Oh 90s.

A video by Whooliganz that I found. Amazing psychedelic early 90s beat. Their obscurity is probably due to the fact that America did not need to hear what Kriss Kross would sound like if mated with Cypress Hill. Which is a shame. The curly-headed kid grew up to be the Alchemist.
I had this track on cassingle. I had a big collection of cassingles, bought by the armload in the basement of Tower–99 cents a pop.

Celebrity Artifacts.

Probably few of you guys recognize the name on the CD. The 45 King is an eminent hip-hop producer; the guy who did the classic “900 Number” beat, aka the Ed Lover Dance.
My fine fine drummer Pete McNeal did a gig backing Redman at the Canal Room last night. Scrap and I went. Fantastic gig. Redman’s presence is HUGE onstage; Soul Coughing toured with him, and when he would come out for a tune I would feel suddenly dwarfed. The guy just radiates.
He’s also a very sweet man, and still completely flabbergasts me by calling me N___a.
Anyway. The 45 King is standing next to Scrap and I, waiting for an audience. As he’s walking away, Pete says, “You know who that is? The 45 King.”
WHAT?! I say. You want to meet him? says Pete. He calls out to him, I shake his hand. The 45 King reaches into his jacket and produces CDs for Scrap and I. Apparently he just rolls around with CDs of his new beats.
That’s the 45 King’s phone number on there! What am I gonna do? “Hello, 45 King? It’s Mike. Have you been eating your greens?”

Lola Montez and the King of Bavaria.

I first encountered Lola Montez, “the Spanish Dancer,” at a show of 19th century daguerreotypes (early photos) at the I.C.P. two years ago. There were dozens of pictures of her. I Googled her the next day; she was an Irish girl, reared in colonial India, who ran away to Paris, reinvented herself as the exotic Lola, and became the toast of Europe for her trademark “Tarantula Dance.”
I ran into Lola Montez unexpectedly when I was in Germany. It turns out that she was the mistress of Ludwig I, the “Mad King” of Bavaria. Ludwig built the fabulous Glyptothek and Pinakothek museums in Munich, and some amazing castles in the Bavarian mountains. The most famous is Neuschwanstein, on which Walt Disney modeled Cinderella’s castle.
After an affair with the composer Franz Liszt ended violently (she shot a pistol at him; he left her by locking her in their hotel room and leaving money with the front desk for the furniture he was sure she’d destroy), she ended up at a party at the King’s palace in Munich. The King asked her if her body was a work of nature or of art. She ripped open her dress to show him.
The madness he was accused of came not only from his obsession with Lola (he made her a countess), but from his castle-building and the money he lavished on opera productions. He stepped down, under pressure, in 1848; Lola fled to America, where she found grand success lecturing on tragic literary heroines for gold miners.

Berlin: Last Glance.

Vienna was gorgeous, but Berlin’s the place. I’ll be going back.
And after this post, I will stop torturing you with European cities.