Dixie Peach: Friday Shuffle - Street Performer Edition

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Shuffle - Street Performer Edition

I know there's a festival going on when I see the Indians.

Magdeburg has its share of festivals and carnivals and the newest is the Eulenspiegelfest which started today and will go on through the weekend.

There's a popular middle ages figure from middle Germany named Till Eulenspiegel who is the subject of various legends and tales and is often depicted as a jester or street entertainer. He seems to have been a real person but the stories about him are more legend much in the same way Americans have built up the legend of Johnny Appleseed from a real person. One such legend about him was that he would sit on the roof of the city hall in Magdeburg and throw things at people in the market square below and say rude things about them. On the far side of the market square and just steps away from my favorite restaurant there is a fountain depicting Till Eulenspiegel. He's often shown with an owl and a mirror (Eule is German for owl and Spiegel is German for mirror) but his name is actually derived from ulen and spegel - old German words for "wipe" and "rear" which becomes Ul'n spegel and taken in the vulgar means "lick my ass".

We're having a festival to celebrate the "lick my ass" guy. Who said Germans don't have a sense of humor?

Anyway, I started this by mentioning the Indians.

There's a group of Indian flute players that play here at virtually every city festival and the Eulenspiegelfest is no exception. I don't know what sort of Indians they are - as the risk of making an ass of myself I have to say that I can't just look at an indigenous American and know if they're from North or South America. I mostly see them during the colder months and often I see them in those ch'ullu hats one sees in the Andes so I thought they may be from Peru but then sometimes, like today, I see them decked out in buckskin and one was wearing one of those elaborate feather headdresses so maybe they're Indians from North America. All I really know is the license plate on their van says they live in Leipzig.

In a way they depress me. If I'm there where they are I often will stop and watch them for a while. They always seem to draw a fair size crowd and toddlers really love them, alway dancing along with the musicians. They sell CDs of their music (I've even purchased one in the past for a lady in Canada I knew who loved Indian flute music) and Indian style jewelry and I have no evidence that they don't like what they do, especially since I see them year after year, but I feel sad after watching them. They do their performance by playing a CD of a synthesizer track and then they play the flute parts live so it all becomes a sort of mix between native flute music, Zamfir and Yanni. It sounds nice but there's something slightly cheesy about it and that's what bums me out. That to make some money they have taken their sacred music and turned it into something bland to intice the bland music palate. Still, this is my problem. It's my interpretation of their music. It's their culture and they're the ones who are better judges of what to do with it than I am. I'm not seeing the bigger picture and I know it. I'm being judgemental about something I don't have the right to be judgemental about. If they're happy and their audience is happy, who am I to say what they're doing is a sellout?

On to the shuffle. Bixente the iPod is my street performer and home performer and isn't, at times, above offering up something cheesy.
  1. 19th Nervous Breakdown - Rolling Stones
  2. Sweet Jane - Cowboy Junkies
  3. Shakin' - Eddie Money
  4. Working For The Weekend - Loverboy (Poppy, I heard that laugh from over here.)
  5. Born Again - Badly Drawn Boy
  6. Colours In Waves - South
  7. Sea Of Love - The Honeydrippers
  8. On The Wings Of A Nightingale - Everly Brothers
  9. This Years Love - David Gray
  10. A Thousand Trees - Stereophonics
I won't even second guess Bixente's choices. They're for him to make for his own reasons.


Blogger Kristina said...

Loverboy! Yes! Permed shuffle.

4:03 AM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Actually, I started laughing at "Shakin'". "Working for the Weekend" just about did me in.

I think you're actually onto something about the performers. I think that if performers are being true to themselves, there's an undercurrent of honesty. Some perceptive types are able to tell when that undercurrent's missing.

6:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Myabe they aren't even Indian, just faking it for a Euro? Who knows. Does sound like they are able to live a better quality life in Germany than in America.

5:06 AM  
Blogger sari said...

What ever happened to Eddie Money, anyway?

6:03 PM  

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