Monday, January 3, 2011

This Glitterati Life

How do we glamorous writers live?  I spent the weekend going from party to party.  But of course the big event was the gathering at Gardner Dozois' and Susan Casper's place, where we exchanged knowledgeable commentary on the performances of the Mummers String Bands.  That's our particular snobbery.  We don't follow the Comics or the Fancies.  It's string bands all the way.

Those of you benighted souls unlucky enough to not live in Philadelphia have no clear idea what I'm talking about.  So let me share with you this year's winning performance by the Quaker City String Band.  After you've viewed it, you still won't understand.  But you'll be baffled on a higher intellectual level.

Here it is:

Kind of a minimalist/Mummers-unplugged kind of a performance for a string band.  Good, though.



Karen said...

The part that I really don't understand is how a band that seems to mostly be made up of brass, with a few banjos and basses, is called a string band.

Well, that, and the whole clown thing.

Michael Swanwick said...

And I despair of explaining to anybody the King Jockey costume.

Matthew Brandi said...

When I read "Mummer Kiss", I thought Philly's mummers were Swanwick's own variation on English mummers. How wrong I was!

Michael Swanwick said...

A French editor once asked me how far back the Mummers went and when I told him there were records of them in Colonial times, said, "Oh. I'd thought they might be old."

I could go on for hours about the history of the Mummers and how they're related to British mummers. Buy me a drink sometime at a convention, and I wil.