Thursday, June 14, 2001

I am listening to music that nobody, nobody, likes. trust me. It is at once technically masturbatory, tonically offensive and chromatically purile. It harks to the worst of jazz, country and rock all at once. It's showy and sounds brash. It is unrefined.

Yes, I am talking about the Dixie Dregs. This music is as white as white gets. Why do I listen to this shit, this dreck, this swill? Simple. I listened to it when I was young and, bad as it is, it takes me back. This phenomenon goes far to explain the popularity of so much bad music. It was shit then, it is shit now, but we like it because it reminds us of another time in a way more powerful than almost any other (the exception being smell... try on the cologne you wore in high school if you want to see what I mean).

This musical time travel was unknown before the 20th century.

Beginning in the 'teens it was possible to purchase and replay your favorite music, listening to it ad nauseum. (This means "to the point of nausea" in latin. It is a relative term. Listening to Tears for Fears' "Shout" once is, for me, ad nauseum.) At the same time, sound was added to movies. The idea of a soundtrack was born (In Audie Murphy's To Hell an Back, one soldier turns to another and says, "the problem with war is there's no background music," a sentiment that a WWI soldier could not share because he wouldn't have known what background music was). These records played again and again became the soundtracks for our lives.

Most people, at a certain point, won't listen to anything new if they can help it. Wynton Marsalis is obxiously famous for this, as is R. Crumb. Nothing after (you year here) is any good! I've seen the same in ageing hippies who still collect vinyl copies of the same records they've owned for years. My friend Dave was doing this shit at 20, pining for the good old days of 16 and only listening to Devo and the Blues Brothers.

And while I listen to all kinds of shit (mostly goinbg into an ambient thing now, if you care) I still have my soundtrack music. It's just my luck that it's such horrible shit as the Dregs. God help all you former fusion junkies. I feel your pain.

Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Blogger keps on adding features. I only hope BlogVoices will soon be back up. I miss the comments.

Much beter today. Funk come and funk go, I suppose. No big deal in retrospective, but whilst in the midst it sure is painful. Thanks for being there, all. At least I assume you are.

Got clients coming over any minute so I will close. Look and feel presentation of design comps... the easiest and most rewarding part of web design. At least it's supposed to be. I'll let you know.

Monday, June 11, 2001

Note to self:

first things first.

1. Coffee

2. Music

3. No black thoughts.


Now I have Charley Patton wailing away incomprehensibly with his slide dobro, sitting on a stool somewhere in the Delta in 1933 singing into the bell of an Edison wax recorder while some white man looked on encouragingly. I too am a white man, but in Portland Oregon some seventy years in the future. I work on a huge computer and listen to Charley in full stereo sound. I make more money in two months than Charley made in his whole life. He died thirty years before I was born. Our conversation is one way: he tells me his life is shit, and why. He is artful and copies people whose works are forever lost because there was no means of recording it. He tells of getting a death letter from his wife, finding it nailed to the table of the kitchen. I don't think he's making this shit up, but he might be.

Oddly enough, my illness has made me stay totally sobner through hwat is turning into one of the most unhappy times of my recent life. Nothing compared to Charley, mind you, but still no picnic. I am unsure if this is just a snap-back from delirious happiness so recently the norm or just a temorary glitch. But I feel leaden and miserable and I am unused to it.

Ah well. Back to number one. Coffee.

Yes, coffee.