Sorry, We're Closed

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Reminder of Why I Love Baseball

Congrats, Mark Buehrle! And WHAT A PLAY.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Let's Fix Our Language

Every so often, the English language needs to go through some sort of purifying ceremony. Happily, nobody says "Neo-Geo," "Fresh frozen," "Humanitarian aid for the Contras," "that shit is wack," or "barf me out" anymore.

So what tired words or phrases can we get rid of, starting now? Here are five nominees:

*Stimulus package
*The Greatest Generation

What are yours?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

"She's Gone"

This is a cool little record done in 1966 by a man named Jerry Ghan, known professionally as Jerry G. Bishop.

Many of you may not know him. But if you lived in Chicago in the late 60s and early 70s, you might have an idea of his work.

Jerry G. Bishop was a good Top 40 disc jockey who he came to WCFL in early '67. By 1970 he had left radio and instead graduated to hosting the "Screaming Yellow Theater" comedy-cum-horror-movie show on Channel 32. Bishop's "Sven Goolie" character was a dizzy hippie who told terrible jokes and introduced low-budget "scary" films. Bishop also played other characters on the show, sang wacky songs, etc. The show was popular enough that celebrities came down to Channel 32's studios to hang out. I thought he was great, even though a lot of the material went over my nine-year-old head.

After WFLD cancelled the show in 1973, Bishop went to Channel 5 in Chicago, then out to the west and back to radio. Out of the business now, he currently lives in San Diego, where he and his wife run a couple of restaurants.

(The current MeTV show Sven Goolie features Rich Koz, a writer for Bishop's show who has been playing the role now for nearly 30 years. Koz, a legend in this town in his own right, plays SG as a more campy fake-horror guy, almost like a real-life Count Floyd.) Bring on the rubber chickens!

But I digress. (REALLY digress.) This single, made in Cleveland, where Bishop was a popular DJ on WKYC before coming to Chicago, has a foundation in Northern Soul, with aggressive on-the-one drumming, high-mixed horns, and a strong vocal chorus.

But while it's been a favorite at times in Britain's notorious Northern Soul scene, it's not prototypical, being perhaps too poppy. It also has some production that's perhaps too esoteric for the Northern genre, including what sounds like a tack piano on the bridge.

My old friend Clark Besch played this for me some 20 years ago, and I've been looking for my own copy ever since. I recently snagged one on eBay. Hurray!

Hope you enjoy. "Life is made for loving," indeed.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Bardball Bardcast!

Baseball lovers...poetry lovers...and anyone else...

Click here to listen to's second baseball poetry podcast, featuring poems by Todd Herges, Tom Djya, and James Finn Garner, among others.