Saturday, June 4, 2011

R.I.P. Flick Colby- Unsung Hero of Pop Music

From The Guardian...

When 15 million viewers tuned into Top of the Pops each week during the show's 1970s heyday, the appeal extended beyond the hitmakers on the screen to those who were not appearing, since an absent act's single was interpreted by the show's all-female dance troupe, Pan's People. Their silky routines were choreographed by one of their dancers, Flick Colby, who has died aged 65 of bronchial pneumonia, after suffering from cancer.
Colby, an American with long blonde hair and a megawatt smile, confected slinky, semi-risque and often extravagant Top of the Pops routines for Pan's People for eight years. She continued to work on the show with subsequent troupes, choreographing moves to suit a range of musical styles such as glam rock, folk, soul, disco and punk.

Full Story

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dumpster-Diver Gardening

from ObMag#1...

We began dumpster-diver gardening sometime in the early 90's, when we came across a vendor at the Brooklyn Terminal Market tossing flats of slightly wilted bedding plants into the trash. Neither Wildgirl nor I were strangers to dumpster diving (a proud trash-picking tradition that is now fashionably know as "Freeganism"), and W.G. immediately hatched a plan for me to distract the shop owner by buying a bag of peat moss while she filled the trunk of her '74 Valiant with rescued greenery. "It wasn't so much about wanting the plants," she recalls- "It was about the waste. It was about the disposable society."

Fast-forward 10 years. We no longer live in New York. We have a small organic farm, and grow a lot of our own stuff. On a blistering July afternoon in Coralville, Iowa, I noticed one of the seasonal garden centers set up in a grocery store parking lot was breaking down for the season and again, they were dumpster-izing flat after flat of sad, leggy, brown and bolting tomato plants, squash, peppers, herbs, and flowers. A lot of the higher-priced organic and heirloom stuff was left behind. I took as much as the old Subaru GL would hold. What I have discovered in the last few years that throughout the Midwest (indeed, much of the country), is that huge numbers of plants get dumped, given away or sold for next to nothing sometime in the last part of June to first week of July. If timed properly, a pickup truck can be filled with blueberry bushes, roses, prairie plants, perennials, and lots and lots of vegetable plants for less than twenty bucks- often for nothing more than the price of gas. If you are a non-driver and really hard-core, you can do it with a cargo bike, shopping cart, hand truck, wheelbarrow or travois. The keys to success are timing, speed, and a modicum of stealth. Despite the fact that the stuff is being jettisoned, employees, particularly middle managers, can tend to flex-out on people who want their trash. In most cases, though, if you time your arrival properly, the peons who got exiled to the sweltering parking lot to haul the stuff to the dumpster are more than happy to have you lighten their load.