I'm in a band, playing on stage with B, an Elvis impersonator. My guitar strap is loose. I take off my white Strat and put it on B as I continue to play the song, a rocker, while he stands there wearing it. As the audience cheers and applauds, I grab B's hair and make him take some bows.
Pan!c and Suicide Lanes bassist Eva Blaylock put her iTunes on shuffle and meditated on the resulting random tracks in this week’s Song Roulette. Blaylock performs in new Elvis tribute trio Jumpsuit, along with Nate Daly and Jim Phillips, on Friday night.
I saw Suicide Lanes perform at Burt’s a couple years ago and had to compliment Blaylock on the performance. When I got up close, I realized I also needed to praise her fully fashioned stockings. But what I took for rad hosiery is actually a tattoo. She says the idea for the tattoo came from her grandmother’s recollections of painting on her seams to stay fashionable during wartime rationing of nylons.
Say what you like about Elvis—culture thief; sad, boozy drug addict; cheese sandwich—but the man had a voice that could soothe volcanoes, particularly the volcano that is my head during the 29 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is a time when every single store in the country, from Nordstrom to 7-Eleven, feels obligated to play Christmas music. And it’s not even the good stuff. As far as I can tell, no one except little kids enjoys hearing syrupy, cutesy “Jingle Bell Rock” played ad nauseam. Last year I made an obnoxious and totally doomed pledge to not shop anywhere Christmas music was playing. I should have stocked up on groceries in October.
Today there is no longer an argument. Yoga is a cultural force and a booming industry. But is it American? Stefanie Syman, author of the compelling and exhaustive cultural history of yoga in America, The Subtle Body: The Story Of Yoga In America, says yes. She’ll be in New Mexico on Friday, July 30 (details below) to make the case and field questions. Until that times, here’s a few teasers from the depths of yoga-Americana—