Sunday Music

Sunday Music *

* I really should think about renaming this weekly feature to “Monday Music”.

I confess, I was terribly lazy yesterday. I trawled youtube and always ended sooner or later with Cream, or something else the late John Symon Asher BRUCE (1943-2014) (Ger., Eng., website) did on stage together with various companions. But …
Today was the last day I officially was “absent due to illness”. I went to my ophthalmologist in the damn dark morning (coined by Savannah), she measured what had to be measured, found all developing well, and that was it. I’ll see her again in March. No reason not to drive.
My dispatcher greeted me with a deep sigh, and handed me the keys to an old banger that I had to take home & to swap with a colleague later, before the afternoon drive.
My colleague was not amused, because she had the top-notch modern vehicle that had come into service only some months ago. This brand new Ford does not smell of children’s vomit, but still like eau d’vehicle neuf. AND : It comes with an electric “ramp”, what is in fact an elevator for wheelchairs. I heard colleagues complain about this (“too slow, too complicated, generally impractical”), but I liked it today.
Another good invention is that the footstep under the right side sliding door comes out automatically when the door is opened. The older installation had to be pulled out by foot (or, especially in winter, when saltwater, ice and general road dirt blocked it) by hand. I do not know how often I sprayed WD40 or some such on the joints. My tiny framed co-driver complains that the door is too heavy, especially when she has to pull it shut from the inside, but now this is Hulk Mago’s job. So I know that this door is closed. And : No more ruined leather shoes, ha !
Transferring from the older to the brand new model showed me the notable improvements, like better soundproofing and noise reduction, better steering (not that the old would be something to complain about, but one can make things work better), better sound from the speakers : I find it pretty amazing what they did in this heavy modified commercial vehicle in this respect, it is not “opera house”, but crisp & clear. Crisp & clear is also the image of the rear view camera on the small screen – and since I have new glasses I can actually see what is depicted there, in natural colours, hey !
The other thing I noticed is how remarkably larger the whole carriage is, heavier too. The upside is that – at least as I drive it – the thing is absolutely unimpressed by side winds, rutting, bad road surfaces, whatever : This coach goes just where I point it. Feels like a fortress.
Tomorrow it will be back to the grind, getting up before anybody else and coming back home in the morning when a shy sun timidly tries to make us believe that there is still hope, and afternoons driving into the darkness while electric elks & reindeer helplessly blink in tiny front yards, spreading seasonal joy.
It’s raining.

Less than three minutes of pure beauty, Mr DAVIS gives us Générique (1957). I hope you like the music – may we all face a stress free & bearable week.




Politisch’ Lied, Garstig’ Lied

It is ridiculous.
The scandal in this “Acosta Incident” is not that the little fuehrer yells at a reporter, and it is not a scandal that his reporter is banned from the White House “in retaliation”. This is low, but the normal today in the USofA. The scandal is that they use a doctored video. This has a Goebbels taste to it.

The little fuehrer has the former “Justizminister” Sessions replaced by a true follower – as things are right now, I can say nothing else about this man, especially when you consider that I am watching all this from Europe. But that this move is clearly aimed against the investigation run by a certain Mr Muller is absolutely clear & undeniable. The Democrats are now in a position to look into the little fuehrer’s shenanigans – and a certain McConnell in advance called this already “presidential meddling” – as if this so called “president” would be untouchable.
Watching & thinking about this, I can only hope that what grandma Pelosi mumbled, something along the line “we must work together”, is forgotten as soon as possible. I think the Democrats still have not understood what they are dealing with : This is not a “normal” “president”, this is not “a politician”. The little fuehrer can not be measured by this scales. There is no “moral”, no “ethos”, fuck “responsibility” – because it’s always other people’s fault.
I think it is an important moment now.
If the Democrats decide to “make (some) peace”, and “work together” with “responsible” Republicans, then they will become what we called in Germany after WWII and the end of the dictatorship “Mitläufer”. The only thing the Democrats have to bank on now is their morale value, after two years of unhinged “Trumpism”. After two years of ongoing erosion of the democratic state, of socio-cultural warfare. Joining in now “for the better” would be nothing else but erbärmlichstes Mitläufertum. (Can’t translate this. Does the word “Quisling” ring a bell ?)
There is no other way but the full disclosure of the little fuehrer’s corruption, make or mar. Anything else means to become guilty.

But all this is in vain.
In the end, all I talk about here is moral, ethos if you like. What we see is an elected moral blank, a nihilist. And those who voted for him, and more so, those who make him possible, enable him, figures like this McConnell, share this nihilism. And as long as it works, it works.
The only thing that can end this, is the next economical crisis. And this will come as sure as next Christmas. Only then things will change. I am in no way learned about economics, so I can say nothing about what will cause what when. All I know is that the US economy runs “on tick”, auf Pump. This is a major vulnerability, and chances are, at least in my humble opinion, that some day in the near future someone (perhaps some really pissed off Chinese ?) triggers something that sends this house of cards down the drain. This will aggravate all the fault lines in the society the little fuehrer banks on, and it will make them break.
This will be ugly and violent.

Sorry, I am no doom monger usually, but I can not share the optimism that comes out of this Midterm’s result. It means, first of all, another two years of the little fuehrer’s more or less unbridled rule ; it means a un-unified Democratic “opposition” ; it does, thirdly, not rule out another six years of scum’s rule. As nice & notable some results may be, in total it is not enough. The next election campaign already started, the public climate is poisoned and will get even more poisoned : The little fuehrer’s answer is clear – more escalation. He publicly lauded violence as means of political “confrontation”.

The little fuehrer needs to be laughed out of office. Laughter is the only thing that can stop this monstrosity.
It is ridiculous.


Strange Daze

Sometimes time seems to crawl. This afternoon I felt very tired, lay down and nodded off. When I regained consciousness I thought that I’d have slept for an hour or so, but it was less than 15 minutes. I do not complain about this, it is only unusual, and a bit confusing. I had a terrible night, sleep did not want to come or to stay, and this morning I felt exhausted, not refreshed.
I had to see the doctor today, I will see him tomorrow, and then I have to wait for another four days, until, yeah … At least I have no urge to smoke or drink, I stuff frozen vegetables into the microwave, and all is well.
The only problem I have to solve is what to read in the days after the procedure. I have to stay in the hospital for three days afterwards, and I doubt that they will give me sleeping pills for all the time. As I understood this is for observation only, without any follow up “actions”. I do not want to buy things like the use of a tv or internet connection – I was handed a list of (rather expensive) options, all things I do not need & do not want. I just want to have my peace, preferably in silence. But it’s a hospital, not a Carthusian monastery, sadly. I will find a solution. It is not too long, after all I expect to come back home on Frayday next week.
In other news – some readers my remember that we once discussed here the topic of “slavery” in Europe. This became a subject of research (homepage), and a conference will be held at the end of this month (Amanda, where art thou ?) – if you have some time to spend, why not go to Bremen ?
And while you are in the region, visit Hamburg and try to find some traces of early rock’n roll in St.Pauli, its history is described in A Social History of Early Rock‘n’Roll in Germany. Hamburg from Burlesque to The Beatles 1956–69 by Julia SNEERINGER (about) (London 2018, German recension). Prof SNEERINGERs book is not a travel guide, but a learned and well received social history of this subculture. Hamburg was not very careful with this kind of heritage, they created a “Beatles Platz” (Ger., Eng.) in 2008 with figures of the musicians – I’d like to see the “hybrid of drummers Pete Best and Ringo Starr” (Bingo Barr ? Peto Stest ?) – but I think that was it.
As the reviewer of SNEERINGERs book mentioned (and I read about this somewhere else lately) the very large archive of the Hamburgian photographer Günter ZINT (Ger.), who documented “the scene” and St.Pauli since the early sixties, has found no public support in any way. I first saw photographs by ZINT in the early eighties, he documented the resistance against the Atomstaat in Brokdorf – now let me put my left fist down, sorry.
But this is “all history” of a state & a society that does not exist anymore. Today the former (green) “subversives” form coalitions with conservatives in stately parliaments, they usually are the second-strongest political party (behind the conservatives), followed by the new Fascists, while the Sozialdemokraten face political irrelevance & extinction – not only in Germany, but in nearly all European states. The Beatles are musealised, the Stones taxidermied themselves, and Dylan vanished in his own galaxy ages ago – Ms FAITHFULL made a new album, maybe its worth a try ; Joni MITCHELL turned 75, time’s a cruel master, darling. Let’s end this seminostalgic prattlebrabble.
Let’s listen to Pharao Tutankhamun’s trumpets (Eng.), as they were played in 1939, five months before the beginning of WWII. Excuse me, now I’ll crawl back into my bubble.




Oh Herr …

Since I stumbled out of this fancy doctor’s office on Wednesday afternoon i feel like living in a bubble. I held the papers they gave me, close to my chest and moved carefully since my eyes were still widened from the drops they had poured in “so that the professor can see better what is in your eyes”.
What he saw and showed me on a screen was not very nice, and since this afternoon i have to handle the unavoidable, an operation on my right eye. If it is not done soon things will deteriorate, so there is no real “choice”. I had to think of my venerated academic teacher who spent the last years of his life in his large library unable to read, a man who taught us “to see”, hinschauen, erkennen, the main capabilities in this field called Geisteswissenschaft. And i had to remember the old man I worked for in the early nineties, who only could read with the help of a very strong magnifying glass that was installed on his desk … Waiting is no option. And as Eros said, and what I know from experiences of humans very close to me, modern medicine made astonishing steps forward, there is no more payne … yes, I want to believe this.
I sit around, try to read. And since my eyes were examined more often in the last two weeks than in the years before, I realise how bad it has become. Especially since I sat the last time at my optician for last measurements, and something had to be checked for the final glasses’ strength. One more time a rack with lenses was put on my nose, a little tweak here & there – “Can you read this ?”
And all of a sudden i could read a text in (I guess) eight point (perhaps less) at my usual reading distance. Actually I have to take the glasses off and hold it close to my eyes for small print.
So progress is imminent. I have to take care for some things first, and then the procedure will be very soon.
All will be good.
I came to think about music that accompanied me through the years while I traveled through youtube lately. Of course this was triggered by the various list of “Top Tens” published by fellow bloggers through the last week(s) – Jon, IDV, Savannah, MsScarlet, Dinahmow, Eroswings – I only hope I missed no one.
There is some music I always come back to. I fear it may be boring to most of my venerated readers, sorry.
I do not use the lp-player any more, the large loudspeakers gather dust. They are made to fill a pretty large space with sound, this is not viable here. Thinking about it, when I go to youtube and search for a Sunday Music, I often begin with some of the music I like, liked from the start, when I started to listen, to buy records. Of course I missed a lot, there is an abundant mass of music out there, especially since it is not necessary anymore to depend on a record company and all this. A lot changed how to meet music, musicians, artists. but this is not the topic. There is a kind of old core, music I found sometime, mostly in my younger age, and that stayed with me. In fact, when I squint towards the shelf of records, I think that a lot of them could go, mostly newer ones, I would not miss them.
What I would miss, if I could not hear it anymore, is COLOSSEUMs (Ger., Eng.) Valentyne Suite (Eng.) (11/1969), of course the second side with the suite itself (here’s a link).
This music is often categorised as “Jazz Rock”, ach labels …
I am not too keen with the rock’n rollers of the fifties, somehow music started for me with the STONES, and Let It Bleed (Ger., Eng.) (12/1969) still is it (here Midnight Rambler).
I do not think that Mr RICHARDS is one of the “best” guitarreros in the world, it is nonsense to categorise artists this way. I simply like the guitar and admire what can be done with this instrument.
One of the live albums I always come back to (admittedly after some drinks), and one of the guitarreros I deeply admire, is Rory GALLAGHERs (Ger., Eng.) Irish Tour (Eng.) (6/1974) (here A Million Miles Away, remastered).
Sadly Rory’s dead, but Mr Robin TROWER (Ger., Eng.) is still active, and his album Bridge of Sighs (Eng.) (4/1974) is nothing to sneeze at ; other live albums I remember are THE WHOs Live at Leeds (rambam) (Ger., Eng.) (2/1970), and KING CRIMSONS Earthbound (rambam on steroids) (Eng. (6/1972).
But all this music obtains that the basic feeling is rage, anger, even for Rory’s drunken excursions.
Miles DAVIS Kind of Blue (Ger., Eng.) (8/1959) is totally different, one of the greatest lps ever made in my humble opinion. It speaks to you only when you are in the mood for it (here Flamenco Sketches).
There is so much, and so much still to be discovered, at least for me : From Orlando di LASSO to the latest stuff I can not name. It is always new, a new start. No need for Living in the Past (Ger., Eng. (6/1972) (song) only, it’s always Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day, like a rabbit on the run (here), hopefully not Thick as a Brick (here).

And then there are moments like this.
And there’s nothing left to say.