In times of stress, we all have our vices we turn to. Mine include Snyder’s of Hanover Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzel bites (the “crack pretzels”), oversized flannel shirts I tend to wear on a daily basis, expensive cappuccinos from Think Coffee, watching The Graduate, and Fleetwood Mac. Yes, that’s right. Most people associate Fleetwood Mac with flowy skirts and that classic rock station the grocery store likes to play. And yes, some of their later stuff is a little bit of an epic fail. But 1977’s Rumours is a perfect piece of blues-inflected rock and roll wonder. Come on, any album where everyone in the band is writing about everyone else in the band’s failed relationships is bound to have some good stuff on it.
you see your gypsy....
I’ve been busy blogging for somewhere else. I know, I’m a traitor. But, this place that seems to be stealing all of my blogging time is the blog for my documentary thesis project. After three years of a print journalism education, I’ve turned into a filmmaker. Who knew? So I’m basically stealing time from one of my entities and transferring it to another. Which isn’t really stealing time, ‘cos it all benefits myself. Whew. Admission of guilt cleared.
My documentary short is tentatively titled “My Big Fat Greek Folk Dancing Competition.” It’s about a competitive Greek folk dancing competition that hits the West Coast every year with thousands of Greeks in attendance to compete in FOLK DANCING. That’s right. Folk Dancing. Much hilarity (and awesome performances) ensue. It’s also a way for me to reckon with my Greek past, something I both love dearly and try to avoid on many an occasion.
Proof I used to be a Greek folk dancer:
Check out the blog, which I update with the frequency that I used to give this thing: http://kalamatiano.wordpress.com
I think I may just be in the small minority of people under the age of 35 who actually listen to Elvis Costello. A lot. It’s more than just a healthy appreciation for “This Year’s Model.” I find myself listening to him on my iPod or spinning one of his albums on vinyl at least seven or eight times a week.
This love of the bespectacled “angry young man” is virtually imprinted on my DNA. My father owns just about every single one of his albums that were released from approximately 1977 to 1987. As a precocious tween making the eight hour drive down to Santa Cruz for that hallowed tradition of the “family vacation,” my father would blast any number of Elvis Costello albums. I would sigh rather loudly, roll my eyes as an eleven year old is prone to do, put on my headphones, and turn up The Spice Girls on my Walkman. Nine years later, I see that my father was trying to actually infuse my youthful, defiant ears with an appreciation for one of the greatest musicians of later half of the 20th century.
I’ll admit that I’m biased. While I respect his later work, I’m almost always listening to that first trifecta–“My Aim Is True,” “This Year’s Model,” and “Armed Forces,” with an occasional dash of “Get Happy!!” or “Imperial Bedroom.”Yes, his tunes blend pop sensibilities like jangling guitar lines and whirling synthesizers with the snarling sneer of the jilted lover and ignored genius. Yes, he’s commendable for trying his hand at every single genre in the record store (with arguably mixed results): Jazz, pop-punk, roots-rock, bluegrass, hell, the man’s even classically scored a ballet adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (here’s to you, “Il Sogno”).
But the reason I keep listening when my peers don’t is his complete understanding of the female psyche like no other male singer-songwriter I know of.
I saw this originally via Gothamist, one of my favorite sources for New York City related stories. Photographer Allan Tannenbaum is releasing a new collection of his fantastic photographs from New York in the 1970s (entitled, fittingly, “New York in the 70s”), from when he was the photo editor for the “SoHo Weekly News.” The photographs are chock full of disco balls, crumbling buildings, biker gangs, race riots, peace marches, celebrity celebrations, ridiculously short shorts made of incredibly synthetic materials, and just about every other thing that happened in the concrete jungle of the five boroughs during the decade.
He’s got some great shots of the Lower East Side back before Katz’s Delicatessen was sandwiched on the same block of Houston Street as a luxury condo building and an American Apparel.
(Photograph by Allan Tannenbaum)