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Artifice [Jun. 2nd, 2008|08:14 pm]
The people renting the house next door have yard tchotchkes in their front yard. A few feet from the street, as though guarding the driveway, is some sort of... creature. I haven't inspected it closely, so I don't know if it's clay or stone or plastic, and I don't know if it's supposed to be a dog or a tortoise or a giant squirrel or a mongoose or whatever— the thing's really odd looking. I'm pretty sure that it can't be a hello cat. Whatever it is, I'm quite certain that, if it is not substantial, the first stray dog to come along will try to destroy it, and if it is substantial, then the dog will pee on it. They have a couple of other tchotchkes set up, but those are by comparison with the mystery creature uninteresting, and I'm waiting to see if there will be more. Perhaps they'll install something that I'd like to pee on.

With the exception of the house on the corner which has had, for the last couple of years, a lawn jockey (with Caucasian paint job), front yard tchotchkes have been unknown in the neighborhood until now, so this is a bit of a milestone on our path to tattiness. Sure, a couple of people have fake owls on their roofs to scare away birds that would raid gardens, and there's one house with one of those small windmills that vibrates the ground to deter moles and other burrowing rodents, but those are practical objects so I don't consider them proper tchotchkes. If we're going to go down that road, I'm tempted to get a couple of pink flamingos— but only put them out when there is snow on the ground. But I figure that it's only a matter of time before yards all along the the block sport ceramic squirrels and deer and pigeons and frogs. After all, the real wildlife is gradually vanishing from the neighborhood— the whole town, in fact, except for its very edges— so we might as well put up tacky monuments to the creatures we've displaced. It's the suburban way, after all.

Monday being such a slow day, it's surely time for another YouTube discovery. Here is a 1928 German recording of the Tango-Ballade from Kurt Weill's "Kleine Dreigroschenmusik" as performed by Paul Godwin's Jazz Symphonians, a popular orchestra of the Weimar period. Anyone familiar with Weill's music will recognize a kinship between this piece and his "Bilbao Song" from "Happy End" which was first produced in 1929, one year after "Die Dreigroschenoper". Unfortunately, there's not a classic version of "Bilbao Song" on YouTube, though there's a video of a fairly decent performance with vocal, piano and drums from an event at an art museum in Rio de Janeiro in 2006— and it's subtitled in Portuguese!

[User Picture]From: daisydumont
2008-06-03 11:05 am (UTC)
i like the weill! once i bought a tape in a bargain bin of a bunch of his songs done by the likes of sting (his Mack the Knife was great) and marianne faithfull. (the guy singing in german in your linked clip sounds very good, though his name isn't german.)
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[User Picture]From: daisydumont
2008-06-03 11:10 am (UTC)
this one

i'll have to try to locate that tape.
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[User Picture]From: flying_blind
2008-06-04 07:11 am (UTC)
I wish someone would upload Ute Lemper's recording of Bilbao Song. It's the best I've heard- even beyond Lenya's version.
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