Friday, September 23, 2016

371

For my work out today I danced to the new Nick Cave album, Skeleton Tree. This one is orchestral, slow and lyrically driven, such a good record. I learned afterward from Pitchfork that near the album's completion Nick Cave's twin son fell from a cliff and died. My heart sank. "The song [Jesus Alone] was among the first Cave wrote for the record, yet its opening image—'You fell from the sky, crash-landed in a field near the River Adur'—feels unbearably prescient." God. Glad I didn't know that about this album before I danced to it. It would have been too hard to move.

As it was I entered a strange upside down world. The ceiling in the basement is so low I can almost put my elbows on it. So with my eyes shut I put my hands up on the ceiling and pretended like it was the floor, and I the gravity was low enough that I could move around on my hands. It was a self-illusion.

About half way through the album I wanted to try something more cardio oriented, so I switched to Kanye West's Life of Pablo. Turned out this was another gospel record of sorts. But the pure puerility of Kanye makes for such a strange counterposition to the hard-earned wisdom of Nick Cave. A study in contrasts. Yet I loved it for the adrenaline rush. And here and there is an honest grappling with honest grappling. It's often clever and thought provoking too. For example, Pablo in the title might refer by turns to Picasso, the drug lord Pablo Escobar, or as Kanye hints, the Apostle Paul...

Both records got a 9.0 on Pitchfork. Go figure. Two self-styled off-kilter gospel records, both equally well made, and seemingly from opposite ends of the spectrum. A perfect dance between the two.

I sometimes wish others were witnessing these overtures, but then again I suppose someone was.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

370

Release of the day in the basement while Gen put the girls to bed, sneaking it in. The soundtrack was the first mixtape from Joel Davis' new joint, Conduit.

https://blog.conduitmusic.co/why-conduit-approach-to-music-discovery-is-different-and-better/

Near the end is a remix of CSN+Y's "Back To The Garden."

"Got To Get Yourself Back To The Garden."

And part of this dance tonight is about shaking off the tension between Genevieve and Lucia (who is a handful) and then this, and suddenly I'm Adam and Gen is Eve (Genevieve) and I'm letting go of knowledge, of thinking, and getting back to the garden.

I'm thinking about that Paul Valèry quote, "When you think, you lose the thread."

Try to hold onto the thread.

"Lose yourself in the music, the moment." Eminem

369

Dancing hard to the new Jack White Acoustic Album, high on vibes left over from a brilliant weekend, feeling that bodily confluence with the music like I haven't for awhile. In full shake, rattle and roll, stop, break beat, go go go mode.

I did some yoga postures afterward, and as I did I began to hum/om along to the music, in key. Music yoga. In different poses, different registers of voice. Bending down to a low om from the chest, hands raised in the air, go high and sing in the head. Singing up the chakras, singing back up, with Jack White in the lead.

I just slipped into these new sonic asanas, like I once slipped into 5/5 time while playing a 3/3 Bach Partita (it was so different that way!) like I slipped recently into a pure effluvium of swirling shapes and colors while meditating, like the substratum of thought itself. No thought at all! The first time I've ever been able to get there, just the endless spin of the elements. Slip in the slipstream to somewhere new altogether.

Dang, music yoga y'all.

Monday, September 19, 2016

368

When I blew out my birthday candles this year it seemed sacrilege to wish
for anything beyond the moment itself. I just blew. No wishes...
Dexter and Nori brought a bottle of Hudson Valley Bourbon,
best I've ever had, with a burnt caramel flavor, wood smoke,
pass it around, get a magic 8 Ball from KC Trommer, kids go crazy,
Lilla brings a peach torte from patisserie, Amy brings a peach pie,
Cristina, fancy snacks and socks, Therese a painting of a hummingbird,
Catherine a handle of rum, Nonna and Papa delicious boursin cheese,
Marco oak aged beer, Quinn guitar strings, picks and a pear,
Tyler and Karen, wine and a watermelon: and more I'm forgetting,
suffice to say it was superabundance. Just so happens
that Flicks & Jazz in the Garden was scheduled on my birthday.
Big band jazz plays for an hour. Meanwhile I throw a giant frisbee
high so it comes back to me, as if I was playing catch with the sky,
while dozens of kids swirl around me trying to catch it too.
After the big band jazz the Brooklyn Raga Massive plays versions
of Beatles and Zeppelin, with the Pyeng Threadgill singing
(daughter of jazz great Henry Threadgill who just won the Pulitzer.)
I danced with my daughter Lucia and she was so fantastic!
It was the highlight of a night filled with highlights.
Then my favorite new band, The Flushing Remonstrance,
played soundtracks to old experimental films,
including George Melies' Trip To The Moon.
This was followed by old Felix The Cat Cartoons.
Soon it was 10pm and the girls were both lying on me
comfortably, while we watched cartoons outside in the park. Perfect.
A wild Austrian neighborhood kid, Hans, hanging around my neck too.
I hardly know him, but it seemed natural, and no one, least me, objects.
It was a warm night, with a cool breeze. Full harvest moon! No bugs!
Better than I could've imagined, like when Whitman says,
" O public road! I say back, I am not afraid to leave you-yet I love you;
You express me better than I can express myself; You shall be more
to me than my poem." The night expressed me better than I could.
Or when Seamus Heaney says, "And what happens next is a music
that you never would have known to listen for."
We end Saturday evening drinking port that brother-in-law Matthew
hand delivered from Portugal, Dow special reserve. Best port
I've tasted, with distinct flavor of strawberry, raspberry, plum
and chocolate. We paired it with Lilla's peach torte. Now that's the life!
Sunday, the weekend extends still further with a Doppio Giallo style
doubles tennis tournament in the park, a fundraiser for earthquake in Italy.
I'm curious what Doppio Giallo means. Carlo says it means Double
Mystery. But doesn't giallo mean yellow I asked? Carlo says yes,
but yellow in Italian also means mystery. Do you know why, I ask,
but he doesn't. So now we have a "giallo" giallo,
why is mystery in Italian the color yellow? It's a mystery.
Afterward off to see the opening of Mierle Laderman Ukules' show
at the Queens Museum. Gen and I were so tired after night before
and the doubles tournament that neither of us really wanted to go,
but we rallied, and so glad we did. Such a great show. So inspiring.
And doubly glad that we got to meet Mierle. Do you know her?
Now thoroughly tired, and pinching myself to see if this all
might be a dream, but instead of waking up, I fall asleep!