Friday, August 29, 2008

A Further Endorsement

Longtime readers, along with readers who have only read since August 6th will remember that I then endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States.

Following tonight's historic speech, I would like to amend my previous endorsement with further support of Barack Obama in his apparent campaign to become the Aztec god of war and the sun, Huitzilopochtli.

O most-sacred Hummingbird, O Barack Obama, I know that I speak for all fellow bloggers who post a few meager times a month about classical music and literature when I say we will do everything we can to help you cut out John McCain's heart and offer it, bloody and still-beating, to the voracious rising eagle of the sun Quauhtlehuanitl.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cities (warning: stereotypes and generalizations follow)

I am a city dweller, and like nothing better than cruising through downtown at night blasting some Walter Piston, chewing spearmint gum and winking at all the girls with the tanning sprayed burnt sienna skin outside of Minneapolis night clubs. To my understanding, once you leave an American metropolitan area you will come upon, shortly after exiting the city limits, a burning-hot cement sea with archipelagos of car dealerships, Burger Kings, McDonalds, Arby's, White Castles, Kentucky Fried Chickens, Home Depots, Applebees, Taco Bells, Papa John's, Fuddruckers, Houlihans, Perkins, Denny's, Red Robins, Sonics, Starbucks, Walmarts, TGI Fridays, Bennigans (RIP), Pizza Huts, Ruby Tuesday's, Subways, Cheesecake Factory etc. etc.

These are all delicious, family friendly and often-fried symptoms of Urban Sprawl (read Jane Jacob's fabulous "The Life and Death of American Cities"). I forgot to mention people live here, in houses that tend to look the same and shelter seething youth.

Once you leave this area (and realize that it will take you a few hours to get out of just any one of the above-mentioned chain restaurant's parking lots, not to mention the Home Depot which could house several free standing structures by Brunelleschi in the garden-hose section alone), you will come to an area known as "God's Country" or "the Heartland" or "the Flyover zones." This area is home to endless farm land, some pretty national parks, small towns and most of the nation's meth addicts. I like this area more than the suburban area, but usually less than cities.

I must say with some puzzlement that cities have ceased to interest me recently. Motorists honk angrily at other motorists, the police blaze through the intersections, there are not enough trees, not enough chamois. I do like the Minneapolis skyline and how that when you approach it, the relations of the buildings in space alters. At first they face you as one jaggedly solid entity on a horizontal line. But as the highway subtly curves and approaches, the buildings become like those wonderful stacks of geometric solids one finds in early Renaissance art (as is well known, this profoundly influenced the so-called proto-cubist in Cézanne):

Ambrogio Lorenzetti: Effects of Good Government on City-Life, detail (c.1330)

Paul Cézanne: Gardanne (1885-86)

Maybe I just need to take a respite from all this movement and find a shady forest, a giant body of water, a desert.

In the Book of Genesis, Cain is both the first murderer (Genesis 4:8), and the first city-builder (4:17).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"As we manipulate everyday words, we forget that they are fragments of ancient and eternal stories, that we are building our houses with broken pieces of sculptures and ruined statues of gods as the barbarians did."

-Bruno Schulz

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Greatest Songs of All-Time (A Journey of Enlightenment)

Snoop Dogg- "Sexual Eruption"

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Richard "Lewis" Rorty

I envision myself as an old man who resembles British analytic philosopher Michael Dummett in this clip. Thick, lustrous, dyed hair, cigarette holder (I won't actually smoke cigarettes, just light them and hold them), sweater'd paunch. I will also laugh slyly at mountebank friends like Donald Davidson-"Ripping barb, Donald! Absolutely ripping." I will throw my head back during said laugh and throw a wink at my scandalously younger wife on the rebound.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tears of a Clownsilly Endorsement

I am making this official. I endorse Barack Obama for President.

Why? Because of one answer he gave during an interview with Rolling Stone:

"Is there anyone who you would say were musical heroes to you at the time?"

"If I had one, it would have to be Stevie Wonder. When I was just at that point where you start getting involved in music, Stevie had that run with Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Fulfillingness' First Finale and Innervisions, and then Songs in the Key of Life. Those are as brilliant a set of five albums as we've ever seen."

Truer words have never been spoken. So, yeah, that, and McCain is a total douchebag.
Glorious Return/Lou Bond

I have been busy playing and listening to music, reading, doing French homework, throwing a Frisbee and generally ignoring the internet.

I want to start posting here and make an effort to again make this the sort of place where people can come together and have a good time, a Boys and Girls Club that revolves around ME and not loser poor kids from the south side of Chicago.

Speaking of the south side of Chicago, and its antithesis, the MAN, this is a great song from the mysterious Stax soul poet Lou Bond. I first heard him on a mix of some of obscure 70s soul and R&B. One of his songs is called "Why Must Eyes Always Be Turned Backwards," which sounds more Nicholas of Cusa than Issac Hayes, but actually fits when you listen to it. The song has the classic Stax sound, thick bass and drums, chiming piano and mellow strings. Bond has a fine, slightly raspy voice, but his lyrics are the real interest for the uninitiated. Very political, very 70s. "Over there in Israel, that's what they call the Holy Land/That's where Christianity was supposed to first begin...The Protestants and Catholics are supposed to be so religious and profound/But they over there in Ireland and they burnin' each others' houses down/I just can't understand it, why our eyes must always be turned backwards?" Needless to say it is the first Stax track I've heard that mentions the conflict in Northern Ireland. But it's also damn catchy. The song linked to above, though, might be his classic, a 10 minute burner entitled "To the Establishment." Two chords hovering back and forth hypnotically whilst he complains about every god damn thing he has to deal with (including going to the grocery store to buy cherry chap stick) and how it's totally fucked up. Yes!
Sample line: "I want you to know that I think it's all a great big one-sided affair/If I had my way, I'd put you all in the electric chair." It's a hit at weddings.