The Wild, the Beautiful and the Warriors


Enabled by the wonderful capabilities of the Interweb, which apparently is a series of pneumatic tubes connecting my home to every used record store on Earth, I have been adding some old classics to my CD library lately. Take, for instance, the eponymous 1977 debut by Ultravox, at that time known as “Ultravox!” for some unfortunate reason. In contrast to the later, smoother Ultravox of “Vienna” fame — for whom I also have a significant weakness — this version mixed a lot of punky energy into their stew of Bowie/Roxy/Eno/Velvets/Kraftwerk influences. The result is an ungainly hybrid of an album poised midway between punk and new wave, dating from an era before the two had split into identifiable genres.

Shooting folksingers in a barrel

You will call this a cheap shot, and you’ll be right. But I can’t help myself. A line from today’s news:

WASHINGTON – Folk singer and anti-war activist Joan Baez says she doesn’t know why she was not allowed to perform for recovering soldiers recently at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as she planned.

Could it be…because they’ve suffered enough?

Wild, wild west

The roof is, like, on fire.

These are weird, wild times here in the city some call “Golden State.” We had a major conflagration this weekend when a tanker truck exploded in the Macarthur maze, causing one major freeway to collapse onto another major freeway. Despite the massive fireball, no one was killed, and the only injury was to the truck driver, who walked away and took a cab to the hospital. My favorite detail from this story: Despite having substantial second-degree burns, he actually tried to pay the cabbie for the ride before going inside for treatment.

Meanwhile, the basketball team some call “the Warriors” continued their crazy ride. In Game 4, they decisively dismantled the dudes from Dallas to take a 3-1 series lead. With a chance to clinch the series in Texas last night, they played horribly in the first half, came storming back from a 21-point deficit to lead by nine with 3:21 left, then fell apart down the stretch. It’s time to get a little nervous now, because suddenly the Mavericks have the momentum, and our boys really, really need to win Game 6 at home. I mean, who wants to make a third trip to Dallas? One’s enough for anybody.