15 January 2009

Amorphous & Forward-Looking

. . . and a couple of paintings from Sears.
— Billy Joel, "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant"

Trivia: On this date in 1967, Ed Sullivan compelled an alteration in lyrics, and Mick Jagger sang, Let’s spend some time together; now I need you more than ever . . . .

Bryan Kirk on ComposerBastard wonders why anyone could be hatin' on Sergei Vasilyevich, and I am happy to share his puzzlement. Recently I've made closer acquaintance with the First & Second Symphonies, and have learnt that I like them entire and uncut. (Fair disclosure: This is in conspiratorial keeping with an earlier determination that that's just how I like the Third Concerto, too.) This week is also the first I have listened to The Isle of the Dead.

Today is the first in . a . long . . time . . that I've listened to King Crimson's Red played out of speakers in a room (rather than headphones). As always, was especially enjoying the riff in 13 dominating the center of "Starless" . . . and then realized that there are actually two: the slow-burn crescendo riff I've long known and loved; and then afterwards a riotous double-time section, which in spite of feeling persuasively chaotic, is a tightly counted 13.

In the spirit of Ed Sullivan bowdlerizing the Stones . . . over the closing credits of As Good As It Gets, Art Garfunkel sings the crucifix-tapper from the end of Life of Brian, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," only with the subtitutionary phrase, Life's a counterfeit. Which, viewed from a certain angle, is a cosmically right alteration, the faux phrase itself being a counterfeit.

Today saw the passing of Patrick McGoohan and Ricardo Montalban, № 6 and the wrathful Khan, respectively. What a different world it might be, if McGoohan had played Mr Roarke on Fantasy Island. It should no doubt have gone much harder on Hervé Villechaize.

Today also, I was reminded that the Shostakovich Fourth Symphony has not released me, at all, from its fell grip.

But for now: back to The Isle of the Dead.

[ title courtesy of Greta Brannan ]


Cato said...

Isle of the Dead: 5/8 time, and those strokes of the oar, bringing you closer to the ultimate mystery.

And there is Patrick McGoohan as #6, in "The General", asking the ultimate question:

"W---H---Y---Question Mark."


greendolphin79 said...

Love! Hilarious! Perfect usage. When I drop by our pub. radio station to see my friend (program director), he pulls out the King Crimson and Frank Zappa vinyl...educating me. What I've heard so far is groooovy.