Commentary video

Friday Morning Rock & Roll Idols: The Jam

The Jam were the coolest, and not well known here in the USA, but even after all these years I’d argue they were one of the great bands of their generation.  I can’t help thinking how much better my youth would have been if their music had been bombarding all of us from the radio instead of all that disco and classic rock.  Of course, in western Pennsylvania some of the radio stations are still keeping the same 20 or 30 songs in heavy rotation as they used in 1980.  Listen and believe….


Friday Morning Rock & Roll Idol: Violent Femmes

Like a lot of these videos, this is more brillance from the eighties, which weren’t at all like cheese-eating high schools kids who watch cable replays of  “Pretty In Pink” think they were like.  The Violent Femmes were a taut little Indie band from Wisconsin who wrote short, sweet, sometimes angry, sometimes sad, sly little songs with a throbbing bass and a unique–for the time and the genre–electrified acoustic sound.  “Blister in the sun,” “Add it up,” “Kiss off,” and this one, “Gone daddy, gone,” were their big singles.  I recently heard this one as part of the “roadie music” between sets at an Old Crow Medicine Show/Avett Brothers concert and was delighted how good–and not dated–it seemed.  Enjoy.

Journal Photo I Took

1984 Datsun/Nissan Sentra (or was it an 83?)

Nissan Sentra
Nissan Sentra

The old Datsun/Nissan–when, for a few years, the company couldn’t make up it’s mind what to call itself.  I traded a giant Oldsmobile Delta 88 with a 403 V-8 77olds62140-1that got 9-11 miles per gallon and had the biggest back seat in the history of drive-in movies for the comparatively thrifty  Sentra Hatchback, which took some adjusting but was one of the better cars I ever owned–I would drive it about 53,000 miles in the next 3 years, including across the country and back twice, and all over midwest and east coast, then straight into the ground.  It always started on the first turn, but when it developed a shimmy at 124,000 miles and I took it to the shop the guy looked at all the rust on the frame and suspension and shook his head.

Nissan Sentra
Montana, October 1990

“Well,” he said. “You’re looking at twice what its worth to fix it.”

“Any shortcuts we can take, to keep it going for another year?”

“Son,” he said, a thin whistle playing through the gap in his teeth as he inhaled. “People die in cars like this.”

I posted this because somebody from college asked me about it the other day and said he’d seen one just like it on the net here:

Mine was better. It had a sunroof.  Of course, it died in Spring, 1991, so there’s that…. Still, this was a nice trip down memory lane.  The Sentra was a fun little car, fairly peppy with the 5-speed and would cruise along the highway at 80 with no trouble.  It wasn’t a great hit at the Drive-In, alas, but by that time I had my own place, so….