Monday, March 12, 2007

Runaway Music

I accidentally discovered a new sound to love. If you love all things brass as much as I do and happen to be of Slavic descent- as I am- you may love it, too. (Mister Anchovy, I give you Peter Stan, accordion wizard, who has been known to actually steal things from people's ears with his music.) It sounds like the best ethnic marching garage band ever, and it's heartening to know that somewhere in Brooklyn, this incredibly culturally diverse group of musicians is making a lot of fun noise. But what's with the rooster?

The funniest coincidence about me discovering this bunch (in a MassMOCA flyer no less, Larry!) is that they recently headlined for the group, Gogol Bordello, that headlined for CAKE when they came to Salt Lake City in December 2005. I wasn't that impressed with Gogol, but I think it's safe to say that if they sounded anything like Slavic Soul Party!, I would have liked them a whole lot more.

And speaking of sounds I love, Miss Angie's senior recital in Greeley, Colorado last Tuesday at Foundation Hall was a superb performance. When she and five other trombonists played the final piece- her very own arrangement of Mozart's Tuba mirum, from Requiem- I wept. Mostly it was the result of extreme family travel-induced giddiness and the big-sisterly devotion I feel towards this lovely little cousin who had the heart and the stomach for the years of advanced technical training on the trombone that I could never have faced. But they were also selfish tears for me, because circumstances have decreed that I set my own bass trombone aside for a while, until the opportunity comes along for me to pick it up again. There are days, like Tuesday, when I miss playing with a good group like I would miss breathing if I were forced to suspend that too.

When we met Angie earlier that afternoon outside the hall, every last person on the bus sported a pair of plastic Billy Bob teeth. (Eileen leaned over to Cheri when her teeth were in place and quipped, “For ten dollar, me love you long time.” Apparently that’s how her son answers his cellular phone when he can identify the caller.) Angie did a double take and then doubled over. Far from being embarrassed, she tried to hug everyone at once and announced that she almost peed her pants. Her senior recital was presented in partial fulfillment of her Bachelor of Music Education degree from UNC, and we couldn't be more proud of her.

To top off a week of musical adventure, I slipped down to the Beeman-Cashin Friday night to see an old friend of Kelly and Morgan’s, that flat-picking maniac from Ten Sleep, Jalan Crossland. He hauled out the banjo and the Nebraska Whackadoo and howled about trains, trailer parks, Dick Cheney, bourbon, atomic energy, shadows of crows, alcoholism, rock shops, and other popular topics of Wyoming life, but he does it with such charm and wit that you can’t help but stomp along.

Knees bent, head drooped, shoulders bobbing, he strums and slams whatever stringed instrument he’s clutching to produce folksy bluegrass chucks and waltzes with a mean modern bent. I bought Kelly a birthday copy of Jalan’s newest album, “Trailer Park Fires & Other Tragedies,” more tongue-in-cheek, acid social commentary featuring songs like “Methamphetamine Saturday Night In The Country With You” and “The Little Girl & The Dreadful Snake.” Good times. I may regret not picking up a beer can warmer emblazoned with the lyrics (from “My Home Is On The Bighorn Mountain” from his Moonshiner album): Darlin’ you’ve been pourin’ liquor down me/ Hopin’ I’ll start wantin’ you around me/ But there ain’t enough liquor in the County/ To drink the ugly offa you.

Happy Birthday to Kelly (38 on the 11th) and Lenny (28 on the 13th) who each got exactly what they wanted (and deserved) for themselves: Lasik in both blue eyes for Kelly, the Husqvarna TE-610 for Lenny. So nobody better fuss if I buy myself an Exocet Cross 84 or NANO when August rolls around.

If ran away tomorrow, all I’d need on the iPod is Sheryl Crow’s “Steve McQueen.”


Blogger mister anchovy said...

Anyone who picks bluegrass AND comes from a place as remarkably beautiful as Ten Sleep has got to be interesting.....

If I could only take 1 CD, I wouldn't run away. I would always regret that I chose the wrong one.

March 13, 2007 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger A said...

He is just that: interesting.

Good point. When I do finally run away I plan on taking my entire collection. Good thing the Cadillac has an enormous trunk.

March 13, 2007 at 11:28 PM  
Anonymous Larry said...

I'm glad that your No' Addy trip is the gift that keeps on giving...!

March 19, 2007 at 10:37 AM  

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