Saturday, May 28, 2011

Everybody, what's the word?

King Tubby, Freedom Sounds in Dub
James Gang, Rides Again
The O'Jay's, Family Reunion
Clifton Chenier, Sings the Blues

  1. On my last lap with the book. This playlist was an attempt to get across in print a sparsely attended Keith Frank show at a backwoods zydeco club. So imagine all that on shuffle with a tremendous amount of natural echo from a stage with a barn motif inside a barn renovated and converted to look as little as possible like a barn inside, but looks like a dilapidated one from outside. If you haven't already, go see Keith Frank perform before he makes good on his threat of retiring.
  2. I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure I saw Gil Scott-Heron on the street in the French Quarter back in 2008. Maya and I were making our way through the tourist crowds to get to the Lush store when I saw a guy I swore was Kanye, who was in town for the Essence festival that weekend. Then I realized it was pretty whitey of me to see a fashion attenuated black man and think "That's Kanye!" Then a block later, there was Gil Scott-Heron, tall, skinny in the shades, a hat and a yellow aloha shirt, and I thought, no, really? Gil Scott-Heron was a revelation to me in my college years after I dug past "Televised."

    "B-Movie" was potent protest, a old 70's holdout calling out the then current President for being a fraud, a turncoat, a monster. It was now, then, and continues in its relevance. It was egalitarian, elegant, elephantine. Everybody, what's the word? Have you heard about Johannesburg? Yeah! well, sorta. I mean, I know U2 won't play Sun City but I'm not sure what exactly that solved. And haven't they payed there since? All that ran through my mind when I saw GS-H becuse it's how his mind runs and in turn runs his mouth and I was all, OK, whitey up on the earth, the one older black guy with a Stagger Lee swagger, done up like Panama Jack is not Gil Scott-Heron. Then I read when I got home that he'd played a side stage at the Essence festival that night.
  3. Somebody is playing a subdudes album at the pool. I'm not sure how that happened. Did we run out of Jimmy Buffet songs? Did the rapture actually happen and all the Clear Channel classic rock radio programmers were called yonder? Whatever brought this on, I'm not complaining.
  4. I just saw my friend Sanjay do the gnarliest belly flop off the diving board. Then he did another. What a trooper!
  5. There are countless ways that writing can be paralleled with woodworking, but the truest way is that you aren't really making something pretty until there is a pile of sawdust on the floor and your arm is sore form holding the sander in just the right way.

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