This is the Way the World Ends

     October 14, 2005

Posted by Mr. Beaks

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Times is tough for them discarded 90’s action icons.; Having been subjected to the horror of Steven Seagal’s lax personal grooming habits and alarmingly bloated girth in his recent direct-to-DVD efforts (all the pain of “cutting” sans the scars!), I know exactly whence the sensei’s anguish.; One moment, you’re on top of the world: ;balling Kelly LeBrock, putting out Tommy Lee Jones’s eyes and stabbing him in the head, and teaching Michael Ovitz how to defend himself against the cast of Under the Rainbow. ;The next, you’re working with Ja Rule, getting rebuffed by Jaime Pressly, and launching your own energy drink.; What else to do but hightail it to Memphis to “preserve the legacy” of America’s surviving blues pioneers?

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Folks, you can’t…

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I mean, if you just…

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All sarcasm aside…

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Give me a second.

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Backed by malevolent enabler Miles Copeland, Seagal has, according to a just-issued press release, “gathered the vital remaining architects of blues music in the world to record an all-star album… that will mark Seagal’s U.S. debut.”; Done laughing?; Get ready to cry:; the “life-long Delta blues musician” will be jamming with the likes of Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Ruth Brown and Bo Diddley.; There hasn’t been an act of musical vandalism this severe since… I dunno, The Commitments?; “Free as a Bird”?; Pat Boone’s recording of “Long Tall Sally”?;

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There’s plenty of hay to be made with this announcement, which I’ve cut-and-pasted in its entirety below.; But first, here’s a little ditty I like to call… ;

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“Hard to Kill the Blues”

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You killed my wife/And you killed my kid.

You put me in a coma/Then you ran away and hid.

But now I’m awake/And my rage is runnin’ high.

Got just one thing to say to you/’Fuck you and die!’

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(chorus)

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‘Cuz I’m the sensei/Better buy yourself a tank.

Gonna use the attacker’s momentum against them/You can take that to the bank.

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That probably did nothing for you if you haven’t seen Hard to Kill.; Then again, if you haven’t seen Hard to Kill, I don’t want you reading this site.; And now the press release that started my drinkin’ day mighty early:

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Renowned music manager and label-owner Miles Copeland has announced that his client STEVEN SEAGAL has gathered the most vital remaining architects of blues music in the world to record an all-star album in Memphis that will mark SEAGAL’s U.S. debut, with a release date targeted for the first half of 2006. As the blues community mourns the recent loss of R.L. Burnside, Little Milton and Gatemouth Brown (all of whom were scheduled to participate), this gathering will preserve the legacy of significant American artists and their treasured musical talents.

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In addition to producing the project, the actor and life-long Delta Blues musician will sing and play guitar with such blues pioneers as Iverson “Louisiana Red” Minter, Ruth Brown, Bo Diddley, James Cotton, Willie “Pine Top” Perkins, Willie Smith, Calvin Jones, Bob Margolin, Hubert Sumlin, Koko Taylor, Tom Brill, “Big” George Brock, David “Honeyboy Edwards,” Robert Lockwood, Jr., “Homesick James” William Henderson and Henry Townsend.

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Alternating recording sessions between Memphis’ House of Blues and Sounds Unreel studios, the blues assembly will perform a number of standards plus a few of SEAGAL’s originals. Details re the album’s 2006 release are forthcoming.

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“As a devoted musician and student of the blues, I wanted to document the important contribution each of these amazing artists has made to our musical heritage,” says SEAGAL. “I regret that many of the great blues icons are no longer with us, but have no doubt that their spirit will continue to inspire all of us for generations to come.”

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Under Copeland’s direction, SEAGAL is also making plans to release his album SONGS FROM THE CRYSTAL CAVE in the U.S. (later in 2006) after the blues album hits the streets. The music encompasses blues-inflected world pop, “incorporating singer-songwriter elements, dance-hall and Indian instrumentation,” as noted by the Los Angeles Times (5/29/05). Featuring such self-penned songs as “Don’t You Cry,” “War,” “Better Man” and “My God,” SONGS FROM THE CRYSTAL CAVE was already released in France–where it was a #1 seller–and will be available throughout Asia in the coming months before the blues album’s international release. In fact, demand for the music has already prompted a six-country tour of Asia that will happen during the first quarter of 2006.

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