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Archive for May, 2000

Gary Bartz on performing with Miles Davis

Friday, May 5th, 2000

I like this:

Then as now, I never knew the names of the songs. We were playing music. Our concerts used to last an average of two hours, nonstop. People and musicians would be amazed at how we knew what song was what. We knew, but that was missing the point. It didn’t really matter about the names. What do you call a beautiful day?
Gary Bartz, sax (liner notes to Miles Davis’

Memory and association

Thursday, May 4th, 2000

Still “sick as all hell”, so this is the only real update. In a pathetic bout of self-pity I went out today to the local record store and bookstore and purchased some CDs and a book. I’ve forgotten how nice it is to get a nice new book for recreational reading - I’ve not read anything for fun since Christmas. I got, if anyone cares, Gene Wolfe’s Litany of the Long Sun, an omnibus of the first two novels in a tetralogy. Wolfe is one of my two absolute favorite authors (the other being Harlan Ellison) and I find his work highly stimulating.

Speaking of novels, I was thinking of the spring of my junior year in high school, when I was starting to get into prog and when I was prolifically reading science fiction novels at the rate of about 3-4 per week. I have some indelible associations made from reading while listening to music: for example, I will forever be emotionally affected by Djam Karet’s Reflections from the Firepool, as I first listened to it while reading Stephen Donaldson’s highly emotional fantasy series The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. It’s fascinating how one medium can enrich the experience of the other.

Anyway, the CDs I got today, in blatant violation of my restriction on CD buying that was supposed to last until the end of the school year:

  • Budd, Raymond, Guthrie, Fraser - The Moon and the Melodies - Joe’s review convinced me
  • Dave Brubeck - Time Out - slowly building my jazz collection
  • Miles Davis - Live-Evil - aaaah!… this stuff is intense
  • Grey Eye Glances - Eventide - a great deal (used $5); a bit too slick and adult-contemporaryish but not bad

A brief but interesting look at how Sean Malone starts writing a song, with RealAudio clip:

It’s a simple groove in 12/8, with a small metric modulation to 3/4 in the middle. This is how it starts. A simple rhythmic pulse. I’ll play with this for a while, develop some textures, some melodic content, then some contrasting sections. Here it is.

What’s spinning, May 3 edition

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2000

Sick as all hell today - no updates until now for that reason. Quiet, laid-back stuff, then, on today’s playlist, to avoid aggravating my headache:

  • After Crying - Megalázottak és megszomorítottak - some of it’s a bit aggressive but overall this is one of my favorite albums to chill out to, as well as one of my favorite albums period
  • Älgarnas Trädgård - Framtiden är ett svävande skepp, förankrat i forntiden - sometimes I can’t figure out if this psych-rock classic is a masterpiece or a spectacular failure
  • Tony Geballe - Native of the Rain - very smooth and relaxing solo twelve-string acoustic guitar work
  • Low - The Curtain Hits the Cast - almost glacially slow vocal rock; some really beautiful moments; my fave so far is “Over the Ocean”
  • Ragnarok - self-titled - a perennial favorite of mine when I want something soft and pretty

I’m over the ocean
over the hills, over the dell
over the fireline
over the sand, over the plan
over the empire
and if I belong, then I’ll be longer than expected
and if I’m wrong, the mighty and strong will be rejected
Low, “Over the Ocean”