Phillip Thompson

Crime Fiction writer

Mondays can be weird, sometimes in a good way. Because it rained here last night, the weather guessers were besides themselves racing to beat each other to the “BEWARE THE WINTRY MIX” warnings, which of course caused the Federal Gubmint to delay its arrival to work this morning (like the gubmint actually works, much less gets there on time).

But while the hellacious blizzard raged  rain fell, I did get a chance to load up my iPod with part of one of my favorite Christmas gifts — the U2 boxed anniversary set of “Achtung! Baby” — and as I type this, an ad is on the teevee for same. So, this morning I got the chance to hear one of the six discs in the set — the “alternative” AchtungBaby album, called “Kindergarten” (get it? German?). The song list is exactly the same, but different — each cut is prefaced by the word, “Baby.” Because it’s the “baby version” of each song. The demos, in other words. Very cool. Very few songs remained intact lyrically or musically from the demo version, but you can still hear the basic structure. And it’s pretty interesting listening to a band — already huge at the time — grope for a sound. It reminded me of Elvis’ “Sun Studio Sessions,” where you can hear an 18-year-old Mr. Presley struggle desperately to figure out what his own voice is supposed to sound like.

And, weirdly, I had an hour this evening with not a lot to do, so I stopped by a shop to visit a tattoo artist recommended by a couple of friends — who just happened to be in the shop when I got there. The artist had just finished some color work, and it was impressive. I’ve been looking for a badass artist for a while now, and I think I found one for my next ink session.

And if all this excitement wasn’t enough, what’s showing on the magic box tonight, on IFC? Well, Elmore Leonard’s Get Shorty, of course. Rene Russo in all her long-legged glory. Almost makes Travolta tolerable. Almost.

But, in all this excitement, don’t forget to check out A Simple Murder. Only 99 cents. Calm down.

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