Tuesday, March 12, 2013
I drink coffee strictly for the drug. It's a foul-tasting beverage to my way of thinking, be it dripped, pressed, or percolated, whether hatched from artisanally roasted beans or Folgers Instant.
That said, I like the Coffee Gallery. The Coffee Gallery is what Starbucks pretended to be back in the day -- with saggy sofas and cast-off chairs; a comfortable and welcoming shabby that doesn't go all chic when your back is turned.
The Coffee Gallery has the usual caffeinated suspects, offering every manner of coffee, plus light refreshments, and, sometimes, entertainment. Like the bluegrass music this past Sunday.
Bluegrass smacks of the Great Depression to me, but likely I've seen too many Capra and Preston Sturges movies. It has roots in Celtic music, yet is assertively American and militantly unpretentious. The lyrics don't sugar-coat what lies ahead in life's great pageant; things will go horribly and irredeemably wrong -- floods, famines, prison, betrayal, desertion. Loss of love and life, that's a given.
And the style of singing -- the polar opposite of opera. Opera opens its mouth and flashes the tonsils. With bluegrass, the lips are pursed, stoic, and hardly move, as though the story is almost more than the heart can bear.