As I think I mentioned recently on a BBS, there is a new edition of Fairport Convention's Liege & Lief with two previously unreleased songs from the same sessions, which for my purposes is sort of like a new edition of Sophocles with two more plays. Lisa was playing it in the living room tonight while I was lying in the bedroom reading a book about student radio in Belgrade, and every note seemed so powerful and perfectly placed I could hardly concentrate on what I was reading. There's a sticker on the front that says listeners to a BBC program voted it "the most important folk album of all time," which depresses me a little, because I don't really think of it as a folk album in execution--it's a rock album with a bunch of folk songs on it. (I secretly have a very restrictive idea of what constitutes folk music: if there is an identifiable composer, as far as I'm concerned, it's not folk music, and tasteful acoustic pop is especially non-folk. That is, there has to be a culture-wide act of forgetting before something becomes folk. There is probably a hole in my logic here, but for the life of me I couldn't tell you what it is.)
We tried another Sietsema cheap-Asian pick today for lunch: Tibetan Yak, out in Jackson Heights. Very good, and afterwards I went to a big Indian grocery (called, I think, Patel Bros.) on 74th St. and bought some yard-long beans and a green mango. The green mango I'm not yet sure what I'm going to do with, but the yard-long beans got cooked with some olive oil, asafoetida, cumin, mustard seeds, dried red peppers, urad dal and dried coconut, and came out pungent and great.
Saw the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion last night, which was sort of a downer for me. They play together incredibly well, still (love those in-socket pauseless transitions between songs), and Russell Simins would do any band good, but those new songs just don't cut it. And neither do Jon's sideburns, actually, although I still covet that shiny shirt he was wearing. This was the first time I've seen them when it didn't look like they were trying to outdo themselves, and the first time when it looked like they weren't actually feeling the schtick.