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2010 Ithaca Festival: He-Man Chain Saw Marching Band and Belly Dancers on Parade

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Last Updated on Friday, 04 June 2010 22:41
 

O Rare Lando, is Gone

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TINY TOWN, USA – Lando the Lion Hearted, is dead. 

Four legged creatures everywhere weep -- for a Great Friend among the Two-Legged has passed into extinction.

Lando was a lot of things. To the writer of this short memento, he was The King of Drama Queens and a character who will no longer strut across the boards of any human stage ever again. Not on this man's planet.

Lando was more than a character study and an interesting man, he was a great man. Great to the things he loved, where our greatness is most in evidence. He was a good man and for that, leaves the world loved and beloved. 

Some will remember Lando as no more than an Opera-fag and a cranky jackass who hated hunting. I don't think Lando would give a flying fig what any amateur weekend up-from-Jersey hunter had to say about him. For those who hunted for food, he gave little thought. It was the assholes who littered the woods with beer cans, made a hell of the hillsides with random gunfire and staggered back to their 4-wheelers and weaved back Downstate -- those were his enemies. For these slobs, he reserved his bitterest literary gall in his annual Anti-Hunting column. 

And he had gall galore. Lando was a kickass writer. No one so far interviewed has been quoted saying so but he was a topnotch journalist, a real wordsmith. He could write in any style but was most comfortable with a lofty tone, the grammar exact, the logic precise even when being silly.

We've been thinking a lot about him since his great good heart expired Sunday night. Simple things mostly and sad to think they are no more:

He never went out of fashion. When suspenders, bow ties and Indiana Jones hats became popular items, Lando must've sensed the world closing in on him.

He once lost a front tooth and seemed in no great hurry to replace it. When he cackled – and he had a good stage cackle – that missing tooth added a wonderful dash of the dastard to his demeanor. He had very English manners up to and including a healthy Medieval fear of dentistry. He loved clotted cream. Devonshire, we seem to recall. 

He was from Cleveland and his highbrow tone must've been a trickle-down effect from Shaker Heights or too much time rubbing his pate against Gibbon's Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, or maybe it was the Annals of Tacitus, the essays of Montaigne, Shakespeare and company, etc. He was one of those guys who had leather bound volumes on his shelves and actually cracked the bindings. 

He could do a mock-up of Hemingway's style like nobody else. He was a romantic, we think, who was not big on the post-modern literary stuff. But he knew it. 

He was addicted to Neosynephrine long before it was popular to get addicted to OTC medications.

His pipe seemed to be a snobbish prop, and was an easy target for those who thought he was a phony. They were wrong. It was all genuine. When cigar smokers got their own magazine, Lando kept to his pipe. He was no friend to smoking laws. 

Dogs. Cats. My gosh. What a sucker for those furry four legged critters was he! 

Clever, quick with a comeback. He appreciated talent especially if it came with a heaping dose of irreverence and belligerence. In his Lando way, he was as radical as any anarchist-freak on the street. His fondness for opera was an expression of his passion for life, the comic-tragic mostly, the inherent hilarity of the parade of fools who compose the bulk of human doings, he reveled in the evergreen irony and joy of bearing critical witness firsthand to the grand procession of le comedie humaine from the press box and, when needed, jumping into the ring to fight for the underdogs, hand-to-hand, all the while cursing the outrage of it all. The "all" being whatever offense had unleashed his furor from petty to profound.

At a time when we need more of his kind, nature nabbed him. She can be that way. Lando would understand. 

– C. Penbroke Handy, back from another Long Story

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 May 2010 15:31
 

Introducing Tiny Town Times transient minstrel, Once-A-Mighty

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Tiny Town, USA – We like to think of tinytowntimes.com as a 21st century refuge for eccentrics who increasingly get directed to recovery services and state agencies for treatment of their alleged ailments when in fact, they are harmless but are poor stock as steady, reliable wage slaves.

We think these people, the nonviolent ones, that is, are fine. The institutions of Greater Society however, need to need to invent and document reasons for them to be at large without any visible means of support. Hence these drifters get labeled as bipolar or some kind of addict, arsonist or in the worst case scenario, simply dangerous. 

Pictured here is a character we've kind of adopted at the tinytowntimes.com safe house. He is all of the above and he is at liberty and follows his own star.

He calls himself Once-A-Mighty, but Chad found his Sheriff's ID when Once A Mighty sacked out on the sofa in a rare moment of exhaustion. We're not going to tell you who he really is, because his own bios are far more interesting.

Depending on atmospheric conditions and his "antennae" Once-A-Mighty is anything from part Algonquin Indian, Celtic Gypsy, a plain old white guy or the lost son of a 19th-century East Coast seafood industry baron named Duryea. At other times, especially when he's barrelhousing, there is a hint of the islands about him, or something southern we can't quite pin down. 

He's also a conspiracy theorist and, as well, makes mention of "Sigma 10" events which are unlikely to occur in our lifetime although -- get his -- his nickname on the basketball court when he was he was kid? The Black Swan. Which makes no sense to us whatsoever not knowing anything about the origins of the nickname and many of his childhood friends apparently being dead or in prison. 

Also: He is always claiming to be in the "Over 50 League -- in all respects. Still a playa, y'know? But like, in the over 50 league."

Lately we've been posting quite a few of Once-A-Mighty's works. There's a good reason for this: We have no idea where this guy came from or when he is going to disappear. He just showed up, said he read tinytowntimes.com every day at the public library, and that he wanted to be house minstrel "if we had any keyboards some place."

He said he hadn't played any music at all for the last seven years except with a traveling revue under a certain Missy Hoolihan and with a little prodding he said he'd also done some time for "stealing stuff I needed to get by with, nothing fancy. Food mostly. And vitamins. And bottled fizzy water," he said. 

Using the name we "discovered" we looked up his police record and found nothing except a minor charge out of California involving a dog that Once-A-Mighty felt entitled to walk. The dog did not belong to him. The owners strongly disagreed with Once-A-Mighty's impulse, shots were fired, "dogs barked and tires squealed and the very air congealed into a gellid substance and time seemed to slow down," says Once-A-Mighty who is prone to wax rhetorical. A misdemeanor ensued that was eventually resolved.

He doesn't eat much and is often raring to go way earlier than anyone else here and, as we get ready to move into our new offices, we're kind of wondering what to do about him. In the mean time, we let him record himself and some of it is pretty entertaining and we occasionally post him. Once-A-Mighty makes for good company in the bleak mid-winter and we hope you enjoy his spontaneous performances. Everything he does is unrehearsed (clearly) and mostly improvised on the spot. 

We wonder if he might know some of the folks at Bridge House; the name Hoolihan is very familiar. 

Most of us staffers expect he will be gone before the grackles are back and are placing bets to that effect. It's just a guess, but he doesn't strike us as the kind of fellow that stays in one place very long. The question is when will he absent himself? Chad is betting St. Patty's Day. I've got my money on the end of the Advent calendar. 

A sample of his work appears below. 

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–– C. Penbroke Handy

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 February 2010 17:55
 

The Natural Hours of the Heartbroken

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The natural hours of the heart broken/are evenings between 2 and 6/that's when the worm turns round and round/and gets its dirty fix/hello?/hello?/hello?/hello?/hello, is anyone there?

If you experience any trouble with audio, switch to you tube version by clicking on image.

– Frankie14850

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Last Updated on Sunday, 15 March 2015 21:38
 

The Peabody Band releases long overdue album "Archives"

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←The Peabodies, Circa 1976: (From the left) Live from chilly Freeville it's Chris Broadwell, Jill Ganon, Harry Aceto, Ginny Sadkin, Eric Aceto, Mark Sammo, Danny Speer and Robbie Aceto. Photo provided. 

TINY TOWN, USA,  A CD release party for The Peabody Band's way way way long protracted album "Archives" will be held at the Rongovian Embassy in Trumansburg on Dec. 13, starting at about 5:30 p.m., with live music by some former Peabodies who are still alive. 

This eclectic group of woolly minstrels was central to the seminal ‘70s-‘80s Ithaca music scene.


Founded in Rochester in the late 1960s, the group wound its way to Ithaca in 1974. The eight-piece ensemble lived and rehearsed in a farmhouse in Freeville, creating imaginative, original music and introducing to Ithaca a cast of musical characters, many who still contribute to the local scene.

The group included Danny Speer, Jill Ganon, Chris Broadwell, brothers Eric, Harry, and Robby Aceto, Mark Sammo and Ginny Sadkin.

With roots in country and bluegrass music, Peabody grew to incorporate swing, rock and R&B influences. References to Little Feat, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, and the Grateful Dead might inform a newcomer. But comparisons do not really
tell the story.

Guitarist, cellist and songwriter Speer generated the majority of Peabody material, a catalog several hundred songs deep. "Archives" includes nine of Danny’s tunes, as well as four from guitarist Broadwell, now proprietor of Ithaca Guitar Works.

Nine of the tracks were recorded live at a 1977 show in Binghamton; five are studio recordings.

For many who were there, the period of the mid 1970s-early 1980s felt like a golden age for Ithaca music. Peabody, together with the Zobo Funn Band, occupied a special corner of this fertile music world filled with devoted fans who came to every show, losing themselves in the uninhibited, free-flowing dance style that came to be known as “Zobo dancing.” The two bands became local legends and remain archetypes of Ithacan music: independent, creative, spontaneous and organic.

"Archives" was conceived and produced by David Arnay, former keyboardist for the Zobo Funn Band.
The CD is available at the Ithaca Guitar Works, and online at CD Baby and iTunes.

Profits from sales will be donated to diabetes research.

–– David Arnay, very special to the Tiny Town Times

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 December 2009 13:27
 


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