So I’m watching the Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon, which features amazing character design and a deep sense of friendship and myth. Braniac-5 is near death—and Superboy, powerless under the red sun of Zuun, is still battling to save him. Brainy then mutters “Last Son . . . is my friend.”
How many eight year olds knew that he meant “Last Son of Krypton”? At that age, I likely would have: many wouldn’t, but I love that they slid it in there. As a dramatic moment, it has nothing on the last episode I watched: an extremely dramatic retelling of the Sun-Eater Saga. It’s a story I’ve loved for fifteen years, where the Legion faces the destruction of their galaxy, and one of their own gives his life in order to stop the threat. It’s dramatic in comic form, but in the cartoon, it was devastating. Ferro Lad, seconds away from the action that will destroy the Sun-Eater but cost him his life, proudly yells “Long Live the Legion!”
Awesome. But I’m not here to celebrate the future-adventures of dozens of teen superheroes (although that’s reason enough!): it’s gameday, Prettyfakers! And, like Dave Ashes, I’ve been waiting on this for months. Car troubles have derailed me with what I wanted to do—drive in to Birmingham and watch the Bama-Western Carolina opener with Pop Gorjus—but that’s not going to stop me from watching a day full of college football.
First up: Ole Miss at Memphis, starting at 2:30. I hope the Tigers beat their eyes in. I’ll probably watch Tech play Notre Dame a bit at the same time, mainly because I have to admit I’m excited to see if the Irish QB Jimmy Clausen can live up to his stretch Hummer rep (prediction: I think he’s going to make a killing. The flashy passer could have headed to USC if he wanted, but that opening slot at a legendary program was hard to pass up for riding the bench for two years).
I’ll likely check in on Oklahoma State and Georgia, just to see how the SEC boys shape up in their opener. Then, the main dish: Western Carolina and Alabama, at six o’clock. At the same time, La.-Lafayette playing The Hated Enemy’s South Carolina. But right now: Tesla playing “That’s the Way It Is” on Vh1!
Update 12:33: I haven’t seen a Slaughter video in years, but I have to say—after thousands of concerts and shows, they are still the loudest band I’ve ever seen. They and Jackyl opened up for Damn Yankees at Boutwell Auditorium in ‘93. So loud the bass made my jeans move to the beat. And trust me: those stonewashed, ripped-at-the-knee babies was tight.
Listening to a little John Prine as I work around the house. Got to see him, with Iris Dement opening up, last Friday night at Thalia Mara. What a fine show. I was never a huge fan—”Angel from Montgomery” notwithstanding—but after that show he just makes me grin (I suppose that’s my “Illegal Smile”). Lula and I went with her dear friend Ferd Moyse, of the nigh-legendary Hackensaw Boys, and we passed a little bottle of Jack Daniels back and forth as he rambled through “Sam Stone” and my favorite, “Dear Abby.” I’d never heard “You Got Gold,” from The Missing Years, but it dang near brought tears to my ears as it sang it. Maybe it was the whiskey or maybe it was just the stark beauty of it, but there’s no mistaking true wonder when you hear it. During the show I got a text from Dave Ashes, who was watching Patterson Hood over in Birmingham. I had a bit of envy but settled back in my seat content and quiet.
I’d snuck out at the end of Iris’ set to score some drinks for us and Pat and M.E., and got the lowdown on the new Kat’s. You can see that fine vertical neon up and down Fortification Street and the new Belhaven Basil’s is going in right next to the Jitney 14. It’s going to be quite a fine year.
Update 1:20: Wow, UAB is getting whipped by Michigan State. I saw Memphis give them a run for the money last year at Legion Field. Pretty dang fun game. And, Todd at Roll Bama Roll is liveblogging Saturday, since Nico and OTS are at the game.
Update 1:26: You gotta listen to this.
Update 2:19: Having just now listened to “Radio Nowhere,” I just e-mailed Professor Fury and asked: “Is it any good? Is it wholly generic? Does it have shades of “Living on the Edge of the World“? The answers, of course, are all “yes.” I can’t stand the radio fade-out—blame Brenden O’Brien—but I do love the horns. Still, “this is radio nowhere/is there anybody alive out there/I just want to hear some rhythm . . . I want a thousand guitars,” has nothing on:
Radio, radio, hear my tale of heartbreak
New Jersey in the morning like a lunar landscape
Got a counter girl at the Exit 24 HoJo
Down past the refinery towers where the great black river flows
OI’m living on the edge of the world
Tryin’ to get a message through
I gotta make a connection, girl
Because I’m living on the edge of the world
The difference? Middle-aged fatigue versus teenaged exultation and adoration. The lament of boredom in “Radio Nowhere” (and, similarly, “57 Channels”) got nothing on the lust of “Living on the Edge of Nowhere” or “Candy’s Room,” or even the mature desire of “Maria’s Bed.”
Only ten minutes until Ole Miss gets beat!
Update 3:40: Ole Miss is squeaking by Memphis, but this game is a trainwreck. Tons of turnovers and sloppiness. I have no idea what’s going on with this game.
Update 3:55: Amazing 99 yard run-back after an INT by Ole Miss DB Dustin Mouzon. Gotta give him credit for that.
Update 5:39: Watching the Ole Miss/Memphis game flounder all over the place, listening to Jason Isbell, who’s playing at Hal & Mal’s September 14. It’s going to be an amazing show. “Dress Blues” is the best song of the dang year. It just about broke my heart when I first heard the lines about bombs in the sand.
Twenty more minutes until Alabama!
Update 5:52: Memphis is threatening to beat Ole Miss. OMG OMG worlds will live! Worlds will die!
Update 6:21: OMG OMG COMCAST WILL NOT LET ME PURCHASE THE GAME
I AM GOING TO SCREAM
PLEASE BABY JESUS LET ME HAVE THE GAME
WHY WILL IT NOT LET ME MASH THE MAGIC BUTTON AND BUY IT WHY WHY
Last update 7:15: Bama is doing fine. I hate Comcast.