June 25, 2006 (link)
Aphoristic insight of the day*:
"Cover bands are the epic poets of our time."
*(actually two days ago, but who's counting)
Current music: David Gilmour - "Then I Close My Eyes"
June 17, 2006 (link)
A fresh entry into the semi-plausible mutual musical resemblance sweepstakes: Chick Corea's "Crystal Silence" -- especially the sax-and-Rhodes duo version that's included as a bonus track on Captain Marvel -- and the "Earth Area (Night)" music from the SNES game Drakkhen.
Awwww. He was my favorite one, too. ("Isn't he everyone's?" answers the listening cosmos.)
In that interview with Raphe Malik I linked to a couple months back, there was something I meant to highlight but didn't at the time. He's talking here about getting a hard time from the police:
I think it's endemic to the system because basically they're there to protect people. But their idea of what it is, and who it is they're protecting, is very arbitrary. Right now the way the system is set up, you could be arrested at almost any time, because the search procedures have changed. There's no speed limits when people don't go 20 miles faster than the limit, so anyone can be pulled over. And as a result when they profile people then it starts to get really tricky. Because you could be white and have long hair, that's all it takes. or just look funny. Any kind of anomaly is always going to be troublesome, man.
Since I started driving again, one of the things that's confounded me the most has been the total disconnect between the posted speed limits and the rate at which people actually drive -- not just a few cars here and there, but everybody, at least around here. When you're within city limits on 84, the speed limit drops to 55 or 50 -- but if you drive at that speed, it seems like, with all the lane-changing and tailgating that'll ensue, you're fairly likely to get in an accident. And that's not to mention all the people I see going 90, 95, 100, and changing three lanes at a time without looking.
So I've often asked myself, "Self*, why is it that they don't enforce the freakin' speed limit? They'd make a mint for the city, and make the roads safer. If they're going to set it at 50 or 55, wouldn't it make sense to actually follow through?" When I've mentioned this to my friends, the usual answer is either a shortage of funds, or a shortage of cops. But when I thought about it, the conclusion I reached was that it gives the police an excuse to pull over anyone they want to, at any time, without needing to worry about being accused of racial profiling, etc. In other words, exactly what Raphe said.
(There's an old canard -- I can't remember the exact phrasing, but it boils down to this: if the law is set up in such a way that everyone breaks it, then a country moves inexorably towards becoming a police state, since everyone is potentially vulnerable to prosecution...)
*(with apologies to the late Mr. Jim Curtis)
Current music: The Clientele - "Since K Got Over Me"
June 16, 2006 (link)
Some more bits and pieces from all over. First, another very interesting post from the Jandek mailing list:
the first recordings are certainly not made in the sixties
I wonder what that difference in sound is -- both how it could be quantified, and what it feels like qualitatively -- and how much of it accounts for that elusive and wonderful quality that 1960s recordings have. The older I get the more I realize how much of my musical taste is predicated on timbre and acoustic -- i.e. the shocking revelation that things that sound good, sound good!
(Well, more than that, really -- one needs to match the acoustic to the music, so that lo-fi classical or pristine Daniel Johnston are not so much of interest. Then again, back in my "Mick Jagger tapes" days, I remember recording something off AM radio -- a bit of organ music, maybe? -- that was transformed and distorted, through the AM static and modulation, in the most enchanting way...)
On a completely different note, this footage I've been seeking for a while is now on Youtube. It's not quite as breathtaking as I'd remembered, but it's still really, really good. Also snaring me recently has been this marvelously catchy bit of WTF.
Youtube has also led me down a major memory-lane trip with regard to Sesame Street. I mean, it's fun to look back and say, yeah, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, six-seven-eight-nine-ten, all that. (And I'd still love to find "behind your face / there is a place", not to mention "women can be soda jerkers"!) But among the lesser known bits are some incredible jewels -- things that are remarkably beautiful, playfully creepy, surprisingly "edgy" (I hate that word)...what a great show it was, you know? Not to mention this, which I don't think I ever saw back in the day, but which is probably one of the realest moments ever seen on television.
And then you have this -- something that I hadn't seen in years -- what an uncanny feeling it was to watch (and hear) this footage again, to have it confirmed that I was anything but mistaken when, as a child, I sensed in it a profound uneasiness and melancholy. What show these days would have the courage to put on something so ambiguous and uneventful and still? The Vivaldi is abridged here: they only use the first half of the movement, and the music ends on the dominant, an A major chord.
In other words, it doesn't end where it started, and so the ending feels incomplete, open, unresolved: and what effect must that have had on my young musical mind, and how might it have led me to associate musical ambiguity and "incompleteness" with mysterious images of sadness and loss -- a feeling I carry with me to this day?
Current music: Vivaldi - Lute Concerto in D major, RV 93: Largo
Those Twentieth-Century Blues, Michael Tippett
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J. K. Rowling