Friday, March 22, 2013

Rantz: (USA, 1982)

First off, note the beautiful cover art.  Although it can be rotated by pi, I don't actually see an image coming out the other way, though this is perhaps my visual fallibility.

This was another discovery from the mighty osurec and it hails from 1982, 31 years ago.  Why do I always harken back to those wonderful days of the eighties?  Why do I always remember the great late Ronnie Reagan with his doll-like rosy crabapple cheeks and glistening black courtierly pompadour shaking his head rhythmically while intoning the words "the evil empire" and "the mad dog of the middle east" from his teleprompter-- which used to fool my scientist father who thought he as an actor had actually memorized his lines--  imagine his chagrin when I told him POTUS was simply reading not looking the viewer in the eye... For little did my dad know that at that time Ronnie couldn't even remember his own name or the B-movie actresses he had slept with, let alone a long-winded speech by Peggy Noonan-Safire or William Safire-Noonan, full of idiotic and ahistorical platitudes.  But he was full of conviction, that same one that motored the McCarthy boat against communism to nowhere, that same certainty which in truth only true robots can achieve-- that the USSR must be destroyed at all costs, even with the creation of a star wars system of lasers in space that scientists told him from day 1 would never work.  It didn't matter to him that it wouldn't work, what mattered were the words alone, and the words worked.  To this day his words still work.  If millions of humans died in the process, the game theory mathematicians in service of politics said, it was worth it for the survival of the rest of us.  Too bad that game theory at that early point had not progressed to fully include cooperation as the optimal rational strategy-- too bad for us who don't understand game theory and were destined to die in those war games, right?
So I mean yeah, how can I not remember those crazy nuclear-holocaust-eighties with fondness?

After all, his magic religion of capitalism is still the spiritual altar to which we all pray.  We pray for the god of capitalism to make us rich, to give us luxury cars, to let us win the lottery (every day I go to work I hear someone mention this)...  We can grow our money like magic, if we just think the right thoughts.  And the priests, the economists, still stick to the script, they don't believe there is any other way for us, they assure us of a future cornucopia of abundance for all, with perpetual exponential "expansion" of the economy, in a limitless infinite earth that will accomodate 10 billion, even 100 billion humans (cf. Julian Simon RIP).  Now all bachelors can go on reality TV, become rich and famous, then have countless females to sleep with just like the heaven of Islam.  All women can have plastic surgery to make themselves as desirable as their evolutionary imperative instructs them to be, with large breasts, white skin, large red lips.  For a person to question our religion is heresy of course, they are laughed at in serious company, they are ostracized as childish or naive, they are talked down to as if stupid, they are universally ignored in any public forum.  In this way are religions perpetuated through falsehood and irrationality until the day their foretold or unforetold apocalypse passes-- like when the Comet Hale-Bopp passed by without a doomsday and the believers were forced to commit suicide.  Unfortunately our high priests the economists will not be immolating themselves when they are eventually shown to be wrong, they will simply stand in line for unemployment insurance and food stamps like everyone else, probably not even showing shame at their prior false promises or a full belly despite their financial wisdom.

And while I'm on the subject of doomsday (as usual!)  let me mention that all those cruise missiles, the creepy nuclear-powered subs patrolling the oceans that never surface, the thousands of warheads that would kill us all 'thousands of times over' in a nuclear winter as they used to say, they are all still with us-- Reagan and his warring legacy of words that work can still destroy us totally if there does arise a world war three.  Today it seems impossible, but what if there were worldwide famines and mass migrations for many years?   What if the recent economic downturn extends and gets worse and never ends, for anyone anywhere?  And how likely is it that these weapons will never be used, ever?  This seems very low probability to me.

Sorry about the uploads not being tended to, but since Isabel disappeared so suddenly it has been difficult for the rest of us, her work was absolutely irreplaceable.  I personally don't know what is the situation but I wish her all the best and miss her greatly, indeed, I hope dearly that she returns to help us out and cheer us up.
In fact if you're reading this, please send us a message!!

I include two fantastic tracks, the Indigo Sunset softer instrumental, and a hard-rocking guitar song that is virtually proto-alternative with punkish singing and incredible tritonal chord changes, nothing bluesy about it at all.

Track 6 (Tesnus Ogidni):

Track 8 (Gnostic Blues):

I wish Tom Hayes and cd reissue wishlist would feature this since I feel it should be priority 3 at least.  There is a wonderful mix of hard, soft, instrumental, no fusion, but a lot of ingenious composition and some killer tracks.  Reminds me a bit of Syn Cast the first Stone, but with a harder edge.

Why are these magnificent records so completely lost??? 
But this is our purpose here, to ressuscitate them and preserve them for posterity as the patrimony of our culture, when music reached its absolute apex of creation.  Assuming those nuclear warheads don't rain down on us instead in some distant future.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Children of All Ages Just Might Turn out to be Sages (USA, 1976)

Another 'discovery' of the mighty osurec from some time back-- behind whose shadows my shape of possessions continues to be dimly lit.

I've always been guilty of the sentimentalization of childhood and thus when I first heard the tracks from his rip I always meant to find the record to keep in collection for perpetuity.  It was not easy to locate at a reasonable price oddly enough but finally I have it here to share.  This is the second work from this group featuring singer Bobby Dorough whose laryngeal style I could see some people abhorring.  The first ST album had much more free jazz to it as opposed to the composed, radio-friendly songs in the second.  But here there's a good mix of fusion, blues, and jazzy meandering.

When I spend days with my two (three and five year old) children I see that in reality the overhyping of happy childhoods is a case of selective memory, because the negative emotions of frustration, anger, boredom, or impatience, are pretty intense, at least as much as the positive ones of excitement and joy.  In fact in any given hour my preschoolers go through such a range of emotions it's like a year-long brazilian soap opera fast-forwarded at light speed: 300,000 miles of tragedy, comedy, restless wonders and pains in the space of one primetime slot complete with the requisite commercials for toys and taco bell burritos.

What I find though most endearing in them is the absolute, timeless social naivete.  When we visit the local playground, unlike the adults who adhere to cliques and ignore all newcomers, the children make fast friends instantly and perfectly, one hi (or even dispensing with the greeting) and they are lifelong friends for the whole duration of the temporary … whilst the mothers keep to their high-school rut maintaining a fully anachronistic cool group now made up of overweight and exhausted stay at home 'soccer moms' apparently overjoyed at being able to ignore misfits like my wife and myself who unlike them are slim, educated, and artsy...

We can romanticize childhood to the ends of time but ultimately their way of living in the moment and not being aware of death, taxes, and the agony of sticking to those stratified social roles is something I could never approach without losing half my mind.

The only thing they have and I still would give anything for is not having to worry about growing old and dying.

"When children find someone soft and kind
they smile and glow and say 'hello'

When children play in their magic way
with time and space they travel anyplace

When children frown their world is upside down
don't matter right or wrong something don't belong

When children create they don't hesitate
when children create, they don't hesitate,
they don't see an end where their minds can bend
they don't see an end where their minds can be

Children of all ages, just might turn out to be sages…"

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Joachim Kuhn - Time Exposure (GER 1987)

We've posted a number of genius German pianist J. Kuhn's works before and in fact completing his discography is not only desirable but quite tedious and expensive too.  This one attracted me because the music was created for a NYC ballet, and I really love ballet music with its extremely emotional, airy, and flickering variety.  In one track (To Be Continued) it appears someone is actually touching the strings (e.g. with a ruler) inside the grand piano that Kuhn is playing.

Here's a typical track, Modern Nature, the softest one:

And here one of the more experimental ones, Graphic: