Thursday, February 17, 2005

A Little Place at the Vanguard of Jazz

New York's celebrated jazz spot, the Village Vanguard, turns 70 this year and kicked off a weeklong celebration on Tuesday. That even made the paper locally (yay), though not in linkable form (boo). However, the same story is available here, from the site of a classical radio station in D.C., of all things.

As the article says, this place has evidently changed very little in its history. It still has a limited drink menu and serves no food; it's all about the music. I've seen their famous (and now eponymous) big band a few times, but this place is definitely on my short list of places to visit the next time I'm in New York (during a future "Kev and Halfling's Excellent Musical Adventure," no doubt). Here's to 70 more years (and then some) of great jazz...

This one really quacked me up: Yesterday at one of my schools, I noticed a can of chewing gum remover sitting in the band library. This was unusual in itself--people actually pay money for something like that?--but the name of its manufacturer really made me laugh: AFFLAB. (Yes, it's a real company; its website is here.) Now maybe I've seen way too many AFLAC commercials featuring the famous spokesduck, but the word AFFLAB just conjured up the mental picture of a flabby, overweight version of the duck. Can't you just see him arriving at the end of the commercial, waddling and out of breath, yelling "AFFLAB!" in a wheezing voice?

Blowing out partial candles: I have to mention this every year--not just because he's my best friend, but also because it's such a funny-sounding sentence: Happy half-birthday, Halfling! One of these days, I'm going to remember to get someone half a card for their half-birthday and make them wait the other six months to read the punch line...

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