The Feast of San Gandolfo and the Red Mike Festival Band
My block is a big festival block — in fact, I get the feeling that it’s the nucleus of what remains of Little Italy. Mulberry street was closed for the feast of San Gandolfo this weekend, and all the populations of my neigborhood were there. I wandered around, took pictures on my Palm Camera, and then sat down at a sidewalk table on Friday night to try and describe it.
Read more >>
Ancestral Memories of Elevator Music
I made an astonishing discovery in a nautical-themed restaurant in Maine the other weekend. The music piped into the dining room was an odd choice for a linen-tablecloth restaurant, but it spoke to me in an oddly compelling way. Like Navin R. Johnson, I found myself oddly drawn to this deeply, er… swanky music. I had to ask what it was, and, when I found out, my new purpose in life was to buy the CD and listen to it, over and over and over again.
I’m talking, of course, about the forgotten work of Herb Alpert.
Forget all those pained post-ironic recapitulations of lounge music that you see in the hipster rack at Tower Records — this is the straight dope, the font and wellspring of American Muzak. Once I feverishly pulled the cellophane off the CD and stuffed it into the stereo, I felt like I had discovered one of the Platonic Forms in all its perfect, paradigmatic glory. An MRE scan would have shown entire lobes of my brain, unused for years, springing into frantic activity — the part that controls shag carpet, for example, and the part that controls watching “The Muppet Show” on black-and-white TV. “So that’s what that’s called!” I found myself exclaiming over and over again as “Tijuana Taxi“, “The Lonely Bull“, and “Casino Royale” resurrected the ghosts of long dead commercials, game-show jingles, and trips through the produce section in the shopping card’s kiddie seat. I feel like I’ve discovered the fabled source of the Nile.
I bought Johnny Cash’s 16 greatest hits at the same time, so now my MP3 player is juxtaposing “Folsom Prison Blues” with “Spanish Flea.” Damn, maybe I should start worrying about my wasteful consumption of irony.
Kaiju Big Battel
My friend Dan Check, who just graduated from Pomona College, just sent me this message:
…I’m thinking about going to some kind of monster cage
match wrestling. This seems like something you might like, so I’m inviting
you to come with. Might be seedy, but will probably just be fun. See
www.kaiju.com for more info. Tell me if you want a ticket.
Do I want a ticket? Aw, HELL yes! Check out the website; it’s a mix of American pro wrestling, Japanese movie monsters, and really bad Engrish. Hipsters from Boston dress up in homemade monster suits and wrestle each other in a steel cage. I cannot wait! The monster on the right is “Hell monkey.” Another, Atomic Cannon, is a giant disposable camera, prepared to “blinding enemy with special atomic-style flash for scaring a giant enemy. ”
This is gonna be great!
Kate and I went to visit my mom in Belfast, Maine last weekend. We visited Kelmscott Farm, where earnest sustainable-agriculture majors preserve biodiversity by raising COLOSSAL Old Gloustecer pigs, as well as lots of other cool-looking animals. The pigs looked and sounded like ocean liners.