Select Page

I like music but I’m not interested in time travel

This morning, early, I watched an interview with Van Dyke Parks. He’s always been on the periphery of my musical consumption and I find him to be a fascinating figure.

Like I said though, periphery…I haven’t really spent much time on his actual work under his own name. And thus I found myself listening to a couple of his albums while doing my some of my daily chores.

I would describe a good deal of his arranging as cinematic. Which brings up an interesting notion; a lot of actual cinematic music is designed to invoke specific emotions in the viewer. However, those emotional-musical connections are often based on historical, even ancient precedents. When a composer comes up with music that reminds you, vaguely perhaps, of something from a movie…is that composer using the movie as a resource or, hearkening way back? Or, just playing to what’s in the mind’s ear?

Anyway, while listening as background music (maybe I should say “hearing” because I recently heard someone make the distinction that “most people nowadays are hearing music as opposed to listening to it)….anyway, Van Dyke was playing in the background and a thought came upon me just willy nilly: It must easily be in the hundreds of times that I have heard people talking about “the incredible power of music” because it has the ability to “take you back to a place and time”.

I just don’t feel like that…at all. I like music but I’m not interested in time travel.

The age of musical reason

From what I understand, there is a good deal of research that reveals that most people’s musical tastes are formed in their early teens (here is an article citing such).

When I was 14, I was really in to stuff like Skynyrd, Ted Nugent, Queen, Thin Lizzy, Pink Floyd…stuff I can’t bear to listen to for more than a couple of minutes these days.

When I do sit down and listen, I’m most likely to seek out something I haven’t heard before even if it’s not new music.

So anyway…I’ll be posting some new music myself soon and hopefully, pick up the pace on the recording process.

Chico, Strings Attached

I’ve found myself going back to listen to various versions of Chico Hamilton’s bands quite a bit.

Always something interesting compositionally and/or aesthetically.

And, Chico always featured interesting sidemen. This gorgeous album is one of the earliest records with Eric Dolphy and, the seemingly forgotten Dennis Budimir.

 

Fugitives and old remedies

Jasper woke up stomach sick this morning. I said to Beka, “I need to go get some stuff”. As if reading my mind she says, “Jello and Sprite”. Yes, the time honored remedy. So, I headed down to Fred’s which, is a discount store…some of you if there are any of you may not be familiar.

Anyway, I got the stuff there at Fred’s and as I walked out in to the parking lot, I heard the Merle Haggard tune “I”m A Lonesome Fugitive” blaring from an SUV sound system. And I thought to myself, “How refreshing to hear that blaring from an SUV while walking across the parking lot on a beautiful, late Autumn, Sunday morning.”

As I got in my car I glanced over at said SUV and in the passenger seat there was a substantially bodied teen lad wearing a pair of Beats headphones just rocking the fuck out, pumping his head to some unknown death metal, gangster rap symphony….

I’ve always liked the Roy Buchanan first album version of “Fugitive”, not to offend any Hag purists, bur there is in a nutshell the definitive Buchanan country Tele tone and a subtle lyric change…a little different…

I’d like to take you with me but can’t afford the luxury
A fugitive must be a rollin’ stone
You’d only slow me down and they’d catch up with me
For he who travels fastest goes alone

That could be a Clint Eastwood movie right there in one stanza.