CHECKING OUR MAIL
San Diego’s Pannikin Coffee and Tea Company offers an incredible selection of exotic coffees and teas by mail. Their South American, Central American, African, Indonesian, and Caribbean coffees, along with some pretty wild green, oolong, and black teas. If caffeine is your thing, this is one mailing list you’ll want to be on. Call them at 1-800-232-6482 for more info.
A CONSUMING PASSI
PEOPLE Guy and Martine CaLluaud have always cooked together, from their early days as owners of various five-star Dallas eateries (Calluaud’s and Calluaud Traiteur, and their swanky little sister, Brasserie Calluaud) to their most recent gig as the behind-the-scenes kitchen cabinet at Joey Tomato’s Atlantic City. Both say their latest business, Truffles Catering, is a nice way to continue the family tradition of working together. “This is a great new venture for us,” says Martine. “Guy supervises a team of chefs who are experts at cooking anything-from “Texas-style barbecue to couscous; we plan to have a lot of fun handling some different-at least for us-functions like country hoedowns, street fairs, and carnival parties. Of course, we’ll also be available for those intimate little parties at home.” -Lucie Nelka
Guy and Martine Calluaud’s new catering venture. Truffles Catering, can handle parties of any size. If you want to catch them in the kitchen, call 754-0380.
Brave New Polka
LISTENING Carl Finch was a kid shopping the bargain record bins at Woolworth’s in Texarkana when he got bit by the bug of album jacket art and socked between the eyes with a verbal two-beat. “I really liked the way the word ’polka’ looked,” he recalls. “There was a sound there that 1 liked, that really got to me.”
Brave Combo, today a household word to a younger generation of polka fans-a very mutually inclusive group-evolved from Finch and former bandmate Urn Walsh’s dance-accompanying work at the University of North Texas. Now they are making polka a global phenomenon, traveling to Japan next month at the request of a record company there to present “Brave Combo-ized” versions of Japanese pop music from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Is Brave Combo making the world safe for polka? “If we are missionaries, then the crusade is just (he power of music,” Finch asserts.
As a songwriter Finch pours people into polka while forcing them out of conventional molds with songs such as “Don’t Forget Your Bucket,” “What Is This Darkness,” and “Do Something Different.” His lyrics chronicle, according to their author, “how you might took at life differently than you have looked at life.” If that sounds cosmic, consider that half of Brave Combo’s appearances are at wedding receptions, no trivial matters. When the band starts kicking the a-one and a-two-uh in a decidedly un-Lawrence Welkian manner, it’s about forgetting your vows and dancing.
The new album A Night on Earth is their fourth on Rounder Records and arguably Brave Combo’s best. Although every band needs a shorthand image in the public’s mind, no one who has ever heard Brave Combo would think that they deliver garden-variety polka. Under Finch’s direction, polka is a universal language, along with about a thousand other dance beats. From the classic big band tango “Jealousy” to Jeff Barnes’s Las Vegas crooning of a cha-cha arrangement of “Hey There” from The Pajama Game, Brave Combo recreates a sonic version of that original Woolworth’s cutout vinyl graveyard in Texarkana. Spice that with Italian wedding medleys and irresistible originals from Finch and Bubba Hernandez, and you have a polka band without limits.
“Dallas is home for us,” Finch saysabout the band’s roots. “Musically I thinkit’s as much on the cutting edge of what’shappening as any place in the state rightnow. Now that we’ve established this, itwould be nice if bands would pull awayfrom the desire to get a record deal andgo back to music for music’s sake again.The thing that got it happening in thefirst place was that there were a lot ofpeople who were making music from theheart.” -Michael Pellecchia
A good love story is like the perfect little black dress-it never goes out of style. A few favorites:
Now, Voyager (1942), starring Bette Davis, Paul Henried, and Claude Rains. If you’re in the mood for romance, you’ll find it oozing from every celluloid pore of this film classic. Davis plays an ugly duckling from a privileged family who has a nervous breakdown at the hands of her nasty, domineering mother. Rains is the shrink who heats her wounded psyche and transforms her into a graceful swan, leave her sensible shoes behind forever. Henried is the nice married man she meets on a cruise and falls in love with.
A Man and a woman (1966, French), starring Jean-LouisTrintignant and Anouk Aimee. After watching this movie it takes about a week to stop humming the music. But even if you can’t hum, you’ll be smitten by a contemporary tale of two widowers who fall in forget their dead spouses. Make sure you rent the original with subtitles-the dubbed version is an atrocity.
This Property is Condemned (1966). starring Natalie Wood and Robert Redford. Redford and Wood positively sizzle in this adaptation of a Tennessee Williams one-act play about a tiny Mississippi railroad town. As a sultry Southern belle from the wrong side of the tracks, Wood’s dark beauty is the perfect complement for Red-ford’s movie-idol blondness. But ol’ Bob holds his own as a railroad hired gun who comes to town to hand out pink slips, than he bargained for in Wood.
BOOKS AIR RORN
Roberta Sue Ficker sounds more like a country and western singer than a prime ballerina. Which is probably why you know Roberta Sue George Balanchine’s muae and the wife of Paul Mejie, the artistic director of the Fort Worth Ballet.
Farrell’s new autobiography. Holding On To The Air, which she co-wrote with ex-dancer Toni Bentley. is the fairy-tale-come-true story of a too-tall-for-her-age waif from Mt. Healthy, Ohio, who wins a scholarship to the School of American Ballet at the age of 15. Only a few short years later she would become a star of the New York City Ballet and Balanchine’s favorite, a teacher’s pet of sorts which would set her apart from the rest of the ballet company and haunt her for life. As a professional mentor, she could ask for none better; but it was Balanchine’s demanding and obsessive desire to own her emotionally that eventually forced their separation. Farrell’s love for fallow dancer Mejia, and their subsequent marriage, enraged Balanchine so much that he banished Me-jia, forbidding him to dance. Mejia and Far-rail ultimately left New York In a btaze of publicity. (Yes, she would continue to dance, but it would be five years before she ever worked with Balanchine again.) Farrell’s account of her 20-year career and her tutelage by America’s greatest ballet-master is first-rate in its honesty. It’s also a fascinating account of the crazy world of high-stakes dancing.
SPHERES FOR HIM
Multicolored leather baseballs make playful gifts for him for Valentine’s Day. Check out the selection at Tie-Coon Trading Company, 61*8 Luther Lane, 369-8437.
A Fragrant Approach to Healing
TRENDS Fragrance has the power to return us to past times and distant places and to change our moods. Who doesn’t perk up at the fresh scent of evergreens or sigh over a past love’s perfume? Now, a systematic approach to mental and even physical healing with fragrant plant essences is making its way from Europe to the U.S. and, yes, Dallas.
Pure aromatic oils extracted from plants are used in massage and dispersed in the air with diffusers, or small mist-making machines. “Fragrances get past the conscious mind to the limbic area of the brain,” says certified massage therapist Rose Ernst Kaimana. Pure plant oils also contain hormones that stimulate cell growth and affect specific organs and body systems, as shown in European clinical testing but pooh-poohed in the U.S., Kaimana says.
Aromatherapists use expensive, pharmaceutical-grade herbal oils in massage. Or they may provide oils for home use. “If all you want is a good smell, commercial grade oils from the health food store will do,” says Kaimana.
Some common specifics are lavender or camomile for nervous stress, cardamom to help concentration, bergamot or cajeput for muscle soreness. Frankincense is a millenias-old agent used to induce a meditative state. There’s also orange blossom oil for insomnia, clary sage for PMS, and grapefruit oil for cellulite. The last three remedies could get the user in shape for jasmine or patchouli, traditional aphrodisiacs. -Julie Ryan
How I Became a Knots Landing Addict
VIEWING I can’t remember exactly when I got hooked on Knots Landing (CBS, Channel 4, Thursdays at 9 p.m.), but I do know that it happened sometime after Gary and Valene’s marriage, but before Chip murdered Ciji and Laura died of brain cancer. All I know is I was there when Abby started wearing enough eye makeup to fill the Persian Gulf and began wrecking every marriage in town.
You probably think all this stuffs ridiculous, don’t you? You wonder why I don’t watch all those slick yuppie lawyers on the rival L.A. law, an infinitely more respectable viewing habit, and one that can be discussed in public. Or why I always decline dinner invitations on Thursday evenings, preferring to dine alone in front of the tube. You wonder why I, like countless other Knots die-hards, have become so seriously goofy on the subject that we can tell you every major plot development in the show’s 12-year history.
I don’t owe anybody an explanation,but since you asked, here’s why.Television series rarely have the ability toengage in great escapist storytelling, thesort of thing Robert Ludlum used to writebefore he got trapped by his ownformulas, and Lawrence Sanders onceaccomplished before he became bored.Knots manages to consistently rise abovethe usual far-fetched television soapoperas with its amazing bits of intrigueand reality. That’s why I’m pledged tothis delicious bit of nonsense for the longcount, why I’ll never forgive them for thedisappearance of Julie Harris as ditzyLilimae, and why I just can’t say no toGary, Valene, Karen, Mack, Paige, Greg,and all the others. -Derro Evans