Another Mexicanism

Abogánster = abogado (lawyer) + gangster. Here‘s some good stuff by Carlos Monsiváis about legal culture in a country where justice is generally viewed as the belonging to the rich. He says that abogánster is a 1940s term whose archetype was Bernabé Jurado, legendary for eating evidence, buying witnesses, overseeing torture leading to false confessions,…

Why Mexicans don’t admit to playing the slide trombone

I went into the excellent and apparently men-only Cantina La Fuente in Guadalajara, Jalisco this morning and ordered a beer. An aggressive-looking youngish guy further down the bar started mouthing off loudly about gringos, so I went over to see what his problem was, and it turned out he was a frustrated sysadmin looking for…

Why you should give your infant a trombone

Kate Alcock (via Lingformant): children who were poor at moving their mouths were particularly weak at language skills, while those who were good at these movements had a range of language abilities.

The Calathumpian Band and its horse-fiddle, great trombone and gyastacutas

Slightly off-topic, but irresistible, from Henry Hiram Riley‘s pseudo-ethnography, Puddleford and its people (New York, 1854): Another amusement, frequent in the country, was the turn-out of the ‘Calathumpian Band.’ … No one knew exactly who its members were; but they were always on hand, soon after a wedding, in full uniform, with all their instruments…

Eyeball grunting

Apart from reliving medieval massacres, there are various perfectly sensible reasons why one might want to thwack the ground in the spring. Mark Liberman has found a worm grunting festival which makes me wonder whether the underlying purpose might not be to wake up the worms, without whom stuff wouldn’t grow. (Worms are like eyeballs:…

Historical atlas of Spanish stage

Messrs Corea and King have probably by now forgiven some youthful stumbles and my funk trombone career is about to be relaunched, so I’ve started taking a slightly greater interest in stages. There are lots of interesting ones round here, but I like the ones on this Cordoba University site (via Libro de notas) even…

Smallest concert hall in the world

A friend once impressively tried to play the trombone in a London cab, but the prize goes to the small lottery kiosk containing a middle-aged woman several sizes larger who was dreamily squeezing away at her accordeon this afternoon. Her dog was crammed in there as well.

Choppers on the bayou

From within my patent Dixieland trombone snorkel, I wonder how it was that Eddie DeLange got away with rhyming “Do you know what it means” with “to miss New Orleans”.

Another distinguished amateur trombonist

I’ve been on planet Mars, writing some arrangements and checking out the deeper side of big band theory, so I’ve only just discovered that the head of the conservative Partido Popular in Orense, Galicia, is a keen trombonist. Xosé Luis Baltar recently suggested to voters that Zapatero’s lot might try to steal the Galician elections…

Weird bone

This instrument has no slide and six valves but it is not a bad clarinet. It’s a French trombone, and that’s that.