Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lately I've been suffering one of my irregular bouts of insomnia- late to bed and disgracefully early to rise. Getting plenty done, but feeling six colours of shithouse. One redeeming feature, however is the rediscovery of one of NY's great musical traditions. No matter how repulsive and hateful this place can be (why so much spitting?? And honking? And why so many fat people waddling into McDonalds? Don't you know that's just making you fatter?...), you can always find consolation in the knowledge that NY has Phil Schaap's "Birdflight". For two hours each morning on WKCR, Phil plays nothing but Charlie Parker. And he's been doing it for years! The most obscure stuff you've never heard, interspersed with Phil's educated, if longwinded commentary. And themes! Last week it was every recording of Bird playing Cherokee. In chronological order! Nearly beside myself, I was.
This past week's highlight was being told "F#@% you! Who is he? Nick who? I don't know him. F#@% him!" by saxophonist **** ****** (not his real name). He wears an earring shaped like a saxophone...
Serious lack of coin this week has restricted my late-night gallivanting to those establishments that'll, well, give me stuff for nothing. Jeez the bars here are good. I miss those sprawling Aussie pubs with that soothing melody emanating from the Queen of the Nile machine in the corner, the trots on the telly, and the week-old pies in the warmer, but get friendly with a NY bartender, and you've got it made in the shade. Actually, this topic deserves a post of it's own, but let me just say this: if you come here for an extended period, find a place you like and tip well. Boy, you'll just be drunk all the time. And speaking of tenuous links, the other night I sat at the bar in The Manor next to a fat guy, and had a protracted conversation about a self-described "Gong Master" who looks exactly like Willie Nelson. Confusing at the time, and downright baffling now, but, erm, I guess that's what happens when you're drunk all the time.
Righto then.

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