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Action Bob Markle

Music, theater, and my personal life, not always in that order. I try to keep it interesting, I rarely hold back, because one thing I truly believe in is the shared experience of this reality we call life. We're all in this together, people. More than we even know.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Lemonheads at Newbury Comics today at 6:00

The Lemonheads are going to be at Newbury Comics over on--where else?--Newbury Street today at 6:00. If I wasn't going to see Lori McKenna tonight at the Lizard Lounge (tonight she'll have her backup band, so that means she might be playing Monday Afternoon) I'd check these guys.

They were kind of a cult band, who did covered a bunch including Mrs. Robinson and this sweet number from Gram Parsons: I Can't Take It Anymore.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

More Than This--Lucy Kaplansky

Lyrics by Bryan Ferry. You usually hear Roxy Music's disco/synth sound, which is cool. But the lyrics are so pretty that I think Lucy Kaplansky does it the most justice with just her acoustic accompaniment.

Sue's been working on this one. I'll tackle it soon, but we know I'll put a country spin on it. God knows what that will sound like.





I could feel at the time
There was no way of knowing
Fallen leaves in the night
Who can say where they're blowing
As free as the wind
Hopefully learning
Why the sea on the tide
Has no way of turning

More than this you know there's nothing
More than this tell me one thing
More than this ooh there is nothing

It was fun for a while
There was no way of knowing
Like a dream in the night
Who can say where we're going
No care in the world
Maybe I'm learning
Why the sea on the tide
Has no way of turning

More than this you know there's nothing
More than this tell me one thing
More than this no, there's nothing

More than this nothing
More than this
More than this nothing

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Real relationships, not the digital kind...

I haven't been blogging that much. Staying away from Facebook as much as I can, too. Remember, I'm pulling back from the digital world, and funny, just when it's starting to be kind of fun.

But I'm getting back into the real world, with real-world face-to-face connections with real people, rather than this jerking off that happens in the digital space.

My cousins, who I haven't seen in 16 years and with whom I was just about inseparable between the ages of about 11 to about 21 came to visit...and we all had a blast reconnecting. I don't know about Cousins Jerry and Doris (yes, where I come from we call each other Cousin this or that; and yes, I do have relatives with two first names--get over it) but there were times when I was 17 years old again, and it was fun and it was alive and it was living, and living good.

I was in a play a couple of weeks ago, with two stupendous actresses (yes, they are stupendous to work with, very giving and open and free on stage) and we had a blast on stage, going out every night and just having fun.

But funny, the digital world is starting, for me, to pay off the way it does for other people. I'm starting to "meet" new people and have reconnected with people from my past--someone from school, 29 years ago, and someone who I acted with but lost touch with. There are musicians I'm slowly starting to connect with, which is so cool because music for me is such a new and exhilarating experience, and I'm not exaggerating in the least when I say I'm still alive today because of music, because of the day Baxter walked into my apartment and handed me Lulu and said, Here, this is yours. You need this.

All this is playing against the death of the King of Pop, a person who people are mourning but frankly I can't seem to even conjure up more than a simple, Ah, that's too bad, because I at least understand digital relationships but I don't for the life of me understand people who cry for famous people who they never met.

Finally, here are two videos I grabbed at Club Passim last Wednesday night when Noe Venable opened for Blame Sally. I posted these on my Facebook page, but if your not one of my "friends" maybe you didn't see them. Two wonderful artists--well, one artist and one group--from San Francisco, and what is going on out there with the music scene? First The Bittersweets come through Club Passim, now Noe and Blame Sally, all twisting music but making it all so enjoyable at the same time.



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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thinking outside the (pizza) box





The Green Box (US Patent 7,051,919), a pizza box manufactured from 100% recycled material. The top of the Green Box breaks down into convenient serving plates, eliminating the need for disposable plates. The bottom of the 'Green Box' converts easily into a handy storage container, eliminating the need for plastic wrap, tin foil or plastic bags.

The perforations and scores that create this functionality allow for easy disposal into a standard-sized recycling bin.

Made from a standard pizza blank, the Green Box requires no additional material or major redesign and can therefore be produced at no additional manufacturing cost. e.c.o., Incorporated owns the utility patent on the Green Box.

Check it out.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pass the Buddha--Blame Sally


Blame Sally are going to be at Club Passim in Cambridge, Mass. on Wednesday, June 24. Check them out.




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Friday, June 5, 2009

Say it aint' so, Neil: Neil Young's Music Archives: Vol. 1 retails for $200.00

Don't you just hate it when your favorite musician sells out? Like when you see a favorite song shilling a car? Or the cost of a decent concert seat, not one in the nose-bleed section but somewhere where you really don't need the Jumbotron, costs more than what you pay for a month's rent?

The first volume of Neil Young's archives is out, and the reduced price on Amazon.com is $199.99, reduced from (I'm guessing) the artist's suggested retail price of $249.00. Now, this just isn't any set. It's 10 DVDs. There are concerts and pictures and lyrics and I guess it's a whole digital experience, but man, I don't even know what I'd play it all on?--my laptop I guess. (There is an 8 CD set for $70, but even that price kind of rocks me in the current free world.) I mean, I guess it's pristine quality. But, right now as I type this, I'm wearing an old pair of patched jeans a la Neil Young and After the Goldrush, and I'm just wondering if Neil has left his roots behind.

Is this all worth it?--and this is only the first volume. (Neil, you do know there's a depression going on, don't you?) You start to wonder just how much money anyone needs in the world, and when people like Young and name you're famous, rich musician who used to sing about life and the poor and the workers and all that, and now something like this comes along and he seems a little out of touch with the common man, kind of like Steinbeck sounded in Travels with Charley.

To get an idea of what you'll be getting, you can check out a vid here. It's all cool, all real Neil and the reason we love him so much, but it's way out this fan's price range. I don't know Neil, maybe it's time to just say, Hey, Hey, bye, bye.

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9.4% of nothing is still nothing: Unemployment rate is not easing off...

The unemployment rate "jumped" to 9.4% in May, and thank God the media is now starting to include the point that if other factors are taken into account--people who have stopped looking, people who are working for a lot less, seasonal workers--the unemployment rate would be around 16.4%. I've been saying that all along, but since I don't blog for the Huffington Post, what the hell do I know, huh?

Okay, big time media gurus, here's another little factoid from the trenches that you in your ivory towers wouldn't know. Remember folks, you heard this first from Action Bob Markle.

It's reported that the pace of job reduction is slowing down. First, I don't know why the difference between pace and rate is so important. I'm sure someone good at splitting hairs can explain this, but frankly, it doesn't mean anything. What's happening is there are fewer people being laid off as we roll through 2009, and that's taken as a good thing. And this is where you don't listen to the experts.

Answer me this: You have 100 apples in a basket. And each month I want you to take away 10%. The first month you take away 10. The second month you take away 9. The next month 8, all the way to the tenth month where you'd take away one. The rate is the same, but the pace is slower, for the simple fact there are less apples in the basket. There are simply less people to lay off. Companies can't lay off everyone, for land's sake.

Just a good way of showing how numbers can be manipulated, and you can't believe everything you read. Or at least, you have to still be able to think, and not be spoon-fed everything that's in news.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Cantabridgian moment

I was waiting for the elevator at the Holyoke Center in Harvard Square to take me up to the Passim marketing meeting. A woman approached the elevator and we smiled at each other.

Don't I know you? she asked.

I don't think we've met, I said.

You look familiar. I've seen you somewhere.

By this time the elevator had arrived and we got in.

I"m certain I've seen you. Are you an actor?

Uh, yes I am.

Then I've seen you in something. What have you been in?

Lately I've been doing small shows in the South End.

Not the ART.

No.

Then I've seen someone who looks like you, she said, stepping out. Then, over her shoulder she said, He was very good looking.

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Runner's high

Today I laced up the running shoes and went for a run for the first time in about three years. Actually, I did go for one short run this spring that scared the bejesus out of me, I was so tired an winded. Three years ago, though, I was running 15-milers. Then my back went out, then I went to work at an ad agency where I basically sat at a desk all day. Offices have always been places where my health went right out the window.

But today the doctor gave me a pretty clean bill of health. Cholesterol, pulse, weight, sugar, and a few other numbers were a little higher than I wanted them, but all in all it doesn't seem I'll collapse face-first if I push it uphill.

Not that this run today was anything special, forgetting that it was the first one in three years. Like a lot of starts, it was pretty inauspicious. But I do so much better when I'm running. At some point on later runs, my mind will just unhinge, and then I can't tell you the things I'll think about. Who needs drugs when you got endorphins? But great things, along with bile and all kinds of negative shit, will just rise up and every time I'll wonder, where did you come from?

Mind and body will be energized. It's all related, work, home, family, friends, the world, your apartment, and when I'm running and really active, it all just fits together. Or maybe I'm just more aware of it.

Anyway, what do they say?--a long journey always starts with a single step? I've been a runner since I was about 13. That's forty years. There have been a few hiatuses in there, like the one I just went through, but I think we're back on track again. Work is starting to pick up, and it's a simple matter of working it into my day here at home.

And happy trails to everyone.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

New Exhibition Room: Shh!!

New Exhibition Room is the company that producing the project, Shhh! being developed by A. Nora Long and Dawn Simmons, two really creative, "thoughtful" theater people in Boston. FYI, that "thoughtful" crack is an inside joke in the play that I'm writing.

Anyway, check out their video, create some buzz, and then go see the production when it comes out in the summer.


"Since we can't tell you what the play is about, we thought we might show you the first few hours of rehearsal. Maybe that will help. Video shot & edited by Kendra Long."

Shh!: It Begins

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