Monday, January 30, 2012
Black-Eyed Peas, Dog Internet, and Uh-Oh Love Comes To Town
Not feeling so whoopy today--one of those sudden burning lung attacks that hits me once in a while. Fevery yucky dizzy. So, I have read most of David Byrne's The Bicycle Diaries, on a sickbed outfitted with fuzzy winter-themed ice-skate sheets. Yesterday I slow-cooked black-eyed peas w/ a ham bone for about six hours. Orange zest, cayenne, hot sauce, thyme, sage, and rosemary. After having that for lunch today I napped my way into the border between worlds and woke up feeling better--actual tweets outside. Birds, man, not electronic communication bits.
There's alot of communication going on at home, and around the block: dogs barking their warnings from house to house, blackbirds rasping. It's an animal internet. Dozer saying I "like button" your scent, neighbor dog, but I am going to use my fierce voice, just in case. It's good to be off the cloud and the I-dumbphone, and hear the sounds that animals make.
The first Talking Heads record has been hitting our turntable alot lately--a true classic. When I was about fifteen, I discovered that my sister Amy had the first two records; she had seen them with her art school buddies in Kansas City not once, but TWICE, on early club tours. She was enthused about this weird punky band, which sounded great to me. This is the same sis who took me to Clint's Comic's and Penny Lane Records and rated R movies. To be honest it took about twenty-five more years for her Laura Nyro records to make any sense to me, but the fact that she'd been blown away by a touring pop band in an actual nightclub really caught my interest. I knew this was a scene I had to make, even if I was a chunky kid in O.P. shorts, Stan Smith Adidas, and an Izod shirt. So I toted these records to my sister Sara's apartment in the city, where my future brother-in-law Jonathan made me a TDK-90 cassette copy. (Note: this was an early form of illegal file sharing, which made me a Talking Heads fan for life.)
While I'll always count The Meat Puppets show in '85 as the musical LSD that flipped my switch, Jonathan actually took me to my first "alternative" music concert: Black Crack Review. They were a Kansas City band that did a subversive, silly, punky Zappa-ish eclectic big band music. Their leader, The Reverend Dwight Frisell, sold me some very formative LPs, as a record store clerk at Penny Lane.
Yet, if you are feeling nostalgic about your old Talking Heads records, this isn't necessarily the book for you; it's more about art, architecture, culture, planning and zoning, history, and the breakdown of automobile culture in some places, while it is nascent in others. It's about seeing places at a pace that can only be set on a bike. Some discussion of music local to international cities he visits--and my favorite part, a matter-of-fact full-court press, in David Byrne's dry way, against puritanical reserve and white-bread conservatism. Delaying pleasure so that we might live in a better world beyond--or at least a suburb of Dallas. Because he maintains his intellectual composure, his might be a stronger argument for pleasure as a valid part of life than Iggy Pop jumping off a p.a. stack and rubbing peanut butter and broken glass on his chest. (But I am shocked and inspired by that too.)
This is it: enjoy your bicycle, listen to some music, have a beer or two, and keep your eyes and heart open in a weird global world.
I think Ed Cole will like this book, and so will Eric Sutton.