Thursday, June 4, 2015

birthday card


anthony braxton is seventy years old today. happy birthday maestro!

so... 70th birthdays... a big deal, or not? many would say yes, but there are others who would simply prefer not to make a fuss about such things. i suspect our man falls into the latter category, but i don't actually know for sure; he has gone very quiet lately.

- and of course he is not the only one. this is all pretty weird, but my drifting (definitively - for now!) away from this blog has coincided with the maestro's post-academic "self-imposed exile" - as he is apparently calling it. he is busily composing the rest of his opera cycle... and me? no, i just drifted off it seems. - but then, i thought i was starting something else, didn't i? and just never (yet) got going (yet) on that one at all (yet). don't know what to say, really... for most of this year i have been off the ganja, and that in turn (as it usually does) has left me short of inspiration... i just have not felt like writing at all. [more recently, i did in fact begin still another blog, but as this is on a totally different subject - the novels which donald westlake wrote under the pseudonym richard stark - it's not necessarily likely to appeal to any readers here - assuming there are any.]

anyway... this is not the occasion for bemoaning my own lack of activity. many happy returns of the day to a master composer, instrumentalist and educator, and may he enjoy his retirement!

***

a glance at the blog's stats suggests that a few people lately have been looking at the town hall: trio and quintet entries from the original braxtothon, or more specifically at the one for the quintet. what readers may or may not have realised is that i did eventually get back to that piece with a deeper level of understanding: check it out if you're interested. (damn. was that really back in 2011?? how these last few years have flown, with so little to show for them...)

... that is all for now.

c x

Saturday, January 31, 2015

why i am (among other things) a born-again punk rocker...


... at the age of 44 ;-)

erm, so this is what you (assuming anyone reads this during my lifetime and i haven't totally succeeded in genociding my readership, heh)  get instead of a manifesto this year. i have done enough of those for the time being, i think. for those who don't know what the hell i'm talking about, this is the quick way to get to them in order. now, with that out the way - what the fuck is the point in starting an eighth instalment, as it were, whwen i currently feel i have little or nothing to say round here? i have even listened to some braxton - a bit - and a very few other jazz or improvised/ experimental-creative things, and have been reassured to discover that i really haven't "lost my ear" at all. i just - well, there is a reason, are reasons why i keep being dragged back to this hardcore punk business. it reminds me, at a very important time in my life by the looks of things, of the basic lessons of punk rock, wheresoever it springs up in response to perceived oppression:

- don't let anyone else tell you how to think
- don't let anyone else tell you what to do
- don't let anyone else till you who to be

these are so important, so crucial indeed, that i made sure i laboriously typed them out (ok, it wasn't exactly hard labour - but i am shit typist most of the time so it's ofetn a chore) rather than copy and paste, i made sure i carefully typed them out like spiritual exercises. the first one - well, i have been practising that for years and decades already, since childhood for sure, it is long ingrained already. but the other two, really? i think i rather needed my nose rubbed in them just a bit. hence, just lately most of my life lessons have been coming to me, not via mr braxton's (manifold) horn(s), but from the warped mind of jerry a., mastermind (i use the term advisedly) behind poison idea. - jerry has almost no discernible "vocal talent" to speak of (except of course an innate understanding of how to deploy phrasing, absolutely essential for a punk singer of any stripe) - yet his voice bespeaks both power, vulnerability and a true and valid viewpoint, and he writes remarkably tight songs for a guy with "no musical ability"; and like all such vehicles of great bandleader-composers, PI always sounds like PI right off the bat, whoever is backing the big man behind the mic at the time. (tom "pig champion" roberts, synonymous with the band's notorious image for years and years, died in 2006 age 47.)

anyway... fuck it, right, let's keep this relatively brief for once and just remind myself what i am and am not saying here. i am not closing the blog, since there wil come a time (could even be soon) when i shall have plenty more to say on the music of our maestro. this is a definite i think. meantime -

 - i am seriously considering attempting to launch a new site, using for a name an epithet by which i briefly described myself in these very pages, some while back. (unnecessarily cryptic, say you. you'd probably be right.) i said then that i was a guerrilla musicologist (among other things) and i still very much have that hat on, even if i haven't been communicating it to anyone. maybe that is time to change though. let's see if i actually fucken do it ;-)

any actual braxton-related stuff at all, whatever it may be... will still appear here as and when...

meantime, since i seem to be saying that a lot at the moment, for anyone who gives a flying fuck, here is my current state-of the medium address, or my "top five of punk and hardcore" (in strictly alphabetical order):

bad brains
black flag
crass
poison idea
sex pistols

- the last one in paerticular is doubtless highly controversial to some - and far too "obvious" to others, all of which i care less about than even the usual breed of punk rocker, since of course i have an autistic-spectrum disorder to be factored into the mix as well ;-)  suffice it to say that i can defend it easily enough as and when , but this is not then or thereabouts. - more soon i hope.

happy february everybody :-D

cent x

Thursday, December 25, 2014

feeble apologies

... nope, apparently i am just a liar, or at least a purveyor of false promises. i did say i was going to post something - right? and at the time, i really thought, really felt as if i was about to; and then - what? it just isn't there, and my thoughts rarely return here at the moment. the proof of this, if any were needed, is the number at the right of the page which shows how few posts i have managed this year (none at all of actual substance). for some reason, things have changed since we moved; and whatever it was in me that kept this going, it seems to have deserted me and shows no signs of coming back.

the year began with such promise, too - i mean in general; but nothing really came of it. that mad rush of posting last december, which led to a slew of unreadable articles, was based around a rather complex insight which had been nagging at me for a while, and which became clearer towards the end of the "yoshithon"; clearer, that is, inasmuch as it seemed clear enough to me at the time; but my psychedelic attempts to render it in words probably didn't give a very good sense of it, and despite my saying that i was going to unpack it all, you can see for yourself that i never did. in any case, the insight in question has not been something i could really implement - at least not yet -  so the need to explicate it has diminished accordingly. basically, the past year has been dominated by a long-running (and still as-yet unresolved) dispute with my regular employer, and although the period before and after the house move (june-august) seemed hugely auspicious at the time, since then the problems at work have spilled over into everything else and have taken up far too much of my time and energy.

it's not unusual for me to have bursts of ideas, then find soon afterwards that all the inspiration has died and that the momentum has gone with it. not unusual..? it's a constant with me. what is different right now is that my ear for the music appears to have deserted me as well. last weekend i had a lot of time to myself - and predictably failed to make use of it; but more to the point, although i played quite a lot of different music, including all four discs of this set, none of it sparked the desire to write; i would not have had anything to write about, since the music came and went without leaving any vivid impressions. i don't know why this is, or how long it will last. what i do know is that the blog's seventh anniversary (which i had intended to celebrate) passed unnoticed back in october, because i had nothing to say. the fact that this is just another example of my starting something and then gradually neglecting it is not much consolation really - this blog was one part of my life where i really did try my best. do i no longer have that in me?

despite all this sombre self-reflection, i am not totally unhappy in my life; the family is well, we have a roof over our heads, my daughter is enjoying her christmas - and even work is bearable at the moment (though it is still likely that i shall have to leave pretty soon and find something else). but the pathetic lack of activity round here, and the deeper directionlessness which is revealed by it, does sometimes keep me awake at night and i felt i had to write about it. that's that really... sorry everybody. here's hoping for a change for the better, in the coming year...




Thursday, December 4, 2014

the (other) meaning of this tunnel metaphor...


... i am just arriving, - and therefore still here, in other words - well, actually i haven't been around here for months (since the supposedly-auspicious house move... looooong story), but i am around anow. [apparently there is traffic from lucky's place too - possibly even human traffic - ? ;-)  .., in which case,'know, do say his if you feel like it, - i am still approachable at heart unless you have bullshit in your mouth - which i'm by now pretty sure you don't if you are still, or now, reading at this point in the timestream..! i can't say i don't bite, but i try never to bite the honest-of-intent ]

- and if/since you are (re-)reading, welcome :)))))))
...


now, it's been nothing but hardcore / punk rock, and/or post-hardcore and post-punk, for all this time since said move -

'kk (as they (seem to) say these days), this is with lucky back amongst us as well, a (belated) discovery which genuinely filled me with alas-all-too temporary joy,  back when i found out at last... but i couldn't find headspace for the music and perhaps this instantly rendered it essential the blogosphere, such as it is these days - , hardcore punk rock i say, and that actually has kept me sane, just about. but i have almost susperstitiously avoided putting on any creative/freed-spirit music this whole time (i.e. since early august) - and when i say putting in, i mean transferring files from the backup drive, onto the new (win8 - piecea shit, *) laptop... - in point of fact, this is all one extended red herring , - because i have downloaded one set of same-said music; and yet it's still back in the marshalling yard (read: the download manager) awaiting patiently (which is fine - he is on cosmic time, this mr threadgill..¬!) until such time as my ultra-finicky entrance gates allow it to slip through. hell, even the opinion-dividing zornfest that is book of angels, eighteen entries of which i had previouuly enjoyed listening to, are on there and in the music db, but not actually getting played - and the same is true of b. previte... i do declare my flag has read punk or bust, or rather hardcore or bust, all the way - yet if i am now here again,   then it must surely mean i am about to end this short and intense phase. (*)

* you know the drill

* you still know the drill -!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


...

...

c x

Friday, September 26, 2014

... but that's ok 'cos apparently only posterity is reading :)

mmm... good evening :)

everyone has gone away for a bit. hardly surprising really.

ok, so... just me talking here to myself here - yet another reconstruction of the ((very much) partial *1) music database is underway. (this time it's a whole new laptop... i was so fucking down/depressed for much of the (prolonged, two-element *2) summer that i neglected even to write about what happened to the previous one.) as before, it's a colossal pain in the arse. but it's also a chance to shed some complicated and heay baggage.

somehow by the time the last itunes crashed on me, i'd got more than 300 playlists on there, with very little overlap. it's not about the number of the actual files, which wasn't that much/many in fact, only about 10,500 till the fucker packed up on me... (to be fair the laptop had threatened to die several times already and was past its expected lifespan anyway.) that many playlists is just unmanageable. may even have been nearer 350 by the end of it, but in any case, for once i am (semi-)happy with the latest change to (what remains, partly just out of habit) my computerised music-manager of choice, and in trying to get to grips with the advantages of this new(fangled) add-to-up-next malarkey, i'm finding a use which i never got out of the old on-the-go-playlist thing (which i never did use at all, indeed.). it's a useful way to navigate that many albums, many of which just blur into each other if played en suite. which is sort of what i did before, for the most part. (seemed to work ok - in the short term..!)

i'm still at the stage where i haven't added back any braxton yet.
(or any jazz or creative/improvised music at all, in fact.)

might be next up, by the feel of it.

* ...

Friday, September 12, 2014

i may actually be insane...

... although, in the considered opinion of several psychiatrists (and still further related, lesser-qualified colleagues*1), i do not even qualify as mentally ill. it is all most perplexing and frustrating.

at age 44, it strikes me repeatedly that i am effectively mentally ill anyway, because i have become so emotionally unstable after decades of being placed under extreme stress - and have never fully succeeded in finding a route away from all that. there are ways and there are ways (and more latterly ways) of dealing with this, but inherent and/or habitual personal flaws or weaknesses tend to undermine the optimal use of any remedy, sooner or later.

...

aaaaaarrrgggghhhhhhhghghghghghghgh fucking hell

...

it's been a weird fucking summer. on the plus side, we have moved house at long last (six years overdue) and the family immediately feels much better as a result. mrs c in particular is just so much happier and nicer to be around. also more tolerant of me, therefore... so it all sounds very positive, except that alas, the negatives are really stacking up at the moment, apparently i still have a lot of unpaid debts which must be cleared or at least addressed before i can straightforwardly enjoy the move. not that i ever really do anything straightforwardly, but...well, you get the idea.

[- incidentally: much to my surprise, i return to the blog tonight for the first time in several months to find plenty of page hits going on. this was certainly not the case the last time i looked. now i really have no idea whether anyone is actually reading, or whether random webcrawlers are just rutting in my undergrowth, so to speak. curiouser and curiouser.]

 right then... this one was never going to be a long drawn-out affair. done and dusted

* v. comments