You know what you need? You need more Mardi Gras Indians in your life.

We all do, and our great benefactor Galactic once again provides for us.

The opening track from the 2012 album Carnivale Electricos, here live at Jazz Fest in May fronted by Big Chief Juan Pardo and the Golden Comanche, both lookin so pretty, with Trombone Shorty stepping up as well. HA DI KA


How to Play Chess

This week, thanks to an early Father’s Day gift, I’ve finally surrendered to the addiction that is HBO’s The Wire. I caught most of seasons 4 and 5 when they were new, but that’s it. Now I’m starting at the beginning, and yes, this is indeed in the running for best TV show of all time (Al just shot me a look all the way from Deadwood).

One surprise so far has been a concise explanation of the game of chess. I think this would make a useful tutorial for children if not for, you know, the profanity and the fact that these are drug dealers and gangbangers in the squalor of a low-rise inner city housing project for whose lives chess is a perfect, tragic metaphor. But other than that this is great for kids!

Iron Maiden Will Never Die

It sure seems that way. I came up in the 80s, but I was never a Maiden fan for some reason. I listened to a lot of metal and hard and prog rock, and you certainly couldn’t get away from the concert shirts and album art in high school, but I just never knew their songs or had a friend who did.

That’s changed in my creaky early 40s due largely to the fact that Maiden just won’t go away. After some personnel changes and less than huge albums–but no real hiatus of state fair circuits–they have the classic lineup back and are arguably the most popular musical act in the world today. They own their own commercial jumbo jet–piloted by the lead singer, no less–and tour whenever and wherever the fuck they want, all over the world, to hundreds of thousands of fans at a time in soccer arenas.

Maiden in insanely popular today with teenagers across Latin America. Last year they did a full replica of the whole damn Powerslave tour from 1984. They are very serious about their musicianship and entertaining the crowd, yet they don’t themselves too seriously. This all makes me very happy.

Live at Abbey Road, 2008:

Actionsuit North!

One member of the Actionsuit! collective and a friend onstage in Chicago doing “Comfortably Numb” and “I Got Mine,” acoustic-style.

“Something magic comes out of bending little bits of wire.”

Great chat with the gentleman David Gilmour and his Stratocaster.

I’m playing “Comfortably Numb” this weekend at our school’s talent show, and this makes me very happy I’m not doing the solo. (Tackling the string-section arpeggios in the verse has been enough.)