Sunday, April 09, 2006

Records from the Crypt*

The other morning I loaded June in the stroller and took Penny for a walk. We passed by a dilapidated old cemetery two blocks from our current residence. I've passed by it many times but never gone in.

Actually, I don't think anyone ever goes in. It has a rusty old fence around it, and all the walk ways and tombs are overgrown with weeds. But that morning the gate was open, and on a whim I went in. We slowly strolled up and down the paths. The names were mostly German. It was beautiful and tremendously quiet.

But as we ambled down the far side of the cemetery, I noticed activity back near the gate. A big, young, beefy guy in a white shirt, tie, and slacks was setting up a table and some sort of electronic equipment. What was he doing? Some church function? Some weird art event? I couldn't figure it out.

Finally we headed back towards the gate to leave. I nodded to him. He sheepishly nodded back (undoubtedly he thought I was some family member coming to visit Grandma's tomb). I couldn't help but ask him, "Just out of curiosity, what are you doing?"

"Oh, we've got a whole bunch of people coming to clean up the cemetery." It had flooded there. "And I'm dee-jaying."

"Oh, okay. Thanks."

Well, that explained that. I guess. Sort of. But it still left one burning question. What kind of music was he going to play?**

* Unfortunately, this reference probably falls flat on non-local ears. "Records from the Crypt" is a brilliant New Orleans R & B oldies show that comes on WWOZ every Wednesday night.

** This is real conundrum. Rock? Too disrespectful to the dead. Classical? Doesn't properly inspire the cleaner-uppers. Motown? Maybe Motown. Everybody plays Motown.


  1. Staples Singers?
    Soul Stirrers?


    Parliament, Sun Ra, and Rick James

  2. I feel an iPod playlist in the making....
    Better Off Dead (Bad Religion)
    Bela Lugosi's Dead (Bauhaus)
    I Sometimes Wish I Were Dead (Depeche Mode)
    One Way Love (E.G. Daly) better known as the theme to "Better Off Dead")
    The Dead Heart (Midnight Oil)
    Dead Man's Party (Oingo Boingo)
    Dead (The Pixies)
    My Wife & My Dead Wife (Robyn Hitchcock)
    Queen is Dead // Cemetry Gates // Pretty Girls Make Graves (The Smiths)
    Ghost in You (Psychadelic Furs)
    Walking with a Ghost (Tegan and Sara)
    Don't Fear the Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult)