Monday, December 20, 2010

Ah, I don't like that other world!

Maya got very perturbed at a neighborhood potluck this weekend when some rowdy boy tossed a lighter into this fire. I heard her behind a slammed door exclaim to her compatriot girls, "That was so stupid!"

The Beatles, Magical Mystery Tour
Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Grand Isle (out in Feb. '11 - it is killer!)
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Terry Riley, Autodreamographical Tales
John Fahey, America
Charlemagne Palestine, Strumming Music for Piano, Harpsichord and Strings Ensemble
"In another world we shall understand it all," he said lightly.
"In another world! Ah, I don't like that other world! I don't like it," he said, letting his scared eyes rest on his brother's eyes. "Here one would think that to get out of all the baseness and the mess, one's own and other people's, would be a good thing, and yet I'm afraid of death, awfully afraid of death." He shuddered. "But do drink something. Would you like some champagne? Or shall we go somewhere? Let's go to the Gypsies! Do you know I have got so fond of the Gypsies and Russian songs."
His speech had begun to falter, and he passed abruptly from one subject to another. Konstantin with the help of Masha persuaded him not to go out anywhere, and got him to bed hopelessly drunk.
and shortly after
He took up his book again. "Very good, electricity and heat are the same thing; but is it possible to substitute the one quantity for the other in the equation for the solution of any problem? No. Well, then what of it? The connection between all the forces of nature is felt instinctively….
Anna Karenina is pretty good, yep. I laid the rest of the Beatles catalog - post Rubber Soul - on the wee Beatlemaniac and we are both drawn to Magical Mystery Tour, an album I never really think about when I Think Beatles. We talked this morning how weird "Only a Northern Song" is, how it all sounds "out of tune" in her words. She said she didn't like "Fool on the Hill." I said, " I think it's about Jesus, you know, how he was on the cross on the hi-" and she cut me off with my arms outstretched. "I know. I don't like to think about all that because I don't believe in it."

Her atheism is nothing new to us, nor is it particularly tied to ours - she acquired it naturally, on the street from her friends, where all the formative things are found. I wasn't sure whether her quick dismissal was because "I don't want it clouding my thinking" or "I'm choosing not to fool with such foolishness. I'll take my fairy tales as attractive teenage wizards, thank you very much." Either way, I approve. And I approve should she make an about face somewhere down the line and fall into Jesus' open arms. She's gonna fall into somebody's.

RIP Captain Beefheart. It was heartwarming (for some selfish reason) to find so much outpouring on the medias social about his passing. He was the good, weird America. Check him out phoning it in on the Hot Line for American Bandstand, circa 1966. Check out what I want America to look and sound like.

David Toub has some great advice with what to listen to today, so I'm following. Somewhere I have a story about visiting a shut-in in Los Angeles, a fellow music nerd that I didn't realize was a shut-in until I'd flown out there, playing Charlemagne Palestine for me. I was getting fed up with him, it was the third of a four-day visit and I was trapped in the house without a car finally reaching my saturation with listening to crazy records, so when Palestine's Strumming went on with deafening volume - it is just two notes repeated in succession forever - I'd had enough.

I walked out side with my last three cigarettes thinking what did I get myself into? How naive am I? Then I heard the record radiate from the house; not blare from it like party music but more like gamma radiation penetrating the walls out into the street, causing mutation in anyone out there except this was a quiet neighborhood in Torrance, CA  where no one was ever on the street, so I was this radiation's sole benefactor. Strumming is all overtones, much like my visit was and I realized it was all this guy was capable of. He had no melody, just sound bouncing off the walls hopefully turning into something. I let my cigarette drop in his yard, the yard he claimed he hadn't stepped in for six years, only leaving the house in the car from inside the garage, and opened the door to a deluge of overtone. The universe was being titrated through this record and hit me full force. 

Here is it with the composer realizing it for carillon. Thanks to the ever-informative Robert Gable at aworks for pointing me to this.

The John Fahey selection is just cuz.

John Fahey, "America"

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