Thursday, May 17, 2012

Soundtrack 23

Every life needs a soundtrack.

Whatever mine was tonight, it got kind of quirky at the end.

It would have begun with a lively tune when I met a friend and two of his project partners at Bistro 27.

We got there mad early in order to talk about their project and do some brainstorming.

My pink drinking habit was quite happy with a glass of Briccodi-dei-Tati Rose, which while it resembled strawberry Kool-aid in color, was actually 100% Barbera Rose.

Can't say I'd ever had a Barbera Rose. Cue curious music.

Friend's partners arrived feeling like they knew me, mainly from having been instructed to read the blog before they met me.

Turns out one had started a list from ideas she'd gotten reading it. I saw it as a major compliment.

Over discussion of Russian resettlement, love of potatoes and the benefits of living downtown, we managed to taste a few small plates.

Beef carpaccio, fried calamari, potato croquettes and a chickpea cake made with onions, peppers and eggplant provided something for omnivores and vegetarians alike.

One girl explained that she didn't eat anything she could imagine as a cartoon, so after one bite of calamari, she pushed the plate away saying it reminded her of Ursula in "The Little Mermaid."

Luckily, I haven't seen many cartoons.

The highlight was a southern-fried quail with blackberry demi-glace over grits; the sweet and salty contrast was irresistible.

Music came later courtesy of Glows in the Dark playing at Balliceaux.

Tonight's hook, as if their movie-driven music wasn't enough (and it is), was a movie.

Behind the band was showing Werner Herzog's "Agierre: Wrath of God," a 1972 film about a crazy man leading an expedition into the Amazon.

It was only my third Herzog movie after "Heart of Glass" and "Grizzly Man" but I knew it was worth seeing because guitarist Scott Burton, a movie fanatic, was showing it.

I saw sixteenth century men in suits of armor, swollen rivers challenging them and a lone man in a field blowing a pan flute as the band played.

A man was hung and on the ground beneath his dangling legs sat a soldier rolling a cigarette.

It was especially great when the flute playing aligned with the real sax and trombone playing.

At times, I could read a subtitle on bassist Cam's forearm, but that was about it. It wasn't about following the movie exactly.

Instead we were treated to the kind of cinematic music that felt like it could describe a scene. Many scenes.

Sometimes it worked with the movie, and sometimes it was just incredibly well-played music with a movie playing behind.

I've been hearing these guys play literally for years (four, five?) and they just continue getting tighter and better.

In a perfect world, they'd be doing the soundtrack to my life, swelling here and chasing there.

During intermission, I asked Scott about the choice of movie and he told me that it was the movie that led him to Herzog.

He was young, he saw it for sale and, being a boy, was sucked in by the cool cover (men in armor fighting) and its gold box.

Guys and shiny things, a natural attraction I've been told.

The point is he'd been so impressed with the film once he saw it that it led to seeking out other Herzog films.

And kindly now showing it to people like me who probably need to see far more Herzog.

The band played songs called "Revolver" and "Gary Glitter," but for their last song reached back to 1977 for  "Strawberry Letter 23," executing terrifically.

My favorite number is 23, so I feel like this belongs on my soundtrack.

Between songs, a blond guy walks up to the band and asks their name. "Glows in the Dark," they tell him.

"Yes, you do," the guys says, pointing his finger at them as he exits stage left.


To sustain us, we got a bowl of pistachio gelato, so thick it coated our tongues like nut paste and almost more savory than sweet.

It makes me happy that ice cream season is upon us. Bring it on.

And bring on more nights with a five-piece as good as Glows in the Dark and vintage movies by vaunted directors.

So as the story of my evening winds down, the satisfied soundtrack plays over me walking out into the warm May air, full of gelato and with my ears ringing with pleasure.

Fade out...but wait.

Arriving home, I find a phone message from an old friend waiting for me.

"Sorry I missed you. I was in town. Getting ready to head out to Tillamook, Oregon. Be back in May 2013," says the man from Williamsburg with the Surry County accent.

Gulp. Music turns sad, almost maudlin.

My friend has left for a year and I missed saying goodbye.

I sit down at my computer, finding an e-mail from a Boston friend.

"St. John's bread and wine...London. Offal restaurant. It was amazing. Saw it on Anthony Bourdain. Had the bone marrow. Hope you are well and having lots of dates. You got me thinking about offal."

I can almost imagine him saying it in his distinctive Boston accent.

Wow. A friend I haven't seen in over a year is eating in London tonight and thinks of me.

Soundtrack takes on a lilting note, replacing previous minor key.

Roll credits. herself. Wardrobe by...Diversity Thrift.

Soundtrack by...Glows in the Dark. I wish.

No comments:

Post a Comment