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V.26 No.3 | 01/19/2017
The Sailor

Music

Sail on, Sail on, Sailor

On Saturday night the bell on my landline went off and damn it all if it weren't the Sailor, ringing me up to hear more about Duke Ellington and his way with the piano.

"Come on over, August," he breathed gruffly and grandly into the handset, "and show me again how those first 16 bars go, because I have an idea on how to fit a harmonica over that bit, plus which I believe I can lay a fine shuffle under that storm and so we will be on our way to being a fine jazz band, after all."

I'd already had a couple of drinks of Wild Turkey by that time though and told him I didn't fancy driving through the student ghetto just to lay down some clumsy riffs on his Yamaha upright, but he disagreed.

"Go on and walk over then, Mr. March and I will mix you up a creme soda with Jameson's in the bottom of the glass."

I could not resist and so spent the next 3 hours rambling through "East Saint Louis Toodle-oo" while the rest of the boys followed along blithely. My wife called about 10 and told me I better get on home if I wanted any spaghetti. "Who could resist that," I told the Sailor as I dropped my charts onto his desk, grabbed my cane and ambled toward the door. I flashed him the peace sign and said I'd see him Tuesday for practice.

That was the last time I saw the man folks here in Dirt City called by a nautical name.

I'd known him since I was a kid, and him being 20 years my senior did stop us becoming fast friends. He was part brother and part father; we hiked, smoked, drank, jammed and regaled each other with stories of where the other had been on the Earth.

He was the only man I knew that had seen more of the planet than me. I'd been on all the continents, excepting Antarctica; his tale of seeing the Ross Ice Shelf rise up on the horizon set my brain on fire and besides that we always had a laugh about the after-midnight goings on in Singapore, the lights of the north star and the aurora way up north or how it was impossible to understand the dialect of the Peruvian seamen who landed in Guayaquil looking for a good time.

When he broke his hip late last year, my wife and I sat with him at the hospital, brought him dinner from Los Cuates on the weekends and made sure his walker was ready to go when he was. The pain was bad he told us, but nothing like the time he got burned putting out a fire on an oiler outside of Osaka.

Just last week, we spent an afternoon listening to the Rolling Stones new album, a blues thing. And I complained that Charlie Watts was about an eighth note behind Keith Richards when it counted but he said to take it easy because we were all getting old.

On Tuesday morning the bell on my cell phone went off and god damn it to hell, it was the Sailor's neighbor who was weeping on the line when I answered and then told me the news.

"Mike got up early this morning, put a note on the door, then went back to his place and shot himself."

I went home early that day. I sat at my piano and played until my hands hurt, thinking about the time the Sailor told me how Polaris was possibly the center of the universe—blinking timelessly, brightly while the rest of the sky rolled and spun chaotically around and around.

V.26 No.2 | 01/12/2017
Dar Williams
Public Domain

Music

In Review: Dar Williams

Mortal City 20th Anniversary Tour

Concert Review
V.26 No.1 | 01/05/2017

Event Horizon

Fun For All

Wednesday, Jan 18: Vaudeville Open Mic

...

Event Horizon

Fire, Meet Rooster

Saturday, Jan 14: Dances from the Dynasties: 2,500 Years of Dance

Ring in the upcoming Chinese Year of the Rooster by attending a traditional Chinese dance performance.
V.26 No.2 | 1/12/2017

Sonic Reducer

Little Simz Stillness in Wonderland · Various Artists Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque in Upper Volta · J. Cole 4 Your Eyez Only

Alibi staff writer Robin Babb reviews releases by J. Cole and Little Simz while also investigating a compilation of groovy African music.
V.25 No.52 | 12/29/2016

The Daily Word in Trump Supporters, Gorrilaz and Smart Hairbrushes

The Daily Word

Republican senators have introduced an amendment (again) that would limit congressional terms.

Move aside, Kim K, here's the original selfie queen.

Industry weed is the biggest thing since the internet. Really.

Would you be surprised if I told you Trump supporters find Vladimir Putin more likable than President Obama?

The Gorillaz celebrate women musicians with a mixtape.

“PMS” aka, another misdiagnosis of women's medical issues.

In the market for a new hairbrush? How about The Hair Coach, a smart hairbrush from L'Oreal?

Tune into the next episode of definitely fucking not

V.25 No.51 | 12/22/2016
Summon
Eric Williams Photography

Music Interview

Summoning Summon

Local hip-hop artist invokes music, magick and madness

Alibi music correspondent Geoffrey Plant and local hip-hop wizard Summon speak together in arcane tones.
V.25 No.50 | 12/15/2016
Big Daddy Kane in concert
Courtesy of the artist

Music Interview

Hello Mr. Soul

A raw conversation with Kane

Alibi music critic August March tells about interviewing celebrities as a preface to his killer conversation with illustrious rapper Big Daddy Kane.
V.25 No.48 | 12/01/2016

Event Horizon

Twirling Skirts of Tradition

Saturday, Dec 10: Mariachi Christmas

Ring in the holiday season with exuberant music and dances from Mariachi Juvenil Aztlán and Ballet Folklórico University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Event Horizon

“The bigger the crime, the greater forgiveness.”

Friday, Dec 9: Simon Gronowski

Hear the harrowing expierence of the Belgian holocaust survivor and jazz pianist followed by a performance and a question and answer session.
V.25 No.49 | 12/8/2016

Sonic Reducer

Justice Woman · Bruno Mars 24K Magic · The Weeknd Starboy

Alibi music writer Robin Babb goes all pop with reviews of new recordings by The Weeknd, Justice and Bruno Mars, for crissakes.
V.25 No.48 | 12/1/2016
Dr. Larry Abramson
Photo by Justin Morgan

Music Interview

Rocanrol Recovery

Local doctor uses music to address opioid crisis

We chat with Dr. Larry Abramson, guitarist and healer, about rock and roll, addiction and recovery.

Sonic Reducer

The Awakening Orchestra Interlude: Atticus Live! The Music of Jesse Lewis · Rudy Royston Trio Rise of Orion · Summon Anumals

Alibi record reviewer Geoffrey Plant continues his awesome as hell jazz odyssey while taking a momentary diversion to examine the dark wonder that is Summon.
V.25 No.46 | 11/17/2016

Event Horizon

Folk Christmas

Sunday, Nov 27: Christmas Is A Funny Thing

Nationally touring musical storytellers Bettman and Halpin perform the world premiere of their newest holiday show.

Event Horizon

Dance of the Dead

Saturday, Nov 26: Dia De Los Muertos Burlesque • Gwendolyn Steele • Lucy Diamonds • Perla Foxxx • Gabby O

Enjoy performances from the local dance troupe Dirty Deeds Burlesque while raising funds for Casa Q.
 

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