.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


reports and thoughts on legal issues, music, Orthodox Christianity and/or whatever else strikes my interest

My Photo
Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Friday, June 30, 2006

Upcoming Concerts

...that you might want to check out in the Houston area.

July 1 - Ray Wylie Hubbard at the Mucky Duck
July 2 - Robert Randolph and the Family Band (opening for the Black Crowes) at the Woodlands Pavilion
July 6 - Ellis Paul at the Mucky Duck
July 7 - Miss Leslie and Her Juke Jointers at the Continental Club
July 8 - Shooter Jennings (opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd)at the Woodlands Pavilion
July 9 - Fiona Apple (Damien Rice and David Garza open) at the Woodlands Pavilion
July 11 - Slaid Cleeves at the Mucky Duck
July 14 - Shake Russell at the Mucky Duck
July 15 - The Rogues at the Mucky Duck
July 20 - Reckless Kelly at the Mucky Duck
July 21 - Jimmy LaFave at the Mucky Duck
July 21 - Wayne Hancock at Fitzgerald's
July 22 - Paul Simon at the Woodlands Pavilion
July 28 - The (band of ) Heathens at the Mucky Duck
July 29 - Guy Forsyth at Sansone's
July 30 - Junior Brown at the Meridian

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Former CBO Director speaks out on proposed Asbestos Legislation

Here is an interesting article from The Hill on the testimony by the former Director of the Congressional Budget Office regarding the asbestos trust-fund bill stalled in the Senate.

A transcript of the testimony can be found here.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Moscow Patriarchate and ROCOR Commissions Continue to Meet

The seventh meeting between the Commissions began yesterday at St. Daniel's Monastery in Moscow.

This article from the Moscow Patriarchate website has more details.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Hayes Carll at the Mucky Duck

Photo from: www.hayescarll.com/

Hayes Carll is the real deal.

I finally was able to see him in concert over at the Mucky Duck on Saturday night. I was there for the 10pm show.

I had heard good things about Hayes and his music for quite awhile. I had tried to catch some of his shows earlier this year but something always came up to keep me from going. So I was determined to see him in concert before he heads off for Austin. From the size of the standing room only crowd at the Duck I think a lot of other people in Houston were just as determined.

Jonny Burke, one half of the Dedringers, played a nice opening set for Hayes. The Dedringers are definitely a group to keep your eye on.

Next Hayes took the stage and launched into "Wish I hadn't stayed so long" from his most recent cd Little Rock. The first thing I noticed was Hayes' commanding stage presence. He has that in spades. His between songs jokes and stories are almost worth the price of admission alone. Needless to say he held the audience nearly spellbound for a very generous two hour show.

Musically Hayes' style is pretty unique. He gets a lot of comparisons to some legendary songwriters. I think those comparisons are valid because I certainly sense something very special in his songwriting.

Every song at this concert was great...even when he briefly forgot the words to "Good Friends". Luckily he had a room-full of willing friends to help him remember.

The real highlights for me were the performances of: "Little Rock", "Long Way Home", a hilarious version of Johnny Cash's "I've Been Everywhere", "Take Me Away", the absolutely rocking "Down the Road Tonight", "Hey Baby Where you Been" and my personal favorite "Rivertown" which Hayes cowrote with Guy Clark.

Hayes puts on a terrific show that should not be missed. He really is something special.

This article from the Houston Chronicle proclaims that Hayes is "ready to take on the world".

I agree.

Give 'em Hell Hayes.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Sidehill Gougers at Anderson Fair

Last night I was able to catch the Sidehill Gougers playing over at Anderson Fair.

I had missed their last few shows in town so I was hoping that I would be able to make this one.

Larry Hooper, who I had not heard before, played a nice opening set. You can check out some of Hooper's music here.

The Gougers then took the stage minus a fiddle player and with the addition of a brand new drummer. They played a lot, if not all, of the songs from their new cd Gone to Seed. They also played most of the songs from their first cd.

Really every song was great but some of the highlights were: "John Henry", "Rosaline", "It'll Get Better", "Ballad of the Mexican Guardrail" (yes there is an amusing story to this one), "Michael"(in a superb solo rendition by Jamie), "Manheim Station", and "Careful what you wish for".

There were also some nice covers including Emmylou Harris' "Boulder to Birmingham", Townes Van Zandt's "Don't You Take it Too Bad" and Gram Parson's "Return of the Grievous Angel". They even snuck in a Hayes Carll song.

Another great show from the Sidehill Gougers. Check out their cds and be sure to go see them in concert.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hayes Carll

Photo from Chron.com

An interesting article on local area singer/songwriter Hayes Carll ran in the Houston Chronicle today. Hayes Carll will be playing two shows this Saturday night over at the Mucky Duck.

Jury Selection begins in California Vioxx Trial

This article from the AP has the details.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Parish Pics

Fr. John has posted some pictures from the Icon Exhibit at Saint Jonah's as well as the visit of Metropolitan Laurus to our parish.

Yours truly even makes an appearance in the picture of the choir. Hint: I'm not the man in black. :)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Austin City Limits on DVD

This article from the Houston Chronicle reminded me that there are some great Austin City Limits DVD's out there.

The currently available DVD's can be found here.

More DVD releases are planned including ACL appearances from: Asleep at the Wheel, Guy Clark, Neko Case, Delbert McClinton and Townes Van Zandt.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

"Two Disease Rule" Applied Retroactively to Asbestos Cases

Here is an interesting article from Law.com on a recent court decision in Pennsylvania that retroactively applies a "two disease rule" to asbestos cases in that state.

The ruling indicates that plaintiffs who originally brought claims alleging non-malignant asbestos-related diseases are not barred by the statute of limitations if they subsequently develop lung cancer.

There was a dissenting opinion from the Appellate panel from Judge Mary Bowes who stated that:

"The majority's decision will enable plaintiffs who have already been compensated for increased risk and fear of cancer to institute new actions against different defendants based on recent diagnoses of cancer, thus forcing companies to litigate cancer claims that have already been addressed and resolved..."

The complete Opinion can be read here.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Last week I heard Jimmie Dale Gilmore's song Dallas performed at two different concerts. Once by Joe Ely and once by Bleu Edmondson. Both versions were great. So now I have the song stuck in my head...

Did you ever see Dallas from a DC-9 at night?

Well Dallas is a jewel, oh yeah, Dallas is a beautiful sight.

And Dallas is a jungle but Dallas gives a beautiful light.

Did you ever see Dallas from a DC-9 at night?

Well, Dallas is a woman who will walk on you when you're down.

But when you are up, she's the kind you want to take around.

But Dallas ain't a woman to help you get your feet on the ground.

Yes Dallas is a woman who will walk on you when you're down.

Well, I came into Dallas with the bright lights on my mind,

But I came into Dallas with a Dollar and a dime.

Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eye.

A steel and concrete soul with a warm hearted love disguise.

A rich man who tends to believe in his own lies.

Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes.

A mp3 sample can be heard here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Judge dismisses key allegation against W.R. Grace

A Federal Judge in Montana has dismissed one of the key allegations in the government's criminal conspiracy case against W.R. Grace.

This article from Businessweek has the details.

The Judge's Order dismissing the allegation can be seen here.

The government's original indictment can be found here.

More information on this case can be found here.

Thousands venerate relic of St. John the Baptist in Moscow

Photos from AP Photo

Here is another article on the thousands of Russians who have stood in line for hours to venerate a relic of St. John the Baptist on display at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow.

Update - the number of pilgrims venerating the relic has reached over 250,000.

Bleu Edmondson

I caught Bleu Edmondson's show the other night at Big Texas in Spring.

It was kind of slow night and there wasn't much of a crowd.

Bleu put on a good show though I'm not sure Big Texas was really the appropriate venue for his style of music. To me his music sounds more "Southern Rock" than Country. Still at least some in the crowd seemed to really get into it.

For me the highlights of the show were a very original and rocking version of Jimmie Dale Gilmore's "Dallas", Bleu's big hit "50 Dollars and a Flask of Crown" and a solo acoustic version of Springsteen's "Badlands".

Bleu Edmondson's music can be sampled and purchased here.

Texas Attorney General Launches Silicosis Investigation

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has begun an investigation into thousands of allegedly fraudulent silicosis claims.

This article from BusinessWeek has the details.

For earlier posts on this subject see here.

Monday, June 12, 2006

"Bible in Russia" Exhibition opens in Russian Duma

Here is an interesting article from the Christian Today website on the "Bible in Russia" exhibition held in the Russian State Duma in Moscow.

I doubt we will be seeing any exhibitions on the Bible anytime soon in the United States' own House of Representatives.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

John Prine

Last night I went with my friend Fernando to see John Prine in concert at the Verizon Theater downtown.

Todd Snider was the opening act and played a great set. I was not really familiar with Todd's music and was pleasantly surprised at what a good songwriter he is. His music is often very humorous as well. Some highlights from his set included: "Play a Train Song", "Enjoy Yourself" and two hilarious songs "The Ballad of the Kingsmen" (on the history of the song "Louie Louie" and the ensuing FBI investigation) and "Statistician's Blues". He is definitely a songwriter to keep your eye on. Todd Snider's music can be sampled and purchased here.

John Prine opened his set with "Spanish Pipedream" (better known as the "Blow up your TV" song). John was backed by a really fantastic band consisting of Jason Wilber on lead guitar, Pat Mclaughlin on mandolin and guitar and Dave Jacques on upright and electric bass. The band was really tight and featured some great playing and some very nice harmony singing on occasion as well.

Next followed a very generous set of songs from throughout John Prine's long and storied career including: "Angel from Montgomery", "Bear Creek", "Crazy as a Loon", "Daddy's Little Pumpkin", "Dear Abby", "Donald and Lydia", "Flag Decal", "Glory of true love", "Grandpa was a Carpenter", "Hello in There", "Lake Marie", "Long Monday", "Paradise", "Sam Stone", "Some Humans Ain't Human", "Storm Windows", "Taking a Walk", and "That's the Way that the World Goes Round".

Prine's versions of "Angel from Montgomery", "Dear Abby", "Flag Decal", "Hello in There", "Paradise" and "Sam Stone" were all outstanding and were the audience favorites.

What a pleasure it was to finally see one of the world's great songwriters (arguably THE greatest) in performance.

Lyrics to all of John Prine's songs can be read here.

For more info on John Prine see here.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Thousands of Asbestos Cases to be Dismissed?

That's what the Defendants in these lawsuits would like to see.

This article from Law.com has all the details.

GOOOAAALLL!!!....I mean Amen!

Here is an article on the Church of England's special "World Cup" prayer.

Relic of St. John the Baptist in Moscow

Here is an article from the BBC on a relic of St. John the Baptist that has been brought to Moscow for veneration by the Russian Orthodox faithful.

Joe Ely

It may have been the best concert I have ever heard at the Duck.

It was definitely the most crowded one.

Joe Ely is a true legend in the Texas Music scene.

He has been performing and touring since the 1970's both as a solo artist and with the Flatlanders.

Last night he played two standing-room only concerts at the Duck. There were a whole lot of people standing too. I bought my standing-room only ticket for the first show about a week before the concert. I thought there might be a crowd so I showed up about two hours before the show. That was a good idea because when I got there there was only one space left at the bar. The other advantage to getting there early was that I got to hear Joe do his sound check and play through a couple of songs.

For the first show Joe played a good mix of his own songs and some written by others including his fellow Flatlanders Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. Highlights from the first show included: "Run Little Pony", "Carnival Bum", "Dallas", Townes Van Zandt's "White Freightliner Blues", "95 South", "Me and Billy the Kid", "Tonight I think I'm gonna go downtown", "Up on the Ridge", "If you were a Bluebird", Terry Allen's "Gimme a ride to Heaven" and "I'm gonna strangle you Shorty".

The audience was really into the show. Joe's performances of "Dallas","Me and Billy the Kid" and "Gimme a ride to Heaven" were crowd favorites that had most clapping and singing along.

My only complaint was that the concert was over all too soon. Next time Joe comes through town I will make sure to buy tickets for both shows.

Joe Ely's recordings can be purchased both here and here.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Down at the Duck

Last night was "Songwriters Night" over at the Mucky Duck. This particular evening featured Adam Carroll and Gordy Quist in a song-swap session.

I had heard good things about these guys but had never seen either of them in concert before.

Yesterday morning as I was driving to work I happened to catch part of a live on-air performance by these two on KPFT. Gordy performed a song he called "The Road Ahead" which if I remember correctly he had just written the day before. Adam played the song "Alright" from his new cd. So based on their on-air performance I decided to go check out their show that night.

I was only able to stay for the first set of the concert but now I know why I had been hearing such good things about these two.

Adam Carroll's sound is sometimes compared to John Prine and I could definitely hear some of Prine's influence in his songs. Personally something about his style and delivery reminded me a little of Guy Clark as well. He is also a pretty good harmonica player. Adam played a couple of songs from his cd "Far Away Blues" including: "Low in the Mountains", "Dream On" and "Teardrops".

Gordy Quist has a pretty unique and often very lyrical sound. It's a little hard to draw obvious comparisons but I do think there is a Townes Van Zandt influence to some of his songs. Gordy played some new material and some songs from his cd "Songs Play Me" including: "Ship Song", Green and Blue" and "Skin on Soul".

These are definitely two young songwriters to keep your eye on.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Rock, Paper, Scissors

This is hilarious.

A Federal Judge in Florida, tired of two bickering attorneys who could not agree on a location for a depo, ordered the men to settle the matter in a game of rock, paper, scissors.

This article from CNNMoney has the details.

The complete text of the order can be found here.

I feel sorry for the paralegals involved.

How does one bill their time for something like this?!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

OCL Event in Houston

The Orthodox Christian Laity organization hosted a forum on "Orthodox Unity" in Houston this past weekend at Rice University.

Here is a photo-report from the Orthodox News website.

While I did not attend this event I did briefly run into the Executive Director of OCL the next day at the Parish Feast for Sts. Constantine and Helen in Galveston.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Old Quarter

When I was in Galveston the other day I stumbled across the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe while walking around the Strand.

The Old Quarter is owned by Rex "Wrecks" Bell and is a reincarnation of the original Old Quarter which was a well known folk club in downtown Houston during the 1970's. Wrecks also played bass in the Hemmer Ridge Mountain Boys which was Townes Van Zandt's touring band.

The Old Quarter regularly features concerts from some very good local musicians and you can also get Starbock beer there.

More information on Wrecks and the original Old Quarter in downtown Houston can be found here.

Vioxx Trial

Another Vioxx trial has begun in New Jersey.

This article from BusinessWeek has the details.

For more information on Vioxx litigation in New Jersey see here.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Saints Constantine and Helen Orthodox Church

Yesterday I attended Divine Liturgy at Saints Constantine and Helen Orthodox Church in Galveston.

The parish was celebrating its 110th anniversary.

It was the first Orthodox Church in Texas and is one of the oldest Orthodox Churches in the United States.

The parish has a very interesting history including: an original endowment and several donations of liturgical items from Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and a reconsecration of the Church performed by Bishop Tikhon (who later became Patriarch of Moscow and is now commemorated as a Saint in the Russian Church) after the "Great Hurricane" 0f 1900.

More information on this parish can also be found here.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Jason Boland and the Stragglers

More "Red Dirt" music. Last night I caught Jason Boland and the Stragglers over at Big Texas.

This concert was another in a series with Doug Moreland, Bleu Edmondson, Roger Creager and others yet to come.

The last concert I went to in this series was Stoney Larue. I thought that Stoney sounded a little like Willie at times. Well Jason Boland sounded a lot like a young Waylon throughout most of his show.

Very good show. Some of the highlights included covers of Steve Earle's The Devil's Right Hand, a few Waylon Jenning's songs and some of Boland's own hits including Hank, When I'm Stoned, Thunderbird Wine, Tennessee Whiskey, and Telephone Romeo.

Samples of some of Jason Boland's music can be found here and cds can be purchased here.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Enron Jury

Some of the members of the Jury for the Enron Trial have been speaking to reporters about their deliberations in the case. Here are some of the related stories:

Here is a report from KHOU in Houston.

Articles from the Houston Chronicle can be found here and here.

Here is an article from the LA Times and another article from the New York Times.