I’ve always been a sucker for power pop.

Like this.

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Judy sent me a message letting me know that Poi Dog Pondering - one of her faves - is making a new album of covers.

And that two Scott Walker cuts are on it.

That was intriguing.

Then, I noticed this.

Style Council don’t get much respect, but I play their singles more often than The Jam.

I know that’s sacrilege.

But this is pretty sublime R&B pop.

And their only American hit.

In fact, it’s the only top 40 song Weller managed in the US ever.

What a shame.

But then, this was a lovely one to get the nod Stateside.

Still, I think his finest moment was Headstart to Happiness.

Man, I love me some Style Council.

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Take off, eh?

I don’t always repeat myself, but this is worth bringing to your attention once more.

Meet Paul Pena.


Don’t worry, I’m sure you are familiar with his work.

Maybe not like this.

But that’s okay.

We’ll set you straight.

Pena hailed from Hyannis, Massachusetts.

And was born with congenital glaucoma.

I don’t know how relevant those facts are to the story I am relating.

Or the fact that he signed to Capitol records and put out a self-titled debut in 1972, or so.

It was well reviewed.

But it didn’t move units.

Pena moved on.

He inked a new deal with the Bearsville record label and made an album called New Train. 

But Pena and his manager got into a dispute with Bearsville owner Albert Grossman, whom you may know served as Bob Dylan’s manager.

Grossman vowed the album would never see the light of day.

So New Train was shelved.

And Pena wound up unable to record for anyone because of his obligations to Bearsville, which refused release him from his contract, apparently.

But the producer of New Train was recording artist Ben Sidran, who had once been the keyboardist in the Steve Miller Band.

He passed along a copy of the album to Steve.

And Steve wound up recording one of the songs from it.

Jet Airliner.

Legend has it that Pena wrote it about a flight he took from Boston to Montreal to perform.

Pena’s version is slower, bluesier.

More grit and grind than Steve’s.

The words are different.

It’s a bit more doleful. 


And suffused with the kind of uncertainty you experience when you are in transit, and have too much time to contemplate the existential things that everyday demands on your time distract you from.

It was a top 10 hit for Miller.

And the royalties must have helped Pena.

In fact, they became a main source of income for him.

New Train finally saw the light of day in 2000.

Pena was featured in an exceptional documentary about the art of Tuvan throat singing that I recommend to you whether you like that style of singing or not.

It’s very illuminating to watch Pena engage with the Tuvan people and culture.

Learning the language.

Practicing the craft.

But by the early 2000s, he was in ill health.

Suffering from diabetes.


And he passed away in 2005.

If you listen to oldies radio, you’re going to hear Jet Airliner at some point during the day.

And that song is likely to carry you away. 

Hopefully more so now that you know who wrote it.

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Using random on iTunes to gear up music to play while I work, I wound up with Home is Where the Music is.

How apropos.

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While I procrastinate on working, let me tell you about last night’s dream, wherein I was walking home, but not to where I live. Instead, it was to my family home. I don’t know why I was walking. But I was, even though I remember being in my family’s car and helping to put the sliding door on it when it came off in my hands. Anyway, I’m going past the rotary and there are flashing warning lights and it seemed a train had gone along too hot on the tracks and scorched the pavement around it, leaving these red patterns that looked menacing. So all walking and car traffic had to stop until this was taken care of. Someone had a movie on in a car or overhead and my mind told me it was a bootlegged new release. And then, I was able to continue on, watching cars pass me by.

And I don’t know why I told you this or made the preceding item densely packed except to say I am procrastinating. 

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i do delight

in the folds

of the night

if only 

because i know

it cannot 

hold sway


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the ghosts

of love continue

to embrace

each other

even as we

keep our distance

and seek

someone else

to tell our dreams to.

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figuring out a recipe hack.

couldn’t find saffron yellow rice, so will have to use regular rice.

and using green onion, not yellow onion.

but what to use instead of peas?

i don’t like peas.

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Why am I goofing around online instead of doing dishes?

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A word of caution to you RSD enthusiasts:

If you were excited by the release of the first OutKast album on vinyl, it’s missing five tracks from the original CD.

So, yeah, not buying it.

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