Saturday, July 4, 2015



July 3, 2015
The Botherations
Dead Bars
The Kings
at El Corazón, Seattle

Golly it was hot in there! The sound system's woofer, pumping air around, actually helped. One could feel a slight cooling movement of breeze when the bands played. Being old we decided to head home before the last two acts came on: Regional Faction and Mustard Plug. I'm sorry I missed them but not sorry I got to bed before 11.

Nancy Chase in the attic apartment of The Oaks, back in the day
When we arrived The Botherations were already playing, but I think we only missed a little bit. They would have fit right in on "Nancy's Mix", a mix tape of early '80s mostly punkish rock (XTC, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Jam, Gang of Four, et al) that was given to my Bostonian friend Nancy Chase by a friend of hers and which I dubbed and brought back to Seattle. A few years ago I reconstructed the whole thing on I-tunes. I still have a soft spot in my heart for those sounds.

Dead Bars started a few years ago as a one-gig (fill up a slot) pick-up band comprised mostly of EMP employees and ilk. Something clicked and they have been touring and recording and performing as much (I think) as they can while it lasts. The personnel has shifted around, and partly come back around. The drummer at their first show bowed out early since he was already in too many projects, but has now returned playing bass. This was the first time we got to hear them sing their cover of Neal Kosály-Meyer's song Tear Shaped Bruise, and we even got a shout out. Thanks John! Always a pleasure. Next time I hope they get to play a longer set.

I learned later that this was ostensibly a ska show of which we only caught the first act. Ska is a sub-genre I am not familiar with, but I gather from The Kings that it involves a pack of horns, quick staccato off-beats (which reminded me of very fast James Brown), and lots of stage strutting. Also a wolf mask. I learned that girls and boys are not allowed to dance with each other as couples, but must dance in separate groups. Boys on the left, girls on the right.


June 30, 2015
Symphony in C minor (#1) op. 68 - Brahms - Concertgebouworkest, Amsterdam; Bernard Haitink

Moving up down and stuck in vertiginous spaces, vast interiors (much of which fails to punch through the warm mass accumulating the midrange of this recording, though cranking the volume helps). One could read this as a socialist tract (or as something more insidious): nation-building through strenuous cooperation. The fourth movement posits the hope: the nation aspires to become a cathedral of souls.

Waltz in G-sharp minor op. posth. - Scriabin - Michael Ponti

A Chopin pastiche for sure (and dead on as such), but also more than that, like an exploded view of a Chopin waltz just before being reassembled in surreal animation.

Also sprach Zarathustra - Richard Strauss - Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz

Comes on like a circus barker, as though it knows it can't deliver.

July 1, 2015
Symphony in D (#2) - Sibelius - London Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Monteux

The whole is elusive. We observe attractively painted parts, in close focus, moving against each other. We surmise, connecting and moving the parts, marionette strings. The inaudible string puller is the uncanny ghost coming up behind us.

July 3, 2015
Symphony in E-flat (#8) - Mahler - Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Georg Solti

as location || as journey

The first movement is the glorious mountain about which the landscape of the second is spread, and of which glimpses can be seen, calling.

6 Kleine Klavierstücke - Schoenberg - Paul Jacobs

Shielded. Locked in. (key turned from the inside).

Country Club Medley - Gus Haenschen [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

The drumming anchors a sophisticated piano piece to a ground of dance. What might be only subtly tracked without the drum becomes plain with it. In that sense the drumming is an abstraction of, a theory about, the piano piece.

Denes Zsigmondy
Sonata for Violin and Piano - Bartok - Denes Zsigmondy, Anneliese Nissen

Looking for that quiet intimate moment or grimly dancing as these people fight, sniping with astounding articulation.

When I was an undergraduate at the University of Washington in the late '70s I was fortunate to have accompanied several of Professor Zsigmondy's students. As I recall there was a large poster of Bartok on the wall in full view of the piano bench. This was a great and treasured experience, but the picture was not comforting.

Knoxville Blues - Sam McGee [from Alan Lowe's Really the Blues]

In Session at the Tintinabulary

June 28, 2015
Trio 150628 - Keith Eisenbrey

Improvising on Big Red Bag of Fun; Bells & Gongs; Tenor Banjo. When I left home for Annandale-on-Hudson at in June of 1982 I brought with me as luggage a small leather portfolio and a big red nylon suitcase. Since my return this unwieldy red bag has served as a place to store small noisies: lids to pots and pans; pots and pans; cookie, coffee, and tea tins - often repurposed as rattles; that sort of thing. Over the years it has become quite full. Early in Banned Rehearsal lore it was dubbed the Big Red Bag of Fun. The various bells and gongs have accumulated without much effort on my part, their individual provenance lost many years ago. The banjo arrived in the early '90s when a co-worker's girlfriend needed to trade her banjo for cash to pay taxes. $100 later it still lives here, waiting for her to come back and claim it.

June 29, 2015
Gradus 270 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

A moment could be a memory state (as in digital computing) || one must grasp the whole system in mind from the outset

A moment could be a node in an emerging structure (a beam in a bridge trestle) || one must regard each moment as qualified by its place in what will not be known until the end.

A moment could be its own ultimate self || one must regard each moment as our self 

July 4, 2015
Trio 150704 - Keith Eisenbrey

I took advantage of the relative cool of the morning to record this week's trio a day early. The instrumentation is xylophone, bodhrán, and german concert zither. The xylophone was purchased from a co-worker who was tired of storing it in his attic. The bodhrán is a recent acquisition from a co-chorister. The german concert zither came from the estate of a much-missed member of our church who passed away some years back.

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