Monday, July 21, 2014

I Double Dog Dare You

My two homeschooled sons, AKA Unorganized Hancock, are back with more video from last week's performance. This one's special.

The Heir wrote this one. He calls it Chloe's Cha Cha. I find it kind of wonderful on a bunch of levels. First, it's nice to see him writing things. Learn, Do, Teach is the old adage for the trajectory of any career. If you're wise, you never really stop learning, but the division of labor should concentrate on those stages. They both have been learning, learning, learning, so it's nice to see the Do, Do, Do rear its ugly head. And the Da, Da, Da, of course.

The song is more complicated than they can play with just the two of them live, but they'll record a studio version of it one of these days. The full Monty of the song's got a fonkee Esquivel vibe I adore.

If you're new around here, the Little Drummer Boy is barely eleven, and he only learned to play the cha-cha a couple of weeks ago. To recap: He's an eleven-year-old that can play a cha-cha live in front of audiences for money. Go find me another one of those. I double dog dare you.

[Update: Many thanks go out to Kathleen M. from Connecticut for her unfailing support of the children's PayPal tip jar. It is much appreciated]

Sunday, July 20, 2014

In Furtherance Of My Evil Plan To Resurrect Wichita Lineman And Make It The Official Cover Song Of The Twenty-Teens: The Derangers

There's a growing movement.

But never mind about my bathroom habits. I wanna talk about my mission --obsession, really -- to make Wichita Lineman the National Anthem of the Intertunnel. See, I just named it that. I don't know why I did that. It's Kismet, or Astral projection, or yoga or hara kiri or some other exotic word drunk people use in conversation between belches. It's fit, and just, and it just fits:


I was thinking of changing the lyric, but I hear you singing in the series of tubes ruins the Ionic Pentacost, or the Ironic Pantograph, or the Iambic Pulsifer, or whatever you call those word thingies that Lord Byline and Sir Walter Scott Towels use to make the rhymie words line up .

Also Sprach Sippican: In Furtherance Of My Evil Plan To Resurrect Wichita Lineman And Make It The Official Cover Song Of The Twenty-Teens: Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 

Anteceded by: In Furtherance Of My Evil Plan To Resurrect Wichita Lineman And Make It The Official Cover Song Of The Twenty-Teens: The Swinging Doors

Aforetimes: In Furtherance Of My Evil Plan To Resurrect Wichita Lineman And Make It The Official Cover Song Of The Twenty-Teens: Optiganally Yours 

Previously: In Furtherance Of My Evil Plan To Resurrect Wichita Lineman And Make It The Official Cover Song Of The Twenty-Teens: Glenn Tilbrook 

Also Sprach Sippican: Another In The Long List Of Songs I Don't Like That I Like   

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I Want To Have The Only Blog With Three Deipnosophistae Entries

Mom never understood the bread.

I could see a little bit of disappointment, a little at a time. It was like a ship appearing on the horizon. It's just a speck at first. You can't know how big it is until it gets close to shore. Mom was proud of me when I was young, because my friends were all hanging out doing nothing on the corner -- or worse -- and I was working like a man. But as the months turned to years, the ship of her disappointment hove into view. The tonnage of it up close was formidable.

Disappointment is not shame, nor anything like it. She thought I could do more with myself, is all. Lawyer. Doctor. General. Something where there would be a newspaper clipping or two she could show to the neighbors. That's my boy. That's all she wanted. An affirmation.

But the baguettes came out of that hot hole in the wall the first time, and I was hooked. I was never allowed to do much except sweep the floor and carry the sacks of meal, but I knew right away. I knew I could never get away from the smell of it, the wondrous feeling of the flour on my hands, the heat like the sun on a rock at the beach all day long.

I loved it; and so the fellows that did it with a grunt and a sneer for money could never compete with me. They'd go home five minutes early and grumble while I'd go by on my day off and help out and smile. I am their lord and master now. By acclamation. Let him do it; he'll do it anyway. And the owner's son, dissipated and snarling, didn't last a month. I'm the real son. I'll save my little all and buy it when the old man goes; or he'll give it to me, because he wants his idea to keep going, and his own boy has other ideas.

I bring it home and lay it on the table, and Mom murmurs her grudging assent. A man decides for himself. At least he's a man, she thinks. And the bread is the food of angels; but still.

Mom will have to go without, because many will never ask why they raised a statue to me; it has to be enough that a few will ask why they didn't, when we are all gone. 


I Want To Have The Only Blog With Two Deipnosophistae Entries

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Girl From Iwo Jima And Other Wonders

Unorganized Hancock at the Mystic Theater in Rumford, Maine On Friday, July 11th, 2014.

Not all the acts showed up. I'm used to the music business. That's common. Sometimes the bands don't show up. Sometimes the owner doesn't show up. Mostly the audience doesn't show up, in my experience.

Summertime's sleepy in Rumford. People go upta camp, and bug out for other varied reasons. In the winter everyone goes to everything to forestall cabin fever. They call its Woods Queer here. Alone in a cabin drove people to behave strangely after a while, or even take their own life. The Mystic Theater is a cure for cabin fever. No one has cabin fever in high summer, but they showed up anyway. Not packed, but every table was occupied.

The man that runs the place is pleasant. He emcees, and does close up magic from far away, but no one minds, and his wife serves drinks and smiles at everyone, and they smile back. He asked me, with a hint of desperation in his voice, if the kids could split their act in half and finish the show as well as play early. They were just supposed to play a set of jazz and get off the stage. I said sure. They have hours of material if they play pop songs.

Other people sang to recorded backing tracks. None of them was bad. One of them was extraordinary, and I want to remember his name, but I can't. I want to remember it because he is my hero, and you really should remember your hero's name, shouldn't you? He is afflicted with cerebral palsy, I think. I didn't ask. He had a good deal of trouble getting around, but he got around.

There were some lovely young girls singing the usual sorts of things teenage girls sing. Disney princess songs and TV talent show winner pablum. I was surprised at how well they sang, actually. They were painfully shy. Painfully shy people often want to be on the stage because they're too shy to be in the audience, in my experience.

Then my hero got up. There is a short, spartan flight of steps to get up on the stage, and how he negotiated them, I'll never know. He did. He sat on the stool at the microphone that you can still see in the foreground of my sons' video. He sang some sort of faux-Broadway number I didn't recognize. You know the sort of thing. Pirates Of The Lords Of The Cats Of The Miserables or something. He sang it with the accent that his affliction visits on people, and he sang it strong, and he impressed the living hell out of me. While he was sitting on the stool and singing, his feet jutted out in front of him like an exercise, and waved to commands unheard even by him.

His grandparents sat in the front row, and had one-tenth the enthusiasm for him that I did, which is a great deal of enthusiasm indeed. Not demonstrative, exactly; visible, like a tear in the eye. Of course it would be more matter-of-fact for them than for me, a stranger. When he was done, he took his applause and made his way to the front of the stage, where he was faced with the stairs, now heading down, down, down. Both the owner and I instinctively moved towards him, and reached out our hands, but he waved us away, sat on his ass, and crab-walked his way down the risers and treads, then got up and sat with the two minor saints that brung him.

One doesn't forget a person like that; just their name.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Puppet Show And Steppenwolf

My two sons, AKA Unorganized Hancock, are performing tonight in the very first venue they ever appeared at, The Mystic Theater at 49 Franklin Street. It's right here in town, so it's convenient, and it's one of the nicest stages I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot of them.

49 Franklin is a function hall on one floor and a performance hall upstairs where the kids will play. It's a re-purposed church of some sort, not sure what flavor. I was born a damn Papist and I can't tell those Know-Nothing sects apart. Presbyters or Unitarians; makes no difference to me. They don't even have incense or candles or anything. What's the sense of putting money in the plate if they're not going to put on a show?

The boys are in the Big City newspaper again. The Lewiston Sun Journal, or as my neighbor refers to it as: The Lewiston Sun Urinal. Well, we take our publicity as we find it, and don't cavil. I have no idea how they found out our sons' names, but they did. Any mocking references to the Journal have to be accompanied by a caveat that acknowledges that they at least do their job, and find things out and report them, unlike some hoity-toity rags that allegedly publish All The News That's Fit To Print. Those papers seem decidedly uncurious about a lot of things they report.

The show is being billed in the Journal as "Unorganized Hancock And Others". Snicker. Reminds me of this:
A very long time ago, I played in a Happy Hour band on Cape Cod in Massachusetts in the summertime. We played every weekend at the largest club on the Cape. Since we were the first act hired every summer, the bar manager would dutifully go out to the billboard on Rt. 28 and fish through the mismatched letters he had in a big box and put our name up there first. When the nationally known acts came through for one-night stands, he'd add it to the billboard with whatever letters he had left over. Our band had a lot of words and letters in the name, so he'd really have to scrounge sometimes.

One of the most unintentionally funny moments in my entire life was driving up to that tired old barn of a nightclub, and as the billboard hove into view it read:



Thursday, July 10, 2014

Really Big Shew

Your favorite Unorganized homeschool band is performing at the Mystic Theater tomorrow. It's the very first place they ever performed live together, a little more than a year ago. They're going to play their new show, which includes this Wes Montgomery classic. If you think they were good last summer when they recorded it, you should hear them rip through it now.

They'll be debuting their new original composition, too. I'd tell you its name but then I'd have to tie you to a chair and gag you until tomorrow.

[Update: Many thank to Julie from Florida and Kathleen from Connecticut for their constant support of the boys' efforts via the PayPal tip jar!]