End O’ Summer

cape cod goodbye…And so the summer straggles to a close. The locals have all assumed that glassy-eyed stare we get during the last week of August, the one you see on exhausted marathon runners late in the race that says “I can’t hear, see, or breathe, but I will cross that finish line.”

Yup, we’ve survived another one. Some of us have even prospered, but at what cost? Some of us are still recovering from that hot spell – and some of us still aren’t. I know some people whose brains actually melted in August and just stayed that way. They were mostly people I was trying to avoid anyway, but now I’m really trying. Service people, waitresses, medical personnel -their scars may never heal.

Why is it so difficult? Is it because of the long hours (after all, some Cape Codders work as much as three months out of the year)? Pressure from our (insane, usually inbred, sometimes even Irish) families? Or is it just because all tourists are bastard people?

You might be surprised at the responses I got to these questions and others, had I in fact bothered to ask anyone anything. As it is, I guess we’ll always wonder.

While I didn’t actually talk to anyone while researching this particular article, I have observed that some of them are in pretty sad shape, not least of all Tom Brophy, owner of the Cape Impressions gallery in Wellfleet, who is said to be working (or at least thinking about working) on a jingle for radio ads for the gallery. Tommy used to be in a local heavy metal band called Meat the Rabbit, so one anticipates a massive, sledge-hammer approach for the jingle.

I assume the lyrics will be all about the lovely landscapes, pottery, and stained glass they have (and remember, I speak as a person who doesn’t really believe in pottery), which should give the ads an interesting tension when juxtaposed with thrash-metal. (Like I say, it sure was hot there for awhile.)

Another thing that happened right around that real hot spell was that Link Montana (AKA Bruce Maclean, leader of the Maplewoods) started sending out his press releases in French, which is never a good sign; as a result, now I have no idea where they’re playing -only that they are (somewhere.) Before he lapsed into French, they were playing Sunday happy hours at the Claddagh in West Harwich, so he may be still (though there is reason for concern over how well a French band might go over in an Irish bar.) Personally, I’m hoping for plenty of Francoise Hardy and Plastic Bertrand covers. (I’m talking about Africa hot!)

Meanwhile, my good friend Barry Dwight Larmarno has announced plans for something called Larmarno’s Suicideland, apparently a theme park for people who want to kill themselves. The rides -among them the “Head’s Up!”; “Trust the Arab!” and the Demarollercoaster -did sound pretty intriguing, but lining up all the financing could be tricky. Still, best of luck to ol’ Barry Dwight (who also recently wrote a musical about corn that he insists on performing at all hours of the day and night in a bizarre series of drive-by singings.) (It’s not the heat, it’s the damn humidity…)

Last week, when part of my brain toasted up pretty bad, I gave ringing recommendations to new albums by both Of Montreal (“Aldhils Arboretum”, on Kindercore) and the Flaming Lips (“Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots”, on Warner Brothers), and, while I do in fact still really like both of them, I thought maybe I should add that I doubt if anyone else will. They’re both obnoxious and excruciatingly whimsical, and feature bad singing and questionable musicianship. The Flaming Lips album really only has one mood, which is magical/overbearing/majestic/depressing, while the Of Montreal is rather scattered.

Still, I love them both. They’re both trying really hard to do something that is really different, and succeeding. They also share a quality that a lot of great albums have: they don’t sound like much at first, but they keep growing on you. Don’t get ’em, though; you’ll probably hate ’em. (Ooo! Reverse psychology!!!)

Other cool things to do this weekend include a rare solo appearance by Aaron Spade opening up for the always rockin’ Greenheads at the Prodigal Son in Hyannis tonight (Friday); and Babaloo at the Wellfleet Beachcomber on Saturday, Aug. 31 (they’re sometimes billed as a punk mambo band, but the accent is on the mambo.)

Reprinted with permission of the Cape Codder, Orleans, MA.

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