Dog Nabbed After Life On Yankton’s Streets

Since her rescue, Miley curls up on a heated blanket rather than the cold streets of Yankton.

Since her rescue, Miley curls up on a heated blanket rather than the cold streets of Yankton.

Miley has racked up a lot of miles during her life on the run from authorities.
But those days now look to be behind her.
According to Yankton Animal Control Officer Lisa Brasel, Miley has probably been living on the streets of Yankton for about a year. She is believed to be 1 1/2 years old.
“Miley started out on the north end of Yankton in the airport area, coming in and out of town,” Brasel said. “Then she started moving into town and stayed along East 16th, 17th and 18th streets.”
Some people in the area she dwelled devised a make-shift catch-pen and were able to capture Miley at the beginning of March. Subsequently, they called the police department.
It wasn’t the first time the dog had been nabbed by authorities.
Brasel said she had captured Miley on two previous occasions.
“She is part Spider-Man,” Brasel stated. “She would climb over the fence at the pound.”
This time, Brasel was prepared. She made arrangements to have Miley housed at the Animal Health Clinic, where escape would be more difficult.
While there, she was spayed and given her shots.
Dakota Animal Rescue, a non-profit organization co-founded by Brasel, has now taken Miley into its care thanks to the assistance of supporters who made donations for her needs.
The healthy Australian shepherd with some spaniel in her spent the weekend at Brasel’s house and is showing signs of improvement after a life on the wild streets of Yankton.
“She is very cute,” Brasel said. “Right now, she is really scared and has tried to escape my house, but she hasn’t tried to bite anybody.”
Miley has a history of being very resourceful, demonstrating the attributes of her breed.
Along East 18th Street, she had a litter of puppies, which were caught by Brasel.
However, two of those puppies were kept by residents in the neighborhood.
“Miley was going out and stealing dog toys to bring back to the puppies,” Brasel recounted. “There was one report that she was carrying a skunk, and that got me kind of nervous. Then, this toy skunk turned up at the house where the puppies were living. That was a relief. You’ve got to admit, that’s pretty sweet behavior.”
Miley had many caretakers along the streets she roamed, and they’ve been calling Brasel about the dog’s fate.
Although Miley is adjusting to a domesticated life she may never have known, Brasel thinks her future looks bright.
“I don’t think Miley is a lost cause,” she said. “I think she will be adoptable.”
For anyone wanting to contribute toward Miley’s care, they can send donations to Dakota Animal Rescue, PO Box 240, Yankton, SD 57078.

My Own Personal Jesus

DepecheModeDeltaMy own personal Jesus!

I feel you, and I don’t know how many more songs of faith and devotion I can endure!

I know this is the higher love I’ve been seeking, but if there is mercy in you, HAVE MERCY ON ME!!!

The current evidence that there is a deity out there looking out solely for my interests and not those of yourself and your favorite sports team?

Let submit the following — with pleasure.

Yesterday was a fantasy-rrific day for me because, as you may recall from the previous blog post, Suede allowed NPR to stream their new album, “Bloodsports.” I listened to it throughout the day, and it only got BETTER. I couldn’t have asked for a greater gift from them.

But that was just the beginning of what my God had in store for me.

Shortly after I awoke Monday morning, I found that Depeche Mode had posted dates for their North American tour. Within minutes, a friend of mine who is just as much of a Devotee as I am, were on the phone discussing which show (shows?) we would hit. Exciting times.

But wait. Wait! That’s still not it!

On Monday night, Depeche Mode played a set on the “Live on Letterman” web series, performing classic hits like “Personal Jesus” and “Walking in My Shoes,” but also debuting a handful of new tunes.

Unfortunately, the performance was being streamed live during a Yankton City Commission meeting.

I explained the situation to my boss, asking if I should perhaps take a laptop to the meeting so I could watch the best band in the whole world — yes, Depeche Mode — play.

He suggested I just watch it later.

I compromised.

Instead of a laptop, I tried to stream the web cast on my phone. I only got through a few minutes before my phone froze up, and I decided to focus my full attention on a water treatment system report instead.

Let’s just say the excitement level going on in my head dropped a few notches.

On the positive side, I was able to catch Depeche Mode’s performance of new single “Heaven” as it was aired on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

And then the race was on to find audio of the new songs the band performed from “Delta Machine.” Stream audio and video of the whole setlist for yourself here.

I’ve taken all the new songs in a couple times now and can report THEY ARE GOOD!

It makes me very happy to be able to say that.

“Should Be Higher” is the current favorite.

So I bet you think that’s it. What more musical stars could this alleged Nathan-pleasing God align in one day?

Well, you don’t know this God. She goes the extra mile for her favorite son.

Before the day was through, I was alerted to news that a third band from my five favorite bands of all time would be playing the Osheaga Festival in Montreal — The Cure! Because that festival is the same weekend as Lollapalooza in Chicago, rumors have ramped up that The Cure will play there, too.

Could a trip to Lollapalooza be in my future, oh great God? Only time will tell.

So let’s recap: Suede puts out its first new album since 2002 and it is fantastic; Depeche Mode announces North American dates and plays its first new material in four years on “Letterman”; AND The Cure may be heading to Chicago.

That’s some nice work.

And it’s why as a complete skeptic I still can’t help but wonder if there was a deity out there who decided to ignore all the pain and suffering in the world for a day just so she could align some musical stars for me. That would be a very evil thing to do on her part, but it made me so very happy.

OK, enough phony theology for today. Here is a description of the “Live on Letterman” set so you can get a feel of just how good it was:

Shortly before taking the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater, Depeche Mode announced the North American dates for their Delta Machine Tour. The album itself was still two weeks away, but anticipation for the tour and new material had grown quickly online as fans searched to see if the new wave legends would visit their city. Depeche Mode had made it no secret that they planned to debut new material during their Live on Letterman webcast. This wouldn’t just be fans’ first chance to hear the new tracks live—it would be their first chance to hear many of the songs at all. Needless to say, the stakes for the show were growing higher and higher as the hours counted down to Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and Andy Fletcher stepping onto the legendary stage. Backstage, Depeche Mode planned to play new material for more than half the show. Of course they would bring the hits, but the majority of their show would be songs that the audience was not familiar with. It was a gamble that only a band of their stature could take, and it was a gamble to that would pay off grandly. The opening beats of “Angel” pounded out and the crowd arose. By the moment Gahan let his signature wails lose on the first hook, they crowd was synched. It may have been new material, and the album may not have been out yet, but this was classic Depeche Mode.

A familiar, fuzzed out synth buzzed through the theater as a swinging beat rocked around the room. Gahan belted out “Should Be Higher,” like there was nowhere else to go. It was their second song off the forthcoming Delta Machine, but with such a trademark and distinct sound, Depeche Mode’s mew material managed to be immediately familiar, while also completely fresh.

Up next, all it took was two simple drumstick clicks for the crowd to recognize “Walking in My Shoes.” Hearing it today, you’d never believe the song is 20 years old, which is a true testament to not only the longevity of Depeche Mode, but also the influence they’ve welded throughout their career on younger bands.

From Songs of Faith and Devotion, Gahan steered the band ahead a few years to Ultra, with “Barrel of a Gun,” before crooning their current single “Heaven,” with such passion and conviction that the crowd stood stunned.

Everyone knew “Personal Jesus” was coming eventually, but as soon as Martin plucked the legendary licks, the crowd erupted like it was a complete surprise. Needless to say, the late 80’s anthem brought the house down in a way few songs or bands can.

At this point in their career, it’s probably fair to say that Depeche Mode can measure a new track by its ability to follow “Personal Jesus.” If a new song can hold it’s own after what is arguably one of the biggest hits of a decade, it’s a keeper. “Soft Touch/Raw Nerve,” and “Soothe My Soul” both did just that, taking the energy to even greater heights, building to “Enjoy the Silence.”

When a band of this caliber plays a song with such deep emotional roots for an audience, it may sound hackney to say it, but words are, in fact, very unnecessary. There’s no describing it. Listen to it yourself.

Through out the night, Depeche Mode continued to deliver. Their classics sounded more relevant than ever, and their new material carved out respectable sonic space among the classics. With the release of Delta Machine on the near horizon and the tour to follow, Depeche Mode is looking as good as ever.

Entering The ‘Bloodsports’: New Suede Album Lives Up To Title

SuedeBloodsportsIt came to me in the night.
Imagine an old lover with whom things had been unresolved. After a difficult stretch during which you wondered whether the best days of your relationship were gone, things were starting to look up. Love was beginning to lace its way through the faultlines and bind that which had been broken.
But suddenly, your partner walked away from it all. Your history, it turned out, was not something that could be covered up and forgotten.
Now, 10 years later, and just as suddenly, this ghost of loves past shows up in your bedroom ready to resume things from where you had left off.
Excitement outweighs apprehension and you jump into the mystery.
This was my last night.
Except the lover in question wasn’t a person, exactly. It was a band.
And that band is Suede.
I’ve written on this blog before about my love for the band that helped define Britpop but also had a dramatic depth that few other groups in the 1990s could match.
However, by the late 90s and early 00s, Suede was struggling to find a direction. It left the band’s members and many of its fans disappointed with the output, though much of it was still quite good.
Suede parted ways in 2003, and I didn’t really think I’d hear from its members as a band again.
But after playing some gigs in recent years, Suede is set to release a new album, “Bloodsports,” next week.
I’d heard the singles during the past few months and had been excited by their quality. Suede sounded rejuvenated.
So back to the beginning. It came to me in the night. I was about to shutter my eyes in the wee hours of the morning when I came across the announcement that “Bloodsports” was streaming on NPR as part of its “First Listen” feature.
So much for sleep. Adrenaline bolted through my body and I became giddy at the thought of listening to a new album from one of my favorite bands for the first time in more than a decade.
The sacrifice of sleep was worth it.
“Bloodsports” is a glorious work.
It’s got the soaring pop singles that made Suede one of Britain’s top bands like “Barriers,” “It Starts and Ends with You,” and “Hit Me.” It also has the brooding romanticism that I most loved Suede for like “Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away,” “Always” and “Faultlines.”
Review after review has praised the strength of the album.
SuedeNPR follows that template: “It’s been 11 years since the last Suede record, so when (lead singer Brett) Anderson announced last year that the band (alas, still without guitarist Bernard Butler) was returning to the studio, there was no reason to expect anything along the lines of ‘Suede’ or its incredible follow-up ‘Dog Man Star.’ So it’s frankly a little surprising how great ‘Bloodsports’ sounds — perhaps even better than the comeback albums by (Johnny) Marr, (Kevin) Shields or (David) Bowie, Anderson’s thin white role model.”
Last night, I sprawled out in the darkness of my bedroom and found each unfolding song becoming my new favorite track off the album. What better feeling than to find the thing that you loved so intensely in more youthful days coming back into your life just as beautiful and powerful as it had ever been?
Anderson has described “Bloodsports” as being about “infatuation, attraction and the fever of falling headfirst back into the pit.”
My initial reaction to the album has me feeling that kind of collision of emotions. It is a revelation. It is a joyous beast stampeding through my veins, and I am just going to enjoy this feeling while it lasts.
I thank you, Suede, for that.

If I’m Lucky, My Cell Phone Might Interrupt This Meeting (Gangnam Style)

When fate calls, what will your ringtone be?

I don’t have any funny stories about my cell phone going off in a meeting. I keep it on “silent” all day every day, which is why I might have missed your call. Sorry!

But a lack of personal experience has never stopped me from writing about something.

Thus, I share with you the two following stories, and ask you to make a character-defining choice after the tales are told.

Here goes …

I was at a meeting a few weeks ago with a lot of business owners, and a prominent local leader was speaking to them about some shared interests. She did a great job.

But several minutes into her presentation, we heard a familiar tune (that has over a billion views on YouTube!):

Everyone looked at me.

I gave them the, “Wait a minute, there is no way in HELL ‘Gangnam Style’ would be my ringtone” look.

But even I was confused for a moment, because the sound was close enough that it could have been my phone.

Instead, we soon learned that it was the speaker’s phone. What a relief!

She apologized. Everyone laughed. The presentation proceeded.

The second story involves me only in a periphery, but still very crucial, sense.

Earlier this week, I was listening to one of my favorite weekly podcasts, “Sound Opinions.” As part of a regular feature on the show, host Greg Kot selected the Betty Davis song, “If I’m Lucky, I Might Get Picked Up,” as a song he would want with him on a desert island.

Davis has some sexy swagger in her music, and although I’m not usually into much blues/funk, I found myself checking out her 1970s albums.

Being the nice guy I am, I didn’t want to keep this treasure for myself. I shared it with my girlfriend. I don’t know what guy wouldn’t share Betty Davis with his girlfriend.

Unfortunately, she agreed with Davis’ critics and found her voice too raspy and overblown to be enjoyable. To each their own, I guess.

However, Davis would have the last laugh.

The GF was in planning meeting with some doctors when, for some reason, her phone malfunctioned and started playing “If I’m Lucky, I Might Get Picked Up.”

Oh yeah, now that is a mood-setter for a professional meeting!

When I pictured that opening groove suddenly interrupting the meeting, I had to laugh. People must have been thinking, “Finally! This meeting just got interesting. Lay some more of that funk on me, doc.” That’s how doctors usually talk, right?

Of course, she didn’t think it was funny at all. She said, and I quote, she is going to have to “beat” me for my involvement in the scandal. (For those worried about my well-being, I can assure you this was a figurative expression and not one of intent.) I had to laugh again. It reminded me of another Davis tune, “He Was a Big Freak,” where she sings, “I used to beat him with a turquoise chain!”

Wow. You guys are learning way more about me than you wanted to know.

Here is how I tried to ease her mind: I shared with her the “Gangnam Style” story, and said I personally would much rather have my phone interrupt a meeting with Betty Davis than Psy.

I think Davis says to people, “I’m someone who is pretty cool, cuz I listen to a somewhat obscure funk diva from the 70s, and, yeah, I saw you starting to gyrate to that groove before I got it shut off. You’ve got to admit, it’s seductive and awesome.”

When people hear Psy, it more like, “Ha. That’s funny. Did your kid hijack your phone and time this to go off during the meeting as a joke?” (I just want to clarify that is not what I thought about the person this happened to, but a writer needs to take some artistic license in an attempt to be funny!)

I’m pretty sure my infallible logic on this matter eased the GF’s mind. I know it eased mine.

So, at the end of the day, would you go with Davis or Psy?

Any other dream ringtones you would want to interrupt a meeting?

Who Is The Best Guitarist Of Them All?

Mirror, mirror on the wall.

Who is the best guitarist of them all?

“Why, it is J Mascis of course, my dear. No other guitarist sounds so sweet to my ear.”

That settles that question. Please don’t argue with the magic mirror. It knows all.

J Mascis, if you didn’t know, is most famous as the frontman for Dinosaur Jr. but has also done solo work and other projects.

I got to thinking about him last night as I read a Pitchfork feature with Eleanor Friedberger, a fine musician herself who I’ve had the pleasure of seeing live:

In Boston, we did a Neil Young cover with J Mascis— we were just standing there pinching ourselves, watching J Mascis play “Cortez the Killer”.

What? J Mascis plays “Cortez the Killer” live??? I had to find that immediately.

Listen here as he covers my favorite (I think. It’s so hard to pick one …) Neil Young song, “Cortez the Killer,” with The Fog.

And here he performs the track, “Alone.”

When I see J play live, I close my eyes and his guitar is the magic carpet that takes my mind to places far, far away. No exaggeration. If you get the chance to see him live, don’t pass it up.

Class dismissed.