Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Diversification Ain't Just for Portfolios Anymore

One stop shopping!

Look here: If the Cheese Truck came grunting up the street, you sure as heck'd chase after it. Don't be telling me any different. I don't care if it was the Chocolate Jimmies Truck or the Messianic Products Truck or the Patriotic Accessories Truck or the Awkward Moments Truck or the Truck your Aunt Arquilla was giving you for upsetting the Shuck Bowl -- coming down the other side of the street -- you'd be out chasing that Cheese Truck. It's part of what I'd term "Calisthenics" or, if you will, and I know you will, the Diversification of Your Portfolio. Have you heard somebody start a sentence, "Anymore..." anymore? Have you heard anyone claim that Bibim Bop was Korean Jazz? How can a man be both a celebrated actor and a deodorant? I dunno. See: Mitchum. Personally, I couldn't help but think of Mitchum, the guy, if I were applying Mitchum roll-on. It's why Blood And Gutstein endorses Speed Stick. Musk. AwwwwwYeah.

There is a world of difference between Musk and Must. Ask an elephant. He could use the former, in his every day, and he comes charging down, out of the mountains, when he is In Thrall to the latter, and when that happens, all the other elephants scatter -- except one of the gals. Former // Latter. Doesn't that drive you Barmy? Which is not my word. No, I picked it up, like a bad habit, in Charm City. I want to say, "I ride the train." So I will: "I ride the train." There are other men who wish to say, "I ride the bus" or "I ride the twos and fros of my biorhythms" or "I ride the whims of society's thrillseeking" or "I ride the political currents like the wimp I am" or "Somebody stole my milk money" and to them, I would say: Diversify. Chase the Cheese Truck & ride the train. Apply the Musk & ride the whims of society's thrillseeking. And if you can, seek out Robert Mitchum's most celebrated flick, DIP IN ROAD. He played the Dip. The road played itself. Yeeup.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

In Celebration of Lurkers Late

Tom Archia (L) played sax and sang the "Downfall Blues" (R).

According to Gwendolyn Brooks, out there are some folks who "Lurk late" and "Strike straight." While she may not have had jump blues musicians in mind, exactly, (she apparently had in mind "The pool players. // Seven at the Golden Shovel." instead) these are certainly some of the latest lurkers and straightest strikers, ever. Tom Archia, who played with many of the greats, sang the "Downfall Blues," a dirge about the perils of the Drink, then played cool bop & jump horn before there there were appreciated rock 'n' roll musicians, never mind unappreciated rock 'n' roll standouts. In effect, he is the unappreciated of the unappreciated. As was Freddie Mitchell, who comes to mind, too. On his "Sugarfoot Rag" and "Pony Express," it seems as if there's a musician in the back playing his baritone sax "Brooommmp // Brooommmp" in time with the rhythm section. Freddie Mitchell presents a manic horn akin to the (celebrated) excess of Big Jay McNeely, a west coast bar walker and tenor sax R&B man extraordinaire. Mitchell eventually became a cabbie and died in obscurity, whereas these two sides are some of the rockingest music you'll ever hear. Herb Hardesty lurked late behind Fats Domino, and Charlie Singleton lurked late, and a guy named "Dale" lurked late behind Rosco Gordon, who, himself, lurked late by banging the ivories while a whisky-drunk chicken danced atop the piano, and when I say "lurked late," I mean they waited, and waited in the song, until it was time to blow the daylights out of their horns, i.e., time to jump, and they did, "Lurk late" and "Strike straight." Morris Lane, Big Joe Houston, Chuck Higgins, Johnny Sparrow, Tab Smith, Lee Allen, Joe Morris on trumpet, and so forth. Gwendolyn Brooks wrote that her lurkers late did "Sing sin" and were "Thin gin." It's tragic, of course, at the end of her great poem, "We Real Cool," that the pool players -- "We // Jazz June. We // Die soon." -- may perish young, and it's tragic, in real life that raw, brash jump musicians (some of whom died young) never got credit for the social & emotional riot they blew out the bells of their horns. As if they were the "bad kids" in the poem whose anger and rebellion, in effect, were expressed, without compromise, in their music. We need more of that ("raw art") today. It is sorely lacking in our Land of Corporate Sameness. Hoy Hoy.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

British Subjects & Other Spellings

Ye Olde Royal Rippe?

March 5th is Fast Food Month, folks. You can go down to Wendy's and order some DQ. You can go down to NASCAR and order some Staying Powder. You can go down to Borders and order a Dipsy Do. The next four months go as follows: March 6th is White Noise Month; March 7th is Road Rage Month; March 8th is Wet Burp Month; and on March 9th there will be a Flatulence Mitigation Seminar entitled "You Cut Them Blind Mice Farts." Erupt / Elect / Erect / Eluct. Birch / Batch / Botch / Klatsch. Eegie / Wedgie / Nietzsche / Moe. Catch a candidate by his . . . Lying Ass. "Spare Change We Can Believe In." Now that's a Real Slogan Whose Time Is Now. Change is something you should beg for, after all. When we say British Spellings, we mean "Sirrah, the latrine stinks." We mean "Sirrah, adjust your Pince-nez immediately." We mean "A tossed salad doth maraud the virgins, Sirrah." Yes, the brisket. Yes, the hills. Let us digress in all the familiar ways:

Should it not be One Drink Minimum // Two Drink Minima? If you've got to tell people that they need to drink three drinks, we've moved beyond what I'd call Standard Practices and into the realm of Problem. The Bard sang of his Cougar: "40 inch bust -- BAHdum -- 40 years old -- BAHdum -- 40 inch waist -- BAHdum -- and a 40 ounce malt liquor in my haaaaands -- she's my 40/40/40/40 gal, and I love her yes I doooooooo." To whit: A particle is here and a particle is there. It is the same particle, simultaneously. A man is here and a man is there. If his alibi doesn't hold up, that is. Try it again. A man is here and a man is there. It doesn't work, does it? "Every rat needs his hole," said an elderly gentleman to me, one day. He was renting a bachelor apartment in my building, even though he was married, and lived with his wife. True, the ceiling had just fallen down on him, but he was cheerful, and that should be a lesson to us all. BAHdum.