Tuesday, October 03, 2006

In which we applaud a Great American (capital letters necessary)

Walter Hellman: I salute you. I salute your cool name, first and foremost, and want you to know that I'm not being an obsequious bootlick just because you own part of Slim's. I wouldn't do that. I might not have much class but dammit, I've got pride. I salute you for the same reason hundreds of thousands of other people will be saluting you in a few days time. Why, might you ask? Free banjos, I might answer.

See, each October in the City, we get this event called Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. I think once it was called Strictly Bluegrass until someone decided to book music made by folks with a majority of their molars. This year, among others, we get Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, and one of the Skuggseses, plus Elvis Costello on Friday night. I will be there for Emmylou because, well, we know how I feel about Emmylou (who, I'm sorry Hellman, has a cooler name than even you. Perhaps you'd think about naming your next daughter Emmylou Hellman? There's simply no topping that, except for Gonz Gonzales, but, really, there's nothing wrong with being second to perfection). If she plays "Red Dirt Girl," I'll become molten putty. Must remember to wear old pants.

The big bonus here: freeness. The whole thing is gratis. I'm sure there's a possibility that water vendors will be onsite, charging Woodstock II prices, but, hey, I didn't spend $300 a ticket to watch Scott Weiland sweat out last night's heroin binge, so I'll pay $4 for a twenty ounce Evian. And, since Hellman & Co. are obvious geniuses, they'll planned the thing for October, the most unseasonably pleasant month on our happy little pennensula.

And I ask you: What weekend couldn't be improved with free bluegrass? Not a one. And that's something you can't say about, say, Bubblegum Pop or Sweedish Gloom Metal or a hundred piece orchestral arrangement of "Do You Like Pina Coladas?" Those things, regardless of their price, would make most casual onlookers go righteously batty. In fact, any permutation of "Do You Like Pina Coladas?" causes me to seriously consider deafening myself with a finely sharpened chop stick. Bluegrass, I think, is just immently loveable. Plus, it comes from Appalacia, which is really only famous for inbreeding and retardation. Embrace their music instead of mocking their low standardized test scores.

Other than that, not much happening in Birdworld. I've settled into work and am moving desks daily like the barely not-expendable employee I am, I've finished reading my most recent book, and I feel like I'm home for real. Finally. The first week back was, well, surreal. At least I had a frozen tomale to greet me. All my produce met a far fuzzier fate.


Ashley said...

That sounds like a fun day out, and for free it cant be bad. It is a shame where i come from they dont put more things on for free there is the odd free concert but thats pretty rare and when it happens it is usually rubbish bands trying to garner some free publicity. Oh well i hope you have a fun day.

PS congrats on being blog of note on blogger.

birdmonster said...

Ashley: Thanks for the heads up, I had no idea at all.

As for free shows, well, yes: They're usually atrocious pretty much anywhere you go. But philanthropy made this one a possibility, so keep that in mind when you make your billions. The peons in the lower classes will demand banjo & you can give it to them. Statues will be built in honor of Ashley. Parades will be thrown. Life will be grand. I'll be there.

Sabrina said...

I never knock a free show. I found Birdmonster at a free studio session! They were lost and I recall someone falling.

birdmonster said...

I fall quite frequently. In fact, I fell off my chair a half hour ago.

We're free on WOXY & KEXP right now for sure. Unless WOXY is an internet corpse, which I think it is. Que triste.

Sabrina, I think your boss hates me. If he doesn't, he would.

birdmonster said...

Wait, I misunderstood. That was that 105 thing, wasn't it? I think Pete fell during that one. That's why you don't wear boots on a hardwood floor.

Gasoline Hobo said...

i think you meant to say that you should wear old, BROWN pants.

also, i feel kind of ripped off. see, i read "FREE BANJOS" and i considered bumping up the impending road trip to SF to acquire one of these free banjos. alas, they are apparently as thick on the ground as the elusive $50 army surplus jeep.

chumly said...

Sometimes I think I should move to the West Coast.

birdmonster said...

GH: Sorry. Still, you'd have to agree that listening to banjo for free is better than paying for it. Nothing would be better than a free banjo. In fact, when I'm a philanthropist, I'm gonna have a day where I solicit emails wherein the writers tell me why they deserve free banjos. I select the 100 best & we have the greatest ho-down EVER. This must happen.

Chumly: The ocean calls you. Fog and bums call you. Joooooin usssss.

Anonymous said...

Free concerts are awesome. I may not be big into bluegrass, but I have to tip my hat to a free concert. Congratulations on making Blog of Note!
Golf Saga

Sabrina said...

Just got out of a meeting. See, I am contributing. My Boss is a she and she could never hate you. Why or how did you fall off of your chair at work? Maybe I should switch SF companies?

Yes it was the 105 thing and yes it was Pete that fell. We'll need to buy those sandpaper adhesive thingies for the bottoms of those boots!I think they sell them in the Spear street shoe repair shop?
I have seen you fall too though. But yours was more graceful. Practice makes Perfect!

Oh and I want to be invited to the GREATEST HO DOWN EVER!

Gasoline Hobo said...

q: why do i deserve a free banjo?
A: because i will play it with a hoe at the hoe-down.

come on, you have to admit that's way cooler than playing a guitar with a violin.

Pamela said...

Cool site. Love the way you string words together like popcorn for the tree. Is that this Saturday? Or next? I'll be in the City on the next Saturday for the opera, would love to catch some more culture while I'm there.

Oh, and snake handling is anther aspect of Appalachia that you forgot to mention, but then that kind of stupidity could only be in-bred. ;) Got turned onto your site by you being Blogger of Note. I think I might add you to my links so I can come back and visit. I have a nephew that's into the music scene here in South Bay...I like surprising him with being in the know before him. Freaks the kid out.

And I'm with Gas Hobo...I thought there was a free banjo in it for people who visit too. Dang. I wanted one of those.

birdmonster said...

Pamela: Freak that kid out. My parents were into Japanese hardcore before I knew Japan was an island.

Of course, I lie.

And snake handling? You're kidding. Perhaps there's something to be said for cloistered inbreeding. If it takes me marrying my cousin & my children marrying theirs to invent clawhammer banjoing and perfect the ins and outs of snake handling, well, get out the family Rolodex.

Gasoline Hobo said...

my brain sort of stopped at "japanese hardcore".

word of warning: do NOT do a google image search for "tentacle".

just don't.

Sabrina said...

I kind of love my job so I'll google search "tentacle" when I get home. oh..The urge!
I work in a cube....

What is Japanese Hardcore? I'll need to ask my daughter?

R2K said...

You are on the blogger blogs of note list.

Gasoline Hobo said...

ummm...i wouldn't.

let's just say that the japanese have very creative ways of getting around certain restrictions on showing certain things on tv...

i have feeling that mr. birdmonster may have been referring to japanese hardcore BANDS, like Guitar Wolf, for example.

birdmonster said...

This is rather true, Hobo P. I should have been more specific. I really should have been more specific.

Sabrina: Pray that neither of your daughters know. Atonal Japanese screaming and lots of Ibanez shredding. I might be engaging in some unfairness here, but...naw. It's pretty accurate.

Gasoline Hobo said...

having been to a guitar wolf show, yes. you are indeed accurate.

they aim for "loud" and anything melodic that happens along the way is a "happy accident", as my friend Bob Ross says.

Sabrina said...

Two of them have filled me in. Apparently I own some of these sitting on the shelf next to Pete's Dragon and Old Yeller, the tentacle one was gross. I now recall the scene.
Have son's they're easier!

Fuck You Google said...

Here's my question:

What ever happened to Nickel Creek?

I hear they're breaking up (after getting worse and worse and worse).

The only cd I liked was the self-titled one, anyway. They were dorks then, but they made better music.

Now they're fashionable and boring.

Oh well...

B, Teman said...

Speaking of snake handling didn't the late Crocodile Dundee have a friend who was killed by a common grate (or crate - not sue of spelling). Put his hand in a bag late at night and got bit.


Headlight cleaner and restorer

GiggleWorks said...

Wow, this conversation changed so many times I wouldn't know what to comment even if I wanted to comment, but I don't want to comment so I won't. I'm just commenting on the fact that these blogs are like real conversations going from point A to point H without anyone ever realizing ther were points B through G to consider.
So that is my official "none' Commenting" comment. If you take my drift.


williamw said...

free music is great: why pay for anything these days? Long live the socialist revolution ... ummm, or perfect communism, or whatever those hippies were up to way back when free love blended handsomely with pandemic STD. But maybe you should pay a wee bit so as to fund new molars and an info campaign on incest for those hillbillies? But i guess i should be writing to G.Bush about that one. Glad u had a great time of it.

Anonymous said...


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Anonymous said...

I know this is a little late in the game, but on Heide gummis i know they carry them in a costco. its a few blocks from market st. i think 10th. not sure

Anonymous said...

omg amazing....


ready for tonight?!

Rachael said...

whoops didnt mean to be anonymous there...should have made some mean comments so you'd never know

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