Thursday, June 09, 2005

Bonita Applebaum

Elizabeth is the fill-in person at the Coffee Plantation. She works Tuesday-Wednesday, giving Diane and Theo the time off they need to have a normal life. Not that life in Key West is normal. It isn't, except in its own context. Compared to the rest of the real world, "going to work" in Key West or the Keys has a different meaning. You may, for example, bicycle to work, or motor scooter to work instead of driving there. You might well be on an afternoon or evening or overnight shift. Elizabeth, who is from Minneapolis and is 27, has a "regular" job bussing tables at Pepé's Restaurant on Caroline St (currently for sale; $4.5M).

Anyway, Elizabeth has become a sort of musical consultant for me. She gets to choose the music on the days she works, so she's introduced me to some genres of music that I might otherwise have missed. She leans to music that is quiet and rhythmical, some groove, Latin jazz, calypso, African, middle-eastern. B-Tribe is the CD that's playing now. Sometimes Elizabeth will use the internet to tune in to KFAI in Minneapolis and listen to something from their archives on a streaming download via Real Player.

I asked Elizabeth about the B-Tribe CD, did Theo have the actual CD? I don't have any B-Tribe in my music collection and I need to hear a bit more of it to see if I want to. I asked Elizabeth if she knew the band "A Tribe Called Quest", which I do have in my collection. "A rap group, aren't they", she answered. "Kind of", says I. "More like techno-rap-groove is how I hear it." I go on to tell her that the first number I heard from A Tribe Called Quest was Bonita Applebaum. That was the cut that sent me searching for more Tribe stuff (and how I became aware of B-Tribe, too.)

She didn't remember ever hearing Bonita Applebaum. I told her about the disk jockey hired for Erika's wedding, the one we went to in Coconut Creek a few weeks ago, playing that number for the dancing crowd. When I complimented him on its choice, he said that it came from the dancers themselves and that he gets a request for it at almost every wedding he plays. Apparently it has entered the playlists that include YMCA, Electric Slide, Hustle and (shudder) the Chicken Dance.

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