Thursday, August 17, 2023

Dippers _Clastic Rock_/Cargo Bike Summer 2023/big words

The newish Dippers album Clastic Rock has been on frequent rotation on both my cargo bike speaker and my office turntable this summer. Good stuff - the time signatures are irregular, the melodies catchy, the words large* and compellingly assembled. The first four songs are as solid as anything I've heard recently. Could a couple songs be trimmed? Yes, but I can deal. Summer hit of 2023? Yes.

The album cover art echoes the art for the first Wipers record. (I'll need to post pictures a little later.) Coincidence? The song titles are these weird little poems on their own, so I kind of wish they were not broken up in all directions, but we'll always have online streaming to present all fourteen titles in one unbroken unit.

Cargo Bike Summer 2023 is just about done - last day of summer care camp is tomorrow - and I'll miss it. I found a way to school that is beautiful and calm (with the exception of an unavoidable quarter-mile of stroad noise and speed) and relatively flat, and I took it every day. When I was deadheading to or from school without the boy on the back, I listened to albums - the Dippers record for the past few weeks - and their rhythms have overlaid themselves onto the path I rode. "Drop to Inoperant" (good title) will always be linked to this particular intersection, though the long-shadowed October light in the Street View doesn't quite match the full-bodied summer sunlight in my memory.

* OK, I have to say it: There are a couple words that are pronounced... well, I don't want to say incorrectly, but I couldn't find any dictionaries where "amygdalae" is pronounced the way it is on the record.  Maybe it's an Australian thing? Not that I can talk. As someone who is still haunted by his own mispronunciations on long-forgotten CDRs, I know how that feels. I've read a lot of books and learned big words and then sounded like a dope when I went to put said words into action. Ask me about the time I read Childcraft's Guide for Parents and then mispronounced "vagina" with the ladies in my grandma's small-town bridge club, where nothing was ever forgotten. That's why, as the old pin says, we never guess, we look it up.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Cargo Bike Morning (predicted high 105) and "Hijack the Barber"

Speaker algo selects King Tubby, "Hijack the Barber," speaker hijacks bass response, we're left with hi-hat sibilance and echoed flutes and stabs of horns on sunbaked Sandview, unsidewalked, a squirrel bounds in perfect time, its tail well groomed and sinusoidal, turn blind corner, roll through stop sign, Diane is out and watering sunflowers, left on my street, flip the PINpad, garage door creaks and roars to open.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Suburban Saturday

This morning we went to an all-you-can-eat pancake fundraiser at a certain local whole-grain institution. Out of the corner of my eye I glanced a mustachioed individual wearing a "Reagan Bush '84" hat. Instantly my early-aughts lizard brain started making calculations: is this an ironic hat? Said gentleman looked like he was in diapers at most when my boy Fritz lost the '84 election in a landslide. Anyway, we set up with our flapjacks outside, and dude and his family entourage coincidentally set up next to us. The matriarch figure starts telling jokes along the lines of "What do you call a man sitting in a basketball hoop? Duncan!!!!" and absolutely just losing it with laughter. Like, dozens of jokes of this caliber, each one causing more laughter than the last. It was like a performance art piece and I wasn't sure what to make of it. The wheat-free vegan pancakes were excellent though.

We stopped by a yard sale on the way home. One of the proprietors (wearing an NRA shirt) was going on at length about the evils of a certain ballot measure that I voted for and contributed to. By the time we finished looking at their stuff he was still going on about how it was going to be overturned by the Supreme Court. I kept my mouth shut and we bought our stepstool and guilty-pleasure 80s CD.

I rode my bike to another yard sale in an attempt to work off some of the carbs. They had an Inst*nt P*t upgrade model and ours is on the fritz (note the clever double fritzing). Realizing that this appliance would not fit in my bag, I told the seller that I'd be back in a more appropriate vehicle. I rode up the hill and realized that it would be funny if I came back with my cargo bike. So I did. The seller was amused and I burned off another quarter pancake or so. I bought an appliance and petted their pug.