It’s been a tough week for music. It started off with the news of Rick James passing away last Friday at the age of 56–sad, but not surprising, considering at one point in his life, he was spending $10K – $15K a week on cocaine. I prefer to remember him as the composer of one of the most brain-stickingest song (not to mention one of the most ripped-off bass lines) of the late twentieth century: Superfreak. He was also the svengali behind The Mary Jane Girls (such a subtle name), a short-lived, all-female group memorable for one the earliest bootylicious videos on MTV. Let’s all pray Rick ain’t busily bitch-slapping everyone in heaven this very moment….
Then I get wind that the Kansas Attorney General withheld over 1600 CDs from Kansas libraries, (CDs that were part of a nationwide court settlement) because the albums “promote violence or illegal activity”. Artists include OutKast, Lou Reed and Devo. So–does this mean the KAG is terrified people truly want freedom from choice?? Or that we’ll all become Rock and Roll Animals? Maybe he’s afraid we’ll all develop an irresistible desire to go out with a spiky-haired performance artist. (I have a feeling they’d send out the SWAT team if one developed a fixation on Karen Finley….)
Mea Culpa Dept: I need to explain my ALA encounter with Walt Crawford, illustrating just why it was yet another awkward moment in my library career:
Scene: CSA-sponsored luncheon, a conference hotel (I forget which), Orlando, Florida. Temperature around 93°; the humidity even higher. I’m schlepping around approximately twenty pounds of vendor swag and steamed-up glasses–in other words, I was what experts term “a mess”. I plop my freebies (not to mention a purse and at least two ancillary bags) onto a chair when I spy Mr. Crawford across the table. So what do I do? I do what any self-deluded librarian would do: I decide to accost him with a cute introduction. It went something like this:
Me: Mr. Crawford?
WC: (Looking up from handouts) Yes?
Me: I’m the Lipstick Librarian and I want to apologize for any embarrassment my site might have caused you.
WC: (silence) Uh–okay……
Keep in mind that as I’m facing him, my eyes are obscured by the humidity, sweat and melted mascara dripping from my glasses. As far as he could tell, I was a dowdy and slightly scary drag queen babbling and sweating over his complimentary deli sandwich. I’d be frightened too….
Latest Semi-Celeb Crush du Jour: Eddie Steeples in the OfficeMax commercials. Maybe it’s the Frederick Douglass-like hair and his bopping around to The Rubber Band Man, tossing out office supplies to kids in treehouses that I just can’t resist….