Saturday, May 29, 2010
lower down into it
I have attended three nights of music since Tuesday, so new reviews have been on the back burner. There will be several and soon.
Last night, in a pissy mood following immersion in a six hour block of hipster socializing and some depressingly mediocre music, I came home and re-read B.H. Friedman's introduction to Morton Feldman's Give My Regards To Eighth Street. Friedman is evaluating his selections for the volume, inclusions and exclusions, and refers to his sense of overwhelm:
I feel much as Lytton Strachey must have when, facing the 'great ocean of material' that became Eminent Victorians, he rowed out to 'lower down into it, here and there, a little bucket, which will bring up...some characteristic specimen.'
I have amassed quite a queue of material to review; I hope to bring up a few specimens soon. This state of aversion to music passes, if past experience is an augur. The last time I felt this way, I jettisoned my blog zero into the aether. I think a long drink of near silence will be medicine. Thanks for reading.
Give My Regards To Eighth Street: Collected Writings of Morton Feldman, B.H. Friedman, ed.
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I find myself skipping most live music these days (primarily because a good chunk of promising-looking sets are paired with other sets I simply don't want in my head) and also being very picky about the recordings I listen to. I find the vast majority of current experimental/improvised music depressing, pointless and/or awful, but the occasional exception (which, in fairness, there have been a bunch of recently) makes the whole endeavor worthwhile, and even past that, essential. I can't go on, I'll go on.
I hope you don't stop blogging! I really enjoy the posts quite a bit, most recently the long and thoughtful Ferran Fages et al post. (Though I sympathize entirely with the notion that a rest or a fast is probably in order for almost anyone, from almost everything, sooner or later, or even from time to time. Maybe not least to find out what one means for oneself when one says something like "too much of the same thing"---to find out, that is, how much in one's life could qualify as "the same thing". I've been most happy with not so much this or that conclusion that I've come to about anything---this doesn't happen much for me---but rather the thrill of watching various parts and wholes re-aggregate and re-assemble themselves, sometimes in rapid succession. It's a similar pleasure to the pleasures I get from the musics you write about, I think.
Speaking of which: I very much like your references to other resources outside or alongside music. Refreshing. You have at least one grateful reader, so stop listening to music altogether if need be, but don't stop thinking aloud!
Jon, I hold the same idea about what I allow into my head-we always mute commercials, radio or tv, very rarely hear a radio, sample little music throughout the internet, etc.
The paucity of live shows that I really want to hear in Minneapolis can build up a sort of unsated desire for the experience of live music, and-as unintentionally snotty as this sounds, perhaps- I will *settle* for hearing stuff I generally forego.
Anyway, that's what propelled me to this fest. The venue is great, and would serve for a fest I would curate.
Grasprelease, I appreciate the encouragement. Do I know you-your *voice* is familiar?
I don't think we know each other, at least not as Crow and Grasp...
I imagine you know about this already, but just in case not:
I am mainly excited about the pdf's of the 4-volume SHOBOGENZO in the Nishijima/Cross translation, which I've owned in hardcopy and have loved very much for several years now; yet I'm still thrilled to see that now it's available as a free pdf. Another justification for my having purchased a netbook!
"the vast majority of current experimental/improvised music depressing, pointless and/or awful. . " wow. maybe it's because i don't mind the social aspect, but i go to a lot of shows i know or strongly expect will be crappy or underwhelming. philly is a friendly place. also, even bad music often gives me some kind of interesting or educational experience, i think. but we all go through phases, certainly. . . i find it helpful to keep expectations managed.
Just to be clear, for readers- the Jesse responding above [May 31, 2010 1:42 PM], is not myself [crow]. This confusion, now an established tradition on several excellent music sites, may confuse some trying to follow the repartee and ripostes.I, the Jesse behind crow with no mouth, will appear as crow. My esteemed friend from Philly, may be referred to as Philly Jesse, just plain Jesse, or the Kud.
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