The Asian Dubya

By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  December 21, 2011

Nay, say P&J, our treasured treasurer is far above such tactics. As one of our sources commented, "at least in the old days they would be discreet and smart enough to do it over the phone." We're still witcha, Gina, but let's put some of those Rhodes Scholar brain cells to work heah.


LOCAL MUSIC IN 2011 (GEEZER DIVISION)

This was a fun year for older local rock 'n' roll fans in the Biggest Little, with a couple of notable reunions of popular '70s bands and the continuing inspiration of longtime local icon, Mark Cutler. Mark is perhaps the most ubiquitous figure in the entire Rhode Island rock scene, playing two or three gigs a week, virtually non-stop. Mark is taking a break for a while and concentrating on writing and recording some new material. In 2011, going out to see a Mark Cutler show was a surefire good time.

The Wild Turkey Band, one of the main attractions at the original Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, had a three-night reunion in late November that drew many old fans (and half the city of Pawtucket) to the Met Cafe. And then there was, also at the Met, the reunion of Jorge's band the Young Adults (after taking a mere 20 years off to relax) during the Memorial Day weekend.

Another three-night Young Adults spectacular was even more appealing due to the addition of an opening act, Phoebe Legere and Sir George Leonard. Most unusual about these shows: the audience came from places as far away as California, Minnesota, Texas, Pennsylvania, Maine, and New York (and these were just people that P&J knew). Basically, the show in the audience was a close second to the show on stage. We hope next year's geezer rock scene is as fertile as 2011's.


THE QUICK AND THE DEAD

The Grim Reaper has been rather busy in the past week and among those who passed away were a number of very impressive folks. Vaclav Havel, a true inspiration to people all over the world, died on Sunday. Although primarily a playwright in his early years, he was such a notable dissident in his native Czechoslovakia that he had been imprisoned by the puppet Soviet government there. When the people finally broke free of the repressive regime, they turned to Havel to head the new government.

Vaclav was a true hipster. He championed the legendary Plastic People of the Universe band and hung out with Frank Zappa. Legend has it the "Velvet Revolution," the popular insurrection that swept him into power, was named after the Velvet Underground. How cool can you get?

Christopher Hitchens, the British writer, essayist, and bon vivant, passed away on Thursday. He had been battling cancer for many months. He had a naturally pugilistic writing style and was probably best known in the States for his regular columns in Vanity Fair magazine. Phillipe highly recommends Hitchens's book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, his jeremiad against organized religion. He was a one-of-a-kind contrarian and his eloquent and combative voice will be greatly missed.

And on Saturday, the "Barefoot Diva," Cesária Évora, died on her native island of São Vicente in Cape Verde. She was, perhaps the greatest singer of traditional Cape Verdean "morna" music, a mournful blues. She performed all over the world. Concerts in this area were always sold-out affairs (not surprising when one considers the large Cape Verdean diaspora in the New Bedford/Providence axis).

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