Pastorella Theatre

The Bangles concert takes place at the Pastorella Theatre in New York City, a fictional entertainment venue. In Italian, pastorela means “shepherdess”, and a pastorella can mean any musical or literary work with a pastoral theme, a church composition for the Christmas season, or a medieval poem or song involving love for a shepherdess. The Pastorella Theatre therefore has a name connected with music.

In real life, The Bangles appeared at the Irving Plaza at 17 Irving Place in Union Square, Manhattan when they played in New York during their reunion tour; the date was October 2 2000. For the concert venue in this episode, the exterior shots are from the Warner Bros. Theater in Burbank, while the interior shots are from The Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles.

Spittoon

LORELAI: Well where did the Ruckers come from?
MICHEL: Well judging from their clothing, a town where high rubber fishing boots and spittoons would be considered formal wear.

A spittoon is a receptacle made for spitting into, especially used by those using chewing tobacco. They were very common and displayed for public use in the US during the late 19th century, but use declined after the 1918 flu epidemic as they were considered unsanitary (before this, spittoons were actually considered hygienic, as previously people would spit on the ground or the floor). Chewing tobacco also went out of fashion, rendering spittoons less useful.

Spittoons were available in public buildings in the Southern states of the US into the 1970s. The United Sates Senate still has traditional spittoons in their public rooms, but these are just used as rubbish bins. Spittoons are still made, and used for smokeless tobacco, and for wine, coffee, and tea tastings. It is rare to see one in public though.

Baseball cards

LORELAI: I bet you’d buy a Barbie for your daughter.
LUKE: Yeah, well, I’d probably give her the cash to buy it herself and meet her by the baseball cards.

Baseball cards are collectible trading cards relating to the sport of baseball. They have been sold since the 19th century.

Little does Luke (or maybe even the writer, John Stephens) know that he actually does have a daughter.

Buggies and Barns

TRISTAN: No, I think you two make a very cute couple. Is your horse and buggy parked outside? Got to get home for the barn raising?

Yet another reference to the Amish, who drive horse and buggies as their traditional form of transport.

A barn raising is a community activity whereby all the members get together to build (“raise”) a barn for one person or one family. Generally the men do the physical labour, while women provide food and drink; it’s a major social occasion. Barn raising was common in North America in the 18th and 19th centuries, while the Amish and Mennonite communities continue the practice today.

Tristan is implying that life in Stars Hollow must be both agrarian and hopelessly antiquated.

Dances

LORELAI (after putting hairspray in Rory’s hair): OK, that will be good for six slow dances, four medium ones, one lambada, but if you plan on doing any moshing I suggest another coat.

A lambada is a sensual dance from Brazil which became popularised in the 1980s and ’90s, sometimes called “the forbidden dance” because of its sexy nature.

Moshing or slamdancing is an energetic, aggressive hardcore punk dance where you push or slam into the other dancers. The place near the stage where moshing is performed is called the moshpit.

Tacos and Burritos

Sookie brings the Gilmore girls some tacos and burritos for dinner, which are both popular traditional Mexican dishes. Unusually for Sookie, she seems to have bought them (maybe from Al’s Pancake World or the anonymous take-out window place?) rather than making something herself.

A taco is a corn or wheat tortilla (flatbread) folded or rolled around the filling; in the US, they are often made commercially as a hard corn shell. A burrito is a wheat tortilla which is wrapped around the filling into a cylinder shape. Sookie got extra hot sauce, so the Gilmores must like their food spicy – as the fiesta burger demonstrated.