Sunday, July 02, 2006
Sparks goes in, dumb comes out.
My new favorite Intonation Festival story isn't even about me. It's about my friend Ralph. For the few remaining people in in the world who don't know him, Ralph looks like this:
Kinda shitty photo, I know, but note that he has a kinda freaked-out afro and he is black.
When I saw Ralph in the VIP tent at Intonation, he was doing three of the five main activities he most often engages in: bumming cigarettes, promoting himself, and dressing pretty decent. There was someone with a pro-looking video camera floating around the tent asking I guess anyone with an interesting haircut if they were in one of the bands playing the festival. I was too lazy to try to impersonate one of the 90 Day Men, so I passed. But Ralph is always on his grind, so the camera guy got a long interview about Ralph's band the Jai Alai Savant, which was not actually on the festival bill at all.
The good story, though, happened later when a white girl tweaking on Sparks cornered Ralph in the tent and asked him, "Are you Gnarls Barkley?" Considering the multi-level abso-stupidity and racial WTF-ness of the girl's question, Ralph's sarcastic, "Yeah, I'm Gnarls and Barkley," reply was probably kinder than she deserved, although for the record he does have a pretty tough "sarcastic" voice.
I didn't hear about the story until a couple days later when I ran into him at the bar. "Yeah, fucking Gnarls Barkley," he said. "I mean, I at least kind of understand it when I get 'are you in TV On the Radio?'"