Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thanks, Alan.

Alan Lomax, folk historian and one of the greatest collectors of folk music from around the world, has given us the ultimate gift: His collection!

I read this last night and haven't been able to stop listening. It's massive and authentic nature Is really a dream come true for folk music lovers and anyone looking for some new music to dig into. Along his extensive folk travels, Lomax discovered the hugely talented Mississippi country blues signer Fred McDowell (if you don't know, you will soon fall in love. see below.)

So, here's a peek. Thanks, Alan. And as a nice coincidence, happy birthday to you (January 31, 1915).

Rosalie Hill

Mississippi Fred McDowell

P.S. I spent the day in Washington D.C. on sunday for the first time. If you happen to go to the Adams Morgan neighborhood this is the spot for falafel (sorry, the website is awful)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

All My Little Words

For the last 5 or 6 years, the purging process has been moving pretty rapidly. I'm not sure if it's from the onslaught of several hours of Hoarders marathons, or just a general sense that..I have too many things. Still a renter, it's a difficult and strenuous task to haul one million books and two million records. But, for all my purging, there are certain things I don't want to part with: The first record I bought with him, A chain my dad bought me that I'll never wear, etc. If I burned everything, at least I had those, I always thought. I did realize (just today) that in this purging period, I've lost a little meaning. I don't yearn to be overly sentimental, but I'd like it to exist in small compartments inside me with a little physical reminder. Not spilling over, but quietly existing, you know? Maybe a more selective and thoughtful purge is needed.

The other night at work a woman walked in with a wallet she had found in the parking lot in front of the cafe. She didn't want to bear the responsibility of it, so I told her we would keep it in hopes that this young girl would stop in. Her license photo looked familiar and I assumed she would come searching for it. I casually looked through to see if we could find a phone number. Nothing. Lots of checks, safeway coupons, a book of stamps, neatly organized receipts. This morning, I realized it was still sitting under the register. We flipped through it once more, a little more thorough. We found a tiny handwritten piece of paper : Brian R. with a phone number and a small black heart.

We called and he was relieved to know that it had popped up. "She's been worried about it and has been too busy to look around," he said.

"Wait, how did you know to call me?"

We mentioned that his phone number was written on a small piece of paper with his name.

"We've been dating for three years, I can't believe she kept that."

In your pocket, In your wallet.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dance Time...

With African Scream Contest. Enjoy. Don't break your bones.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I dream of Nebraska

Michael Shannon is really underrated(I need to start watching Boardwalk Empire). He's got a frightening and disturbing way about him...Those scars are from a dark past. Michael Shannon, don't look directly at me...eek.

He kinda scares the shit out of me.

Watching this trailer made me feel a little uneasy so naturally, I really wanna see it! His unrelenting dreams have taken over his quiet small town life and his bizarre reactions to them create doubt and fear with the people around him. But it may not be a product of his subconscious. Have you seen this yet? I'm drawn to it.


I really need to learn to play the harmonica already. At least just a few notes from Nebraska? I was reminded of my favorite album of his earlier today. Home recordings done so right. I don't want to minimize this album and call it roadtrip specific because it's more than that, but it's a must on any drive. Long or short.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I am what I eat. I am a latte.

I just finished watching the documentary, Food Matters(Is that Jewel?). So, yea, I'm scared as hell. I'm also really really hungry right now.

Not just scared, I feel duped. Here's why..

When I was 19 I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I had a large celled tumor on my chest the size of a potato(doctor's words). Long story short, I freaked out but had an optimistic prognosis. They pumped me full of poisonous goodies and magical laser beams...No eyebrows. No appetite. But 8 months later I was Cancer clean and back to myself. I'm thankful I had a kind and good mannered doctor and my father's full insurance coverage. But no one really asked me the right questions. And no one really said what control I had over the situation or what steps I could take to preserve this new found "health".

After watching Food Matters I tried to remember all the conversations I had with any medical professional about what I should be eating, avoiding and doing. Nothing. No one mentioned the words, "Try to eat healthy or include such and such in your diet". They said, "Eat what you can and want because your appetite will be different." Okay then, I can easily eat chili cheese fries because it's delicious and accessible. I'm sure cancer cells love that.

I feel duped.

I was young and had no real motivation to take matters into my own hands. My disease had vanished so problem solved. Frankly, I wasn't educated enough on the matters of nutrition and physical health and it's affect on our minds(dementia?) and bodies. Or I shoved that information into a subconscious cave in my brain where I didn't have to admit that Ramen Noodles ARE bad. The fact is, it does matter. We do have control. If I took anything from this documentary it's the control we have on US. They can fuck up a burger at Wendy's and pump hormones into a tomato and call it food, but It's my choice to consume it.

Interesting and not so surprising fact: You know what Country has the lowest rate of cancer? Japan. Green tea, sea plants and fish oil. Just sayin'.

P.S. Take your daily multivitamin.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The grass is pretty okay.

I've been visiting Slate.com more than usual lately. I think a friend of a friend mentioned their culture podcast and now I'm kinda hooked.

Even better, they've been sharing a ton of photos from selected time periods.
This one, I really got caught up in. Life. 80 years ago. Most, if not all, seem to be taken in France in the early 1930s. Everything seems poetic and tortured beautifully in black and white...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Eat. Read. Rock &Roll.

So, 2012.

I'm not sure I will stick to any resolutions and I'm pretty sure every year I don't make any concrete ones.

I will say, I feel things will get a little better. I don't usually ride this positivity wave and it may not last but today, things will be better. I will finish all the books I received over the holidays and share them with friends, I'll be better about calling you(or calling you back) anddd I definitely promise to find new records that inspire me, a new job(fingers crossed) and see more of Michigan come summertime. These aren't resolutions, they're future small triumphs. Triumphs, resolutions..whatever.

So far, this is the good of 2012..

I'm loving the Carter Family before Miss June came along. I closed my eyes and was sitting in a church pew, wishing they wouldn't stop.

Chili and chocolate. In my coffee mug. Maybe in yours too? I'm happy to start making this at the cafe.

I used a variation of this recipe.

I added a pinch of chili powder and espresso and made this a spicy mocha. This shit has a backbone, beware! It's worth every sip.

When I was younger, I never read. Anything. I didn't enjoy it, but truthfully, I barely tried. My sister breezed through Little House on The Prairie in twenty minutes while I played basketball in my church dress. But I started in my 20s(eventually) and forced myself to keep going. I'm playing major catchup. I'm more than okay with that.

First book of the year. From New York's housing and racial divide to Kingston as THE home of hip-hop(someone used a mic before them). This is pretty comprehensive and you can tell Chang did his research. I'm excited to see what comes next.

..and the year goes on. Enjoy it.