Friday, November 22, 2013

witchery still at work

So about an hour after I did that last post this popped up in the headlines.

things get dark

what it is: things get dark
where i found it: the beatles pit

Before I get around to the bass work on the White Album we should get this out of the way:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

white wash

what it is: white wash
where i found it: queens

I haven't taken the train out to Queens in the past few days, but word is that 5 Pointz, the world's greatest open air graffiti museum (after overnight sneak attack orchestrated by apartment developers), now looks like this:

It used to look like THIS.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

paul's low tones vi

what it is: paul's low tones vi
where i found it: the beatles pit

Today we explore Paul's bass tones on Magical Mystery Tour, an album that often gets overlooked, probably because of the asinine film associated with it. I don't know what got into these guys (other than drugs) that made them want to be so silly, dressing up like animals and encoding messages about Paul's death. At any rate, undead Paul does not drop the ball on the bass here.

Admittedly the main theme is a little annoying, all that shit about a " magical mystery tour", however the song evolves into what seems to be an early prog monster, circling around on itself with ever decreasing velocity hemmed in by bass of Paul. There's also a weird little piano jam at the end that I wish went on for much longer.

#2 - This song has pan flute. Enough said. I give you no link.

Paul kicks this one off with a bad mufckin bass groove. You might think the song is a throw away due to lack of lyrical vocals. I do not.  

So this one is boring, ignoring its own advice to not be long. No bass fireworks here, but Paul shows us that he knows how to pick the right note for a drone and stick to it. 

#5 - You can skip this one. Classic Paul four string melodocizing. Nevertheless I don't like this song. So I give you no link.

Notable for many reasons, but the bass is super on this one. On this particular mix you can hear the bass well. Joy.

What a ridiculous, silly, miserable film promo this is.

#8 - Notable for slowed vocal tape that makes Lennon not sound like Lennon. Not overly notable for bass. I give you no link.

I don't really like this song. Never have. But Paul lays down some bass that provides evidence that he might be a fucking sorcerer. 

Baby you're a rich man. More very strong sorcerer evidence.

Hilarious hippy video. Don't let the theatrics distract you from the bass playing. Paul's pulse turns the twisty time signature into one of the catchiest songs in the world.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

preposterous scoundrel

what it is: preposterous scoundrel
where i found it: toronto

The preposterous scoundrel that is the mayor of Toronto continues to go out in a blaze of glory (except he's still refusing to go out). I really love this guy. Today's Times has a good summary article, which you can find here. The only thing the article fails to include is the mayor's amazing excuse when he was shown a video of himself smoking crack: "I must have done that in one of my drunken stupors". His most recent caper included knocking over a grandmother in a vengeful charge across the city hall chambers and the gleeful discovery that there is no law by which he can be forced out of office. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


what it is: yiddish
where i found it: work

My line of work brings me into contact with all types of people from all types of cultures and this week was no exception. The most challenging job assignment of the week was finding music that would engage and delight a Hasidic octegenarian, no easy task. While I eventually found some materials that seemed to do the trick, along the way I found more than a few that did not. But they might do the trick for you.

#1 - Here we have Bob Dylan and Harry Dean Stanton singing Hava Neghila as part of some kind of Jewish charity telethon, but they seem really uncomfortable and Dylan's harmonica is in the wrong key and they don't really know the words. The whole thing is just surreal.

#2 - This is some kind of Yiddish comedy that seems to be from back in the days when Second Avenue in NYC was still Eastern European tin pan alley. Stick around until the end, it really picks up.

#3 - Here the Borrough Park Hasidim live it up pyro style. This is a real Brooklyn party, putting hipsters to severe shame.

Friday, November 15, 2013

music men move on

what it is: music men move on
where i found it: the cathedral and the subway

This week marks the passing of two very different music men: John Taverner and Kalaparusha. While one wrote dramatic and cinematic sounding choral works, the other endlessly played druggy slow motion versions of Amazing Grace in the Union Square subway station. While one had a horrible and over-maintained fluffy haircut, the other made excellent free jazz records in the 60s with the AACM only to disappear and re-emerge in the early 2000s with a teenage tuba player in his trio. British people made little movies about both. Here's one ("my daddy called the saxophone a starvation box") and here's the other ("music and a belief in another dimension has always gone together").

Thursday, November 14, 2013

odd images

what it is: odd images
where i found it: cyberspace

As of late I've received a number of forwards that link to truly strange image galleries. Three of my favorite collections can be found below. There's not much I can add here in terms of commentary, because just as you kind of figure out what on Earth is going on in one picture the next one hits you from a totally different (often not safe for work) angle. These are worth spending some time with and actually demand it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

new york's alright . . .

what it is: . . . if you like saxophones
where i found it: email 

Here's a good email chain I was included on for some reason that revolves around John Belushi and the band Fear. Enjoy.


On Nov 6, 2013, at 3:52 PM, xxx wrote:

Here is FEAR in 1980 on SNL as invited by John Belushi and introduced by Donald Pleasence. Belushi supposedly said he would only make a cameo on SNL if Fear played (I have no idea of the truth of that). Also, in more lore about the event, Lorne Michaels is said to have contacted Ian MacKaye and asked him to show up with "real punks" and he drove a van of fans from DC to be the audience. That sounds suspect; I'm not sure why you would have to look any further than 8th street for real punks in 1980, but here it is... (also, supposedly you can see John Belushi slam dancing in the audience... I can not)


On Nov 6, 2013, at 4:03 PM, yyy wrote:

NY is alright...if you like saxophones

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 6, 2013, at 4:33 PM, xxx wrote:

I did not know it was such an event. Today was the first I had ever heard of it, but there is even a Wiki section about it;

1981 appearance on Saturday Night Live

The Decline of Western Civilization brought the band to the attention of John Belushi, who lobbied successfully to get the band a spot as a musical guest on the 1981 Halloween episode of his former show Saturday Night Live. The band's appearance included a group of moshers, among them Belushi, Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat (and later Fugazi), Tesco Vee of The MeatmenHarley Flanagan and John Joseph of the Cro-Mags, and John Brannon of Negative Approach. The show's director originally wanted to prevent the dancers from participating, so Belushi offered to be in the episode if the dancers were allowed to stay.[2] The end result was the shortening of Fear's appearance on TV. They started their second performance by saying, "It's great to be in New Jersey", drawing boos from SNL's New York live audience. Fear played "Beef Bologna", "New York's Alright If You Like Saxophones", and started to play "Let's Have a War" when the telecast faded into commercial. The slamdancers left ripe pumpkin remains on the set. Belushi had offered Fear the soundtrack for his major motion picture Neighbors. The film's producers eventually forced Fear off the project, and Belushi got them the infamous SNL gig as compensation.
After their SNL appearance, which resulted in $20,000 in damages, some clubs chose not to hire the band. A New York Post article later reported the figure to be $500,000. This is believed to have originated from Ving, who told the Post that "...we caused $500,000 worth of damage, a cool half a million dollars worth of damage, ‘cause we’re professionals, and I counted the damage myself."[3]

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

i can't wait for this one

what it is: i can't wait for this one
where i found it: amid free jazz arcana

Back in the late 90s when there was a big upsurge in free jazz enthusiasm I ended up being involved in the organization of a show by a guy I'd never heard of before, a school system employee from upstate NY, Arthur Doyle. I thought this might just be another pretentious dude blowing 45 minute unrelenting solos, but Doyle turned out to be much more than that. The guy was a truly original character who seemed he'd been transported from another reality all together. He had put out a strange relic of an LP called Alabama Feeling that collectors were all hyped about and at that time he was touring around solo, probably through the efforts of some enthused young person. A few years later he popped up again with a larger ensemble, notable for their performances but also for the bumper stickers they were producing that said HONK IF YOU LOVE THE ARTHUR DOYLE ELECTRIC ACOUSTIC ENSEMBLE. I'm not entirely sure what he's been up to since then, but it looks like, very improbably, that there's now a documentary about him. Here's the trailer. I can't wait for this one. Here are a few clips of Doyle, if you enjoy this type of thing.

Monday, November 11, 2013

marmot mammoth

what it is: marmot mammoth
where i found it: alongside blood on the ice

Behind the main building of the New York Public Library (pictured above) lies Bryant Park ice skating rink, where over the weekend some kids shot each other over a Marmot Mammoth. I had no idea what a Marmot Mammoth was. Turns out it's a coat. Worth shooting someone over. This article predates this (apparently only the most recent) shooting, but it covers all of the bases, including where you can go to buy one. If you're too much of a wimp to get one for free using your glock.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

garbage rafts

what it is: garbage rafts
where i found it: the pacific

Disturbing recent reports involve floating debris from the Japanese earthquake reaching the shore of the west coast of the US. Radioactive furniture and the like. The Weather Channel will tell you all about it here.

This also reminds me of the famous trash continent, which can be found in the same sea and leads to weird journalistic sentences like this: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch and the Pacific Trash Vortex, lies in a high-pressure area between the U.S. states of Hawaii and California. This area is in the middle of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. (via National Geographic).

Actually a picture of a guy in manilla, but it looks like a Great Pacific Garbage Patch to me.
Free association also leads me to the famous NYC garbage barge of the 1980s, when New York had no adequate landfill, so they just put all the trash on some barges to circle endlessly around Manhattan, eventually trying to dump it in other states without success, and ultimately setting fire to the stuff. Here's an article about that if you care at all. Now they pay the state of Virginia to take a bunch of it, and there's a "garbage truck conveyer" that circles endlessly up and down I-95. You can see a whole lot of garbage trucks going north and south late at night.

All of which leads me to this heart warming story of Paraguayan children who live in a trash pile, but redeem themselves by making instruments out of the refuse in which they dwell.