I Don’t Want A Lover

It’s Sunday, so that means it’s Don’t Mess With Texas Day!

Why would a Scottish pop band not focusing on country or western music name their group after the most embarrassing state (after Kansas) in America? Actually, they didn’t!

The inspiration for the band moniker Texas came not from the state but rather the 1984 film Paris, Texas. Oddly, there exists a number of pop-culture references to the film by various music groups. It appears that Paris, Texas the film is to musicians what Catcher in the Rye the book is to serial killers. The movie must strike some special chord with creative music types. Singer/Songwriter Sharleen Spiteri is on record as acknowledging that the band name may have diminished their chances to be heard in America as anyone observing the group’s title would assume they were a country band and dismiss their work.

I Don’t Want A Lover was the first big musical hit for Texas way back in 1989. The rock blues influence of Johnny McElhone (formerly of the New Wave bands Altered Images and Hipsway) and Sharleen was strong on the debut album, Southside. The song I Don’t Want A Lover is notable for rising to a respectable place on Top Ten music charts and then several years later unexpectedly breaking into the charts again.

Crime Watch: Linda Vista Road and Fulton Street

Last Saturday on April 18, 2009, shortly after 6:00 a.m. in the vicinity of Linda Vista Road and Fulton Street a female friend was walking to the bus stop on her way to work when she was ambushed and viciously assaulted in what Police are calling an attempted rape.

Her attacker shoved a gun to the side of her head and started to drag her away. She fought back. At least one shot was fired by her assailant that narrowly missed hitting and probably killing her. She was beaten with the pistol and received numerous injuries before her attacker fled the scene. Eventually, she was assisted by some people in nearby apartments.

She is hurt, traumatized and it is likely that she will not be returning to work for some time. She is fortunate to be alive. It is without reservation that I can attest my friend was respected and liked, if not loved by everyone who knew her. Her fellow employees are taking up a collection for her at work. This woman has some healing to do, might be out of work for a while and she and her family should not be worried about whether the electricity will be turned off during her recuperation.

Here is the initial news report: Suspect in Linda Vista Assault Still on the Loose.

The first follow-up report is mostly about public safety: Protect Yourself from an Attack with Self-Defense Training. I appreciate that the choice to fight an attacker was addressed. She was hurt and could have been killed, but common wisdom states that if taken from the scene of an attack the odds of survival drop precipitously.

The suspect was described as male, of slim build, dark-skinned, in his late 20s and wearing a white, hooded sweatshirt. It was reported that he fled the scene in a dark-colored compact vehicle. This is an initial description and may not be fully accurate.

I’m sure the Police will be doing all they can to apprehend this criminal. If the age of the attacker is as reported it is doubtful this is the first crime this person has perpetrated and he is in a database somewhere. It is during events like the recent attack that one wishes television crime shows were not so fanciful and that DNA tests would quickly identify a suspect in a matter of hours. A check of the San Diego Police Department crime statistics maps reveals a number of sexual assaults in the vicinity over the last month but it isn’t possible for civilians to determine if they are related. The stats for that particular area are not any greater or less than those for nearly any section of the city so it would be foolish to speculate and better left for Police to determine.

While often it is the steady hard work of dedicated and trained individuals in Law Enforcement that solves crimes sometimes they are closed by the average person connecting some dots and passing the word along. I’m hoping that if the Police are unable to swiftly resolve this crime then maybe some civilian will help. For example: One could help by noticing that someone matching the description of the attacker and driving a similar car didn’t come into work Monday. Then when they showed up on Tuesday had lots of scratches about the face and arms.

Anonymous tips can be sent in via the San Diego Crime Stoppers site.

When We Are Together

Sunday is Don’t Mess With Texas Day!

Texas is a band that due in large part to singer/songwriter Sharleen Spiteri has creatively always sought inspiration from decades of music. Their output is somewhat eclectic in nature. They don’t just jump on whatever trend that happens to be popular at the time, rather they experiment with different styles. This is typically some time after the music they are referencing has dimmed in the public consciousness. The band has been variously blues, pop, pop-urban and alternative. Sharleen Spiteri cites Motown legend Diana Ross as one of her influences and this is particularly evident in the 1999 album The Hush. Several tunes are direct homages to the vocal styling of Ross. That unique Diana Ross pacing and tone can be clearly heard in the songs When We Are Together and Black Eyed Boy from their album The Hush.

So go ahead and spend a few minutes listening to When We Are Together. Like most music videos ever it’s kind of pointless but it does have Sharleen splashing around in a pool, so there is that.

Admittedly, Texas and their music are not everyone’s cup of haggis but I usually enjoy their work. I found out a little while ago that Sharleen Spiteri recently released the delightfully retro solo album Melody. While on break from the group in 2008 she worked on her own project. Many of the new tunes on Melody are stylistically reminiscent of the mod atmosphere of Swingin’ 60s London. Melody features Spiteri on a trip into the ancient past, accomplished by channeling the artistic spirits of the talents of Nancy Sinatra, Dusty Springfield and even Petula Clark all while retaining her own unique voice.

Nerd Libs

This solicit has been showing up in the recent DC Comics titles this month. Yes, it’s stupid.

I’m cynical enough that I’m convinced comic book companies put out these sort of advertisements just so suckers like me post and comment on them. Yeah, Okay. It worked. Other and far more qualified and caring critics will be commenting on why the members of the JLA are so serious about Supergirl’s breasts. I imagine there will be plenty of “Caption What The Guys Are Thinking” contests going around for everyone to play with.

For my efforts though it’s going to be interesting to see how people are going to insert their own words in the redacted spaces in the “memo” from Dan Didio to Ian Sattler.

Why do I think it’s going to be along the lines of Gang-Orgy, Supergirl and YouTube?