Sunday, February 27, 2011

If the Liquor Commission Had Been in Paris, We Might Have Seen Local Natives Instead

This past summer, I took time off to go back home for a few months. With no job to get up for and a pretty decent savings account, life became surreal. I lounged and read for entire afternoons, took long, pointless walks, became a frequent house guest of others, and had little to no reason to behave responsibly. The latter two were especially well-combined when I spent weeks at Big Bird's flat, where he and I would have what came to be known as "WASP days." These started, of course, with mimosas as soon as we got up (which is a lot less horrifying when you consider that we could not be bothered to wake before noon). So off in the "morning" to the liquor commission, outside of which--day or night--a maniacally grinning, tattered man (best visually compared to a glue-huffing Disney hobo) busked with his guitar, playing "Ring of Fire."  Every time. (In fairness, he'd occasionally play other songs, but since his guitar was always tuned to the key of "Well-Respected Man", whatever else he played sounded like a Kinks cover of whatever it was. So it's difficult to know what those were exactly. But I assure you, "Ring of Fire" was a hearty staple.)  In addition to this talent, he also succeeded in being a raging pervert, making me relieved to have Big Bird at my side, while simultaneously adding an authentic "dodging commoners" element to the waspification of it all. 

After the LC had closed, when our WASP levels were elevated to "pick at dinner and argue about which of us is sleeping with the nanny", that well-rejected man would wander up and down the strip, past the bars and patios, singing all the while. And there, in this middle-sized city, in this middle-sized province, in the middle of the continent, he was putting on the only local Take Away Show to be had.  In this case, the beggars were the choosers, and they chose an awful lot of Johnny Cash.

Now if we'd spent the time somewhere more glamourous--like, say, Paris--Big Bird and I might have made out a little better. We could've looked up from a make-believe "BCBG day" to see Local Natives strolling the street instead. A huge step up, on every level,* and somewhere out there are Parisians much luckier than us. La Blogotheque has the video of a Paris street performance of Who Knows Who Cares and it sounds amazing, so enjoy as one of the best bands to come out of the last year (and arguably my favourite) demonstrates for the localest hobo how a Take Away Show is really done. 

Though in all fairness, I don't know how well they do Ring of Fire.

Local Natives | Who Knows Who Cares | A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

*Though the fantastic irony that the Liquor Commission man is, in fact, one of the local Natives in my neighbourhood has not been lost on me.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...