Recommendation of flapjax at midnite's I'm Waiting for the Man July 4, 2009 7:07 AM   Subscribe

Is this the place to note that flapjax at midnite's performance of "I'm Waiting for the Man" is stunningly good?
posted by mojohand to MetaFilter-Related at 7:07 AM (99 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

Yes. This and everywhere.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:25 AM on July 4, 2009


That was good!
posted by milarepa at 7:46 AM on July 4, 2009


Yes, it was indeed wonderful.

However, it still doesn't get me any closer to solving the forty-year old riddle of the type of shoes that The Man wears.

PR shoes? Hee-Haw shoes? Eeyore shoes? Keyhole shoes?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:33 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually, I think there's a comment box at the bottom of the song post. Yep, there it is.

There's often cool songs there. Not sure they need mentioned here.

This is impressive though:

2-string cigar box guitar
jawharp
hand drum (small conga)
cowbell (doesn't need more...)
little plastic clacky things

And yes, flagging it and moving on, but this seems like bad precedent.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:37 AM on July 4, 2009


PR shoes?

Yes, PR Shoes. Puerto Rican.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:43 AM on July 4, 2009


It's the only thing that makes sense, I suppose. But I've struggled to make it out ever since the song came out, and never before met anyone who actually knew what he was singing.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:48 AM on July 4, 2009


Holy crap. Favorited.

I have some friends who need to hear this.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:38 AM on July 4, 2009


Yes and Yes.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:43 AM on July 4, 2009


Actually, I think there's a comment box at the bottom of the song post. Yep, there it is.

There's often cool songs there. Not sure they need mentioned here.


I dunno... snark is a bit silly in this situation, and any post that gets more traffic over to music is good by me.
posted by ORthey at 9:48 AM on July 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


So do we have a way to hotlink songs yet? Because I'd really like to post this to my wall on Facebook.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:50 AM on July 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


And wouldn't The Man be more likely to just round up and charge $30? Or round down and charge $25?

Why $26?
posted by stinkycheese at 9:53 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


And wouldn't The Man be more likely to just round up and charge $30? Or round down and charge $25?

A dollar was worth a lot more back in 1967?
posted by Afroblanco at 9:59 AM on July 4, 2009


this seems like bad precedent.

I'm not entirely sure you're wrong, but as someone who never goes to Music (I think this might be the 2nd song I've listened to after "Punch 'em in the Dick") I was glad to get tipped off about this song, which is a must-hear for sure.

Anybody else want to give a shoutout to something special while I'm here? I should probably just suck it up and make time for the Music podcast, shouldn't I?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:33 AM on July 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


PR shoes?

Pointy-toed shoes apt to climbing chain-link fences when being chased by the fuzz. And I always thought of the twenty-six dollars in his hand as a wad of stained and crumpled up ones that was all the money the protagonist could scrounge from his pitiful existence of shooting dope and then looking for more dope.

See: Bubbles from The Wire
posted by YoBananaBoy at 10:36 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think this might be the 2nd song I've listened to after "Punch 'em in the Dick"

Haha, this is exactly what I was thinking while I listened. I've got to head over to Music more often!
posted by synaesthetichaze at 10:43 AM on July 4, 2009


PR shoes? Hee-Haw shoes? Eeyore shoes? Keyhole shoes?

Protein Shoes?
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 10:54 AM on July 4, 2009


There's often cool songs there. Not sure they need mentioned here
And yes, flagging it and moving on, but this seems like bad precedent.

posted by cjorgensen

Oh, c'mon. We constantly have meta posts saying how thoughtful an askme response is, or how well documented a comment in the blue was. There are also meta posts saying that certain user is constantly posting great threads with no other purpose than praising quality. It's only fair to apply that same logic to Music, and under that idea, it is a great precedent.
posted by micayetoca at 11:06 AM on July 4, 2009 [11 favorites]


Anybody else want to give a shoutout to something special while I'm here?
posted by Horace Rumpole

I'll be glad to. Start with the first post here and keep going. You won't believe the things you'll find.
posted by micayetoca at 11:10 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'll be glad to. Start with the first post here and keep going.

Could I persuade you to narrow it down juuuust a tad?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:22 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, Horace, my Music post was referred to as "Brilliant." (Also "Full of (or, possessing no) socially redeeming value.")

Also, for reals, anything by chococat, edlundart, or frenetic will make your holiday weekend extra tasty.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:30 AM on July 4, 2009


this seems like bad precedent.

I take your point, cjorgensen, and would not have been astonished to see my post deleted. But the fact is that I hardly ever make it over to MeFi Music, and had not The Hype Machine picked up flapjax at midnite's piece, I'd never have heard it.

And once I'd had, I toggled into full bore "I must make my witness!" mode.
posted by mojohand at 11:33 AM on July 4, 2009


Thanks for pointing that out. Favorited.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 11:45 AM on July 4, 2009


Could I persuade you to narrow it down juuuust a tad?
posted by Horace Rumpole

Alright, sorry. Some time ago I posted this list to another meta post. It's a little bit out of date, but it may serve as a pointer.
posted by micayetoca at 11:49 AM on July 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Why $26?

A friend who was active around that time tells me that she used to cop a bag in Harlem for $2 and resell it in the Lower East Side for $3.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:06 PM on July 4, 2009


While we are at it, Horace Rumpole, I might as well post an update to that list:

1) Corduroy's The Sheperd
2) umbú's Macapa
3) dobie's Morning Anger
4) Liv Pooleside's Lackawanna Standoff
5) raisindebt's Teenage Wasteland
6) Hoopo's No Budget
7) Karlos the Jackal's Too Late To Sleep
8) johanze's Beaches
9) arcanecrowbar's Cashmachine
10) nosila's Heart's In the Choirbox
11) gmm's It Was a Great Year
12) not_on_display's Eleven
13) chinese_fashion's Royal Quiet Deluxe
14) dagosto's Fun Party
15) nunoidia's Gaffer Tape and Glue

It's, of course, by no means comprehensive. That subsite is brimming with great stuff.
posted by micayetoca at 12:17 PM on July 4, 2009 [10 favorites]


mojohand,

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of, "This was a way cool comment," posts either, since we have a flag for that. I do like the ones where someone points out that a meta post was mentioned elsewhere, and I'd never heard of "The Hype Machine" before.

I was just reacting more to you saying, "is this the place to comment?" when there is a place where comments are intended to go. Yeah, I overreacted, since if you had posed it as a statement, rather than a question, I again probably would have let it go. "You guys need to check out this song!" probably wouldn't even have registered on my radar.

I retract my objections. Like I said above, it is an impressive accomplishment.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:45 PM on July 4, 2009


Why $26?

Cuz once you score your bag, you still gotta buy a subway token to get back downtown.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:26 PM on July 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


That was awesome! Thanks for posting it here - I always forget about the music section (sorry) but now I'm reminded.
posted by Kloryne at 2:36 PM on July 4, 2009


That is really really cool. And now I have to work my way through micayetoca's list. I really haven't paid enough attention to MeMu.
posted by Elmore at 3:46 PM on July 4, 2009


I like the idea of occasionally having a MetaTalk thread that brings attention to what's going on in Music. I don't go there nearly often enough and when I do am usually amazed by the quality of some of what I hear.

If this was a democracy, I know how I'd be voting.
posted by philip-random at 4:39 PM on July 4, 2009


PR shoes?

Damn, now I'm really wishing I'd gone with my original instinct and changed that to "Puerto Rican shoes" for my cover version. I came this close, really, but then, I dunno, I kinda forgot, and I had a good vocal take down on tape, so, I dropped it. I'm sure there are lots and lots of people in the world (like PeterMcDermott, upthread) who have wondered for years what Reed meant by "PR", and its use in the song kind of points to that certain NYC arrogance, doesn't it? I mean, there just can't be all that many people outside of NYC (or Miami, maybe?) who'd know straightaway what the abbreviation means. Of course, that whole "this is a NY thing, and if you don't get it, later for you" is a big part of the estimable Mr. Reed's whole mystique and persona. He's the New York guy.

Q: Why $26?
A: Cuz once you score your bag, you still gotta buy a subway token to get back downtown.

What, you never heard of turnstile jumping? No self-respecting junkie is gonna give his hard-earned money to the New York Transit Authority!

Hey, mojohand, thanks a heap for making this MeTa post. I appreciate it, of course, for my own selfish reasons (hey, I make music for folks to listen to and enjoy, and I usually feel like my music simply isn't heard enough: frankly, that it deserves to be heard by more people!), but also for getting more folks to make that gargantuan click to Metafilter Music, cause there's some really good stuff over there from a lot of different folks, and Mefiers who never head over there for a listen are missing out.

And BTW, for those who might not know, my cover of I'm Waiting for the Man is posted there because of the current MetaFilter Music Challenge. A whole bunch of us are covering songs from The Velvet Underground and Nico, and I think it's gonna be loads of fun to follow the goings-on throughout this month. Songs have been assigned to, what, almost 40 MeFi musicians at this point, so we should wind up with 3 or 4 (or more) complete versions of the entire record. And Beck? Huh. Slacker's only doing one...

And thanks to all of you for listening, and for your comments. I'm very gratified.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:53 PM on July 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yeah, ok, that's my favorite thing that I've heard in a while. I hope my next-door neighbors like it as much as I do, because our walls are thin, and they've now heard it about five times!
posted by craichead at 5:26 PM on July 4, 2009


And wouldn't The Man be more likely to just round up and charge $30? Or round down and charge $25?

A dollar was worth a lot more back in 1967?


I always understood it as the guy being slightly short. Instead of $30, he has $26 and a very complicated story about best intentions, hard luck, and elaborate promises of prompt repayment.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:37 PM on July 4, 2009


Thanks for calling this out mojohand. I knew this music challenge was comming up but kind of forgot about it. Are MeFi musicisians still considering Dark Side Of The Moon for a future challenge?

And flapjax at midnite that is awesome!
posted by Sailormom at 6:06 PM on July 4, 2009


Are MeFi musicisians still considering Dark Side Of The Moon for a future challenge?

That was one of the original possibilities named in MajorDundee's original Music Talk thread (where he brilliantly suggested a MeFiMu let's-cover-an-entire-album thing). During the course of that first thread, though, Dark Side of the Moon was kind of shot down, cause the whole album has been covered quite a bit. But in that same thread, MajorDundee suggested Velvet Underground and Nico, and lots of people chimed in, in favor, right away. So, I don't know if there'll be a Dark Side project anytime soon, if ever. I have a feeling that there'll be a general consensus toward taking roads slightly less travelled. At any rate, I'm hoping the cover-a-whole-record idea can be one that is a fairly regular feature at MeFi Music. I think it will be, actually.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:20 PM on July 4, 2009


The was SO good that I'm going to buy some heroin and give it another listen.
posted by mattoxic at 7:08 PM on July 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


What, you never heard of turnstile jumping? No self-respecting junkie is gonna give his hard-earned money to the New York Transit Authority!

Why risk it while I'm holding? Hard part's done, last thing I want is MTA between me and my fix.

But on further thought, I like Meatbomb's theory better.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:28 PM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've been making music for about 30 years. I've made some money, for sure, but it's really more of a personal thing for me, a method and a means to express myself that keeps me from imploding.

This post isn't gonna make flapjax any money, but it's really great to see his many years of effort and experience be recognized here. I'm sure that isn't going to be his pinnacle of achievement, so I'm looking forward to much more great stuff from that dude.
posted by snsranch at 8:01 PM on July 4, 2009


This is really excellent and reminds me that I'd like to spend more time over in music. Thanks for pointing it out.
posted by lalex at 11:25 PM on July 4, 2009


i haven't even clicked on it yet...*oh, the antici----pation!"*
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:26 AM on July 5, 2009


holy fucking crap, flappo, that was brilliant!

The was SO good that I'm going to buy some heroin and give it another listen.

whatever. if jonmc had said that it would've been cool. you just sound like an australian.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:33 AM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


whatever. if jonmc had said that it would've been cool. you just sound like an australian.

Most things said in an American accent instantly adds cool.
posted by mattoxic at 3:20 AM on July 5, 2009


if jonmc had said that it would've instantly added cool.

you just sound like you have no sense of irony.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:06 AM on July 5, 2009


stinkycheese: Why $26?

Afroblanco: A dollar was worth a lot more back in 1967?

Meatbomb: I always understood it as the guy being slightly short. Instead of $30, he has $26 and a very complicated story about best intentions, hard luck, and elaborate promises of prompt repayment.

Well, now, let's break it down.

Here is a handy chart of general (probably not extremely precise, but whatever) street prices of heroin in New York in 1970. (It's from a study on drug usage from that year by Mark Moore entitled The Economics of Heroin Distribution.) As we can see, there is a ridiculous rate of return in this industry. (Check out this other chart from the same source: you could buy a kilo of raw opium for $10 if you knew a farmer to buy it from!)

Anyhow, it makes sense, looking at a few other sources, to presume that, if Mr. Reed is going out of his way and waiting for ‘his man,’ then this man he's waiting for is likely not a ‘juggler’ (that is, a low-level dealer who mostly hawks his wares on corners and such) but a ‘street dealer’ (the step-up version, who might run his own little neighborhood distribution and saw to it that the stuff got sold.) By the figures on this chart, a kilo bought from a street dealer would have cost $22,900. (Not that people went around buying that much heroin; they just express the costs in kilos on the chart to keep things simple.) If a kilo costs $22,900, then $26 would have bought 1/880.769th of a kilo; or, in simpler terms, 1.135 grams. I imagine that the dealer will pretty much just be selling gram-sized packets for $26. That may not sound like much, but it's plenty; while dosage of course depends upon what the user is accustomed to, apparently the upper limits of hard-core, long-time junkies are around 500mg per daily dose. [cite] As such, if he's extremely dependent, Mr. Reed can expect his packet of junk to last him at least a couple of days or so, and more like a week or so if he's a more moderate user at the moment. But I guess that I just don't know.

However: if Meatbomb's suspicion is correct, and Mr. Reed is planning on begging for some leeway cost-wise from the dealer—that is, if he's looking to score $30 worth for $26, then we do the math and notice that at the rates we're working with $30 will buy 1.310 grams. In fact, considering that this song was written at least three years before the advent of the data we're looking at, and that there must be inflation to account for and other such cost changes, it may well be that $30 buys a person 1.5 grams. Again, that should be plenty for Lou Reed or anybody else, for that matter; I'm confident nobody's ever shot that much heroin into a vein at once without ending up in a hospital singing the black angel's death song.

BitterOldPunk: Cuz once you score your bag, you still gotta buy a subway token to get back downtown.

This would not have been much of a problem; the cost of a token was raised in 1966 to 20¢, and then raised again in 1970 to 30¢. A little bit of small change would have gotten one through just fine.

Incidentally, the advent of subway tokens in 1953 came about precisely because of small change; before that time, the fare had been simply a nickel, but when the city wanted to raise the fare to 15¢, the city engineers unfortunately could not cheaply design turnstiles that accepted multiple coins. Hence they created the token, a stand-in single coin which could be purchased for multiple coins.

One more thing: this is recollection from something I read many years ago, but if my memory serves William Burroughs spoke of ‘rolling’ with Lou Reed (and sometimes other members of the crew) in order to find dope money. ‘Rolling’ consisted in wandering the subways and back-alleys, preferably at night, looking for drunks, beating them up, rolling them over, and taking their money. Obviously Mr. Reed wouldn't likely be doing this in the middle of the day, and when he's in a rush to see his man and already clearly has the money; it only popped into my head randomly.
posted by koeselitz at 7:13 AM on July 5, 2009 [90 favorites]


I think you're all being a little anal about this. $26 woulda been the cost. Dealers (regardless of type) never cut someone slack on a load--doesn't matter how good a customer they are.

Further, he's not "waiting" for the man because the man is a particular man worth waiting for. He's waiting because the dealer, all dealers, always make the buyer wait. It instills in him the fear that he may not score (the dealer may not show) which makes his gratitude when the dealer does show immense and the transaction goes off quickly.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:28 AM on July 5, 2009


Heh. I just realized my second point is right in the lyrics:

he's never early
he's always late
first thing you learn
is that you always have to wait
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:31 AM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


But it was advantageous to know a street dealer and buy from him instead of the juggler if you could; it was cheaper, and you usually got stuff that hadn't been cut as much. A juggler'd be around, and one would be as good as the next—and I don't believe that type of dealer would make appointments at all, much less make somebody wait—but a street dealer workin' his game would be harder to pin down and more likely to pull the 'power play' of being late.
posted by koeselitz at 7:32 AM on July 5, 2009


See here (relatively “drug war”-ish site, but the data is useful) for the likelihood that the dealer Lou's going to is further up the chain than a juggler:

…the juggler's customers are typically irregular heroin users - those who lack the street smarts to score heroin in the city but can afford to pay the steep markup.

Also: I have a friend who was a heroin junkie in NY in the late 60s and early 70s, and he tells me that it was quite normal to have a good enough relationship with your particular dealer that you might hope for a discount in a bad week.
posted by koeselitz at 7:43 AM on July 5, 2009


Dealers (regardless of type) never cut someone slack on a load--doesn't matter how good a customer they are.

Oh this is so not true.
posted by item at 7:50 AM on July 5, 2009


Let me put it this way: back when I used to buy heroin in NYC - in Harlem, no less, though it wasn't the 1960's - the price was $80 per bundle of 10 bags... unless I only had $72 or $74. This was something I could get away with maybe once out of every 3 or 4 buys. Not every time, but with enough of a hard-luck story, possible. Like any halfway decent salesman, the dealer knew that losing 10% of his sale every once in a while was worth it to keep a valued & returning customer.
posted by item at 7:56 AM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


its these kind of things that make MeFi unique and special, threads in the blue where people share first person experiences, perspectives and stories about the topic of the FPP, the potential of a MeFi meetup in Antartica, and finding out that flapjax at midnight is a superb musician in addition to simply being a poster on the blue. MeFi is the one place that I have come too where one can consistently be sure of finding the improbable (remember when Woz showed up in a thread about him?) and a sense that somehow, somewhere out there in the community, somebody's seen that, been there, done that and wants to share it with you.
posted by infini at 8:09 AM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


That was excellent! Thanks.
posted by OmieWise at 8:32 AM on July 5, 2009


I've just uploaded a video for I'm Waiting for the Man at YouTube, so if any of y'all wanna see it, it's here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:39 AM on July 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


a sense that somehow, somewhere out there in the community, somebody's seen that, been there, done that and wants to share it with you.

when you're hanging out for some smack & it's a slow day bludging spare change off people because you "need to get to your cousin's place in Maroubra but you lost your wallet last night", shoplifting is often the way to go.

some of the best value items you can lift are little girls' underwear - barbie stuff, or my little pony; stick to the name brands. the kinds of people who'll buy things off a doorknocking junkie are usually the same kinds of people who are simultaneously somewhat neglectful of their children and also not quite in touch with reality, so you can often offload the goods for more than they actually retail for, whereas for more obvious merchandise like makeup, people already have a good sense of what they're worth & you'll be lucky to get more than about 25% of the retail price. not only that, but the store detectives are on the lookout for makeup thieves, but in the childrens' underwear section, you have almost complete free reign to grab whatever you want, within the limits of the pocket space afforded by your trenchcoat.

the only downside is that if the cops find you with pockets full of undies suited for little girls, you'll have a very hard time explaining that you're not a paedophile. luckily, your schtick should come in handy at this point - just say you're on your way to the birthday of your twin nieces, and the undies are all gifts. if you're lucky, you might even be able to bum a dollar or two off the coppers.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:43 AM on July 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


somebody's seen that, been there, done that and wants to share it with you.

and there's t-shirts for sale.
posted by philip-random at 10:03 AM on July 5, 2009


ah, but sizing down is is an XXS and do they ship to the Arctic Circle? ;p

thanks Ubu (seriously considers upping him from crush to sweetheart;p)
posted by infini at 10:21 AM on July 5, 2009


Let me put it this way: back when I used to buy heroin in NYC - in Harlem, no less, though it wasn't the 1960's - the price was $80 per bundle of 10 bags

And I'm pretty sure that the street sales of heroin in NYC has been in bags and bundles since the 70's -- and spoons and buttons (or caps) before that -- with the unit price of the bag increasing.

That said, here are some pictures of 'the Man'. (PR shoes not shown.)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:37 AM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


some of the best value items you can lift are little girls' underwear

Any baghead trying to sell little girls underwear in these parts would almost certainly struggle to do so, and they might well get something of a beating into the bargain. They're regarded as shady bastards at the best of times -- and not beyond stealing underwear from the still warm bodies of the little girls.

The most reliable shoplift in Bootle is good quality meat. Fillet steak, rib eye, sirloin, etc. You can get numerous packets down the front of your pants, and it fetches 50% of retail value -- unlike most other things, that will only sell for 33%.

Also, the straight people who'll normally turn their nose up at most stolen property don't seem able to resist a piece of high quality meat at bargain prices. I'm not sure why this should be, but it's true nonetheless.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:47 AM on July 5, 2009


I need to spend more time on mefi music. this was really nice. thanks for the post or I would have totally missed it.
posted by caddis at 3:00 PM on July 5, 2009


thanks for the post or I would have totally missed it.

Y'all start dropping by more often, y'hear?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:24 PM on July 5, 2009


Or, you know, in order for the line to scan, it was necessary to put an anapest ("twenty-SIX") there.

(Great answer, koselitz)
posted by jokeefe at 9:57 PM on July 5, 2009


Mr. Reed can expect his packet of junk to last him at least a couple of days or so, and more like a week or so if he's a more moderate user at the moment. But I guess that I just don't know.

Favorited just for that line.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:00 PM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


whatever. if jonmc had said that it would've been cool. you just sound like an australian.

Sydneysider, maybe.

We don't need to wait for heroin in Melbourne.
posted by pompomtom at 10:17 PM on July 5, 2009


One more thing: this is recollection from something I read many years ago, but if my memory serves William Burroughs spoke of ‘rolling’ with Lou Reed (and sometimes other members of the crew) in order to find dope money.

This isn't true. By the time Burroughs would have met Reed -- the very end of the 60's or early 70's, IIRC as Burroughs was expatriate and living in Tangier, Paris and finally London up until then -- Burroughs was a celebrated writer and Reed a celebrated musician. Neither of them would have been rolling anybody.

Burroughs days as a street mugger -- something I'm pretty sure he hugely exaggerated and really only ever did a couple of times, if at all -- would have been in the late 40's or early 50's. Though he did relapse when he moved back to NYC, he did what any sensible old timer does and got himself enrolled in the methadone programme.

(According to Wikipedia, he moved back to NYC in 1974. As he was born in 1914, that would make him 60. You just don't get many that many 60 year old muggers/drunk rollers.)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:01 PM on July 5, 2009


infinitewindow: Favorited just for that line.

Glad somebody got it. Heh.

PeterMcDermott: This isn't true. By the time Burroughs would have met Reed -- the very end of the 60's or early 70's, IIRC as Burroughs was expatriate and living in Tangier, Paris and finally London up until then -- Burroughs was a celebrated writer and Reed a celebrated musician. Neither of them would have been rolling anybody.

Yes, I'd guessed that ol' Willy probably exaggerated, as did my memory—but it made for a nice little story, anyhow.
posted by koeselitz at 12:04 AM on July 6, 2009


I need to spend more time on mefi music.

Nthing this. Almost wish there was like a curated posting of stand-out tracks or something, but would there be a way to do that without it getting kinda elitist/exclusionary/petty? Change the curator each time? Go by favourites? A committee of the composers of the previous month's list? Other?

Anyhoo, kick-ass cover, flapjax. Glad it got the shout-out here or I'd have missed it.

(And while we're on the subject of great Mefi Music covers, The White Hat's instrumental version of Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek" on acoustic guitar spent a good long while in heavy rotation on my iPod awhile back.)
posted by gompa at 12:37 AM on July 6, 2009


gompa: Nthing this. Almost wish there was like a curated posting of stand-out tracks or something, but would there be a way to do that without it getting kinda elitist/exclusionary/petty? Change the curator each time? Go by favourites? A committee of the composers of the previous month's list? Other?

It's already done, my friend. It's already done.

(1) Go to MeFi Music. This is the most important step, since if you don't follow it, you'll never actually get to listen to anything on MeFi Music.

(2) Look on the right side of the page, where you'd find the sidebar on the front page. Right at the top, you'll see links to “Music Talk,” but if you…

(3) Scroll down, you'll see five very useful categories:

  • Featured Tracks, which lists tracks that have been mentioned or played on the Metafilter Podcast;

  • Recent Challenge Tracks, which includes the most recent songs uploaded for the monthly challenge (like this version of “Waiting For My Man”);
  • Most Playlisted Tracks in the last seven days; you can set up your own playlist, if you want, but you don't have to do that to peruse this list of the songs people put in their playlist most often;

  • Most Favorited Tracks in the last seven days; and

  • Most Favorited Tracks from your contacts.


  • The neat thing about Metafilter: when you ask for something, it's usually already there.
    posted by koeselitz at 1:24 AM on July 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


    Metafilter: when you ask for something, it's usually already there.
    posted by infini at 1:33 AM on July 6, 2009


    Metafilter: not beyond stealing underwear from the still warm bodies of the little girls
    posted by item at 2:45 AM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


    Dealers (regardless of type) never cut someone slack on a load--doesn't matter how good a customer they are.

    Oh this is so not true.


    I have never been a heroin consumer, but have plenty of experience with drug dealers. This is one of the benefits of having your man, rather than just a random guy. It's a relationship, see? You can totally get a break once in a while, as many others above have attested to. He's waiting for his man, because $26 will work.
    posted by Meatbomb at 3:30 AM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


    I recall reading something on Burroughs - it may have been the Bockris book - wherein he was asked what he thought of the song. He replied that a real junkie would never be messing with women ("hey white boy, you chasing our women around?") when trying to score.

    In the next line - "oh pardon me sir, it's furthest from my mind" - Reed makes clear that's not going on anyways, so I never understood that criticism. But there you are.
    posted by stinkycheese at 7:44 AM on July 6, 2009


    Also, the straight people who'll normally turn their nose up at most stolen property don't seem able to resist a piece of high quality meat at bargain prices. I'm not sure why this should be, but it's true nonetheless.

    I too, have always wondered about this. When I lived in a shit neighborhood, I myself was much more likely to purchase stolen steaks than any other particular stolen item. Maybe it's somehow linked to the notion that stealing food is often borne of necessity, and even though the thieves need drugs rather than steaks, you can empathize with someone who's so hard up they had to steal food. This is probably all meat-flavored bean plating though.

    Yep, it's hard to turn down cheap steaks.
    posted by solipsophistocracy at 8:57 AM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


    I would point out that moving from kilo to gram on the same price scale is, well, incredibly naive and optimistic. Having had at least passing experience in illicit supply-side economics, the rarely reflects the bulk price.

    For example, if I buy a pound of weed for $600, the goal is to get $600 for a half-pound, whether that means selling as-is (ideal), or breaking it up (a hassle). If I break it up, that half-pound becomes two $300 quarter pounds. Since people rarely buy two-ounce bags, one quarter pound becomes four ounces at usually around $100 to $150 per ounce, to compensate for the hassle of breaking it up, the increased risk that comes from multiple deals, and the risk of unsold goods (more a problem with pot, which commands a higher premium when fresh). You might cut a pal a deal, but really, that's when you hit them with the upsell, since if they want the QP you can let them have it for $300 (the nominal price of two or three ounces). One of those ounces becomes then a $60 half-ounce, a $40 quarter-ounce, and a $30 eighth, sometimes $35, because if someone is only buying an eighth, it's a pain in the ass to break up unless you have a decent scale, you've got to sell a whole lot more of them otherwise you have this pot sitting around (and you shouldn't be smoking any of it except as samples with customers until you've made up your $600, and samples come from their portion), and because they're likely a casual user who doesn't have either the wherewithal or connections to get friends together to buy a bigger bag.

    Then, that eighth, and we're talking the most pain-in-the-ass, gotta make rent, sure your high school brother can come over, becomes five dime bags, or ten nickle bags. Since people seem to have lost the significance of dimes and nickles (I've had to explain it too many times), a dime is $10, a nickle is $5, and a nickle should be roughly the amount of shake you can set on a nickle, and should only really be sold by folks who can't ever imagine buying a whole pound on their own.

    But if you extrapolate up from that lowest price, and this is assuming mediocre quality (remember, the whole pound was only $600, which probably means your buddy's uncle in Ohio grew it, or you're buying it out of a car with Canadian plates—nothing with brand pedigree), that's $50 for an eighth, which means $400 for an ounce, which means $1600 for a QP, which means $6400 for a pound.

    The goal is to hit the equilibrium, where you're selling off enough to make back your investment almost immediately, then you can smoke however much you normally do in a month (let's say a conservative—for a pot dealer—quarter pound, or ounce per week) then make enough profit with the rest to feel comfortable with your risk and maybe help a couple of pals out. I'd imagine that something that had a much lower weight-to-profit ratio, a much higher risk, and a built-in customer retention program would end up being even more expensive, especially if the dealer didn't use.

    According to the drug library (which in turn cites Walds et al.), the street price in 1972 was $30 to $90 per grain of heroin. Assuming historical schmeer, it's more likely that Reed in '65 was trying to cop a grain, maybe two, which according to the Brits in 1967 would have supported one day's worth of use.
    posted by klangklangston at 9:13 AM on July 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


    Lids.
    posted by Sailormom at 9:29 AM on July 6, 2009


    YoBananaBoy said that Puerto Rican Shoes were Pointy-toed shoes apt to climbing chain-link fences when being chased by the fuzz.

    Asking 100% snark-free: is there a cite for this? A friend-of-a-friend used to talk about his Puerto Rican shoes, and, if he was talking about them in this particular sense, well, it opens up a whole new aspect to his personality. He was definitely not a Lou Reed fan, so I don't think it was a sly reference to this song. I am no longer in contact with said FOAF, and my Google skillz are failing me, as all I'm turning up are pictures of shoes with the PR flag on them and some assy-looking red Nikes.
    posted by shiu mai baby at 12:06 PM on July 6, 2009


    Boy, if the Man is jumping fences in his PR shoes, I sure hope he is keeping one hand on his big straw hat. Hate to lose that.
    posted by stinkycheese at 12:18 PM on July 6, 2009


    Puerto Rican Shoes: cite 1, cite 2
    posted by exogenous at 12:36 PM on July 6, 2009


    You are a friggin' genius, exgenous. I never thought to search books.google. Thanks for that.
    posted by shiu mai baby at 12:49 PM on July 6, 2009


    PR shoes apparently refers to Puerto Rican fence climbers, meaning pointy-toed 60's drug dealer type shoes.

    Also:

    The $26 dollars refers to a deck of heroin which was 15 $2 bags. You got a discount if you knew the right person. Of course this was the late 60s so the prices have changed. I know a little about the Harlem scene in those days. The song gets it right. In no way do I recommend that lifestyle. Many of my friends from those days died young.

    And finally, another Google books link:

    Reed later observed that twenty-six dollars won't get you much of anything these days but that, "everything about that song holds true, except the price". "PR shoes" refers to Puerto Rican Fence Climbers, an imaginative (if racist) nickname for the pointy-toed shoes known in Britain as winklepickers.
    posted by stinkycheese at 1:38 PM on July 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


    I am embarassed to be a Puerto Rican who had never heard of Puerto Rican shoes.
    posted by DrGirlfriend at 1:42 PM on July 6, 2009


    If they went up past your ankles, we called them Beatle Boots growing up.
    posted by stinkycheese at 1:47 PM on July 6, 2009


    Well winklepickers doesn't have the same ring to really.
    posted by Sailormom at 2:24 PM on July 6, 2009


    These guys have the Puerto Rican Beatle boots you're looking for.
    posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:32 PM on July 6, 2009


    Well winklepickers doesn't have the same ring to really.

    What are you talking about? Winklepickers is an absurdly awesome name. So much so that I'm thinking about buying myself a pair to insert the word into casual conversations.
    posted by graventy at 6:17 PM on July 6, 2009


    I always thought he was saying "Dior shoes"......
    posted by gteffertz at 6:49 PM on July 6, 2009


    graventy: What are you talking about? Winklepickers is an absurdly awesome name. So much so that I'm thinking about buying myself a pair to insert the word into casual conversations.

    If you're going to do that, you may also wish to begin using the phrase “winkle it out” to mean “draw it out carefully with a sharp point.” Just another of the fine phrases which we owe to the graventy: What are you talking about? Winklepickers is an absurdly awesome name. So much so that I'm thinking about buying myself a pair to insert the word into casual conversations.">common periwinkle.
    posted by koeselitz at 6:54 PM on July 6, 2009


    Holy crap, my comment-editing scripts are going wacko. Let's try that again.

    graventy: What are you talking about? Winklepickers is an absurdly awesome name. So much so that I'm thinking about buying myself a pair to insert the word into casual conversations.

    If you're going to do that, you may also wish to begin using the phrase “winkle it out” to mean “draw it out carefully with a sharp point.” Just another of the fine phrases which we owe to the common periwinkle.
    posted by koeselitz at 6:56 PM on July 6, 2009


    Hey, anybody out there wanna hear some more Velvet Underground from your friends at MeFi Music? More submissions are rolling in as we speak, some really cool ones. Check 'em out.
    posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:09 AM on July 7, 2009


    Let me put it this way: back when I used to buy heroin in NYC - in Harlem, no less, though it wasn't the 1960's - the price was $80 per bundle of 10 bags... unless I only had $72 or $74. This was something I could get away with maybe once out of every 3 or 4 buys. Not every time, but with enough of a hard-luck story, possible. Like any halfway decent salesman, the dealer knew that losing 10% of his sale every once in a while was worth it to keep a valued & returning customer.

    Getting that blue magic from mr. lucas?
    posted by djduckie at 8:38 AM on July 7, 2009


    Why $26?

    $25 for the junk. a dollar for 'the works'. duh.

    BTW, the lyrics of 'waitin for the man' are just the readers digest condensed version of the introduction to 'Naked Lunch' by William Burroughs. Srsly, check it out.
    posted by sexyrobot at 1:22 AM on July 8, 2009


    How much does heroin cost now?
    posted by solipsophistocracy at 2:32 PM on July 9, 2009


    I realize this varies wildly by location, and that folks who know might not want to say on the internet, but I've always been really curious...
    posted by solipsophistocracy at 2:32 PM on July 9, 2009


    A little glassine baggie of heroin costs $10 on the East Coast. I don't know how much that is in grams. The strength of each batch varies, so even if I knew how much it was in grams, the amount of active ingredient would still vary. That little baggie is too much for someone who has never used to use at once, and too little to carry most habitual users through the day.
    posted by OmieWise at 3:52 PM on July 9, 2009


    That bit about shoplifting little girls' underwear was based on a true story:

    One morning, I answered a knock on my door, to find one of those wizened, wiry junkie chicks - the kind that look like they're in their 50s, although probably not much older than 35. She spoke in that strained, whiny voice that they all seem to get, as if they're constantly trying to push out a huge constipated turd (which in all likelihood they probably are).

    "Wanna buy some undies? Goin' cheap!"

    "Sorry, what?"

    "Girls' undies. Real good stuff! Barbie. This is the quality shit! Only $40 the lot..."

    "Uh, I don't have kids..."

    "They're real good, here, look - I got all kinds & sizes"

    She zips open her handbag, to reveal dozens of pink undies in plastic wrappers; some on spangly coathangers.

    "Um, I'd like to help, but like I said, I don't have any daughters - I have no use for these."

    "They'd make a good present. Give 'em to your nieces or something. OK, $35 the lot."

    "No, really. I don't know a single person I could give them to. Somebody else would be happy to take them, I'm sure...good luck!"

    "OK, no problems, cuz. By the way, could you spare me a bit of change? My welfare payment was meant to go into my account overnight, but something went wrong, the bastards! And I really need get to Parramatta for my cousin's wedding ..."
    posted by UbuRoivas at 4:13 PM on July 9, 2009


    I don't believe you Ubu. I don't think they'd use the word 'my'.
    posted by pompomtom at 4:39 PM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


    yeah, i really fucked up the tone at the end there, trying to translate "me dole money" for an international audience.
    posted by UbuRoivas at 5:11 PM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


    "me dole cheque was s'pposedta goin me account last night but cennalink fucked up, the c-nts, and i'm totally skint"
    posted by UbuRoivas at 5:27 PM on July 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


    Heroin used to be 60/80 bucks for a quarter gram, back in the day. No idea what it goes for now.
    posted by jokeefe at 5:50 PM on July 9, 2009


    Ok ok ok....jeezus...........enough gabble.........I'm a busy man, sunshine........seeing as it's you I'll take $25 but I'm robbing meself blind pal......
    posted by MajorDundee at 1:21 AM on July 18, 2009


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