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2017 11 21 I have had music obsessions throughout my life, wonderful, I’m blessed. Not just Miles, not just Brubeck; I’ll submerge into Wagner, not come up for days: ragas! Ravi, and others: used to drive my wife out of the house: she liked Ravi, a little Ravi; not continuous Ravi. Well, the last several days I’ve had a fixation I wouldn’t have predicted: Ravel: Bolero. I’ve always loved it, got a kick out of 10; but now I’m wrapped and folded with it.
Not too long ago I wrote to bk, “Music is counting”.
Music is counting
Boy, is Bolero counting! All those threes! and twos! and fours!
All those sexy simultaneous counting.
pk’s Pop Weasel
Not long ago I was loving Billie Holliday again, out loud, and Astrud Gilberto: well, the last few days I’ve been binging on Blondie, with Debbie Harry.
Is that girl cute? and mischievous? Adorable, and her voice is unique: and the stylistic oxymoron she establishes on Heart of Glass bewteen the blatant disco drive and her litte-girl-lost voice, her innocent sweet face and her Marilyn Monroe whoreishness. Jeez, she channels bleached MM at her absolutely most fuckable.
I’m telling you, that breast is perfect. Don’t tell me she’s a little flat; she’s perfect. Audacious. She knows where her boob is, she know where we are, and she gives it to us! a queen.
2017 01 10 A music provider at the American Legion (terrible, painful) played the Supremes while on break. He should have stayed on break and just played good Motown. Diana Ross, another one of the great ones.
Billie’s still the greatest: unbelievable sexy timbre, rhythm as subtle and commanding as Miles’ (Sinatra’s in the same ballpark), but great, profound, tragic; not just Billie’s Blues, but Strange Fruit: Strange fruit hanging from the poplar tree.
Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson
I love to do the Amos Moses line dance, I love to teach it. The bands at the AmLeg typically don’t know Amos Moses but they’ll play other funky hits that work perfectly well: Play that Funky Music, White Boy: and Uptown Funk.
I danced Amos Moses to Uptown Funk a dozen times before I ever realized what the lyrics were. That song is funny!
Ain’t No Sunshine, Bill Withers
So how come I never noticed Bill Withers till just a couple of months ago? Great voice, nice timber, got the complexity just right.
He expected to add more lyrics, take the song somewhere; his band told him to leave it alone. Right.
Romantic Mis ID
20216 07 29 The movie Winters Tale has a good to irresistible cast but avoid it anyway, at all costs, stupid behond offence: I’ll illustrate in a moment. The girl plays the piano: vigorously, histrionically. Somebody says “Brahms”. I think, I know that piece: it’s schmaltz, but it doesn’t sound like Brahms to me. So I make a mental note to watch the credits, wait patiently for the music credits, find out what Brahms that is. Once upon a time I could identify major works after one or two notes; not anymore, my vinyl sits here unplayed, my system not set up: once I listened; these days these few decales, I do my pown playing (and it’s never Brahms.) So: the credits roll, I read, patienty, and there’s only one candidate: Khachaturian! Masquerade Suite. Why would the script say Brahms? If the script said Brahms, why didn’t they use some Brahms? Or why not say Khachaturian?
I could go to a music streamer and request Khachaturian’s Masquerade Suite, but I think I’ll leave it rest as is.
Jennifer Connolly! Colin Farrell! Russel Crowe! They weren’t enough. They helped the movie “look” good: Connolly is amazing amazing, riveting, can’t detach yourself, so beautiful, such soul. But it’s theology / cosmology is nitwit offensive: The narrator, female voice wonders, leading, “What if the universe loves each of us equally”?
Arguing for existential equality: everyone has a unique purpose, and each such purpose is the eqal of any other. In other words, Jew is just as important as Hitler, but Hilter is just as important as the Jew! God help us.
2016 07 14 Two and a half decades ago I (crash)landed in Sebring. I offered my parttime services to the local library: got worshipped then assaulted by the other workers, communication, as usual, was impossible; still I frequented the library. It had a pretty good small town science fiction section, and some strength in media other than books. I borrowed a stack of music from around the world CDs and so discoverd some really great artists I’d had no idea of. Far and a way my favorite was Kaissa, from the Cameroons, living on the lower east side of NYC. I copied her couple of recorded songs to hard drive and saturated myself with Kaissa.
great singer, Cameroons
The FBI sandbagged me in 2006. I’d tempted arrest in a plea for help. I got the opposite of help: but it helped: in jail I was fed, had a roof. I froze but not quite to death. Out a year later I got a social worker, the social worker saw I needed to get laid, told me about a senior dance: I went, I met a dozen, two dozen, widows, I couldn’t afford to care if they were 90, my Catherine, RIP, had been 90 … The dance invited me to teach the line dancing, then made me director of all dancing, and I constantly played the line dance CD I’d prepared for the classes: there was no room for Kaissa on the CD, and I would have been tarred and feathered if I’d put Kaissa on that album: her music is rhythmic, brilliant, complex; these were rednecks, they couldn’t even waltz, no matter what I “taught” them.
Anyway, time passes, now it’s summer 2016, and I’m listening to Kaissa again.
I don’t know what languages are native to the Cameroons, but I swear, Kaissa makes me feel as though I understand them! I can’t translate a worl, not a syllable, but I feel that fairly thorough communicaiton is taking place! God bless Kaissa. In some ways she’s even greater than Aretha! Aretha is singing in a kind of English, we all know at least part of it. No, Kaissa is African!
2014 09 02 I was aware of Michael Jackson and his family when he was very young in the same way that I’d been aware of Sammy Davis, Jr.: from TV, great dancer, could sing a little … But, the music, the songs that became the Michael Jackson the world knew; everyone knew it except me. I seek music I already know — I’d buy new Miles, I’d buy new Bach if there was any. On the other hand if music reaches out to me from the public world, if I hear a snatch of radio … or, if someone shoves something at me and I respond, why then, sure, I go out of my way to hear more: Mozart is great? OK, give me more.
But time came and went and nothing, zero, of Michael Jackson reached me: until the late 1990s when my son gave me a videoplayer and I rented a cassette of Michael Jackson best hits. Whoop, now I’m a believer. It still had nothing to do with “song”, with music per se. The dancing arrested me, ravished me. I watched it over and over. The “music” served to provide a chart for the dancing, the “singing” was just rhythmic noise. One of the numbers was called Billie Jean. Now, decades later, I’m at the dance, Jan is in Nova Scotia, I’m dancing with a woman with a pleasant bosom I hadn’t known, and she goes, Ooo, as a new number comes on: “Ooo, Michael Jackson …” and I realize, it’s that Billie Jean … and suddenly I’m ravished: and it isn’t even Michael Jackson playing: some klutz is doing it as an instrumental: a “classic” I realize.
Yesterday I go online to fetch the lyrics. Even with repetitions on the video the “words” had been incomprehensible to me: would I have “understood them in 1954? or 1984? 1996, 2014 is too late, my senses have gone kablooie, but not my mind: at least not as much. So: I realize, Michael Jackson is telling some groupie that her kid isn’t his.
Uh, wait a minute: millions of people, hundreds of millions of people, all over the world, have been hearing this, over and over … and does anyone actually believe that Michael Jackson, the greatest dancer since Fred Astaire, one of the great dancers ever, slept with a girl?! This girl thought that Michael Jackson slept with her? sired a child? ???
I’d presumed even once a fan that his family had chemically castrated him so his voice would remain a child’s.
Then I heard somebody marvel that his voice was mature, young? I don’t get it: we don’t live in the same world.
2012 12 04I say, I repeat, God, how I’ve repeated: music is my life. Or it was: poverty militates against any interest, getting old and going deaf definitely hinders one’s musical appreciation.
It’s a shame I live in a society where I hate most of the music easily available for listening: radio, TV, elevators … As a kid, selection seemed easy: if I didn’t put it on the record player, I didn’t hear it. But then we started having music imposed on us, music there was no escaping: and that music was routinely politically and culturally offensive: I’d bend over backwards trying to get my friends to appreciate this or that by Satchmo, or Kid Ory, or Benny Gooodman, or Bird, getting no where, having the geniuses insulted if they were black, myself getting called “N- Lover” by guys I thought were friends … and suddenly they were all gaga over Elvis. [Bowdlerizing K., 2016 08 03 Offensive terms go dosido in fashion. Elvis was good, but he came from a tradition where he was a current example, not God the Father. Does anyone who’s been deaf to God have the right to be suddenly avid for Jesus?
Anyway, when I feel like a blab on music, I’ll add it here. What makes me launch the file today was a sudden yearning to hear Sally Go Round the Roses, by the Jaynetts, from the early 1960s. Maybe it’s because I just scribbled something about the Supremes: same era.
Maybe you recognize from other music comments I’ve made, I love antiphony, I love polyphony.
I’ve been listening and dancing to Marc Anthony’s I Need to Know for a few years now: Sally Go Round the Roses kind of relates to that, doesn’t it?
Dancing reminds me: Carole, my best alternate dance partner ever, and I have been having a great time at the hall dancing the line dance Amos Moses to any funk. I chart the steps at my LineDanceAlliance.
These days anyone online with a speedly machine can go to spotify.com and request nearly anything. Waynos from Chili are so far the only music I’ve requested and not gotten there. Check spotify.com to hear Jerry Reed play and sing Amos Moses. Terrific song, wonderful dance. You gotta be an acrobat though, a rhythmic acrobat. I’ve shown the dance to several classes. After a few measures, Joyce, who taught it to me, and I are doing it, everyone else is floundering. Carole and I do it, no one else tries following.
I sure wish my main dance partner could try, but Jan’s not sure of her balance anymore, simply won’t line dance. With Carole and me on both sides of her, Jan should try: cautiously.
2013 02 22 These days Carole and I dance Amos Moses regularly, typically getting the band to do Play That Funky Music, White Boy, no one knowing Amos Moses, and, familiar now, lots of gals do get up and try to dance it with us. I can’t say any have succeeded yet, but several try gloriously.
Jan bailed out of the Mission Impossible flick the other night, the first Hollywood version, she hates Tom Cruise, doesn’t think he’s half as good looking as her son, Scott — maybe that was half-true decades ago, but not recently, and Tom beefed up, hasn’t bloated out. So I watched the rest alone, enjoyed the hell out of it, especially the music, taking me back:
One great thing about living in famous cross-roads — New York, Manhattan, Times Square, Greenwich Village … Hollywood, Paris … is the whole world comes to you. Charlie Parker wasn’t from New York, Miles wasn’t from New York … Fellini wasn’t from New York, but sit still, and you can see them there: regularly, or at least occasionally. And I’ll never forget seeing Dizzy for the zillionth time, around 1959, could have been at the Village Gate? maybe? And Dizzy said, “I want to feature my new piano player,” and a curtain was opened, and there, at the piano, sat Lalo Schifrin! and he played a let-thy-right-hand-not-know-what-thy-left-hand-is-doing solo that had the jernt gasping.
Years later I saw Schifrin in another context, also New York though, and he played the Mission Impossible theme, first time I ever heard it, I don’t think it had been released via TV yet. Hang around a big cross-roads and you get to hear and see lots of previews, ahead of the rest of the world.
I’ve never seen him where he didn’t zow me, but never more than that first time with Dizzy.
El Condor Pasa
We all know Paul Simon is a treasure-bearing musician, right? Last night I dragged myself through Wild, El Condor Pasa on the sound track. I had multiple chances to see Simon and Garfunkel in the early ’60s, they sang regularly at parties in the Columbia architecture school, my buddy attending. I never took those chances, I was trying to concentrate on my studies: but the chances were there. What I did do, hour after hour, day after year was listen to Folkways records of music from around the world. I listened to Ravi Sankar for days on end, my wife ready to scream. Ilisted to Peruvian waynos for hour after hour. Episodic but hypnotic. And only last night I realized how Peruvian El Condor Pasa is. Only this morning, following up on talk of a law suit, I read up on Simon and the Perusians: the South American guy Simon met in Paris inherited a patent on the song from his father. Good Simon shared the income: but, everyone should acknowledge: “composed” or not, El Condor Pasa is pure folk music: every dyed-in the-wool Peruvian should get “credit”; or, no one should get credit: just thank life, evolution, the universe, God. Meantime, nice that Paul Simon made out.
(I used to see Garfunkel on Madison Avenue all the time. I ran a gallery, he prowled.)