It’s the rain and snow, stupid

Plus, hard times for the Blackstone
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  March 31, 2010

For those morons who say after a blizzard, “How’s that for global warming!” may we point out that one of the harbingers of climate change is the severity of storms that we experi-ence.

Now that President Obama has declared the Biggest Little a disaster area due to torrential rains, perhaps that concept might enter a few tiny brains. When since the Blizzard of ’78 can anyone remember Route 95 being closed, never mind just for rain?

At Casa Diablo, we had the local fire department in our house for three hours on Tuesday night trying to pump five inches of water out of the basement — along with oil leaking from the boiler. Some fun.

So get used to it, boys and girls. As New York Times columnist Tom Friedman stated, it is “global weirding.” Ignore it at your peril.

Your superior correspondents were saddened to hear that the Blackstone, a true local institution, has staged its last show at its Main Street location in Pawtucket.

The club, which was started by John Lefrancois on Mendon Road in Cumberland a couple of decades back, was known for its strong support of local music and musicians and was a magnet for other community events — including fundraisers for a wide variety of charitable causes and for groups and individuals fallen on hard times.

In recent years, Marion Davis also had a large rule in managing and running the Blackstone.

Your superior correspondents spoke with John recently. He told us that, regretfully, the location in the Hope Village complex was not working out. But he said he has high hopes that before the end of the year the Blackstone will be able to set up shop in a different location.

“I intend to continue to host events at Roshinas,” a restaurant at the Main Street address, he says. “We want to continue to have Tuesday nights with Mike Tanaka and friends. I personally think that’s important.”

The Tanaka gathering is, in fact, one of the best regular jazz events around (and free, too!). And P+J have little doubt that a new home for the Blackstone will work out fine. John has been in the business a long time and he knows what he’s doing. But probably more important is the fact that the club has a loyal fan base and musicians like playing there.

“Check in with the website” — — “and we will continue to advertise in the Phoenix,” John tells us. We fully expect the Blackstone will bounce back within a few months.

P&J got a note from our old friend and Casa Diablo regular, Joe Kernan, the veteran reporter for the Warwick Beacon/Cranston Herald (the guy responsible for the frequently wry Police Log) in response to our musings on the passing, last week, of actor Fess “Davy Crockett” Parker.

Joe tells us that back “in the ’50s, when I was growing up in working-class Boston, the older teenagers who had cars started a fad of hanging raccoon tails from their radio an-tennas (they actually sold them alongside auto parts in Roxbury). When Davy Crockett hit the fan, the tails started disappearing from the ‘jalopies’ and started appearing on home-made coonskin headwear put together by larcenous nine-year-olds. The trick was to wear them where an older kid wouldn’t see it and steal it back.” Apparently Joe was able to pilfer ’coon tails without facing any serious retribution from the Mondos of Mass Ave.

Amid all the talk of coonskin caps last week, we made mention of Charles Mingus’s “Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat.” Joe also notes that the wearer of the pork pie hat celebrated in that song was the great tenor player Lester Young. P+J’s favorite thing about the tune (the second cut on the classic Mingus Ah Um album) is the weird, fluttery tenor solo by John Handy.

Joe adds: “I bought Mingus Ah Um with the money I saved from selling raccoon tails.”

A recent missive from Karen Loewy, the Senior Staff Attorney for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), encourages folks who care about civil liberties, support same sex marriage, and think that the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” is a crock of discriminatory fecal matter (you, know, like the inhabitants of Casa Diablo), might want to consider asking our potential attorneys general about their positions on marriage equality, and how they interpret the law on LGBT issues.

While we’re at it, we would like to give a little push to new House Speaker Gordon Fox. Hey Gordon, we think this is the year to make a real push for a same-sex marriage bill. And despite the whining from those who just don’t get it, it says here the bill can become reality during the upcoming session of the General Assembly.  

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