". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Vaquero And Houston

He got home fairly late last night.  From his high spirits one might have been pardoned for thinking that he flew all the way back home without the assistance of a plane.  He had the most marvelous time, playing, lecturing, performing, being interviewed for radio and newspapers, reading and signing.  He sold all of the books he brought with him, the bookstore sold more and he sold Postmamboist tee shirts.

He hung out with so many of his favorite musician amigos, and he was taken care of very well.  The festival assigned a lot of the acts a 'caretaker,' a young local volunteer who drove you around, guided and carried, and was just generally as helpful as the caretaker could be.  The best thing about them, V. said, is that these volunteers were so clearly have a wonderful time doing what they were doing.  His volunteer was named Grady, and was in heaven, as one night he listened to V., Brian Lynch, Yunior and Yosvani, discuss straight time vs. swing time.

He hung out with Eddi Palmieri a whole lot all weekend too.  He has only one regret -- he didn't get to Joe Ely's show, which was playing on the other side of the festival while V was on stage with Brave Combo, performing "Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly."

Vaquero also got a new summer straw cowboy hat.

All in all it was his idea of heaven.  A musician's heaven.


K. said...

Joe never became the next Springsteen, as was forecast, but he sure has made an awful lot of outstanding music through the years; he's managed to expand a signature sound without losing his identity. It's a shame that Ely's one ill-conceived album (Hi Res) was meant to be his breakthrough.

I lived in Austin then, and like the rest of the music-loving community, awaited it eagerly. I knew it was a misfire from the first listen.

Personal Note: I bought my first house from the producer of Hi Res not long before it came out. A good guy, but nervous as a cat waiting for its release.

K. said...

By "misfire," I mean that I knew immediately that the album was a nonstarter commercially.

Foxessa said...

This was about the time the music biz -- music radio -- began eating itself -- deconstructing, determined to niche -- helped so much by the communications de-regulation movement.

MTV helped, of course, and MTV was emphatically not interested in Joe Ely and those kinds of acts. Too old, too not edgy, too not Talking Heads, etc.

High Res was supposed to have taken all that on and beaten 'em at their own game. It was a good idea in a lot of ways. But perhaps the true heart wasn't in it? For one thing, maybe you've also noticed, Joe's never moved beyond that embarrassing depiction of 'mexican' women in his songs -- and he had another one of those on the album.

Love, C.