This performance takes place before Surfer Blood’s debut album came out. The DJ is amazed at the size of their following (which is indeed quite huge for a band with no record yet). The band is young and fun and they engage her with stories and joke. They’re a treat to listen to.
And so is the music. “Floating Vibes,” sounds great and it flows seamlessly into “Swim” (their “hit”), which also sounds fantastic here live.
“Catholic Pagans” is a brief rocker which melds into “Anchorage,” a 7-minute slow burner that ends with a noisy workout. It’s always great to hear a new band who sounds awesome live. Here’s where you can listen to them.
[READ: November 13, 2012] “Extinct Anatomies”
Daniel Alarcón is an author whom I feel has been around for a very long time, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. He was listed as a New Yorker 20 under 30 just two years ago, so he can’t be that old either. (Indeed, he has released only a collection of short stories and a novel at this point).
Anyhow, this short fiction was really interesting. The writing style was delightfully straightforward and compelling, despite the rather banal subject matter. An uninsured musician is in Lima visiting his cousin. Since he has no insurance in the States, and his cousin is a dentist, he decides to have extensive dental work done by his relative (he had broken his front teeth). This cousin lived with them in Alabama when they were kids but they haven’t really seen each other much since then.
Back in Alabama, the cousin, who was older, was chasing after girls when the narrative was but 8 years old. The narrator didn’t understand the flirting that the cousin did on the phone (“Oh, your hair”) and the cousin seemed exasperated about what American women might want.
But again, this somewhat banal story is filled with deception and intrigue. He tells a lie to his cousin about how he teeth were broken. And his cousin “ordered X-rays, as if to confirm my story.” The cousin’s dental assistant is very nice and gentle but is always hidden behind a mask. So the narrator imagines her as very beautiful. And after a few sessions he has fantasies about her to take his mind of the procedure.
During the last visit, the assistant goes home early and the cousin’s fiancée comes to take over. The narrator is concerned but the cousin blows it off asking how hard any of this dental business is, really. He says he could have completed his course work in two years rather than three.
But then the tone changes–the fiancée comes in and she is, indeed, beautiful, wearing a miniskirt and no mask. The narrator tells himself not to be attracted to his cousin’s fiancée. Suddenly, the cousin is less gentle, perhaps intentionally painful, leaving the narrator with a bloodied smile. And suddenly it seems like maybe there is more going on than meets the eye.
It feels like there is a lot more to this story that we’ll never know about–more hidden realities and that makes this story all the more intriguing, especially given the very straightforward writing style.
For ease of searching, I include: Daniel Alarcon, fiancee