As the dog days of August have come to a close and  the heat remains, sometimes the summer feels like it’s here to stay. But, soon the air conditioners will be turned off and we’ll be complainin’ about the cold. Well, not me, I live in Southern California near the ocean, but for most of you. Anyway, I feel your discomfort. Things have been relatively quiet for the Del-Lords as we clear the decks of our respective obligations and such so that we may continue what we started some 28 years ago and picked up again last September.

We’re probably a couple more months away from rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands and minds dirty again. In the meantime, I’ve been writing, and scouring the junkyard that is my coupla dozen notebooks I’ve filled over the years, looking for songs forgotten & discarded to see if there’s any gems that mistakenly got relegated to the Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You pile, or maybe some spare parts that can be cannibalized and brought to life. I’m like Dr. Frankenstein waiting for the lightning storm. We’ve got around twenty songs we’re working on, and we are all very excited and grateful to have given ourselves another shot at taking care of some unfinished business.

I’ve been avoiding the news lately, as I tend to get too caught up in it, politics especially, and it swallows me whole. The dialogue out there is repugnant, full of lies, disunity, accusations, and somewhere there’s an unseen hand pouring fortunes into perpetuating this situation. I know I sound paranoid, but when I read about the Koch (no, not Ed) brothers, and their history of lavishly feeding the (far right) beast, it all fits.  Always follow the money trail. Americans all should remember: United We Stand Divided We Fall. And, we should look closely and suspiciously at those who would tear us asunder. We won’t get fooled again? Yeah, right. I hope not.

Maybe it’s the brilliant social commentator, and even more brilliant songwriter, who, in his most recent master class on songwriting, HARPS AND ANGELS, has gotten the closest to what’s happening out there. He’s got this song called A FEW WORDS IN DEFENSE OF OUR COUNTRY. Randy sings: The end of an empire/Messy at best/This empire’s ending/Like all the rest. Is that what we’re looking at? I dunno, but all the signs are there. One thing  I know is the world, like the clock on the wall, is not going to start miraculously spinning backwards. We are heading towards a time, just a coupla decades away when white folks will no longer be the majority in America. Non-whites will. That’s gonna happen. And there are those who are very upset about this. And, not just that. The economic supremacy of the USA in the world is slipping away, as Japan & China are fast becoming the stronger and larger economies. Japan, ironically enough, is prospering in part because they recognize that their own stimulus package was “too timid”, just as we were told by hundreds of economists ours was. Words like Socialism are being bandied about in a funhouse mirror description of what our president is engaged in trying to accomplish, yet the proof suggests otherwise, unless that proof would also include those bastions of Socialism like Medicaid, Public Education, Social Security, etc. Then yes, we do have some socialist institutions here in the USA. It’s an ugly scene out there. But, I got my band. I wish you all had one. It’s a great refuge as well as a place to take a stand and be counted.

And, of course, it’s baseball season. We’re winding down, and despite a troubled year, too many underachievers, and pitching mysteries (Hi, AJ), we have the best record in the Bigs. Of course, I am talking about my beloved New York Yankees. Manitoba and I text like teenagers regularly throughout every single Yankees game. It’s a big thing for us Bronx people, you know. So, I got my band and I still got a pennant to win. That’s enough to keep me busy. Can’t wait to see Eric and Frank and Manny, and turn our Pro Juniors up to 6 and do a little damage.

Ok, it’s game time, I gotta go get my show head together. I do have this pennant to win. Man, I’ve seen all but maybe ten games all season. This is serious business for me. It’s just something you’re born into when you’re born in the one borough that is attached to the mainland. Uh oh, it’s AJ Burnett!! Ok, gotta run. I hope I’m having fun.

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