Wednesday, December 31, 2008

negative comments

One thing that really gets to me is getting negative comments.  It's like "Thank you for the time you spent to analyze my video and decide it was worth one star.  I really appreciate it."  It's especially funny to get the dismissive comments on my karate videos.  I may not have done the forms perfectly, or even close to it, but there was a considerable amount of training and practice involved.  And the commenter probably has never even done any karate at all, and  is in no position to give any criticism anyway.  Then there are the people that say my music is terrible.  Thank you for taking the time to take me down a peg.  Give yourself a pat on the back.  Whatever.  The music is what it is.  In any case, it is sincere.  That is good enough.  If it is sincere, nothing else matters.

  I won't name any names, but there are some funny bloggers around Corvallis, people that can take the most run of the mill incidents and make them seem funny or at least interesting.  The vast majority of blogs are not too readable, or at least not too readable unless you are friends with the person, but many are not too bad at all.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

there is a breath through the air

the resilience leaves
but there is always that voice again
out there somewhere
wondering and calling
going through the motions
mining the conclusions
and the restless mannerisms and details and there
life being what it is

Some guy is in the beanery playing a kind of guitar with a sound that is too high on the treble. He just did a John Denver song, and John Denver always kind of weirds me out for some reason. Denver's songs were bizarre. He was super-popular (I guess) for like two years in the seventies and then after that he was virtually forgotten. Anyway the guy playing tonight is not too bad, but he would do better with less treble on the amp.

I decided I have to be less materialistic. Do I really need an espresso maker? In the long run, it will cost money. In the long run, I'd be better off sticking to the teapot and drip coffee method. That's good enough.

I'm practicing for an open mic on Monday at Fireworks. Why bother? Why not. Life is about, among other things, art and the singing of nice songs, and playing of nice chords. That's as far as I could explain it. Besides, it's not like I don't have the time to practice. I'm thinking of putting together a story from my extensive journal entries, but as far as real work, I don't have any. Machinists are not in high demand at this point. But I'm continuing with the classes....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

sittin' around the beanery

It was darn cold driving down here, and rainy, and it occurs to me that the rain may freeze up at some unpredictable point, maybe before I drive home.  The Bean seems to be closing early, possibly because they are worrying about the very same thing.

Is the Beanery my favorite coffee shop?  Yes it is.  This place has had quality coffee and atmosphere ever since the early seventies, so basically that is ever since I can remember.  They also have free music, big windows, and they are located in kind of a nice area near the river.   The Interzone has great coffee, but it is a small place, and being near campus it is dominated by young students that never seem to read the Oregonian.  Maybe they read it online, but probably not.

Having recently gotten a laptop, I am attempting to figure it out, but I have always been a big internet surfer, ever since the days of lynx and yahoo being a big deal.  There are some amusing local blogs...

In fact, there is so much online that it is impossible to keep track.  When it comes to sitting down and reading a book, though, there's no experience like a physical book made out of paper.  Furthermore, the writing on the internet has a fairly homogeneous feel to it.  If you go into some dusty book shop and pick out something by, say, Sir Walter Scott, or Thomas Wolfe, you will get something quite different; a more beautiful form of writing that is has a quantum difference from the usual pabulum.

Valerie Lopez played here Saturday night, and it was a standing room only crowd.  I wasn't too impressed with her the first time I saw her, about two months ago.  She seemed like she was trying to sound like a pop star rather than doing something original.  This time she seemed more real and interesting, and her guitar and banjo playing were good.  Moreover, she had a good band backing her up, and they were all good, from the bass player, to the drummer, to the flautist.   The crowd was nearly in hysterics.  That was a bit much.  She's good, ....maybe she deserves all the cheering,...but anyway it was a large crowd, that is for sure.

That Friday night was a band consisting of four young guys with nice instruments.  To bad they couldn't play them.  I think that some of them actually are pretty good at some of them, but the drummer should have been playing the guitar.  They were trying to play Southern Man and just totally destroyed it.  What a waste of a good guitar.  You can buy an expensive instrument, but if you can't do a bar chord and have no technique and don't practice, it won't help.  Then again....why rain on their parade if they were having fun?  Why not?  I just can't stand a song that is supposed the be played in a screaming and powerful style played in a weak and barely-there style.

Latch-Hook Robots at Interzone: loud and powerful sound, screaming vocalist.  Kind of not too bad, really.  Four stars.

Monday, December 15, 2008

political blog

The car companies are going under. What a drag. They haven't made too many good cars for a while now. So what to do? Well, according to the Senate Republicans, it is time to try to demand that wages go down for all auto workers. They can't stand to see any middle-class workers earning decent wages, and they can't stand to see any functioning unions. If it was up to them, we would all be serfs earning a dollar a day, working for the rich Republican overlords.

Anyway, the government has to demand major changes from the car companies, including seeing all the current CEO's losing their jobs. Furthermore, it is time to move into innovative, fuel efficient car designs. But right now, until Obama gets into office and comes up with something comprehensive, the country can't afford to see all those good jobs just instantly go away. We would be looking at depression level conditions, and total devastation. Furthermore, with credit the way it is, bankruptcy wouldn't lead the reorganization. With finance the way it is now, credit is not available, and we would see everything liquidated, and the factories empty and slowly rotting all over the country. Perhaps down the line, with a national health care plan, the car companies could reorganize and lose all of the expensive health care benefits for retirees that is a large part of why they can't function competitively.

Friday, December 12, 2008

the lamest

rendition of "Southern Man" that I have ever heard, I heard this evening. Talk about a flaccid version with the riff cut down to nothing at all. It was excruciating.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Man Carrying Thing

The poem must resist the intelligence
Almost successfully. Illustration:

A brune figure in winter evening resists
Identity. The thing he carries resists

The most necessitous sense. Accept them, then,
As secondary (parts not quite perceived

Of the obvious whole, uncertain particles
Of the certain solid, the primary free from doubt,

Things floating like the first hundred flakes of snow
Out of a storm we must endure all night,

Out of a storm of secondary things),
A horror of thoughts that suddenly are real.

We must endure our thoughts all night, until
The bright obvious stands motionless in cold.
-wallace stevens



a dance that caucasin males do when highly intoxicated. often includes some sort of grinding motion and an uncontrollable loss of control of the upper limbs. usually results in dancing by one's self on top of a box/elevated dance floor. a great move for clubs that play 80s favorties like Bon Jovi, Foreigner, and REO Speedwagon.
By pulling out "the brune" at a club, usually results in the sad, but common, night alone.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

wondering at the languages I don't know

I wish I could read German. I have read many translations of Rilke. Some sound better than others, but they have many differences, leading me to wonder what the original actually contains.

Hail to the spirit, with power that connects;
for we live in figures. And with tiny steps
the hours go by, keeping pace
alongside our actual days.

In the absence of knowing our true location,
we deal with interrelation
the antennae feel the space
and the empty distances carry...

Pure tension. Oh music of forces at play!
From you, is not, through casual commerce,
every disturbance deflected away?

Even the farmer who works and lives
where seeds transform themselves to summers
never does enough. The earth bestows. -Sonnets to Orpheus, Ranier Maria Rilke

Monday, December 01, 2008

coffee 'n' stuff

there was a coffee spoon
given to me
I drink my coffee black
newspapers around
here and there
perhaps even the metro section

Johannes Agricola in Meditation- by Robert Browning

There's heaven above, and night by night
I look right through its gorgeous roof:
No suns and moons though e'er so bright
Avail to stop me; splendor-proof
I keep the broods of stars aloof:
Fir I intend to get to God.
For 't is to God I speed so fast
For in God's breast, my own abode,
Those shoals of dazzling glory, passed,
I lay my spirit down at last.
I lie where I have always lain,
God smiles as he has always smiled:
Ere stars were thudergirt, or piled
The heavens, God thought on me his child
Ordained a life for me, arrayed
Its circumstances, every one