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Friday November 24th, 2006

The Crying Towel

"Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except the best."
Henry Van Dyke


Dear Folks,

This week there will be a greater than usual proportion of muso necrophilia, and the like, as a special favour to WS who requested it last week (and who, I understand, recently lost a leg in a fight with Heather Mills McCartney.)

U2 got booed when guitarist, The Edge, said 'Thank you, Sydney' to the 60,000 punters at the second MELBOURNE gig at Telstra Dome last week. Good one! The classic step-in-it Spinal Tap kind of thing! Too much inhaling them greenhouse gases, Edgeman.

I'm finally in pre-production for putting down my new studio album in mid-December. It's been awhile in between. My last CD, 'freelovedays,' was recorded in 2000! (Hey, no one can ever accuse me of 'crankin' them out'.) I will be recording at Joe Camilleri's old Woodstock Studio, with a crack rhythm section comprised of Joe Creighton on bass and Tony Floyd on drums. Guests will include Phil Carroll on ney and accordion, Lin Van Hek and Mario Gentil on vocals and Michel Bestrin, from Inka Marka, on chiranga and Andean flute.

'Anna's Box' by Lin Van Hek. I have had requests, from DIFFICULTWOMEN fans, for further information about Lin's new book of short stories, which will be having an official launch at READINGS BOOKS in Carlton, VIC, on February 14th, Valentine's Day, 2007. But you can preview one of the stories, THE ENTERING here.

Attention all you Xmasphobes! I'm starting to compile the annual CHRISTMAS ISSUE (2006) so if anyone has anything particularly peculiar to share featuring a yuletide theme ie. jokes, recipes, musical links, historical ancedotes - that I haven't included before (check out the previous Xmas issues on the Archive Page before you send stuff) - forward it to me. I've already got a few corkers in the pipeline for you!

By the by, here are the three previous Archived Xmas Issues if you want to celebrate Xmas early (or so you can check if I've already featured what it is you plan on sending me!)





Sounds Like Music to Me No. 1
"Music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all.  Music expresses itself." 
Igor Stravinsky



Sounds Like Music to Me No. 2
"The drummer drives.  Everybody else rides!"
Panama Francis



Hi Joe,
 Met you at  Bulli Folk Festival last year and have enjoyed your web page. Here is a brief outline of a book I've just read by Greg Mortensen who has proved we can fight terroism through peaceful means. . . His book Three Cups of Tea is amazing!! Try and get hold of it and read it.
Margaret Bradford

Greg Mortenson
Founder and Executive Director
Central Asia Institute

' His lifelong interest in mountaineering culminated in a 1993 climb of Pakistan's treacherous K2, the world's second highest mountain, which changed his life. Since then, Mortenson has dedicated his life as a humanitarian devoted to promote education, especially for girls, in remote, often volatile regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and set up over 55 schools through his nonprofit, Central Asia Institute. His efforts provide over 20,000 children with schools literacy, in previous areas with few education opportunities. In 1996, he survived an eight day armed kidnapping in the tribal areas of Pakistan, and escaped a 2003 firefight by feuding Afghan warlords, by hiding in a truck under putrid animal hides going to a leather-tanning factory. Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today, says "Mortenson doesn't just climb mountains. He moves them . . ".

thought you might like this if you haven't already seen it ?
Karen Hanna

RE: Last week's newsletter:The Final Hurrah: Orgasming-Woman-on-the-Airplane joke.
I just heard about this on the radio this morning. Best,

- Iku Iku byo (Cum Cum Disease)
". . . what may be afflicting these [Japanese] women is an ailment called persistent sexual arousal syndrome (PSAS). PSAS has been described as an affliction that brings about orgasm through the slightest of jolts regardless of whether they're aroused, or even thinking about sex. What's more, orgasms experienced by PSAS sufferers are not just momentary phenomena, instead affecting women over anywhere from a few days to a week, with one reported case seeing 300 orgasms in a single day. . "

Sounds Like Music to Me No. 3
"Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time."
Ornette Coleman


The Living on the Earth Award

I was recently very overjoyed (if such a thing is possible!) to be selected as one of the seven candidates to receive one of author and musician, Alicia Bay Laurel's Special Blue Ribbon commendations:

" The Living on the Earth Award " for outrageous songwriting, singing, guitar-playing, harmonica mastery, humor, cabaret theatre, newsletter writing, political activism and dada recipes, and making a living by doing all of these with panache, goes to Joe Dolce. . ."

The other winners were: Karen Aqua, for consciousness-raising filmmaking, inspiration to millions of children, and truly handmade animation; Ken Field, for performing and composing jazz, avant-garde, performance dance music, film music, and voodoo dance music, while also making a living, adoring his wife, and having a radio show; Ayala Talpai, for actually living on the earth, and in the most creative and elegant manner possible, while also actually making a living as folk artist-entrepreneur, and while also doing community organizing; Starhawk, for balls to the walls international and domestic political and environmental activism, while also making a living writing books and giving workshops, and while also promoting spirituality through her work; Jeff Gere, for superb storytelling, story festival organizing, puppet theatre, storytelling radio, acting, dancing, enchanting children and adults wherever he performs, and making a living doing all of that at the same time as participating actively in politics, and Toby Hemenway, for permaculture writing and teaching, producing that classic on the subject, Gaia's Garden, and remaining active in his community as a voice for sustainability as well as being an example of it in his own life. Website

Sounds Like Music to Me No. 4
"... my daughter McKenna thought I sang with the Everly Brothers ... I said, 'no, I was one of the Righteous Brothers' and she said 'didn't they invent the airplane?'" -
Bill Medley / Righteous Bros.

Kissinger: Iraq Military Win Impossible
By TARIQ PANJA, Associated Press Writer

LONDON - Military victory is no longer possible in Iraq, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said in a television interview broadcast Sunday. Kissinger presented a bleak vision of Iraq, saying the U.S. government must enter into dialogue with Iraq's regional neighbors - including Iran - if progress is to be made in the region.
"If you mean by 'military victory' an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible," he told the British Broadcasting Corp. article

Sounds Like Music to Me No. 5   
"We never play anything the same way once."
Shelly Manne's definition of jazz musicians

Iraq Is a "Disaster" Admits Blair
By Tim Shipman
The Daily Mail

Blair's most frank admission yet over the war in Iraq came during an interview on the new Al Jazeera English television channel with Sir David Frost. Tony Blair admitted that British intervention in Iraq has been a disaster last night - sending shockwaves through Westminster. article

Sounds Like Music to Me No. 6
"Don't bother to look, I've composed all this already."
Gustav Mahler, to Bruno Walter who had stopped to admire mountain scenery in rural Austria.

Prison for Anti-Nuke Clowns, US WMDs Protected
By Bill Quigley

Three men protesting the presence of weapons of mass destruction in North Dakota were sentenced to federal prison terms of over three years and ordered to pay $17,000 in restitution by a federal judge in Bismarck. The three dressed as clowns and went to the Echo-9 launch site of the intercontinental Minuteman III nuclear missile in rural North Dakota in June 2006. They broke the lock off the fence and put up peace banners and posters. One said: "Swords into plowshares - Spears into pruning hooks." They poured some of their own blood on the site, hammered on the nuclear launching facility and waited to be arrested. The Minuteman III missile has over 20 times the destructive power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima and can reach a target within 6000 miles in 35 minutes. The men called their action the "Weapons of Mass Destruction Here Plowshares. Dressed in faded, black-striped prison uniforms and blue cloth slippers, they appeared before the federal court for sentencing. Father Carl Kabat, 73, a Catholic priest from St. Louis with a life-long history of resistance to nuclear weapons, was sentenced to 15 months in prison. Greg Boetje-Obed, 52, a former Navy officer living with his family in the Catholic Worker community in Duluth Minnesota, was given a 12 month and one day prison sentence. Michael Walli, 58, also with the Loaves and Fishes Catholic Workers in Duluth, received 8 months. All were ordered to pay $17,000 restitution. During their trial, the men openly admitted to trying to disarm the nuclear weapon. They pointed out to the jury that each one of these missiles was a devastating weapon of mass destruction, a killing machine precisely designed to murder hundreds of thousands. Testimony by experts about the illegality of these weapons of mass destruction under international law, and their effects, were excluded by the court and never heard by the jury. article

Sounds Like Music to Me No. 7
"I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve."
Xavier Cugat


(thanks to Bill Lempke)

Sounds Like Music to Me No. 8
"I'd like to get something together - like a Handel, Bach, Muddy waters, flamenco type of thing. If I could get that sound, I'd be happy" -
Jimi Hendrix


Lipstick Jihad
By Sara Daniel
Le Nouvel Observateur

Can a young woman rally-driver smoke from a hookah if she's not accompanied by a man? How did Iranian Jews celebrate Rosh Hashanah? What must one avoid if one makes movies in Tehran? Why was the "Sharg" newspaper closed? How to explain that after twenty-seven years of the mullahs being in power, most young people are secular?

A person has to be totally foolhardy to get into Zoreh Vatankhah's car, in a country where the incidence of traffic accidents is the highest in the world. For, in northern Tehran's alleyways, this young woman champion rally driver, who has outdone her masculine colleagues in mixed races more than once, drives as though she were one of the competitors in the Paris-Dakar race she dreams of participating in. Making the pedestrians she comes across jump aside, she appropriates the Darakeh hills - today inexplicably deserted by cars - and recaptures her rights over a city under high surveillance that does not facilitate the efflorescence of youth.

Zoreh shrugs her shoulders, laughing, as her friend warns her that the red scarf that has long been sliding from her head no longer hides anything but her neck. A provocative young woman, she's gotten it into her head to find a cafè where we'll be allowed to smoke a bowl in spite of the fact we are not accompanied by a man. After several refusals, she finally finds an owner ready to risk having his establishment closed down who agrees to serve her a water pipe. While she takes long drags on her hookah under the surprised and charmed eyes of the cafè's other clients, she relates her passion for automobile racing, her fight to participate in this world reserved for men - some of whom broke her car's windows before the start of her last rally; she speaks of the letter, published by the newspapers, that she addressed to President Ahmadinejad when he decided to prohibit mixed races.

And yet, the champion detests politics. When she's not participating in competitions, she is a young woman like the others who puts her all her energy into surfing the red lines of the Islamic Republic's legal code. An all the more exhausting task in that the latter fluctuate. "For the hookah, for example, the rule is that a woman may not smoke in public unless she is accompanied by a man - except here and now as you may observe! That's Iran ..." she concludes, laughing. "A country where you can do everything, especially if you live in the fashionable neighborhoods of northern Tehran, but where, even there, the regime can do anything to you ..." Zoreh has over a hundred scarves: red ones, Libertys, leopard prints, that she unceasingly allows to slide off and then readjusts: the ultimate coquetry. But her outrageous make-up - her lips, the contours of which are enlarged by a darker penciled line, lacquered with pink; her nails ornamented with decals - has nothing to do with political manifestos. It's not the "lipstick jihad," the lipstick holy war, as it was gaily called by the gravediggers for the Islamic Republic under Khatami's presidency who thought they saw the sign of a regime that had lost its hold over youth in young women's new cosmetic and wardrobe audacity.

The only thing Zoreh demands when she's not at the steering wheel of a car is her right to frivolity. The right to live her youth far from the dictates of bassidjis or of the mullahs ... The right to smoke without a chaperon, to dance, and, above all, to not get married as most of her race-driver girlfriends have done, hanging up their overalls in the coat closet. Free to be young. A fantasy for the 60% of the Iranian population that is under 25 years old. article

Sounds Like Music to Me No. 9
"I am not handsome, but when women hear me play, they come crawling to my feet."
Niccoló Paganini


(thanks to Dai Woosnam - Note: Dai also passed along this little news item about BORAT that slipped through the cracks:)

' . . Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen was punched by a man who didn't like his jokes, it emerged. Cohen approached the passer-by in a New York street and said in the style of his Kazakh alter ego: "I like your clothings. Are nice! Please may I buying? I want have sex with it."
But the target of his joke didn't see the funny side and punched Cohen repeatedly in the face, according to The Sun. Cohen had been on his way to a bar with British actor Hugh Laurie after the pair appeared on US TV show Saturday Night Live. A friend said: "Sacha couldn't resist playing the fool as Borat, but picked on the wrong person.
"I guess this guy thought he was being attacked by someone unstable and lashed out. Sacha is very lucky he didn't get a much worse beating." Cohen was said to be shaken up, but did not receive any lasting scars. This is not the first time Americans have failed to get the Borat joke. Two US students who appeared in the Borat movie are suing Cohen, claiming they have suffered "mental anguish" after they were filmed making racist and sexist remarks . . .'
(Note: "Is it 'cos I is black? " Ali G )

Sounds Like Music to Me No. 10
"Some days you get up and put the horn to your chops and it sounds pretty good and you win. 
Some days you try and nothing works and the horn wins.  This goes on and on and then you die and the horn wins."
Dizzy Gillespie, on playing the trumpet


The Faeries-Aire-and-Death-Waltz
The Finest Musical Score I Have Ever Seen
full score

Sounds Like Music to Me No. 11
"You can't possibly hear the last movement of Beethoven's Seventh and go slow."
Oscar Levant, explaining his way out of a speeding ticket.


For Bass Players


Proposed Fines for Bass Infractions
1. Playing loudly during warm up $10
2. Sound -checking amp with funk slapping $25
3. Loud cursing after mistake $20
4. Asking for "E" tuning note $25
5. Playing "E" while horns tune to Bb $50
6. Playing written-out walking line $75
(complete list)

Sounds Like Music to Me No. 12
"Wagner's music is better than it sounds."
Mark Twain

Fellow Hometown Boys Make Good
Belvedere is a fictional town in the U.S. state of Ohio depicted in the novel The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, as well as the 1991 motion picture based on the novel. The small town is located along the Ohio River and is the hometown of the killer "Buffalo Bill" (Jame Gumb) and (in the film) of his victim Frederica Bimmel (first victim taken, third victim discovered). Agent Starling (played in the movie by Jodie Foster) is led to the town following the advice of Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), who tells her that Buffalo Bill's primary motivation is "to covet", and that he specifically began by coveting what he saw everyday. From this Starling deduces that Buffalo Bill knew his first victim. She goes to the town and interviews Bimmel's father and friend, whose remark about sewing with Bimmel leads her to Gumb's house and lair at the climax of the story.
For the film, the location scenes of the town were filmed in the real town of Bellaire, Ohio, also located on the Ohio River. Bellaire, Ohio, also was the childhood home of actor Ted Levine, who played Buffalo Bill in the film.

I just so happened to have gone to college, learned how to play music, was briefly an inmate at the local 'nervous' hospital, and took mucho LSD trips in my 20s, way down in nearby Athens, Ohio, just down the road from Bellaire, also on the Ohio River. Athens County is listed internationally as one of the most haunted places on earth, with many unexplained ghost stories from the early 1900s - some classic ones from the actual mental hospital that I was an inmate in! (Oooh, I'm starting to get that fava-bean-with-a-nice-chianti feeling!) I wrote one of my first songs 'Athens County', which was recorded by JONATHAN EDWARDS and THE MISSION MOUNTAIN WOOD BAND, down there and I featured this mystical place in a previous newsletter THE GHOSTS OF ATHENS.

Sounds Like Music to Me No. 13
"If a young man at the age of twenty-three can write a symphony like that, in five years he will be ready to commit murder."
Walter Damrosch, on Aaron Copland



The new Thomas Harris novel, 'Hannibal Rising,' - the fourth in the 'Hannibal Lecter' series - is due for release in December. The film - a prequel of Lecter's youth and the experiences that made him such a twisted sister - will be released around Feb 2007. Here is a short excerpt from the book.

Stills from the movie

Sounds Like Music to Me No. 14
"There are still so many beautiful things to be said in C major."
Sergei Prokofiev



" Joe Dolce makes me want to skewer my own eyeballs out and eat them. *shudder* Ruth Cole, yoohoo.co.uk

Sounds Like Music to Me No. 15
"I never use a score when conducting my orchestra. Does a lion tamer enter a cage with a book on how to tame a lion?"
Dimitri Mitropolous



Former addicts sing their Hits (boom boom!)

Sounds Like Music to Me No. 16
"Music has been my playmate, my lover, and my crying towel." 
Buffy Sainte-Marie



I had heard about legendary SOUL FOOD for years but never felt that I really understood the cuisine enough to try making it myself. So one day, a few years back, I ordered three cookbooks from the US on Amazon.com: " The Lost Art of Scratch Cooking', by Curtis Parker (recipes from the kitchen of his mother, Natha Adkins Parker), "Soul Food - Recipes and Reflections from African-American Churches" by Joyce White, and "Sylvia's Soul Food - Recipes from Harlem's World-Famous Restaurant", by Sylvia Woods and Christopher Styler.

Sylvia Wood's little book became my bible and I began to experiment with the recipes a little - but couldn't really get a handle on anything to my satisfaction. I couldn't get the 'magic' that I knew must be an intrinsic part of the way these dishes were prepared.

Then, one day, while staying in New York City, next to the building where John Lennon was shot, I decided to to take a trip uptown to Sylvia's Soul Food Restaurant - and sample the real thing. The restaurant was located near the Apollo Theatre, in pre-Clinton Harlem, before things had relaxed somewhat, and I had a hard time finding a taxi that would even take me. Finally, I located a driver from Brooklyn who agreed, but wanted to know why I, as a white boy, would want to go to Harlem?
"You must be tired of looking pretty," he suggested.
I asked him to wait a few minutes (with the meter running) while I called the restaurant on the phone, just to make sure it was ok for a' pretty white boy' to come to their neighbourhood. A friendly sounding woman's voice answered and assured me that, 'Sure, honey, it's safe - just make sure you get dropped off in front of the restaurant. Now, don't go walking around by yourself. We'll make sure you get back OK."
It was a nice drive, through the heart of New York, where the faces went from pretty much all white to all pretty much all black - and then 100% all black - for blocks. The taxidriver dropped me in front of the address I had given him, said, 'Good luck," and drove off. I walked up to the front door and turned the door knob. The door was locked. I turned around and, there across the street, sprawled up and down the steps of a tenement brownstone, was a gang of about 20 tough black youths, head scarves, combs stuck in hair, muscle t-shirts- all looking directly back at me. Freeze frame. I felt like Bruce Willis in 'Die Hard 3' when he was dropped off in Harlem wearing the sandwich board. I turned back around and looked at the door again. Now what? The taxi was long gone. I stepped back a couple of paces and looked to either side of the door. The frame gradually unfroze and there, to the left, was another door which also had a sign on it saying 'Sylvia's Soul Food'. (The door I had gone to was apparently the catering office, which was indeed Closed.) Standing in front of the real restaurant was a beefy bouncer in a suit. I quickly walked over to him and asked if the restaurant was open. He said, " It certainly is - Come right in, sir!"
As I walked through the door, there was a giant wall sized poster of Martin Luther King, Jr. Around the corner was an old style '50s lunch counter. A waitress met me and led me into another room with cotton-clothed tables and gave me one all to myself. I was the only white person there and the other customers, for the most part, were older men and women, all dressed up in their Sunday best, who looked at me briefly, and went on with their meals.
I got a menu.
I decided, in a moment of passion, that this was my moment, and it may never come again, so I ordered one of everything on the menu - small serves, about 30 dishes, and it took two tables to spread it all out. I had everything I ever wanted to taste, all the dishes from the cookbook, including Chitlins (pig's intestines), which hardly even African-American people eat anymore (the ultimate symbol of slave food - and extremely stinky to cook.). All of the other diners were watching me now. One elderly lady yelled over to me, laughing, 'You sure must be hungry - that look like a big breakfast."
Afterwards, the doorman called me a local taxi and I got back to my hotel, with my 'pretty' intact, too blissed out to mention.
Back to Melbourne, returning to my cookbook, I now KNEW what everything was supposed to taste like, so it was a simple matter to follow the recipes.
I would never go so far as to say I could cook as good as an authentic African-American dues paying grandmother, but I would also never make that claim about an authentic Italian grandmother as well. Real cooking is like real music - one's own style is developed from decades of doing it. The main thing is to do it for your own satisfaction - and to feed others! If you keep doing it with this criteria long enough, one day, you wake up and you find you have become one of the official 'grandmas' of the family!

Chitlins and Maw
8 Servings

This the ultimate poor folks dish. The soul food equivalent to baccala.
Pork maw is to the pig what tripe is to the cow. I don't 'spect that anyone will actually try the following recipe but I thought you just might like to 'listen' to the score!

2 pounds pork maw
2 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 stalks celery -- finely chopped
4 small onions -- finely chopped
4 small green bell peppers -- cored, seeded and finely chopped
5 pounds cooked chitlins

Wash the pork maw thoroughly in several changes of cold water.
Drain thoroughly and place in a large pot with enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add the salt, red pepper, and half of the celery, onions, and green peppers.
Heat to boiling, reduce to simmering, and cook, covered, until tender.
This could take anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on the maw.

Meanwhile, wash the chitlins carefully in several changes of cold water.
Drain thoroughly.
Refrigerate until needed.

Drain the cooked maw and reserve the cooking liquid.

Place the chitlins in a large pot and add enough of the maw cooking liquid to cover by 2 inches.
Add the remaining celery, onions, and green peppers.
Heat to boiling, reduce to simmering, and cook, covered, until tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, when the pork maw is cool enough to handle, cut it into 1-inch pieces.

When the chitlins are tender, stir in the maw pieces and simmer together a few minutes. Check the seasoning and serve hot. Sylvia's Soul Food Website

Sounds Like Music to Me No. 17
"Already too loud!"
Conductor Bruno Walter, at his first rehearsal with an American orchestra, on seeing the players reaching for their instruments.


If you hanker for
a zenith of felicity
on the bed of the Divine
begin by dusting off
the wings of wonder
on your local pillow
Lift your ineffable
out of the mundane
Aim for airborne
with the eye of the heart
as your sky pilot
and soar to glory
~ James Broughton ~
 (Little Sermons of the Big Joy)


Sounds Like Music to Me No. 18
"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."
Richard Strauss



Sounds Like Music to Me No. 19
"In opera, there is always too much singing."
Claude Debussy



Sounds Like Music to Me No. 20
"When she started to play, Steinway himself came down personally and rubbed his name off the piano." Bob Hope, on comedienne Phyllis Diller.