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Whiskerless Brooklyn

“A man without a mustache is a man without a soul” – Confucius

I’m writing this from an apartment in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, which at one time was a rough neighborhood but is now so gentrified that there’s a barber shop down the street called the Stachehouse that specializes exclusively in mustaches.

From the window display I see that they are fluent in more than 70 styles of mustache including classics like the Chevron, Fu Manchu, Pencil, Walrus and Handlebar but also more adventurous options like the Dreadnought, Hussite, Blunderbuss and, my personal favorite, the Tiny Dancer.

You can also bring in your own custom mustache designs of course and nothing is too outlandish providing, and they’re careful to make this clear, that you have the facial hair to back it up.  They will under no circumstances help you cheat nature with mustache implants and are insulted that you would even ask.

They do, however, have several efficacious oils and tonics that stimulate the follicles to improve blood supply to the ‘stache region of the face and promote luscious growth. If you don’t mind standing in the invariably long line you can also try one of their popular testosterone shakes which come in three flavors: Olive Oil-Saffron, Burnt Caramel Swirl and Jägermeister Bavarian Kreme-Filled Donut.

At the moment they’re gearing up for the holiday with a special offer on Caveman Christmas Holiday Combo Mustache Oil and Mustache Balm.  Buy now and they’ll throw in the Striking Viking Mustache Comb and Scissor Set for only a hundred dollars, a savings of nearly three percent.  I would kill for the chance to buy this.

Sadly, if you’re one hundred percent facially follically challenged like I am you’re not welcome inside, even to buy the tonics you so desperately need, and so I have had to glean all of this information by standing outside with my head pressed against the window staring forlornly at the mustachioed wonderment within.

Last night something extraordinary happened though.  A man sporting a splendid Empire Lampshade left the store, walked over to me and wordlessly placed a bottle of Uncle Larry’s All Natural Lavender Bee Pollen Facial Hair Growth Tonic in the palm of my hand.  He tipped his hat and disappeared into the fog.

Needless to say I hurried home and vigorously applied it.  No results as of yet but I have hope.  He has at least given me that much. If it works out I’m leaning toward the Birch Box though I certainly haven’t ruled out the Galactic Spiral Arm.

Concept Lab Volume V

Concept Lab returns to the Cornelia Street Café for another installment on December 16 and it’s a doozy of a show!   I’ll be premiering a new work for piano and electric guitar that I wrote for myself to play with the fabulous Gene Pritsker who also wrote a piece for the show.

We’ll premiere the first installment of a piece Access Contemporary Music commissioned from Will Rowe for our next Composer Alive project and we’ll hear exploratory music from six other wonderful composers as well, including my Chicago friend William Jason Raynovich who will be in New York at that time.

After the show we’ll stick around for some holiday cheer, meaning booze.  Hope you’ll join us!

Sunday, December 16 6:00 PM
Cornelia Street Café
29 Cornelia Street, Manhattan


Featured Seth Music: What We Worry About What We Can’t Help

I don’t have any music about mustaches unfortunately but I have a lot of music inspired by visual art including this piece from my friend Amos Gillespie’s album Paintings Composed.  The painting is by Sanja Glisic and called What We Worry About What We Can’t Help which just seems relevant at the moment. It’s scored for flute, clarinet, alto sax and cello. 


Last Month on Relevant Tones

For one more month I host a radio show dedicated to contemporary classical music.  Then it’s canceled.  But here’s what we did last month.


Nov 2    George Crumb
Nov 9    Antecedents
Nov 16  Outtakes
Nov 23  Generations
Nov 30  Nels Cline

Miscellany, mélange, hodgepodge, etc.


i’m staying in Crown Heights at the moment but the last several weeks have been a whirlwind. I’ve been in Hopatcong New Jersey (thumbs down,) Newark, New Jersey (thumbs down,) Chicago (thumbs up,) Rome (thumbs up,) and now Crown Heights (mustache up.) 

All the moving is because we’re homeless until we close on our new place. Hopefully this week!  It’s a high class homelessness but still, I miss my piano and it’s weird to see what other people watch on Netflix.  Disturbing even.

I made up most of the mustache names and several of the products but not all of them.  A lot of this stuff actually exists. Apparently it’s a lot of work to keep a mustache looking great.  I wouldn’t know though.  Never had one and never will. 

The subject heading of this newsletter is a reference to Jonathan Lethem’s masterpiece Motherless Brooklyn. If you haven’t read it you should run out and buy it now!






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