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itty bitty ticked off kitteh committeh

January 14, 2009


Okay I think I may be the last person to learn about LOLCats, and ironically the first person who should have known about it, but if you still don’t know, and are in fact the last person to experience the joy that is pictures of people’s cats with misspelled captions over them, then please:  

On Sunday night I went to see some music at a venue near my apartment.  I was standing there in the red glow under this whirling fan, and was feeling seriously blissed out.  I mean. I was coming off a great weekend, where it was 70 degrees in the city and for 48 hours we played outside and stayed out late, and did it all again the next day.  So I was feeling good, and standing there listening to this guy singing and this girl on the bass, and was suddenly struck by the fact that the difference between hearing music live and hearing it recorded is not a matter of a degree, but a different beast entirely.  The two are simply not the same.  Both have their uses: music at home or in the car or on the ubiquitous iPod is really all about you listening to this sound, but live music is kind of about something else.  The music expands, and it’s the way the singer is fluffing his hair, and the fact that you can’t really understand what he’s saying, and the person next to you whose elbow keeps touching your arm, and your foot that is tapping, and the drummer’s foot that is tapping, it’s the synchronized rhythm of the saints, and the ebb and flow, and the hush when a song is just ending, and the kind of self-loss that makes you lean forward and let your mouth go a little slack.


le nice day

le nice day


Then last night Josie and I were invited to the sundance theater to see a documentary about the SF bay, and to drool over Robert Redford who produced the movie and was there to introduce it.  The man is like 75, but let me tell you that he is looking good.  Before the film a woman who had won this poetry contest got up on stage to read her winner, and as she was reciting into that single microphone under the spotlight, and Josie was practically crying, because this poem was so glorious, I was struck by the fact that hearing poetry read aloud is not the same thing as reading it on the page.  Like music this is not a matter of degree, but a different thing entirely. 

le redford

le redford


Other than that the documentary was interesting if a little dry.  Apparently, in the mid 1900s people thought it would be a good idea to fill the bay with dirt and garbage and then build houses on it, hence The Marina.  I was recently told that when the big earthquake, that the bay area is past due for finally hits, the marina will be leveled.  I told this to the real estate agent today as we were touring a potential new office staring out at the water from 26 floors up.  He looked at me and said, “Well, I don’t think so.”  Then he said that he’d rather a big earthquake every ten years than hurricanes and tornadoes every month, to which I replied that he probably wouldn’t be singing that tune when he was buried under 40 floors of rubble, of course should that be the case he probably wouldn’t be singing any tune at all.  Okay, I didn’t actually say this, but I was thinking it as I looked at him demurely from under my sunglasses.


le desk where i spend many many hours

le desk where i spend many many hours


After the film Josie and I spent the reception alternately stalking Redford and eating copious amounts of brie.  The brie eating turned out to be more successful than the stalking although we did have a brief interaction with the sundance kid when he walked past us and said, “Excuse me.”  To which we sighed breathlessly, “No, excuse me.”  Very witty I know.  

le memo

le memo

I just told Chloe that the last time I went to the doctor she informed me that I might have a bit of a heart murmur.  Chloe and Andy, who were sitting in the kitchen finishing their dinner, were actually kind of shocked and dismayed by this news, much more upset than my doctor was, she had delivered this news with the same intonation one would use to tell a patient that one leg was slightly longer than the other.  I told Chloe it really wasn’t anything to be worried about, to which she replied that it wasn’t like she was about to start writing the speech that she knew I would want her to give at my funeral.  I said I would rather she do a song, and now I am happy to say that I have a verbal agreement that she will sing “Wind Beneath My Wings” at my funeral.  


One Comment leave one →
  1. Kent McMIllan permalink
    January 14, 2009 5:34 am

    So I was feeling good, and standing there listening to this guy singing and this girl on the bass, and was suddenly struck by the fact that the difference between hearing music live and hearing it recorded is not a matter of a degree, but a different beast entirely. The two are simply not the same.

    Well, it’s sort of like the difference between painting in water color and oils. You get one shot at it in water color, but with oil paints you can always just paint over some awkward bit.

    I’ve discovered that I like live albums generally better than highly polished studio work. This is because more of the persona of the artist comes through, although the surface of the work is a bit (often quite a bit) rougher. One of my favorite live albums contains the same song played twice in succession, the first time all the way through before the singer/guitarist realizes that she just played it in the wrong key. After a funny apology to the audience, the whole thing was played again.

    There are some musicians who probably couldn’t pull that one off as well as it came off. In fact, one time per concert is probably a good working limit for that one.

    What would writing be like if the only works that were published were the first drafts? I’m thinking the comments section of your otherwise excellent blog.

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