Rogue’s Gallery is a project that dovetails quite nicely with an in-the-works documentary on pirates that Baby Gramps says he’s doing some of the music for. “There have been stories in Vanity Fair, Village Voice, that say if this pirate documentary takes off, this music will be like O Brother, Where Art Thou?
“This is gonna be the new phase,” he says.
Ballads about whalers may not be your phase, but Baby Gramps is a sprawling anteroom of anachronisms. He claims to know 5,000 songs and to be able to sing in several languages, including Zulu and gypsy. Indeed, he begins crooning in one of them over the telephone, so fast and light-tongued that I can’t decide if it’s Zulu or Gypsy or if he’s just making it up.
Baby Gramps apparently lives in Seattle, but he keeps many facts — such as his age — a secret. “I don’t like numbers,” he says. And he throws out