Thursday, January 31, 2008

Colt Vista !

In other news . . . Aric Naue is playing guitar in a band named Colt Vista. If you've heard any of his self-released cds (On The Verge of a Picnic, Compulsion, Thosepassedoutmissedoutonsecondsminutestoosoon, or Family Chameleon) you are probably very excited by this news. Visit their website for more relevant information.

Their next shows:

February 28 at the Know in Portland.

March 13 at High Dive in Seattle.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Tough Subject

Intrigued by the relatively young age of modernism, I decided to delve into some classic 19th century fiction. Beginning with the industrial revolution and then with mechanical reproduction clinching the deal, the modernity that I am aware of is maybe 150 years old, give or take a couple decades. Coincidentally, I recently discovered a genre of music I'm interested in is called 'Modern Classical'. The piano is to music what oil paint is to visual art. What finally turned my awareness of this fact into a curiosity came about when reading Jeremy Gilbert Rolfe. In Beyond Piety he traced the color black as the stardard in fashionable attire to the urbane 19th century, when the soot from coal burning dirtied everything in the outdoors. If your clothes were black it would disguise the layer of soot you carried around. So this is one reason I am reading "Bleak House" by Charles Dickens, which is set in England around 1840. I wanted to get a different perspective of modernism, or maybe I just wanted to read a good book. I expected to trudge through purple victorian language and deal with drastic disparities of class. But I did not expect to deal with lawyers in an endless dispute over a will. Thus, the new perspective. Dickens' view of modernism sites relational formalities as a prominent characteristic. The formalities of law in a courtroom, the formalities of speaking to royalty or anyone in a caste/class differing from yourself. Like the time the Japanese principal of Masuho Junior High would not speak to me until I took my hands out of my pockets. Strict structure within interpersonal relationships. The importance of this aspect escaped me, until Mr. Dickens showed me how oppressive the caste system is to the homeless as well as her royal highness. Depressed because you are Jo, the homeless child who somehow earned the nickname Tough Subject, or depressed because you can't disgrace your family name and legacy or acknowledge your illegitimate daughter. Extreme cases, but perhaps the flowery and rigid social guidelines in London, 1840 have been transformed into bureaucratic red tape, order forms, billing departments, online security measures, and what was the name of your first pet? The tedious social norms in drastic 19th century hierarchy are now the delicacies of social networking, mass communication on a grand scale. Not to say that today's class disparities are any better, just expanded and global. BCC me on all emails, BTW. . . . but anyway, what do I know, I still have 153 pages to read.

Friday, January 11, 2008

links to good music

A great best of 2007 mix from Almost Cool Music Reviews can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Boguey being a Slyboots

"Why, Tony, what on earth is going on in this house tonight? Is there a a chimney on fire?"
"Chimney on fire!"
"Ah!" returns Mr. Guppy. "See how the soot's falling, See here, on my arm! See Again, on the table here! Confound the stuff, it won't blow off - smears, like black fat!"
They look at one another, and Tony goes listening to the door, and a little way upstairs, and a little way downstairs. Comes back, and says it's all right, and all quiet . . .

The light vivacious tone of fashionable life which is usually assumed by Mr. Weevle, sits so ill upon him to-night, that he abandons that and his whiskers together; and after looking over his shoulder, appears to yield himself up, a prey to the horrors again.

from Bleak House by Charles Dickens

upon reviewing my notes from a meeting with Chris Cozier (an artist and writer living in Trinidad), I remembered the interest he expressed about the variety of ways that different cultures react to modernity. Especially the when it resulted in a sinister use of images.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008