Tuesday, January 31, 2006


rip, nam june paik

techno buddha: nam june paik - back view

techno buddha: nam june paik - front view

Techno Buddha by Nam June Paik (1932-2006)

Monday, January 30, 2006

john coltrane, yo-yo ma, cecilia bartoli, tord gustavsen

my favorite things

what do the four musicians have in common? well, not much, if anything, it sounds like perhaps the start of a very obscure musical joke, i.e. "john coltrane, yo-yo ma, cecilia bartoli, and tord gustavsen walk into a bar..."

really though, they are what i have been listening to lately.

in musical terms, they are very dissimilar - at least on the surface. what they have in common, though, is that they are all steeped in their respective traditions, and bring a high amount of artistry to their sublime music.

like many who came up in the late 70's and early 80's, the diy aesthetic of punk rock has influenced my own view of art. in fact, it has influenced my own photos and drawing. i *know* i am not a skilled professional - but the one thing that punk rock showed is that passion and expression is valuable more than empty technique. that being said, the ultimate of course, are those who have both the passion and technique to express it effectively.

the for artist named above certainly are in that mold. classical music is not the style i listen to most - if anything, the purity of it is sort of a sorbet i use to cleanse my musical pallette from time to time. i am struck in listening to bartoli and to yo-yo ma, how different their playing is to, say, coltrane - yet in some respects, there are similarities - the best improvised jazz solo's such as what coltrane plays have a logic that is also fond in the best of classical music - though they sound different... yo-yo ma playing bach's celo suites, is telling a story - a story that was partly written by bach, centuries ago, and finished by yo-yo ma. first of all, how beautiful is the timelessness of that - coltrane, on the other hand, whether playing someone else's song, or an original, is improvising - composing, recomposing and reinterpreting - the process is different and the form is different - contrast the precise rhythm and intonation of most classical music, with the expressiveness of tone and rhythmic flexibility of jazz - yet still, at their best, bith take me to the same place...

like most american's - my early exposure to opera was from bugs bunny cartoons. i don't listen to it much. however, that being said, it is indeed stirring and i love bartoli. it's funny that trane's sax and yo-yo ma's cello are both often described as being similar to a voice - people, i think, are predisposed to the human voice - bartoli's voice is so expressive and powerful..

tord gustavsen is the most recent scandinavian jazz musicians i've listened to...now, one might think "scandinavian jazz musician" is a contradiction, like "jumbo shrimp"...actually, there are many great scandinavian jazz musicians - in fact, there is a book titled "is jazz dead? or has it moved to a new address", whose thesis is that the best, most progressive jazz is no longer made by americans. this book is, you might imagine, very controversial - which almost guarantees there is some validity - ye olde "protest too much" theory...anyhow, i've ordered the book from the library - a full review to follow...anyhow gustavsen plays i a piano trio somewhat reminiscent to bill evans or keith jarrett (happily, without the grunting...) - his music is clean - has a bit of the austerity that one might expect from a scandinavian - jazz is a very malleable form - it always has been able to embrace outside influences - it originated as a blend of european and african elements - and to this day, is absorbing influences from around the world - there are those who say that this waters down the essence of jazz, but i feel it keeps it vital - european jazz musicians such as gustavsen, along with asian jazz musicians (say, vijay iyer) and latin jazz musuicians (say, danilo perez), bring their own culture into jazz and make it richer. jazz has always been able to incorporate other influences - whether it be dizzy gillespie and his collaborations with latin percussionists, chano ponza - or jazz musicians playing popular songs - like, say this entries namesake - coltrane playing my favorite things...

and lest you think i am some sort of snob - i really don't put jazz or classical *above* pop music. there's something to be said about the simplicity of music and lyrics that are immediately engaging to so many - like, say, the music of jack johnson (um, the surfer guy, not the miles davis record) - i mean, i'd never put say trane's A LOVE SUPREME on when i'm sitting around the fire with my friends, as i would johnson's work...does that mean one is better than another - of course not - it just means there are all kinds of good, and being exclusive and picking one over another denies you the pleasure that other styles offer...

Sunday, January 29, 2006







Saturday, January 28, 2006





multiexposure 1

multiexposure 2

multiexposure 3

Friday, January 27, 2006

"i think that i shall never see..."

"a poem as lovely as a tree"

Thursday, January 26, 2006


cute cat

or the cat gets it...

i don't obsess over my site log, or number of hits, but i was looking at it today and was pleasantly suprised to see that a number of folks use my photos on my space. i have no issue with people using my photos - they are licensed under creative commons - the main requirements are you can use them, but not make money off of them (if you plan on doing that, let me know and we'll work it out) - and a credit would be nice... i also seem to get a lot of hits from searches for my big bug photo and dandelion photos...

in other news - been listening a lot to the bad plus... they've gotten a lot of hype (well, jazz world hype, anyhow) - and predictably, backlash (well, jazz world backlash, anyhow...) seems like they polarize listeners - they are either the savior of jazz or no talent bums - actually, i think they are neither (why is it that it is only i that can see things in their proper perspective...) i guess i am ambivalent towards them...i don't listen to them often, but when i do i binge - and ultimately, i check out each of their releases - so i guess my verdict is thumbs up. while they may not be the saviors of jazz, they are a great and more importantly, an original band - which, frankly, the jazz world needs more of than saviors... the best way for me to describe them would be sort of a free jazz piano trio - but i hate describing music- they frequently do a lot of covers of rock/pop songs - human behaviour, smells like teen spirit, knowing you knowing me, every breath you take, iron man, we are the champions, chariots of fire and my fave: immigrant's song (you can take the boy out of the 70's...) - and give them a free jazz twist - i've made a nice little itunes playlist of them (blessed technology!)- in one respect, it is a bit gimmicky - in another, the familiarity and structure is comforting for their style - which, otherwise can be a bit meandering - anyhow, check 'em out - they also keep a blog

while i was trying on several blazers this morning to decide which fit best- my exasperated 4th grade daughter said - oh just wear the black one - that is the one she picked out for me as a christmas present - coincidence - or does she know black is slimming and goes with everything?

finally, it is my beloved scion xB's 1st month birthday. i have not name it yet - naming cars seems like a female thing - although i have named my ipod mini - cleverly enough - Minnie - (lol, i crack myself up...) largely after Minnie Driver - if you recall, the phantom of the opera is a favorite in my house - and while i have come to like the movie as a whole - my hook into it was driver's over the top comic relief as the diva carlotta (btw - i *HATE* when the term diva is applied to pop singers - and you can tell how much i *HATE* it as i rarely use capitals....) - plus driver is very tall - and was great as a gues on the kumars at no. 42 - where sanjeev had her say with a hindi accent "take me, take me sanjeev" - so she seems to have a sense of humor - or given it is a bbc show - humour...almost makes me want to check out her pop album - key word: almost....

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

2006 bloggies...

i have a fundamental isse with the bloggies... - i don't find it appropriate or worthwhile to rank something as individual or personal as being better than other blogs. i read and have looked at some of the nominated blogs and while i have nothing especially against them - i honestly can't see how they are *better* than any blog i read - the whole "blogging community" kinda reminds me of high school and you probably can take a wild guess at how popular i was in high school...

that being said, i *did* cast one vote and urge you to do the same...
i voted for, in the category of best photography, A Walk Through Durham Township, Pennsylvania
. her photos are consistenly breath-taking - and when i grow up i want to take pictures as good as these...

my favorite things...

here's what i've been digging lately


the razor's edge (w/tyrone power), the razor's edge (w/bill murray), broken flowers
the razor's edge is a favorite book of mine - i think in some respects it was ahead of its time in depicting a person rejecting societal conventions to find themselves. i finally tracked down both the old and newer version. the power version seems more true to the original - and i think i prefer it. the murray version was perhaps his first stab at a serious role - he seems in a transition from his slight, but hilarious comedy roles (stripes, caddyshack, etc...) to his more serious roles - he doesn't quite pull it off - but his willingness to grow is admirable.

jim jarmusch's broken flowers is available on dvd now and features a more mature murray giving another fine performance -i'd place it a notch below his lost in translation and life aquatic performances, but very fine...

murray is my favorite actor. no one can be as funny and as touching as him - unlike some comic actors who slip into melodrama when attempting serious roles - he is subtle and remains true to himself. perhaps one of the reasons i like him so much as his growth and maturation as an actor has kind of paralleled my own maturing as a person - to a degree - but like murray, i don't think i've grown up completely...


coltrane, monk and coltrane, brad mehldau
i am not sure what it means when two of the best jazz records of the year were both made 40 or more years ago...but the recording of coltrane and monk at carnegie hall is one of the best recordings ever made. it was recently discovered and released. it is a perfect record.

winter means jazz for me. maybe summer is the time for fun and winter reflection - but i seem to gravitate towards jazz in the winter months. the monk/trane record has caused me to want more trane. and mehldau just so i'm not stuck in the past. my favorite record never made (that i've compiled) is mehldau plays radiohead - a collection of his covers....


ricky gervais, robin eubanks
gervais' podcast is hilarious - have listened to each episode several times and laugh as hard each time. eubanks is a favorite musician, in a favorite band (dave holland's) - great insight into the mind/life of a great musician...

those are the podcasts i love - the others i've tried - well, not so much...


blazers now that i am in a vain period, a blazer kicks up any outfit - got two nice corduroy ones as christmas gifts


my precioussssssss. the scion xB

Saturday, January 21, 2006

i'm goin' off the rails on the crazy....



mixed feelings...

for a while i've had mixed feelings about my blog. my heart hasn't really been into it. and i think it shows, and i think it's perhaps why i don't seem to get a lot of response. maybe not; who knows? anyhow, i feel rule number 1 re:blogging is to blog for yourself - not to get readers...still, i haven't found my recent posts very satisfying to write - and although i *do* keep the blog for my own purposes - to be honest, connecting with people is a big reason i keep the blog - kinda makes me feel a little less like a weirdo...

so it's a chicken/egg thing - if i am not very enthused about posting, why should anyone bother to read/comment...

to this end, i am considering a bit of an experiment - a "blogperiment" (sorry, ruth), if you will. i've noticed some blogs have "regular features" (bridget's triple tunage tuesdays or restrict themselves to a topic, or follow a formula - , or david for example does a bit of each - well defined focus, regular features, daily posts...i think the all-over-the-place toipcs, 12 posts one day, no posts for the next week is, in some respects, indicative of my personality - not to mention, my schedule - however, in the past when i've had bloggersblock, meme's have helped me post - after all, when anyone writes about anything, they are more than likely saying as much about themselves as they are - to this end, i'm considering a formula - you know - maybe movies one day, music the next, photos on another, self-pitying posts about what a loser i am when the mood strikes...

i'm not sure about this, but i remember an old writer's handbook advised writing every day - and giving myself assignments like this might help...

we'll see - any suggestions?

Friday, January 20, 2006


self portrait

my daughter says it looks like me, but better. i'll buy that. i find sketching among the most relaxing things to do. i did it a lot when i was just out of college and unemployed. hey - no money, minimal friends - what else to do? anyhow, i think any activity into which one can get lost in ultimately relieves stress - and this is good cause it works the opposite side of my brain. while i realize i am not very accomplished - i am happy with some of my sketches. i should dig up some pastels i did ages ago...

brownie pan

when you have 4 people who are very opinionated about which portion of the brownie they want, the brownie gets cut into strange shapes...


where's the bodhi tree?

happy friday...

here are some pictures...

seems like i have more to say, but can't think...

spring semester has started - i have an odd schedule - tues and thurs i have an AM class, go home and come back for 2 eve classes... m and w, i have one morning class. it's almost like i work 6 mini days - like most situations there is a good side and bad side to it...

finally saw the tyrone power version of the movie the razor's edge - it is a fave book and i liked the movie as well - which is kinda rare - can't wait to see the bill murray version....

oh yeah - and the recent find of the monk/coltrane live date which was released is maybe one of the finest recordings ever - and i don't say that lightly....

zellers, out...maybe i'll think of what i was gonna say later - or maybe that was it!

oh, yeah - vince vaughn in swingers is money

Thursday, January 19, 2006

i'm it...

tagged by kristin

Four jobs I´ve had in my life:

software developer
student aide in religious studies dept.
summer cleaning of school

Four movies I could watch over and over (and have!):

the big lebowski
doctor strangelove
ghost world
wizard of oz
napoleon dynamite
(hey, i can count - i thought of these five and couldn't eliminate one - i better stop before i think of another)

Four places you have lived:
west side of lorain
east side of lorain
west side of lorain (diff. place - across from lake erie)
amherst township
(world traveler, eh?)

Four TV shows you love to watch:
curb your enthusiasm
anthony bourdain:no reservations
(ok, i'll make up for the 5 movies by only naming 3 tv shows - and i'm not one who doesn't - or claims to not - watch much tv - i watch tons of tv - fashion shows the kids like, spongebob, stuff on the food network (10 or 12 shows with rachael ray, at least), i just don't watch a lot of specific shows - more like whatever someone else has on - or what looks good in the channel guide)

Four places you have been on vacation:
new york
virginia beach
niagra falls
(wow, mr. magellan!)

Four websites I visit daily:
9,573 other sites tied for fourth

Four of my favourite foods:
tofu noodley dish my wife makes served in a noodle bowl by gina
potato chips
(i realize, in fact, that beer is not a food. it is a food group. so sue me.)

Four places I would rather be right now:
no where
know where

Four bloggers I am tagging:
um, whoever wants to...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

finished site...

just finished creating a site for lorain county habitat for humanity

any feedback would be appreciated - also if you run into any problems on the site, let me know what platform/browser/etc you are using - i.e. you can be my cross
platform testers...

oh yeah, feel free to donate, they are a worthy cause...

Monday, January 09, 2006


i am going to do a country music remake of the phantom of the opera, called the phantom of the opry

details to follow...












shortly after my wife returned from grocery shopping i yelled kinda loud - "omg, there's a dead bird on the floor". the whole family incl. a friend of my daughter's were in a panic thinking it the latest victim of our cats...

it was frozen chicken in a grocery bag that my wife set down...

who says vegetarians don't have a sense of humor?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

grizzly man...

i also caught the movie grizzly man this weekend. my brother got me it as a christmas gift. great documentary about timothy treadwell by werner herzog - a man who lived with the grizzlies in alaska - who was, along with his girlfriend, ultimately killed by them. i think treadwell had his heart in the right place, but, was very troubled and was extremely misguided. i think his own troubles caused him to project on the grizzlies and on the wild that which simply was not real - while this gave him a refuge from the pain of the "normal" world, which we all feel - perhaps him deeper than most - it lead to his death and the death of his girl friend...

great music by richard thompson

brokeback mountain...

i saw brokeback mountain a few days ago. and i've thought a lot about it since. i guess that, in itself, is a sign of a great movie. it certainly has been the subject of much critical praise - which, if anything, i think can weigh down the movie with expectations.

a few things are inarguable: heath ledger is awesome in this role - i really don't know anything about him - but this performance was great...

the film is beautiful, really seems evocative of the place and time.

the music was wonderful, longtime favorite gustavo santoaolla (sp?) leads a great soundtrack (which i am loading now) - i remember when i bought ronroco - in the late 20th century - and it becamse one of my favorite records, yet, i could find almost no information or other records by him - now he seems to have found a niche in soundtracks - besides this one motorcycle diaries, and a few others - good for him - this kind of talent deserves success....and willie nelson's song over the closing was soooo touching....

the story was told in a very thoughtful and evocative way. i love the director ang lee - crouching tiger, hidden dragon is among my five or so fave movies ever - heck, i even liked his much lambastasted version of the hulk - the relationship between the two characters is touching - and again, it was ledger's performance that really brings it out. contrast how he is with everyone else with how he is with gyllenhal's (sp?) character...

on the down side - well, i guess i had a hard time understanding how two people could become so attached after such short and infrequent contact. i told my brother this and he laughed and said i was just like my dad (true, i'm sure) - just too left brained - and i don't believe my thoughts here are homophobic - were this a heterosexual relationship, i wouldn't get it either... (think bridges of madison county - on the other hand, don't)...of course, perhaps part of the point even, is how we tend to idealize relationships that don't work out - or that we don't let work out - or can't let work out...

on the other hand, this wasn't a heterosexual relationship - and perhaps that's part of the point - a couple such as the characters in this movie face pressures and thoughts that i can't imagine - so perhaps by definition "understanding" what they feel and go thru would not be easy for me...

the other thing, of course, is that not everyone is like me - perhaps others can create relationships quicker than i can - just because i find it implausible that i could fall so quickly and completely head over heels - to the point where i would carry a flame forever, does not mean that others couldn't - maybe I have the problem...

in any case, a great movie - while i feel perhaps some of the reviews are a bit overblown - it is great on so many levels and thought provoking...

if any of you (either of you?) that read my blog have seen it, i'd be curious of your thoughts....

Thursday, January 05, 2006

my hero, jack osbourne

i watched jack osbourne:adrenaline junkie on the travel channel, and i have to give the man tons of credit. to change his life and get into condition to climb el capitan in 6 mos. is awesome. you may think i am being tongue in cheek, but i'm not - what an inspiration. and of course, ozzy mumbles, incomprehensibly....

in reviewing his addictions, he stated he drank 12-30 beers a night - jeebus.... to move from that, to his achievements rock climbing, is wonderful. good for you, jack!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

now i'm p*ssed....

Nellie McKay has been dropped by Columbia Records after a dispute over her sophomore album, "Pretty Little Head," turned ugly.

from forbes

her follow up to my last year's album of the year - get away from me (coolest title ever - contrast w/the name of norah jones' debut (which i also loved)).... was my most anticipated record of recent memory...

die sony/columbia die....

to paraphrase her song clonie - she should have signed with verve instead of sony...

i might have to pick up her soundtrack to RUMOR HAS IT (download only) - just out of general principles....on the other hand, maybe not if sony gets some bucks fro it...

my only solace is i am guessing this will spark some vitriol from the lovely and talented ms. mckay

and for you sony...to quote nm
So to conclude
I'm a little of a prude
So it's difficult for me to have to allude
To all this rude crude verbal baggage
But I manage cuz I'm a savage inside
I may listen to Enya's greatest hits
And try to control my hissy fits with pride
Won't get my hair dyed
But oh the onus of lyin' all the time
I don't wanna say, "diiiie m*****f***er!"
But I wouldn't mind if you did
Sometimes even the nice girl's ego has to override the id
And so before I flip my lid my crib
And get myself out of this bind
You can hear what's on my lips but you don't know
What's in my mind

guess i'm boycotting the ps3 now...


i am going to have some of my photos shown at a local nursing home - where my sister works - in feb.

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