Archive | May, 2008

Mad Dogs & Englishmen

Joe Cocker, holy fuck can you sing like Ray Charles. And your epilepsy turned dancing is the sugar in our hully gully tea. You scream, you make us cry, you scream again, you make our hips shake, and when you cry, we scream.

You might be a Last Waltz person. Hell, you might even be a Festival Express person. Us, we’re all of those things, but mostly we’re Mad Dogs and Englishmen people. In 1970, Cocker brought along an enormous band of idiots and Leon Russells and did a bunch of covers way better than you. Find me something better than this and I’ll give you my allowance for a goddamn month. Delta Lady, you are mine. All fucking mine.

MP3: Joe Cocker – Cry Me A River (From Mad Dogs & Englishmen)

May 28, 2008 | Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }


It’s almost June. Now that the sun is a shining and the snow is a melting and the birds are a chirping and the screen doors are a slamming and the coffee is a boiling and the wash needs a hanging and the dogs are a barking and the floor needs a scrubbing, lots more outdoor activities will be a taking place. Obviously. And what is the best way to spend a night outside before you get in your tent to pretend you’re not scared of the dark? Euchre. No question. If you don’t know how, call in sick from work tomorrow, and spend the day learning. You ain’t never going to go back. Euchre is no secret. Anyone will tell you. And no cheating. Cause it’s pretty darn easy to do. Just don’t get caught.

Cause Here In Topeka…

May 28, 2008 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Peter Parnall

Peter Parnall has illustrated a lot of children’s book over the years, most notably for the stories of Byrd Baylor. His style is real easy to spot. Bright colors, lots of empty space, and usually some type of cactus, bird, or desert cliff. Although his work might be a little “Southwest Trading Post” at times, his illustrations have always stuck with us since reading Everybody Needs A Rock when we were younger. Parnall also illustrated the first edition of Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire.

Look: More books.

MP3: Vetiver – Arbouretum

MP3: Emitt Rhodes – She’s Such A Beauty

May 27, 2008 | Art/Photography, Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Edward S. Curtis

In 1898, Edward S. Curtis was out photographing Mt. Rainier when he met George Bird Grinnell, an expert on Native Americans. Two years later, Grinnell invited Curtis to join an expedition and photograph the Blackfeet Indians in Montana. JP Morgan must have liked what he saw and in 1906, Mr. Morgan offered Curtis 75,000 dollars to produce a 20 volume, 1,500 photograph series of the North American Indian. Curtis wrote in 1907: “The information that is to be gathered … respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once or the opportunity will be lost.”


I regard the work you do as one of the most valuable works which any American could now do. – President Theodore Roosevelt in a letter to Edward S. Curtis, December 16, 1905.

MP3: Medicine Head – (And The) Pictures In The Sky

May 23, 2008 | Native American | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Woke Up This Morning And Said My Morning Prayer

No better way to get the fuck out of Dodge than in a 60 Series Toyota Land Cruiser. Much more to come on these. We have a collector and expert in the Cold Splinters family.

Some Entrance helps too.

MP3: Entrance – Grim Reaper Blues

May 22, 2008 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

If I Were A Carpenter…

I’m sure most of you have been up late at night and, while stumbling upon the PBS staple, Alone In The Wilderness, have felt a complacency that you very badly wanted to last until the sun came up. Dick Proenneke shot a bunch of 16mm footage while he lived in a cabin of his making up at Twin Lakes, Alaska in the late 60s. This fella isn’t about what bugs to eat while you’re lost in the woods trying to make your way back to civilization. He’s sourdough bread, bacon fat, ram meat, and blueberry jam. The book is better, but we’ll save that for another day.

MP3: Bobby Darin – If I Were A Carpenter

MP3: Tom Fogerty – Cast The First Stone

May 22, 2008 | Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Don’t Really Matter If She Don’t Or If She Do

Trying to make the best of the Hometown Blues. Save me with your sweet smile.

MP3: Tom Petty – Hometown Blues

May 21, 2008 | Music/Movies/Books | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

a dreamer of pictures

Now we’re big on nostalgia around here, and upon hearing a couple of weeks back that a hundred and eight year old company called Lionel Trains emerged from bankruptcy, we couldn’t help but feel okay, because really, there ain’t no memory like the memory of the first time you took control of a Santa Fe Super Chief on a basement train set.

It also makes you feel okay to hear that Lionel Trains owners will remain with the company, because really, there ain’t no better name in model trains these days than Neil Young. And there ain’t no better story in model trains than the one about Neil’s bond with his handicapped son:

Neil Young’s Incredible Lionel Empire: 1993 article from Classic Toy Trains. “He accepted the challenges presented by Ben’s condition and responded by developing a completely new method of toy train control, giving his son the chance to experience the joys of toy train operation”

Take a Ride on Neil Young’s Trains: A 1997 story published not long after Neil purchased a 20% stake in Lionel.

Model Train Journal message board with text of May 5, 2008 Wall Street Journal story regarding the future of Lionel Trains.

Here’s hoping that many more fathers and sons find memories down the tracks of a Lionel.

MP3: Neil Young – I am a Child [Live at Massey Hall 1971]

May 20, 2008 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

When I Die (If I Live That Long) I’d Like To Be Buried Under This Gravel

Edward Abbey, author and critic of everything, is one of CS’s absolute favorite things in the cosmic empire and we were happy to see that a little scene from Voice In The Wilderness made its way onto the Internets. VITW is an Abbey documentary that was made a few years back that includes a lot of bad PBS-style moments and a few great ones. This segment has one of the latter where Abbey takes us back to his Desert Solitaire days and carelessly expresses where he wants to be buried.

In reality, Outside Magazine tells us:

The last time Ed smiled was when I told him where he was going to be buried,” says Doug Peacock, an environmental crusader in Edward Abbey’s inner circle. On March 14th, 1989, the day Abbey died from esophageal bleeding at 62, Peacock, along with his friend Jack Loeffler, his father-in-law Tom Cartwright, and his brother-in-law Steve Prescott, wrapped Abbey’s body in his blue sleeping bag, packed it with dry ice, and loaded Cactus Ed into Loeffler’s Chevy pickup. After stopping at a liquor store in Tucson for five cases of beer, and some whiskey to pour on the grave, they drove off into the desert. The men searched for the right spot the entire next day and finally turned down a long rutted road, drove to the end, and began digging.

MP3: George Harrison – Hear Me Lord (Demo)

MP3: The Beach Boys – There’s No Other (Like My Baby)

May 20, 2008 | Desert Solitaire | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Hammer Down, Heaven Bound

New Hampshire might have lost their favorite Old Man, but up north they still claim New England’s reigning queens, The White Mountains. This spring, the Appalachian Mountain Club wants to take you to the alpine zone of the Presidential Range and show you alpine wildflowers while traveling hut-to-hut. The huts in the Presidential Range are some of the best in the country and you’d be real wise to take them up on their offer. An AMC naturalist will be your guide. From the AMC:

This spring, discover the unique and fragile alpine zone, a fascinating ecosystem of delicate flowers, hardy plants, and remarkable wildlife that survive in the harsh climate of the Presidentials. These rare flowers bloom only once a year, and AMC is making it easy for you to plan an alpine garden visit.

One of the stops you’ll make is the Lake Of The Clouds Hut (pictured above). God’s country.

MP3: Magnolia Electric Co – Hammer Down

May 20, 2008 | Public Lands | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }