|Out On a Lim|
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|Out On a Lim (4.27.09 - 9.16.09) >>|
Tonight, on my drive home from jammin' with The Meanwhilers, the sky seemed claustrophobically overcast. I felt like a bug in a jar. And the lid was screwed on tight. My inevitable suffocation became clear.
Is it just me, or are there more people in dazes than before. You know, those lost souls who can't find their way 'round their own circular paths. I seem to recall less of 'em litterin' the sidewalks and streets before these days of confusion.
I parked my car, grabbed my guitar from my trunk, and walked up the stairs to my apartment. Durin' my absence, a spider'd spun a web directly at face level a few feet from my door.
Luckily, there's a light that automatically turns on at sunset and cuts out 'round 2AM, so I didn't walk into the spiderweb. Not to mention, it was a lazy trap--corners were cut and some were broken.
I ducked under and turned 'round to get the mirror image view of the spiderweb from the other side. The spider was hangin' upsidedown in the middle of the web. Had it been past 2AM, my face'd've been tangled.
Every airplane in the sky, every car on the other side of the median, every diminishin' distance, and every harmonic incident made me realize that my last breath is on it's way.
My uncle's converted to a vegetarian, or more specifically, a "Japanese vegetarian", which means he still eats fish. But he doesn't eat any other animal. However, if someone offers him beef, he'll eat it, but never as his own choice.
Accordin' to The Zen of Fish, American's'll never understand the true sushi experience, cause at its heart is the concept of "omakase"--the surrendin' of the menu to the whim of the chef.
And from the same book, the wild fish population's been decadently depleted, especially by the overindulgence of countries that support Japanese cuisine. Soon all that'll be left'll be the farmed variety.
Sometimes I look at overweight people and think that they're bein' farmed by some alien culture's subconscious manipulation and love for fatty bellies. They like 'em served raw and dipped in soy sauce.
Holes are made in the lid of the bug jar and I can breathe again, although my escape is limited by the transparent borders of my curved surroundin's. The beyond is visible. Oh wait...that's just the windshield of my car.
The me, the you, where are we now
Someone gave me a bottle of sake for my birthday last year. 'Round that time, I remember sittin' in the audience of a performance of Strauss' Metamorphosen. I've got a recordin' of the piece on vinyl, but decided today to order it on CD so that I can listen to it in my car--I recently played the LP and've been diggin' it with new ears. Sorta as if I wasn't really ready to hear it back then, but somehow now it makes more sense--I suppose a year of focusin' on strings's trained my ears to discern the violins from the violas and the violas from the cellos. Anyways, I found an album that couples that composition with Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht, the sextet that my quartet performed with two guest musicians. We've got the disc at work, but I thought it'd be cheap of me to burn a copy. And I finished the bottle of sake tonight.
As well, I just watched the series finale of Battlestar Galactica. It was fun--sorry for not bein' elaborate, I can't exactly explain much other than to spoil the endin'. I'll say I was satisfied with how it wraps up--there's a big showdown, lots of fireworks, and the characters've their epilogues with some 'hmm" bits to keep the audience either scratchin' their heads or rollin' their eyes, just enough to give the sci-fi geeks a bone of "complexity" and "depth" to chew on or argue endlessly about like so many of 'em seem to do. Oh and yesterday I completed the third book in the Dark Tower series--it concluded at the start of a riddlin' contest, which was an understandable, but lame cliffhanger. I'm glad I didn't've to wait the six years between the publication of the next book. So without missin' a beat, I read thru to the end of the scene.
I've gotten several requests to be my padawan. Some're for fun, like mothers puttin' words in kids mouths. And some are semi-serious, like casual guitar lessons, music software tips, and the secrets of glue. Most've 'em'rn't given my time, cause first of all, I'm not a master of anythin'. But suddenly, today, I felt like everythin's been reset. The end of one programmed set of senses and the beginnin' of another--light looks different. I made some whole wheat pasta for a change. And as I had Strauss on my headphones at work, my ears sent my soul back to that dark auditorium a year ago--a minute ago I'd walked back from the dumpster on the loadin' dock with a mail bin full of package scraps. I passed thru the security gates of the library--the music swelled, quoted Beethoven, and ended. The Schoenberg sextet came and went. And then my dream came true.
"Deborah Ann (Instrumental)"
The standard tunin' of a modern guitar is E-A-D-G-B-E. I've never been much of a radical to alter those notes, which is uncommon amongst nearly all of my musician friends. And even when I play with a slide, I don't follow the tradition of tunin' to an open chord (i.e. D-G-D-G-B-D, G-B- D-G-B-D, etc.) My stubbornness stems from a combination of bein' too lazy to figure out new fingerin's and too impatient to retune the strings. That bein' said, I've been playin' with "dropped D" tunin' (D-A-D-G-B-E)--it's only one string to transpose.
I learn pop music by ear. It's rare that any of it's too complicated. But once in a while I'll get stumped to which I'll turn to either the fake books in the library or search for the tabs online. The latest instance was with "Dear Prudence". For the longest time, I never could discern how to pick the guitar exactly right--I usually just flubbed it by strummin' the chords. Oh yeah, the 09.09.09 remastered version is sweet--and that song in particular, in particular the guitars, radiate better than ever. Anyways, the key to that song is the droppin' the D.
That was one of those hit yourself in the head for bein' so stupid to not notice the simplest and most obvious answer moments. Cause, once the tunin' was set, everythin' fell into place. I've never gone surfin', but I'm guessin' it's probably like ridin' a wave. Or that epiphany of balance you feel when you learn to ride a bike. Maybe it's sorta akin to solvin' an intermediate level riddle. It kinda reminded me literally of learnin' how to read. Well, it was exactly like playin' a song correctly for the first time.
Some comedians love their characters. I don't fall in love with mine. In fact, I get tired of them very fast. You have to be willing to throw it all away.
One of my favourite SNL skits is of Belushi as Beethoven. Cause in a way, the composer's Dionysian personality is a walk in the parody for the comedian--I'd wager that Ludwig'd've snorted coke'd he lived durin' John's when. Anyways, the tipoff that led me to Belushi's biography Wired was a mention of it in the book I was readin' previous to it, the one on Kinison--there's a hilarious (in a dead comedian's definition of the word) scene where Sam's doin' lines off the the dust jacket. Well, it turns out that not everyone's happy with the book, especially Belushi's family. Which makes sense, I mean, it does paint a frakked up portrait of the artist as a drug addict, true or not. But I figured that the author, Bob Woodward (of Woodward and Bernstein) ain't a bad reporter. Nevertheless, I kinda enjoy the grey fiction evoked by the possibility that some of the anecedotes might be fake. It's kinda like gettin' a behind the party scene look at some now famous celebrities doin' drugs back then like the future's never gonna arrive. And I actually admire, even if it's pure mythology, of the comedian as goin' over the edge--it makes sense, if not's part of the deal. Here's what I believe--real laughter, of the kind Hicks described as deep, full, and cosmically cathartic, can only come from its opposin' emotions. By the way, Hicks' biography lead me to Kinison's via their friendship in Texas, the spiritual epicenter of American comedy. I just read a line in Belushi's book about Lenny Bruce and how he could hold an audience's attention with nine trains of thought culminatin' after twenty silent minutes in a release of sublime laughter. Guess whose biography I'm readin' next...
Shortly before wakin', I could've sworn that I wasn't situated horizontally on my futon, rather I was standin' upright in a semi-darkened bedroom on the top floor of metropolitan hotel. My eyes retrograded from the exposed neck of the runaway nymphet on a pillow, to the wood floor where her discarded garters were strewn, to the glass of whiskey in my hand, all lit by a crack in the curtained balcony doors, as I turned 'round and stepped outside. Across the street was another hotel. It had an elevator with a view of my hand shaded eyes as I squinted at the upward travelin' car backlit by the sun.
Last week, a cameraman dislocated his left shoulder whilst drivin' drunk on a bicycle along a late night island road. Durin' dinner, he slightly struggled with a fork in his non-dominant hand--he's had practice on account of a similar past experience. Yesterday, a guitarist accidentally sliced off the tip of her finger--it couldn't be salvaged. 'Tis a horrible mishap anyway you look at it, but if there's any fortunate linin' it'd be that she lost a part of her right hand--I mean, the right's duties no doubt'll be affected, but it doesn't've nearly the same pressured, and therefore less adaptable, responsibilities of the left.
But then again, how'd I know--I've never seriously injured myself.
And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
It's funny how things work out...or not, we'll see, cause I ain't entirely sure yet. Tonight I listened to The White Album again for the billionth time and heard a not impossible string quartet arrangement. Call me crazy, but I think it's not a stretch of the imagination to set those songs to acoustic guitar accompanied by two violins, viola, and 'cello. And despite my despisin' of the idea of doin' my next library rotunda concert on The Beatles, the more and more I hear that album, the less and less it's become not a bad idea...
I've been testin' possibilities with friends and assistants--I'll pose the potential theme of my show, be it a program of classical compositions, includin' my yet to be recorded Op.11 and a live performance of my Op.6, or the way out there hint that I'm sorta interested in doin' a standup comedy routine, and see their reaction. So far, everyone's kind enough to feign interest in me doin' another concert, which is a start, but of all the ideas that I've thrown out, The Beatles seem to be the winnin' concept. However, I needed a twist.
The current fad of recreatin' albums in their entirety got me thinkin'--that's a pretentious yet cool gimmick. And what better collection of songs than The White Album. Cause for all those who requested The Beatles, like my parents, I'm pretty certain that they'd expect the standard playlist of well known hits--"Yesterday", "I Want Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You", "Let It Be", etc. Well, I think The White Album is their most whackiest work, full of some of their quirkier tracks--"The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill", "Piggies", "Honey Pie", etc.
I'm gonna say I'd like to give it a go. It'd be fun to lead my string quartet again--we've'd better luck with me in the driver's seat than lettin' 'em ride on their own. "When're we gonna play together?" my 'cellist wondered, implyin' exactly what I's takin' 'bout. But who knows, maybe the girls'll convince me otherwise. Nevertheless, the seed's been planted, nourished of course by the remaster and the dropped D tunin' for "Dear Prudence", and unless another option carries more weight, I'm lookin' forward to Henry Lim Performs The Beatles.
His truth is marching on
-Julia Ward Howe
I think it's tellin' that I welcome ambiguity. Unlike most human bein's who suffer from the condition whereby gettin' down to the truth is a neurotic birthright, I like to not only hear every side of a story, but to simultaneously hold each perspective as both fact and fiction. Cause every storyteller, whether they're subconsious or not, has a subjective agenda. And honestly, there is no such thing as the "truth", just what the consensus deems so. So it's often hilarious to listen to people as they try to be objective, when all they're doin' is highlightin' their fear of doubtfulness.
I think it's tellin' that Ken Burns chose to use "Ashokan Farewell" as the main musical theme of his documentary The Civil War. Cause it's the only cue that ain't authentic from the era. And it symbolizes the director's balance between historical accuracy and political (which is just a fancy word for "emotional") correctness. Now, maybe Ken Burns' take on the war is right, but accordin' to Bruce Catton's textbook The Civil War, slavery wasn't always the reason for the war. With dramatic music under the words of a former slave, the documentary sure makes it seem otherwise.
I think it's tellin' that there was a civil rights movement in America a hundred years after its civil war. I mean, if the war was fought for the freedom of slaves, which don't get me wrong, is a noble cause, what were the children of former slaves complainin' about? Wars're usual more complex than good versus evil, and I highly doubt that the United States would wage one solely based on such altruistic foundations as the abolition of slavery. Economics, yes, if not always. There's a reason why the South were the rebels. Likewise, whoever wins gets to write history.
I think it's tellin' that, if Catton's correct, in the early stages of the war, the blue and grey uniforms weren't codified yet and sometimes the North and South wore the same colours. No suprise that Burns is a huge supporter of the Democractic party. For Jefferson Davis was a Democrat. Lincoln is portrayed as the hero, but never glorified as a Republican. Times change and vices become versas. Hence, the only thing I've gathered 'bout the Civil War is it can never be fully explained let alone understood. And that's why it's so darn interestin'.
"Who doesn't like The Beatles?" my second violinst answered when I asked her if she did. "Count me in," she enthused after my pitch to perform The White Album.
It's still at least six months away from my projected concert date--my string quartet's doin' their graduate school auditions this quarter and the one after that'll probably be filled with the stress of facin' their options.
But I can't stop thinkin 'bout the music, which is a good sign--it's a simple gimmick, to play the entire White Album straight thru, yet challengin' enough to get me excited.
Cause it's not a short album--30 tracks, 2 CDs, 4 LP sides. And I understand that it's not everyone's favourite, so part of the battle is convincin' the audience otherwise.
It'll be an inversion of my Dylan show where I had my string quartet play on 2 songs--there're 2 songs ("Blackbird" and "Julia") that I'll do by myself. So there's a lot of arrangin' to do.
Not to mention rehearsin'--I'm gonna keep it as uncomplicated as possible, but I'm estimatin' that we're gonna need a few runthrus before we go onstage. Again, an hour and a half is substantial.
Then again, these girls've sat in three hour opera pits. And for the most part, they'll be playin' a bunch of little riffs with the 'cello doin' a ton of I-V patterns. Occasionally, they'll be some transcribed guitar solos.
It's funny how I know all the Lennon tunes by heart, but I can't keep the McCartney and Harrison lyrics straight--George especially doesn't seem to've a memorable order in his verses.
But I've still got time to organize. My voice is findin' the right registers--they had high voices and mine's currently downshifted. The guitar pickin', which is abundant, also needs to be polished.
And of course, I need a surprise on top of the White Album gimmick. Ideally, if I'm lucky, I'd like to've an orchestra and choir behind me on the last song, "Good Night".
It'll be hilarious--I think that's one of their greatest album closers because it's so fuckin' funny. Humour is key to this whole endeavour. And nailin' that note is worthwhile.
So I've got plenty of time to make friends with strings, woodwinds, brass, and singers. I had a dream in which the concert happened. I felt it. Which doesn't mean shit, but I've seen'n'heard it all in my head.
There's also the "Revolution 9" dilemma. Obviously unless you're a super hardcore Beatles fan or a freak, that song's widely despised, let alone impossible to recreate--backwards tape loops, baby noises, etc.
Yet it's crucial--I think of it as connected to "Good Night". So maybe some random noises from the orchestra as they're settin' up. And me sayin' "number nine" over and over again.
My second violinist stepped closer brought her hands to her face as if she was holdin' an invisible camera, and pretended to take my picture. Who knows, maybe the concert'll be just as real...
Editor's note: I stand corrected.
Regardless of what I was supposed to be doing, I did write some of my best songs while I was there.
I find it funny how in every book that I read and documentary I watched on The Beatles back in the '80s, The White Album always had a sinister vibe--the "beginnin' of the end" for the group as the four egos went wild. And yet after '95, when they'd put forth their official Anthology story, those sessions seem to now be described as fondly remembered by each of the members.
Wow, I just discovered that after all these years I've been mishearin' the lyrics to "Back in the U.S.S.R.". I always thought that Paul'd a "paperback" on his knee, referencin' "Paperback Writer"--the correct line is "On the way the paper bag was on my knee". And I completely didn't hear "Let me hear your balalaikas ringing out"--I could've sworn it was "Let me hear your bell like it's ringing out", which doesn't make as much sense.
But I guess that's my gain from this project. Cause even if I don't perform these live, I'll at least've studied the songs more thoroughly than ever before. And they don't sound bad on acoustic guitars--well, the Esher/Kinfaun demos proved that the tunes worked at the most basic level. Likewise, I believe that a string quartet can handle the final arrangements pretty deftly.
As with my other obsessions, some research is due. I'm of course, re-readin' the Anthology's 1968 chapter. And it occurred to me, that to better understand The White Album, I need to know more about India. Cause that's where the bulk of the album was written. And not just India, but transcendental meditation. Cause it was durin' lessons on such that they were there. Oh, and I should eat more vegetarian dishes.
Nevertheless, I can't argue with the "beginnin' of the end" assessment. However, I don't necessarily equate such as a bad thing--they had to end before they could embarrass themselves. But The White Album sounds, more than their other records which mostly come off, to me at least, as them tryin' to prove somethin', like they're just havin' silly fun--none of the aspirations of Sgt. Pepper or the perfection of Abbey Rd.
There's one thing that's made my life so much easier: capo. I used to play the songs without one and nigh wouldn't've unlocked the likes of "Julia" or the more flatted keys otherwise. As I mentioned in a previous entry, the finger pickin' is ample--there're basically two schools, the John and Paul methods. They've got their own rhythms which they kinda keep consistent on their tracks. They're different, yet similar.
I got my mom's seal of approval. Well, not exactly. I told her about my plan to do a concert of Beatles music, to which she was thrilled. But after I told her which songs I was gonna play, she complained that she didn't know any of 'em--when she thinks of The Beatles she doesn't think of "Savoy Truffle". Anyways, there really ain't a better way she could've reacted. Cause part of The White Album's charm is in the audience scratchin' their head.
Traffic lights shouldn't last over five minutes. But there I was, waitin' for my green arrow and I heard "Happiness is a Warm Gun" (2:43) and "Martha My Dear" (2:28) without gettin' the signal to turn left. The rotation 'round the crossroad of who got the red light spun twice, with my slot stayin' unchanged.
Conversations danced 'round the subject of marriage, which I didn't bring up, but others seemed to've misheard me. No matter, cause I guess people jump on topics that they like to talk 'bout. Granted, I'm a mumbler and no one really understands anythin' I say, which is fine--I've'd years to fix my bad habit, but purposely didn't.
I remember as a kid, my parents drove by UCLA, and I didn't give it a second thought. Until today, when I realized that I'm goin' on my 16th academic year as an employee of the campus--that's like four undergraduate terms. Students come and go, grow up before my eyes, and leave me behind at the same 'ol place.
What I like 'bout the American Civil War is it was one of the first wars to be photographed--fourth to be exact, after the Mexican-American, Crimean, and Indian Rebellion. And I don't know what the history books and documentaries shift and revise to be true or false, but there's somethin' 'bout a photograph that's permanent.
But eventually I did get the right of way. I was tempted to stay put--there wasn't anyone behind me. I mean, I wasn't in any hurry and "I'm So Tired" ain't a bad song. Nonetheless, my foot's been programmed to hit the gas when I'm given the go, even if intuitively, I could've waited forever.
I don't go in for those kinds of things too much myself. Whether it's Maharishi, or dianetics, or whatever--I think it's a load of codswallop. But whatever you believe in is probably a good idea for you.
I looked up the entry for "transcendental meditation" on Wikipedia, which as of 10.1.09 was flagged as "neutrality is disputed", "contains too many quotations for an encyclopedia entry", and "may contain improper references to self-published resources".
Whats that old song...
"Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream"
...See we knew it was true.
We've forgot it since.
So take my suspicions with suspicion as I've never tried TM (which is its conspicuous abbreviation), although I've got absolutely no doubt that it's not an uncool thing to do. It's just that I'ven't the desire to get what it claims to provide, namely "more" and "better" consciousness.
It's funny, though, how all the celebrities that I know of, like The Beatles and Hicks, who studied TM seem to be fixated on levitation. And how they keep askin' gurus 'bout it, but only get vague responses like "There's a guy in the next village who can do it."
We've been gone longer than it seems
That's OK cause life is but a dream
But you see, to better understand The White Album, I need to be disenchanted with TM, like the myth goes--supposedly the Maharishi started hittin' on the chicks in camp. Of course, The Beatles all later officially vouched for the master's contributions to the well bein' of humanity, but they ultimately aborted their sessions.
For me, the red flag is TM is trademarked. That in itself tells me that it's somethin' I can't morally support--I don't care how positively effective it is, if someone's makin' a dime off it, it's a sham in my book. Nevermind that I have no need to be "more creative" or have "better health" etc. I roll my eyes at carrots on sticks.
I mean, it's definitely a component to The White Album, as is India, acoustic guitars, and drugs. But what I can relate to most is the dedications to their legendary muses, namely Yoko for John and Linda for Paul. Cause for me, it's the horndog angle that's above and beyond the scene--times change, love is constant, at least in the beginning.
One sunny day the world was waiting for a lover
She came on to turn on everyone
The White Album's got some of their most "Americana" tracks--"Rocky Raccoon", "Don't Pass Me By". I sense a strong John Wesley Harding influence. And fiddles'll be perfect for such--even if they'll be ironically classically trained. I can't stop laughin' at that incongruity.
The first time I heard The White Album was when I was 15 years old--I had headphones on late at night by my record player as the vinyl went 'round and 'round. Cause in the end, that initial listenin' is what I wanna express--that awe in how they closely smashed absurdity and beauty together. That's what I believe in.
Well, the moral of the story
The moral of this song
Is simply that one should never be
Where one does not belong
Don't get me wrong, after my Civil War phase, I'm gonna plunge into TM--we've got several books at the library. Supposedly one needs a trained person to guide you, which right there is bullshit if you ask me, cause conditions are the first sign of milkin' susceptible customers.
That was the competition in Maharishi's camp: who was going to be cosmic first. What I didn't know was I was already cosmic.
I can't look in her eyes
Until I have permission
And it would be so nice
If she had corrected vision
I think it's high time that I shift my focus back to music. Not that it never left, but I've been dispersin' my interests elsewhere--portraiture, cookin', readin', etc. I mean, an hour a day of devoted to strummin' Beatles songs on the guitar or the occasional false starts on a violin sonata is merely a warm up for what the music students at UCLA consider to be "practice". But as October's arrived, and I'm due to compose this year's Hallowe'en show, I think it's apropos to realign my priorities. I don't know, mayhaps it's those UCLA music students that's inspired me to aspire towards shuttin' myself off from the rest of the world and goin' all tunnel vision into some idealistic time warp whereby classical music is worshipped like a religion. Well, in my case, "classical" is anythin' written before I was born, so the '60s are fair game. So now, when I listen to The White Album in my car, I usually sing along to coordinate my voice with notes, be it an octave lower or in unison--unavoidably my Dylan phase has affectin' my phrasin'. Oh, my research has found that Phish performed the whole album, too, for one of their Hallowe'en shows, however NOT with a string quartet, so I've got that cornered. As well, I'm diggin' how my plan is to recreate The White Album with a "Yesterday" ensemble of voice, acoustic guitar, two violins, viola, and violoncello. But all jokin' aside, I'm lookin' forward to bein' a musician first, and the rest of my endeavours takin' a back seat. Cause there's somethin' 'bout bein' devoted to one thing over all else--it allows for an imbalance of concentration, which I've strained to maintain its opposite status. It'll only be for a year or so--unless she continues to wear her glasses...
Editor's note: Check out this White Album project.
The acid kicked in for me when Calvin & Hobbes took their 'grette break on the balcony of my bungalow's front door. I was joinin' them outside, not with the 'grettes, but with their view of the sky, which seemed bigger than I'd remembered. And way more blue. The breeze was a relief from the heat of the indoor bong smoke, regardless of the open window, thru which we heard a mother yell to her lazy son "Did you send in your application?", and he replied "The job's closed, Ma--it said so online." 'Twas Friday. I'd taken the day off from work.
The sky didn't stop growin' either. At the beach, it was the great yonder ceilin'. And it was temptin' to go blind from the sun atop the horizon. My sense of smell heightened as a sweet trio of girls splashed by. There was also an Asian lady wearin' sunglasses and office clothes goin' up and down the shore, from one pier back to the other, like she was intensely thinkin' 'bout somethin'. I could see the rhythm of the waves, hear the washin' up of footprints, and feel the formation of the seagull's flight path--and somehow they'd probably help one to concentrate.
Or distract from whatever'd made her pace the beach. NPH texted Hobbes. "I'm on the second episode of Lost season five...whoa," NPH wrote. "I dropped acid...whoa," Hobbes returned. And then Hobbes phone died. He couldn't even get his screen to turn on. That was a bummer for him, but it seemed hilarious--like such a NPH move, albeit completely innocent of malice, just the bad luck he endlessly and unintentionally afflicts upon Hobbes. So, of course, Hobbes' mind was on his phone for the rest of the night. Until, he hit the reset button with a thumb tack.
The foam rolled back into the ocean as my feet sunk into the sand. At sunset a group gathered with cameras, both still and video, and aimed their lenses at it. I was pretty high, but don't think I'll soon forget seein' the day's source of illumination disappear. Especially if it'll never return. Cause to've actually'd the time to notice the exact moment when the sun wasn't in my hemisphere for the very last time ever in my lifetime wouldn't be a minor memory. But at least the moon's still in the sky.
Calvin bought a grinder for his weed and Hobbes purchased a new bowl for his bong. All I kept thinkin' in the smoke shop, where hundreds of glass devices for gettin' stoned were shelved, what a mess all of it'd be after a major earthquake. Nevertheless, I admired some of the insane pieces of art--bongs as tall as me, ornaments of mythological origin, and psychedelic rock on the store's stereo. I've got a pipe, but nothin' near as extravagant as anythin' on display. But Calvin & Hobbes were happy with their new toys.
One wave in particular embraced the reflection of the sun, as if stray specks of light in the sand were bein' gathered back to the center of the solar system, only to be covered in bubbles and driftin' kelp. Speakin' of which, I would've sworn that the veins in those aquatic weeds resembled alien blood vessels. I could've been high. The Sandman could't make it today, so it was just us three fools. My mind was on the moon. Tomorrow I've got nowhere to be and nothin' to do. Sunday, I'm brunchin' with my lawyer and my spiritual advisor's ex-girlfriend.
At a conference between parents and teachers, my high school band director allegedly told my mom that I not only got along with the other students, but my associations were amongst widely disparate groups of kids. I took it as a compliment, and see how not much's changed.
Burns showcases many of the same photographs as Catton does from the Civil War. What I like about the latter is a firmer sense of objectivity. Which isn't to say I don't mind the former's tuggin' of my emotions, especially with quotes from battlefield letters recited by trained actors.
Back in college, a dorm neighour and I went to check out Thomas F. Wilson (Biff Tannen from Back to the Future) do some standup comedy on campus. The funniest thing was we were the only ones in the audience. So we got a personal performance, which was mainly Biff makin' fun of us.
I did some preliminary sketches with my string samples of the first four tracks on The White Album. So far so good--the chorus riff in "Back in the U.S.S.R." rocks, the viola handles the lead guitar lines in "Dear Prudence", I can't wait to hear my quartet really slide the notes in "Glass Onion", and the sax parts on "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da" translate well.
When I was in elementary school, I remember drawin' a massive chalk mural on the sidewalk. A lady got pissed off at me for vandalizin' and stood watch as she forced me to wash it off. I recently heard that she died. Instantly I was transported back to that memory of me washin' away my valley of dinosaurs.
I had a dream last night where I watched the sequel to The Big Lebowski. It was lame. And I woke up, but was still dreamin', as I caught up with Jeff Bridges and asked him why he so miscalculatin'ly reprised his role. "Cause of my wife," he shrugged. I couldn't argue that.
It's funny how many of my classical music friends've a difficult time hearin' lyrics whilst my pop music buddies generally desire to hear words in instrumental pieces. I've always been able to discern both--one ain't more important than the other, that's why they're together.
Calvin & Hobbes gave me a crash course on 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. But even they, who claim to be fans, don't know all the details of these rap artists' assassinations, which supposedly is the point--there're a lot of shrouds of disinformation. I'm not a huge fan of their music, but I dig the nigh religious mythology.
Cause here's the thing--everyone's got a story to tell. And I hate to be someone who hates things, so I'll listen to whatever you've got to say, period. There's no such thing as a bad story. We've all got our perspectives and they're all part of the collective experience. I can't see it any other way.
Whoever said "The eyes're the windows to the soul" didn't know what they're talkin' 'bout. Cause for the longest time, and to some extent even now, I've always assumed that when eyes were described as "beautiful", they were were referin' to someone's eyeballs--you know those spheres in our heads. Sure, some are coloured differently, but that's always been irrelevant to my colour blindness. And some are sized bigger than others, but at the most basic level, they're just balls with veins and pupils--hardly anythin' to get excited over, especially if most everyone's got 'em.
I know I've said this before, but it's worth repeatin'--that I liken my string quartet to The Beatles, as it's always a thrill just to see one of 'em. 'I like your haircut,' my first violinist complimented--I'dn't seen her since the end of spring quarter, when I'd long hair. "I like your fuzzy scarf," I pointed to my 'cellist's neckware--she said that she'd a cold so was tryin' to keep warm. Honestly, 'tis beyond my luck if I'd ever get a better lookin' group, let alone one that plays as well as they do. There's a dynamic there that's what I imagine chicks might've projected onto the Fab Four.
Of course, I understand that "beautiful eyes" encompass more than just the eyeballs--'tis a proportional judgement based on the skin that surrounds the eyes, the lashes, the brows, and the overall relation to the face. I mean, I can say that I've seen some truly "beautiful eyes" in my life--the ones that lure my own and distract me from rememberin' that they're just standard optical organs. And yeah, I've seen some which nigh convince me that I'm precisely, no poetic metaphor needed, peerin' thru wide open windows of said "beautiful eyed" person's spiritually eternal essence.
I've never heard the term "fifth column" until my recent infatuation with the American Civil War. Well, I've always known 'bout secret infiltrations in the enemy's turf, but wasn't acquainted with the official name of such. Espionage's probably what I'd resort to in times of war as I'm not particularily skilled with combat--lurkin' and gatherin' info is pretty much my lot in life. I'm more intrigued by the likes of the Rose Greenhows and Pauline Cushmans than the Robert E. Lees and Abraham Lincolns. Within the shadows of the other four columns is the invisible fifth.
What I'm tryin' to say is, apart from the diminutive focus upon eyes as bein' objects of beauty, and assumin' that there's such a thing as a "soul", I'd like to submit that said "soul" can't be seen, rather it's out of range of earthly senses, unless you tune into its coordinates, which after doin' so, shall reveal "souls" to reside not within eyes, but all 'round us, within our bodies and outside of 'em, connectin' everythin', especially the furthest away from what we imagine, touchin' the infinite corners of the unbeknownst. Our souls're in our eyes and everywhere else.
"Hand me those eyes."
"OK...here you go, boss."
"No, not the blue ones, the other ones--the green ones. They should be in the bin next to the orange ones...no, you've gone too far...stop...do you see them?"
"Oh yeah...how many do you want?"
"Two's enough...for now..."
"Here you go."
Don't forget, every Cinderella has her midnight.
Tonight my personal film historian screened Midnight for me--a screwball comedy from 1939 directed by Mitchell Leisen and starrin' Claudette Colbert (who's also in Preston Sturges' The Palm Beach Story), Don Ameche, and John "I CLOSE THE IRON DOOR" Barrymore, with a score by Frederick Hollander, and cinematography by Charles Lang. And a screenplay by Billy Wilder.
"I know the kinds of movies you like."
"What kinds're those? Comedies?"
"Yes, but not only comedies, but the Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, Ernst Lubitsch comedies."
"Well, I'ven'tn't laughed at any of their movies so far...do you've my tickets?"
"I'm gonna check my pones and you can weigh out whatever you've got."
"Is it OK if I give you half of the second ticket now and then the rest of it later."
"Of course--you know me, I don't smoke nearly as much as your other clients."
We failed, but in the good providence of God apparent failure often proves a blessing.
-Robert E. Lee
The legend goes, at the beginnin' of the Civil War, the Union asked Robert E. Lee to be their general--he refused, pledgin' his allegiance to Virginia, which'd joined the Confederacy. And he went down in history for bein' one of the greatest generals of all time. Some say he's a hero. But the anecedote that I found most touchin' was how Lee's front yard became Arlington Nat'l Cemetery.
"I took a bunch of pictures."
"I need to Photoshop 'em before I show 'em to you."
"I won't make fun of 'em."
"You're nice...you're too nice."
"Are you busy?"
"Well, see you later... "
I don't long to see the film version of Where the Wild Things Are--I thought the book was imaginative enough. Well, that's partly true--if the central character was instead a young girl I'd probably be a little more inclined to see her come to life on screen, that is if the actress portrayin' her was able to cutely hypnotize my hand into my pocket and access my wallet so as to remove the price of admission. Although, Catherine Keener as the mom is pretty spellbindin', however the practical part of my brain tells me there's a reason why she's not featured on the posters. Maybe in a million years I'd rent the DVD.
That bein' said, I'ven't got a clue who the composer Karen O is. Well, that's partly true--I poked 'round and read that she's from the band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, whose music I'dn't be able to recognize if someone was walkin' down the street bleedin' one of their songs thru earbuds. Nevertheless, the Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack was streamin' online and I didn't really need but somewhat didn't mind a break from laughin' at comedy recordin's so I gave it a listen. 'Tis mostly simple organic songs with whimsical vocals--she yelps, hollers, and coos like a kid pretendin' to be an animal and vice versa.
Not a bad collection of tunes, but nothin' worth thinkin' twice 'bout. Well, that's partly true--the lullabyesque "Hideaway" caught my ear, not only cause the melody recalls some other tip of the tongue pentatonic sequence, but the line "We'll have a bit of fun watching everyone pass us by" nearly knocked me out. Cause as of late I've been searchin' for a verbalization of precisely that sentiment--delight in bein' actively passive. I mean, I'm still not on board for the movie, nor am I bored enough to buy the CD. Yet it goes to show that sometimes whatever you're lookin' for'll effortlessly find you.
Call me superficial, but I admire a chick's sense of humour, especially one that upon first few jokes might make her seem to be on the kilterin' borderline between dementia and "do not touch", interjected with mockin'ly high fivin' coolness, some criticisms of some stale aspects of American societal stupidity, like the trappin's of freedom and the classiness of the class structure, all done in a wide range of vocal styles.
In no particular order, these're the standup comediennes that I've heard live recordin's of and laughed: Ellen DeGeneres, Margaret Cho, Wanda Sykes, Sarah Silverman, and Mindy Kaling. But I never took much of 'em seriously--in other words, I'dn't've the urge to listen to their performances again. I mean, it's not an easy thing for a joke to still be funny the second time 'round. Yet, some comedians, like Hicks, defies such.
Not to mention, Pryor, Bruce, Rock, Murphy, Cross, Oswalt, Rogan, May, and Kinison. OK, I'd include Cook, but nothin' beyond a second listen. And I'll admit that the very first time I heard Maria Bamford, I turned her off, and surfed for someone else--"do not touch". I think I ended up floor rollin' to Posehn. Anyways, there're days when you feel like you've heard everythin' online, and you'll give anyone a second chance.
Dirty monkey not OK. But dirty monkey dance...
When she said that in her character's voice, which sounds like a shifty eyed cartoon, albeit adult language speakin', personality, I was converted--you gotta hear the whole context, but essentially, she simultaneously gave me a self mockin'ly cool high five and blasted Amercian society's stupid observance of inequalities. Oh, and she's got a wide range of vocal styles. She's from Duluth, too. I can't wait to hear her blondness again.
Happy Birthday Dad
I'm over'n'done with the Civil War--I finished both Bruce Catton's book and Ken Burns' documentary--the latter quoted a line from the former's last chapter in its final episode--and wow, what a story it was--it's America's Greek tragedy--slavery, heroes on both sides, surrender, and the first ever assisnation of a President of the Reunited States--it's given me respect for the history of this country--namely, it's honourable aspirations amidst shameful violence, and vice versa--anyways, after returnin' the book the to library, I checked out Meditations of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi--I picked it from a handful of other titles cause it was published in 1968, the same year as The White Album--of which I've sketched string quartet arrangements for the first side--"Back in the U.S.S.R." to "Happiness is a Warm Gun"--I've always thought of the album as four sides--four acts--I'm assingin' the bass parts, obviously, to the 'cello--and I'm findin' that some of the coolest lines're goin' to the viola, in particular the lead guitar solos--well, I guess 'tis the similar range of both instruments--the violins've so far been gettin' whole note harmonies, per the background vocals or organ chords--"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" ain't bad distributed as such--Taylor Swift's got a song called "Teardrops on My Guitar"--but my favourite video of hers is for "You Belong with Me"--I like her with glasses--although her music's a bit too hokey for me, which is weird cause I usually can be blindsighted into forgiviness--twice in the last two days I nearly smashed into my second violinist as she came runnin' 'round corners.
"Psycho," said Clark Kent's daughter after the chick in the killer black high heeled boots asked for a pair of scissors to clip her nails, which were indeed way too sharp for her fingerboard, I mean, as a guitarist I keep mine shorn weekly otherwise my aim onto my strings'll misalign--and she did've crazy razor nails.
"Henry," she said as I walked thru the library's front door, "do you have any nail clippers?" I didn't, but I remember hearin' my supervisor's trimmin' sessions across from my desk, so I dug 'round her area--the requestor clomped into my office. "I can't find her pair," I regretted as I tried to keep my eyes off her eye poppin' body.
My 'cellist was talkin' to some random pianist 'bout some recital at Joshua Tree. I said I won't be able to attend on account of I'll be in New York durin' the first weekend of November. "Why?" they asked. "I'm gonna visit my brother," I answered. "I'll leave you two alone to argue," my 'cellist observed as she left the huddle.
Whether you like The White Album or not, you gotta admit that the sequencin' is not a fail. Come on, the range of parodies that's tackled's all the more enchanted by the abrasive abutments. It's an epic tracklist spannin' two CDs. I'm of the mind to liken it to their magnum opus--it's what I first think of when I think of The Beatles.
Dear reader, you'll've to forgive me for indulgin' in this whole White Album project--I need to believe that it's not an insignificant collection of tunes in order for me to proceed. And of course, don't forget that after this whole thing is over, I'll be so sick of The White Album that I won't ever mention it again. I promise.
I got shot down by the random pianist. And I didn't want to risk another broken heart from the girl who needed some nail clippers. Sometimes I forget who's who. But I do know what's an ideal even if others might call her "crazy" and that's enough for me to remember who's taller, smaller, and tonight's guest caller.
"What's your phone number?" Ted Ed Fred asked Zaggs as we took cover from the rain in a doorway whilst we waited for the parkin' lot to empty out after the Dylan concert. "I'll call you," Zaggs dialed as Ted Ed Fred captured the digits.
Right on cue, the stage manager asked me to go to the vendin' machine with her, so I did, and as I told her I was goin' to see Dylan tonight, that girl who wore the killer boots yesterday was wearin' 'em today and waved as she passed by.
Last Friday, my guitar student asked me if I've eaten a Serbian meal yet. "Nope," I despaired as I excused "my Serbian friend's busy with orchestra auditions." Actually, I'dn't the chance to think 'bout it too much until I was reminded.
The deal was, in exchange for my old digital camera, my Serbian friend would cook me her country's cuisine. "Do you eat meat?" she questioned. Apparently, vegetarians'ren't spared in the predominantly meat diet of their famed dishes.
Anyways, when I saw her killer boots again, I thought in the fugal appreciation of a conversation with the stage manager, and my first violinist acknowledgin' me, that I'll relinquish the extra ticket to the Dylan concert to Zaggs.
Cause originally, the Sandman, Ted Ed Fred, and I claimed the three tickets that I bought online a few days before they officially went on sale thanks to a bobdylan.com password. But his mom needed assistance after her knee surgery.
So I had an extra ticket. I did the honourable thing and asked my special lady friend first, and I admit I didn't try to sell it to her cause I half wanted her to decline. She said she was debatin' whether or not to go to the Perahia gig instead.
Whatever. She said "no" so I was free to procure elsewhere, namely with that girl who wore killer boots yesterday and today. I couldn't get 'em off my mind--they made her taller and her footsteps reverberate thru the carpet with bliss.
"ted ed fred and i got an extra dylan ticket for tonight...wanna go?" I texted Zaggs. "will you be my babysitter?" he replied (he was recoverin' from a drug addiction and Ted Ed Fred wasn't). "dude i'll be your babysitter," I wrote.
It's been a long time, I'm not sure exactly, but at least over eight months, since Ted Ed Fred and Zaggs were in the same room together. The drugs were the issue--the former's a fiend and the latter's been tryin' to kick since March.
Come October and I'm waitin' by the entrance for Zaggs to show up. Ted Ed Fred, who'd been in line since 3 o'clock went into the general admission venue an hour ago. So we were subconsciously split up, understandably, from the go.
But to Ted Ed Fred's credit, he forgot his tickets in his car after the last time he checked to see if his vehicle's doors were locked--he didn't smoke any pot durin' the entire marijuana clouded theatre performance, which ain't ordinary.
Ted Ed Fred was in the fifth row. He felt a ton of negative vibes 'round him--fights almost verged. But he did get to not only lift a cute young girl up for a better view of the "Poet Laureate" of rock, but got her local digits as well.
Meanwhile, me and Zaggs were diggin' the show nowhere as close, but from the side of the stage, in the skunk scented 30th row. "How can you count?" Zaggs later asked Ted Ed Fred. All I could think of was boot chick's sweet perfume.
"Ballad of a Thin Man," I blurted. "That's what I was gonna say," Ted Ed Fred said when Zaggs and I caught up with him on the steps of the Hollywood Palladium. Indeed Dylan did a version that we all agreed was fuckin' awesome.
"Did you find some nail clippers?" I flirted with Killer Boots Chick. "Yeah," she responded, "everyone thinks I'm the nail clipper stalker." "Pyscho," I reheard Clark Kent's daughter's previous remarks 'bout the scissors incident.
I don't know, I think if I had a regret in this life, it'd be how I neglected the other psychotic stalker violinist that I once dated. This time I wanna get it right--I know the symptoms, and suddenly, I'm in the front ranks of fixin' things.
Ted Ed Fred left a message on my phone--he couldn't find anyone else to claim the extra ticket we had after I'd told him of my failures to get a date. And of course, there's no way he could be the first one to call Zaggs. So I did.
"When're we eatin' dinner?" I blurted to Killer Boots Chick as she departed from her computer terminal. "How's this Saturday?" she teased--I'll be more than surprised if she follows thru on this one, if my memory serves me correctly.
"how can i say no," Zaggs texted back. I gave him the time I was leavin' my office and the hour Ted Ed Fred was gonna stake a spot in the line. For dinner I got Ted Ed Fred and me some Tommy's cheeseburgers and cheese fries.
The last two times I saw Boo Wilbury, he was hunched behind a keyboard. But tonight he finally strapped on an electric guitar. He played some sick lead on "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright". Long Beach wasn't as rockin'.
But to see 'em together, Ted Ed Fred and Zaggs, again was worth the price of admission. They've always been like Ernie & Bert, and to see 'em laughin' together after such a grand pause was somethin' I'll treasure forever.
"We'll keep in touch," the Killer Boots Chick replied. I saw sections of her in the chicks at Dylan's concert--the tied back hair, the innocent cheeks, the wide-eyed eyes, the perky body, and the silhouette of eternity.
So I was there when Ted Ed Fred and Zaggs finally'd their much overdue reunion--I can give you the exact coordinates. And at a Boo Wilbury concert to bootleg. "Shooting Star" wasn't too bad either, if you ask me.
"Sean Penn is here," an elderly lady gossiped two nights ago on the general admission floor as we waited for Blind Boy Grunt to take the stage. She seemed older than the actor and's been alive long enough to remember the musician's debut nearly a half century ago. "I want to tell him how much I liked him as Harvey Milk," she continued as she spread the word amongst the audience. But really, I didn't give a shit.
Lately I've been commonly addressed as "Uncle Henry" either to or by my friends' babies and kids. I know they're just bein' far-reachin' in their definition of "uncle" as none of these children are my biological nieces or nephews, and I don't mind not correctin' 'em, but I'm not used to the title. It's got an aged connotation, like I'm of the same peer group as these procreatin' people. But really, I don't give a shit.
Last night, George Thorogood opened for Blind Boy Grunt. And two nights ago it was John Doe, who was joined by Exene Cervenka for one number. Three nights ago Johnny Rivers closed his set with his signature tune "Secret Agent Man". I thought it was cool that there were three different openin' acts givin' each night some variety--there's nothin' worse than havin' to hear the same crap again. But really, I didn't give a shit.
Even though my television is dead, I've still been able to watch How I Met Your Mother online--I need my weekly Scherbatsky fix. And even though my computer at home is connected to the internet via dialup, I've been able to catch it at work durin' mindless tasks. Also, I'm a season behind as the rental status is "long wait" for the last one. I mean, it sorta matters cause there's a chronology. But really, I don't give a shit.
"Johnny Depp is here," a young lady gossiped last night as she pointed to the balcony. "Where?" her friend searched the VIP section. "By the chandelier, he's wearin' a hat," were the hints. Sure enough, I spotted both, but the guy that was supposedly said actor had his head turned away, talkin' to some chicks 'round him. And he was too distant from me to tell with certainty who he was. But really, I didn't give a shit.
However, two nights ago, I spied Luna Lovegood's doppelganger. She was with her fat friend, and even though I shook hands with another girl (who shared the name of track 9 on side two of The White Album), I couldn't stop my eyes from stoppin' on the back of Luna's blonde head. I saw myself not givin' a shit 'bout everythin' except her. In other words, she was the greatest illusion of happiness that I've ever came close to carin' 'bout.
I had two inquires from the press this week--one of which I ignored, the other I permitted--the first was a request to cooperate for some British news agency and the second was a simple "yes" or "no" regardin' reproducin' photos from my webpage for some Australian educational journal--cause I'm no longer talkin' to the media, but I'm totally fine with lettin' 'em reprint my images--I mean, the former most often'll include some sorta interview, be it on the phone or email, and'll only quote me as some kinda freak, whilst the latter is no sweat on my part as I'm not bothered and my work speaks for itself--which any verbal interaction demeans and visual representation is all I ever wanted to say.
"I've been listenin' to Maria Bamford's Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome everyday at work," I said, "cause I found it streamin' online, although in the back of my mind I thought, 'This ain't right, I should buy myself a copy,' so I bought not only that album, but her other two as well so that I could later tell my grandchildren, 'Yes, otherwise I couldn't truly hear what she's sayin', if you know what I mean, in the "wink, wink", "puff, puff", and "cough, cough" angles of the term so that I could tell you "She's got a way with the 'inner quotation marks' denotin' her multiple voiced dialogue with herself," with the freedom to laugh aloud without disturbin' uptight coworkers notwithstandin'."
Whether or not it's real or fake, Dylan's got a trophy that appears to be an Academy Award onstage with him durin' live shows...it's behind his keyboard...some say it's the real thing and others say it's a plastic souvenir...some of course get the "joke" and others think he's bein' "arrogant"...cause the truth is he did win one for Best Original Song ("Things Have Changed")...and I mean I think it's hilarious, especially when he plays that tune, in Hollywood no less...there's that line "I'm in the wrong town, I should be in Hollywood"...classic Dylan...cause in the very, very, very last end of endin' ends, nothin' doesn't matter none whatsoever if anythin' is real or fake...it all just is...
I store my freshly squeezed orange juice and home brewed barely tea in liter sized European glass jars. They've got glass lids with rubber gaskets that're fastened by stainless steel clamps. So far they've been reliably doin' what they're supposed to be doin' week in and week out for my beverage routine.
However, one day, as I was pourin' me a glass in the mornin', one of the stainless steel clamps fell into my sink's garbage disposer. For a minute there I thought I'd lost it and wouldn't be able to keep my bottle closed. I wondered if I could order another one. And then I remembered that it's not lost.
For some reason I've got a fear of stickin' my hand down my sink, even when the switch ain't turned on to shred my fingers. I'm guessin' it's cause I seem to depend on those appendages for my entertainment--musical instruments, sculptin', camera settin' adjustments, etc. But it's a fear that I really don't think 'bout much.
Cause it's not everyday that these things come to the surface. And I was a bit annoyed that it lurks in my mind at all. I mean, I like to convince myself that I'm not afraid of anythin', and the things that I am, I've faced--heights, snakes, dark, bein' alone, etc. Nevertheless, I suppose it's a boon to discover new fears.
If only to conquer them. Cause there's such a freak chance that the garbage disposer'd turn on accidentally--like there could be a weird electrical surge or a bug might suddenly get the strength to flick the circuit contacts. And really, if my hand gets mangled, so be it. Anyways, I stuck my hand in and all's well.
"I like the fog," the girl in the passenger seat of my car commented. "It reminds me of home." And as we left mine, the weather cleared. "Oh no," she cried, "the fog's gone--oh well, goodbye fog." "I liked how the streetlights hit the fog," I commiserated, even though I've only got her descriptions of vineyards, corn fields, hour away bicycle routes, and the Danube to go by. Be Bop A Lula.
Her eyelashes were not only on time, which was such a cool chick thing to accomplish, but they also were early--she was waitin' for me, who arrived five minutes before the designated hour and a half so that I could retrive the miniature violin from the file cabinet in my office. "I've got a change of plan," she greeted, "cause I forgot that the dough for the pie needs to be prepared a day in advance." Stand By Me.
"Someone stole my chili plant," she explained. "I think they thought it was marijuana." We did the self checkout at the grocery store where I'd followed her with the handheld basket which she threw in an onion, four red bell peppers, a head of garlic, two cans of two different brands of tomato sauce, a pound of ground pork, and a bottle of red wine. I had eggs, rice, salt, pepper, oregano, oil, and water at home. Rip It Up/Ready Teddy.
"I've got somethin' for you," I dragged her into my office and led her to my file cabinet. "It's adorable," she smiled--that's all I wanted to see tonight, tomorrow, and forever. "I get giggly when I'm drunk," she drank. "Cool," I gave her the thumbs up, cause I mean, there're meaner things she can be when she's intoxicated, such as my former tall assistant proved last week when she got violently angry with her best friend. You Can't Catch Me.
"I've got somethin' for you," I emailed. Today, as I was sittin' on the reference desk, she entered the library durin' my shift, and dropped her music in plain sight. "Did you make it?" she asked of the bagged rye bread I'd handed to her. She had a midterm today--in her logic class which she's takin' with my cellist. I waved to her in the halls when she walked by with her friend and I need to take a leak. Ain't That a Shame.
I still can't believe she was sittin' on a stool in my apartment, eatin' a meal that she'd taught me how to make, and after a second glass of wine. Come on, I'll never get so fuckin' lucky ever again. 'Tis better than any drug I've ever taken--the thrill of a girl who ain't bad lookin' givin' me a division of her attention. Although, I'd condone the blurrin' of the two addictions. Do You Wanna Dance.
Flashbacks still reverberate whenever the past flickers in my peripheral present tense. The funny thing is I thought I was at the end of my proverbial rope when hope illuminated the email she wrote to me last Saturday afternoon, includin' her digits--finally. Tonight I looked at my cellphone's call log and smiled when I saw her name in the incommin's listin'. Sweet Little Sixteen.
In the late afternoon sunlight, in an archway of the campus' premiere concert venue, she reconfirmed that she'd broken up with her boyfriend. I privately delighted myself with an appreciative erection, but kept my camera steady and focused. Tomorrow night my neighbour's offered to cook me and her niece dinner. Of course I couldn't refuse, even though I've got Hallowe'en music to write. Slippin' and Sliddin'.
"I'm So Tired" is an amazin' song. Deceptively it sounds basic, but it's subtly complicated--from the evolvin' chord progression to the odd bar numbers. But most importantly, it's the melody as performed by Lennon that nails it as a mindblow to behold--he goes from stoned boredom to the reality of pissed off vocal leaps within' verses. And it feels like the other Beatles're in the same room. Peggy Sue.
I'm almost done with Wizard and Glass (Dark Tower IV). So far it's my favourite book in the series cause it's got the Susan Delgado story--it comes off as a Western tale within the fantasy elements of King's self indulgent and reflexive universe. And I can't help but project that vibe onto The White Album. I mean, "Happiness is a Warm Gun" is such a gunslinger song. Rocky Raccoon's got a gun, too. Bring It On Home To Me/Send Me Some Lovin'.
As I've been composin' for this year's annual Hallowe'en show, I've been able to only watch Animal House in half hour intervals durin' consumption of leftover stuffed peppers. And my assessment sans watchin' the whole movie yet is it's kinda lame, but Belushi somehow makes it not so. He's like the '70s version of Chaplin--an icon of the times. And somehow sympathizin' with the cocaine makes it all the more hilarious. Bony Moronie.
"I'll get my domain back in December," she elaborated. "Cool," I nodded. "Well, you can use any of the photos I shot of you." She smelled like she'd just smoked a sexy cigarette. Her dress wasn't easy to ignore either. "I wonder should I call you, but I know what you'd do," rang in my ears. "Even if my heart to tell me so, darlin' I would rather let you go," also echoed in auditory senses. Ya Ya.
But it'll all rhyme in the end. It'll all ripple thru back to that mythological apple tree, that "so long", that escape from overcast overexaggerated loneliness, that new pornographic nurse, that tired conversation, that everlastin' perfume, that televised movie starin' Veronica Mars, that fresh egg story, that $2.2 million dollars under her pillow, that poster with her name in Cyrillic, and that homesick fog. Just Because.
Pullin' outta my garage, I felt an imbalance in one of my front tires--it dragged and grabbed the pavement with a reluctant skid. I got outta my car and wasn't wrong in expectin' to see a flat. I mean, I knew the day was gonna arrive all the sooner now that the last time I changed my wheels was turnin' out to be later than four years. Well, at least it didn't happen like that one time--in the rain, with me changin' to the spare on the side of the freeway. I called into work to tell 'em that I was gonna be late, rolled into the nearest gas station, pumped some air into the flat, enough to get me over to the closest tire center, told 'em to replace 'em all, and sat in the waitin' area readin' a book.
"This is wrong," the editor scolded. "Why?" I bent over her shoulder. "It's the wrong preposition," she pointed out. "What should it be?" I sought the answer. She explained, flipped the pages, found more absurdities, asked questions of cultural differences, and found selections in the recipe book that were worth highlightin'. "Well," I complimented, "I'm glad I've got you to correct things." "We should do this again," she suggested, "and maybe next time we can invite our 'cellist." "That's not a bad idea," I designated. "This is not real," she continued to mock the ridiculous claims of a national coffee, when in truth it was simply from the nearby' country, Turkey, nothin' else.
And after I got my new tires, I noticed how my car now glides on the road. I'd gotten so used to the plowin' against the streets that gettin' fresh treads workin' for me's such a revelation. I wanna say it's like drivin' another car. The freeway felt smoother than before. And I wanted to rush back onto it after work just to get that rush of sailin' down the road even if it was only durin' rush hour--'tis a pair of new shoes, a new set of souls, a once forgotten pair of wings, and a remembered sense of momentum. But of course, 'tis nothin' but a false sense of self esteem. Tires are 'bout as relevant to the universe as mistakes in a book unless you've got someone to help you see what's what.
...if rock bands were football teams, U2 would be my lawyer's favourite football team, cause he's a devoted fan, to the point of attendin' their latest tour, of which I believe he's followed religiously, I mean, I believe they put on concerts to promote their latest albums, so he's been a disciple since The Joshua Tree...
...is where my pianist friend'll be playin' in two weeks. The UCLA Philharmonia's playin' Mahler's 5th this Thursday. And I need a date to accompany me as I find a seat with the best view of members of my string quartet whilst they sit in the string sections of the orchestra. My pianist friend followed my lead...
...from last Friday when I declined her invitation to dinner. To be fair, I did've a guitar lesson scheduled that evenin', and I'd already set those meal preparin' wheels in motion--"I'll make curry laksa" my student texted. Well, no matter which option I chose, I'd've taken a well earned break from...
...composin' Hallowe'en music. Anyways, so the day after the U2 concert (which I was offered a ticket from a friend of my guitar student, but declined--the head of my library was havin' a retirement party) my lawyer gave me a prelude to what he'll describe fully in a phone call. But back to this year's Hallowe'en show...
...I was given the script and lead lines a week before last Friday--I picked 'em up at the security gate of a gated community where my brother used to live. And with the exception of my second violinist's Saturday cookin' session, I'd been workin' on the music nonstop--well, after work and all...
...the time I was a little unfocused--I was cribbin' baroque motifs, Travis pickin' the "Dear Prudence" riff, hip-hoppin' the beats, jazzin' up the brass chorus with some techno synths, and layin' down some Indian tabla loops and matouqin slide samples. The latter stray from the topic was, of course...
...declined by the director as an appropriate representation of the character in the story of two girls, one alive, the other a ghost, who form a friendship to combat their tormentors--I assigned the Indian groove to the dead girl. Cause the director called for "spooky", and I'm sorry but...
...the cool thing 'bout India, in my opinion, is it's a little "spooky", what with their whole spiritual vibe that they've got goin' stereotypically claimin' their land. So my lawyer's kid was sick and needed to be with her mother--thus, he took his brother-in-law to the Rose Bowl. I wonder who I'll take to the concert this Thursday...
...evidently no one. Not to mention I had to pay for my ticket--the stage manager was givin' me some chicken shit excuse 'bout crackin' down on freebies. Which ain't a complaint--I've got five bucks to spare. But 'tis the principle that's becomin' the norm 'round the department that's Nazi-esque...
...which's infiltrated my anonymous friend, who's affiliated with Stair 7 Studio--apparently he's been warned not to do any extracurricular recordin's anymore. Bummer and a half. I mean, if I'd've known this was in the pipeline, I might've been a little more serious with my string quartet sessions...
...I found the second chair violinist sittin' on a bench near the vendin' machines, where I was 'bout to purchase an apple juice. Anyways, I told her that I was lookin' forward to the Philharmonia's concert. She seemed bummed that my first violinist's concert master, but I knew better not to pry...
...durin' the intermission I caught my violist talkin' with my assistant. Earlier that day, as I was fillin' in at the circulation desk, my 'cellist dropped off her laptop in my care as she went on a break from her studies. Mahler's 5th's got a killer single, the Adagietto. I'd been listenin' to it lots this week...
...it's basically a smoke break for the winds, brass, and percussion as the strings and harp get to the heart of the otherwise overblown symphony. And I'm a follower of strings--musical, puppetry, theory, etc. There's somethin' very strikin' 'bout 'em to me, I don't know exactly what...
...so I'm goin' to New York, which means I won't be able to update my blog. I'll be back next week--'tis a short vacation. My sister and I'll be visitin' our brother'n'his wife. Should be colder than Los Angeles. And fun. But as you can see, I'm tryin' my best not to shortchange my readers...
...cause even durin' composin' for this year's Hallowe'en show, I still was able to keep postin' entries--well, I'm a week ahead of myself. Nevertheless, even after revisin' the Indian themes to more "American" ones, I's still able to not skip any OUT ON A LIM days. Alas, bein' outta state's gonna've to be an exception...
...tonight I'm gonna watch The Ramen Girl. 'Tis next on my queue. I've got no expectations for it whatsoever--Brittany Murphy can be just as cool as she can be annoyin'. So maybe she'll make or break the movie. Regardless, it'll be a nice distraction from everythin' else. See you next week...
Of all the childish fantasies that I had when I was in junior high, bein' on television was one of the most obnoxious. I mean, thinkin' 'bout it now, as I can't even receive a TV signal anymore, I'm embarrassed to admit that for whatever juvenile reason, which I'm guessin' was most likely a cry for attention, I'd gotten it in my head that celebrities were special people. And they got on television.
To clarify, they really got on television--sure, I could've videotaped myself and've accomplished my goal, but that'd be cheatin'. No, I had to be broadcasted into livin' rooms. This was back in the mid-1980s, before reality shows and the internet, so there was a certain mystique 'bout bein' on TV, whereas nowadays it's commonplace for any idiot to make a fool of themselves before a mass audience.
Option number one was to become an actor. Again, this was the mid-1980s and the only Asian character that seemed to be 'round was that Goonies kid, which was encouragin', but also limitin'--he got all the gigs. Plus, actin' seemed like way too much work. Yes, like I am now, I was lazy as a teenager, too. Cause I think it's way easier to be myself than to pretend to be someone else. No compromises.
So my options narrowed down to gettin' on the news. I imagined bein' at the scene of a crime and gettin' interviewed. Or as a last resort, I'd sneak behind the reporter and wave. Tragically, I got excited whenever I saw a car accident or the hills caught on fire, cause maybe there was a news crew nearby, and hopefully I could weasel my way onto camera. All this so I could say "Hey, I was on television."
Well, that Xmas I got my wish. I wasn't portrayin' anyone other than myself, which I'm glad, as well, luckily, no disaster was bein' exploited. I was a member of the youth orchestra and we played a holiday concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Along with the wide shot of the whole group, there were some closeups of individual musicians. For two seconds I was focused on, playin' second violin.
Once upon a bad joke, I remarked to a fellow Beatlefan that the only Beatles who give a damn 'bout the new remasters're Paul and Ringo--cause they'ren't dead. But seriously, the bass'n'drums're way more, in the parlance of the modern day studio engineer, clearer, punchier, and present in the mix. I mean, if I were Paul and Ringo, I'd be happy to hear those lower registers updated. And more personally, I'm gainin' more respect for those two as I'm arrangin' The White Album for string quartet--the bass lines are incredible and the absence of drums makes me appreciate their contributions to the songs even more.
Yeah, I know I've made fun of McCartney before for his uncoolness, but after transcribin' some of those killer bass parts ("Dear Prudence", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps") I've gotta give him a lifetime pass. I mean, for all the unlistenable crap he puts out nowadays to his, as Hobbes pointed out, "wimpy" lyrics, his bass playin' is not only some of the best parts of The Beatles, but some of the best bass parts period. And that's enough to stop me from mockin' his shortcommin's. Cause anybody who's composed such bass can do whatever the fuck he wants, be it tow the company line, divorce whoever he wants, or cosmetic surgery.
I generally don't engage in arguments, but when Calvin hated upon Starr I had to say somethin'. And it ain't easy talkin' to a non-musician 'bout music, but I had to outline the fact that Starr always kept a steady beat without a click--that's no small feat. He anchored their tempo like a machine when there weren't any to aid the tendencies to speed up or slow down. And he was able to follow all the rest of the Beatles', mostly Lennon's, time warped signatures. "Happiness is a Warm Gun", with its shifts between 4/4, 6/4, 5/4, 12/8, 9/8, 10/8, and a polyrhythmic 4/4 versus 12/8 is a prime example--any drummer who can navigate that gracefully gets a lifetime pass.
"Martha My Dear" (demo)
Happy Eleven Eleven
There's so many dreams to dream of
Why not dream about my true love
There's so many reasons why I like Flight of the Concords--the hilarious songs, Arj Barker, and Mel. But the band meetin's with Murray're somethin' that personally makes me laugh. If you've ever been in a band, you know what a "band meetin'" is like--imagine musicians, who usually'ren't the most eloquent people offstage, and from my experience, both rock'n'roll'n'classical, tryin' to communicate, let alone schedulin', with each other...
There's so many fabled interpretations of The White Album--from Charles Manson's, as U2 infamously introduced before playin' "Helter Skelter", "stealin'" of the song to Kurt Cobain's allegedly playin' of "Julia" to soothe himself durin' the recordin' of Nevermind. But one of my favourite obsessive details is the symmetry of the tracklistin'--"Wild Honey Pie" is the fifth song on the first side and "Honey Pie" is the fifth to the last on the fourth...
There's so many things I needed to make sure was in workin' order on my bicycle--firstly, I needed to dust it off, secondly, I had to fill up the flat tires, thirdly, the key for the lock was somewhere in a pile of miscellaneous security devices somewhere in my desk, and fourthly, I wasn't sure if the gears'n'brakes were still operational. But most importantly, it was imperative to find out for myself if the fun in ridin' wasn't gone...
There's so many cool custom cake designs that my professional cake maker friend's made--a cake shaped like a bowlin' ball and pins, another in the form of a car, and there's that video game console. But the one I commissioned is the dearest to me--a violin, complete with strings (inedible wires), a neck (made outta fondant covered cardboard), and a nutella flavoured fillin'. I'd ordered one for a friend, but it turned out to be too big for one person...
There's so many possible openin' lines my second violinist could've said to me today--"I got your email", some photo comment, a food remark, a musical anecdote, or even a reference question, cause afterall, I was sittin' at the reference desk when she walked into the library. Later on, as she cut into her cake, she observed that I'm the only person she knows that's got so many hobbies. Anyways, she asked "Can I borrow you bike?"...
There's so many things that can go wrong with with my proposed live performance of The White Album--supposedly there's a security issue that might require me to pay for the guard that protects the venue whilst the library is technically closed to the public and my anonymous friend who happens to know a lot about recordin' engineerin' can't record extracurricular shows. But the underlyin' question is if the rest of my string quartet is on board...
There's so many excuses I could've made--that I had a cake that needed to be eaten, that I couldn't've predicted my second violinist's request, that I've got this crazy idea to cover The Beatles, that I wondered if any of the violinsts'd any country fiddle experience for "Don't Pass Me By", and how annoyin' is pizzicato for the 'cellist. But all I could think of was to call a band meetin'. And, I'm grinnin' now, cause it went well...
She was lookin' bad--I mean, not qualitatively, however the dominantin' darkness of her eye shadow, nail polish, and outfit fitted in the character alignment sense. Earlier, she'd called my cellphone whilst I was on the freeway--it's illegal in Los Angeles to drive in conjuction with usin' your hands to operate communication gadgets. And I was tempted to let her leave a message, but then I remembered that Veronica Mars is in charge of my voice mail--the joke is only funny if you're familiar with my taste in television heroines. Otherwise, I'm certain that she might mistake the humour for horndogness--which's only half serious. "Don't forget to take off the seat," she advised, "I heard that there's a lot of theft." If I'd've gotten arrested, I wouldn't've cared, cause it was worth it to hear her voice--I could see her eyes thru the connection.
At the inverted fountain, we spied three people--two we assumed were students based on the third's shirt which was inscribed with the word "instructor" in all caps. They seemed to be slowly stretchin', shiftin' their bodies, and pushin' the air. As we walked past their range of hearin', she asked "What're they doin'?" "Tai chi," I assumed. "What's that?" she curioused. "I think it's some kind balance thing," I pretended to briefly lecture. "Oh," she said in a manner that I've yet to hear done more interestin'ly--it's like she's pullin' air thru a harmonica. And lately she's been in my office on a daily basis--yesterday she wielded a knife, today her black clothes. Last week, she wore her hair down, which drove me bananas even from the back row. She cut the cake with her hair up. I secretly wished the followin' day she'd do the opposite when she picked up her seat.
Semi-jivin', I exaggerated "You can come over to my place." Thankfully she laughed--and not in that polite sort. A professor stumbled by us in the basement. But she was also considerin' the possibility. "How far is it?" she scratched her head. "'Bout 15 miles," I estimated. "I can do it," surprisin'ly she rose to the challenge. "Sure," I mocked psychologically in reverse. "No really," she wasn't kiddin' anymore, "I'll do it." Good for her, I thought--I'll drive you home. But the truth is, all this is bonus beyond what I need. I was happy the first time she came over. Anythin' addin' to that is gonna be testin' my well divided luck. Cause I'm tryin' not to get lost in exponential greed for the elusive "more"--pretty girls'ren't easy to say "no" to. However, selfish wishes can sometimes outweigh the truth. "I gotta make copies," she excused herself as she ascended the stairs.
Half of what I say is meaningless
But I say it so that the other half may reach you
I found another misheard line from The White Album--I'd always thought that Paul sang "Desmond says 'Can I like your face?''' in "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", but accordin' to the official lyrics printed in the accompanyin' booklet, it's "Desmond says 'Girl I like your face.'".
I only discovered this slight after listenin' to Phish's version. I double checked and they were correct. It sounded like they'd fun performin' The White Album, albeit they were very sloppy--flubbed notes and words here'n'there, but overall, I think they captured the spirit of the original, which is all anyone should do.
"Hey," I heard someone call, "do you recognize me?" Honestly, when I'd originally passed her by, I didn't, but as I gave her a second look, I was ashamed of my mistake--it was my first violinist. Although she was now wearin' glasses, which she adjusted as I apologized and acknowledged her.
Today, I heard the 2009 mono mix of The White Album--it's online. It's significantly different from the stereo mix--keys're different, sound effects'ren't the same, and vocal harmonies are more prominent. I'm probably gonna get a copy off of eBay--I'm not interested in buyin' the box set just for that album.
Anyways, Phish kept it pretty authentic in their interpretation. The most radical change was for "Don't Pass Me By", which they sped up and drew out durin' the chorus. Which got me thinkin'--I'm stayin' true to the notes in my string quartet arrangement, but I'm open to some personal tweaks.
I blame my job at an academic institution for instillin' in me the geeky primary resources research ideal. Cause I've incorporated some ideas from early takes of songs in my arrangements--the last bar of the second middle eight in "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" from the Anthology is what I'm goin' with.
Not to mention, I'm gonna utilize some of the alternate lyrics. I mean, the finalized words often're just repetitions of previous lines--"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is a good example, so instead of repeatin' the openin' rhymes, I think to prove my background knowledge, I'll sing "I look from the wings..."
But musically, so far (I'm at "Rocky Raccoon"), I've been pretty straightforward in my arrangements--we'll see after we start rehearsin' if I hear somethin' else. Although, I do like the mono mix's version of "I Will"--the bass comes in on the second verse. Not to mention, the original's key is too high for my voice.
I'm findin' that, for the most part, I can sing an octave lower than The Beatles did--damn, they'd high voices, especially George as I'd to drop the key a tritone for "Piggies". "Don't Pass Me By" sounds hilarious in the Johnny Cash range. And I can't help it if here'n'there I slip into some Dylanesque phrasin'.
The other day I helped a professor locate a facsimile of the Liszt sonata--he wanted to compare a bar from the original manuscript with later published editions. Yeah, I'm gonna purchase the mono mix of The White Album--I don't think listenin' on headphones does it justice. You gotta hear it in the open, without the two channels in your face.
Black Francis haunts "Wild Honey Pie", Siouxie Sioux "Dear Prudence", and Radiohead "Sexie Sadie". I'm not complain' 'bout the legacy of The White Album, but it's almost overwhelmin' how culturally entrenched it is--"Just like Dylan's Mr. Jones..." I wanna get to the point where I'm not surprised anymore.
Somewhere between Philadelphia and Los Angeles, I looked out the airplane's window. The ground below was flat and divided into endless square plots. There were diagonal strips of roads cuttin' across here'n'there and clusters of buildin's markin' town centers. And I couldn't help but see the results of society, by which I mean the cooperation of humans, widespread down there. I know that I sometimes make fun of organized groups of people, but I couldn't deny the accomplishments they achieved--one person can do a lot, but with others they can carpet the land with crops.
My brother told me 'bout his adventures in Corning, New York when my sister and I visited him and his wife. He's been playin' poker with the town's business leaders. Cause he's always been fascinated by the hierarchies--there are always individuals who control others. As well, my sister keeps tabs on such things within her line of business, namely advertisin'. She made fun of the graphic designs of the local businesses as portrayed on television commercials--they tended to use too many fonts, accordin' to her. But to tell you the truth, I was just happy to watch TV, period.
Cause ever since I lost my analog signal, I'ven't been able to tune in at home. My brother bought a respectable flat screen so that he and his wife could watch the Beijing Olympics. With the East Coast time difference, I was able to catch up on what I've been missin'--the new Conan O'Brien show (the Pixies were the musical guest) and even though I never'd cable, I caught several standup acts on the comedy channel. But my luck was granted when I was able to enjoy the latest SNL episode as hosted and musical guested by the one and only ever so talented Taylor Swift.
My brother, all this time that he's lived there, thought that the town's icon was of a man lookin' thru a spy glass--which I kinda can see. But my sister thought it was a guy playin' a flute--which I couldn't picture on account of that instrument is played traversely, maybe a clarinet. I guessed that it's a dude blowin' glass--afterall, that's Corning's claim to fame. I mean, I could be wrong and either of my siblin's could be right, but they both agreed that my assumption made the most sense. However, I do question the effectiveness of the icon if it ain't entirely clear.
But back to the airplane--I never get tired of seein' LA. Especially on a nighttime descent. It's like an illuminated motherboard. And the little cars pulsin' back'n'forth along the freeways puts things into perspective--I simultaneously feel larger than I am as I see the tiny world below, yet the magnification of my ego truly zaps my significance as insignificance becomes underscored by the scope of my window in relation to the relative size of the next consecutive dimension. Some people can appreciate the secret deals. Some the discrepancies. And some the view from above.
I'm gonna be housesittin' for the next two weeks. So I'm gonna be offline. See you in December...
"Should I get my car tuned up?" I asked myself when I woke up on Veteran's Day. I'd originally planned to, but I stayed up late the night before playin' "I Will" over and over again. Not that I was tired--the weekend on the East Coast had me wakin' up earlier than I normally do on the West. On the con side, I figured other people probably'd the day off too and the car tune up place would be crowded. Pro, I could get the job done midweek, whereas Saturdays're booked--I've scheduled cookin' sessions with a friend who's versed in Southeastern European food. She also needed a pump for the bike she's borrowin'. So definitely, regardless of whether I got my car tuned up, I had to make a stop at the sports equipment store. Anyways, I figured I'd get some readin' done at the car tune up place.
I'm on Book V of The Dark Tower. Last night, my bass player called at the last minute wonderin' if I was available to jam. Normally, Wednesdays're my sessions with my personal film historian, so I texted him with the change of plans. "I wish you'd've told me earlier," he replied--he could've'd other plans, but canceled those, and "Tell your bass player and drummer 'Thanks for invitin' me.'" After I apologized, I tried to trace the blame--I ended up at Yoko (aka my drummer's codename for my bass player's girlfriend). But really, what's her motivation? Cause there's no particular person to place the weight of the karmic burden upon--once upon a time, I'm fairly certain that "blame' nevertheless returns back to me. Hence, I restrained myself from callin' anyone any under any unappropriate name game.
The director of the Hallowe'en show called two nights ago. "Can you videotape us?" he persuaded for the prosperity performance. I figured that it'd take 'bout 20 minutes--the length of the musical. As I exited the sports equipment store with a pump for my Southeastern European friend's bike, I was notified via cellphone that it might take up to three hours--various angles, pickup shots, retakes, etc. "Uh," I miscalculated, "I've got somethin' else to do at seven o'clock'--jammin' with my old band. Thus, I showed up, but the Hallowe'en crew excused me--afterall, I'd done the music, so I'd a pass for the evenin'. At band rehearsal, we played "Glass Onion", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Dear Prudence", and a handful of obscure songs that I'd composed 17 years ago, which I'd forgotten 'bout.
I remember when my ex-assistant started to get comments on her status updates at an online social network from some dude and later they became a couple. Veteran's Day is also the superstitious date that my bass player's ex-girlfriend observes. Next week begins my next housesittin' gig (Editor's note: This entry was written on 11.11.09). I'm lookin' forward to bringin' my guitar and invitin' my Southeastern European friend over for a cookin' session--they've got a nice kitchen, not to mention house, with tons of art that I guarantee'll amuse her. Anyways, at 11:11 on 11.11, I was puttin' the plate which I ate Yoko's sweet potato pie off of on my bass player's kitchen counter. Yesterday, I ordered two CDs by David Cross and the final two books in The Dark Tower series. "Do you've a pump?" she asked me.
"Shut up," my former assistant replied durin' dinner after I commented "You ain't as fun when you'ren't drunk." "I still've a hangover," was her excuse. "Well," I pressured, "the best cure is another drink." "Uh," she sighed, "I'm not an alocoholic." "Come on," I tried one last time. "No," she slammed.
...I had a dream in which I was on the season finale of some television show. It was a head scratchin' episode where every character, includin' myself, had to scurry thru a junkyard for miscellaneous items. We all had to pick somethin' to bring with us to the next season. Anythin'. Don't think, just grab it...
"I got a hangover," my pianist friend revealed. "How much did you drink?" I judged. "Just a little," she claimed, "cause I'm weak." "Well," I suggested, "the best cure is another drink." "Not for me," she dizzied. "You're just outta practice,' I observed. "Yes," she agreed, "in more ways than one."
...Everyone found somethin' to take with 'em to the next season, which was symbolized by 'em runnin' off and disappearin' over the horizon. Some took broken computers, others chairs, I saw one girl clutch a toy doll, and a lady holdin' a newfound umbrella. Quickly, I grabbed a bicycle seat...
In a way, one of the main criticism towards The White Album, namely that the songs're essentially solo tunes by each of The Beatles with the others backin' 'em up, plays in my favour in performin' the opus on acoustic guitar backed by a string quartet as there'ren't too many necessary harmonies or duets, so other than assumin' the roles of the various singers, I don't've to worry so much 'bout differentiatin' the voices. I mean, the audacity of The White Album's bloated length is enough to convince me that there ain't no other album of theirs that I'd rather do, but if I did, say Sgt. Pepper, which is a more sensible choice, if not the critically agreed upon masterpiece in their discography, I'd feel like an idiot singin' both John and Paul's parts in "A Day In a Life". Or dare to sing any of their awesome duets alone--"Two Of Us", "If I Fell", "Drive My Car", "She's Leaving Home", "Baby's In Black", "The Ballad Of John and Yoko", etc. And I won't even mention the three-part harmonies they did with George. So that pretty much discards all their other albums, if I were to follow the "perform an entire album live" ethic. Abbey Rd. would probably've been my second choice--I'll swear that I abide by all their phases, but if you'd put a gun to my head, I'll confess that I'm partial to their later period, and what's more later than the end? Lookin' past John, Paul, and George's vocals on "Because", cause the strings could've handled 'em serviceably, the decidin' factor was Ringo's drum solo on "The End"--there's no way we can recreate that without lookin' like fools. Revolver would be third, and other than summonin' up the creativity to transcribe "Tomorrow Never Knows", it's actually a possibility if I feel like I've underestimated my string quartet. I would've loved to've done Rubber Soul or A Hard Day's Night, but they're suited for more traditional rock quartet (two guitars, bass, drums) instrumentation (with the occasional piano or sitar). Although, after hearin' the mono mix of "I'm So Tired", I'm inclined to include that song in the pantheon of cool John and Paul harmonies. As well George and Paul on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". But since the public's most likely most aware of the stereo mix, where the harmonies're a little more subtle, I think I'm safe to sing it all by myself. Sure, "Happiness Is a Warm Gun", "Birthday", "Julia", and even "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" got multiple and/or overlappin' lines by different and/or the same voices, but they're not as crucial to the single perspectives that're observed. And yes gettin' to the heart of "Revolution 9" is a tricky point. But other than that, The White Album is perfect for my purposes.
l i k e t c h u p
Roman numeral four...
My brother was in town the week of Thanksgivin'. So that Monday, my sister made reservations at a fancy steakhouse in Beverly Hills. "Wear somethin' somewhat nice," she advised. I was housesittin' and used their iron to smoothen a shirt that'd a collar and buttons. It's probably the best blue clothes that I own.
"Did I knock your rearview mirror?" my assistant wondered.
"Not really," I replied as I looked thru and didn't readjust it.
"Sorry," she needlessly apologized.
The other day I found 28 cover versions of "Dear Prudence". One was done by Lau--it was a track from the compilation The White Album Recovered which came with issues of Mojo magazine back when they did a 40th anniversary tribute to the original's release. I bought a copy off Amazon.
"Thanks for commin'," my artist friend greeted at her exhibit.
"Thanks for invitin' me," I replied as I looked at her paintin'.
"They hung it upside down," she whispered.
Of course I read the Mojo articles online--right now I can't get enough info on The White Album. I've been perusin' other publications for commemorative accounts. There was one on PopMatters which had some comments by other musicians 'bout their favourite cuts. Long story short, someone mentioned that "Martha My Dear" was his.
"What're we listenin' to?" my second violinst inquired.
"This is what we'll be playin'," I hinted.
"I like it," she dug--it was "Martha My Dear".
Normally, I ain't scheduled to be on the reference desk on Monday, but I subbed for someone who was sick. An hour before my shift ended, a student asked if I could drive her to the grocery store so she could spend her professor's $100. Luckily, when we returned, a fire alarm'd sent everyone outta the library. I wasn't missed much.
...She's my fave undressin' in the sun
Someone recommended that I ought to watch Deadwood, the cable television series set in the American West circa the 1870's. Tonight, I attended a performance of Chopin's Second Piano Concerto by a pianist friend accompanied by the UCLA Symphony Orchestra. But after watchin' the first two episodes, I've decided to pass on followin' the show to its conclusion which was cancelled after three seasons. "Can I see your program?" my cellist asked me--she was sittin' nearby in the audience (she wasn't playin' cause she's a member of the UCLA Philharmonia, which is the school's flagship of the two ensembles). I mean, I intended to be in the mindframe of the American West, given my Dark Tower readin' and White Album obsession, however the show lacked nearly all of my criteria for video entertainment value--to remind the reader who's either new or forgot, I admire, in order, actresses, music, cinematography, and emotional reaction (laughter or tears). Before the Chopin, a Beethoven overture was programmed--and after it was warbled thru by the second rate orchestra, I noticed my second violinst enter the concert hall durin' the applause, findin' a seat in the dark on the other side of me and my cellist. I know Veronica Mars later guest starred on the show, but without a main cast member drawin' me in, the long spaces between musical cues (granted the dialogue is melodious), and the theatrical (fake) lightin', and zero chuckles and/or cryin', I cannot continue without yawns.
Athletes, politicians, and talk show hosts're hilarious--if they wanted to "transgress", they should've been artists instead. After my pianst friend finished, there was an intermission, and I found my first violinist in the lobby. I remember hangin' with my spiritual advisor when he was a college student--I'd get stoned with his roommate. Cause artists, generally, don't've to apologize for their "trangressions"--be they adulterous affairs, "performance enchancers", or most frowned upon behaviours by our tabloid society. "How was she?" my first violinst asked. And thru the druggy haze, I can relive the moment the Kosovo conflict started--we were watchin' it unfold on the cable television news. In fact, artists're encouraged to cheat on their wives and get high, cause the results're often cool songs, paintin's, movies, or whatever. "She wasn't bad," I replied--my first violinist stomped her foot and demanded a more honest answer. Honestly, I'm always indifferent to the media after gettin' a degree in communications--ultimately, it's all a construction--but the alleged genocide haunted me subconsciously. I mean, my siblin's allowed our artist aunt's infidelities, but criticize our more "respectable" uncle's. And just when I was 'bout to clarify, my second violinst interrupted us--after she left, my first violinst accused "I heard that you gave her your bike." In the basement I once again bumped into my second violinst--"kosovo" is Serbian for "blackbird".
And time begins to let us know
It lets us know when to begin
"I've got goat meat stuck in my teeth," I announced to my assistant as we drove away from the Indian restaurant wherest we dined after I'd circled streets named "Galaxy" and "Avenue of the Stars" as I waited to pick her up from her interview with a piano teacher who wanted to ask her a few questions before assignin' her with a new student. It took me an hour to drive to and from the CD duplication plant on a boulevard called "Sunset" when I picked up 200 copies of a Xmas album I'd designed for a flute professor. When I got back to campus, my assistant opened the door of the closed library for me to enter and accepted my offer to give her a ride to her interview in a city called "Century".
How to begin? The White Album's first track, "Back in the U.S.S.R." is actually a perfect song to kick the album off--it' got all the themes as it rocks, it's a parody, and is politely political. But it's such a plunge, musically (a buildup on the dominant), to start a performance of the cycle--to be more specific, the jet plane sound effect is the real beginnin', sonically, however, I can't think of a way to recreate that intro with a string quartet. And I don't wanna rely on taped sounds--just another technical problem that'll probably happen. So I need somethin', a little prelude maybe, to settle the audience in before the royal popular music stylistic blitz of hilarious postmodern nursery rhymes ensues.
I got the answer as I was listenin' to The Neil Cowley Trio's version of "Revolution 9"--it's a jazz rendition on piano, bass, and drums, which starts off as a lovely ballad with the requisite monotone "Number nine" chant and reverse tape loops, but launches into a rockin' deconstruction of the sounds of the original, only to recapitulate back to the ballad, includin' a melodic quote from "Revolution 1". Well, I don't wanna spoil it for any readers that'll attend my concert, so I'll keep my mouth shut on what I've got planned. But let me just say that the more people I tell of my intentions with The White Album, the more I'm noticin' that a common response is "Are you gonna do 'Revolution 9'?".
On the reference desk today I read a pretensious article 'bout how The White Album is self consciously unpretensious in its mockery of pretensions. And if I read another "What 15 tracks would you chose if The White Album was a single disc?" post online I'm gonna puke--alright aleady, all the speculatin' ainít gonna change the fact that it's always gonna be an unashamedly imperfect double album. "How did it go?" I pondered as my assistant got in my car after her interview. Shortly later we grabbed some Indian food at the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica--she ordered the chicken curry, I the goat. "It went well," she summarized, "but I need to learn how to play some Beatles songs..."
Goin' offline 'til 2010...
Happy Holidays from OUT ON A LIM
Much later on, Grandma Molly Jones was almost alone. At 99 years of age she was beyond her physical prime. Grandpa Desmond past away last year of a stroke. And their couple of kids who used to run in the yard were either estranged or overdosed. Her closest of kin was her granddaughter named Julia--but she could be mistaken as her dementia sometimes suggests that she's projectin' memories of her own long gone mother who had the same name.
Bungalow Bill's wicked mom hasn't died yet--she's a century plus 11 years old. But she's pretty much useless other than every now'n'then whisperin' "Not when he looked so fierce" at random moments as she's wheelchaired between rooms in her palace overlookin' the Black Hills of Dakota. And every year on Bill's birthday, he'll sit beside a mountain stream with Julia's great-granddaughter and ponder the proverb "The deeper you go the higher you fly" and vice versa.
The King of Marigold booked himself a room at the local saloon. He'd come equipped with a happiness is a warm gun to shoot off the legs of his rival who'd broken his dreams by stealin' the girl of his fancy--her name was Martha, and she called herself the Duchess of Kircaldy, but everyone knew her as Prudence. Now she and her man, who called himself Dylan's Mr. Jones were standin' on the cast iron shore, listenin' to the pretty sound of music as a song of love filled the air.
So the King held a showdown at Miami Beach. Sir Walter Raleigh, Mother Superior, Chairman Mao, and a workin' girl were to be the judges. But on his way over, the King got in a car crash and he lost his hair. Durin' his blackout, his consciousness metaphorically "got to the bottom and went back up to the top of the slide" where he met an angel who before he turned and went for another ride sang and shouted "You are part of everythin' so won't you open up your eyes."
The King woke from a good night's dreamt sweet dreams, had a pineapple heart, unfolded his love, and laid it down for all to see. He crossed paths with some silly girls who'd either sunken or somethin' lackin' in their eyes--he was on the lookout for the seashell variety. "How could I ever have lost you," he complained. "No one was watchin' us," a wild honey voice suspiciously, like a black cloud, crossed his mind. With nothin' to lose, he set up a barrow at the market place.
Cue the orchestra...
Last Sunday, I sang and strummed/plucked the entire White Album in its entirety from "Back In the U.S.S.R." to "Good Night" for the first time with all the lyrics and chord progressions memorized. "Do you think it'd be weird if I texted her?" I joked with my former assistant. Well, except for "Revolution 9", of course. "No, you should," she replied. And I've got all the string quartet arrangements written up thru "Cry Baby Cry". So I did--and I got two exclamation marks in the reply I received.
Last week, I started recruitin' symphonic players. "We should first invent Mr. Bumper," she elaborated. So far, I've successfully followed several leads--a harpist and horn player. "And with the money we get from Mr. Bumper," I calculated, "we should be able to hire the research staff to develop Mr. Teleporter." I'm lookin' forward to transcribin' George Martin's hilariously brilliant score for "Good Night". I'm in debt to my former assistant. Cause I used to think that the White Album's closer was, cool--never super cool.
I mean, "Tomorrow Never Knows", "A Day in the Life", and "The End" 're the famous last tracks (or nigh final audio signals, i.e. groove runouts and ditties 'bout majesties). Maybe cause it's the funniest, mayhaps it's cause Ringo sang it, or perhaps the cause is hopeless to squabble 'bout, but regardless nonetheless, I think "Good Night" is just as worthy as the rest of those aforementioned songs to be up there in the pantheon of aforenoted holders of the most coveted spot on an album. Well, The Beatles certainly mastered the art of sequencin' a tracklist.
I read somewhere that there's a clarinet in the ensemble, but I can't hear it, so I'm gonna skip on that instrument. My assistant's roommate plays the flute, she'n'I'ren't on unrecognizeable terms, and she should know at least one more flutist. But I'm gonna skip on the vibes (I've seen some personel credits site 'em as a celeste)--instead, I'm gonna assign those lines to the second violinist of my string quartet.
Cause on the third verse there's a solo part for the first violin (outlinin' the vocal melody), the violist (who harmonically shadows the first violin), and the 'cellist (an echo of the instrumental (with hummin') middle eight). And that's where the vibes interject. In my case, the second violinst's tagged along with the rest of the quartet, too.
So she should at least get a line durin' that final verse. Well, other than that, I can't think of any other changes that the original's arrangement needs. Oh, and my former assistant's got the hookup with a choir.
Asks the guy who's plannin' on performin' the entire White Album with a string quartet...
Is it just me or does the movie industry seem to be overzealous in it's embracin' of the term "recyclin'"? What's with the remakes (Clash of the Titans, The Karate Kid) and the yet another return of a classic character (Sherlock Holmes, Robin Hood)? Does Hollywood've numbers suggestin' that the target audience doesn't remember, or is too young to care, 'bout the originals? Or're they currently empty headed?
All year I thought 'bout Evanna...
That bein' said, I liked the latest Luna Lovegood movie. I considered purchasin' a movie theatre ticket to see it, but was certain that my raincoat would've creeped out the little kids in the audience, let alone my championin' of Miss Lynch whenever she appeared on screen. And when it was released on DVD, I put it at the top of my queue. Alas, I'm not her only fan as I'm waitin' in line for the next available copy.
My only guess is I followed my heart...
I'd no idea what to get for the gift exchange. But the bookstore seemed like a logical place to start, not to mention an excuse to physically browse thru merchandise in the presence of pretty young consumers, which is an aspect that's lost whenever I shop online. Anyways, I trailed one to the humour section. Without givin' much thought, my hand accidentally landed on a book that I ended up buyin'--a Pearls Before Swine collection.
And she stole every scene...
One of the rules of our gift exchange is we can steal presents from others dependin' on what number we randomly pick. My first selection was the rebooted Star Trek movie--not bad, but it didn't give me a hard on. An unsuspectin' guest opened the gift I brought with a questioned look, which is better than barfin'. And then, luckily, someone swiped my Star Trek DVD, leavin' me with option to select another. I chose Evanna's epic.
My uncle'n'aunt were scheduled to arrive at 15:24, but before I left my apartment to pick 'em up at the airport, the realtime flight info online posted a thirty minute delay, so I waited an extra half hour. And after I'd parked my car and located their airline's terminal, I checked the monitors for the latest status. Their plane's expected to land at 17:32.
I'm determined to streamline my White Album concert, cause I'm clockin' it at a 90 minutes, and that's without "Revolution 9", which is riskin' the attention span of the audience. So I'm not doin' all the repeats for choruses that go on forever at the end of songs, such as "The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill" and "Cry Baby Cry".
With time to kill, I explored the kitchen appliance section of a general store. I've got it in my head to make a pizza from scratch, which I'll probably attempt soon, but for preproduction notes, I gathered the prices of pizza screens, pizza cutters, pizza ingredient scales, pizza cheese graters, and pizza dough stand mixers.
Ideally, I wanna do the crossfades, like between "Back In the U.S.S.R." and "Dear Prudence", and keepin' the lead-in space before the next songs at a minimal, so as to keep the applause time short. Of course, I doubt the aforementioned crossfade's possible as it's probably impossible to change the tunin' of my acoustic guitar in such short time.
At shortly before 17:32, the screens were now updated to an 18:24 arrival time. Anyways, eventually their plane landed and I drove 'em to my parents' house, where they were gonna spend the next week. We'd planned a family dinner with my sister and her husband the followin' day, so it made sense for me to not drive back and forth.
The followin' mornin', my parents'n'relatives were doin' some early in the day shoppin', leavin' me the house to myself. Like when I was a kid, whenever I was left alone at home, I immediately played the piano--after takin' a leak, but not takin' a shower or eatin' any breakfast. Obviously, I tickled some tunes from The White Album.
Last night, as everyone crashed early due to grandparental age, I finished readin' the sixth of seven books in the Dark Tower series. I hate to say it, but the White Album project is becomin' my quest for the Dark Tower--I feel like the gunslinger (my acoustic guitar bein' my gun) leadin' his ka-tet (my string quartet bein' my faithful companions).
Surprisin'ly, I found the solo acoustic guitar songs to be the most fun to play on the piano. Well, "Blackbird" has such a cool progression that those chords could work on any instrument. But the melody for "Julia" feels comfortable on my fingers, highlightin' its subtle, I mean come on, it stays on one note for a while, beauty.
Not surprisin'ly, the piano based numbers were a blast--"Martha My Dear", "Sexy Sadie", and the barrelhouse riff on "Rocky Raccoon". Cause I've been mainly hearin' these songs as string quartet arrangements that I'd forgotten how The Beatles used the piano in their music--they've got some trademark patterns. And soon enough time faded.
Hey kids, here's a word for you. Can you say "hebephile"?
In the last Luna Lovegood film, Hermione seemed too mature. It's like all she cared 'bout was her feelin's for Ron. I mean, really, what did she do to help in the battle against evil. Of course, I'ven't read the book, and mayhaps she did do somethin' that wasn't so self centered, but I mean, hey, the director of the movie thought it was worth cuttin'. And even durin' the final scene, after a horrible tragedy befell the headmaster wizard, she makes a comment on snoggin'. Come on, even Luna saved Harry when he was in trouble on the train.
Most hebephiles don't like you. Well, not until you hit puberty.
I thought my stash of quarters would never end. But I guess I'ven't been gettin' much of those denominations in change as of late as I found myself askin' the old lady at the grocery store's cash register to break a dollar. Cause I used to've a cup full on my desk, but now I didn't even've enough to do my next load of laundry, which's my primary usage of those 25 cent coins--my apartment complex's washers and dryers cost a buck each to run and only take quarters. I can't remember the last time that I ran out of 'em.
And then hebephiles lose interest in you after you've grown outta adolescence.
The other night I went to a party where everyone in attendance was close to my age. They played cards whilst I sat out and watched--my excuse was I'm colourblind and can't tell the difference between the suits. Besides, I just wasn't in the mood for games. But I was very interested in observin' the various personalities at play--they all seemed to be havin' so much fun just to be included in somethin', anythin', and least of all nothin'. And I couldn't help but notice that they all, subconsciously or not, had their minds on grownup things--kids, jobs, relationships, etc.
Supposedly psychologists're wrestlin' on whether or not hebephilia is a disorder.
I'm goin' in order of The White Album tracks as I import the MIDI files of my string quartet arrangements into a notation program. So far I've got the first three sides of the double LP. At last count, Lennon's mainly authored 13 tracks, McCartney 12, Harrison 4, and Starr 1. It's almost like two solo albums by the main songwriters, an EP by the lead guitarist, and a single by the drummer (with a B-side written by John and sung by Ringo). However, my software seems to've a problem interpretin' tuplets--I end up cleanin' up all the deviancies.
Oh, by the way, I solved the crossfade puzzle that I mentioned earlier (see OUT ON A LIM 1.7.10) regardin' the first two songs of Project White Album, not countin' the Lento intro (see OUT ON A LIM 1.8.10). Actually, the solution was far more and much less easier and cheaper than I'd'n't've expredected--the rich bastard in me saw myself buyin' another exact model bamboo acoustic guitar crafted from the same Asian manufacturin' plant and havin' it ready for me to switch (I could hire a lovely assistant to handle the quick blowjob) between songs, Dropped D detuned'n'all (see OUT ON A LIM 9.24.09).
But I don't've that kinda currency currently coercin' the course of my cursed current, so I opted for the more feasible, fossibility of ferpahps faybe fi fould figure fout fa fvay fvi fvould fvigure fvout fva fvvay fvii fviould fviigure fviout fvia fvivay fviii fviiould fviiigure fviiout fviia fviivay fviiii fviiiiiould fviiiigure fviiiout fviiia fviiivay to let my bamboo acoustic guitar to sit out "Back in the U.S.S.R.". This makes the most logical sense--the Lento intro introdeduces the string quartet into singular voices, symbolizin' the four distinct personalities of the Fab Four. Plus, when you program an hour'n'a half show, you gotta keep a nice pace.
By which I mean, the colours're different with a string quartet than a rock'n'roll band (plus miscellaneato whookaky musiciccal efffects)--it's sorta like smellin' the songs in black'n'white. So there's a different aesthetic--you gotta lure the audience in with shaded shapes of her wristic hues in your head whilst keepin' in mind the stamina of the violinists, violist, 'n' 'cellist and lighthighin' the notes. Cause I think of The Beatles as the musical counterpoint to Dylan's lyrics--their words weren't as clever and neither were his melodies. But to me, they both punched holes in the fabric of fantasy, creatin' nth dimensional universes of emotions, characters, 'n' knotty plots.
I'm a, uh, student of phtography. I lie to take, uh, pictres, espeshul'y of beyutiful, uh, things, so I, uh, ordered, um, some, uh, books, uh, 'bout nature'n'beavers'n'whatnaught. I, uh, mean, many o' these, uh, phtoes're, like, online and stuff, so anyone can download 'em'n'print 'em'n'stuff, with ethir comupter. But I firm grippedly belive that these objecertifications of pornorgry can't be fullly apppreciated unlesss theier expoxsxed inn thhey'rre orriginal forrmat. You know, like national geographic, life, or club international or other such respected magazines that you can back order from some the internet's most trustworthy vendors.
And I like how they read my mind when I noticed a monthly periodical sized envelope atop the apartment's mailboxes. I knew it was mine--I'm the only pro photographer in the buildin'. Slyly I did my laundry--it's a Saturday, nothin' unusual, just doin' my whites and colours all in the same batch cause I'm a cheap bastard, and hey, what do we have here, is that my mail? Huh, I think I'll pretend that it's not mine and unlock my open my locked postal receptacle and no big deal hear, nothin' for me, oh cue all the second fiddlers on the roofs. But wait...is that dirty mag sized package for me? Hahahahaha, the vendor scribbled "DO NOT BEND! PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL".
As well, you gotta balance each individuo, indivisolo, indivitrio, and indiviquartet--I make it a point in everythin' I've ever arranged for my group to equalize the moments of showin' off, blendin' in, and general store next to the hoedown fun (they're classically trained so I'm tripletizin' the swing). And I think I'vn't deviated from the Devil's divination when I've assigned a fair distribution of solos to keep 'em happy'n' part 'o the show. Likewise it's wise to like simpler solutions--they've got a million other gigs, not to mention college to attend, so to stress 'em out with minnd boggglin' excerxises in cOuNtErPoInT, I'm not gonna be an a$$holira.
A ten minute bathroom break between side two and three isn't a bad idea. But I gotta remember to keep my mouth shut between numbers that'ren't attaccas (see pg. 673 of the 1980 edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians volume one). Thje ljest Ij sjay tjhe thej betterj. Eventhough I know it's so temptin' to poke 'em for a laugh 'r two 'r three 'r four 'r five, ok,'r six, but that seventh time's where I just gotta draw the drawn dawn dwn dn d line and say "Nothin'". Tod@y I ordered @ pizz@ screen, pizz@ dough docker, @nd @ pizz@ wheel with @n @email@example.com gift c@rd. I've got an extra dollar sign four five zero to spend, too.
"Good Night" (demo)
Move over, busker
You're time has come
I've got some fond memories of McCartney's 1986 album Press to Play that oftentimes cloud my judgement of that poorly sold collection, the worst actually in his discography, of its objective coolness. Firstly, I immediately associate the first track with an ice cream bar that I ate durin' the first time I played the vinyl on my stereo at my parents' house back when I was a teenager. Secondly, I'd just become a fan of some band that he was in before Wings and this was the first new release I'd heard of any of the ex-Beatles. And thirdly, I can still recall the concurrent crush I'd had with a certain first violinist from the weekly orchestra rehearsals which I played second violin in, as if it were now.
We've got a copy of the album at work, so I played it on my computer as I did my job of receivin' the latest books that I'd ordered for the music library. And it just so happened that Carlin's biography Paul McCartney: A Life crossed my desk. With the songs playin' in my headphones, I thought it'd be fun to read the pages listed in the index for the some background on the sessions. What I read really bummed me out, man. Supposedly, the year before, he'd performed at Live Aid and was booed as he sang "Let It Be". This caused him to feel some serious doubt 'bout himself. So much so that he asked his producer for recommendations on who to hire to play bass on the album.
Dude, I'm paraphrasin', but the producer said, dude, what the fuck're you talkin' 'bout, you're the best bassist on the planet. And McCartney would go upstairs to smoke a spliff. He'd return to the studio and fuss more than accomplish any decent takes of his bass track. There was a moment of awkwardness when the producer gave him a music trivia board game and one of the first questions involved was "What year did Paul McCartney's mother die?" But the saddest part of the story was that the audience at Live Aid wasn' booin' him--his microphone wasn't workin' and they couldn't hear his voice. Oh and the cover of the book is his portrait from The White Album. I had to notice.
I found a recipe online for bibim guksu (soba'n'kimchi salad). Tonight for dinner I had zaru soba ("soba in a basket"--straightforward chilled noodles with a simple dashi broth (kelp and shaved fish soaked water, cookin' sake, soy sauce, and sugar, with sliced scallions, grated Japanese radish, and wasabi). So I'm familiar with makin' buckwheat noodles. However, the kimchi was askin' to be deconstructed.
A habit I've got is hangin' a calendar 'bove my desk--I really don't care what day it is, but ever since I was a kid, I can always remember havin' a monthly chart of dates hangin' somewhere in every room of the house, even the garage. I'm not as extreme as I've only got one in my main studio (visible from my computer, where I edit photos, music, and am within arm's reach of hundreds of tiny toy bricks. And my beer coaster.
So I backtracked the link and found a recipe for the two ingredients that I'ven't made from scratch yet--the gochujang dressin' (a mixture of gochujang, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds) and the kimchi (fermented salt soaked napa cabbage, sliced green onions, chopped garlic, grated ginger, gochugaru, and fish sauce). This weekend I'm gonna attempt a batch.
Last year I'd a calendar of Chinese photos that were edited to look like ancient paintin's. The year before I had a Zen theme. And previous to that, twelve months of Puffy, another of Audrey Hepburn. Needless to say, I'd no idea what I wanted to stare at for this year. I really didn't feel like drivin' to the bookstore to browse the selections--usually I pick the one that first catches my eye, like if there's a dinosaur one, it's mine.
But I was tired of the routine, not to mention reisistant to payin' for a calendar when if I were crafty, could scrounge one for free anywhere. I mean, the calendar in my parents garage is always the giveaway one from the local Asian market. And really, do I need one? What do I feel like projectin' upon this annual rotation 'round the sun? The Beatles? Nah, I've already'd 'em on my wall--another rule of mine is to never repeat themes.
With the exception of dinosaurs, of course. Also, after I'd exhausted my CD cabinets, I've started to build random piles 'round my 'partment--mostly near my desk, which is close to my ghetto blaster, and some within proximity of my bedroom's stereo system. What I'm tryin' to say is, where I hang my calendars, by which I mean, where I've got a nail in the wall, has been intrudin' on three of my CD stacks.
Thus a smaller calendar would be perfect. And so I swiped the complimentary calendar from Strad magazine. It just so happens to coincide with the violin motif that I've currently got goin' in my life. As well, it's a smaller calendar than the type I traditionally covet, givin' my CD piles room to grow. This year I'm lookin' forward to Zooey's second volume. Plus more string quartet recordin's to add to my collection.
Behind me was the pier and the spinnin' neon decorated ferris wheel. Ahead was a hotel--each of the corner rooms had their drapes open and their televisions on. The cute oboe chick, who reminded me of a sexier version of the cute actress from that movie Up In the Air which we saw last month, wore a small, tight, black shirt emphasizin' her expansive frontside. "Are you havin' a good day?" you cup your hip and ask.
"What do you mean you never give five stars?" my personal film historian conversed.
"I mean," I explained, "I've yet to see a movie that deserves five stars."
"So like," he pictured, "what's a five star movie look like?'
"A five star movie," I quickly replied, "is one which's got a nude scene involvin' Luna."
"I was until I saw you," I joked as you flinched after I poked and pinched your stomach. You exit and my second violinst enters. "Happy New Year," she smiles. "Likewise," I return, "and thanks for all those cool photos." "You're welcome," she laughs. "What's with all the blue paint?" I commented. "Oh," she lit up, "in our country that is my people's favourite colour." "Did you find a converter for your charger?"
I remembered. "No, because some guy told me that he fried his cellphone."
She bummed. "I'm sorry."
I apologized. "It's OK, I took as many pictures as I could on one battery charge."
She grinned. "Hey, you're back?"
I said with surprise. I hiked up the hill past the hotel and found my party at the Italian restaurant. Here's the path: the cosmic whatever into the spirit of The Beatles into their recordin' of The White Album into a commercially purchased copy played into my ears into my head and outputted as a programmed MIDI file which gets imported into notation software, printed out, and performed by my string quartet.
"I'm so tired," she complained after steppin' away from the computer terminal.
"Are you still nine hours ahead?" I calculated.
"My soul is," she repeated, "my body is here, but you know, my soul is still over there."
The score is 16 double-sided pages long with the staff size at 9 points.
Mr. Coffee, Mr. Fusion, Mr. Mustard, Mr. T, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Bean, Mr. Potato Head, Mr. Clean, Mr. Moonlight, Mr. Eko, Mr. Kite, Mr. Incredible, Mr. Hat, Mr. Postman, Mr. Jones, and Mr. Mister.
I traveled to the local Korean market this afternoon for some red chili pepper'n'paste. Mayhaps 'tis just me, or perbe 'tis today, but the Korean girls weren't lookin' bad as they were dressed up to go spice shoppin'.
One of my violinst has got a habit of namin' things with the male honorific "Mr.". Like her Mr. Violin. Or with her New Year's description "Happy Birthday Mr. Calendar". Mr. Bike, Mr. Camera, Mr. Etc.
There's half an aisle dedicated to red chili at the local Korean market--lots o' sizes and types of red coloured boxes'n'bags'n'jars. All the Korean girls in that section wore predominantly black stockin's.
This mornin' I'd dreamt I had my hand up the skirt of a Korean girl. We were in a hotel that overlooked the ocean. I think it was also medieval times cause there were lots of messenger pigeons.
I've been watchin' Odenkirk'n'Cross' Mr. Show. Generally it's hilarious, with an obvious '90s anti-establishment attitude, sometimes dippin' into juvenile humour. However, the segues're beyond brilliant.
They go from source transmissions of communication, like another television or a cylinder record, that's playin' in the same room as the current comedy routine and go/jump/into their next sketch. I've laughed.
For tomorrow's lunch I made a tuna sandwhich, but unlike the usual homemade bread, I wrapped it in lavash--an Armenian flatbread, sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds. The gourmet tuna was mixed with mayonnaise made from scratch with some beer and thyme mustard that my boss gave me for Xmas. I placed the mashed fish on a leaf of lettuce that I'd purchased for a food photoshoot--I'd cooked some Japanese fried chicken and the recipe called for garnishin' it with lettuce and a slice of lemon. The lavash is fun to make--you roll the dough and bake it for 'bout five minutes on a stone. I don't know how "authentic" it is, but it's a different change of texture from my daily standard tuna sandwiches. For a while there I was revertin' to my ol' college staple--the tuna on wheat, with mayo, mustard, and onions. But hey, change ain't gonna kill me. So I dabbed some Hawaiian honey'n'mustard dressin' on the lettuce leaf, plopped some tuna mixed with mayo onto it, and rolled the lavash. Actually, the idea for this concoction came to me at the Philadelphia airport when my sister and I were delayed for our flight to my brother's tiny upstate New York town--they had these tuna wraps made with lettuce'n'lavash at one of the food courts. I remember on the return flight, I tried a Philly steak sandwich--someday I'd like to recreate one o' those. My bread recipe book happened to've an entry for lavash and so I revised the rather stale manufacturin' of the airport variety--I mean, first of all, the dolphin safe tuna that I ship from Oregon tastes a hell o' lot better than that Pennsylvania shit. And I don't use any weird preservatives in my bread or condiments. I'll wash it all down with some home-brewed refrigerated barley tea. Next weekend, I'm hopin' to make my first pizza--that is if all my online ordered ingredients arrive by then.
Based on the reports that I've read online of other live performances of complete The White Album, I'm gatherin' that it's somewhat of a tradition to play "Hey Jude" as an encore--a song thats played in puzzlin' portions of the Dark Tower series. I can understand why--it's the closest single within proximity of album's release, so it's easy to lump them into a similar stylistic phase. Not to mention that song's their biggest hit--you can't go wrong closin' a show with the audience singin' along to that chantin' finale.
The other day, a math professor asked me a reference question--he wanted to check out some Mozart violin sonatas that he and his wife could play. Along with him was his assistant--some grad student that was playin' the teacher's pet a little to desperately. Cause I gave the professor the call number and instantly the assistant ran upstairs to gather the scores. Meanwhile, I had a little chat with the professor, who seemed to've clogged ears--I didn't stare too long, but it looked like a clump of wax. Otherwise, he seemed like a cheerful old man.
But I'm thinkin' 'bout skippin' the encore. Firstly, the double album is already askin' way too much of the audience--to sit thru another seven minute song is just rude. Secondly, although I'd've the orchestral and choral support at hand, it'd just be another reason for the students to ask for more money, which I'm too cheap to spend. And thirdly, and in all seriousness, which trumps all other lame excuses, playin' "Hey Jude" after "Good Night" might showcase the former as an easy crowd pleaser, but it'd undermine the humour of the latter.
I think it's hilarious how nature can fuck things up, like on a really huge ratio between natural behaviour and radius of effect. For example, a skunk--one of these animals can stink up several square miles. And you can smell 'em from inside your car as you drive by the detonation zone. Or this one time, at a classical piano concert in a large hall, with a packed house, the professor rolled out some fascinatin' comments on Grieg's lyriske smaastykker. And every now'n'then, from some corner of the auditorium, a cricket added its thoughts, too.
If all the fun facts I've read're true, then both "Hey Jude" and "Good Night" were written for Julian Lennon--the former by Paul as a cheer up message to the kid whose parents were gettin' a divorce, and the latter by John as a lullaby for his son. And even though "Hey Jude" is a kickass tune, somehow it's too good for its own good--I ain't gonna dare and try to sing that one. As well, it's not half as funny as "Good Night", which is the perfect endin', albeit untraditional of me to not do an encore. Oh well, I can't argue otherwise.
Ever since I started bakin' my own bread, I'ven't bought a loaf from the store. Not that mine's superior to some higher end brands, but for what it's worth, I think mine tastes better than most commercial products. And I'm sure I've got an edge on healthier ingredients--although "no preservatives" means I can't keep mine too long. But I can't see myself spendin' any money on bread that I didn't make.
The other day I received an email from a reader who noticed one of my photographs on an online traffic school course--my famous "Speedometer", which once graced an album cover for a rockabilly band. Anyways, she said seein' it was the highlight of her ordeal, which to me is worth more than any copyright infringement nonsense that I potentially could pursue. I mean, I'm honoured.
Likewise for orange juice. Granted, not every bag of the fruit's gonna yield the same taste as sometimes it's as sweet as heaven and other times it's got a sour purgatory aftertaste--consistency ain't the name of the game when you squeeze your own glass. But that's half the fun--guessin' what it's gonna taste like. And nevermind that it's always gonna be better than that store bought stuff. I can never go back.
Yesterday someone emailed me requestin' an MP3 of my rendition of Dylan's "Red River Shore", which they saw on YouTube. I'm glad that people're diggin' it. It's been a year since that performance, and it's nice that it's takin' on a life of its own on the internet. All the comments're cool, so far. And I know I can stand behind what my string quartet and I did for that song. I suppose that's all I can ask for.
I slept for four hours last night. But I wasn't tired. Cause it felt like I'd dreamt for four days. Walls were dissolvin', girls were naked, hunderedth story views were viewable, and freeways were roller coasterin'. Plus, I knew I was dreamin'--there were these telltale clicks that I heard whenever I doubted the reality of the moment. Yet, my body couldn'tn't shake the notion that time was expandin' in my mind.
Now, some of the other meals I've attempted, namely the sushi, I'm perfectly fine with payin' a professional to create for me--that's an artform that remains respected by me. Indian cuisine's half'n'half--sometimes I think mine's better, sometimes I think I can't compete. But pasta, forget 'bout it. Those dry brands can't compete with my homemade scratch. Although for sauces, I'll bend every now'n'then--I don't've the time to simmer for four hours.
Another reader wrote to me pointin' out a discrepancy I'd made in my demo of "Good Night"--a line that should've been a third higher (the MP3's since been updated). And after double consultin' The Beatles' original recordin', I made the correction in the score. Thus, I'm grateful for his contribution to my White Album project. When my second violinst plays that line, I'll think "Thanks [reader's name]".
My LEGO harpsichord's nearly eight years old, and to this day I still get spikes on my statistics from hits in cyberspace. Currently, my numbers're above normal due to StumbleUpon.com, which is cool, but really, isn't all this old news? But like back then, these things come in waves--not everyone caught the first, second, or fiftieth time my site was linked to some popular portal. Not that I'm complainin'.
I ain't gonna buy another pizza again.
I met the Dalai Lama last night in a dream.
But first, let me preface with what I'm guessin' triggered the whole thing. Cause His Holiness is usually never in my thoughts, let alone religion for that matter--lately, I've got Luna Lovegood on my mind. She's my Goddess. Hey, I won't make fun of your beliefs if you won't mock mine.
So yesterday, the washin' machine at my apartment complex ate my four quarters. And like when tragedy befalls most, most turn to a higher power for an explanation, which made me wonder what Jesus or Buddha would've done in my situation--although I suspect they've got disciples to do their dirty work.
Suffice to say, I didn't really follow thru on any hypothetical answer. I mean, it was a dollar for Luna's sake. I just put in another set of coins, the washin' machine accepted 'em, and I was on my way. However, as with many of my dreams, the seed was planted for a subconscious appearance later.
Anyways, back to the meetin' with the Dalai Lama. I was kickin' back at my apartment when he knocked on my door. I opened it to find His Holiness. I offered to shake his hand, but he refused--he gestured instead with both of his palms in a prayer position and bowed. I let him in regardless.
He then pulled out a harmonica. I had my acoustic guitar nearby and asked him what key he had. "A" he replied as he started to blow. I figured we could jam on some blues, cause that seems to be the universal progression. So I played the 12-bars in E--that'd accommodate his flatted seventh.
But His Holiness refused to play the blues. He said I was in the "wrong" key, which technically I was, but the beauty of the blues is its subversion of technicalities. Nevertheless, who am I to argue with the Dalai Lama. And so I shifted to his key. His playin' was pretty, albeit a bit corny.
Supposedly, he assumed that I'd be honoured to've his harmonica. "No thanks," I rejected. I don't care who he was, I'm not gonna treasure some instrument drenched in saliva. Even if Dylan gave me one of his harmonicas, I'd follow the same pattern. Now, if Luna gave me hers, that'd be a different story.
I woke up and later found a dollar on the sidewalk. I didn't pick it up.
Two buddies from Hacienda Heights drove 'cross town to Beverly Hills to catch a showin' of a new 35mm print of De Sica's 1948 neo-realist masterpiece Ladri di Biciclette. One of 'em had seen it before, but never on the big screen, not to mention a good transfer. The other'dn't watched the classic yet--the tale of a bike that gets ripped off.
Cause when they arrived at the trendy theatre, the marquee didn't include the showin' that they'd wanted to catch. When they complained at the ticket booth, they were asked for proof. On cue, they provided the movie's showtimes. However, the scrap was questionable cause it didn't include the day's date--it was ripped out of the local weekly.
One of the buddies was excited to tell me 'bout a pill he's been takin'. He read 'bout it online and ordered some. It's supposed to zap unwanted fat. And in conjunction with regular exercise and a healthy diet, the supplement's gonna make it easier for him to build muscles faster. He kept stressin' "I'm gonna be ripped."
The other buddy purchased a new bubbler. Actually, it was acquired on the day they failed to see their film--he'd misplaced his usual smokin' device and needed to get high before gettin' comfortable in the theatre. So he found the nearest head shop and bought a decently priced concealable water pipe. He emphasized "I had to get ripped."
PROJECT: Soba'n'kimchi salad with gochujang dressin'
NOTES: I ate it tonight after the pickled napa cabbage'd been kept long enough--three (or more, dependin' on desired sourness) days at room temperature and three (or more) in the 'fridge. I'd foolishly bought the gochujang paste on the same day that I bought the kimchi indgredients at the local Korean market, so I'd wasted an opportunity to return to those heavenly angle buzzin' aisles. Anyways, I made a batch of buckwheat noodles (with the assistance of my kneadin' robot), unpacked some kimchi, and mixed up the sesame flecked sauce. It wasn't bad.
PROJECT: White Album
STATUS: commin' together
NOTES: "Are you busy?" I tapped my second violinist. "Let me quickly finish this..." she pointed to the email she was composin'. I sat in my office and waited 'bout a minute before she breathed "What's up?" And so she was the first member of my string quartet to get a peek at the score. She gave me some correctional advice--theress a 32nd note arpeggio pattern that she thinks can't be done in unison, unless I want it to be outta tune cause those notes are pretty high. "I like that title," she flipped the pages. "Which one?" I looked over her puffy white sweatered shoulder. "'Sexy Sadie'," she flipped back as I nonverbally agreed. "Do you've a mute?" I played dumb. "Pfff," she feigned offense. "Oh," I remembered what I told myself to not forget when I'd pictured this conversation, "can y'all swing?" "I can," she boasted, "but I don't think the rest can." "Oh OK," I knew she'd say that, "so I just notated it in triplets." She sang a beat that swung. "Give me my part before we rehearse," was her final thought to an overall approval stamped first glance.
PROJECT: Lego portrait #19
STATUS: startin' in February
NOTES: This one's of my cousin'n'his wife. Greyscale. 3 foot square. I'm low on dark and medium grey 1x1 plates.
PROJECT: Panty Raid 2010
STATUS: not likely
NOTES: The idea was to sneak into the sorority houses that're so invitin'ly linin' the street next to my parkin' structure and steal as many pairs of snobby college girls' underwear. I really don't know what I'd do with the stash afterwards if I was successful. Smell 'em? Wear 'em? Collect 'em? Give 'em to the poor? I need a better reason other than I'm a pervert.
PROJECT: Re-season my cast iron cookware
NOTES: I noticed a slight metallic taste in my last batch of pizza sauce, which when accordin' to an online advice site, is a sign that it's time to re-season my Dutch oven. And while I'm at it, I should do my skillet, too. So you're supposed to scrub the cookware clean, add a thin coat of cookin' oil, and heat 'em upside down in the oven for 'bout an hour. Repeat the last two steps several times. Last weekend (I don't've the time on weekdays to pay attention to my stove) I did my Dutch oven. This weekend I did my skillet.
PROJECT: 9/11 coincidence
NOTES: A friend o' mine, uh, let's call him Lenry, was all trippin' out the other night when he was watchin' Madonna's Immaculate Collection DVD. Cause when he paused the music videos to, uh, go to take a leak, he did so at the beginnin' of "Like a Virgin". The openin' shot is of a tugboat dockin' before a backdrop of the New York skyline--the Twin Towers prominently framed. And the timer on his DVD player displayed "9:11". "Whoa, dude," he dazed, "what does that mean?" "It means," I sighed, "pass it over here, man..."
Standing on the cast iron shore--yeah
Lady Madonna trying to make ends meet--yeah
There's this online store that provides free shippin' for purchases meetin' a certain price minimum. I know someone who tried to order a series of claymation DVDs, and wouldn't rather pay less than what she'd mindlessly tacked onto her shoppin' basket. A friend waits 'til he's got several items on his wishlist before proceedin' to the checkout. I go by my whim--if I'd like to get somethin', I'll get it. And if it happens to be over the non-free shippin' limit, so be it, otherwise I'm happy payin' a small sum instead of goin' scroungin' for shit I don't need.
I've made three pizzas in my life thus far--and they've all been the traditional 14" New York style plains. I'm gonna make another this weekend, but I'm gonna experiment with the cheese--I've been usin' mozzarella, lots of it per my Italian pal from New York's advice. But I've also read that provolone is sometimes included. And until I figure out how to engineer meat toppin's, such as pepperoni, I think I'll variate on the flavours for fun. Not that mozzarella was bad, but at least I know, if all else fails, I can always return to the tried and true.
My assistant watched (500) Days of Summer with her roommates last weekend. That movie was my personal film historian's top pick of 2009. And I could name several acquaintances that would confirm their recommendatin' it to me when it was playin' in the theatres. Somehow I never got 'round to buyin' a ticket, not to mention it stars Zooey, even though my feelin's for her've strayed ever since she got married. Nevertheless, it was the most recent rental DVD from my queue. The formerly single Deschanel was perfect and the music wasn't bad.
As well, the cinematography was cutely focused on her and the songs were aptly incorporated into scenes--there's a dance number. And I could see how mayhaps 20 years ago I'd've related to the desperation of Zooey's character's significant other. But watchin' his embarrassin'ly self absorbed behaviour intrude into the lives of his social circles made me glad to've hopefully outgrown such childishly spoiled acts of hyperbole induced romance. However, I'm not foolish enough to believe that Zooey couldn't similarily make me lose my composure.
I ordered the soundtrack and book on home sausage makin'. The total was a few pennies over $25.
"Can I borrow your pen?" my first violinist asked as she took one from a cup of many that was sittin' on the circulation desk.
"Of course," I encouraged.
"Do you trust me?" she wondered.
"Why're you askin' me a stupid question?" I pestered.
I consulted my horn player 'bout notation--I seem to always forget what the correct transposition is, I mean, I know it's some fifth, but below or above what's written keeps duckin' outta my memory. "It's below," he answered.
"You don't think that's difficult?" I inquired my 'cellist as she quickly turned the page that was "Why Don't We Do It In the Road?".
"Not particularily," she returned to the song in my printed score.
"Even this?" I pointed to the groovy bass line durin' the last verse.
"Nope," she thumbed onwards.
My choral director looked at the openin' high note that I'd assigned her to sing solo. She either's gonna practice it or think of someone else that she can delegate it to. Other than that, after glancin' at the music, she's not too worried.
Musically speakin', the last three tracks on side one're structured upon a harmonic consistency that aggrandizes the album's song order. It might've been happenstance or The Beatles could've knowlin'ly grouped 'em together (like how they sequenced the tunes 'bout animals in a row on side two), but "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", and "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" all begin in C major (or its relative minor) and utilize A major as a key change.
Lyrically speakin', the first two tracks on side three're connected by their constrastin' perspectives on life--"Birthday" celebrates, if not a little too eagerly, the day the singer (and who they're singin' to) was born, whilst "Yer Blues" moans, if not a bit too drastically, 'bout feelin' suicidal. And both use straightforward language--"Happy birthday to you" and "[I] wanna die". On they're own, these songs might seem simpleminded, but next to each other, they gain more dimension.
Personally speakin', I'm gonna overload side four in the key of G major (with passages thru its relative minor and some brief exceptions, such as the "Can you take me back" fragment and of course "Revolution 9"), mainly cause I can't comfortably hit "Revolution 1"'s highest note in its original key (A major), so I dropped it down. The rest of the songs won't be transposed--again, I'm suspectin' some sorta schemed or lucky accident in the tracklist that ties these everythin' together.
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