Monday, July 17, 2006

A Passage to India

I write this from Goa now, where we've arrived to start a serious holiday by the sea after a very fraught week to put it mildly...

Landed in Mumbai on Tuesday after a 17 hour journey to slate grey skies, thick oppressive clouds and crippling humidity (monsoon season here)...after clearing customs we took a rickety ancient taxi with our bags stuffed in the boot and my guitars and fx suitcase (my Monster case, a/k/a The Flying Mary to quote my friend Faust of Prague--an unwieldy bulky beastie known and loved by many a factote 'em internationally) lashed precariously to the top of the cab, and made our way through the dusty chaotic tumult of midday Mumbai to the hotel...only to switch on the telly to be greeted with scenes of bombings in Srinagar, Kashmir... crashed and jet-lagged, we collapsed for a nap of several hours, then awoke to call pur local promoter Ratan, who promised to pick us up at our hotel in an hour for dinner... one and a half hours later we got a call that he wasn't coming, and that we should not leave our hotel that evening, as there had just been a series of 7 bombings on the Mumbai rail line...we switched on the set, and numb with horror watched the televised carnage which had just taken place not all that far from where we were staying...we watched the news reports over and over and over, then went downstairs for a desultory dinner, and then, exhausted, fell into a very troubled sleep.

Needless to say, our Mumbai gig was canceled the next day.

But upon awakening, Caroline and I ventured forth out of the hotel into the heart if Mumbai to reconnoiter/get the lay of the land...and mirabile dictu, it is a real testimony to the fighting spirit and sheer good -humored positive vibes and vitality of the Indian people that the megalopolis that is Mumbai was absolutely thriving, alive and kicking, people seemed to just shrug off the bombings which was just the latest in a series there going back fifteen years--kind of like the London sang-froid after the Blitz--and it was business as usual in the saree shops and clothing boutiques and amazing outdoor laundry with workers scrubbing a city's linaments in troughs of muddy water quite near one of the bombed stations in fact, and it was all smiles round the Gate of India and the worldclass Taj Hotel...show must go on, la lutta continua, don't let the bastards wear you down...

Next day DJ Cosmo arrived with her crew from London, percussionist Ben Mitchell (super nice guy and great player, he did Top of the Pops with Take That the day Robbie Williams quit!) and intl. boho dancer Katie, and they had inveigled Ratan and his guy Savio to keep the Hyderabad gig on (like Mumbai, another promotional jammy for Bacardi), so on Friday we flew to that city and spent an afternoon inspecting this great hi-tech anthill built on top of some very old bones indeed, in fact we loved the Old City and the clamor of the open air market where the ladies bartered and finagled with the bangle and tsotschke vendors like pros...and shoe-less we climbed the marble mountain of a very famous Hindu temple for a magnificent view at the summit of all Hyderabad with its 7 million plus denizens spread out far below...

late at night we went to a cool Bhangra-Beat club called Liquids where we danced away all the heartaches and frustrations of the trip so far with a crowd of Indian partykids, anyway we're all pros and had come there with a mission to entertain, which we were determined to do the next night, with a vengeance--

back at the Taj Banjara hotel, we checked out their basement disco and rapping dj, and after midnight we hung out around the pool overlooking an artificial lake behind the hotel, marveling at the giant leathery bats that kept swooping out of the trees to flutter overhead and occasionally dive bomb the pool to take the waters there (that recurring Bat motif strikes again!...)

Saturday we did our afternoon soundcheck in Hitex City, an industrial twilight zone on the outskirts of Hyderabad (the city where most of your your tech support phone inquiries get outsourced to--and, usually, answered in British-accented Indian tones) where we set up our gear in a huge sweltering corrugated shed the size of an airplane hangar (yup, playin' the sheds this summer, Ernie)... followed by media interviews with Wow, Indian Express, and ETV (the girl from Wow who interviewed me was really cool, nice and sweet and pretty and she'd actually done her homework and was fully conversant with my musical history)...

Kali the Destroyer, Hyderabad India

Shiva the Destroyer, Hyderabad

One of the 4 Gates to the Old City, Hyderabad

Hyderabad Old Town market

Note retching female on the right

Click to enlarge (hosted by flickr)

at last we hit the stage of a much spiffed-up and (finally) air-conditioned shed for the Bacardi B-Live Bacchanale with that loveable Bacardi Bat motif on huge banners overhead a flyin', blasting off at 10pm for a slightly truncated set as the civic powers that be had mandated a citywide curfew since the bombings, and right away I got a cheering crowd of young and old music freaks gathering in front of me who air-guitared my every move, their vociferous shouts of approval goading me on to play even more crazily...and Cosmo was pumping up the volume with a select mix of rare grooves and techno and trance old and new...and thousands upon thousands were pouring into the joint as the hour wore on and they were thoroughly grooving on our music and ogling Katie's alluring and provocative dithyrambic display (too provocative apparently, as eventually a cop asked her to cease and desist from her not-all-that rude dancing)...

and then finally, we were told it was time to cool it down by the police, and Ratan importuned them forjust one more encore...and Cosmo slapped a super-hot dance mix of The Doors "Break On Through" (yeah!) on her turntables, and the lights were flashing and the hot bodies in the crowd were throbbing and I cranked my sea-foam green Strat up to 11 and she began wailing and ululating in synch with diamond shaman Jim...

and then that Morrisonian Spirit of Dionysos unleashed was stricken and struck dumb from the stage--as the police jumped up and threatened to arrest us all if we didn't shut it down right then and there...

which, it is my sad duty to report, we did (albeit reluctantly!)--much to the general groans of consternation from the sweaty party throng who had gathered to participate in the old hypnagogic ceremony--all of them now super-primed and amped after knocking back copious amounts of Bacardi mixers on sale for a song at the back...

oh well, that's show biz on the frontier!

Cosmo and the gang split back to London the next morning at 6am...

and Caroline and I flew first back to Mumbai and then made our way to gorgeous green Goa by the sea--time for some serious max'n and relax'n, first real vacation in a year...

(yes I love doing this for a living--but outside of that actual shining hour where one is generating heat and light onstage...

well, outside of that, there are still a few compensatory perks, let us say...travel to lovely India being one of them...)

and will now draw a discretionary veil over these proceedings-- in fact I'm going to take a break from writing this blog for a bit for some much needed r and r (and a chance to do some composing and songwriting--I write best in hotels, for some strange reason)

See ya on the flip flop in August! (if we're all still here...)

xxLove

Gary

3 Comments:

Blogger Mojo Station said...

Hy Gary,
do you know Jessie Mae Hemphill, an old and important bluewoman from Senatobia, Mississippi? Yesterday, is dead. Is a bad news for the blues listeners.
Bye.

( www.jmhemphill.org )

7/23/2006 12:44 PM  
Blogger Gary Lucas said...

yes, i'ts really sad about her passing!

Gary

8/02/2006 2:42 PM  
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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Bloody Good Show!

There was a Bantam paperback anthology called "Black Humor" that came out around 1965 that functioned as one of the key incendiary devices of my youth, blasting open my consciousness in a year that saw "The Rolling Stones Now!" and "Bringing It All Back Home" establish themselves as the twin soundtracks of my life--"Black Humor" was an essential Ur text of that year (along with "I, Jan Cremer", Mailer's "Advertisements for Myself", and any issue of Evergreen Review, Ramparts, Mad, and Fact, Eros, and Avant-Garde that I could get my guitar-strangling hands on--speaking of the last 3 mags, rest in peace Ralph Ginzburg, idol of my youth, victim of a government witch-hunt against so-called obscenity).

Edited by the great Bruce Jay Friedman (author of "Stern", "About Harry Towns", "A Mother's Kisses"--fabulous dark satires, subtle comedic masterpieces all of them, by a man whose literary rep has shrunk inversely to his success as a Hollywood screenwriter, an author who should be a hell of alot better known today other than as the writer of the screenplay for "Splash"), this little book's cover depicted a closed black coffin with a pink bra caught in and dangling from its shuttered lid, captioned thought balloons depicting the voices of lovers emanating from within (one is reminded of Andrew Marvell's howler "To His Coy Mistress": "The grave's a fine and proper place/but none I think do there embrace"...also that photo postcard that Maila Nurmi, a/k/a Vampira, whose bosomy cleavage and 17 inch wasp-waist helped propel "Plan 9 From Outer Space" into the pantheon of high Camp, mailed to her friend James Dean depicting her lasciviously lounging on a tombstone in Forest Lawn, with the inscription "Come and Join Me Darling!").

Inside were excerpts of works by Friedman (his short story "Black Angels"--niiiiice!), Thomas Pynchon ("In Which Esther Gets a Nose Job", from "V."), J.P. Donleavy ( a wild snort of exultation from "The Ginger Man", which I hear they are finally bringing to the screen--about 40 years too late, but what the heck), Edward Albee's "The Sandbox", a short story by Nabokov, an excerpt from John Barth's "The Sot-Weed Factor", still his best book, and more stories and bites from Terry Southern, Joseph Heller, and the fabulous James Rechy--closing with the knockout onetwo punch of a passage from Louis-Ferdinand Celine's "Journey to the End of the Night" (the "all your seasick sailors they are rowing home" section).

Now I daresay this little book coloured my nascent teenage world-view in a majorly way (with the absurdist drama of the Vietnam War playing out in daily bloody installments on Walter Krankheit's show in those years, how could it not?) -- and also served to point me in the direction of much great modernist literature--because after sampling the delights of this book I went out in hot pursuit of just about every writer I've mentioned here, and subsequently enjoyed their work (in the main, esp. Donleavy) immensely. Definitely a volume ripe for re-issuing ("Pass it on boys...Pass it on!").

All this is preamble to saying that Martin McDonagh's corruscating satiric play "The Lieutenant of Inishmore", now playing on Broadway at the Lyceum on 45th Streetm is probably the greatest black humoresque modern masterpiece I've enjoyed (and stayed awake through!) in ages, and may well be the best show currently playing on Broadway (can't say for a certainty as there's a bunch I haven't seen, yet--"Awake and Sing!" was pretty damn good by the way)--and if Bruce Jay Friedman was commissioned to edit "Black Humor Vol. 2" (and God only knows we could surely use it in this sanguinary age, where "The Daily Show" plays out as actual Truth) he could do no worse than to lead off his anthology with this particular play (way, way better than his "Pillow Man", which wasn't half bad). "Horror movies are the only true reality," Van Vliet once told me, a remark I repeated in a Yale Daily News article, and which was then recycled as a Blue Book essay question ("Captain Beefheart has stated that 'Horror Films are the only true reality'. Discuss.") in a Modern Philosophy Final Exam given later that year. (Course was called "The Self and Others"). (Here Comes Everybody).

Now in the matter of medieval bodily Humours, Black was the colour-coded correlative for Bile, was it not--and Truth to tell, much bilious as well as bloody bits of business crop(py-boy) up on stage here in a manner positively Tourner-esque (Cyril, as well as Jacques--think "The Revenger's Tragedy" crossed with "Curse of the Demon", a film derived from M.R. James's short story "Casting the Runes"-- cited in my lyrics to "In a Forest", available as a free mp3 download on my website). Tarantino has been name-checked as an inspiration to McDonagh, but I was more reminded of the backroom of Satriale's Pork Shop with Tony Soprano and the boys a'carving away...in fact Blood seems to be the operative medium in this Age in which we swim (not merely "the rose of myserious union", pace James Douglas Morrison). One is reminded of Theodore Sturgeon (Vonnegut's Kilgore Trout)'s short story "Some of Your Blood", in which the pathological atom-age vampire is discovered in rabid pursuit of his paramour's menstrual flow...(also Germaine Greer in "The Female Eunuch", in which she posits that if the modern woman is unable to enjoy the taste of her own period, she really hasn't come a long way, baby). Mmmmm mmmm good!

And blood sure does flow copiously herein, like Macbeth on ensanguinated overdrive (...till Birnam Wood doth come to dance inane)--lotsa damn spots coagulating into veritable rivers of claret, enough to float a flotilla of pirate ships (and by the way I found the 300 million dollar "Dead Man's Chest" curiously inert last night in the cinema after the splendid hijinx of "Curse of the Black Pearl", director Gore Verbinski --good name for this ramble!--only pumping up the volume in the last half hour or so) (mention should also be made of the Ray Harryhausen connnection here, as Verbinski's Kraken beastie was first depicted onscreen in a film historical sense in Ray's "Clash of the Titans"--also the tenticular CGI whizbang version on view in "Dead Man's Chest" isn't a patch on Ray's giant squid in "It Came From Beneath the Sea", copping the same moves and all...Ray's delivered alot more bang for alot less bucks) .

In "The Lieutenant of Inishmore"'s rosy cruci-fiction, a deranged IRA splinter group (the Army of Inishmore?) run amuck on the auld sod, lots of psychotic bumbling stage Irishmen casually committing torture, maiming, and other extreme corpuscular mayhem (and one dainty murderous punkette, the Irish Lieutenant's Woman, singing Dominic Behan's "The Patriot Game"--melody of which was pinched by Dylan for "With God On Our Side", a smart choice of pilferage--the volk tradition, didya nae know?--as Dylan's lyric renders Behan's sardonic commentary into the flattened affect/dead-brainpanned voice of the patriot simpleton justifying his slaughter with the imprimatur of the Divine) (s'funny because one recollects Dylan trying to throw Derroll Adam's blood-hound instincts off the scent of his lovin' theft, as it were, in "Don't Look Back" at the scene of that drunken party, when Dylan attempts to shift gears after the incident of the broken glass aerolith, with: "Are there any poets like Allen Ginsberg around here?" and Adams replies : "No, no, nothing like that--Dominic Behan"-- and Dylan covers his bloody tracks--"With God On our Side" being last year's model, but still in the showroom--with "Hey, yeah, yeah, you know, you know. No I don't wanna hear nobody like Dominic Behan, man, Dominic Behan"--well, Dylan was so much younger than...)..

And all these mixed-up contusions for the love of a Cat (jaysus!)-- namely Wee Thomas, the flung dummy dessicated corpus of which is passed around like a totemic head on a pike throughout the proceedings (conjuring up memories of the Monty Python "Confuse a Cat" sketch--not to mention John Cleese nailing that Dead Parrot to the perch in his pet shop in the scenes here concerning the loutish Irish pair trying to reconstitute the dead critter)--in fact the farcical 'arold the Flying Sheep country bumpkin-ish (more) tones of the Python crew do waft benignly throughout the onstage proceedings, also the bloody-minded astringent non-sequiturs of 'arold Pinter circa "The Caretaker", there's even a soupcon of Beckett in this bucket 'o blood (McDonagh's cup runneth over)--

and the penultimate curtain closer, when the actual Poe-etical Black Cat Wee Thomas makes a surprise appearance, risen from the dead Pyewacket- like (the cat in "Bell, Book and Candle"--after Kim Novak, the real star of that film) brought a delighted gasp from the crowd on Friday night, a crowd psychically attuned to the shattering savage wit of the play, right up there with "Marat/Sade" in me humble opinion, in its jaundiced view of the human condition. In fact Billy Connolly (fantastic Scottish comedian) was overheard in the bogs of the off-Bway theatre where his brilliant one-man show was playing a few weeks ago saying that "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" was the funniest thing he'd seen recently...so what are you waiting for?

(Audience also gasped at the dismemberment scene near the finis, as in a life-imitates-art moment--or is it the other way round?--a derelict went at a subway rider Thursday night here with 2 power saws)...

(shout-out to Drew Friedman, I still have your video copy of "Daughter of Horror"--great great avant-horror film of the 50's with the hallucinatory quality of a dream and a voice-over narration by an uncredited Ed McMahon--Drew being the son of Bruce Jay Friedman, and a spectacular artist in his own right with the vision of a modern Hogarth, whose meticulous pen and ink renderings of Tor Johnson and Vampira and Joe Franklin delight me to this day. His brother Josh Alan Friedman's "Tales of Times Square" is a must-read, too--what a talented Brood!).

Off to India tomorrow at 8am to play Bacardi-sponsored shows in Mumbai and Hyderabad with my pal the female dj/producer Cosmo, along with a percussionist and a fire-dancer this time, unlike London last month these shows are open to the public and they're estimating crowds of 2500 in Mumbai and 5000 (spirits) in Hyderabad...very excited, my first trip there...after the gigs a much needed holiday is on the agenda but I plan to keep posting throughout...

xxLove

Gary

ps I just got sent a mix of a track I co-wrote with the British group Onetwo, a new group featuring my friend Paul Humphreys from OMD and the lovely Claudia Brucken, the former singer of Propaganda, who is possessed with the voice of an Angel--
I gave them the finished music, and they've added percussion and Claudia's voice and lyric--and I cannot get this song out of my head, playing it over and over and over, how I wish I could share it with you now! Certainly one of my best collaborations, ever...it will be featured on Onetwo's debut album out in October..

if you don't know Claudia's voice, seek out Propaganda's "Duel" single, which I'd rate in my Top 5 (this week anyway--along with Black Uhuru's "Shine Eye Girl", Jonathan Richman's "Corner Store", Dylan's "Corrina Corrina", and The Mamas and the Papas "Dedicated to the One I Love"...)

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Monday, July 03, 2006

A Song of Summer

...was the name of Ken Russell's classic 1968 BBC Monitor film about the great English composer Frederick Delius, based on Eric Fenby's memoirs (Fenby the young chap who sacrificed his own career to aid the blind, ailing Delius--then in the advanced stages of tertiary syphillis-- by getting the music that was still swirling round his head down onto manuscript paper before he died)-- a heart-breaking story, a wonderful film, and it was Delius' symphonic tone poem "A Song of Summer" I punched up on the old Itunes last night in my solitude when the rains came to break the leaden tropical miasma hanging over the city, rain bringing sweet release, sunset peeping brilliantly through the thick purple skies over the Hudson River flowing outside my window--this after a week or so soaking up so much great music to be found on display in NYC ("New York is a Summer Festival" was the slogan du jour during the Lindsay administration, and was holding strong when I moved here 30 years ago--and it's still true).

Brazilian Girls keep getting better and better, Sabina came out wearing a giant Chinese coolie hat at their free show on the 15th Street Pier last Tuesday night and launched into "Lazy Lover" from under her lid, and afterwards doffed it to reveal her lissome self looking more beautiful than ever, in full throated lovely voice-- and despite some intermittent sound problems, she and the guys got the crowd pumped and adrenalized nicely with some new tunes from their forthcoming album "Talk to La Bombe", and she brought on a little girl named Tallulah near the end of a too too short set, squatting down with her mic and prompting the girl to sing the lyrics to a PG-rated version of "Don't Stop". And the rain blessedly held off till they were finished.

Next night Diamanda Galas delivered a typically intense and stunning set of "Dark Songs" (her latest programmer, as they say in Variety) at Joe's Pub, Diamanda's last name might as well be Callas as she is a true monstress sacre, with her formidable scary avant/operatic pipes and Gothic incantatory blackmass blues situated at the crossroads of the Pit and the Pendulous (there was even a little Garland thrown into the mix this time-- Judy as well as Lily, pace Howard Hawks' and Ben Hecht's "Twentieth Century"). She did a fantastic version of Ralph Stanley's "Oh Death", holding long vibrato'ed notes while her impressive forceful clawed piano explorations (but I mean jazz!) wandered into minimalist aleatory patterns that kept hovering/fading/ swelling back again and again like a recurrent nightmare, a real momento mori-- music that literally provoked chills: to paraphrase Van Vliet, whose range and vocal prowess on a good day she more than rivals, Diamanda doesn't make music...she makes monsters. (In fact she sat near the front of the house and cackled her way through one of my band's sets at the Mercury Lounge here in '94, one of the early multi-vocalist incarnations of Gods and Monsters, with Emily, Dina Emerson, and Richard Barone--great vocalist, also on my forthcoming album-- taking turns in the vocal catbird seat--afterwards Lady Di told me that I was the only guitarist she'd ever consider working with...s'true, I'm not making this shit up) (but I ain't holding my breath either...a prudent policy, after some very hard lessons learned about divas of both sexes over the years). Rock on with your bad self, Diamanda!

Thursday night was a screening at the Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center of a documentary called "Bound to Lose" about one of my favorite alltime bands, The Holy Modal Rounders--and having played on and off with main guy Peter Stampfel as The Du-Tels for many a year it brought a tear to see Peter really and finally get his due in this superbly affecting film. One of the biggest pleasures also was seeing how much good stuff they got out of Steve Weber as an on-camera force 'o nature, right before he did a runner on the 40th Rounders Reunion show in Portland a few years ago. I know they were considered crazed acid Folkies, but here Weber comes off as pure demoniac Dionysian rock energy and attitude (see my last blog posting), waxing philosophical and hilarious about his hellbent party ethos under the verdant leaves and eaves of his ramshackle tabernacle in the woods of hippie haven, New Hope Pa.--home of my boys Ween, also-- and herein observed at play trying to pry the bottlecaps off myriad microbrews, unsuccessfully (btw, Peter is a big bottlecap collector, he collects 'em from all over the world, and once asked me to bring him back a bunch from a solo residency I was playing in Tokyo). In the Walter Reade audience paying their respects were Jim Fouratt, Bob Christgau, Peter Keepnews, Irene Trudel, Ed Haber, Stu Shimmel, Tuli Kupferberg's old lady whose name I forget (sorry!), and my guy "hypnotist collector" Mitch Blank, who introduced me to his friend in the next seat over, the lovely Susie Rotolo (Dylan's early NYC squeeze/muse/conscience).

Speaking of Steve Weber and the Dionysian, Portugese music writer Rui Silva (author of a forthcoming tome on The Doors) has just emailed me to remind me that today is the 35th anniversary of Jim Morrison's death in Paris. Now I remember visiting Pere-Lachaise once (Elli Medeiros, the sultry French superstar I was staying with, lived quite near by--by the way she is simply super singing "Skin Diving" on my forthcoming album "Coming Clean") and unsuccessfully attempting to find Jim's grave. Appollinaire, Eluard, Chopin, Ernst, Melies, and Callas (!)--finding their sepulchers was no problemo, for starters...but Morrison's shrine eluded me, until...

I was eventually led to Jim's gravesite by hordes of young Polish Catholic school kids who were running wild in the cimetiere looking for Morrison, kids who had been flown into Paris specially to cheer on the Pope (yeah!) as John Paul was making a major speech in Paris that week. Wouldn't you know it that the wayward, (Pan)Piperish, pie-eyed spirit of Jimbo was calling out to these children in the dulcet tones of the Lord of the Flies, singing a siren song of Dionysos?

"The Power of Jim Compels Thee!"

And these happy go lucky Polish kids eventually led me to the sacred wood, Morrison's final resting place--which I found covered in yellow crime-scene tape (and much bathetic graffiti, on the order of what one usually finds inscribed on the walls of far too many dressing rooms)... seems the night before some crazed fan had absconded with Jim's head (actually, the marble bust of Morrison that normally presides there over his plot) (was the second or third time this had happened, too). O That Demon Rock 'n Roll!

Now the reason I bring this up in conjunction with Weber is that Jim Morrison, for all the Dionysian qualities that made him such an iconic shaman, also teeters precariously on the lip of the Ludic abyss in our collective memory, which casts him too as somewhat of a clownish buffoon, exposing his weener in Florida and all (and don't get me wrong, I adore The Doors!) (Blood on the sheets in the town of New Haven, indeed). And this holds true as well for Weber, for Iggy, for Beefheart, for Axl Rose, for pity's sake...As Wyndham Lewis wrote in "The Wild Body": "The gladiator is not a perpetual monument of triumphant health: Napoleon was harried with Elbas: moments of vision are blurred rapidly, and the poet sinks into the rhetoric of the will". And Jim was obviously aware of this, and wrote and spoke of himself ironically throughout his mercurial passage on Earth (besides his brilliant songs, one of his most endearing and saving of Graces). ("Pretty good, pretty good, pretty neat...pretty good!"). The only non-ironic shamen I can think of are typically, the world's worst most blood-thirsty dictators. Raucous Role (playing), indeed...

(should also mention re Morrison that I'm old friends with Patricia Kennealy, the former Rock and Pop editor and white witch who married Jim as depicted in a Wicca (media) ceremony in Oliver Stone's flick...and that she read some of Jim's unpublished erotic love poems to her set to my music, when I accompanied her at the Union Square Barnes and Noble several years ago...)

Saturday and Sunday I treated myself to one of the city's best summer pleasures, namely Summerstage at Central Park, a free outdoor dejeuner sur l'herbe avec la musique--big crowds and a festivo atmosphere and lots of summer sun pouring down, saw my pal ace Times photog Jack Vartoogian in the trenches snapping madly away... Ska Cubano came on and played their first gig in the US and were a rollicking joy mixing mambo and ska styles and what have you with 2 male kibbitzers in front exhorting the crowd to shake it (and o yes they did, too) and they had a gorgeous female tenor/baritone player who blew the house down under the canopy during her solo...

and Balkan Beat Box followed and were really good too, led by my friend Ori Kaplan who snakedanced onstage with an auxillary brass band and a sexy belly dancer who worked up the collective sweat and 2 female singers sweating as well and sweetly emanating forth with a vocal delivery on the order of les mysteres de la voix bulgares and a Rachid Tah-esque front guy ratcheting up the pressure and exhorting and cavorting the crowd hither and yon, band mixing Balkan and klez with partydown beats...

then I had to split so missed Antibalas, who I've heard before (a big Fela fan, I can stand them okay)...and next day was Jose Gonzalez, an Argentine Swedish singer/songwriter/guitarist whose Nick Drakish stylings the crowd lapped up but left me feeling a little bit unmoved, shall we say-- but I dug Seu Jorge and his Brazilian groove band very much and I got to thankfully view it all from the Sky Deck this time along with Caroline and Pakistani galpal Shaista and her 2 little tykes (very well-behaved they were too) and critical theorist/band leader Greg Tate and beautiful Imani Uzuri (soon to host some forthcoming Summerstage concerts, catch her at Makor this weekend, she is the real deal) and author with a hot ms. in the making Christa Bell, and a bevy of beautiful ladies and gents of all colours all gathered there thanks to Summerstage maven Alexa Birdsong (you go, grrrrrl!)--birdsong reminding me of my favorite Delius composition "On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring"...

xxLove

Gary

2 Comments:

Blogger bob kesto said...

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7/11/2006 3:09 AM  
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7/19/2006 5:19 PM  

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