I’ve been thinking about a variety of topics…Science, aging, listening, the eternal Tone vs Talent ratio, its all part of it. Let’s talk about a few.
There’s a guy in the apartment building on the ground floor, who as I write this, is belting out some unintelligible nonsense, singing his lungs out, to his hearts content. For my own sake, I wish his heart could be content with a little less. His loudest notes wind up through the building shaftway, and invade everyone’s personal space. Over the past weeks he has played The Cure’s “Lovesong” and the eternal singer songwriter staple “Hallelujah” It’s 9:52pm, I pray he stops by 10. I find it hard to play louder unless I’m very confident in whatever I’m playing. He does not suffer from this problem. Or maybe he’s just that confident.
I just returned from seeing my friends Sarah Lee and Johnny at the Mercury Lounge. They put on a beautiful performance, in stark contrast to the the shitshow happening 3 floors below me at this moment. Acoustic instruments, upright bass, harmonies, pedal steel, joyful sounds all around. I love vocal harmonies. Maybe it’s because my golden pipes only exist in my mind at the current moment. My girlfriend emailed me the other day “I’m in the greenroom at The View, two old musicians are on the couch, one is British, the other looks like the comedian Gallagher in 20 years, who are they??” Yeah, it was who you guessed too.
A few day’s ago, I attended a jazz piano masterclass by Ethan Iverson of the Bad Plus. What business did I have being at a jazz piano master class? No business at all, dear reader, but I do not fancy myself a business man, so I went anyway. Watching someone who has obviously mastered their instrument is a unique experience. It makes you reconsider all notes going forward. It’s like they’ve broken down that invisible wall, and there is no filter between brain and instrument. Again, that’s not happening right now on the buildings ground floor.
Have you heard of Cluster Headaches? They’re a strange phenomenon. It’s a “cluster” of incredibly intense headaches that occur in a pattern. They often appear seasonally, around daylight savings time, I’m not making this up. They affect less than 1% of the population…and honestly the Dr. did not even laugh when I said “so I’m finally in the 1%!!” Really? Come on! They show up and leave without warning, can last for hours on a daily basis, then disappear. Very mysterious. They gave me this crazy injection “thing” to carry around that stops the headache instantly, its looks like something out of Total Recall. I like to pretend I’m Keith Richards, carrying around illicit substances, but illicit substances don’t usually get subsidized by your insurance.
In closing, I’d like to discuss Saturday Night Live. Yes, most of it is tired and not funny, but occasionally they come out with a gem so strange, you could never imagine it. The final sketch on this weeks show, conveniently watched on Hulu, was about a band called the “Blue Jean Committee” who recently “Got Signed” and is on their first “National Tour.” Fred Armisen as the weirdo lyricist, Jason Sudekis as the amazingly creepy 1970’s style drummer, and Jason Segel as the somewhat sensitive keyboard player and backup singer.
They just nailed that mediocre jam-band of dudes feel right on the head. There’s the cutaway of the conservative frat looking guy rocking out just a bit too hard in the crowd, the local bar atmosphere, and the constant references to Northampton Massachusetts. Its like they went to every Phish Show before 1999, talked to every guy who plays in a band, went to see that band, and compiled the most ridiculous traits altogether. The Cinnamon Beer line…too accurate. The only thing that would have made it more amazing, is if it were set at the Wetlands Preserve on Hudson St.