Thursday, August 03, 2006

In The Neighborhood

You have to love a 'hood in which a situation such as the following is not only possible, but relatively normal. I headed over to Cafe Grumpy this evening to get some work done and have a cappuccino. They have, hands down, the best (and best-looking) cappuccino in the Greenpoint-Williamsburg area, and would do a great service to us all by educating other neighborhood cafes on the finer distinctions between cappuccinos and lattes. Anyway, not to digress. I set out to make remarkable progress transcribing a Charles W.* interview, but was soon interrupted by an unexpected performace given by a group named Punkappella, in which a few friends of mine were actually participating. Who knew? How to describe... they're a nonsensical, sound poetry, performance art, rhythm-driven vocal group of eight. Highly entertaining, quite a worthy distraction. They executed a cover of "Born In The USA" that, if performed alongside the Amazin' Blues and Dicks and Janes and 58 Greenes and all those other University of Michigan a capella groups (it was quite a scene), would have exposed them all for the populist wussies they really are.** That would be worth seeing. Not to mislead; all other songs were originals, and consisted lyrically of one phrase, or one word. Or maybe just a mumble.

On a less-satisfying note, when did Radio Shack turn into a cell phone store? I undertook today the project of rewiring my p-bass, which required (amazingly enough) wire. Radio Shack, one would think, should have a large and diverse stock of wire on hand. Back in the day, it did. Even in the tiny Shack on Manhattan Avenue, it took me five minutes just to find stranded connector wire, tucked underneath the speaker wire in the markedly dimished DIY section. I remember, ten years ago, that one could walk into a Radio Shack and be presented with a dizzying assortment of capacitors, LEDs, wires, and other requisite supplies for the aspiring electrician/mad scientist. I'd have fun simply walking around and looking at it all. Now, none of that. I was lucky to find what wire I did. Everything is cell phones and cell phone accoutrements and portable audio and batteries. God, what do I do now if I need a bunch of blue LEDs!? Or resistors? Too much resistance involved in obtaining resistors these days.

And yes, Mother Nature's fever finally broke. I was expecting a veritable catharsis of thunder and rain, but no, it just got breezy and cooled down. No complaints, though. According to the outdoor thermo, it's only 86. Now THAT'S balmy.

* Charles is the stepson of Muddy Waters. He has no teeth, and drinks a shitload; you can imagine what that sounds like. While you imagine, I will attempt to transcribe it. He does have quite an impressive story to tell. And he's also responsible for introducing me recently to the phrase, "Quit talkin' like you got shit in your mouth."

** Ok, ok. In all fairness, some of them were comprised of excellent singers and talented arrangers, which almost made up for the travesty known as vocal drumming. I stand by the wussy comment.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have been to radio shacks in NY where the bins of resistors and other bits were actually not on the sales floor, but in a small cinderblock hallway that connected the break room to the manager's office to the store. and they only have the thing you actually need (or enough of them) 50% of the time.

7:21 PM  

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