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Some things shouldn’t be rectified

I finally got around to listening to some of the more recent, posthumously released Jimi Hendrix music. I noticed on several of the studio cuts that there were some little mixing/engineering tricks here and there. Subtle and tasteful but, very digital sounding delays, guitar tones that sound beefed up by overdrive effects…maybe even re-amped (seems like in the back of my brain, I remember hearing Eddie Kramer praise re-amping).

I remember a conversation I had with Lou Whitney back when digital was taking over as the norm in the recording field. I was deep in to studying all facets of the process at the time. I mentioned that future folks, that were deep-geeking on recording, would have evidence of every single step; punches, edits, effects patches…all the minutiae of a great record. Imagine being privy to every one of Teo Macero’s tape splices on Bitches Brew or all of the editing Tom Dowd did on a comped guitar solo. Like I said, deep-geeking.

But, even though there is a digital log of all events on a particular recording, that doesn’t mean that the curator is going to let you see it. So, even after the fact, way after the fact tweaks and twizzles can remain secret.

And that brings up some interesting stuff in this era where bands are first and foremost “brands” and people don’t seem too bothered by shelling out cash to see acts that don’t even have one original member (which by the way, isn’t a brand new idea; see Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Oak Ridge Boys etc.), they aren’t going to be put off by hearing an original recording greatly altered to include the new technology.

Now we’ve become accustomed to the idea of “re-mastered”; it’s a selling point. To be fair, the great majority have no idea what mastering is in the first place. And, of course, there have been major re-releases that had tape speed corrections, noise reduction all that sort of stuff. But, “re-engineering” can involve taking each individual part sung or played and manipulating it…sometimes subject to the whims of current tastes.

The ability to even listen to recorded music is new in the grand scheme of things. With that, the ability to evaluate an individual performance as if under a microscope.

If Coltrane were still with us, he would very likely be blowing his sax in to the same kind of microphone he was over 50 years ago. All in all though, it’s weird and a little offsetting for me to hear Jimi’s guitar played through a rig that didn’t exist in his lifetime. I’m not so sure he would be in to a “Dual Rectifier”, you know?

Utopia? Sure, why not?

“Every daring attempt to make a great change in existing conditions, every lofty vision of new possibilities for the human race, has been labelled Utopian.”
~ Emma Goldma

I sought this quote on the notion that I was pretty sure that Emma Goldman said it.

Seems like a fairly common argument against anarchism; “What do you want, some kind of Utopia?”

Sure, why not?

Is this the worst of what we are?

I watched a good deal of the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing yesterday.

And so today is a day that makes feel glad I am not on social media. The idea of being bombarded by beliefs and opinions, insults and accusations, and snide jokes and derogations from people, especially those I know and like, would indeed cause me to think that this is the worst of what we are.

My basic take away is that, if someone that did not have a previous political/tribal affiliation, loyalty and influence were to watch Mrs. Ford’s testimony, they would think her believable.
But, the same person under the same conditions would view Mr. Kavanaugh’s testimony and reach the same opinion.

The culture is set up for partisanship, for tribalism. I have a gut feeling that going forward, fewer people are going to fall for it.

Is this the worst of what we are? No, not by a long shot. As a society, we have done and continue to do worse every day.

And, I’ve got to say that, if appointing a judge, one single mere human, carries the dire consequences that are advertised then, it is just another sign that the system we have in place is deeply flawed. And of course, the system can be changed…

the death of intelligence

Today is the day that the Kavanaugh circus is going to hit full tilt boogie. I really don’t know how to feel about it…no best case scenario. The TV news reminds me of the Anita Hill hearings so many years ago. I must admit that I haven’t thought about that in longer than I remember. I suppose that’s evidence that the train just rolls on.

And so we are down to “He said, She said” (although the number of accusers grows so now it’s “He said, She, She, She, She and She said”) which is another way of saying you’re left with the choice of who to believe.

Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence.

Robert Anton Wilson