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The new crack 

Of all the new releases I'm fired up over, there's none more exciting than Peter Pan's new Honey Roast Peanut Butter. This could be the new crack. If the church replaced communion wafers with this goo, maybe I'd go back. Buy this for a date as opposed to the obligatory Alabama slammer. Deee-licious.

            Usually this rant is written solo, but several dogs I met at this year's Park Ave Fest had a bitter milkbone to pick.

            "My owner just brings me out in this oppressive heat to meet chicks," complained one Labrador. "They can't have children, and I'm here to make up for that," explained a rather pissed off Border Collie. "So I'm just gonna crap everywhere I can." One mongrel (who does a killer drunk Scooby-doo impression) put it best: "Dog days, my ass, leave us home."

            Other than that, the Festival was great for food, music, art (some bordering on arts and crafts), and cheering on the gorgeous, sweaty human parade. The Sahara Shimmer Belly Dancing Troupe aroused and enthralled attendees all weekend with mesmerizing sensuality and way-sexy hip shake appeal. When I close my eyes, I can still see 'em, undulating, gyrating ... Lord, I think I have a fever.

            At The Tralf in Buffalo, Paul Westerberg came off as a gifted, somewhat bi-polar brat --- digging and despising what he does simultaneously, and smashing his guitar in rockstar-god fashion at the end of his solo set, exclaiming, "Anyone could do that." Those in the packed joint couldn't help but sing along to all of his instantly recognizable tunes, even when Westerberg himself couldn't remember the words.

            So you think you've seen it all? Nothing gets you hot anymore, except for peanut butter? Bob Log III is the coolest, most twisted-up version of one-man blues I've heard in awhile. This is raunchy Delta blues hollered through a telephone mounted on a motorcycle helmet by a Silvertone-wielding maniac stomping on a kick drum and cymbal. Uh-huh.

            Rock 'n' roll walks on water: Salaciously sinister slide-guitarist Eric Sardinas slithered and roared across the Dinosaur stage for over three fucking hours. This west coast shaman healed us: The blind could see, the deaf were, well, more deaf, and the clumsy were made to dance, dance, dance. One of the best shows at the BBQ ever. Why this long-haired lothario's name isn't already dripping from everyone's lips is beyond me.

            Exene (of X fame) Cervenka's new band, The Original Sinners, played an amazing show sounding a lot like X, with Exene's vocals more on key than before, and mixed with the youthful punch of her bandmates. GaragePop Records' prez Rob Filardo was so ecstatic when the band covered X's "Because I Do," he recorded it to his answering machine via cel phone. Look for a fall release.

            Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes heated up the warm summer night with plenty of blue-eyed soul, r & b, and rock 'n' roll for the last Party In The Park. He brought the crowd of 3,000 to their feet, where they stayed. The opening band was extremely handsome and well-mannered. Then Johnny and a good deal of the crowd hopped over to the Dinosaur to see Penny Jo Pullus caterwaul those honky tonk blues. What a heartbreaker.

            I finally fell asleep in Durand-Eastman Park with visions of sugarplums, smashed Stratocasters, and redheads (they're in season, you know) dancing in my head. What a great goddamn summer it's been.

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