November 16, 2008
Calcium, herbal bone supplement abuse causes near-fatal overdosePORTLAND, OR — According to his management, Darol Anger has voluntarily checked himself into a ten-week substance abuse rehabilitation program specialized for celebrity entertainers.
The renowned musician is reportedly seeking treatment to address several chemical dependencies he acquired during the long course of therapy for his fractured wrist.
The multifaceted Anger is not only a fiddle player but an accomplished practitioner of Parkour, the art of running through urban and rural environments at an unyielding pace using jumping, climbing and rolling to overcome obstacles.
Anger, a consummate innovator, was reportedly pioneering a bicycle-based variant of Parkour when he broke his wrist, an injury that has put his performing career on hold for months.
“He just wanted to get better so badly. He really thought those supplements were the way,” said a source close to Anger.
Like many who suffer from chronic health problems, Anger gradually became dependent on the medications he took to treat his injury. According to several close friends, the fiddler’s life quickly spiraled downward in a cycle of abuse, desperation and self-destruction.
At the height of his addiction, Anger estimates that he was consuming between six and seven kilograms of pure elemental calcium each day in powder- and pill-form, about five thousand times the quantity recommended for a 200-pound adult.
On top of this, Anger would routinely binge on entire bottles of various over-the-counter bone supplements.
“The money goes fast when you’re living like that,” said bassist and rock music historian Skip Ward.
Indeed, Anger soon found himself in dire straits.
“Late one night after the stores in town had closed I realized I had cashed my calcium supply. All gone. Just totally kicked. Plus which I was broke, completely broke,” recalled Anger. “I was fiending so badly I drank a whole quart of rotten milk that I found in a dumpster.”
“I wish I could say that was my lowest low, but it’s not even close,” he added.
Indeed, Anger’s descent into addiction culminated with a life-changing overdose. Friends found him in his home early one morning, unconscious but still breathing.
“He looked like a stick of chalk,” said one of the friends.
“Yeah, and there were bone supplement pills and empty herbal remedy bottles everywhere,” said another. “We rushed him to the hospital, and thank God he’s going to be OK.”
Anger’s cast is scheduled for removal on Nov. 18.
“Best jam ever,” says Pinkham
For approximately six unbroken hours starting at 10pm CST on Nov. 8, 2008, Pinkham had an electrifying, thrilling and altogether mind-blowing jam session with himself, playing both mandolin and fiddle simultaneously.
“It was a little like that scene in Fight Club where Edward Norton beats the s—t out of himself,” said Michael Barnett, who witnessed the jam.
Pinkham, whose youthful countenance and shaggy brown hair make him instantly recognizable, earns his living as a professional mandolinist. He also performs extensively on violin under the pseudonym Alex Hargreaves, and his violin playing is by all accounts prodigious.
Although Pinkham and Hargreaves are ostensibly different people, their stage attire is identical, and neither personality wears any disguise.
“That whole double-identity, alter-ego thing works out great most of the time, but it gets a little awkward at the occasional festival that books both Josh Pinkham and Alex Hargreaves separately. People get really confused because they are obviously the same person,” said Sarah Jarosz.
At the Rice Festival in Fischer, TX, Josh Pinkham was present performing with the Deadly Gentlemen, and “Alex Hargreaves” was also on hand to play fiddle with the Sarah Jarosz Trio.
“After Sarah’s set, there were a lot of weird moments when people would walk up to Josh to compliment him on his fiddle playing, and Josh would insist that the fiddle player they just saw was not him,” said Sam Grisman, bassist for both the Deadly Gentlemen and the Sarah Jarosz Trio.
“I mean, I’ll play in both bands, but I’m not going to pretend to be two different people,” said Grisman. “That’s just stupid, and it sort of offends people.”
Later that night at Jarosz’s house, Pinkham initiated a highly interactive jam session with himself, effortlessly segueing between bluegrass, jazz, rock, classical and free improvisation with a passion and intensity rarely seen in impromptu music sessions.
Pinkham reluctantly stopped jamming just after 4am, punctually leaving to catch a flight from Austin Bergstrom International Airport.
Before departing Jarosz’s house, Pinkham complimented himself for the exceptionally well-played music.
“Sickest jam ever,” said Pinkham.
WOODSTOCK, NY — An intrepid mixture of rhythmical cello playing, jazz vocalization, cryptic folk lyrics, Haitian voodoo drumming and ancient American melody has succeeded in conjuring an actual succubus, live before an audience of entranced folk music fans.
Bethany Yarrow and Rufus Cappadocia, who perform under the group name Bethany and Rufus, used their unique musical blend to summon the mythical woman, who danced provocatively as she gorged herself on the energy and souls of all the men in the room.
Legions of suitors crushed by newsMONTREAL — In a tale reminiscent of a classic Walt Disney movie, a woodsy Quebecois aboriginal with almost no experience in the modern world has successfully romanced the most beautiful and widely-desired woman in all of folk music.
Natalie Haas, 25, the nation’s premier female folk cellist, holds a degree from The Juilliard School in Manhattan, where she majored in Manners and Charm with a minor in Cello Performance. She is also an expert in Victorian fashion and rarely appears in public wearing anything other than a brand new hand-sewn ball gown.
Ms. Haas has performed extensively with musical icons such as Alasdair Fraser and Mark O’Connor, and she attributes her fastidious approach to music and life to her extremely traditional mother, Barbara Haas, a strict disciplinarian.
Yann Falquet, whose rugged good looks and wild hair recall a young Tarzan of the Apes, has been very slowly adapting to life outside the remote forest in Quebec where he was raised. He now can be seen performing with a renowned French-Canadian trio called Genticorum.
Falquet’s earliest encounter with modern civilization took place last year when he accidentally boarded Alasdair Fraser’s Canadian Fiddle Train, and his natural gift for music first came to light.
“Here comes this crazy looking guy, wearing a bunch of rags, and you can’t understand a word he says,” recalled musician Laura Cortese. “But then he picks up this guitar, and it’s pure magic.”
Despite their disparate upbringings, Falquet and Ms. Haas soon fell in love and have now been an official couple for several months, utterly crushing the hopes and dreams of Ms. Haas’s numerous suitors.
“It’s like my blood is acid and my body is made of pain, not flesh,” said one former suitor, who preferred to remain anonymous.
“My brain feels like it’s being electrocuted from the second I wake up until I go to bed, and I’m lucky if I sleep even one night a week,” said another.
According to sources close to Haas, the happy couple has successfully managed many challenges, such as Falquet’s alien status and aversion to all forms of modern technology.
“Internet? Cell phone? Forget about it. The most sophisticated tool I’ve ever seen this guy use is a guitar pick,” said a close friend of Ms. Haas.
“It’s not that he’s emotionally detached, he actually does not know how to use a cell phone,” said Ms. Haas. “Sometimes if I haven’t seen him in awhile and I’m starting to wonder where in the world he is, he just pops up out of the woods and surprises me. It’s so romantic!”
BAGHDAD — Stunningly, a recent United States military action has succeeded in bringing lasting peace, harmony, and American domination to the war-torn Middle East.
Military officials are attributing the success of this plan to its incorporation of the Stelling Crusader banjo, whose luscious tone, beautiful Christian ornamentation, and indomitable power apparently humbled the inhabitants of the region, starting a chain reaction of peace and American-style democracy.
“Basically, we sent a task force of highly-trained players over there with Crusader banjos, and had them just wail until the situation was resolved,” said Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. “It was kind of a Hail Mary, but what can I say? It worked.”
A secret presidential directive authorized the plan, thereby exempting it from Congressional oversight and bypassing the controversy that has often surrounded the Bush Administration’s more radical policies.
Now, the startling success of “Operation Infinite Justice Redux” has all but silenced critics of the United States’ overseas military agenda, also increasing international awareness of the banjo to unprecedented levels.
Within days of the plan’s initiation, reports of massive religious conversions began to flood Middle Eastern news outposts, beginning in Iraq and quickly spreading to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan and Israel.
Soon, these waves of religious conversion had spread as far as Pakistan and western Afghanistan and began to be accompanied by eyewitness reports describing spontaneous grassroots democratic organization.
In several countries, ethnic groups whose relations had been strained for hundreds, even thousands of years suddenly came together, often in town-hall style meetings, peacefully resolving their differences by democratic voting and praising the United States.
“You’ve probably heard a lot about the whole Sunni and Shiite thing over here in Iraq,” said one Reuters news correspondent. “Well, imagine thousands upon thousands of these people, listening to the glorious sound of the Crusader banjo and singing — literally singing — the United States Pledge of Allegiance.”
“Our work here is done,” said General David Petraeus, chief of US Central Command in Iraq.
“The second coming of Bill Monroe is upon us,” says religious odd couple
NASHVILLE — Multi-Grammy winner and devout Christian Ricky Skaggs is teaming up with Klezmer and bluegrass luminary Andy Statman, an Orthodox Jew, in a mandolin concert the two men agree will likely bring about End Times of Bluegrass, fulfilling the prophecy of the Rapture and subsequent Second Coming of Monroe.