Thursday, April 27, 2006

Day old hummus and other delights

Apropos of nothing: Moustaches. Now I don't just rock facial hair for the irony of it all (more on that later). I wear a full on porn-stache circa 1982. I take that John Oates bol to the mat is what I'm sayin.

Crying babies, a quickened pace in the step of shorties on a nighttime sidewalk, poor aerodynamics. It's a dark and nefarious world that stache-heads inhabit. But let's level here, for some reason, about 4 years after I started rockin' the duster, it's back (in West Philly anyway). I personally blame a significant amount of the spot-blowing on this man (but all the same it could be this guy).

A cursory free association sesh turns up several important names: Giorgio Moroder (pictured above), Oates, the cover of the Band's self-titled LP, Freddie Mercury and more or less every notable mid to late 20th century blues player. So what are we to draw from this?

First, chances are, if you rock the 'stache, you are either gay (see: Mercury), make music most likely listened to by gay people (see: Moroder), from Philly (see: John Oates), Canadian or a suspected Canadian (see: The Band, Me) or you are excessively self-conscious. I think the majority of any current moustache "phenomenon" can be ascribed to factors 1, 3 and 5.

As for blues singers and African-American facial hair in general, I think it is best to treat that separately on account of profound differences in qualitative physiological factors and the resultant styling options.
Straight outta Riverside comes this nice little tidbit: "The mainstream today has little facial hair. A clean face implies conformity," said Dr. Carl L. Hart, a faculty member at the Department of Psychology at Columbia University in New York. "In the black community, it is still a sign of manhood." Freeway was right after all. Nuff said.

So is this resurgance for good or ill? I think the accompanying wave of Gram Parsons name-dropping and Drive-By Trucker listening is a net plus. No word on Nudie suits, but stay tuned I suppose. Also on the plus side, moustaches make for good father-son bonding (and a free copy of that lost Trane/Monk jawn). I can appreciate the wave of nostalgia for early 90s, southern-bred, journeyman middle infielders.
Not to mention the Charles Bronson. Negatives definitely include messy tuna-salad episodes and Adam Morrison. The 'Lers whooped up on Jake Plummer's Broncos in the AFC Championship, and I won't kick a man when he's down. Further inspection also throws salt on Paul McCartney, although I could think of plenty of other reasons to do so.

As for ironic 'staches, shit just ain't right. I know there is a volume of hate in excess of 10000 terralitres that could be dumped out right about now, but let it suffice to say that there is pretty much nothing that hipsters will be remembered for. The only thing I can think of is that hipsters have made America's nostalgia machine a monstrous instrument of capitalism- be it old records, old tee shirts, whatever. But in the three year interim period between being a kid and being a yuppie (the hipster domain), some choose to buy lots of Air Force Ones and belt buckles and listen to MC5. Fine, this isn't Communist China, where you have to listen to Peabo Bryson and wear overalls, but I refuse to let people rock mo
ustaches without acknowledgement or espousal of the ethos. It's kind of like when you're into Fairport Convention and then one day you go to the record store and you find out that a scratched copy of Liege and Leif is like 9 bucks now. You go home and just hope that no other white kids find out who Barbara Acklin is. I also hope Enya never becomes cool.

Oh, by the way: