Monday, April 30, 2007

Cannibal Fish of The Amazon

In the middle of the last century the was a television program called "Bold Journey." The show was about the personal travels of regular folk to unusual places. The format was simple. The host would introduce the travelers who, in turn would give a little explanation about how they came to travel to Borneo or where ever they may have gone. This would be followed by a narrative of what were essentially home movies of the trip or "Bold Journey"

The adventurers gave me my first taste of the "Ugly American" pie. If my memory serves, these journeys ranged up and down the Amazon or around and about the islands of the Pacific. I suppose WW II had exposed more of these back waters and more than one industrialist had made a go in the amazonian basin, so getting to these sites, although crude by today's standards, was probably not so difficult. Once there, it was probably easy to find a local fixer (there is always a local fixer) to arrange transportation to a place where the dusky folks who dressed in plants hung out.

Once one the scene of native action, the cometary could begin. Lets pick up an imagined but true in spirit dialogue between
Jim, the host and Fran and Chuck, his guest who have been to: The Amazon!

Jim: "So did you folks have any trouble speaking with these fellows?" "That one with the knife looks pretty tough!"

Chuck: Well Jim we had the help of Pedro ( common name for local fixer world wide) and he was able to tell that we came in peace." "Now this fellow here really wanted to show off his hunting skill with the blow gun" (Man wearing some leaves spits into a six foot pipe resulting in a large bird crashing at his feet. Fran claps her hands.)

Fran: "The natives have never seen soap and I had quite a time showing them just how to use it!" (The forest people are shown doing improper soaping)

Chuck Chuckles: "They are like children really" (The natives eating the soap are children)

Jim: "You must have seen some strange sites?"

Chuck: You bet! "Now this next scene is a little shocking, but as far as we know we are the first to film the cannibal fish!"

Jim: "The Piirana?"

Fran: "I couldn't watch!" (By the river, some sort of furry mammal suddenly falls off the bank)

Jim: My goodness! (there is a whole lot of splashing and in short order the bones of a cow are seen rushing off in the current.)

Chuck: "Here's one of the fish!"

Jim: "Look at those teeth!"

Chuck: "You would not want to hook one of those!"

Jim: "Not me"

Fran: "Most of the natives had never seen blond hair before"

Jim: "We will be back after these messages"

It's Texino here. Of course I grew up to learn the PiraƱa were by and large mythical and the film of a giant rodent being striped to the bones of a cow in 30 seconds was a set production. By the time I was able to travel, I had some manners, learned some rules, and though I never witnessed the Tarzan- like black and white worlds of Bold Journey, I've always found a Pedro can fix anything. No, I mean it. Bunch of banditos have you captured, say; "Why don't we see what Pedro says?" Hopefully they will say. "You know Pedro!?" and let you loose or they will get the man and then you say "Pedro?" "I understand you are the Jeffe around here. "The hombre with the balls who gets things done, ver da?" Try it some time when you have nothing left to lose. OK? Fine.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Cool Elders, or Boomer Conspiracy

Hello, it's Texino. I have been writing about music in Kentucky long enough for it to seem like a felony rap, so I am coming home to blog a bit and see if anyone likes what I say; or hates it for that matter. I'm an egalitarian.

Like everyone else who spends time on the www, I have been offered a chance to see a video by "The Zimmers" ( ) reported to be a rock group of that geriatric generic, "Old People" singing "The Who's: hit "My Generation." The spin is that this highly touted film is going to unleash a flood of respect and lend new fond power to that expanding demographic. Personally, I see it as a bit of a scouting mission by my own generation in aid of getting an idea how they can glam up things a little while they still hold the power. There is no argument to forestall this matter of aging Baby Boomers approaching the gate, and the "We are The World" production values of the Zimmers video, occasionally interspersed with clips from a serious documentary on the sad state of Elder Affairs suggest, to me, that the folks behind this are digging in for the funding and subsequent political action needed to keep the babies booming. If this cause is valid, I hope enough of it's effect trickles down to the Elders who are in need now. "Now" is the operative because, "Soon" or "Later" are not options.

The Zimmers. Are they a band? I can't say. The video has a 92 year old bloke singing the lead and even though he attempts the stuttering that lends syncopation to the original, and his voice is strong and clear he truly seems to be singing a poem in meter; otherwise how could he chant the line, "Hope I die before I get old" with no emotion tied to that ironic soft ball.
As I have said, this video is very much "We are The World' with a huge chorus of very elderly folk filling the "Talkin bout my generation" bits and smaller dance lines of very spry old people doing the boogie. There is no question however that the music is done by session players, young ones at that, because you can see them. plus the older gang is not shown anywhere near a loaded instrument. At the end, the singer does tip over a drum kit but no rage is taken . (The guy probably shot down Germans in his generation) There are also several stutter shots of men and women attempting to smash some cheap acoustic guitars with no strings. Finally they resort to jumping up and down on the damn things and right there you might take a notion that this is something the may have dreamed of back in the day.

So see the vid. I've left some funny stuff out plus, the people in charge might surprise you. I still want to know if this is an actual band or and old person's choir. They have a CD release coming up., and also there do seem to be some bookings.

My interest? Well, I will be 60 in 09/2007. I've been a professional musician and producer. I also have a band called The Hoodoodads who perform here: You could say this "age rage" thing has got my attention.

Tommy Texino