19 November 2017

The year's concerts

18 Mar 2017 - ATL Collective performs License to Ill at Buckhead Theatre. Got there and were wackily surprised that this was part of the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival. Oh yeah, they're Jewish. Lisa and I got a refrigerator magnet with a pic of us, with me in my stylish Molly Hatchet tee. Swank. The show was good-not-great. More reading the lyrics from cheat sheets than there should have been. But man that magnet is sweet.

8 Apr 2017 - Kool Keith at Antone's in Austin, TX. We randomly saw this listed somewhere and immediately bought tickets for a weekend. Austin is the place. Details of the whole shebang here, including the mid-concert hot wings. Go see him, earth people!

19 May 2017 - ATL Collective performing The Eagles Hotel California at City Winery. I was never a super fan of The Eagles, but this was still a entertaining show. ATL Collective generally makes an album worth it. As always, good mix of singers.

14 Jul 2017 - ATL Collective performing The Beatles White Album at Terminal West. Absolute perfect opening, but they also recreated the unevenness of this album. Still, some of the worst songs on the album were given interesting tweaks (Bungalow Bill had everyone on stage swapping voices perfectly). Center songs were remade with solid R&B flair.

1 Aug 2017 - DJ Shadow at Center Stage. What an amazing visual/musical mix. I don't know how many times I've seen him, but it's a new experience with each setup. Less Mountain Will Fall material than a mix of older and just randomness. Back seats but there're no bad seats at Center Stage. Would love to have a recording of it.

7 Oct 2017 - Project Pabst in East Atlanta. We had gone last year (Mastodon and Run the Jewels headlining); this year was Peaches, Dinosaur Jr., and Iggy Pop. Started with a traditional pizza lunch at Argosy (along with a new tradition of mid-concert drinks in their awesome back room). Before the headliners were various local band on outside stages and inside The Earl. I finally got to see The Coathangers! Third (?) time seeing Peaches and her outfits were.. just wow. She is the goddamn best. Dinosaur Jr. guitar work was great to hear for the first time live and Iggy Pop is a 70-year-old who lived an excessive life who I can only hope to be as energetic as. I recommend this over Music Midtown just for the pure messiness and indie-ness of it all.

24 Oct 2017 - King Crimson at Center Stage (setlist). A band I was introduced to when Discipline came out and dug into the rest of their catalog in subsequent years. Red and Starless and Bible Black are two that are still in rotation. The musicians for the concert were three drummers with full kits in front, with the back row, left-to-right, consisting of a woodwind player, Tony Levin on bass/stick, singer/guitarist, and Fripp. Strict rules of NO CAMERAS enforced until the end. Crazy-good drum opening, extended pieces I was not familiar with (possibly from The ConstruKction of Light?), old tunes, and my favorites. Top of their game.

We will end the year with Britney Spears' last Vegas show on December 31st. Neat!

posted by sstrader at 11:56 AM in Concerts | tagged DJ Shadow | comments (0) | permalink

10 November 2017

6 months ago

On May 20th I went for a late afternoon jog while Lisa was out, I then decompressed, hydrated, showered, and went across the street to pick up a calzone for dinner. She met me there and we waited for my order with plans to go home and probably watch a movie. Afterwards, she was annoyed and said I was acting very distracted. We left, walked through our building's lobby and into the elevator. At some point I was in a hospital.

There are fragments and I figure out or am told that I had a seizure. I've had a couple of seizure-like things in the last 20 years or so, and have an odd history of brain event things early in college that had resulted in nothing else to speak of in my present life, so the evening's event is troublesome but not scary. Maybe not enough hydration? They give me an anti-seizure medicine (keppra) and vitals are good so Lisa drives me home. This is Midtown so we're at the Emory hospital across from Shakespeare Tavern. Events are vague, but we pull onto Peachtree Street and I notice that the world--the buildings surrounding us specifically--look fake. Not fake like cardboard as such, but really close and unreal and fake like they're real but reality is fake. Maybe? It's hard to remember the feeling exactly but it was reallyreally disturbing. I suppress it hoping it will go away and we get home. Vague memories and we're in our kitchen and the stressful feelings have not gone away so--I'm reallyreally at the end of my wits and can't keep it together--I ask her to please sit down and I try to explain what's going on. I am feeling unreal. She calmly (?) says we should go back to the hospital, but the rest is fragmentary.

One of the several most horrifying experiences of my life--horrifying simply because I can't displace the imagined from what really happened--was sitting in the emergency room and feeling that my brain was melting and flowing down the center of my skull and bawling I mean really bawling to Lisa that she would soon be gone in my memories because I would soon be gone because my consciousness would evaporate. The evaporation was/is persistent. First bad trip after a libertine college life! She kept it together (I think?) and one of the nurses tried to get me to breathe and soothe my panic. But the dissolving brain thing was reallyreally compelling. It was a whirlpool that I still remember too well. At some point during sanity I tweeted that I was in the waiting room, but when? Was it the first visit or the second? There's a huge blank space, and then at some point I think I've been kidnapped and am in a cell.

This is still a real memory to me. Lisa's there, but my guess is that she's a prisoner too. She is asking me to give her my wallet and to calm down and I'm suspicious that THEY are making her say this. I love conspiracy stories because they're absurd and fun, like Foucoult's Pendulum or The Parallax View or any of the music I've written or dreams I've had. A conspiracy = wacky mayhem + hijinks. What's not to love? But Lisa was standing there compelled by villains to get my wallet from me and then both of us would be subjected to who-knows-what and the hijinks are gone. I remember pulling out my wallet and breaking up my credit card into pieces so no one can use it. And I remember she was upset. And that was the end of that period of remembered time.

The next is me in a hospital bed with the arm-needle-stuff and various other sensors attached. Who knows what this is or what THEY intend of me? I swear the nurse was in and out several times and probably I spoke with her and she was nice. But at some point when she was gone I know that I'd not have another chance... so I ripped the arm stuff out (was it taking my blood? giving me drugs?) and I got out of the bed with the intent of escaping. Not knowing what else to do I stood and watched as my arms bled and pooled on the ground--so much blood--and then I set a cup on the ground and peed into it. When ya gotta go. The nurse returned and was more exasperated than angry but still pretty angry and all that blood on the ground. I was just reallyreally confused. At both my actions and the situation. With the introduction of police officers, this began my period of being strapped, arms and legs, to the bed. This does not soothe the paranoid mind.

At some point it's just a hospital stay. The cops come and give me a hinky look when they decide to take the arm/leg straps off. "Can you be trusted?" I eat bad food. The nurse is soooo nice I want to go back and thank her but don't want to relive that. Lisa stays the whole goddamn time. I'm trying to deal with these memories and writing it down helps? There are fewer invasive memories. I have panicked moments that I know 100% are psychological. Keppra was the cause of the psychotic break and I'm on Vimpat now. My life is so much easier than other who have had real suffering. Maybe this will help I don't know.

Anyway, I get to drive again next Monday.

posted by sstrader at 11:00 PM in Personal | comments (0) | permalink

5 October 2017

Movie reference from a Japanese pop compilation

Having purchased Nippon Girls and Nippon Girls 2 on vinyl and finding both albums filled with liner notes, I was prepared for some cultural spelunking.

IMG_20170930_192053.jpg

First up: the movie "Susume! Jagazu tekizen joriku" (1968) [ IMDB ]. Sheila Burgel, author of the wonderful liner notes for NG2, commented in a paragraph on Akiko Nakamura that There is a fantastic scene in GS [Group Sound] film Susume! Jaguars Tekizen Jourika (Landing In The Presence Of The enemy The Jaguars Advance!) with Akiko Nakamura performing 'Niji-iro No Mizu Umi' in knee-high socks, a black pinafore and what appears to be an enourmous tutu as a top. I eventually found the IMDB reference with Akiko's name but the only hit with that wonderful translated title is for an Australian band who, though I'm sure are fine musicians, were just not what I was looking for. I eventually got to the IMDB link after finding a blog entry on "DIE, DANGER, DIE, DIE, KILL!" titled "Hey You, Go! (Japan, 1968)" about a movie with Akiko in it. Definitely worth a read and his video review with clips from the movie is here:

I have no idea how one title got translated to another, and Todd at DDDDK! reviewed a copy he got with no subtitles, so no insight there. He described it as similar to a Beatles or Monkeys film from the same era. I had watched the Monkeys' film Head and was... disappointed. Maybe better in a foreign language? According to DDDDK!, the movie is a showcase for the GS band The Jaguars--really just the lead singer--and Akiko plays his love interest. The song of hers we get on NG2 is "Namida no Mori no Monogatari" ("The Forest of Tears", worth listening to while it's up on DailyMotion). The one from the movie (YouTube below, while it lasts) sounds like it utilizes the chipmonk speedup that Burgel says was popular at the time (you wouldn't believe how many Japanese records from the 60s regularly employed this hilarious technique). Not as recommended.

posted by sstrader at 8:54 PM in Cinema , Music | comments (0) | permalink

3 September 2017

Kalevala

Research notes:

  • Kalevala - Epic poem of the Karelian people; an area that spans Finland and Russia. Originally from an oral history sung in 5/4 (1-2 2-2 3-2 4 5, example recording here). Made up of 50 songs (Finnish: runot). Many may be of Estonian origin. First published in two volumes of 32 songs/12,078 verses as The Old Kalevala, then revised and appended to be 50 songs/22,795 verses as The Kalevala (i.e. The New Kalevala).
  • Elias Lönnrot - Gathered and transcribed the Kalevala verses from dozens of singers. Made 11 trips from 1828 to 1836 in the central part of Finland and the neighboring part of Russia (i.e. Karelia).
  • Language - The language family, simplified: Uralic (root) > Hungarian, Finnic > Estonian, Finnish, Karelian. Unrelated to Indo-European languages. Karelian is sometimes considered a dialect of Finnish.
  • Amazon search - translators: Keith Bosley, John Martin Crawford, Eino Friberg, W. F. Kirby, and Francis Peabody Magoun Jr. In the list of books, Bosley, Crawford, and Friberg are the most positively reviewed.
  • I was hoping for a bilingual edition - XKCD - Board index > Numberologics, Alchemy, Linguinomics, and other Academiology > Language/Linguistics - Kalevala: no bilingual editions?: John Martin Crawford is the best [translation] I've seen but not bilinqual, side-by-side publishing of the Finnish original and the (rather literal) 1907 Kriby translation: Kalevala, bilingual edition. The side-by-side edition is a self-published hardback based on the Kirby translation.
  • From Ian M. Slater's review on October 17, 2004 at the Magoun edition on Amazon - Very much worth reading in its entirety for a comparison of editions. two early complete versions in verse, that by Crawford (nineteenth-century, from a German translation; available on-line), and the 1907 W.F. Kirby translation, directly from Finnish; Magoun's translation (1963) filled a need for a more literal treatment, with more supporting information; two translations of the "New Kalevala" into English verse, by Eino Friberg (1988) and Keith Bosley (1989), which many will find more appealing; for those who want both the story and all of the details, but either don't care about, or don't care for, such things as meter and rhyme, Magoun's translation remains a first choice

It seems that Bosley is artful but with few references and Magoun is dry with many. I went with the Magoun. I really wanted to get the a translation of the Eddas too, but that's just too much ancient mythology for now.

posted by sstrader at 10:43 AM in Language & Literature , Religion | tagged finland | comments (0) | permalink

8 July 2017

Down and up

My pessimism makes me think that this is the government we deserve: led by a base, media-obsessed president warned about in so many depressing movies and novels. That Obama, quoting writers and philosophers, was an outlier that has been finally corrected. And if it is not a government we deserve then it is simply one that is representative. Or--worse--one that our system inevitably leads to.

My optimism makes me think that the leaks and special prosecutors are the white blood cells that are manifest when needed in order to deal with an invasive aberration. A large, imprecise weapon yet still helping more than it harms. With every investigation of Nixon subverting trusted power, there is a Whitewater conspiracy that turns up only infidelity after distracting the populace and devitalizing the government. Still the body survives the disease, weakened but alive.

What does it mean that Obama-haters felt the same way, in reverse?

posted by sstrader at 5:53 PM in Politics | comments (0) | permalink

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