Saturday, June 22, 2002

for the past few weeks, my trips to the used record store have been exercises in nostalgia - picking up, in many cases favorites of my younger days which i simply did not replace the vinyl version of...today, as i was looking through the stacks, i decided to go with a new artist, one i've read a lot about, but only have heard a little from...

norah jones debut record is a delight, plain and simple. her smoky voice is fresh and familiar at the same time - excellent songs - a few covers, a few originals - excellent musicians, incl. bill frisell. ms. jones is usually listed in the jazz category, but there are folk and country flavors in the musical stew as well - and besides - when it gets this good, you stop worrying about what to call it and just dig it! this is a great, hip record yet very accessible - it wouldn't scare away my mom! ms. jones singing is wonderfully subtle - today's alleged "pop divas" could do well to look up the word "subtlety", then take a lesson in it from ms. jones. i am not a huge fan of "jazz" singers, but jones has joined cassandra wilson on my short list of favorites - of course, not that she is a jazz singer. as an interesting side note, jones is the daughter of indian classical music legend ravi shankar, who is responsible more than anyone for introducing the classical music of india to the west - who had such an influence on george harrison and the beatles - must be in the genes...

Friday, June 21, 2002

in honor of the upcoming tour de france i am re-reading lance armstrong's autobiography. as he goes for his 4th consecutive victory, it is good to remember his greatest triumph. it's kind of hard for me to think i've had a bad day after reading what he went through. here is one of my favorite passages: "People die. That truth is so disheartening that at times I can't bear to articulate it. Why should we go on, you might ask? Why don't we all just stop and lie down where we are? But there is another truth, too. People live. It's an equal and opposing truth. People live, and in the most remarkable ways."

you can watch le tour on oln one of my favorite networks (when they're not showing folks kill critters)

listening to the best of billy cobham (at earbleed volume - if it were more 70's in my car, antonio fargas would have materialized next to me...)

dilbert is, undoubtedly, a very funny comic strip. and, unfortunately, as anyone who has worked in an office environment knows, it's satire is too often on the mark...

however, like the bible and the koran, there are those who seem to take it a bit too seriously. folks who view themselves as a kind of real-life dilbert, and as such, feel it their duty to criticize everyone and everything about their organization - especially management. ironically, i have found, these are often people who have been with the organization forever. now, i know blowing off steam by taking shots (possibly undeserved) at management is a time-honored practice and it has it's place. but the constant whining and criticism that some offer is too much for me to take. i know some managers are inept and short-sighted, some decisions dumb and some procedures stifling - but you know, i have worked with and for intelligent, compassionate managers as well, who made good descisions and implemented beneficial policies. and even decisions or policies that don't work out weren't made just to make everyone's life more difficult. whiners like this ought to take a look at themselves and their organization and if they can't resolve things move on. but you know, i honestly think if everything were to go their way, they would be depressed - somehow whining is their joy. but it's a real drag for everyone else...perhaps i'm just a naive, pollyanna-ish fool - but things ain't that bad....

ps - on the one in a million chance that sameer reads this - as god is my witness, i am not talking about you. i KNOW your situation sucked and you had the brains to do something about it...

Thursday, June 20, 2002


If I were a Dead Russian Composer, I would be Igor Stravinsky.

Known as a true son of the new 20th Century, my music started out melodic and folky but slowly got more dissonant and bizzare as I aged. I am a traveler and a neat freak, and very much hated those rotten eggs thrown at me after the premiere of "The Rite of Spring."

Who would you be? Dead Russian Composer Personality Test

a comment made by karen about fernando (funny there must be another song of that title cause i KNOW she doesn't mean the song by abba) being the worst song ever save perhaps "having my baby" has brought up another favorite topic - favorite bad songs. i wrote a post a while back about liking REAL bad songs much more than just mediocre - i prefer, say - BILLY DON'T BE A HERO to say something by HUEY LEWIS and the news - it's almost like a continuum - so bad it's good -

anyhow, i have a challenge...

i won't promise you a blog entry of haiku's about you as Karen does for her contests - but post away - your challenge here - can anyone top Terry Jack's SEASONS IN THE SUN as the worst song ever?

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

kathryn lively posted the start of her top ten desert island discs...given how much i love this kinda things i have to be a copy cat and take a stab at mine...of course tomorrow's list would almost certainly be different...in no order:

miles davis - kind of blue
the clash - london calling
joni mitchell - hejira
steely dan - aja
the beatles - abbey road
ruben gonzalez - introducing...
thelonious monk - monk's music
ornette coleman - in all languages
wayne shorter - native dancer (of course i would somehow find a way to cheat and take footprints live, too!)
badi assad - rhythms

honorable mention: michael hedges - oracle, the who -hmmm - live at leeds, marvin gaye - what's going on?, weather report - black market, elvis costello - my aim is true or armed forces, talking heads - remain in light, eno - taking tiger mountain by strategy or another green world, king crimson - discipline, Gustavo Santaolalla -ronroco, ralph towner (the one with the pig on the cover), oregon - out of the woods(?)...plus of course, more miles, monk, etc, etc...and a million more...

maybe i better find a desert island that will let you take 20 cds!!!

every once in a while, i'll find a cd in my collection which i bought, listened to a few times, really like, then unjustly ignore for a long period of time. when i eventually get around to listening to it again it's a real treat - kinda like getting a great new cd for free (i know these are all symptoms of compulsive cd buying...)

anyhow, the latest cd i have experienced this with is herbie hancock's future2future. mr. hancock has done a lot of memorable things in his career: maiden voyage-era solo work, pianist with one of miles' groundbreaking band, hip jazz/funk with the headhunters, some kinda out there electronic stuff in the early 70's, gershwin world, cool video with rockit!, being one of the "faces" non-jazz listeners associate with mainstream jazz (perhaps more so than anyone not named marsalis) - also, he has done some forgettable things - mainly a few weak jazz/pop records sprinkled throughout his career - but you know he's entitled given all the great stuff he's done...

anyhow, future2future is a tasty little nugget of jazz/fusion/funk/electronic joy - produced by eclectic mad scientist bill laswell (who produced future shock) and features the ever inscrutable wayne shorter. it is a worthy addition to the discography of all involved - which should be enough said!

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

whew - well, class went very well,imho and a couple students said they liked it as well...at first was concerned no one would show! until a couple minutes before 8 there was only one person - then a few more of the regulars came in...i think i did well given it's the first time i taught a yoga class. as with most things, if you just lighten up, be yourself and have fun with it, it'll work out better. my biggest fear was running out of material, so i had a lot of poses planned just in case with a timeline and contigencies based on how the time went and availibility of props - etc...excessive planning is my hedge against nerves - but once i get started with a class or presentation i usually feel comfortable enough to loosen up a bit and go with the flow more - i.e. strike a balance between composition and improvisation! as it turned out i only did a fraction of the poses i had planned - which is great given in yoga as in most things, i feel it is better to cover a few things well than a bunch of things superficially...besides i can always do the rest of them the next time i substitute - but as i told my class - next week, back to the regularly scheduled program...

in one hour i will teach my first yoga class. i am sooo nervous. unless something horrible happens i will post later to say how it went. if something horrible DOES happen, i will delete this post and any reference to my teaching yoga so as to not remind myself of the pain. i don't know why i get so nervous about things like this. i mean - what's the worst that will happen? that i will look ridiculous and make a fool of myself - as if THAT'S never happened before...anyhow, this is a good class to make my debut with - i am prepared - i just know this is one of those things i get so worked up over in advance, but will turn out ok... i mean this is something i really want to to - but still - major butterflies....

Monday, June 17, 2002

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill...

two views of me 1 2 based on this test

to my knowledge first time i've been compared to gandhi

shameful confession time - wait, wait - no need to hit the back button - remember, i am a fairly boring guy and in this day of jerry springer even my most shameful confessions wouldn't raise an eyebrow (ok maybe a couple of eyebrows, i'm not THAT boring)...

anyhow - here we go. i love abba! yes, those palindromic swedes...that's right - creator's of pop nirvana such as knowing me, knowing you - does your mother know? - fernando (oh, yes, fernando!) - the opening bars of waterloo make me feel as happy as ted nugent at an nra convention - i can't listen to dancing queen without pointing like frida (or is it agnetha?) does in the video during the line "see that girl..." and, i mean i genuinely love them - not in a campy/kitschy/weren't the 70's wacky - kc and the sunshine band kind of way...

yes - me - who will drone on endlessly about how miles mid 70's recordings with pete cosey's take the top of your head off guitar solos are among the most brilliant and misunderstood records ever made - me - who loves bulgarian kaval player theodosii spassov's the fish are praying for rain - me - lover of don cherry and ornette coleman and monk and the clash and...well you get the idea - me - champion of inaccessibilty - grins like a fool and sings at the top of his lungs in his car along with SOS

pretty sad, huh - whew, i feel better though - hope you don't think any less of me (assuming that is possible)

Sunday, June 16, 2002

a gust of simple

personality matches the Brazillian national team

I'm as cool and relaxed as people say I am, yet this doesn't stop me from showing some true flare from time to time!

the quiz,
by tunde

well, i don't know much about soccer, but i took this quiz at tunde's and am quite delighted with the results - i could see myself lying around ipanema listening to jobim looking at the "tall and tan and young and lovely..." i was at disneyworld once - i think when the world cup was in the US a few years back - and the park was full of folks from brazil chanting - etc - sounded like they know how to party!!!!

btw - i recently read nick hornby's fever pitch book about his soccer addiction - while i didn't understand everything in it about soccer - as a former clevelnad brown fanatic (who sat out in sub-zero temperatures to see them lose (of course) to oakland in the playoffs and who was their for the hated "elway drive"), i can relate to the emotions...

ok - after a somewhat rocky start - i'm ready to roll - literally - going for a skate!

innovation: drunken blogging - sig others' cousin in lan plays in a band - we went to see them - they played much qwuasi-alt music - courvosier flowed like courvoisier - had too much gd fun - i swear strange women were blinking at me - only downside too many gd rob thomas tunes - he is the anti-christ - much better doing sublime - gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhisvaha

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