Sopranos’ Loop

/ Letters /

I share an email to bk:
2014 09 21

Re: Sop: Re: Teo’s Miles: That Howlin Wolf sample of Woke Up gets into your brain marrow: I’m being mechanically haunted by a Vince Clarke moment from Erasure: except Vince uses perpetually new sounds; Woke Up, like so much else, cycles and recycles.

I first heard a recorded loop from Lennie Tristano in the 1950s, drove me nuts. I was listening to a record, I understood that; but here was a record of a record of a record: Lennie playing timeO with Lennie playing timeN, with timeM.

Will the robot messages crowd out the human voice altogether?
If it’s Miles, and Teo, and Agharta I don’t mind: Miles IS the human voice.

I’ll be back to translate, expand, expound.
First, Key:

Sop Sopranos, TV
Teo Teo Macero, music theorist, Columbia’s recording genius, a major inventor of the part of “electronic” music that the public loved, not the part it hated.
Miles Miles Davis, specifically the “electronic” Miles of 1970s … from Bitches Brew onwards
Howlin Wolf seminal blues singer and guitar player, another Source
Woke Up Woke Up This Morning / Got Myself a Gun: theme music from Sopranos
Vince Clarke founder, owner, fountain of Erasure (Note: Erasure is all analogic computer-generated unique sounds assembled digitally: like making an animation purely out of created pixels
Agharta Agharta is a Miles Davis album: Columbia recorded material from a concert, Teo took the material into an editing room and emerged months later with Agharta!
Lennie Tristano was a “far out” jazz pianist, an innovator who played with time in recordings: playing, recording, playing back, playing with the playback … loop and loop.

Couple of hours later I think I’ll scroll a scrapbook below, noting things to commend in the Sopranos.
bk recommended the show, I watched a few episodes, liked it well enough, now I’m starting over, and finding it offensive, with some brilliant exceptions.
1 the theme music, amazing unintelligible gospel crescendo, gibberish religion of violence: except it turns out the “got myself a gun” refers to a battered wife about to mortally end the battering, reversing it! That’s heavy.

I second bk’s point: It is the mafia, it ain’t the Godfather; Tony here in the opening loop is driving away from Manhattan, ioto Manhattan’s cess pit: New Jersey, he himself polluting as he goes, fat cigar. That is profound.
But: although this mafioso beats the shit out of people, we see that he’s sensitive, goes to a shrink! That along would have sent my geneartions and all generations before me scurrying to cover their ears, eyes, mouth … Tony says to his shrink, what happened to Gary Cooper, strong, silent. He didn’t bitch about his feelings, he did what a man has to do. Right. The plot is puke-worthy. Sure it ironic: not ironic enough. Tony hides his pussy side from his under goons. Damn right.

Tony does business from a porn bar: girls with bare tits and a cork in their ass shimmy on the stage, pussy, ass, tit everywhere you look. But Tony doesn’t look! Neither does the bartender, built like LeBron, tattoos just as repulsive, the bar tender is too busy not knowing how to use the phone (neither do I, and don’t want to, not that kind).
Tony’s talking about his unbearable mother, the naked girls come over to offer sympathy, Tony doesn’t look at them, answer them acknowledge them: scumbags in human (sort of human, human-gorilla) bodies.
Crime report: the bartender can’t use the phone, Tony whapps the thug with the phone, thug goes down; nudie strippers come over to look, wander back, resume shaking their tush … Fabulous!
Those poor whores, are there any customers ever in the bar, looking? ever?
Chris, the apprentice goon, Tony’s nephew smokes like a chimney while working out with the dumbbells! His girlfriend proves to have a supreme ass, as good as Jennifer Aniston.
There! how time flies! Everyone smokes! I’m re-watching in 2014, no one smokes! 1999, only fifteen years! antiquated!

Despite the selected praises, it’s still a sewer of unpleasant people doing unpleasant things, destroying the possibility of Christian civilization (if there is such a possibility) on their way to hell. Are we dragging along with them? I fear so.

Tony’s Ma gives everyone a pain in the ass: why doesn’t he just whack her? Turns out she’s a power in the mob herself, Uncle Junior listens to her.

Malapropisms
I love ’em, Sopranos has a few:

Tony looks queery-eyed at a pic on the shrink’s waiting room wall, figures it’s a kind of a Rorschach Test, says so: but he calls it a Korschach test, or was it Horschack, the kid from Kotter?
Tony refers to a Captain Teabe, one of his women had recently referred to Cap d”Antibes.
Here’s one that may just be a mistranscription in the subtitles: gal says picture reminds her of David Hockey — in the subtitles, but I heard what could have been the possibly correct “Hockney” on the sound track.

Tony’s daughter (never mind his fat son): see my piece Mafia Princess.
Rhythm breaks: it happens when I’m scribbling scrapbook style, it’s not linear writing.

pk Writing

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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