Several Stories about California: #5

For a truly bizzare experience of convergence, point your browser to this page on the Chupacabra. While you're waiting for it to finish loading, pop a copy of the Monteverdi Vespers in your CD player. For some inexplicable reason, the wacky MIDI file on the Chupacabra page and the old-style choral stylings of Claudio's proto-Baroque harmonies go astonishingly well together. They seem to do the bump-set-spike thing really well, playing calm backup to each other's sudden bursts of excitement.

And while you're listening to the wonderment, you can read all about the details of the Chupacabra ("or goatsucker," as the page helpfully calls it, which sounds like the kind of thing Justin might say). In any case, the sense in which this is a story about California is that Keith (who was in the room when this wonderful property was discovered) and I found a CD by a band called Chupacabra in the clearance rack at Ameoba and instantly realized we needed to buy it. It turned out to be a chick-singer jazz band. And you know, if I'd been asked to pick the musical style of a band calling itself Chupacabra, jazz is probably the last or very close to the last style I'd have guessed (Tuvan throat singing, klezmer, and bubblebum pop are arguably less likely, but you never know. cheerful horn-heavy jazz is just so, so, unlike sucking the blood out of livestock). Keith summed it up best when he said "For a dollar ninety-five, this isn't bad."