As part of our continuing effort to keep the public updated on the rise of bacon as the balsamic vinegar of the aughts, I bring you the following:
On my way home from Pesach I stopped at a high-end Whole Foods (is there another kind?) that had a special section devoted entirely to chocolate and confections. My wife pointed to a display of chocolate bars and my eyes went wide as eggs-over-easy: Chocolate Bacon! Or is it Bacon Chocolate? Either way this is a disturbing new twist in the aggressive bacon expansion in our culture. Bacon vodka, bacon lollipops, bacon bras and now bacon in our chocolate! And friends, this is not some abstract threat limited to the green room of Iron Chef America, it is right here at our back door as reported this morning on 14th and You.
Ladies and Gentlemen. We do not object to this bacon uprising out of petty religious parochialism (although I hate feeling left out of a culinary craze that at once indulges my basest cravings and still somehow manages to make me look sophisticated). We object because it is gross. We object because, really, isn’t obesity enough of a problem? We object because, what starts out as satire ends up as reality…
I had in my hands for a short little while today the final printer’s proof of the program for the 2008 Washington Jewish Music Festival. It is going to be awesome. The hard copy won’t be back for a couple of days, but you can check out the program on-line here.
The Festival’s opening day is June 1 and if you read regularly, then you already know about Regina Spektor headlining the main stage at the humongous (and free) Israel @ 60 Capital Celebration on the National Mall. Oh yeah, and it also includes Mandy Patinkin–I hear he can sing a little. And Mashina, Israel’s long-standing kings of rock. Oh, and Oscar the Grouch with his Israeli cousin Moishe Oofnik– and we all know that there’s nothing cooler than Sesame Street, and no one kicks it old school better than His Grouchiness.
It is sort of impossible to write an over-view post covering the entire festival, so for the moment I’ll focus on the performer who I think has the most in-common with Regina, and that would be Rachael Sage. She’ll be performing on Wednesday, June 4 at DC9 Nightclub. Both Regina and Rachael share roots in the New York folk (or anti-folk) scene and combine vivid lyrical styles with a musical adroitness that is at once accessible without sacrificing melodic ambition. What exactly do I mean by that? The music sounds as good as the smart lyrics that accompany it. While both are mainstream artists, neither has shied away from their Jewish identity, neither in their musical subjects (Spektor’s “Samson” and Sage’s “93 Maidens” being just two examples); nor in their public personaes, Spektor’s cover photo for Begin to Hope features her prominently wearing a Star of David necklace and Sage’s press materials describe her early musical efforts thusly: “When I started I was writing a lot of music that sounded like Elton John – if he’d been a nice Jewish girl from a long line of Russian cantors.” Rachael Sage is being presented in partnership with the 16th Street J’s Kurlander Program for Gay and Lesbian Outreach and Engagement (GLOE) and Regina Spektor will be back in DC later in June for the True Colors tour which raises awareness and funds for various GLBT organizations.
Take a listen for yourself and check back often for more information about the 2008 Washington Jewish Music Festival.