Monday, October 20, 2008

You and yours folks, me and my folks.

A wild weekend has come and gone, and one thing is certain. The long windy season of brown liquor and ice-colored skies is back. Of late I'm finding it somewhat difficult getting back to my ALS voice, having spent the last month sacking out on Facebook and basically writing whatever bullshit comes to mind. Not entirely unlike now I suppose.

But in that time I've had a number of small, but enjoyable, breakthroughs, most notable among them a renewed fascination for my old pal, Larry, a Gooski's lifer with a soft-spoken pugnacity and entirely strange disposition. He hates liberals--all those dudes do, loves a good wine, and is a close reader of the regional Amish newspaper. Given a change of heart on the subject of gun ownership, he'd surely join a community; He already has the hat.

I'm trying desperately to get him to agree to be interviewed. I'll keep you posted on that as developments break.

For now let me state simply, and in my best Auld Lang Syne writing voice that I am confident in our prospects for Election Day; the Democratic Party seriously owes Barack Obama a Rolex and a trip to Hersheypark for the rejuvenating effect he's had on the party and voters alike.

On the subject of music I can't say enough nice things about the new Rosebuds record, or for that matter this mash-up. Four Men With Beards continues to impress me with their vinyl reissues, most recently Funkadelic's dark funk classic, Maggot Brain. Never heard it sound this clear before. Last Thursday's show at Garfield Artworks, a double-headliner with my pal, Jack Rose, and U.K. folk legend, Michael Chapman, was revelatory. I keep waiting for the spell to be broken with Jack, having seen him enough times for the magic to wear off, but the man is full of surprises. He is given to moments that to me recall the funniest of the Hoosier Hotshots or Thelonious Monk; for whatever reason I turn back into a kid, giggle, and wonder how that silly music happens. Man, it's good stuff! Chapman sounded like John Martyn, with a bit gravel in his throat. Gone are the days of these superb lyricists. It's heartening to hear a guy who can write, play and sing with such narrative clarity and magnetism. After the gig the guys crashed on our couches and Chapman regaled us with stories of his days in academia, catching gigs of then-unknowns, Rod Stewart, Julie Driscoll and a youthful Stevie Winwood getting off the train for his shows with the Spencer Davis Group still wearing a school uniform. The whiskey flowed and the Jerry Reed records went round well into the hours.

Finally I'm honored to have fulfilled a long-standing ambition to have an ALS mix in the Gooski's jukebox. In my grad school days it was the paragon of boozy late night cool, with the first Strokes record, lots of Fall, and the Runaways. So you can haul ass up Polish Hill, have a ko-bossie and a Newcastle, and take in the sounds of the ALS. Just don't get Marcus started on politics.

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