Some time ago, our own Dr. Dunteman reported on a quarrel between Professor Elemental and Mr B, the Gentleman Rhymer, two practitioners of rap’s most gentlemanly sub-genre, Chap-Hop. Well I’m happy to report that boeuf appears to be over (for the time being), with each MC making a guest appearance in the other’s most recent video. To wit:
Whiskey neat or on the rocks?
Gin or Vodka in a martini?
Eggs for breakfast or Bloody Marys for brunch?
These are easy to answer*. The true struggle of man over himself is whether to embrace the proper and accommodating Gentleman or side with the devil may care Adventurer. At no time in recent memory has this psychological tug-of-war been closer to the forefront of modern consciousness than now. The inter-tubes rage over who’s trouser bottom truly belongs in the chap hop throne; Professor Elemental or Mr. B, the Gentleman Rhymer?
“The pilot is sick,” the Hungarian in front of me said. I’ve always kind of assumed that major airlines had contingencies for what is presumably a common occurrence among jet-flying folk (at least as common as among the rest of us). It turns out they do have a contingency: they cancel the flight. So I got a bonus day in Budapest. Normally, I would consider this a particularly sweet deal, but I had absolutely ruined myself in a forced march around the city the day before. I had only one free day after a work conference and I figured that I’d better see every square foot – err… meter – of Budapest. So I did. No goulash peddler went unseen by my eye. But my carefully laid plans called for a just-short-of-death exhaustion to set in only seconds after finding my seat on the plane. Delta deviously foiled those plans.
After sleeping past my alarm and awaking in the airport hotel, I had two choices: take the long bus and metro ride back to Budapest to take advantage of my few remaining hours in Hungary or join the rest of my canceled plane compadres and enjoy the BBC and complimentary dinner until morning arrived. As you have likely deduced by the fact that I am writing about it, I chose the latter option and ended up at A38. I won.
My fellow G.A., Mr Gregory Bass, is a connoisseur of steampunk style and design, and, while I’ve not delved into that particular subculture as deeply as he, Greg has inspired me to enjoy the odd steampunk fashion spread or art project. So when I saw a review of Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society’s new album “Infernal Machines” in which Mr. Argue was quoted describing his group as a “steampunk big band,” I figured that I owed it a listen. I can safely say that it is the best jazz record of the year, and probably my favorite jazz album since Brad Mehldau’s “Largo” from 2002 – possibly even including that fine record. It has a great, unified sense of mood, and, unlike so many recent jazz albums, it’s fun to listen to – all without sacrificing its boundary-pushing jazz estotericness. This is certainly music to adventure by, though I leave it to Greg to say whether there’s anything “steampunk” about it besides the graphic design.