Thursday, January 21, 2010

you can walk, you can talk just like me

Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food (listen)
Wadada Leo Smith - Saturn, Conjunct The Grand Canyon In A Sweet Embrace

The camelias have arrived! Their whorl is a detonation against the brief but oppressive gray of the Southern winter.

I woke up with the opening of "Thank You For Sending Me an Angel" in my head, which is not a bad way to burst into a Thursday. I tried to match my strides to the bus stop with those of David Byrne's clipped observations. The vinyl sign on the gospel radio station. The hand painted banner above the tattoo place that says "Tattoo's and Piercing's." Some might be driven mad by such a thing but I find it charming, though I might think twice before getting a tattoo there.

I saw the bus reel past my stop as I was a block away but I figured fuck it, it's the first day in weeks I didn't need a sweater. A perfectly insouciant looking hard rock chick was at the stop with me with headphones on as well. On this bus we are all simultaneously united and girded by out little white headphones. David Byrne was going on about how the girls only want to talk to the girls and the boys only talk to the boys when I had an urge to ask her what she was listening to. Tune in and commune. I was imagining it was some bloodcurdling metal record that brought her succor in her morning trek.

Then she walked over to me and messed it up by complaining about how there were only two buses running on this route and how it made her late and one time I had to wait 45 minutes for- and I was tempted to interrupt with a little practice your can walk, you can talk just like me...

Jack Pendarvis has been on a Wadada Leo Smith kick at his "blog." Wadada is conversant music. There are gaps in the music you are forced to fill with the loose pieces from your own head. I completely concur with his assessment that "Twmukl-D" sounds like Webern.

Webern is so good. He is like the guy you know from the coffee shop that rants in mysterious tones about his inventions, their intricacy, how they line up with his sense of doing things right. Finally, you go to his little workshop behind his house to see it and it is a flimsy little contraption made out of a couple toothpicks, a small box and a lantern battery. It does not work or really do anything of discernible merit except express the longing of the inventor, which is invaluable.

Stravinsky said of Webern: Doomed to total failure in a deaf world of ignorance and indifference, he inexorably kept on cutting out his diamonds, his dazzling diamonds, of whose mines he had a perfect knowledge.

After the bus stop chick killed my high-on-life buzz, I switched over to the mutterings of Wadada's Saturn, Conjunct The Grand Canyon In A Sweet Embrace, less cerebral than Mr. Smith's Kabell Years, more interpersonal. The conversation Mr. Smith is having with Anthony Braxton is that among crazy coffee shop inventors, each applauding the other's impenetrable diagrams, trying to get my toothpicks to work with your lantern battery, grumbling in existential frustration, and bellowing "Yes!" when the damn thing starts working.

If you are still reading this, you are either a kind soul that listens patiently while a lunatic raves or are a big jazz nrrd and perhaps have a copy of the Thelonious Sphere Monk: Dreaming Of The Masters Vol.2 by Art Ensemble of Chicago with Cecil Taylor to which I could be pointed or made privy. That, my friend, is a record.

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