Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Into the Groove

Fig and Pig.

I've decided that'll be the name of my autobiography. Pretty catchy, huh?

Don't be impressed. It's not original.

Nor did I know when I asked a friend to meet me at the food truck court at the Historical Society what a lot of food three people could consume.

After walking the parking lot to scope out our choices, I decided on Pizza Tonight, as did my friend's friend.

I augmented the white pizza (white sauce and Irish cheddar, which added a certain tang) with sausage while she insisted on the fig and pig, a special of Gorgonzola, prosciutto and fig preserves.

Sweet and salty: absolutely divine.

About to place my order, the girl said to me, "Hey, Karen! I always see you at shows. I've never actually seen you in daylight."

I hope I didn't disappoint.

Meanwhile, my friend scored a softshell sandwich and we got three Asian tacos from the Boka truck: beef, pork and chicken.

We took our feast to the furthermost picnic table spot under the shade of magnolia trees dropping petals and near a clump of four-foot orange lilies.

Then we dove in.

"I forgot what a hearty appetite you have," friend observed as I inhaled.

Just as we were finishing, we noticed the Mr. Softee truck had arrived, but were too full to attempt it.

Instead I shared with my friends some of the chocolate cookies with caramel topping I'd baked for the Listening Room and said my goodbyes.

"Tap your foot a couple of times for me," I was instructed as my friends left for a meeting.

Glad to.

At the Firehouse, I added my cookies to the dessert table where they didn't have a chance of being the star.

Front and center was a plate of pre-release Dixie Donuts.

Hot damn!

These were cake doughnuts (my favorite kind) of the German chocolate variety with a dark chocolate icing and a coconut and nut mixture atop each one.

A discussion ensued about the desirability of a doughnut over a cookie; for me, that's no contest. I'll take doughnuts every time.

All the guys said that cookies rated higher, so maybe it's a gender thing.

I chatted with the Man About Town who refused to believe I had been spotted at RVA Beer Fest in shorts because there was no photographic documentation.

I brought in a Beer Betty as a witness to corroborate.

Tonight's Listening Room was curated by Antonia and was all jazz, making for a change from the usual folkier sounding bands.

The stage benefited from the set for "Dessa Rose," currently playing at Firehouse.

Loosely-woven burlap draped the stairs, hung from the ceiling and gave a rustic vibe to everything.

When long-absent/recently married emcee Chris got up to do the introduction of Near Earth Objects, he mentioned that the drummer was also in a band he's in.

"I don't know how I feel about that," he observed wryly. "I'm not going to say they're better than us."

The three-piece (bass, drums, keyboard) added in a guitarist and flutist (the only female) for several songs, including some from their album "Manual for Self Hypnosis."

I especially liked one furious flute solo, all bent legs and arched back, where she channeled Ian Anderson.

After the break, we were treated to a drum-off with Scotts.

Near Earth Object's drummer Scott began by winding up a music box, leading into trading licks with Scott #2 of the Scott Clark 4-Tet, the next band up.

They challenged each other, they teased each other and afterwards, Scott Clark said, "Thanks for bearing with us on that. It's not often you get two drum sets up on stage."

It was the ideal lead-in for the Scott Clark 4-Tet, although I'm biased because Scott is my favorite local jazz drummer.

They played old (Fred Anderson's "Little Fox Run") as well as new.

"Clockwise," was introduced as "The hit. The radio-friendly version. For any of you who watch early morning TV, this is the song we sang on Channel 6 Tuesday."

They closed with three short pieces, part of a work-in-progress, a suite based on "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."

Both the drums and bass had a definite Native American sound to them and the piece swelled with horns.

When they finished, a friend noted, "In the parlance, that was epic."


Gathering up my plate, now completely devoid of cookies (no doubt due to those with Y chromosomes), I left to meet a friend for a drink.

I found him waiting in the warm rain at a closed Fanhouse, so we walked over to Avalon.

He told me that during a recent discussion of why people drink tequila he'd brought my name up as an example of someone who sips it.

Gasp! I was told that amazement ensured on the part of his friends.

Wisely, I refrained from telling him that I'd even been known to sip it in daylight.

The bartender, who likes to refer to himself as my longest running stalker, greeted us, supplied the Hornitos and kept the music going.

Delightfully, all the music came from cassette tapes tonight because he was tired of the bar's CDs.

What that means is that we had the distinct pleasure of hearing "Like a Virgin" and "Seven and the Ragged Tiger" on cassette tonight.

Not to mention the pleasure of watching him have to turn the tape over halfway through.

As my charming friend noted, "Music used to be so much more interactive with tapes and records."

He schooled me on gramophones, his new passion for '20s-era singers and why his breakfast cereal has to be kept in "the hidden cabinet."

We talked a lot about making the expected choices versus doing what feeds your soul. About Led Zeppelin and pop music. About knowing what you want.

During a discussion of indulging yourself, he pointed out, "You eat whatever you want, though."

I do. And what I frequently want is pig (what my third sister calls "the magical beast").

Hence the title-to-be.

Look for it at your local bookstore.

I promise there'll be bacon at the in-store readings.

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