13 January 2006

A Downpour of Culture (Rain Day #28)

Thanks to a couple great global-minded calendars, I am now able to refer to the days as something more than "Rain Day #28"* and the like. Though don't get me wrong; it's saturated here, even for this area that is so often rich in rain. During a morning run around Capitol Lake, I found the path covered with lakewater in two places, and a number of worry-faced engineer types pacing by water's edge.

But anyway, the calendars. One is a colorful job from Putumayo, featuring some of their CD cover artwork, plus lots of international holidays to use on your boss as reasons for days off. I mean, I'm sure you need to celebrate the Hindu holiday Lohri (the bonfire festival) today, or maybe Pongol (the rice-harvest thanksgiving festival, which runs through the 15th). Don't you?

The second calendar is locally produced by the Thurston Council on Cultural Diversity and Human Rights - it's cheaper and picture-free, but lists an astonishing number of local cultural and multicultural events and organizations - everything from the Daughters of Norway to the Japanese American Citizens League. Bottom line: I'm glad to be in a city with such multicultural awareness.

More album reviews coming soon. But of the flood of CDs in which I've recently been awash, none got my attention quicker than the one with the picure of the woman beneath vast waves of blond hair, holding a guitar. That woman, my friends, is Charo. As a kid, I saw her on variety shows as comic relief. Until this week, I had no idea she was a serious musician, having studied with Andres Segovia and twice having been named "best classical flamenco guitarist in the world" by Guitar Player magazine (according to her press materials). The album is called Charo and Guitar, but as educational as this has been, I really don't like the overly thumpy music, so I won't burden you with an mp3. Unless you clamor. Loudly.



* Seattle's record is 33 consecutive days of rain. Olympia doesn't have an official record, apparently because the staff at the "Olympia airport" weather station don't have that many toes. So we're likely to set a record this year, if anyone remembers to write it down.
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