Monday, 25 August 2008

The Washington Post March


I know there are plenty of people who don't believe I work at The Washington Post. (They are, of course, outnumbered by the people who don't care that I work at The Washington Post.) But I do, at least as of this morning, and physical proof can be found on Page B3 of today's edition:


A rather easier way to read my column is to go to John Kelly's Washington at washingtonpost.com. I hope you'll read me in the paper (or online) and will dip into my blog, when it starts in a few weeks. Even now the code for it is being hand-written by Shaolin monks.

I Think I'm Go Go


In other news: My Lovely Wife and I saw Squeeze last week at the 930 club. The Jam, the Smithereens, Wreckless Eric, Squeeze... I'm slowly seeing all my old favorites. This Squeeze was without drummer Gilson Lavis and keyboard player Jools Holland. Jools is a big TV star in England, hosting a late night music program, and probably couldn't consider a reunion tour. Gilson is his drummer. The replacement keyboard player, Stephen Large, was good, even if he did remind me of Crispin Glover. And so was drummer Simon Hanson. Hanson was a freaking machine.

In fact, the whole evening had a bit of an assembly-line feel to it. The performances were impeccable, the arrangements interesting, the singing terrific. But it seemed mechanical in places, not the relaxed Squeeze I've seen before. Of course, when I say "before" I mean 25 years ago at Ritchie Colosseum, when they opened on Elvis Costello's "Trust" tour. "Argybargy"-era Squeeze is my favorite, before the songs got overly mannered. I love Difford and Tilbrook but want to get my gun when I hear "Annie Get Your Gun."

This was Squeeze's first U.S. gig on a long tour so maybe they were playing it safe. And the joy that the band is capable of did shine through on the wonderful encore-closing "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)." "The record jumps on a scratch," they once sang in another song. What's a record? What's a scratch?

14 comments:

Jewish Deaf Motorcycling Dad said...

I saw you when reading through the Metro section on-line. (In the paper itself, aren't you in Style, near the comics? It's been a while since I read a week day version though...) Nice to have you back!

Barb said...

No, he was on B3; his absence led to the randomness of Page 3. SO glad to see you're back there, John!

Josh Braun said...

Agreed! Great to see the column again.

Things I miss about Washington when I'm away (which is most of the time): Sunday brunches served everywhere (a shocking proportion of which are good, if artery-clogging); An (almost) working and generally convenient public transit system; Kramerbooks (I know that's cliché); Diners serving great half-smokes; The chance to bump into interesting people from all over.

Things I don't miss: Obscene cost of living; a climate akin to living inside a steel-worker's armpit; runs on the grocery store at the mildest threat of snow; high-security spectacles that lock down the entire city (I'm thinking inaugurations, but any big event will do); Overhearing tourists give wildly erroneous history and civics lessons to their small children.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Welcome back! And, blog name? Did you decide? I still vote for Bloggy Bottom, or some variation thereof.

mark from alexandria said...

I'm with Suburban Correspondent, but, of course, I would.

Ruth said...

Whoa - MFA, are you implying some heretofore unknown personal connection between you and SC?!

Henry said...

Great to have you back blogging, John!

But what exactly were you expecting from Squeeze without Jools Holland? That's like Nirvana without Kurt Kobain or Motorhead without Lemmy. Or the Banana Splits without Fleegle. Even "From the Jam" should have been billed - as you, me and YLW well know - as "2 or 3 guys who might have been in The Jam and another guy who wasn't Paul Weller." Some things just aren't meant to be...

Anonymous said...

So I guess all our efforts to find John a new name for his column have gone for 'nought.

DLD

John Kelly said...

No, the efforts have been appreciated. They were for the blog, though, and not the column. I like Bloggy Bottom a lot myself, though there is some resistance to it. I hope we'll have a name soon and my Post blog will start soon after that!

Neil said...

I didn't see the Metro section Monday, but I did see it Tuesday and was pleasantly surprised to see your column about schools. We went to public schools and are sending our children to them as well in Bowie.

I would have like to have seen Squeeze. They are one of my favorite bands.

By the way, how is the air at the 9:30 Club? Does the indoor smoking ban apply there? If so, has the place aired out yet?

AEZ said...

"ArgyBargy," that just CAN'T sound good to my ears....

Anyway, good to have you back in the blogosphere!

P.S. Send me the paper, dude!

mark not from alexandria said...

John, please stop with the "hot and humid" routine.

The average temp in DC this August was 87. Only a handful of days over 90. Low humidity too.

This stuff may play with your UK fans, but we know better!

Anonymous said...

Great to have you back in the paper John... are you going to be doing the chats on Washingtonpost.com anymore or are you too good for that now that you're an Oxford Fellow? Keep up the good work!

John Kelly said...

Thanks, yes, we should be starting up the chats again soon. Watch this space. Well, not THIS space, but you know...