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Bill Deasey's Good Day, No Rain Reviewed While Shopping at Goodwill
Dwight A. Chambers

November 28, 2003. Black Friday. Unfortunately, it wasn't a day where we Black Americans get to take a day off of work (e.g. Hispanic Thursday and Asian Wednesday), but it was a holiday of sorts. It was the biggest shopping day of the year (as it is every year), where all Americans can celebrate capitalism by trading currency for goods and/or services. I, as one of those Americans, was at the Waterworks Wal-Mart early Friday morning, hoping to snag a $29 DVD player to give as a Christmas gift. No such luck, they were sold-out. But that didn't stop me from being the good consumer that I am. Although my head was spinning because of all the people and commotion, I fought through the shopping haze and ended up spending far more money than I intended. Then I started thinking, Isn't there a way I can exchange less currency for goods and/or services and,at the same time, accomplish something other than helping put K-Mart out of business? And it hit me...

November 29, 2003. Super Saturday Sale. On the last Saturday of every month, donated clothing is fifty percent off at Pittsburgh Goodwill stores. I'm usually broke on the sale day, so I cannot partake in the extreme bargain hunting, but this month is different. I will exchange currency for used goods for a worthy cause. I like to think of it as capitalism with a twist of charity. Or more precisely, just damn good deals! (I mean, a corduroy sport coat for $3.50? Can't beat that.) Although I don't wear sport coats, I bought it with only a vague idea of how I'll introduce it into my wardrobe. (Do I still have the issue of GQ that showed cool ways to wear them?) Anyway, I think I'll take mellow Pittsburgh rocker Bill Deasy along on the excursion. Deasy's 2003 CD Good Day, No Rain will serve as both wishful thinking (It's been raining/snowing off and on since yesterday!) and as the soundtrack to my second-hand shopping spree.

As I enter the Goodwill on Liberty Avenue, the CD's first track, “I Want to Know,” is playing. Having never heard Deasy's work before, I am immediately won over by his pleasant voice and the track's catchy tune. What I'm not won over by are some of the first items of clothing I come across. Yes, they are designs by well-known clothiers. But when those designs are from the Me Decade, there is, appropriately enough, hardly ever any redeeming fashion value. I mean, a whole paisley print shirt?! Oy vey! But I shouldn't be surprised. With today's sensibilities, stereotypically ’80s clothing lacks the retro-chic or hipster-cool quality that clothes from many other decades can be sued to create. Like the creamy beige button-down from the Qiana by Van Heusen line (snazzy, eh?). It's translucent and sort of shimmery, possibly a polyester blend. It definitely has the ’70s variety of retro chic. It has square buttons. The non-twist of charity capitalist side of me comes to the forefront as I ponder a pair of black pinstriped pants I saw at The Gap the other day that would work oh so well with the shirt. (I will wait to get them. A friend gave me a discount card valid beginning Dec. 1. Love her!).

In “Blue Sky Grey,” Deasy pumps up the pop factor. Maybe it is just me, but at certain points he sounds as if her will go into Avril Lavigne “Complicated” territory. But he doesn't sustain the fast pace, volume and melody that Avril thrives on. He pulls back just when I start to get into it. If anything, I am a Top 40 whore and would totally listen to this CD over and over if it was played on B94. Although I have to laugh. On, critics are quoted as comparing Deasy to U2 and Springsteen, but I stand firmly by my Avril comparison. At least lyrically, I'm sure some would agree. When Deasy sings, “Why do you turn the blue sky grey/She's the best thing ever/Try and tell yourself that it's okay/When we both know better,” I can almost hear Avril inserting, “Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?” without missing a beat. But I like the song nonetheless.

I also like my other choices of clothing. The ties alone: two silk, both with wide diagonal stripes, one a rich tan and brown, the other a deep but subdued shade of pumpkin, and one polyester, from Sears' The Men's Store, patterned with a series of burgundy and pink concentric circles and diamonds. Yes, I know how it sounds, but—trust me—it is the epitome of that hipster-cool dealio mentioned earlier. Then there are the shirts, several with that hep-cat style cut that I could picture Dean Martin in, relaxing in his rumpus room, sipping a martini.

At times, while shopping, Deasy truly becomes part of the background. Actually a more accurate description is he becomes a part of the whole experience. I forget I have earphones on, and the fact that music is playing is no longer at the forefront of my thoughts. And for me, that is a ringing endorsement. It means the music isn't grating or too loud and that the singer is doing the job the way I like it. And Deasy does just that on Good Day, No Rain—music the way I like it. And, in the end, that is all that matters with any music, no matter if it is pop, rap, country, rock, R&B—if I like it, I like it. If my life has a meaning, that's the meaning. Well, that's not exactly true. As a capitalist, I guess it has to be that one can't have too much money or power. And since I have only subatomic levels of both, I am not a very successful capitalist.

But I did succeed in my goal. I spent less money at the Goodwill's Super Saturday Sale on more goods and/or services than on Black Friday at Wal-Mart. The final tally: Five short-sleeved shirts, four long-sleeved, two sport coats and three ties for $26.75. That's less than that very inexpensive DVD player I attempted to acquire. You know, I would never want to change what the Friday after Thanksgiving means to our economy. I want everyone to pump money into it at the Wal-Mart and other providers of goods and/or services. I just wouldn't mind giving it a double meaning. I mean, I'm all for leading up to Black Friday with Asian Wednesday and Hispanic Thursday as long as I get a nice three-day weekend out of it.

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