Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, September 15, 2017

Four Things

1. Now that my daughter is six, I'm starting to see amusing juxtapositions of toddler behavior and "big kid" behavior (for lack of a better term). One morning last week, Pumpkin was in need of a waking-up to make it to school on time. She seemed to resist all efforts to roust her, so I picked her up out of bed, carried her downstairs, and set her down in an easy chair. Apparently dead to the world the whole time, she opened her eyes, grinned, and said, "Psyche!" as soon as I set her down. She got me to carry her, and I got a chuckle out of the deal.

2. Enjoying a song on a local college radio station, I became curious and found the following whimsical video:

French singer "Jain" (Jeanne Galice) sounds quite promising, and has just started her career.

3. If you have fond memories of her books, either from having them read to you when you were young, or from reading them yourself, here's your chance to learn more about Sandra Boynton, the reigning Doctor Seuss:
In person, Sandra Boynton is warm and funny, with a throaty voice and a soft, easy smile. She's not an introvert, but those who know her best say she's somehow been able to hold on to childhood sensibilities that most of us surrender.

So the books, the drawings, the songs -- "They're for me," she says. "They're for me as a child. Things I would respond to."
I knew her books were popular, but it surprised me to learn how much she makes from them.

4. Via GeekPress comes the story of the invention of the tater tot:
He's certainly not alone. "Fuck making them," says Dale Talde, head chef and founder of the casual Asian-American restaurant Talde in South Brooklyn. "I always buy them frozen. There is no benefit from making them unless you are a [masochist]." Talde's former restaurant, the now-closed Pork Slope, served up tots in a dish called "Irish Nachos": a layer of crispy tots, topped with cheese sauce, chili, onions, tomatoes, and jalapeños. Talde says he thinks the tot has endured at all levels -- from caviar paired in restaurants like Elske in Chicago to school lunch trays -- because people "have great memories and and love crunchy, salty stuff."
The tater tot forms the third member of a trifecta of trash-to-treasure food innovations in America, the others being baby carrots and Buffalo wings.

-- CAV


Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you write, "French singer 'Jain' (Jeanne Galice) sounds quite promising, and has just started her career."

Thanks for that! I quite liked it. The closest to new and innovative stuff we get here is domestications of reggae. (Mind you, the fellow of the two who's not the mainstay of the charts does decent reggae on his own.)

I see too from the link that Jain got her start in Congo. There's some good stuff from Congolese musicians, though I prefer music from Senegal and Mali. (Also, checking my records, I see I seem never to have sent you the CD the two Congolese songs are from, which is a major oversight, or else I didn't record my doing so.)

--Interestingly enough, about those links, since they're all from francophone countries, at least two of the artists (Kanda Bongo Man and Fatoumata Diawara) have had pretty successful careers in France, but they haven't had as much success as they might have had despite a good deal of popularity because, at least a decade ago, the French government had quotas in place on the amount of non-hexagonal music the radios could play and Afropop radio play had bumped up hard against them. (As for Baaba Maal, he has a worldwide career; he's one of the powerhouses of African pop. I think the most I ever paid for a concert was when I went to see him play in Indiana; fortunately but not unexpectedly, not a penny of it was wasted.) I mean, after all, we wouldn't want former colonial subjects to ruin the income stream of such dull luminaries as Julie Masse. (Perhaps I'm being unfair: Just maybe if I were able to make it through more than 30 seconds of any of her songs before switching to something livelier, like muzak, I'd get a pleasant sudden up-beat surprise.) Oh, and speaking of Senegalese, here's a fun song by a singer who went to the US instead of France, on another CD I seem to have forgotten to gift you with.

And a last song for this installment of what I hope's not "music no one asked for," here's one I've been listening to a lot as I study a bit of Chamorro on the side. Most Guamanian music is...not so much to my taste, but there are some good songs, and this might be the best (many Guamanians seem to think so), at least when performed with voice and guitar. Hagu means "you," in case you wonder.

Gus Van Horn said...


I thought you'd find this to your liking, and thanks for the assortment of links. I look forward to going through those some time over the next couple of days.


Snedcat said...

Incidentally, after looking up those links, I followed up on a few more and discovered Sona Jobarteh, the first female kora virtuoso from one of the major griot families of West Africa. She was born in London (Gambian father, English mother), and learned the kora from her father starting at age 3 (traditionally fathers only taught their sons). That's a fine link; I have to look up a few more of her songs.

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks again!

Bill Brown said...

Thanks for the Jain recommendation!

In gratitude, I offer you Deluxe and specifically their song My Game. The rest of their work is similarly great.

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks, Bill!