Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Friday, December 03, 2004


If you’re in Seattle Friday night (tonight, Dec. 3), I’m playing one or two or three songs at a benefit for a downtown homeless program. At the Sunset Tavern, music starts at 8:00. Seven bucks. Early comers get free barbecue cooked by my friends Jake London and Scott Balikian. (Veggie option too.) Here’s the line-up, lots of people I’m delighted to be billed with (the ones I know, anyway):

“Hosted by Jake London & John Ramberg guests include: Larry Barrett, Mia Boyle, Robb Benson, Peter Blackstock , Kurt Bloch, Earl Brooks , Christy McWilson, Nancy K. Dillon, Jeff Fielder, Rick Friel, Michael Hill, Mark Hoyt, Joe Howe, Billy Joe Huels, Jon Hyde, Grant Johnson ,Ben London, Darren Loucas , Rick Miller, Erik Roper ,Johnny Sangster , John Shaw ,Matthew Southworth, Fred Speakman, Britt Speakman, Scott Sutherland, Jeff Taylor, Carla Torgerson, Rusty Willoughby and more!”

Jake, John Ramberg, and Carla Torgerson will be on KEXP at 11:00 AM on Friday -- you can listen here. (Yes, I know it’s Friday now as I write, but I’m up too late, I’m in denial, it’s still Thursday night for me.)

The Sunset is on 5433 Ballard Avenue.

Now, what to play, what to play? I’ll figure it out . . .


One of the winter songs associated with Christmas that I love. Played as a Christmas song, but Christmas isn’t mentioned in it. (Lots of songs in that category, most of them having to do with sleighs.)

It’s the last 8 bars that get me. “Later on, we’ll conspire, as we dream by the fire, to face unafraid the plans that we made, walking in a winter wonderland.” The beautiful self-contradicting true detail in that one word, “unafraid.” Why mention it unless fear is a possibility, indeed, inherent in the prospect of getting married? Who can know how forever will play out? Heck yeah, I had my moments of fear. It’s a big deal!

Tenderest reading of it I’ve heard is by the one and only Louis Armstrong.


This week is the 5th anniversary of the Seattle WTO protests. Which were a blast and a half. Hearing a blurb about it on the local non-NPR public affairs radio station Tuesday night, it struck me that the protests could have helped elect George Bush in 2000. Without the protests, Nader might not have attracted as many votes, because his anti-globalist, “anti-corporatist” rhetoric may not have had nearly as large and welcoming an audience without the publicity the protests brought to the issue. And without Nader’s successful attempt to attract dissatisfied lefty voters who might otherwise have voted for Gore, the Florida vote wouldn’t have been close enough for the technological failure and anti-democratic partisan cheating to come together to steal it for Bush. If Fate enjoys irony, she is laughing now, no?

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