The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Cultural Appreciation Day at the Q

When the Q wakes up in the morning the last thing he thinks about is his hair. I believe this is perfectly obvious to each and every person I meet through the day. Not everyone thinks this way, but clearly by looking at most of the Caucasian gentlemen at the Park Slope Food Coop and at my job and in any of 100 coffee shops, my cheveux nonchalance is shared by many of my peers.

Just recently a friend directed me to, and I fell in love with, a tune by the sublime India.Arie that nailed a black thang that's always intrigued me - the African hair conundrum (how to wear it, what it means etc.) The oversize importance of hair is not particular to the black experience of course. But it's meaning within the context of the African diaspora (shorthand: slavery) is distinct and powerful. this one song Ms. .Arie (is that how one writes her last name, with the period?) sums it all up. If you don't care for guest Akon's autotune stylings, just wait til India. drops in with her incredibly magical voice and all will be forgiven.

For the music nerds out there, I think this is one of my favorite uses I've heard of the I to flatIII to IV chord progressions I've ever heard. Note the similarity to the redneck anthem "Freebird."

Now for the Lefferts connection (though given the preponderance of hair shops in the neighborhood I think we're already there). For my black friends who wonder what's up with that slack hair attitude among whites, I give you Exhibit A. Pavement.

Pavement was a VERY popular band when I was touring the country with my exceedingly less popular band Babe the blue OX. in the '90s. Their anthem "Cut My Hair" was perhaps the song that broke them big, and their lackadaisical style and off-the-cuff vocal delivery spawned a million imitators. The difference between these two videos could not be more stark - super high-end video and audio production vs. amateurish Do-It-Yourself "authenticity." And...drum of Pavement's members lives in Lefferts Gardens. Know which one?

The larger point I'm making is probably self-explanatory, and the IQ's of Q readers (QIQ's) is off-the-charts (yes Google gives me the analytics) so I know I don't need to pound it home. But next time you see a person you don't know sporting something quirky with their cheveux, perhaps these vids will pop into mind.


John Mark said...

no big hair.

Anonymous said...

Babe the Blue Ox! I remember seeing you guys like 20 years ago when I was at NYU. Also remembering liking you guys. Wild.

SK said...

Mark Ibold! What do I win?!

Clarkson FlatBed said...

What else? A haircut. Mark's buying.

Tim said...

You guys should get a 90s indie rock super group going. Your prize? An almost 40 year old indie rock dork fan (that would be me.)

Jeff said...

I didn't know you were in Babe the Blue Ox. I have The Way We Were and it's a really good record.

Joey X said...

Ah, loved Babe the Blue Ox and would see you with my pals' band, Airlines, quite a bit. Also, I believe, at Brooklyn Woodstock. Hooray!