Hot Air

War!

War was declared against Winter last night by the People of South Central Indiana.

The Allies struck first, with Commander-in-Chief Big Mike ordering several divisions to attack a Winter front that had been slowly advancing from the west. Reports from the field indicate Allied forces marched through the ominous, dark gray clouds “as if they weren’t even there.”

Homefront observers, though, report Winter’s forces dumped up to a half a foot of snow on an already battle-scarred landscape. Winter terrorists had staged several dastardly attacks of snow and frigid cold in the previous months, leading up to yesterday’s declaration of war.

Winter

Dictator Old Man Winter

The Commander-in-Chief has issued a statement assuring South Central Indiana that the threat of Winter will be short-lived. “Our brave men, women, and children can expect to lay down their snow shovels and mittens within weeks, if not days,” Big Mike said early this morning on his white house’s lawn.

Meanwhile, the Allies have called up reserves including the 4th Mechanized Snowplow Battalion and have begun to stockpile road salt.

The Brother With The Grooves

Whatever you do these days, start listening to Brother William on WFIU’s Friday edition of Just You and Me. The show, formerly hosted by ‘FIU legend Joe Bourne, has been an oasis of good tunes for years. Bourne spun rock, pop, and soul classics until his retirement to New Albany at the end of 2014.

I’d thought Bourne was tops but, honestly, Bro. W. can match him disc for disc. Known to the square world as William Morris, attorney at law, Brother William digs deep in his record library for fabulous hits from the old R&B labels like Stax, Atlantic, Hi, and Chess. He throws in gospel and straight blues for seasoning and his hour-and-a-half whooshes by.

Stax Record

It’s a good thing WFIU ops. director Will Murphy snagged Brother William because the Indiana University-sponsored public radio station had been glaringly white for far too long. Last I checked, there were two or three dark-skinned folks who claimed Bloomington as home. Not only that, music lovers (like me) get a little tired of hearing only Motown when DJs want to strut their soul chops.

Motown was fine for what it was — a sepia Tin Pan Alley-esque factory for very talented songwriters, albeit their end products were a tad too polished and excessively palatable, created for a crossover audience. The Supremes were Vegas; I want something more gritty.

Give me Big Joe Turner, Betty Everett, the Impressions, some barrelhouse piano, and a lot of jumped-up blues and I’ll listen, religiously. Speaking of that, I’ll take some Mahalia as well.

Brother William gives it all and more.

BTW: B.W. still spins on community radio WFHB. He mans the board for his regular Tuesday Afternoon Mix 2 as well as Jazz Menagerie. If you’re not listening, you’re nowhere.

Kyle’s Kudos

Following up on Thursday’s Kyle Schwarber follow-up, the former Indiana University slugger has been named baseball’s number 19 prospect in Baseball Ameirca’s Top 100, released this week. The Chicago Cubs’ first round selection in last June’s amateur draft (no. 4 overall), Schwarber hurt the feelings of a lot of pitchers in his first pro season.

Schwarber’s bat makes him special. He was a catcher for the Hoosiers but his efforts behind the plate leave a lot to be desired for the big league game. The Cubs tried moving him over to left field last summer but he damaged his own team with an outfielder’s glove on his hand almost as much as he did the other team with the lumber in his mitts. The Cubs say he’ll stick at catcher from now on.

Schwarber

Schwarber Last August With The Daytona Cubs

The Ohio native is aware he’s got plenty of work to do to bring his catching skills up to par. He told attendees at last month Cubs Fan Convention that he’d learned to catch only by watching Major League games on television. He continued:

As it turns out I was doing a lot of things wrong. Luckily, I got a crash course when I was at Kane County how to catch. You know what, it totally flipped right there. It made sense. I got it. So then I went to instructs and we kind of slowed it down and made sure I got it. It was really fun. I love catching. You have to like the position to be there and if you don’t like it, you’re not going to have success back there.

So, the attitude’s top-notch, too. Stay tuned for more on Schwarber as news develops.

Rocket “88”

Some folks consider this the first real rock ‘n’ roll song ever recorded. Its standard blues bass line reveals the black roots of what became a white art form.

2 thoughts on “Hot Air

  1. Don Moore says:

    Just to note that I share your preference for Stax and Atlantic over Motown, on the whole. No one like Solomon Burke on Motown.

  2. Candy says:

    Big fan of Brother William!!!

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