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View Full Version : New digs, strange new interests...


JoMama
08-23-2012, 08:51 PM
Ok, I almost bought a house in the country years ago. In the lovely hamlet of "Roscoe" Minnesota, which is one of those towns like 'Whistle Stop' in 'Fried Green Tomatoes' where if you pause just long enough and listen past the sound of the distant highway you hear what was once a little place of some activity. It was actually a "township" of sorts as it had two loosely connected groups of homes united by one church and post office.
So as the years went by I'd see this album called "The Roscoe Quartet" of church songs sung by 4 men. I was singing tenor in a church choir in those days and I always liked those small group harmony records by men in goofy looking pre-disco leisure suits with strange poofy silky ties that burst from the lapels and all the songs were about the Lord and what's waiting on the other side.
Well, now I've recently moved to Asheville and here in the Bible belt every thrift store I've ventured into has tons of these records. Some of them feature just a little hint of some country music, sometimes even some pedal steel, some a little more country than gospel, but a treasure trove of vocal music to be had for pennies because nobody wants it. Even that crazy Jimmy Swaggart had a killer voice in the old days. But he was more after celebrity where much of this other stuff just doesn't give a rat's behind who's going to buy it. They love to sing the songs.
Well, the folks who inspired our boys hailed from this sort of stuff, so by golly if it isn't just fitting to take a chance on some corny-dressed groups of men or sometimes a mixture of men and women singing that old tymey stuff. Nobody's playing it on the radio around here, and it's too churchy for the intellectuals out there so it's all sitting there for me to build a huge collection of stuff that never gets a second look.
Paul Manz on the pipe organ in Minneapolis hipped me to the pipe organs, and then the Bach stuff in all its jazzy array had me for awhile, but the vocals are really where it's at.
I bet your local Salvation Army thrift store has tons of this stuff (and they possibly burn the secular records LOL) and it's not moving anywhere, so here you go, hint of the century--the slip that brought me to my knees pale...
and now I've said too much

JumboFun
08-28-2012, 11:39 PM
Welcome to Asheville,not too far away. If the Jayhawks, or any solo members come down this way again maybe we can hit a show together?

J. Chamberlain
08-29-2012, 12:56 AM
Hope you're enjoying your new digs!

JoMama
08-29-2012, 07:21 PM
Welcome to Asheville,not too far away. If the Jayhawks, or any solo members come down this way again maybe we can hit a show together?

Yes, indeedy, along with Mikey from SC we could start a Southeast Contigent of Hawk-Mavericks like Kim/Kristy/DeSpain et al have nailed down in the Midwest! :)

Brown Jenkin
09-04-2012, 07:14 PM
Minnesota and Chicago have the worst weather in the country, so it must be nice to get out of that.

JoMama
09-12-2012, 09:20 AM
Asheville's loaded with amazing vinyl. People come here from all over, sell their stuff at flea markets, garage sales and to record shops, and let me tell you, there is some wide-ranging taste going down, right alongside the earlier-mentioned old-tymey gospel/vocal groups laying about.
I'll keep you posted... Just some ordinary 25-cent finds recently were some Deep Purple, James Gang, ELP, and such, --ordinary titles but they were all German pressings in immaculate condition. Another older gentleman had some great antiques, and a small pile of Hank Sr. 78's in excellent shape in their original MGM sleeves... 50 cents each.. The fun here has only just begun I can tell.

JayB
09-13-2012, 07:51 AM
Great part of the world.

JoMama
09-22-2012, 07:00 PM
Great part of the world.

just saw a Marimba band playing in the street, like the song "Willie And The Poor Boys" by CCR: "bring a nickel, can't be beat". Adjusting for stagflation, bring a 5-Dollar Bill. They all had home-made wooden vibes, and a guy with a djembe (drum). They kept the melodies simple, interplaying with each other like 5 Tito Puente's (ok, they weren't THAT advanced). People danced, couples embraced and dropped some dollars in their bucket... I coulda stayed all night but someone was having a bonfire for the solstice and there was a promise of guitars, food to pass and other children for mine to dance with so we couldn't merenge in the streets for the entire set--but they promised to return. Turns out they live in the area and also do a Grateful Dead tribute band on the side...
On Friday's in the town square there is a drum circle; folks of all ages, drums of all sizes, people of a multitude of cultural and sub-cultural backgrounds all grooving to a pict.
Nice town, this one. I think I'll keep it for awhile.

JumboFun
09-25-2012, 12:44 AM
Jeebus, I gotta look in here more often than every three weeks, otherwise, how else could we be a south east contingent eh? And just where is "Mikey from SC" these days?...Charleston I'll wager.

Glad to hear Asheville is being good to you. Just wait til winter, you'll appreciate it even more!

"I coulda stayed all night but someone was having a bonfire for the solstice and there was a promise of guitars, food to pass and other children for mine to dance with" I hosted an equinox dance on Sunday, (one day late I know). We did Irish ceili and set dancing, and there were lots of kids too, well preteens and teenagers now. There was sangria, to drink out the summer, and octoberfest, to drink in the fall, plus, equinox cake, half vanilla, half chocolate!

So. Any chance we could get a posy together for a road trip up to Vienna Ma show in Nov?

JumboFun
09-25-2012, 12:47 AM
Let's not forget Ungere. I think he's up around union.

JoMama
09-25-2012, 06:58 AM
So. Any chance we could get a posy together for a road trip up to Vienna Ma show in Nov?

wow that's only 14 hours from here...
the show in DC is only 8
adding 4 for you that's a lot of road time to consider...

JumboFun
10-01-2012, 12:29 PM
I was thinking it would be about 10 hours or so? I suggested the show in Vienna cuz I thought it was the closest one to here? Gee I think now I may have gotten the states mixed up. There is a show in DC? I'm gonna go have a look over at the tour info.

JoMama
10-01-2012, 12:49 PM
I was thinking it would be about 10 hours or so? I suggested the show in Vienna cuz I thought it was the closest one to here? Gee I think now I may have gotten the states mixed up. There is a show in DC? I'm gonna go have a look over at the tour info.

I think it's in Virginia, on the verge of DC. I google-earthed it awhile back. Anywho, there's a Jayhawks fan from Mizzurrah who is trying to finagle one or both shows that weekend into his schedule, which might mean he'll swing through these parts or near by anyway. We'll see what we can pull together... :D

JumboFun
10-01-2012, 12:55 PM
OK, I was a little mixed up there. I was thinking about the show Friday, November 9th, at the Jamin Java, in Vienna Virginia, which seems to me as close as they're going to get in the foreseeable future? I might be able to do that, it's on a Friday, so that makes it more doable. What say you?

JumboFun
10-01-2012, 01:19 PM
"The Fanpage tour" lists a lotta, lotta, shows in Nov. in the States, and then off to Europe. This site, http://www.jayhawksofficial.com/shows.html doesn't list any shows after Bilbao Spain? You mentioned Garys' solo show? I'm lost.

JoMama
10-02-2012, 06:26 AM
"The Fanpage tour" lists a lotta, lotta, shows in Nov. in the States, and then off to Europe. This site, http://www.jayhawksofficial.com/shows.html doesn't list any shows after Bilbao Spain? You mentioned Garys' solo show? I'm lost.

His solo tour isn't on that site, but it's here:

http://www.facebook.com/garylourismusic?sk=app_123966167614127

JoMama
10-10-2012, 10:24 AM
how does Asheville love me? Let me count the ways: :D :D :D

Tonight, Nick Lowe with opening act Chuck Prophet, 2.5 miles away from here for a measly 20 bucks... {and these local yokels want to go see some bluegrassy jam band---pullleaaase...)

Next Tuesday Alejandro Escovedo for 15 bucks, and also coming up The Sadies on Friday night...

good bye entertainment budget :eek:


***Oh, and they have a State University here---this city is sort of a cross between Madison and Austin, TX,. I think a certain Axeugene would fit in nicely at UNCA and embrace the culture here like nothing else.

JoMama
12-04-2012, 05:16 PM
another trip to Earth Fare, a chain of "better food" stores, and since we're in North Carolina a generous beer and wine selection to boot. And once again, I'm about to check out and out comes the Jayhawks. This time it was "Save It For A Rainy Day", which was a great irony as my wife just got a new hair-do and she was whining how her hair don't do what it used to...
and for sure, I feel like I'm officially in Asheville when someone was insisting they carry organic hand-baggies so this person could pick up their dog-turds in a bag that won't destroy the environment... :confused:

JoMama
02-22-2013, 04:33 PM
I got to go hiking with a guy who used to play sax in a jazz group. They occasionally got on the bill with some sort of famous people, and told me about some of the people he actually got to talk to: Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond, Clark Terry, Cannonball Adderly among them. I was blown away, I wouldn't know what to say to such folks... He also saw concerts by some big favorites of mine: John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and Bill Evans. What a great surprise of a conversation, all while walking in the woods overlooking the Blue Ridge Parkway...

JayB
02-24-2013, 08:32 AM
That sounds amazing.... and what a bastard.

JoMama
02-25-2013, 08:46 AM
no, really, it IS a "nice" place, unless you're driving too slow because you don't know all the curves in the roads or you have out of state license plates... No, really... they have been having the MOOG Fest here, c'mon! :)
Today though, the sky is crying. Tears of rage methinks.
Let me know if this picture is too small/not visible I may have de-larged it too much (sorry Axe). :)

JoMama
03-05-2013, 08:35 AM
Another wonderful thing about living here: For the umteenth time I've been walking and had a song just pour out of me. I need to get this stuff recorded so I can share it with you, it's a great feeling...
Thurston Moore's new band is doing an in-store today, then a show tonight. I'm trying to squeeze it in...

JoMama
03-22-2013, 09:00 PM
someone passed me some tickets to Joshua James at the Grey Eagle, this coming week; the club is about 2 miles from here (where Nick Lowe and Alejandro have played). No need to drive/look for parking, just a nice walk over a hill and down across the river. :)

Calexico
03-23-2013, 08:33 AM
Sounds great to be able to walk to a decent music club and not have to drive/trek to one.

JoMama
06-08-2013, 06:14 PM
This place is so random, but I have to report there's an imposter. I didn't have my camera but I walked past a personalized North Carolina license plate on a car that read "JOMAMA". I pondered waiting around to meet the imposter but figuring on Asheville, I will for sure run into that person again. Lots of folks who have changed their names due to their political/ecological/philosophical mindset. I've met a woman formerly Susan now "Sue Sun", a guy formerly David now "Tree", and another named Poet (didn't get his former name). My own sister, who's lived here nearly 20 years changed her name years ago and insists on her new name (except when family visit, they are allowed to use her original name... :rolleyes: ). What's in a name. Let's see, there's Sparrow, Heart Song, River Otter, and some more. I've been called asshole but I haven't legally changed it... :D

JoMama
08-21-2013, 07:28 PM
the blush is off the rose. Asheville is somewhat over-rated, but everywhere around here is rich indeed. So I guess it's tolerable for a place to stop when you want to explore the splendor of these Western North Carolina mountains.
If you want to hear the dregs, read this blog, it's rather funny, and painfully true. It's a tourist town, great music scene, great scenery, but gosh, really a pain for "semi-regular" folks to live here. Save your money and buy a place in one of the surrounding communities instead of living right here in town.

http://www.indeed.com/forum/loc/Asheville-North-Carolina/Moving-Asheville-did-you-get-here/t163337/p3

On a lighter note, I just missed Prairie Home Companion played a show a few weeks back in a neighboring town that is everything Asheville wishes it could be. Brevard is nestled in the foothills of the western edge of the Smokies, with a college, a record shop, lots of scenery and few Asheville snobs who think they're "open-minded". Please
Garrison and company put out for 3.5 hours, and they usually run their shows just around 2. It would have been a perfect date night for me and Wendy, but it happened to be a night we were out of town with our kids and the grandchild at a wonderful huge waterfall... Would have jumped in the car and drove the extra 20 miles to see this... So many events happen here its fine. There's a huge Moog Festival that's turned into an electronic music fest coming up in October. Gary Numan is on the bill. Gary Numan. Should be a hoot, if I don't have to work around all the gigs. Oh, if you read that blog mentioned up there, you'd see why: work sucks in this town unless you're a wealthy out of towner with a McMansion. Not much of a middle class, but hippies trade freedom for those extra perks and seem just fine to live off the land and off anything they can make a buck on. Don't get into a fender bender with them...
Summer's been unusually wet, after a similar spring, and that means the trees are just exploding here, hanging all over the power lines and making visibility on windy roads a little testy. Fine, I just drive slower and let the fingers fly from the people with Florida license plates.
Gary Numan

JoMama
08-22-2013, 07:00 PM
good points, Fisheye, and yes, it's not what I expected after working on a degree that promised "professional level wages", but mostly it's the tourist economy.

Noting the ratio of economic classes I understand and expected it is different than the formerly-industrialized area I grew up in, but its an adjustment to this reality regardless. There's a lot more to that, and, thankfully, I am appreciative of some things that make the "South" the way it is, and certainly respect the culture. Yes, I sound a little cranky 'cause I've been moving and working outdoors and trying to do things that rain continues to interrupt, but my reflections certainly do come from having grown up in a different culture. I dont take myself quite that seriously. Ah, print personality...
No slogging on Southerners intended, just observations that others on the blog I noted had made about Asheville in general. I think it IS over-rated, but then the people who say the small towns are Podunk towns are also wrong. People are people, and giving Asheville credit for what the region gives it is where I'm distinguishing it.
Your perspective, being from this area is certainly welcome.

JoMama
08-28-2013, 07:41 PM
It's been hot and muggy. Now, mind you, Minnesota had it's moments of dreadful humidity but this place really defines the word "muggy". You literally feel like you're being mugged of all your energy. I work outdoors and I can't drink enough water to replenish the sweat, enough Gatorade and green tea to replenish whatever. This stuff just drains the energy and the sweat glands. If you want to lose weight, come on out here for the months of July and August and sweat off a few dozen pounds. I understand why folks are so laid back: it's necessary to just slow down and don't fight it.
At least the nights are starting to cool off slightly more than in June/July. It brings up the fog factor in the morning, but gosh, who cares when the air is cooler. The cidadas are amazingly loud. If I left the windows open, I'd think I was sleeping in the subway in NYC...

[edit] I blamed the cicadas, but gosh, this place I moved into has nearby pond life, so you have a blend of cicadas, frogs and this time of year the crickets. It's actually kind of disarming to listen to this din and separate out the sounds.

mystic_spiral_3
08-28-2013, 08:01 PM
I lived in NC as a teenager. I did not like the heat and humidity of summer.

JoMama
09-21-2013, 07:52 PM
I'll try to keep this short, but the details of the conversation could fit a small book... I'm saving the greatest part for the end so scroll down if you wish...:)

We have a Habitat For Humanity store in Asheville that specializes in taking EVERYTHING people want to drop off and finding re-utilization for otherwise junked things. Lots of building materials in small quantities left over from completed projects. They also run a scrapyard to reclaim the raw materials as well. What's really cool is they offer an amazing service for people on a tight budget with the opportunity to buy things such as building materials at very reasonable prices. They even have a contest for people to show what they did to their own homes using reclaimed materials from the "Re-Store" as they call it.
Okay, they also have a thrift store full of things donated that don't need fixing or need very little, and of course the profits go to help fund building houses that Habitat For Humanity is known for (you know, President Jimmy Carter...).
So inside this thrift store is a sizable book department, and lo and behold, a decent RECORD and CD department with some really eclectic vinyl... I got to talking to a guy who was digging through some Jazz CDs, and it turns out he plays piano in a trio, and has a million stories from playing in various bands with some semi-famous people. We got to talking about Dylan, and I pointed out a World Party CD to him that I said had some moments that reminded me of "Blonde on Blonde"-era Dylan blah blah blah.
I noticed a bunch of Government Mule-oriented flyers, posters and special event T-shirts hanging up and then I looked closer and there was a picture of Warren Haynes with some people who received Habitat-built homes.
As it turns out, this entire "Re-Store" is Warren's baby. His vision created this place and it has spread to another location in the next town. On top of that, his brother who doesn't look at all like him, works there. This guy I talked to pointed him out.
I know, big deal perhaps, but it sure makes shopping at this place, already a great experience for people who like to be handy an/or creative, that much better.
Hmmmmm.... maybe they need someone to run their record department...:D ;)

JoMama
01-22-2014, 06:44 PM
Ok, this one I WILL keep short. let the pictures do the talking...
http://www.movoto.com/blog/opinions/photos-of-asheville/

JoMama
03-07-2014, 08:10 PM
Had a wonderful chat with a fella today. He's always got stories of things he's done.
He was in the military in the late 50s; had an easy job and was getting too much into the habit of hanging around in a club near the base where too many enlisted men washed away large chunks of their paychecks at this restaurant's bar. They had a small stage with some older folks playing a piano and a clarinet and occasionally an accordion. He got to talking to the owner about the music; long story short, the owner was tired and frustrated with the establishment and rotten employees, so this guy ended up buying it from him. He ran it for a few months, finding some local musicians who played regularly and mixed up the styles each night so it was always a little different. The club was starting to happen big time with all the military guys coming in and such. He got a chance to bring in someone who was getting popular for two nights. Last name was Presley. There were so many people outside the club the first night that the police were guarding the parking lots, because this was Mississippi and you know what was going on in that era...
The Presley fella had the idea to set up in the parking lot so everybody could enjoy the show the next night and the police would probably have an easier time controlling a happy crowd. So they did. The second night Elvis and his band were put up on a stage the parking lot and the police closed off the streets adjoining it. They literaly gave one street to the white kids and one to the black kids and kept them apart with the aid of some buildings and a lot of policemen. They let them only sell soda pop in plastic cups to avoid flying beer bottles and such. It went off quite well, with a bunch of police lined up for crowd control but a happy crowd not an unruly one. After word got around to the brass about this guys's club, he was told he could not have a high level security clearance and own a house of ill repute at the same time, so he ended up selling the club for a small profit, to a friend of the previous owner, who pretty much slowly returned it to a small-time dive.
This story included tons of details from an 80-year-old man with quite a memory for detail. Wish I'd have had a tape recorder for this one...