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 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?