ve got an ‘honest’ song.  Jimmy wrote this one for Jimmy and not for money.  Far and away the best song on the album.  Great lyrics.  Lagie Nom Ai - We’ll need to find out what this means because I can see 20 posts a day about it.  Upbeat song - definitely the successor in the Fruitcakes genre.  Don’t You Know (Don Chu Kno) - I liked this one in concert and it still is a peppy tune.  I thought it was pretty good until the end with this silly fade into the notes of Volcano and some White Man Rap.  The killer part, for me, was when JB said “I can name that song in two notes” - and he wasn’t talking’ about God’s Own Drunk.  Spoiled an enjoyable tune for me, but that comment speaks volumes about what’s happened to his music over the years.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about here, you haven’t listened to You Had to be There lately.  Ballad of Skip Wiley - I guess I need to read the Hiasson books to really understand this one, so I’ll pass on commentary.  Decent music.  The Night I Painted the Sky - another winner.  Probaby the second best on the album.  Quiet, but very evocative.  Again, the downscale thing works well.  Mexico - not being much of a James Taylor fan (I find him depressing), I was leery of this one and was pleasantly surpried by it.  He sounds like he enjoys doing this one, whereas Uncle John’s Band sounded like he was going through the motions.  Once again, the White Man Rap at the end was totally unecessary.  I don’t know who told him this stuff was cute and funny, but it’s not.  It’s silly.
—————Stu Gittelman

    We found out the store closes earlier than we expected.  The employees started getting a little more active.  Mike told me they must close at eleven.  I had the headphones then so I quickly tried to hit every song I hadn’t heard, just for the sake of it.  After we left, we hung out in front of the store for a while, by my car.  Still talking about the album, Mike suggested getting a beer at Miller’s Bar, next door.  I of course agreed.

    23:31 - no, I don’t have an actual background in musical theater.  What I meant is that I have an interest in musical theater, stemming back to when I was a kid and my parents would play Broadway cast albums on Sunday afternoons.
    29:48 - the guys are enamored with Elise’s “fried gold” expression (among other things), but I heard it back in 2004 on the highly-recommended Spaced DVD.
    I took some photos during the postscript.  You can see them here, here, and here.


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