Tuesday, May 29, 2007

First Baptist of Roxbury

The bluejay
to land
on the head of
the buddha.

he's studying
the yard
newly cut.

through dense trees I see
first baptist white spire
near the end
of the old post road.

wind in the trees

Theremin: Music of the Ether

Albert Glinsky biographer of Theremin had some bits to share on Christopher Lydon’s Open Source Radio show. Show includes music, and interviews with thereminists. Dapper Christopher cannot help but break up theremenist Pamelia Kurstein into charming giggles upon giggles.

Said Glinsky of the discovery .. Originally he was actually in a Soviet Laboratory about 1919. He was building a meter to measure gas density. And he put on some headphones and decided he would add a whistling tone that would change based on the density of the gas.

As he brought his hand closer to the device, the effect was like that which you can have today with an old rabbit ear antennae TV where the picture reception goes in and out as you assume different positions in the room. Based on your position in an electromagnetic field.

Now I'd heard that he was just listening to vaccuum tubes one day. Playing with the voltages or some similar.

Then he built an instrument just to make sounds. Started with a pedal and antenna. Then went to one vertical and one horizontal antennae.

They discuss the quality of the sound of the theremin .. noir, surreal narrative, vibrato, space exploration, drugged up, outside of time, high smaltz; portamento, little glissandos. The theremoan .. I guess I'd say it is like a violin on electricity.


Monday, May 28, 2007

It's rainin' inside a big brown moon

It's rainin' inside a big brown moon
How does that mess you baby up, leg
Eatin' a Reuben sandwich with sauerkraut
Don't stop now, baby, let it all hang out.

Billy Cunningham was in the Memphis band The Hombres when he wrote those lines. Ooops, no. Billy Cunningham was in the Memphis BoxTopss. But his brother B.B. was in the Hombres. To me, there could hardly be any bit of writing more in synch with the tenor of the Basement Tapes of Dylan and the Band.
Slipshot, off-the-hip, Boccaccioan. In tune with some eternal slapstick mode. Dylan and the Band were down in the basement in 1967 putting out similar. [Last time you said Rabelisian; what is with you?]

Sometimes I have wondered if Dylan didnt hear Let it all Hang it out when he was composing the Basement oevre. Griel Marcus focuses on 1967's Ode to Billie Joe by Bobby Gentry as the magnet that attacted Bob and the Band to revisit off-beat country talk songs [I am a Teenage Prayer, The AllAmerican BOy, Teen Angel .. well they didnt do Teen Angel..]. I guess the Hombres post-dated those sessions, but it is hard to say.
Of course, there was a lot more to the Basement Tapes then these type of talk numbers.
But for me they inform the rest. So my research leads me to surmise that Let it All Hang Out came out in the summer of 1967 but did not 'chart' until the fall which I take to be past the essential time of The Basement Tape creation.

Little matter; the soul is there. In fact, the Hombres' Let it All Hang out was a cross pollination from Dylan.

Cunningham admitted in a Goldmine interview that their original inspiration for the song had been Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues," which they regarded as a goof masquerading as something profound; but "Let It Out" was even more over-the-top, and also had a decided working-class southern feel that made it a little more regionally appealing than its inspiration ...
Again, no matter. For me this song is a song the boys sang as they went off to the war.
No parkin' by the sewer sign
Hot dog, my razor's broke
Water drippin' up the spout
But I don't care, let it all hang out.
Thoughts on American Primitive Vol. 2 - Moon Traveller Herald

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dylan Trivia

Was listening to old [1969~] Fairport Convention doing version of Dylan’s Million Dollar Bash. Now I’d always heard that song start out as

The big dumb blonde
With her wheel all gorged
And turtle that friend of hers
With his checks all forged …

Way Fariport does it is like so:

The big dumb blonde
With Gorgeous George
And turtle etc…

I check it on BobDylan.com and that’s not what they have. They have something closer to mine

The big dumb blond
With her wheel in the gorge
And turtle etc…

Which makes more sense but loses the Rabelaisian [humorously satirical] blues vaudeville Americana double-entendra that suffuses The Basement Tapes. Still the Fairport take is interesting because Dylan’s Chronicles starts out with him at a Minn. Arena where Gorgeous George comes in with [atleast one] blond on his arm. And eyes young Bob as if to say you can take over any time. Which is also funny cause I remember him telling a very similar story when I think he got a Grammy Life Time Achievement Award. Except it wasn’t Gorgeous George who looked him in the eye but twas Buddy Holly.

No matter what..Happy Birthday Bob! He aint performing tonight, but a month from today its the Hershey Pavillion in Hershey, PA. Hey, if Keith Richards can play a pirate why cant you play Popeye?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ground Turkey Blues

It's a ground turkey universe this a.m. We all go out to rack on the meat wheel. But there’s a guy who thinks he's doing pretty good. And the lord has given Jack the blessing to witness the swimming hairy green tweet goslings on the Hammond Pond. Good morning spring blues; how you do struggle on, nature, behind the white castle macy's and the bloody container store. Redwing in my face. And shaky wonder on rippled water. Ah. But. Cylinders bang and carbon on rubber tires on dusty adopted highway say get to work, chum.

I am a hustling old raccoon is what I am. I see me – my guts and feathers all balled like road kill turkey by the side. While old community center cat in summer whites jaunts along too. Keep eyes on road and hands on wheel. Listen to Mozart. Don't forget to breathe. Squint. But don't blink. Cause you'll miss it. -jv

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mashup Interview with Jonathan Marsh | WSO2 Oxygen Tank

Mashup Interview with Jonathan Marsh WSO2 Oxygen Tank

Jonathan: The term mashup apparently comes from musical styles where recordings from different sources are combined into a new piece. On the Web it means consuming information published from multiple sources and integrating it into a new information stream. The repurposing of information to the needs of an individual or interested community is part of the Web 2.0 trend about decentralizing power. Until recently, Web publishers had fairly complete control over how the user experienced the content. But consumers have increasingly opted for technologies that give them the power -RSS gives users the ability to publish their own content, and to consume published information in more ways than just visiting a Web page.

Featured Post

Oppy at Harvard

“The Great golem we have made against our enemies is our culture, our bomb culture-its logic, its faith, its vision.” -- E.I.  Doctorow  ...