Tuesday, May 18, 2010

among the English

John Fahey, Live in Tasmania (1981, Rhapsody)
Barry Hannah, Airships (1978, Amazon)
The Real Housewives of New Jersey (2010, Bravo!)
Henry Cowell, New Music: Piano Compositions By Henry Cowell (1999, Rhapsody)

Bare and quivering one and all, but particularly salient to this fine morning is...

♫ John Fahey, "Fahey Establishes Rapport with the Tasmanians" (Rhapsody)

and an emu sighted from the bus at the Global Wildlife Center. I like how short these Barry Hannah stories all are in Airships; you can just about read one in the time it takes to get hit in the face. Also, Henry Cowell strategically eviscerating a piano for the purposes of releasing ghosts does the trick. I recognize that my trick is a weird one.

Henry Cowell, The Banshee, horror movie style

My wife and I both grew up with Amish/Mennonites/German Baptist semi-separatist sects in our midst and I don't really entertain the moony notions of their vowed simplicity. My memories of the Amish involved them standing barefoot in my aunt's kitchen to use the phone or young gorgeous couples looking each like a nervously pre-coital young Abe Lincoln and the Swiss Miss girl, riding up in a buggy to get some of the ice cream they kept in her deep freeze - an ice cream truck broke down once out near their enclave and they hurriedly gathered up the melting bounty and brought it over for safekeeping - and peek in at the TV through the screen door. This is what they did on dates until the buggy's got to rockin' in the Missouri dark. Like most people, I liked them much more for their hypocrisies than I do for their principles.

But the term they have for consorting with the outsiders - being out among the English - I like very much. I feel like I am cautiously trespassing on English territory a lot of the time. "Be careful out there among the English," is a running gag in our house, and I'm making a conscious effort to quit watching for the whites of their eyes and instead be thankful there is at least buggy parking at the coffee shop.

This is a rather inspiring number.

♫ Henry Cowell, "Exultation" (Rhapsody)

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