Bang Bang Bang v Beng Beng Beng

bang bang bang is newspaper composition typsetter shop talk for a series of three punctuation marks, known as exclamation points, like this:


(you know what’s weird, but not to bore you: as i tried to type the three “bangs” I accidentally hit “command 1” and not “shift 1” and my computer booted up an old weird post about Superchunk and the Salesforce building I hate, back to the post)

I was looking into “interrobang” which is a symbol for question mark and exclamation at same time and got a long list of symbols and names and uses, on wiki. Personally, and sorry to delay all you music fans — I will make it up to you — I prefer to say “pound” to “hashtag”.  I like to bang, I like to pound. I like to bang and pound. I like to pound and bang. I like to bang and pound and pound and bang!!!

beng beng beng meanwhile is a song by Femi Kuti, the great Nigerian Afro-Pop musician composer and bandleader who is of course the son of Fela Kuti who is beyond description. Femi Kuti and band — I believe 7 musicians plus 3 dancers including his wife — played my Cubberley Sessions in Palo Alto in 2000.

I say everything in correct order, he says. She say Femi love me don’t stop!!! I remember that Kimura Dixon, a photographer and composer and it turns out the son of Fred Dixon from Hogan’s Heroes, was our guest at the show and later sent me a print.

Cubberley under Del Thorpe was actually only luke-warm on my presentations, which spanned six years, roughly twice a month or 150 shows in total. In this case, they kinda fucked me regarding the green rooms and I had to squeeze the whole band, men and women, into one small room not our often-available two. Which was a problem the artist pointed out, because there was a costume change. So I drove home, or back to my parents’ house, and grabbed a bunch of wall hangings and ended up improvising a curtain backstage like “It Happened One Night”. Missus Kuti, the wife, noted that something was amiss, I was quite concerned, and I was hustling in two ways to remedy and she made a point of thanking me for doing as well as I did.  Hear Music was a sponsor of the show, the former high end record store or CD store at Stanford, Berkeley and Santa Monica, where Don MacKinnon was the shot-caller and later he and them were bought out by Starbucks, when Starbucks was pushing plastic. And those little trading card download cards.

Femi Kuti were playing at Stern Grove, in SF, for 7,000 people with Michael Franti, as their anchor and we fell into it. The money was originally targeted to do a Blind Boys of Alabama show, but that’s a long story and in non-characteristic Plasty style, I will save it fellater.

There was also a matinee or clinic at Yoshis in Oakland and I recall running into Anton Schwartz there, the sax player and math genius and he commented that he had never heard African music played with a clave. He meant, I think, the subtle underbeat that runs throughout the composition or beat, characteristic of Latin music.

As a bonus to music lovers, and not typesetters I want to mention there is an indie rock band called !!! or click-click-click or maybe chick-chick-chick (are they all ladies?) which i think refernces Pygmy or their languages.




About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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