Saturday, May 28, 2011

stories in melody


i think i'm in a wee bit of recovery at the moment. this may partially explain why i have been having such a craving for matzo ball soup. i just left my place to grab some as takeaway from miller's again.


last night, i decided to try a "new to me" taqueria in the mission and definitely felt some ill effects this morning. so it was good to have something a bit mellow in my tummy right now. i didn't do my usual noshing thing at the ferry building this morning. i pretty much stuck to my cappuccino from blue bottle.....


a few strawberries from dirty girl (that i had bought earlier but was just eating them in line)....as well as my sample taste of jesse/beer and nosh/sodacraft's smoked strawberry vanilla bean soda. he was sharing the stand with hapa ramen today. if my stomach had been up for it, i would have slurped some ramen from hapa ramen, had a lot more of the soda as well as a scoop of the strawberry bourbon ice cream from humprhy slocombe that jesse/beer and nosh/sodacraft had on hand to make floats with his fermented sodas.

but alas, felled by a burrito.

one of the reasons why i was in the mission last night was because i stopped into the red poppy house to hear louis play in his band, lou lou and the gypsy jivers....

as i have mentioned before, louis is a former engineer, but always....always...been a musician....and now he pursues this passion full time through teaching, writing music, and playing gigs. i ended up walking through the entrance of the red poppy with a snicker since this 11 (ish? maybe) year old boy who was standing with his parents decided that he wanted to look at me for a while, before breaking into a not-so-shy-smile, and then said "hi".

given his age...which seemed to be 11 going on 30...i wasn't able to be heartless....so i said "hi" back.

just "hi" mind you.

i'm not quite certain what is going on in the universe right now with young'uns deciding that i'm a safe person to test out their game on, but i thought it was cute and was bemused by the rather ballsy maneuver. actually, both his father and i were very bemused by this. i kinda half wondered if he was one of louis' students.

not only have i known CK, his wife, since we were at university....but i kinda feel like i've known louis, an extremely exuberant passionate south african, for a long time as well. yet, i've only heard louis play a handful of times over the years. as i sat in the audience, one of the things that immediately stood out to me...even before he was playing....when he was just talking to the crowd...was how he talks to the crowd EXACTLY the way he talks when he is at home...when he and CK are having folks over for dinner. i had to smile at all of the upbeat energy and warmth coming from him....because it was louis...being louis.

also, the way he speaks so passionately about his music is exactly the way he spoke to me on the phone about it when we were editing the liner notes for the album.

he is...who he is....and he puts himself out there....not only in his interactions with people, at gigs, but also within his music. i find that i must tip my hat to those that write music and those that write about music. i can't even imagine how difficult it must be to write music as i just find it extremely challenging to write about music....and how important it is to our culture and who we are as human beings.

there are many influences within louis' music. as i am not familiar with the gyspy jazz genre, i don't have the background or references to cite. yet, i can say that it is energetic....i can say that when i hear it i can imagine it being almost a different time...and that what i heard that night would not be out of place in new orleans...specifically streaming out of one of the local clubs on frenchman street. i miss new orleans.

i can also describe the scene in the cozy living room like space....with color photographs streaming across the walls.....that was packed with people...listening intently to the sounds....standing by the bar or sitting in one of the well worn wooden chairs or benches. as i sat towards the back, i was able to see how the music impacted different people in the audience. i suppose it is in my nature to observe so i got out my notebook and while listening to the music....i wrote about what i saw in the audience


  • the truly eccentric boho hippie with multiple inches of white hair that almost formed a perfect radius around his face... swaying by the front entrance...well behind the band....moving from foot to foot...clasping his hands together in such joy.
  • the lovers...whose casual yet intimate body language demonstrated a comfortableness that only comes with extensive time and companionship....their bodies turned slightly toward each other...in tune with each other and the music at the same time. one of them...his face scrunched in concentration as if the music was flowing into him....as for his lover....his head was moving in a gentle bobbing....while tapping his foot to the jive.
  • there was one of the red poppy employees...almost hidden by the equipment on the bar....he was literally dancing and spinning behind the bar....feeling the tunes. i remember wishing that one day, i hope to be in the audience to see a community of people doing exactly what that employee was doing while louis plays.
  • the seemingly stern scruffy man with the buddy holly like eyeglass frames, his arms crossed almost defensively, his back resting across the bar....yet, his head was bobbing....deeply....to the music....as if the music was pulling something out of him...despite himself.
  • of course, there was also the pair of ladies that were whooping and hollering....who were very excited about the music. there was also a very large part of me that was irrationally thinking..."i'm glad you are excited but it had better just be about the music. louis is married to my friend who is rather amazing and if i see you make a bee line toward him i may have to get all gangster on your asses. just on principle."

sigh.

yeah.

i know.

i am who i am as well...for better or worse.

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