Friday, June 10, 2005


I love Golden Star

Sad Billionaire enjoyed many aspects of growing up in the Canadian hinterland, but perhaps none so much as the exposure to truly nutty cultural effluvia. Officially mandated multiculturalism translated in the real world into some of the best brain-twisting television known to humankind.

On any given Sunday morning, the TV was a riot of harmonium-pumping Sufis, millenarian Azerbaijanis, and yodeling Croats. Not watching compulsively was obviously not an option. The language barrier was such that it was impossible to figure out how to replicate the experience should one so wish. Many a time I would hear a ripping electronic bozouki solo during the Greek TV hour and wish to purchase a cassette by said artist, but how would I do it? Walk into a shop in the Greek neighborhood and ask if they knew about a guy with a Juan Epstein afro and a pirate shirt who played hot electronic bozouki?

The problem was that the posters in the Greek record stores (I got as far as entering them and trying to look nonchalant) gave the clear impression that there was more than one electronic bozouki player with a Juan Epstein afro and a pirate shirt... How would I be sure I wouldn't end up with the crap bozoukist? I mean, a Greek preteen following the same methodology could go into a store hoping to buy a Jimi Hendrix tape and end up going home with a John Stamos one. Horrible, even as a thought-experiment.

All of this leads me to the subject of today's post-- Punjabi recording artists Golden Star. One Sunday morning a few years ago, I tuned in to my favorite TV station, and saw the most sublime, mind-altering hour of music ever! Choreographed dance routines shot in super lo-8: teams of tubby, bearded men rocking out the hippest moves this side of "Dance Fever." Mesemerizing beats, all supported by an insistent Bollywood surf guitar rhythm: DOING-d-doing-d-doing-d-doing-doing; DOING-d-doing-d-doing-d-doing-doing... Incredible!!!

The miracle of the whole thing is that Golden Star (for this was the name of this magical ensemble) kept on flashing ordering information onscreen. Finally, I could keep the flame alive on a day other than Sunday. Unfortunately, the information was like: "Send only 50 Sterling Pounds by certified check to P.O. Box 12 in Madras, c/o "Chucky"... expect Maybe 7-8 months delivery." Again, I felt overly risk-averse.

BUT-- upon moving to Austin, Texas years later, I ventured into the great Waterloo Records store and approached the World Music section with the studied coolness of a doomed man on the way to the gallows... there were few things I was sure of in this godforsaken life, but the fact that a Golden Star CD would never be found in Austin, Texas was one of them.

And, because this is a happy story, of course I found the CD right there!!! Golden Star! In the house! Including their hit, "I Love Golden Star." Now, I too could be a tubby, bearded Punjabi entertainer with a Richard Dawson skinny mic, in the privacy of my home, in my imagination, anytime I wanted.

So, I bought it, of course. And now I am happy. Except that I am also sad. The Sad Billionaire.


femme feral said...

The sad billionaire is very good at punjabi dancing. so cute!

porkmuffin said...

dude, i need a copy of that cd