Mid City Meddler

Mid City Meddler
By Muffy Junes

Enter Jazzman

In a time when our shortcomings and prejudices are attributed to dysfunctional childhoods and miscommunication with the inner self, I have come to a couple of conclusions about musical taste. It is my hope that by coming forward with my own tales, I can maybe help at least one person confront their fears and expand, as I am increasingly able to do.

I am afraid of jazz. Now, I didn't say I don't like jazz, 'coz that's not the point. The truth is, I had a very bad experience with jazz one night, and I have only recently realized how that night has affected me. It was about ten years ago. I was on a date with a guy named Jake and we went to the Catalina Club in L.A., to chat intimately and hear some light sounds. First date kind of stuff. There was no cover charge and only a few people were there, so the spontaneous choice to visit this venue seemed perfect.

My hair was braided and I was dressed nicely and so was he. He was downright shiny. Before long, the entertainer was going strong, singin' jazzy stuff and the growing crowd was enthralled. We were having a fine time, whispering and sitting close, when I noticed some man kept staring at me and scowling. He was standing up the whole time and wouldn't take his eyes off of me. I started to get the creeps and was telling Jake about it, just about to report him to somebody, when he walked over to us and told us to move away from the front of the stage. Turns out he was the bouncer, and we apparently were not worshipping the woman on stage enough. Shocked, we resituated ourselves like sheep in the back of the room. Since the room wasn't that big, we still somehow drew attention and the next thing I knew, the singer had stopped the show and asked us to leave.

Others in the room were talking and moving around a little, but for some reason they were accepted. One thing led to another, and I cringed in disbelief as FIVE cops entered, the whole club waiting, to resolve an issue that everyone seemed to understand but me. The bouncer would not let me leave. He physically held me at the door while Jake took care of something in the back room. I was humiliated. The bouncer, whose ugly face I will never forget, kept saying, "Don't you know who she is?! She's Carmen McCrae! You should show some respect!"

No, I had never heard of this woman before, and I hope I never do again. I was crying and trying to get the hell out of there (remember, this was ten years ago - I had a slightly less empowered sense of self). The cops were just smirking nonchalantly and ignored me until Jake returned from paying the tab and we were able to leave. To this day, I'm not sure what that was all about, except I truly believe the fact we were a black/white couple had something to do with it. The room was full of eyeballing, middle-aged Izod-wearing white folks. I was so angry as weeks went by, I fantasized about catching that bouncer outside, tying him up and p**ing on him.

So, there it is, my tight-chested tale of a nasty jazz experience. On a lighter note, I went to the Seelbach last year with my friend Tim and we had a great time watching the Dick Sisto Trio . I was afraid to talk, but he did a lot and nobody got in trouble. I am working through this.

Next month, I'll touch on my fear of bluegrass. Hint: pig roast!

There's a lot of cool music floating around Louisville right now, if you just go out and look for it. I've decided to make a compilation tape of some of my favorite tunes, which'll take some more investigating, but it's a fun project. Currently, three songs in particular come to mind. I'm no reviewer, don't wanna be, I just like 'em. The first one is "It Rained Again Last Night", from Joel Timothy's Live At the Bunbury Theatre CD. I saw him at a taping of the "Mid-City Mix" show and I loved the song then, as I still do. It's a bittersweet story of a man dealing with the fact that his wife keeps coming home at late hours after screwing other men. For some reason, he just says it rained again last night, they have a drink and she takes him to bed. At least that's what I think it's about. I can't understand why he puts up with it, though. I'd kick her a*. With Joel's voice, it doesn't matter what the circumstances are. He draws me into empathizing against my will.

"Still..." is a cut from Beer And Chocolate, a second release from The Marks . If an ex-lover were to write a song like this for me, I'd probably have to try and get back together with him again. Regardless of how it didn't work out before. He's "still mesmerized by her skin so pale." That's poetic stuff, coming from a dude. In fact, the song is comfortably familiar in its poetic delivery, without being a rehash of the whininess of love. It's pretty.

Finally, somebody mysteriously snuck me a 4-song CD from a band called Slackshop . The title track, "Grace," was immediately hypnotic. Although I haven't figured out all the lyrics yet, it doesn't matter to me. Some guy is telling Grace to "shine on, won't you please..." and talking about all the ways he can "fe-eel it." She really brings the emotion out of him. I felt like I was eavesdropping when I first heard it.

I appreciate a well-written song, don't you?

Feel free to contact me with your band / Mid City info......(502) 458 - 6833 or mufalata@iglou.com

Have fun!

(heart) Muff