Category Archives: Richard Thompson

Hot Air

The Richard Thompson Hangover

So, if any of you out there has a trace of vim and vigor left after last night’s Richard Thompson show at the Buskirk Chumley Theater you just might be able to, y’know, do another thing or two in Bloomington over the next couple of weeks or so. It’s a long shot, but it may be possible.

To wit:

1) You may rouse yourself from your post-bliss stupor and take in An Evening with the Creator of Gasland: Josh Fox. He ain’t no R. Thompson but he’s creative, serious, an intellectual, and an activist for all the right causes. His documentary, Gasland, was nominated for an Academy Award® in 2011. It deals with the effects of natural gas drilling and fracking in this holy land. Fox’s film will be shown at 6pm Saturday, October 25th, at the Unitarian Universalist Church. At 8pm Fox himself will discuss all the issues involved with the audience. The cost? Free.

Fox

Josh Fox Is Sorta Sexy, Too

2) If you can bear to reenter the Buskirk Chumley Theater so soon after last evening’s rapture, you can catch a mixed-media presentation by Bloomington’s own Tim Bagwell entitled Stop War! An Anti-war Observance of Veterans’ Day. It’s another free dealio that begins at 8pm, Monday, November 10th. Bagwell served as a Marine in the Vietnam War and is now a poet. He has rented out the Buskirk on his own dime to put on this presentation.

Of course, it’s understood that our town’s population of women of a certain age need some time to recuperate from their collective experience last night. That Richard Thompson fellow — I dunno what it is, but he’s got it. I’d pay a few tens of thousands of dollars for a small vial of the stuff.

Marti Crouch On Interchange

Whatever you do, don’t miss tonight’s installment of Doug Storm’s Interchange on WFHB radio. His guest will be former Indiana University instructor and researcher Marti Crouch. They’ll talk about GMOs, natch, among other biotechnology hot topics.

Interchange

Nobody Ever Learns Nuthin’

Hot shot bassist Gordon Patriarca of Chicago shares a quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt. The line is shocking in that it perfectly describes what this holy land has become even though the President said his piece some three quarters of a century ago!

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

Roosevelts

Eleanor & Franklin

They had begun to consider the United States as a a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob.

“We know now….” Do we?

 

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Craziness is like heaven.” — Jimi Hendrix

GOD’S BACK

Alright, things are starting to get a little wacky around here now.

The Herald Times yesterday ran a story (paywall) on a “real life exorcist.” Okay, it’s Hallowe’en season and all that but I don’t see this city’s daily paper running a piece on a real life vampire who rises from the dead at night. Nor have I seen even a small feature on a wolfman or Frankenstein’s monster.

What gives?

This is on top of Newsweek mag bannering “Heaven Is Real” on its cover last week.

A neurosurgeon named Dr. Eben Alexander writes in the newsweekly that he fell into a coma and went to heaven. The mag and its sister online pub, The Daily Beast, are treating his assertion as, well, gospel. The Huffington Post is all gaga over Eben as well. Fox News, natch, is slobbering all over itself covering this “news.”

Now Alexander says he’s going to devote the rest of his life to the study of the afterlife.

Gawker calls it “possibly the most embarrassing cover story Newsweek has ever run.”

One question: Why do all these near-death afterlife experiencers go to heaven? Don’t sinners have near-death experiences?

What if Charles Manson came out of a coma and swore up and down he’d seen Beelzebub? And since Manson’s an unrepentant mortal sinner, might he then say, “Hey man, I dig hell. I can’t wait to go back permanently.” How would Newsweek and The Daily Beast cover that?

What About Hell?

What if…, aw, hell with it. I’m gonna go pop open “The God Delusion.”

SCARY STUFF

Get ready to have the bejesus scared out of you this coming weekend.

The Dark Carnival Film Festival will haunt Bear’s Place Friday night, the 19th, and the Buskirk Chumley Theater, Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s the lineup for the fest:

Friday at Bear’s Place

  • 8pm: “Found,” directed by Scott Schirmer, plus Bear’s Annual Costume Contest

Saturday at the Buskirk Chumley

  • 2pm: Festival Introduction
  • 2:05pm: 4 films — “Dummy,” “The Keeper,” “Vadim,” & “Zero Killed”
  • 4:50pm: Lacore Valmon Circus, Live aerial performance
  • 5pm: 6 films — “Other,” “Once Upon a Liver,” “Seamstress,” “Transmission,” “Attack of the Brainsuckers,” & “Nailbiter”
  • 8pm: Lacore Valmon Circus, Live sideshow performance
  • 8:20: 6 films — “All Men Are Called Robert,” “Bariku Light,” “The Last Day of Harold Fishman,” “Sandwich Crazy,” “Hell’s Belles,” & Video Diary of a Lost Girl”

Sunday at the Buskirk Chumley

  • 1:30pm: 5 films — “Mother Died,” “Chompers,” “Shine,” “Roman’s Ark,” & Harsh Light of Day”
  • 3:45pm: 4 films — “Lovebug,” “Weight of Emptyness,” Firelight,” Feature TBA

ESTRO-FEST

Speaking of the Buskirk Chumley, you’ve only got two weeks left to get tix for the Indigo Girls, who ought to draw just as a rabid a crowd as Richard Thompson did last month. The IGs will hit the stage on Friday, November 2nd.

You’ve got two and a half months get purchase ducats for Emmylou Harris. She’ll be here Monday, January 2, 2013.

Did I just type 2013? Sheesh!

BTW: Emmylou Harris is 65 freaking years old and she’s still hot as a pistol. What’s she eating for breakfast and can I get some of it?

Harris — Hot

HEAVEN

Yep, one of the late John Hughes‘ fave bands.

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Brought to you by The Electron Pencil: Bloomington Arts, Culture, Politics, and Hot Air. Daily.

STUDIO TOUR ◗ Brown County, various locationsThe Backroads of Brown County Studio Tour, free, self-guided tour of 16 local artists’ & craftspersons’ studios; 10am-5pm, through October

LECTURE ◗ IU Memorial Union, State Room EastBranigan Lectures Series: “Detroit: Then & Now,” Presented by Tiya Miles; 4pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallDoctoral Recital, Douglas Olenik on tuba; 5pm

POLITICS ◗ City Hall, Showers BuildingMonroe County Schools Corporation board candidates forum, Presented by Indiana Coalition for Public Education; 7-9pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallMartha Herr, soprano; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallDoctoral Recital, Nina Zhou on piano; 8pm

LECTURE ◗ IU Musical Arts Center, Room 454David Baker; 8:30pm

CLASS ◗ Monroe County Public LibraryIU Lifelong Learning Series: “On the Brink of Destruction: The Cuban Missile Crisis 50 Years Out“; 7-8:30pm

READINGS ◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture CenterNancy Shoenberger & Sam Kashner, Presented by the Writers Guild at Bloomington; 7pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Boys Don’t Cry“; 7pm

VARIETY ◗ Cafe DjangoBloomington Short List, Ten-minute acts, Hosted by Marta Jasicki; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleBarbara McGuire; 7-9pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubSongwriter Showcase: ; 8pm

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “New Acquisitions,” David Hockney; through October 21st
  • Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists; through October 14th
  • “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
  • “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
  • French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st
  • Embracing Nature,” by Barry Gealt; through December 23rd
  • Pioneers & Exiles: German Expressionism,” through December 23rd

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • Ab-Fab — Extreme Quilting,” by Sandy Hill; October 5th through October 27th
  • Street View — Bloomington Scenes,” by Tom Rhea; October 5th through October 27th
  • From the Heartwoods,” by James Alexander Thom; October 5th through October 27th
  • The Spaces in Between,” by Ellen Starr Lyon; October 5th through October 27th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • “Samenwerken,” Interdisciplinary collaborative multi-media works; through October 11th

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits:

  • A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners;” through December 20th
  • Gender Expressions;” through December 20th

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibit:

  • “CUBAmistad” photos

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

  • “¡Cuba Si! Posters from the Revolution: 1960s and 1970s”
  • “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”
  • “Thoughts, Things, and Theories… What Is Culture?”
  • “Picturing Archaeology”
  • “Personal Accents: Accessories from Around the World”
  • “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”
  • “The Day in Its Color: A Hoosier Photographer’s Journey through Mid-century America”
  • “TOYing with Ideas”
  • “Living Heritage: Performing Arts of Southeast Asia”
  • “On a Wing and a Prayer”

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit:

  • Outsiders and Others:Arkham House, Weird Fiction, and the Legacy of HP Lovecraft;” through November 1st
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections form the Slocum Puzzle Collection

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Soup’s OnExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Culture: “CUBAmistad photos; through October

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • Bloomington: Then and Now,” presented by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.” — Oscar Levant

THE STRIKE: DAY, UM, ZERO!

It’s over, hallelujah.

Chicago Teachers Union Boss Karen Lewis With The Good News

So what have we learned?

  • Chicago’s teachers get paid well
  • They deserve every penny of it
  • They were willing to sacrifice precious days and even weeks of earning to fight for better classrooms
  • They’ll fight privatization

Bloomington’s teacher’s deserve a hell of a lot more money than they’re getting now. Too bad Indiana state law bans teacher strikes.

MY SIN

I took a pummeling yesterday from a trio of women.

As I was exiting the back door of the Book Corner, the front door of Hidden Closet — which faces it — swung open dramatically and I was confronted by the scarlet face of boss lady Brynda Forgas. I knew I was in for it. The only question was, What the hell had I done?

“I’m so mad at you!” Brynda hissed, her eyes wide.

I mentally checked off a list of possible offenses:

  • We aren’t having an affair
  • I hadn’t sneaked into her shop and grabbed cash from the register
  • I haven’t told people to stay away from the Hidden Closet
  • We both are moved to shuddering at the sound of the words Mitt Romney

So what did I do? I felt like a ten-year-old.

Forgas In A Less Inflamed Moment

It should be noted that the above inventory of misdeeds took place within a fraction of a second because Brynda launched into her tirade without prompting.

“You mean to tell me you had Richard Thompson in your store yesterday and you didn’t even have the decency to run over here immediately and tell me?!”

Brynda’s face inched closer to mine. I flinch-blinked. Was a jab to the nose in the offing?

She opened her door wider so I could see two cohorts holding cups of tea fortified with what, I don’t know, staring at me through narrowed eyes. One of them was another usually amicable soul, Kathy Loser, chief book pusher at Bloomington High School North. I didn’t recognize the other woman. For all I knew, she was an imported thumb-breaker.

Brynda continued: “I would have dropped everything and come right over! I’d have left a customer standing there!” There was more — much more — but the sound of her voice had become a machine gun.

The women were preparing themselves for the big show at the Buskirk Chumley Theater across the street. Richard Thompson’s show was scheduled to begin in an hour and a half.

As I suffered this verbal onslaught, The Loved One waited patiently in the car for me and watched as the Man of Brynda et al’s Dreams actually came out the front door of the venue and signed posters for some adoring fans.

Now, I like Richard Thompson but I had no idea he was such a MILF-idol. Color me educated as of now.

Sexy Daddy

I was able to discern one bit of info from Brynda’s tirade — she had front row center seats for Thompson. I wonder if we’ll see her at her shop this morning.

I’LL SHOW ‘EM!

We’ve been having trouble with our Comcast broadband service here at The Pencil’s World Headquarters just east of Beautiful Bloomington.

Every night, The Loved One asks, Did you call Comcast?

Grrrrrr

And every night I snap my fingers and say, “Damn! I forgot. I’ll do it tomorrow.”

It’s become a ritual.

Last night, TLO gave me an explicit instruction: “Make sure we get a credit. We shouldn’t have to pay the full amount for this.”

“This” being repeated signal outages that constantly interrupt our Netflix viewing as well as my regular sessions of trance-like admiration for my brilliant work on this site.

Funny, then, that the site I Fucking Love Science, via XKCD, posted this image yesterday:

The caption read: “For when you really, really MUST piss someone off.”

Trust me — I really, really want to piss Comcast off.

CRAZY

Uh oh. Here we go again.

A French magazine has just printed a cartoon making fun of Islam’s big cheese, Muhammad.

Al Jazeera English reports that France is actually shutting down its embassies in 20 countries for fear that Muslim extremists might attack.

French Mag Charlie Hebdo Offices Were Attacked in November, 2011

Sheesh.

Enough of trying to understand how precious Muhammad is to the Muslim world. We get it. What the sane among us don’t get is the psychotic reaction.

The nations where these violent outbursts have taken place in recent weeks had better start taking responsibility for the loons carrying them out.

It’s A Guy Thing

The extremists may revere Muhammad. I, for one, revere free speech and respect for human lives.

PSYCHOTIC REACTION

By the Count Five. It charted in 1966.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“He can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.” — Ann Richards

THOMPSON AND KEATON

What a blast in Bloomington tonight!

British songwriter, guitarist, and all-around good guy Richard Thompson plays the Buskirk Chumley Theater at 8pm. And if you’re a film buff, hie over to the IU’s Jacobs School of Music, Auer Hall, also at 8, for a showing of Buster Keaton‘s comedy, “Spite Marriage.” John D. Schwandt will accompany the silent movie on organ.

Bloomington Tuesday Night Stars: Thompson & Keaton

By the way, the tall Thompson (he can give our own Tall Steve Volan a run for his money) came into the Book Corner yesterday. I was fairly busy at the time so I hadn’t taken notice of the celeb in my midst. Only when I ran his credit card did it occur to me that, holy smoke, it’s Richard Thompson!

I showered him with fan praise and — whaddya know? — Thompson showered the Book Corner with his own plaudits.

If you’ve got tix for his gig, you’re in for a big treat.

THE STRIKE: DAY 9

Fingers crossed that Chicago’s teachers approve the proposed deal with the school board this afternoon.

If done, classes will resume tomorrow. If not, the howling from the anti-unionists will become deafening.

Bosses: The School Board’s David Vitale & The Union’s Karen Lewis

The idea is starting to filter out that much of the teachers’ quibble stems from their rigid opposition to the trend toward privatization, not only in Chi but around the nation.

Just a reminder to those who dig privatization: we call them public schools for a reason.

NOT SILVER-TONGUED

Quick question: Is Willard Romney on the payroll of the Barack Obama reelection campaign?

I mean, the guy is running for president, sure, but if he sabotaged himself any more we’d have to grant him honorary membership in the Bluth family of “Arrested Development.”

Mitt Romney Would Fit In Nicely Between George And Lindsay Bluth

Romney washed his hands of responsibility for half the nation at a Boca Raton fundraiser in the spring. He characterized that half as tax non-payers, bums, gold-diggers, and welfare queens. Someone had sneaked a video camera in and caught him in the act.

See, that’s the way Republicans today look at the people of this holy land. The POG had better jump down off its high horse soon or else they’ll be losing a lot more races.

Anyway, Romney’s big mouth makes me think of that great quote (at the top of this column) delivered by Texan Ann Richards at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. She was referring to another patrician Republican running for president at the time, George H.W. Bush.

Somehow Richards became the Texas governor in 1991. How a plain-speaking, unabashedly liberal, feisty female could grab the reins in that antediluvian state is beyond explanation. The Pan troglodytes of Texas came to their senses four years later when they threw her out of office in favor of — oh, my aching head! — George W. Bush.

Had Ann Richards been a pol in, say Illinois, Pennsylvania, or even Nebraska, she just might have become president herself.

NEW SAN ANTONIO ROSE

Here’s a pretty good quality recording of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys‘ 1940s Texas Swing hit.

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