So there I was, browsing the aisles at my friendly neighborhood Target store, just trying to grab a few things on my list: 2GB thumb drive, lotion, dog food, television antenna (all needed for separate purposes, I assure you). Then there it was, sparkling with a lustrous glint from across the store.
Could it be, amongst the piles of already out-dated compact discs, right there in the record department, an actual record?!
Like a mouse to cheese, I grabbed the suspicious package and inspected it further. It was small, 7 inches around, and on white vinyl. The glossy cover was adorned with an interesting, albeit clichéd, illustration of an anatomical male torso, and the phrases "PEARL JAM," "THE FIXER" and "BACKSPACER" in glow-in-the-dark ink.
"This must be the new single off of Pearl Jam's upcoming self-released album, Backspacer, on sale September 20," I thought to myself, still unsure of what was actually happening.
I put the record in my cart.
"Now where the hell is the lotion?"
Plagued by mixed emotions — simultaneously proud of a band that has repeatedly stood up to the big-business bastards who have destroyed the spinal fortitude of many a lesser band, and embarrassed that I actually bought a record at Target (what is this, 1984?) — I later dropped the needle into the groove, and sat back. The record played much like the cover — shiny enough to make the sale, but still suspicious enough to leave the listener with a mild sense of confusion.
Perhaps the chorus to "The Fixer," an up-tempo slice of verse-chorus-verse, best sums up the interesting, albeit clichéd, feeling: "If I could get it back again," wails an older, wiser Eddie Vedder. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah ..."
Moving to the show front, there is going to be a particularly interesting, and far less clichéd, event this Friday, Sept. 18, at Stargazers Theater, when the Jim Adam Blues Band takes you on a virtual road trip, via the magic of motion pictures, though the history of the blues. Using film and photos from the 1940s through '60s, along with a live music soundtrack and historical narration, the "trip" will take you from the deep Delta through Clarksdale and Memphis and on to Chicago, telling the sordid tale of the blues along the way.
Afterward, Big Jim (who, along with John Stilwagen, will represent the Colorado Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January) will let the band loose on a set of its own "down-home, funky style blues." For tickets, or more information, call 476-2200 or visit stargazerstheatre.com.
Lastly this week, there is one more interesting, and not at all clichéd, event I would like to let you in on. Also on Friday, at Manitou Springs' Venue 515, the talented Judy Piazza will be playing a set of music that weaves drums from around the world, native flute and didgeridoo, along with an unusual instrument, revealed this evening for the first time ever.
The dulsitar is a unique (as in "one-of-a-kind") instrument that was specially crafted, after 10 years of planning, by the talented artisans at the Cripple Creek Dulcimers Shop in Manitou. A percussionist, singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, music therapist and educator (is that all?), Judy performs, facilitates workshops, and teaches internationally. For more information, you can visit her Web site, resonanceandrhythms.com.
Smell you later.
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