How Humilifying

/ Music&Art /

Ghetto Digitizers

I scribbled something yesterday that scanned a bunch of subjects I insist are important, but hate what I did. So: I delete it from where I put it, read it in here: budgeting time to rewrite:

2015 07 14 draft Howard Street Cadillac
I don’t know enough music history or MIDI history for absolute confidence in the details of the following points, but try to follow the point regardless:
Jan and I watched a great deal of Wimbledon this past fortnight: there was a Cadillac ad shown again and again. Distinctive city facades were shown, some with gleaming fire-escapes. A Caddy was intercut, parked on the cobblestones. The sound track set up a

beat beat

soon followed by a

1 3 4

A street sign established itself. After several repetitions I finally saw it: Howard Street.
“Howard Street”, I said to Jan. “Is that New York? San Francisco? Chicago?”
After dozens of repetitions, the cutting very fast, I was finally able to guess at the cross street: Crosby Street.
The music continued, same syncopation: except: the ad climaxes with a delay, let’s say a 1/32nd delay added at 4.
And I reflected:
America has led music in the Twentieth Century (and what we’d got so far of the Twenty-First: and black music makers have led American music: traditionally without acknowledgment. Today there’s a zillion multi-millionaire black musicians; but their acknowledgment is hardly full-throated.
Now: who set up that simple little pattern for the Cadillac ad agency? I don’t know; but: I bet it was a rapper. Or a hip hop guy. And I bet it was a guy, not a gal.
When I was a kid jazz ravished me. I quickly realized that the guys I most worshipped were at least partly of the despised race: Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory. I realized that my family, my neighbors honored those geniuses onl reluctantly and only a little bit: and not voluntarily: resentful. And when I did acknowledge them, I was despised, cast out, penalized. My friends called me “n- lover”. “NL” for short.
(2016 07 31 I guess what that really means is that I didn’t have any real friends.)

May, college was a relief, it got me away from my friends. Bless me, I made new friends: Columbia was full of guys who loved what I loved: and who could play! They too had problems at home, so more and more, we didn’t go home!

Now: there’s more than one thing that separated me from my original “peers”: my religion didn’t match my home church’s religion, my god wasn’t their god: but, my new friends honored the same god, or almost the same god: some essentials in common.

Now: my friends wanted to study music: they played music, good jazz: they wanted to study it. But jazz wasn’t taught at Columbia: they were compelled to study musicology!

There were no points given for playing a good twelve bars of the blues; there were points given for listing the complex rhythm mixes used by Stravinsky.
In time I gave up more and more of my friends, my church … My new friends could conduct The Firebird, gloss right through the complexities, but they were musicians, they got something out of it; I was just a fan: a spender, not an earner: nothing reimbursed. Then, we I was fired illegally from my teaching post in 1969, when my PhD orals committee outright interrupted my exposition, I realized I’d never find fair play, I’d always be interrupted: the society 100% dishonest at core.

At home, in the dorm, I’d listen to Lenny Tristano mix tracks, live playing over recorded playing, and more live playing on top of a recorded of the previous mixes. I listened to it, I loved it, but I had no way of talking about what he’d done: and the musicology professors didn’t seem to know, or value, that he’d done it.

So: education was a fraud where for survival you had to learn something of the truth, and for income you had to master a web of falsehoods: you had to learn to distinguish the right answer from the true answer.
So: the technology changed: ghetto kids mastered it. Now the music teachers work for the ghetto kids. And Cadillac, if they want to get the attention of the middle class spenders, have to attract the masons and the bricklayers without the masons and the bricklayers knowing how it’s being done, what’s attracting them.

If I’m right, if Cadillac hired the ghetto kid, and the ghetto kid made a hundred million dollars from that and other ads, and the bricklayer found out about it, Cadillac would get tarred and feathered.

Vince Clarke constructs his music on analog computers (not digital!) And maybe some Cadillac money has found its way into his studio. But Cadillac has always marketed a huge number of cars to the ghetto. White people spend on their house, then on their car; the black people spend on their car; they can’t afford a house.

Out of gas, I was picked up one night on the Meadowbrook Parkway and driven to the gas station by a couple of black guys in a limousine. The driver drove; the passenger sat in the back where a throne replaced the back seat. Theye seemed to be just driving around, enjoying the throne! I bet they took turns! Hey, you’ve been king for two hours now: it’s my turn.

I now realize that Howard and Crosby Streets are only a couple of blocks from where I had my office at 225 Lafayette Street, Little Italy, just above Canal Street.

<img alt="225 Lafayette Street
225 Lafayette Street
thanx New York Post

My gallery was down Spring Street, at West Broadway: SOHO. My office was almost SOHO. I explored the neighborhood through Little Itally, to Chinatown, over the Brooklyn Bridge: and west to SOHO; but I doubt that I’ve ever set foot on Howard Street, or Crosby Street. Though Bleeker Street I know intimately, of old. The three are stiched by the Bleeker Street subway line! I gotta check: izat come from New Jersey?

a minute later: Uh, I’m so humiliated: that’s my building! and now I think that’s the building the Caddy ad opens with! They showed my building: and I wondered if it was San Francisco! On the way out, I’m glad I won’t live much longer.

prod me if I don’t rewrite soon

pk Stories Social, Hierarchical
by Age by Theme by Others Institutional Stories

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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