Monday, December 3, 2012

The Traditional Posting of the Link

pinched from

Ah the holiday season. Like repeated viewings of Charlie Brown, debating the disgustingness of eggnog, and avoiding the Little Drummer Boy, this most wonderful time of the year wouldn't be complete without the traditional link to the Happy Holidays (If You Want It) mix, a set that contemplates war, peace, life, loss, childhood, Christmas, and polka. It features hand-turned 78s, a vintage Soviet kids’ record, radio recordings, Tchaikovsky, Vince Guaraldi and FDR.  I hope you enjoy!

Track Listing: 
·         CH 3/72 Reuge musicbox, "Nutcracker Suite"
·         The Philadelphia Orchestra, Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky's "Waltz of the Flowers", from "The Nutcracker Suite"
·         Frank Knight, et al, "FDR 'Day of Infamy'"
·         John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band, "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" 
·         George Harrison, "All Things Must Pass" 
·         Moreno Veloso, "Deusa do Amor" 
·         The Vince Guaraldi Trio, "What Child Is This" 
·         Meryl Streep and George Winston, "The Velveteen Rabbit" 
·         David Bowie and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" 
·         Sir Adrian Boult and Members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, "The Viola" 
·         The Philadelphia Orchestra, Tchaikovsky's "Chinese Dance", from "The Nutcracker Suite" 
·         Frank Knight, et al, "President Truman Announces Hiroshima 'A' Bomb Attack" 
·         Sirat, "Moon Over the Ruined Castle" 
·         The Philadelphia Orchestra, Modeste Moussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" 
·         Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet, "Temple of the Golden Pavilion ("Like Some Enormous Music")" 
·         Donovan, "Season of the Witch" 
·         The Broadway Cast of Hair, "Aquarius" 
·         Walter Cronkite and Crew of Apollo Eight "'...On The Good Earth'" 
·         The Vince Guaraldi Trio, "Skating" 
·         The Philadelphia Orchestra, Tchaikovsky's"Dance of the Reed Flutes", from "The Nutcracker Suite" 
·         The Firesign Theatre, "The Further Adventures of Nick Danger" 
·         Alex Pulaski and the Polka Dots, "Holiday Polka" 
·         They Might Be Giants, "Famous Polka" 
·         Jan Waters and his "Polk-Alongs", "How Good for Me Polka" 
·         Cantor Josef Rosenblatt, "Achanu Kol Beth Israel (Our Brother Israel)", 
·         “Teremok”
·         Music Hall Drama Group and Orchestra, "Santa's Surprise" 
·         "Jingle the Christmas Mouse" 
·         The Christmas Carol Orgy-
from the albums "'Twas the Night Before Christmas", by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, and "Hi-Fi Christmas Party", by Domenico Savino and his Orchestra and Chorus; Charles Smart and James Blades, "Holy, Holy, Holy" and "Eternal Father"; Monks of the Benedictine Abbe, En Calcat, with Boys' Choir from L'alumnat, "Christe Redemptor (Christ the Saviour)" and "Hodie Christus Natus Est (Christ Was Born Today)" 
·         Simon and Garfunkel, "7 o'clock News/Silent Night" 
·         Jiminy Cricket, "When You Wish Upon a Star" 
·         15 1/2" Regina musicbox, "Silent Night" 

Recorded live in Oakland, California, December 2003

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The First Writing In Ages And I Fully Intend...

Sunday afternoon at the Country Estate - a condo in suburbs north of San Francisco. I'm poolside, drinking a shandy and listening to Thelonious Monk, Brad Mehldau, Stevie Wonder. The sunshine is plentiful, but the air holds some cool, hinting - or perhaps overtly revealing - that just outside our sparkling sunbelt, the fog rolls, asserting itself, throwing its weight around. It's also an oblique reminder that summer is on the decline - oblique because in these parts, we still have glorious Indian Summer ahead of us before the seasons turn earnestly chilly.

Indian Summer is just ridiculous. Beautiful and perfect and calm, warm sun, long sunsets, a sense that everything is just good in the world. Of course, then the sunsets get longer as October stretches in, rain maybe even falls a time or two, then daylight savings abruptly ends one night at 2am, and we're plunged into darkness till we spring forward next year. 

But that's ages from now - two months - so for the moment, I will drink my shandy by the pool and stay in the warm sun and avoid thinking anything outside of summer being endless. 

There are three men in suits carrying bibles and stalking around the condo complex. They go from door to door silently, I assume proselytizing but who knows - it's the perfect disguise for robbing houses on a Sunday afternoon, and doors could be unlocked around these parts. They've noticed me and are noticeably  not looking at me, in the sun with my bikini and my drink. Monk's Honeysuckle Rose plinks away thought the little speakers on the side table.

Alex, love of my life, is up in the Country Estate writing and recording bass clarinet parts for a new song.  The low, throaty tones mix in the breeze with the sounds of a prop plane, rustling leaves, bird songs, the ubiquitous cars-on-road, my keyboard strokes, Brad Mehldau Trio, and occasionally a human voice.  And a weed whacker.  It is Sunday after all.  

I feel like I can hear the pool, but it's imaginary synesthesia.  It is a thing of beauty, though: artificially tropical blue, Caribbean-colored, from a bleachy bluish white in the shallows to a deep, clean sky at the 9 foot end. There's something perfect about a swimming pool: a promise of perfection, a dream, a myth - contained and controlled, but wet and therefore wild. David Hockney saw it, got it. Flying into an airport near a neighborhood rich with swimming pools, one can't help but look down into them and think "this is the place". A Talking Headsian paradise.  

Or something like that. Anyway, my shandy is running low, and I must must must keep writing - the first writing in ages, and I fully intend...