When are those Earth, Wind & Fire tickets comin' in?

Earth, Wind & Fire? Geez, I haven't heard anything. The minute I do, I'll let you know.

I'm plannin' on taking my little brother over here.

Is that your little brother? He's a good-lookin' kid.

The disadvantages of living all these years in a less-than-stellar block in NE Portland? The 9 bullet holes in my home. The advantages? Lots of great characters always lingering about in front of the crib. A favorite is "Block Party" (our nickname for him, since every year he tries to get my wife and I to give him money for some sketchy block party that never happens) who collects our cans/bottles and is like the defacto mayor of the block.

At a neighbor's house show a few years back (if you collect cans, a PBR-heavy house show is a goldmine, 5-cents at a time) Block Party and I had a great conversation about the merits of Earth, Wind & Fire. He saw them in the mid-'70s in Oakland and said there wasn't another band like them—"not even James Brown"—and I was a fool to have never seen them. Sure, the band is coasting on the casino circuit right now (they are at Clark County Amphitheater tonight, which is as stale as a casino, but minus the gambling, dream catchers, and king crab buffet), but it's hard to argue with any band that has this many hits.

I posted "September" because it's the song that white people like to dance to at weddings.