Amplification


Can’t wrap my 3D fence around it

I’ve been rehearsing the Crimson Grail with over 200 guitarists and these massive guitar orchestra composers never seem to learn anything from each other. The score is in letter sequences that don’t follow one another. Solution: Provide a score that explains the parts in between your cues. Granted, Chatham does provide a lot of that but it’s not presented in an easily understood manner when a conductor is constantly waving at you. (I’m never going to be accepted into another guitar orchestra again.) Each part of the orchestra has different letters. There are conductors trying to cue people when to play and they’re doing hand gestures. Solution: more cue cards so everybody can be on the same page at certain points. Tonight we were in a church and no one had a mic and could not be heard unless their head was pointed at you. There were some cue cards for parts where everybody is supposed to be playing the same note. More cue cards! It still sounds very cool so show up if you’re interested.

My bass head fell five feet on the cold hard marble. Hm. Gotta go in early and test it again

I watched “Natural Born Killers” last night for the first time since I saw it in the theaters and it was way better than I remember. It’s Oliver Stone’s best satire. Stone’s skill is to amplify history through his films regardless of the absolute historical accuracy. With NBK, he made a film about the “popularity of violence” in the same way. With amplification, people might hear you in Poet’s Corner. Tell a story as truthfully as you can and if the facts are in dispute, your story may be the truest of the lot. Maybe it will stick. If the truth sticks, it looks prettier than when the shit sticks. Get off my lawn you kids — buy some guitars and make rad movies.

Ok, what else. I hope you’ve been reading TPM lately which has been following the McSame response to the Russia/Georgia conflict etc. McSame wants to be Nero and Caligula. He really wants the U.S. to follow in the footsteps of every failed empire in history. He’s running a shit campaign that appeals to the worst in America. The YOT (youth of today) must put the crusty old douchebag in an old folks’ home if they want hope.

Back in Gold

Hudson River sunset, spring
Golden Brown, texture like sun

This blog was down all day as I have one of the “cheap hosts.” That’s all I’ll say about it except that I’m glad it’s back as I was wanting to blog all day– except now that I had to be uppity with the tech support and I’m not going to blog about that, I’ve lost the essay steam.

I saw Teenage Jesus and the Jerks last week and Lydia Lunch blew my mind. I hung out with her and Cesar in New Orleans for a day or two in the early 90s. At that time, Lydia was a retired no wave punk and a poet. Holy hell. She hated New York then and I really don’t think there are words to describe what she feels about New York now.

I went to the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island. It was fun but the buttloads of tourists, the millions of muscle cars and classic cars, the billions of digital camera shot putt clicks, have placed it on a new plane. Development is coming. I want them to tear down the block on Beach Blvd with all the furniture stores and put the shopping mall there. Keep most of the cool Coney.

My nephew is in Ghana and my brother sent some emails that have been coming back. Almost half of one letter was about his iPod and how he could recharge it.

I can feel a more substantial blog with many links and feigned outrage coming soon…

California Wildflowers, Point Reyes

Selected Selections from your amateur photographer…

california wildflower
california wildflower
california wildflower
california wildflower
california wildflower
california wildflower
california wildflower
california wildflower
california wildflower

I hope everyone’s having a nice Memorial Day weekend. My birthday is around now and it’s always a good time.

The blogosphere knows but maybe you don’t — Emily Gould, late of Gawker, has a long yarn up at the New York Times about the dangers of putting too much of your private life in a blog. This is exactly why I don’t… On the other hand, she did it. She’s a respected professional writer now which is not easy no matter how you slice it.

Mi Bicicleta, El Futuro

poppin a wheelie
poppin a wheelie

Link to Brooklyn Vegan day… Bring on the spring/summer free shows! Mission of Burma playing NYU Saturday. We got your Gossip on Letterman. I confess: sometimes I wish I lived in Brooklyn, but I live on the Upper West Side.

As the job I’m on winds down, I turn to career thoughts. More website design, more soup-to-nuts design, more plug-ins and widgets, more traffic, more music, more photos, more freelancing. My services are for sale. My photos are for sale: 8 x 10 hi-res prints, anything from my blogs. Hit me up if interested — before I put them all on Photoshelter. More vacation.

It’s a long way to the top

long way to the top
water tower
The view from almost everywhere in Madhattan

I’m trying out taking pairs (or more) of pictures with the camera in the same spot but a changed angle. The top one is all about the negative space.

Holy cow, it is so nice to be off of myspace. I can link to whatever the hell I want! I can put a few ads up! Yes, they’re probably coming as soon as I can figure it out. I need another column in the blog design… I don’t know if I like how links are capped. Hmm. Hmm. Anyway, if you’re a new reader, thanks for checking me out and you should be aware my topics can jump around sometimes in a serious way and sometimes in a half-assed way.

Very excited that some of the Bang on a Can Marathon program has been released. Now, I understand that this kind of music isn’t for everyone. But please don’t tell us you’d rather “chew on shit” than listen to it. I’ll bet you’d happily stew to Steve Reich’s “Daniel Variations” rather than masticate on shit. If I’m wrong, you’re probably not going to live very long.

So General Betray UsĀ® is coming to testify again. What’s missing from this debate is the usual reality check. Via Digby and Spencer Ackerman, ajunior officer in Iraq puts it like this:

In my opinion, what everyone fails to realize is that this is not a counterinsurgency. If we wanted to stay in Iraq, then it would be a counterinsurgency. But it is clear that our goal is to turn over power and pull out. So, in building our strategic endstate, it’s pointless to set goals that relate to our presence in Iraq. If the “insurgency” is a function of our being there, then it is not an insurgency in terms of our endstate. For example, if one of our goals is to stop IED attacks on US forces, that is pointless. When we leave, there will be no more IED attacks on us forces. So our endstate needs to be different. We need to ask “if we left tomorrow, what would happen in Iraq?” and from there, we need to determine which of those anticipated results are unacceptable to us. Then we must aim our efforts on making sure those unacceptable results do not occur.

When I look at the problem that way, it becomes almost impossible to find a purpose in what we do. Regardless of what we do, the Shia are going to take control. They have completely infiltrated all the security forces. The only kind of leader who could keep them in check was a tyrant like Saddam. And when the Shia take control, as soon as we leave, they are going to be as brutal as they like against the Sunni and there will be little we can do about it. That is what will happen whether we leave tomorrow or in ten years. As far as the foreign fighters, they will leave Iraq when we do. So what are we trying to accomplish here? Train the Iraqi forces? History shows that training forces in the Middle East can backfire. Any training we offer these people will find its way to our terrorist enemies.

Does everyone forget Osama Bin Laden probably received training and guns from the U.S. in Afghanistan?