Sunday, July 5, 2009

Some thoughts on a record I didn't buy.

It is such a gorgeous day today. How can I worry about stupid stuff? I went to the CD World sale yesterday but didn’t buy anything. I saw a Bartok album with a groovy cover, probably from the early 60’s, and I wish I’d bought it. I don’t even know if I like classical music, or 20th century art music. I played it on trombone, on a pretty much daily basis, but don’t know if I liked it at the time. (I do know that I got to go to Winstead's after trombone lessons.) I know who produced the third Angst album but not what context to place Bartok. So I had this idea to back up and just be open in an autodidactic way to who Bartok was, what that particular piece of music is about, and whether or not I liked it. Because music appreciation in one of its purest forms is taking a chance on a record and checking it out and learning about the artist, either through magazines, fanzines, books, the library, or the back of the record jacket. Also hanging out with friends and diggin’ on whatever. I’d also like to have some classical records in my collection other than the warhorse symphonies I played at band camp. I bought these records dutifully and related to them with about as much energy as I did a history textbook.

Mike Watt was talking about a classical piece on his show the other day, what was it? Shostakovich? A supposedly light and fluffy classical piece that was widely dismissed, which ended up being a parody of the communist state and its fruity propaganda. It’s hard to even imagine that creative context in our day. Nothing is covert, therefore nothing is really out in the open. Moral floobs are still covert, until they blow in the media like a shook-up bottle of Diet Rite. Libertarian governers go to South America to act out what they’ve been projecting since their first church camp boner. But no one sits down to compose a symphony or a song with The State looking over their shoulders. That would be a funny songwriting assignment: write a political song under the scrutiny of an imagined repressive, totalitarian state. Maybe it would come out sounding like the theme song from “The Love Boat.” Speaking of the love boat, we have tickets to Built to Spill/Flaming Lips AND Sonic Youth/Awesome Color AND we’ll be in KC for the Ultraman reunion at The Record Bar.
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