OK, first of all -and I’m talking especially to you fellas out there, and I hope you get this message before it’s too late -it turns out that the word “hirsute” doesn’t mean “devastatingly sexy” after all -quite the contrary! Apparently, what it actually means is “hairy”, so it’s probably not appropriate to a romantic context at all, and should be avoided at all costs on occasions like Valentine’s Day, Christmas, birthdays, and both golden and silver wedding anniversaries; in fact, there’s reason to believe that the holiday hasn’t yet been invented that the word “hirsute” would actually be welcome at. Girls don’t like it -period. Neither do guys. No one likes or uses this word, ever, and there’s a good reason: it means “hairy.”
I certainly hope none of you got punched, divorced, or disemboweled over this slight slip-up of mine last week. For some reason, I thought “hirsute” sounded kind of obscure and romantic, rather fragile, kind of flattering -practically French, I thought maybe! Unfortunately, plenty of evidence has turned up in the interim that it really isn’t the kind of word that should ever be used to describe anything that isn’t hairy. So… sorry if I mis-led anyone on that one. From now on, I’m sticking to words I know the meaning of. (Speaking of which, another word you might want to steer clear of when you’re trying to establish a sensual, late-night mood is “inguinal.” Just trust me on this one.)
Suffice it to say that I attended the bars solo last weekend, the lone wolf, big fatso reporter on the prowl, searching for melodic gristle, when instead I happened to catch the debut of the Mayocks at Mahoney’s in Orleans. I wasn’t alone, either -there were many musicians on hand, including Link Montana, Randy Frost and Shred from Boom Boom Baby, Feral Dogs, drummer Rikki Bates (who sat in), and Eastham’s P.J. O’Connell, who provided the night’s rockin’est moment when he sang “Please Give Me Something” with the Connecticut trio.
They were doing fine on their own, though, with the brothers Mayock doing some nice sibling harmonies and drummer Marshall Grossman keeping a nice, relaxed (yay! no rushing!) beat on an interesting looking-and-sounding version of cocktail drums (in this case using a floor tom as a kick with the pedal attacking from beneath; what will they think of next?) Marshall had also just completed his first run in the Boston Marathon (!!) and was still out of breath.
And, by the way, who ever thought it would be a great idea to get thousands of people to run 26 miles together? I mean, OK, apparently it is a good idea, on some level -certainly, Marshall was thrilled. But in my opinion, the original idea was ridiculous. Why would you run more than fifty yards if you hadn’t done anything wrong? I have problems with the basic concept, in part due to my ever-evolving status as a fat, nearly immobile load of reporting know-how.
By the way, I keep meaning to mention that I recently heard the most sarcastic version of “Old Cape Cod” ever rendered (at least in my vicinity) by Carol Wyeth and her trio at the Ocean House Lounge in Dennisport. The Ocean House is a rather large, slightly upscale/country-clubby restaurant that is, nonetheless, quite cozy and right on the beach (see the listings), and Ms. Wyeth and the trio are jazz guys, cool yet warm, smooth and mellow for the most part (including a lovely version of “The Nearness of You.”)
Their attitude toward getting another opportunity to plumb the depths of the Patti Page classic, however, was somewhat less than reverent, as saxophonist Ted Casher gave it his best Lawrence Welk swoon; even Ms. Wyeth warbled with a (to these ears, most welcome) hint of arsenic. There are few things more satisfying than seeing a dusty old standard get its just desserts, and I have a feeling that this is a tableaux that the band is more than capable of re-creating at any of their regular Saturday night or Sunday afternoon performances; so do drop in, order up a nice Bloody Mary, request “Old Cape Cod” and wait for the fireworks to begin -and tell ‘em Bill O’Neil from the Cape Cod Times sent you (which isn’t true, but will be a good joke on Bill.)