Am dating this wrong deliberately, because it was supposed to be up yesterday, and trying to force self to post today. There was a cold front coming through Thursday, and that triggered massive thunderstorms that had me using the computer very little yesterday. Friday, i managed to write most of this post, but began feeling maudlin, in part because the longer that Harrison’s body adapts to a new existence as ashes, the more blah i feel, and mostly because it’s been six weeks since I’ve seen Louise.
I have more written, but I have to reconsider whether i want to get that pointlessly mushy, when i cannot even get objective about Belle & Sebastian… never write about the goddamned Beatles… although i like what Josh wrote today.
I don’t have the link to the story, but Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is going to be on Nonesuch Records. According to the story, “The offices were the only ones bandleader Jeff Tweedy visited where the posters on the wall didn’t make him want to retch.” I dunno… There’s other cool labels out there (as i was rooting for Merge,) but as long as it gets out….
Also got in email a link from the KLSU listserv to a story on Zoot Horn Rollo’s new album.
So George Harrison really was that sick, and now he’s dead. I was going to make a crack about it being even more unlikely that there is going to be another Travelling Wilburys album, but i’ve already read some people make that, and i actually mean it. I have my deluxe reissue of All Things Must Pass (there was a man who was a pioneer in the garden gnome phenomenon) and battered tapes of the Wilburys’ Vol. 1 and Vol. 3. I cannot find my other nonBeatles albums Harrison-related, and it’s just as well, as i cannot think of any way to eulogize him, aside that “My Sweet Lord” comes on most of the times i go into thrift stores like the Goodwill, Salavation Army. or Red, White and Blue, and it’s a little surreal every time those Krishnas, Ramas, and Vishnus come on, as they are the Word of the Devil as far as many of the locals are concerned.
It’s a pretty nice album just for being the big statement from the Silent Beatle. I haven’t been able to listen to it too many times completely, as it’s too long for my short attention span, and there’s still a little of my lingering prejudice of this being ’70s AM radio. It’s probably something about the production that makes it seem a little too grandstanding, a little too fussy. NPR was playing some Harrison’s stripped-down demo versions this morning, and they sounded better than the studio versions. I blame Phil Spector and Delaney and Bonnie. If that myth-rumor about Phil Collins being on there is true, then i’d love to spread some blame to him as well…. even though he didn’t manage to fuck up Brian Eno when he was glam.
One of my favorite songs from the album is actually one of the most overblown, maudlin and sentimental…. “Isn’t It a Pity?” I don’t even have a special memory or connection to it to relate. It’s what i like to pretend is the best eulogy to the Beatles, even if it probably isn’t.
George being on his quests for spirituality (in theory anyway,) has always been more mortality obsessed than the usual pop star, so it’s not hard to accept that he’d dead. With titles like “All Things Must Pass” and “Art of Dying”, he’s given a lot of fodder for his obituaries. Sheesh… i think that I’m gonna listen to the Wilburys…. or Eno.
I’m more in the mood for fucked-up noises and absurd lyrics. In a way, he’s deader to me than Harrison, because i just don’t get his kinda recent affiliation with U2. His first few solo albums are some of my favorites, because i love a self-described nonmusician writing songs that are catchier than standard pop… at least for me. Everything that i liked about ’60s psych, before many of those guys decided that they wanted to be serious musicians and create prog, is on records like Here Come the Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy, and Before & After Science, which sometimes i read are experimental, and sometimes glam.
Whatever they are, they are a nerve-stretching mindfuck after seven cups of coffee. It’s hard to write when i try to surf along the guitar and synth lines like waves, and find them switching back and forth into a tense whirlpool, to catch glimpses of Eno laughing at me struggling to keep up. Some of Robert Fripp’s best work came when he relinquished his control and submitted to Eno’s treatments on “Baby’s on Fire” and “Blank Frank”. I feel adrenalized listening to even the slow songs, like my head’s being violently shoved underwater, I’m drowning… and i like it.
The poor folks who turn up their noses at Radiohead saying that Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin did it all first really need to get those first few Eno records. There’s as much dissonance and treatments on those Eno albums as Kid A and Amnesiac. I’ve said this before. It feels extremely familiar, and it feels backwards looking and obsessed witht he past to repeat it. Whoops. I’m in a rut lately, and it’s not a good thing.
Morpheus wasn’t working for me just because a quirk with the computer. It’s fine now, and now both Outkast “the Whole World” and Mystikal’s “Bouncin Back” are in my clutches. Hopefully i can listen to them more in peace today.
Damn it. I kept listening to the new Belle & Sebastian songs over and over, and i think that i do better understand the problems with them now. Damn it. I painted myself into a corner thinking of the people who fetishized it, as opposed the listening to the music on its own terms. I still like the way the songs sound, and don’t have a problem with the lyrics actually… until i think of all of the sly smiles and mutual congratulations of people who do get the references against the people who don’t. I still think that this element is something that has always been there with this band though, which is my main disagreement.
Chris wrote me last night to make certain that i knew that “These Days” was really written by Jackson Browne, which i did know, but I don’t believe that he released a version of the song before he gave it to Nico. It’s like Neil Diamond versus the Monkees. Who do you believe owns “I’m a Believer”? Unfortunaly, i cannot take this thought anywhere.
There’s a commercial on Cartoon Network and Fox lately of Gundam mobile suits, little figurines/ dolls. There’s one guy in the commerical who is rattling off the official imaginary history of the Gundam and i swear that he’s Julian Casablancas of the Strokes, with the same facial features and haircut. When there’s a zoom-out of his room, there’s even a guitar, and what i think are drums. I must know more about the Strokes and Gundam connection.
I was weirdly disappointed by the Big News in astronomy this week, in part because of problematic reading comprehension in the past. I though that an extra-solar planet with an atmosphere was discovered a couple of years ago. The new planet is supposed to be a gas giant with a sodium rich atmosphere… but i thought that virtually all extrasolar planets were gas giants…. which are all mostly atmosphere anyway. The real news was still important though, because it was really about, “The first direct detection of the chemical composition (sodium) of the atmosphere of a planet.” Aha.