Back before music fans morphed into gaming fans, before lip synching became the rage, before utter horseshit like American Idol was even a wet dream, there were thriving clubs and committed music freak club owners like Clifford Antone.
Being addicted, or even just a fan of The New York Times means you have to suss out the necessary assumptions and become expert at translating what's really going on there. Even overlooking the woeful sports section and regular incidents of pathetic pandering—a recent travel piece by Robert Kennedy Jr. comes to mind—the institutional psychoses and attitude, subtle as they may be, that the paper infuses, again ever so delicately, into everything is quite amazing.
As a follow-up to my last entry, I was sitting in my favorite watering hole over the weekend, listening to my favorite jukebox㬎 tunes for 5 buckswhen a couple sitting at the bar next to me struck up a music conversation about what was playing: Elvis Costello, The Shins, King Sunny Ade, Lefty Frizzell, James Brown, Arctic Monkeys, you name it. At one point, talking about the cover art of an album I can’t remember now I said, being the absent-minded old man of the bunch, 'Have you ever seen that record?'
Walking along the spring streets of this crowded city, a place where you’re literally always in everyone else's business whether you like it or not, I'm often struck by the amount of serious, pounding through the songlists iPod listening that’s going on. People are eyeballing their little screens as much as they're listening.
Before I even turn on the recorder, Willie Nile is telling me his theory of how the granite under Manhattan Island conducts electricity, which accounts for the perceptible charge that many people feel makes New York City so special. It's also what draws artists like flies, none more passionate than singer-songwriter Nile, who's personally contributed a few volts during his years in NYC.
I've come to the conclusion that birthdays really aren't a whole lotta fun. I mean what's to like? You're another year older, fatter, dumber; in short, whatever detriment is plaguing you at the time is magnified by yet another año.
Having heard from the good folks at Ralston Purinasorry, "good folks" seems to be a trigger for 60's TV commercial flashbacks for puppy chow or something. Lemme try again...When I heard from the good folks at the burgeoning minimega empire that Concord/Fantasy Telarc has become that a new series called Stax Profiles was about to begin, I anxiously tore open a Concord box that arrived in the office yesterday.
Starting this blog has made me feel almost the same way I did when Frank Sinatra died and I wrote in the pages of Stereophile that when I became a music writer, lo those many dark-haired days ago, I knew that someday I'd have to write a Francis Albert obit. When the blog craze first began to gallop, I knew intuitively that someday, I too would be sucked into the immediacy maw and be lured into venting my opinions, valuable or not, in the blogosphere.