Saturday, December 13, 2008

Light in the Attic Lists

Did you ever read the story about Ali Baba Berenstein in elementary school? It dealt with a kid named David Berenstein who was upset at the anonymity of his name until he met the other awesome, diverse David Berensteins in New York on his birthday, as I remember.

As we're all helpless narciccists, I'm sure you've done the lazy modern version of this story by googling your own name. I do it all the time. That's where I found the wikipedia page for another guy in the long line of George William Bookers who was a big late 19th century Virginia political figure. From his picture, he seems to have the same balding pattern and beard that I do, which is sweet.

Sometimes connections along these lines produce humbly amazing results. When I worked at the late, lamented Relative Theory Records I managed to have my ears blazed by several releases from Light In The Attic, one of the bestest, most overlooked record labels on the planet. I particularly miss the free updates on the ongoing Jamaica to Toronto project, which chronicles the emigration from Kingston to Canada of soul, funk and reggae in the '60s and '70s. All of this due to a cool guy at lita who also happened to be named Josh Wright.

I was revisiting Light in the Attic on the interwide web today. They have a pretty engaging site, all the professionalism of a top-notch label with all the personality of a really good blog. To celebrate the end of the year, they have a nice post with an absurdly long line-up of lists from friendly, cool people. It is like getting an hour or so of quality recommendations and recollections from people somehow worth listening to, kicked off by Rodriguez, who you should check out.

All of these lists and things are very educational and inspiring and whatnot, but it makes me worry about the area. I know I have met and bonded with more brilliant bon vivants here than anywhere else, but I don't see a network of good people like the one that comprises the lita listdown. I felt it at Relative and look forward to it at Seven Cities, but I have to wonder if there is a sickness in our character that keeps us from being part of a healthy, vital cultural network. Is Virginia really for haters? I used to say it all the time in stand-up sets, but sometimes I wonder if its true, and that is terrifying.

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