Saturday, January 29, 2011

Print Shop, Restaurant, YooToob, and Robert Plant...

Well, last Friday, I got off work around 9:30 PM. Tonight, I did better, punching out at 8:45 PM. I could have gone home, but instead I went downtown for something to eat.

If you're ever in downtown Richmond and your stomach starts rumbling, you gotta go to The Village Cafe on the corner of Grace and Harrison. Breakfast, lunch, supper, or just after-supper drinks with a friend or two, you gotta go there. That's where I went tonight, since I hadn't eaten there in what seems like ages. Richmond is a major restaurant city -- if you're a restaurant lover, you'd probably feel quite at home here. The only reason I've eaten at dozens of local Restaurants instead of hundreds in the nearly thirteen years I've lived here is because the more familiar I became with the lay of Richmond's land, the more I stuck with what I already liked and the less I experimented with new restaurants. I've behaved the exact same way over time in listening to music and reading what other bloggers write. So, if for old time's sake, I went to the next-door 7-11, bought a copy of Rolling Stone, and dropped in on The Village.

Funny thing about The Village. It's a busy and noisy place after the sun sets -- the jukebox is loud, the patrons are loud, the bar is loud, even the kitchen seems loud at times. And yet, it's the only restaurant in this city where I can read a magazine or a book without all that commotion bothering the piss out of me. It's probably the jukebox that makes it all bearable. I was eating lunch there one time years ago, and that jukebox played King Crimson's "Starless And Bible Black" (the instrumental off the album of the same name) -- and I wasn't the one who picked that song.

Tho I wouldn't have picked that song, had I known that album was in there. I would have picked this one:

Anyway, The Village is not a fancy, high-end establishment. Unlike the informal, clamorous, off-center atmosphere of the place, its menu reads pretty much like that of any American diner. Burgers, pizza, pasta, subs, burritos, breakfast items served at all times, that sort of thing. What The Village is not is a greasy spoon -- it may not be French cuisine, but they actually put a little thought and care into the food they serve to their customers. I like that aspect of The Village, too.

I fell back on something I already liked (as I often do): the Village sub -- lettuce, tomato, onions, salami, ham, bologna, Swiss cheese. It comes with fries, but this time, I substituted onion rings just for the hell of it. I'd never ordered onion rings from the Village before. When the waitress brought my order to the table, my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. Their onion rings have diameters of up to seven inches. There were only five of them, but those were the biggest-assed onion rings I've ever seen! They were good, too.

Paid for the meal, meandered about the city for a while, caught the bus, got off, started walking, and got home at 12:30 AM. I had left the apartment around 9:50 AM to go to work. So once again, there went my Friday.

And now it's approaching 3 AM. I probably won't get to bed until after dawn starts breaking. I'm just not tired right now...

* * *

I don't see it online, but the print version of Rolling Stone has a piece on what Robert Plant is up to these days that I found interesting. Currently, he draws his inspiration from the country music of Appalachia. At first, I was surprised, but I shouldn't have been. Plant has been something of a chameleon musically, at least since his rhythm-and-blues-influenced stint with The Honeydrippers in the 80s. That's part of why I like him so much -- he can't be pigeonholed. Not to say people haven't tried to do that to him.

I remember, from a few years back, many of the long faces and complaints that Plant generated when he nixed the idea of a Led Zeppelin reunion. Veteran blogger BartCop, in particular, seemed particularly pissed off over this. His basic argument sounded like, what, Plant can perform with Alison Krauss, but he can't perform with Zeppelin? Who does he think he is? He owes it to the fans.

That was my personal favorite part of the angry contingent's case: Robert Plant owes reuniting with the other members of Led Zeppelin to the fans.

Oh, really? Because I'm one of those fans. And you want to know something? Robert Plant doesn't owe me jack shit. He has not only earned his keep when it comes to the rock 'n roll realm a thousand times over, the number one rock 'n roll song of all time -- "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin -- features Robert Plant on lead vocal. How dare any Zeppelin fan worth their salt suggest that Plant owes them anything? We owe him, motherfuckers. The least we can do toward that end is let him indulge in whatever style of music he wants to indulge in, and just shut, the fuck, up if we don't happen to like it.

And furthermore, that man is 62 years old now. I think when you get to that age, you deserve every break in life you can get. Shut up, and let him sing what he wants to sing in peace.

And further furthermore, about that Krauss-Plant collaboration: they may look like beauty and the beast respectively, but when they sang together...

They sounded goooood. I love the way their voices blended together so smoothly.

One last thing. As much as I would love to see a Led Zeppelin reunion, it's totally impossible. Not because of Robert Plant, but because of John Bonham -- he died thirty years ago. Jason Bonham is a powerful drummer in his own right, and he's proven it when he's played with Plant, Page, and Jones. But when the fans see Jason, they're thinking of John, and there is nothing Jason will ever be able to do about that.

That may be why Robert Plant killed the possibility of a reunion. Maybe he thought he owed that to the fans. If so, I think he made the right call...


  1. LOVE this song... TJ does too!! M.:-)

  2. I'm assuming you mean "Gone Gone Gone." Because I can't picture either of you listening to "The Great Deceiver" and liking it...

  3. Of course I meant "GGG". I think you know how I feel about KC!! I like Aliso Krauss as a country singer,and when TJ heard her singing with Robert Plant, he liked her too! I like her song "When You Say Nothing at All". Really pretty.I've tried playing guitar and singing it, to myself of course, and it comes out OK, just wish I had a little more air in these asthma-y lungs of mine! Oh well, like you say, it is what it is!
    Glad to see you're blogging more often. It's good to "vent" once in a while,I know from years of experience. Anyway, gotta go do some painting now, I'm really loving this new hobby of mine!
    M. :-)


This is a First Amendment zone, but I do use word verification now. If you don't like that, well, this is also a Fifth Amendment zone. Take your pick...