Friday, June 26, 2009
Spurred by a tip from the redoubtable TG the TA, the Prof set out for a destination indicated in an item in Arthur Magazine online. The item promised a concert by Peter Stampfel at a location called Frankford Gardens so the Prof pointed the GPS at the designated address and found himself cruising the main drag in Fishtown, Philly (or is that Phistown, Filly?) and circling the block a few times until he spotted the tiny sign on the gate asking for a donation for the concert. The Prof opened the gate and suddenly felt he wasn't in Kansas anymore for he beheld a rich green prospect--lawn, overhanging boughs, little groves in some corners dotted with benches, and patio for a performing area festooned with strings of electric lights. Where the holy modal rounder was I?
Surrounded by chatting shiny happy people of all ages, the Prof tossed his donation in the indicated bowl (encouraged by a friendly nod from one of the hosts) and made his way toward the speakers in front of the stage area. The pleasantly dislocated sensations continued abetted by the sounds issuing forth from the electromagnetic field--was that gamelan? A little later there was some Indian music, gospel sermonizing, highland piping and fiddling, something that sounded like a comedy record from Middle Europe, and a whole lot more that this world music fanatic couldn't ID fast enough.
Turns out the DJ for the pre-concert entertainment was Ian Nagoski, composer and record shop owner (True Vine in Baltimore) and 78 rpm maven, who curated the wonderful compilation of 20's and 30's 78s from around the world Black Mirror. He sat in front of two discmen with a wallet of CDRs containing digital transfers from his shellac collection and segued from country to country, genre to genre, lost label to lost label. With his mane of flowing hair and trim beard he looked like a cross between Lord Byron and Alan Lomax. When the prof got to talk to him later near the improvised little merch table covered with a dozen CDR comps, he found Ian to be a charming and alarmingly knowledgable
One Night When I Got Drunk
Days of '49
Will Your Dog Catch a Rabbit
Hang It on the Wall
There'll Be No Distinction/ White Man's World
Last Chance/ Carpe Diem
Simple Tune/ Nobody Knows the Troubles I've Seen
The Tea Song
Old Dog Blue
I Will Survive
I Wish I Was a Single Girl Again
When I Was Young
Happy Rolling Cowboy
Wake Up, Jacob
Ain't That Trouble in Mind
Hey on the Island
Friday, June 19, 2009
Dedicated to the amazing Jake-ola bound for Columbia U to represent Senegal.
And don't forget the astonishing compilation The Music in My Head (and its less amazing sequel) selected by Mark Hudson to his novel about Dakar's music scene. The book and Volume 1 are out of print, but check here and here.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Below is a self-portrait by Prof Pal Josh Levitas who has been exploring the ineluctable modality of the visible (at least that if no more, thought through his eyes) through the developing graphic novel at Ulysses Seen working with Robert Berry and Mike Barsanti. (Have I got the details of this shoutout right, Josh?) (Update: Eustace Tilley has his eyes on Ulysses Seen as well.)
Below is a portrait of another Ulysses fan...
(Click on pic to see a larger Marilyn.)
Monday, June 15, 2009
Ken Tucker on NPR 6/21.