Thursday, October 15, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 10/14/20: Loving Lesser Albums, Diane's Exuberant Writing, Comebacks BONUS A Limerick by Stu

 1. So often, my affection for a musician's album has little to do with how it compares with the rest of that artist's albums.  It rises out of the simple fact that I owned that album, played it a lot, and didn't own, or think about, the artist's other work. For example, I didn't buy a Bob Dylan album until I bought Infidels in 1983. I really didn't know Bob Dylan's other albums at all and this record became on of my favorites of all the lps I owned. Years passed. I became more interested in Bob Dylan's recordings. When those who love Dylan would write about what his best albums were, Infidels never showed up. In other words, I'd developed a love for what those who know Dylan through and through consider one of his lesser recordings.

My affection for Infidels popped in my mind because this morning as I was listening to Charles Mingus' recording, Mingus Moves. It's definitely the only Mingus recording I ever owned and (I think you've heard this story before) back about fifteen years ago I played it repeatedly and developed a deep affection for it. The other day, on Twitter or Facebook or somewhere, some people discussed their love for Charles Mingus and started naming their favorite Mingus albums or declaring which was his best recording.  Not one person mentioned Mingus Moves. Their discussion made me want to branch out and listen to more albums by Charles Mingus. But, for all kinds of reasons having to do as much with when and where I was when I used to listen to Mingus Moves, it will always be one of my favorite jazz recordings, no matter how it stacks up in relation to the others. 

Now that I think about it, that pretty much sums up my enjoyment of music. It almost always has to do with being related to times in my life I enjoy remembering.

2. A while back, while in the ZOOM room, Diane reflected on her experience as a writer. She's been involved as an editor and writer for Victory Music [Review] for over thirty years. Lately, she's been working on interviewing Seattle musicians about their first albums. Jim Page's name came up as well as the Irish band, the Suffering Gaels. 

Jim Page has a long history in Seattle, not only as a folk singer, but as an advocate for (among other things) busking. Today I read the three articles Diane sent me about Jim's advocacy that detailed not only what he did to persuade the Seattle City Council to support busking, but also delved into Jim Page's philosophy of public performance and how a stage can be anywhere -- a street corner, near a merchant at Pike Place Market, a sidewalk in a commercial district, a porch, a church basement, a living room (including mine in Eugene where Jim Page and Bill Davie performed -- I'll say it was 1992), essentially anywhere. The idea of a stage, a place from which music can be performed, is not limited to commercial venues. 

The Suffering Gaels article, published in 1987, was a riot of expletives deleted, tall tales, pseudonyms, and evasions which, I think, revealed more about the fun-loving spirit of the band than about their music.

I thoroughly enjoyed Diane's writing, especially the way it conveyed not only the facts and details about her articles' subject matter, but also her enthusiasm and buoyant spirit, her deep affection for acoustic music and the artists who perform it and advocate for it. 

3.  This afternoon and tonight, the Dodgers picked up where they left off in the ninth inning on Tuesday and exploded for eleven runs in the top of the first inning and cruised to a 16-3 victory over the Braves. It made for a horrible game -- if you like a game to be competitive -- but it was a startling display of the Dodgers' offensive prowess which has been on full display two days in a row. 

After losing the series' first two games, the Dodgers might be coming back, being only down 2-1 now.

Over in San Diego, the Jose Altuve and George Springer homered, leading the Astros to a 4-3 win over the Rays. The Astros have looked dismayed to me, in contrast to their exuberance and swagger over the previous three or four seasons. Tonight, the Astros' didn't return to their exuberant ways, but this win gives them hope and they looked determined to keep battling and fight back, despite the deep hole they are in, needing to win three more games in a row to win this series. 

Be glad that you’re not a Mummy. 
Walk around like you’ve had too much Rummy! 
If you have lips that are sewn, 
You will never have known. 
How dessert eating’s great in your Tummy! 

Sorry you missed National Dessert Day (Oct. 14th)

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