Hello once again from prison! It’ll be “lights out” here by the time this update appears on the Internet, but that reminds me of an interesting piece of news I read in the New York Times last month. On August 6 reporter Michael Cooper wrote, “In Colorado Springs, the downturn will be remembered, quite literally, as a dark age: the city switched off a third of its 24,512 streetlights to save money on electricity….”

Damn! Why didn’t I think of that?

From now on in Bootleg City, all streetlights will remain in the “off” position, but look on the bright side — not literally, of course, since there won’t be one past sundown — light pollution will be dramatically reduced. Any reduction of pollution will look great on my environmental record as mayor, not to mention my “good behavior” record as prisoner, but as a citizen of Bootleg City you’ll benefit as well, because now you’ll be able to see stars of the nonhuman variety each and every night high up in the sky. Just don’t wander over to the wrong side of the tracks, or you might end up seeing stars in a different way right before your wallet is stolen.

Also, please stop burning the midnight oil since it ain’t cheap, and please extinguish your beds, because according to environmentally conscious Australian rock band Midnight Oil, they’re burning as well. The group disbanded in 2002 after three decades of recording and performing, and two years later frontman Peter Garrett was elected to Australia’s House of Representatives; today he serves as the country’s Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts. (Matthew Boles, your self-appointed title seems so petty now in comparison. Hang your head in shame, Mayor McCheese.) The best thing about Garrett is that he too is a follicularly challenged elected official. Stand stall, mate, but remember to stand in the shade — a sunburned scalp is not a pretty thing.

This week’s featured bootleg comes to us once again courtesy of rejected “Real Housewives of Bootleg City” cast member Matt Wardlaw. In 1993 Midnight Oil was already doing its part to stop wasting electricity when it went the “unplugged” route for its Earth and Sun and Moon tour. On this untitled bootleg “The Dead Heart,” “Sell My Soul,” “Blue Sky Mine,” and “Short Memory” come from a gig the band performed at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London, England, on June 23, 1993, but the rest of the tracks are … also from the band’s acoustic tour that year? I’m not sure. Can any of you out there shed some light (without turning on any lights, of course)?

Feeding Frenzy
The Dead Heart
Sell My Soul
My Country
Blue Sky Mine
Short Memory
Beds Are Burning
In the Valley
Tin-Legs & Tin Mines
US Forces

About the Author

Robert Cass

Robert Cass lives in Chicago. For Popdose he's written under the Sugar Water, Bootleg City, and Box Office Flashback banners and collaborated on the series 'Face Time with Jeff Giles and Mike Heyliger.

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