Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stan Plays Shirley

It's true. Some spams I don't toss.

Usually it's because I have a lotto-ticket-sized hope in my pocket. It's not about increasing my penis or reducing my mortgage debt but other worldly aspirations. In this case it's about the likelihood that a cult-hood hero with a decidedly regional west coast flavor would wonder back east. Stan Ridgway is wading into what Peter Gabriel once referred to as his 1982 fall tour through darkest America when he played Utica, NY.

Shirley is not a beauty or a parlor but a place that I pass 52 times per year on my way to seeing my son in Western Mass. The only time I dropped in was two bubble bursts ago when I first walked the Avon 3-day and some school children stepped outside to cheer our way through the town.

The improbability is furthered because my son's rock concert experience has never ventured beyond another regional flavor closer to home -- Haydenville, MA-based songwriter Ray Mason. Now I have never foisted my heroes on my son, let alone entire inheritances of mine he's more than happy to let lapse (Judaism and baseball for starters). But Stan's music snuck under his guard and came to settle in a similar, rewarding place. Now we'll get from email distance to actual sonics of a vibration-basking range.

Stan's last studio work Snakebite: Blacktop Ballads and Fugitive Songs actually inspired Jerry's first video. As you'll see my son's rendition of Crow Hollow Blues takes the surrealism of the album title as literally as a blacktop fugitive can take it. He tried to email Stan with the news of its release but it blew up on its way to the big honcho gate-keeping tycoon that guards Stan's in-box. He'll have to send that release again when I have him this weekend.
Shirley beckons.

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