Tuesday, March 13, 2012

#535: What I'm on about 2

Some people drink 2 manage their stress. Some people smoke. I just turn the music up louder.
At work, keeping some music on -- NE music, whether it's the radio or homemade tapes or loaned CD's -- keeps me moving, keeps me motivated, keeps me happy. It works WAY better than a good cup of coffee or hot chocolate. & if I'm stressin cos it's busy & I can't keep up or people R grumpin at me or I've pissed some1 off, I just turn the music up a little louder, & most of the time it all goes away. & all my work gets done. I get thru another nite enjoyably. & I'm another step closer 2 payday.
It doesn't ALWAYS work. Sat nite, 4 some reason, it didn't: Thru the early part of the evening I was playing PET SOUNDS & a homemade late-'60s Beach Boys Best-Of. & tho it's all great stuff & I still love it, most of it didn't keep me going in the usual fashion. Great music, just the wrong environment.
As soon as I switched 2 something else, the magic kicked back in, & I was bouncing around & laffing & joking & dancing a little in addition 2 getting my work done -- & not minding summa the draggier aspects of my job.
Tho it wasn't the best work week ever, it was OK. Least I GOT a job. & I know people can tell when I'm in a good mood, when I'm not letting things bother me, when summa the downsides of the job R'NT getting hold of me. When the music's playing, I'm nicer, friendlier, less stressed, feel less rushed. The bad stuff just floats away. & the evening goes by in a blur. A good 1. & I'm not stressin.
NEthing that gets me thru work with a minimum of stress has gotta B a Good Thing.
+ there R bonuses.
In the past week, I've turned-on people who've Xpressed intrest 2 music like Wigwam's "Bless Your Lucky Stars," Grateful Dead's "Passenger," Golden Earring's "Snot Love in Spain," Sandy Denny and Fotheringay's "The Way I Feel," Pentangle's "Light Flight," & The Mamas and the Papas' "Twelve Thirty."
I usedta B a little Mbarrassed about playing summa my favorite music in-public, worried that the 1st person 2 say "This sucks" is gonna crush me. But now I don't care. I don't care if they hear me howling along with Cyndi Lauper's "When You Were Mine" or Paula Abdul's "Blowing Kisses in the Wind" or Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me." Or Bread's "Been Too Long on the Road." I just don't care. Cos I know what works 4 me, what keeps me motivated, what makes me a better, nicer worker, a nicer person 2 deal with & B around.
+ I'm doing my part 4 the good of my neighbors. If I'm not stressing or freaking out or screaming at work thanx 2 the music I play, that's gotta B good. + if some1 else likes this stuff & I can help them track it down, that's gotta B good 2, right?
There's gotta B people all over the country doing this, but I've never heard about them or read their blogs.
As is, I'm now taking a large overnite-bag full of cassettes with me 2 work every day 2 keep me going. & tho I sometimes play my favorite Old Stand-By's, I'm adding stuff all the time. This week I added Fairport Convention & their various offshoots. Last week it was Bread -- even summa their softer stuff rocks pretty good. While back I tried out Camel & Pat Metheny. & nobody's complained yet.
Haven't tried NE King Crimson yet, I don't think. Might B worth seeing what "Frame By Frame" or "Sleepless" or even "The Great Deceiver" might do 2 an unsuspecting audience. Should probly try-out some Caravan & Gryphon & Gentle Giant, 2. Hang on a minute....
-- OK, there, tossed in the bag. I'll B back at it on Weds, inflicting off-the-wall music on unsuspecting members of the American public. The job pays the bills. The Xtras -- turning people on 2 new music, or just getting them 2 relax & talk a little -- gives my life meaning.

There'll B Yet Another Jazz Moment coming up eventually, hopefully including work by Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, Miles Davis, David Sancious and Tone, Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny, Return to Forever, & possibly more.
I've also bn trying 2 get in2 a supposed jazz-reporting classic, A.B. Spellman's FOUR LIVES IN THE BE-BOP BUSINESS (1966/1985), but am finding it rough going. Spellman's whole point seems 2 B how hard the jazzman's life is -- or was, in the mid-'60s. Well, duh. Especially if the performer's music is "difficult." So hard is the jazzman's life that 1 of the subjects of Spellman's book -- composer/pianist Herbie Nichols -- died B4 the book was published. Parts of it R valuable -- there R long reminiscences from the 4 subjects, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Jackie McLean & Nichols -- but a lot of it so far seemsta B just dead-obvious. Possibly more on this later.
Oh BTW, Philip Larkin's ALL WHAT JAZZ? (which I mentioned last time) is a lotta fun if you Njoy snarky putdowns of jazz stars. Sometimes I do. Mainly what it shows is how much Larkin missed Louis Armstrong/Duke Ellington/Benny Goodman/Glenn Miller-era jazz. It also illustrates at great length Larkin's theory that the more "modern" jazz Bcame, the closer it got 2 pure noise. Sometimes his illustrations of this theory R hilarious -- as when he calls Miles Davis "the Charles Addams of the trumpet -- without the humor, of course," or his description of a side of John Coltrane's MEDITATIONS as "the most astounding piece of ugliness I have ever heard." If this sounds like fun 2 you, go 2 it -- but make sure you get it cheap.

1 of R Regulars came in2 the store Sun nite & laffed: "I have relatives in the house -- I need more WINE!" Then she asked how 2 get unwanted relatives 2 leave -- I said putting on & cranking up David Sancious and Tone's TRANSFORMATION: THE SPEED OF LOVE always worked 4 me -- even tho I loved it, within 5 mins the strange & abrupt twists & turns of this keyboard-based mid-'70s jazz-rock would have my unwanted guests glancing at their watches & looking 4 the door. I also suggested later Coltrane & NEthing by Coleman. She wondered about Barry Manilow or Barry White. "Well, it's gotta B a sure thing," I said. "Just make sure your guests don't get the wrong idea...."

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