Monday, October 23, 2006

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Hippie Chic

Last June the higher-ups at Relix decided that I’m in need of new wardrobe. Realizing that most members of the Relix masthead are in need of a ‘clean eye for the heady guy’ makeover themselves, they enlisted the aid of an FOR (Friend of Relix for you civilians out there) named Jenny who has one foot firmly planted in both the jam and JAP worlds. According to reports from the shopping trenches, Relix’s makeover was a success, mostly thanks to Jenny’s ability to select items which are ‘hippie chic’ (the rarely visited middle ground between Banana Republic and Be Good Family). Her ability to pick cloths which matched both my black Relix t-shirt and my exposed white undershirt immediately impressed me and, when and if I ever get a raise, I’m defiantly going to hire Jenny as my fulltime stylist (right after I hire someone to teach me how to tie my shoes and brush my hair---I clearly failed kindergarten). Until then I can only repay Jenny with free tickets to see the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and with endless praise on my blog, a combination of which you see above.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Face on Mars

I’m not usually one to give into supernatural superstitions and conspiracy theories, but I’ve always been somewhat fascinated with the so called “Face on Mars.” According to my Uncle Mark, who follows these sorts of things, the Face is the exact size and shape of the Egyptian Sphinx and proportionately located to another pyramid-like mound. The image below was taken by the Viking Space Craft in 1976.

Here is a picture of the Egyptian Sphinx when its body was buried in sand circa 1860. If its head fell backward, it would look suspiciously like the infamous Face on Mars.

According to these more recent images taking last month the Face on Mars and its rocky neighbors look more like a plate of gold mash potatoes than an Egyptian valley, but it makes you wonder if, in deed, there are ruins of a great civilization buried on mars (and perhaps an undiscovered breed of first generation jambands!---sorry Max Creek).

While I don’t think an ancient race of Flintstones skirted around the universes building Sphinxes (if they did, they’d at least look like Betty Rubble), I have stumbled across at least one interesting theory. According to The Mars Mystery, and as quoted by Wikipedia, “...we have demonstrated with a substantial body of evidence that the pattern of stars that is "frozen" on the ground at Giza in the form of the three pyramids and the Sphinx represents the disposition of the constellations of Orion and Leo as they looked at the moment of sunrise on the spring equinox during the astronomical "Age of Leo" (i.e., the epoch in which the Sun was "housed" by Leo on the spring equinox.) Like all processional ages this was a 2,160-year period. It is generally calculated to have fallen between the Gregorian calendar dates of 10,970 and 88810 BC (op. cit., p.189) Which means that, if some form of life did exist on Mars back then, they might have built a series of monuments based on the same set of stars which inspired the Egyptians.

Who knows, maybe before people had blogs, they built Sphinxes to waste time while they should be studying (or at least sleeping)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Disco Biscuits in the Mike-Mike

Last Wednesday I spent an afternoon in the studio with the Disco Biscuits. After interviewing the group regularly for almost three years, I feel like I’m finally at the point where we are comfortable enough to have a real, deep, unguarded conversation which is nice for any “journalist.” I sometimes feel like the Almost Famous life is wasted on me since I don’t smoke weed or play an instrument. But, since I still have Cameron Crowe’s haircut cira-1976, Magner did invite me to play keyboards with the band while he fixed his microphone levels. So, here is my first (and only?) sit-in with the Disco Biscuits. I sure hope my performance makes the album’s final cut. Jammys 2007 anyone?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I’m a Black Belt in Karaoke

I’m not sure why I never got into Karaoke. Since I pretty much spend my entire day walking, err bouncing, around singing to myself anyway, logic would suggest that Karaoke would be my sport of choice. But, for whatever reason, I prefer to listen to music in solitude, with only an imagery audience to observe my disheveled dance step.

Friday night, however, my friend Jen tricked me into a half-night of Karaoke with some of her teacher friends. It seems that New York City public school teachers are much like any other urban workers, meaning that they tend to end their work week downtown intoxicated, complaining about their colleagues with their colleagues (and all this time I thought they were FOILing quadratic equations, go figure)

Apparently at least some teachers also like to sing to one another, so, while the east village temporarily relocated to New Jersey for a Yo La Tengo concert, I found myself on St. Marks Place, singing with a group of people who in any other setting would have surely given me detenion. Even though my music taste is pretty specific, I'm usually able to wing a good music conversation in any setting. I have , after all, suffered through concerts by such diverse artists as Rod Stewart, the Sugar Hill Gang, Backstreet Boys and Bright Eyes (wow, my music journalism cred just vanished quicker than a plate of bangles at brake-fast).

But, scared that I'd out Jen as a closet hippie, I sat silently, nodding along as a group of obviously intelligent people recited the “Barbie Song” as if it were a missing passage from Beowulf with the aid of their friend Jack (Daniels that is).

It’s odd how genre stereotypes inadvertently play into everyday life. It’s somehow socially accessible for a group of academics to publicly spoon with a bottle of whiskey, yet mentioning the three-letter j-word could very well have cost my friend Jen her job.Perhaps in couple of years Trey will be so far removed from jam-nation that good natured, but square thinking , teacher types will spend their Saturday’s singing the words to “Shine.” I already noticed that “Heavy Things” has creeped its way into the Karaoke machine---and if that’s not a sign of the hippie-rock apocalypse I don’t know what it.

As for me, I’m going to go to bed now and mouth the words to “Airplane/Primitive,” an awesome track off the Slip’s new album Eisenhower. Its opening line has been stuck in my scull since I first slipped in the disc yesterday: “It’s the day before the rest of my life.” And, if that’s not a great High Holidays message, I don’t know what is.

L’Shana Tova