Eyes That Can See in the Dark

a music journal

June 22, 2003 (link)

2:31 PM

And now, for a moment of complete self-indulgence -- my Wimbledon picks:

Men's semifinalists: Andy Roddick, Sjeng Schalken, Wayne Arthurs, Andre Agassi
Winner: Roddick
Dark horses: Taylor Dent, Greg Rusedski, Nicolas Escude

Women's semifinalists: Serena Williams, Lisa Raymond, Venus Williams, Chanda Rubin
Winner: Rubin
Dark horses: Els Callens, Ai Sugiyama, Marion Bartoli

Quixotic? Sure, but why not?

Current music: Surface of Eceyon - "Victory of Ice and Magyk"

(Comments for June 22, 2003)

June 20, 2003 (link)

8:35 PM

Given the glut of music blogs out there, there are naturally periods when this site can feel a bit irrelevant, and I find myself starting to wonder whether it's a good use of my time. When I feel that way -- and I haven't been, lately -- I like to remind myself of some of the things I do that are relatively unique (!): Plenty of blogs may talk about Shooby Taylor, but how many of them have transcribed him, hmmmm? (Yes, haha, there is this, but you know I mean one of his scat solos. By the way, that's my card to Shooby next to the December 16, 2002 entry!)

So, in that spirit: it took me six or seven hours, and it's no doubt far from perfect, but I'd like to present my transcription of Rainer Brüninghaus's piano solo on "Colours of Chloë", by Eberhard Weber. It's in four pages, and there are hi-res and lo-res versions available, as well as a MIDI rendition. It was hard work at times to complete this one, but it was also a lot of fun -- and it felt great to finish it off after wanting to do this transcription for such a long time. In case you're wondering, I did use half-speed to get some of the faster passages, but what proved even more helpful is Audion's "karaoke" feature, without which I couldn't have heard much of Rainer's left hand (I've talked about why before). The middle part of the solo, where the chords get strange and Brüninghaus starts playing very sparsely, is really just his comping behind a countermelody from Weber. In effect, the solo is chopped up into two parts, but I thought I'd transcribe the in-between too.

So I hope this is useful to someone out there! Enjoy, let me know what you think, and if anyone actually uses this -- whether in practice, analysis, performance, or whatever else -- I'd love to know about it, and would be grateful if you'd drop me a line.

Current music: Movietone - "Three Fires"

(Comments for June 20, 2003) (2 comments so far)

June 18, 2003 (link)

11:45 PM

As promised, here's Part 2 of Mike V.'s notes to Mad Change. Enjoy!

"Mad Change" (Part 2):

  1. Adrian Belew, "Beach Creatures Dancing Like Cranes".

    This is taken from Belew's 1986 guitar-gone-Picasso album, Desire Caught by the Tail. There are several different ways one can look at it. Belew called it "music for breakfast"; a modern listener might call it "dated guitar synth music", but still I think this works well. It's important to note that this album came on the heel of two somewhat more commercial records, namely Lone Rhino and Twang Bar King, and that it was recorded after the guitar synth's popularity among musicians had faded. With the exception of a few over-the-top brass sounds, this tune still sounds fresh and is chock full of good ideas. Rawk and roll it ain't, but neither are some other tracks on here.

  2. & 11. George Antheil, Second Sonata ("The Airplane").

    Motown Philly back again! Or should I say, "Graduate of Philadelphia's Curtis Institute back again"? Probably the latter. My former college professor and (still) friend, concert pianist Geoffrey Burleson, once told me that this piece was inspired by the fact that Antheil wanted to get the hell out of both his home town of Trenton NJ and the somewhat more worldly Philadelphia so he could get over to Europe and raise hell in the concert halls; befriending Erik Satie certainly helped him to this end. Listening to this piece, I know what he's talking about. You can definitely hear the influence of Dadaism and Italian Futurism here, yet still there are remnants of early American Jazz music and even a bit of Impressionism mixed in. "This is weird, wild stuff, isn't it Ed?" "That is the straight dope, O Funkmaster!" (Okay, no more SNL references from yours truly.) Sadly, Antheil put out all of his wildly creative pieces by the mid-30s and soon returned to America to record more sterile, Hollywood-score music. I guess he took a cue from Arnold Schönberg. Even so, I forgive him because he created such masterful works as this one.

  3. Lightnin' Hopkins, "Penitentiary Blues".

    Since I couldn't get any more "far out, man" than Antheil on this disc, I figured that it was high time to return to the roots of rock and roll. When I listen to blues music, I tend to favor the older, crackly solo recordings of the old-time greats over the more polished, big band feel of Chicago blues. Lots of folks dig Robert Johnson, and rightly so, but in my mind Lightnin' is too often overlooked. He was the kind of guy who could drink a flask of whiskey then sit down, plug in, and tear the house down. Lightnin' embodied the earthiness of the blues. And if you don't think so, "well, you oughta be ashamed", because without him we could not have songs like...

  4. The Who, "However Much I Booze".

    The lyricism in Modern Rock has often been described as "confessional"; I call it "whiny". It's the perfect soundtrack for the direction-less Playstation Generation: "My life sucks, my girl left me, and no one understands how fucked up I am, so I'm going to go cry in the corner now and then maybe later I'll play Halo or something because John Fucking Mayer and the guy from Godsmack think it's cool." On the other hand, tracks like this one are quite refreshing. By 1975, Pete Townshend knew that the rock star lifestyle was killing him; he was helping to set the standard for a cliché that many other rock musicians would become. Mixed in with the raw honesty of this track is genuine poetry -- it's almost like he is saying "It's not easy being me and I'm gonna tell you about it, but while doing so I will honestly and creatively rock your ass from here to Kashmir". It's no wonder that The Who were the kind of band who could appeal to both the average Joe on the street and the more educated music fan. That's why I'll always have a soft spot for them.

  5. Pavement, "In Every Mouth a Desert".

    Here's another memory of mine that Phil might not remember from our days as studio colleagues. Somehow Pavement came up during a conversation and Phil said something like, "There's no reason why I shouldn't like [Pavement], but I just never got into them." Well, here's your chance to try again, buddy. I even put on the cleaner, re-mastered version of the song from Slanted and Enchanted: Luxe and Reduxe. Still, it's easy to see that their drummer at the time was also their recording engineer; the listener primarily hears drums and vocals. I won't waste anyone's time waxing nostalgic about Pavement's influence on the Indie rock movement. Their importance is undeniable; whether you all dig it or not is up to you.

  6. Andy Summers and Robert Fripp, "Painting and Dance".

    I bet everyone was wondering when I was going to get to the Robert Fripp music I had promised. Well, here it is. These are two of my all-time favorite guitarists. Summers' subtle, coloristic style creates a perfect counterpoint to Fripp's frontal, almost mercurial lead. I picked this one because it represents something quite different from both Fripp's solo ambient experimentations and the prog-metal expressionism of the best (read: mid-1970s) King Crimson music. It also allows the listener to hear the true beauty of Summers' playing when he's not under the shadow of Sting or standing on top of the very present drumming of Stewart Copeland. See if you can spot my channeling of these two on the original music CD.

  7. Wilco, "Ashes of American Flags".

    I picked this one after I saw the band's documentary, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, which I recommend even if you are not a Wilco fan. This is the soundtrack to driving home after a shitty gig at a dive bar somewhere, giving up 8 hours of your time to have fun for 40 minutes and feeling exhausted from the lack of a proper dinner, hauling all your own gear around, and putting up with the Queen of the Harpies who booked you in the first place. I'm sure we can all relate to that, or at least those of us who have played in bands can. All that aside, it's pretty interesting sonically, as most of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is, and that electric guitar line gets me every time.

  8. Augustus Pablo, "Jah Dread".

    There seems to be somewhat of an interest in dub music here in Waldo Land, so I thought I'd include some. Pablo was not only a fine producer, he was quite the melodica player as well, as we'll hear. Jah is my light and my salvation, and Jah apparently likes tape echo too. So does Lee Perry, and so does Ted Leo, and so do a lot of people, but that's not the point. This stuff influenced everyone from Joe Jackson to Shpongle, and with good reason. There's just so much you can do with it, and it's so very hypnotic. I love delays that never end, that just go on and on, my friend.

  9. The Bulgarian Women's Choir, "Polegnala e Toudora (Toudora's Dream)".

    What interests me most about this music is its history. One would think that such a singular sound would come from a unique, almost single-minded cultural heritage. Yet the fact is that Bulgarian folk music is just a mish-mosh of other folk musics from various occupants of the country over its history, and that nothing about it really rose directly from the native peoples' culture and traditions. This song reminds me of when I went to see the Choir in concert in 1994. They opened with this one and I was simply blown away. Hearing it on CD now, it almost sounds like they are singing backwards in places, doesn't it? It certainly carries me back, but not to old Virginny. Maybe it will do this for John, because as far as I know, John never beats anyone. Okay I'll stop now.

  10. Stereolab, "Lock-Groove Lullaby".

    This is the closing track on Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements, as well as on this CD. I wanted this one because it is indeed a strangely lilting send-off, and it's one of the songs that got me to appreciate Mary Hansen. This was her first album with the band, and she is one of the reasons why they were one of the better bands in the 1990s. Her straight-ahead "la la" vocals contrast nicely with Laetitia Sadier's smooth yet uniquely prosodic delivery. Sadly, the 'Lab really hasn't been the same since Dots and Loops (or Aluminum Tunes if you're more forgiving), and if you ask me they shouldn't bother to continue without Mary Hansen's contributions. May she rest in peace and not be forgotten.

Well, there you have it. I hope you all enjoy the CD as much as I enjoyed creating it for you, outdated PC and picky CD burner be damned. I'll catch y'all on the flip side of this flapjack, ya heard me?

Thanks, Mike!

Current music: Eberhard Weber - "Colours of Chloë"

(Comments for June 18, 2003)

June 17, 2003 (link)

7:31 PM

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Mike V., the first-ever guest contributor to Eyes That Can See in the Dark. Mike -- also known as "Our Man in E3" and "The Choogler" -- will be contributing, in two installments, notes to accompany his new entry for the Waldo the Poodle CD Club, entitled Mad Change. For the sake of clarity, Mike's comments will be in this lovely shade of purple.

Without further ado:

"Mad Change" (Part 1):

  1. Talking Heads, "Born Under Punches".

    I recently heard a DJ on WPRB Princeton refer to early Talking Heads as "damaged art-punk". But what does one make of this - does the description fit? It's hard to tell, but I'm not going to lose any sleep trying to figure it out. I like this one because no one instrument really dominates the mix. Maybe it's just because Brian Eno is producing here, but everything is given equal space - until around 2:45 into the song, when that computer goes off like it's time to answer the phone, Jackson. Hold that thought - it's not a computer at all, just Adrian Belew doing what he does best, creating guitar-synth mayhem for all. Listen for the tape splice late in the song around 5:15 or so, after David Byrne's ironically timed line, "Don't you miss it".

  2. Neutral Milk Hotel, "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea".

    This has got to be the loudest acoustic guitar-driven album ever recorded, but music like this almost has to be frontal to be effective. I don't know what's so "soft and sweet" about this one, but I quite like it. I tend not to believe the hype when albums are so heavily praised, as this one was back in the hazy lazy days of 1997, but to quote Smooth Rich, "it's a good one." Plus, the woman on the album cover has a bodhran for a head, at least I think that's what it is.

  3. Broadcast, "Echo's Answer".

    Wow, three songs in a row that are in G. Sorry about that. Too bad for y'all. It's a beautiful song - comedown music even if you're not coming down from anything - Nancy Sinatra all glaze-eyed singing in an opium den somewhere. I remember back in the studio when Phil and I used to discuss their music. At the time, he couldn't get enough [Ed.: I have no memory of this...? -- pfs], so here's hoping that's true for all of us. Good news - these guys (and girl) are releasing a new album, supposedly in August. I was beginning to think it was all over.

  4. Brad Mehldau Trio, "Wave / Mother Nature's Son".

    Is THIS what passes for jazz nowadays? Apparently. This album, Largo, is a lot more studio-ized than I like my jazz music to be, but somehow it works, at least for me. It is chock full of double drum tracks, prepared piano a-la John Cage, pianos and synths played through Leslie speakers at top volume, and even an arrangement of Radiohead's "Paranoid Android". Since jazz is all about playing in and being in the moment, it all comes together on tracks like this - two traditional songs done not-so-traditionally. Plus, it's nice to hear Mehldau behind the vibes for a change.

  5. Silver Jews, "People".

    "Moments can be monuments to you, if your life is interesting and true." We all can learn a lesson from David Berman, the English-Professor-cum-Indie-rocker with a voice that sounds like he just got out of bed. I tend not to favor singers of this ilk, but I make an exception for this album, American Water. The songs are all well done, the lyrics are very clever, and there are some really nice lead guitar lines and harmony vocals from that guy who used to sing for Pavement.

  6. Can, "Moonshake".

    We all know how Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit can play "those funky beats in 7/8", to again steal a quote from Smooth Rich. But let's NOT forget bassist / founder Holger Czukay's ability to carry a song with his one-note bass lines. 95 % of the time, he plays the low E, sometimes mixing in an A over top of it. I think he might play a G once too. Whatever. Can from 1970-73 is as good as it gets if you ask me.

  7. Tortoise, "The Taut and the Tame".

    I offer a salute to the bearers of the post-rock banner. This song is so quirky and percussive, yet inherently melodic, and it even rocks a little, like the Stevie Nicks album of the same name, but not really. Dig the hi-pass filter on those drums. I turn into music-geek jelly when I hear stuff like that. There's a lot going on here actually - plenty of good things to digest all around. John McEntire certainly knows what he's up to, or at least he did when he was working on this album.

  8. Mary Timony, "The Dryad and the Mule".

    Ewwwww, what's this girly stuff doing here? Sorry folks, I dig MT's seamless blend of faerie imagery and streetwise sass. Let's not forget those minor seconds during the wordless chorus. I don't know how she does it, but she does, and she has been doing it since Helium. If youse guys are interested in her solo material, I'd sooner recommend the spare Mountains over The Golden Dove, from which this track was excerpted, but to each his own. I don't have to say "his or her own" here because we are all guys in Waldo's Sausage Party, but maybe I should. Or maybe I should just shut my yapper.

Stay tuned for Part Two, coming soon!

Current music: Anthony Braxton - News From the '70s

(Comments for June 17, 2003)

June 16, 2003 (link)

9:15 PM

The song SomaFM is currently playing, "Saru / Greg Long Remix - Something Stronger Remix", nicks its guitar line from Talk Talk's "Taphead". Intentional homage, unconscious plagiarism, or deliberate theft? Does Mark Hollis know, I wonder? It could even be sampling, but it didn't sound like it, though the pitch content was the same (it wasn't transposed).

8:36 PM

I had thought that if I checked enough of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, I would find one for Secretary that would sum up my opinion of the movie well enough so that I could just link to it, rather than bother writing a review of my own. Alas, none of them were quite what I was looking for -- they were all off the mark in one detail or another. So:

Secretary is very, very bad -- terrible, even. For starters, the pacing is absolutely glacial. If you've seen Eyes Wide Shut, you'll remember how it seemed as though the movie's 3-hour length was attained by having Tom Cruise repeat every line anyone said to him at half-speed ("Would you like fries with that, sir?" "Would...I...like...fries with...that?"). In Secretary, they pad what should have been a 30-minute short -- at most! -- into a 2-hour ordeal by, among other things, putting long, pregnant pauses before almost every line. I've read the short story on which Secretary was based, and from my recollection it was brief, to-the-point, and was reasonably tightly written. The film is anything but. It takes meager material and stretches it to the point where you find yourself -- I found myself -- wanting to bang your head against the nearest surface, moaning, "Make it stop!" (Lest you accuse me of having a short attention span, this is coming from someone who counts Heaven's Gate, Breaking the Waves and A Town Like Alice among his favorite movies -- hardly quick flicks!)

On top of that, the movie is unbelievably heavy-handed, with almost every plot point and pivotal moment delivered with the subtlety of the proverbial sledgehammer. Again, I'm reminded of Eyes Wide Shut: is there some rule that says that movies about kinky sex have to be mind-numbingly tedious and maddeningly obvious at every opportunity? (Perhaps the respective directors have some unconscious Puritan desire to punish us, and themselves, as spectators to deviance.) It's not "hot" or "edgy" or "sexy" or "provocative", it's just dull, painfully so. Maggie Gyllenhaal's performance is certainly the best in the movie, but isn't enough to come close to redeeming it. James Spader looks like he's having a ball in his role as the sadistic attorney, but hams it up far too much for us to take him, or the character, seriously. The film telegraphs its intention to be a black comedy fairly early on -- unlike Eyes Wide Shut, whose classification is still unclear to me -- but it's far too self-aware and smirky to be at all engaging. (The score is particularly unimpressive -- as I recall, most of the time it amounted to an aural elbow-in-the-ribs, "nudge-nudge, wink-wink, know-what-I-mean?" sort of thing.)

And while the film's subject matter doesn't bother me at all -- different strokes for different folks, as it were -- there are a few scenes that are genuinely unpleasant to watch, not so much because of what is taking place as because of the callous way in which it's handled (which is one problem, at least, which Eyes Wide Shut didn't have, inasmuch as it was too ridiculous to ever be particularly disturbing). And like Todd Solondz's films, Secretary fails to justify its own unpleasantnesses in any kind of viable dramatic context, so that moments such as these end up being little more than nuggets of poison drifting in a vast sea of "So what?" (One example: the offhand, almost casual cruelty of the final scene between Lee and Peter.)

Some critics panned the movie because, I suspect, they were offended by its mainstreaming of S & M. Others seem to have made the mistake of generalizing the movie's premise, accusing it of having an anti-feminist agenda (an accusation I think is basically unfounded). You can skip this movie for either or both of those reasons if you like, but I think my reason is much better: it's tedious, way overlong, and a waste of two hours of your time. Avoid it.

Current music: SomaFM's Groove Salad

(Comments for June 16, 2003)

June 13, 2003 (link)

12:19 PM

One of the nicer iTunes random play moments I've heard in a while:

From the ending of Monteverdi's "Ave Maris Stella"1 -- leaving me thinking "What in the world could follow that up?" -- into Low's "Sea", perhaps the only thing that could follow it up successfully.

1(a different version from the one I put on the Ciphered Mix 6.3 CD)

Current music: Pink Floyd - "Echoes", live at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, MI, Oct. 28, 1971

(Comments for June 13, 2003)

June 12, 2003 (link)

5:21 PM

Ten musical instruments I would like to own, in no particular order:

  1. A Fender Rhodes electric piano
  2. A cornett (cornetto)
  3. A Realistic MG-1
  4. A tenor recorder
  5. A vibraphone
  6. A flugelhorn (I used to have one, but I sold it to Nat)
  7. That big boomy $140 Ugandan drum in 10,000 Villages
  8. A valve trombone
  9. A tenoroon (not that I'd have any idea how to play it)
  10. A (high-quality) melodica

Of course, they're not the only instruments I'd like to own, but it'd make for a very good start. Anyone want to buy me one of these?

Reading this guy's comment makes me want to break things:

No, it is not legal to make and distribute (not for personal profit), to [your] friends and non-commercially, "mix CDs" that contain compilations of music from my personal collection. Individuals are not permitted to make copies of their copyrighted recordings and distribute them to others without permission from the copyright owner. Whether or not you do it for free or for profit is irrelevant; the impact on the copyright owner is the same, they do not have the ability to sell their artistic work to others because they have received an unauthorized free copy.

I worry that I'm getting a bit paranoid whenever I contend that the RIAA and MPAA would gladly turn the world into a police state in order to safeguard their profits -- but when I read something like this, well...! Even if you set aside the fact that this guy's point of view (which can be more fully apprehended if you read some of his other comments in the article) would be totally toxic and horrible if it were ever enacted and enforced on a large scale, there still remains the mindboggling failure to acknowledge what ought to be acknowledged by a "Having said that..." at the beginning of the next paragraph: mix CDs generally don't keep people from buying music, they encourage people to do so, and are beneficial to artists! I can't tell you how many bands I've looked into, and whose albums I've purchased, as a result of hearing a track by them on a tape or CD made for me by a friend. Off the top of my head: A Tribe Called Quest, the Legendary Jim Ruiz Group, Slowdive, the Velvet Underground, G. Love and Special Sauce, Jaco Pastorius, Pizzicato Five. And that doesn't count the friends who've taped full albums for me, or the albums I've borrowed and taped or MP3'd -- not to mention all the music I've turned others on to, with mixtapes I've made for them! (It's true that there are albums I'm not going to buy because I know I've got the only track from it I want. But you know what? If an artist puts out an album with only one good track, they don't deserve $9.99, let alone $17.99: they "do not have the ability to sell their artistic work to others" because their album sucks.)

Anyway, this is an old and boring rant which one can find in a thousand other places on the Internet, so I'll stop. But I will say this -- I'm glad I haven't been buying any major-label CDs lately. (And on that subject: I just bought Pinback's self-titled -- finally! -- and Surface of Eceon's The King Beneath the Mountain. Plus, I was kindly given a copy of Can's Ege Bamyasi, which is the first Can album I've owned and another example of how MP3 downloading -- and CD borrowing! -- leads to album sales, if the music is good.)

So, to the abovelinked gentleman, I say this: if your heart is motivated by malice and greed, and not by simple ignorance, then may Waldo, Grand Prince of Poodles, pee on all your Nintendo controllers literal and metaphorical -- and may his full-throated barks wake you two hours ere you're ready to rise, leaving you red of eye and weary of spirit -- until you repent of your disingenuous ways.

Current music: Erguner Brothers - "Makam Saba" (from The Mystic Flutes of the Sufis: Preludes to Ceremonies for Whirling Dervishes)

(Comments for June 12, 2003) (5 comments so far)

June 5, 2003 (link)

11:27 PM

(What's that you say? What the world needs right now is a new song-poem review? Why, I couldn't agree more!)

"My Husband, Lover, Friend", lyrics by Mary Bolton, sung by Bobbi Blake.

Hi, I'm four-bars-in-G-major, and I'll be your intro tonight! Our specials are piano, guitar, bass, and drums. We're also offering bad canned string sounds, but they're only available one note at a time, apparently.

My husband, lover, friend
On him I can always depend

Ah, Bobbi Blake, there's no one quite like you. I'll take you over Kay Weaver any day. I picture B.B. as looking something like Florence Henderson -- or with a similar haircut, anyway -- though I'm not sure why.

He can be so very nice
That I feel like sugar and spice

Rumor has it that women are made of such things, but I wouldn't know, being made of snips and snails, myself. (Who thought up that miserable, sadistic nursery rhyme, anyway?)

But just one glance can turn me to ice
Makes me feel like the hiding mice

As the background singers come in behind her -- "oooooh, oooooh" -- Bobbi Blake sings this last line with a hint of insouciance, a mischievous half-smile, emphasizing and accenting the consonants in "makes me feel". And you think, OK, he's got a dark side, but with a happy beat like this, with Bobbi Blake's sunny voice, surely we're not going to turn this into another "Total Woman", are we? Oh, just you wait...

I love him so very much
There are times him I just can't touch
The bruises on my eyes and nose
They go all the way to my toes

What can you say to that, really? (Other than "Them's some big bruises, ma'am.")

Times when I could yell and shout
Call the police and get him thrown out

One hopes that, if this song is at all autobiographical -- which, to be fair, it might well not be -- Mary Bolton eventually figured out that the second of those is a Very Good Idea.

Then a shadow crosses my face

Yeah, like the shadow of him coming towards you with an axe, lady?

I know no one could ever take his place
That's when I thank the Lord above

Do I detect a note of self-aware irony when Bobbi Blake sings the end of that line? I can't imagine she'd be oblivious to the completely shpxrq-hc lyrical content of this song, after all. I don't know whether she wrote the music, which does a little sappy/hokey thing on "the Lord above" -- the vocal melody slows down to half-notes in a kind of faux-reverential hymn thing -- but I'm tempted to hear a nudge in the ribs in the way she phrases it, a sort of deliberately excessive treacly-ness to indicate that she, at least, realizes that thanking God for an abusive husband is one of the more egregious lyrical travesties ever committed to any vinyl (let alone song-poem vinyl).

For I still have someone to love

Oh, c'mon -- get a puppy, lady!

I have thoughts of my own, that's true

(God forbid.)

But I try not to act like a shrew

Lots of small-rodent comparisons in this song-poem. ("My husband's heart is black as coal / Which makes me feel just like a vole!")

He has the thoughts of those

I might have this line wrong, or it could just be typical song-poem malapropistry. Who knows.

But when I need comfort from my woes
It's my husband, lover, friend
On whom I can always depend

We're not just listening to a battered woman making justifications for her husband's abusive behavior. We're not even just listening to a battered woman writing an apologia for her abusive husband in the form of song lyrics. That would be over-the-top enough, but no: we're listening to a battered woman who wrote song lyrics about her abuse -- lyrics that excuse her husband's behavior -- and then sent them in and paid a hundred bucks to have them set to music! To quote JDR, "that's just out of hand."

When we reach those pearly gates
I sure hope God chooses us for mates

(I don't think there is any mating in heaven. Do people in heaven even have genitals?)

There's a sound buried somewhere in the background here -- or maybe it's just an artifact of the MP3 encoding -- that sounds remarkably like a modem dialing in to the Internet, and makes me do a (small) double-take whenever I hear it.

And just to emphasize the complete INSANITY of that last line -- yay, spending eternity with one's abuser! -- they sing it once more, rubato, to end:

I sure hope God chooses us for mates

Good night, Mary Bolton, wherever you are.

Current music: I try not to act like a shrew.

(Comments for June 5, 2003)


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Euripides I, ed. Richmond Lattimore and David Grene

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Fires on the Plain, Shohei Ooka


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