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Mischief night

Saturday 10/30/21

* Every last piece I've seen on the new John Coltrane album sucks. They're all bad. People are terrible at writing about jazz. They don't know what they're doing. The one in Pitchfork was the worst. Just amateur hour stuff by someone pretending they have a clue. Do these pieces fool anyone? Will people accept anything? Can they not tell when someone is just talking out of their ass, pretending, with no knowledge of the subject, the medium? The language is stiff, it's high school book report stuff. And the affectations! Like it's some old salt who "gets" jazz and the vernacular. Sucks sucks sucks. It's as if you're a builder and you walk into a house and you see that everything is poorly done. Touch the balustrade and it will fall down. There's shit instead of Spackle. But maybe a non-builder doesn't even notice? We're so dumb now, and so used to shit, that I wonder who can tell. But I could walk you through this stuff sentence by sentence, clause by clause, and rip every last part apart. I can show you the bad writing, the lack of knowledge, the affectation, the inaccuracies, the shoddy thinking, the parroting. I can tell you where they got everything they got, because there's not an original idea to be found. You know what this shit reminds me of? Like some high school sophomore who wants to be edgy and affects a persona and a voice and tries to sound smart, show off-style, but it's really just a kid doing whatever. Pretending to fit in the big boy pants. Then they fly in some "lofty" judgments like they have a clue, or are qualified to make them, when it's really just aping things they've heard in the most basic Wikipedia 101 way, but it's all fake, and it's jus people using that ass voice of which we've spoken. It's pathetic, actually, with adults. You know what would be funny? You could play these people various works of jazz blind, and they couldn't tell the difference between someone they pretend to venerate and a Berklee student. It really is amusing, though, how bad people are at writing about jazz. But yeah, hook 'em up! Hilarious.


* Having told me several months ago that I owed them $90,000, the IRS has now told me today that I owe them $72,000. I don't actually owe them anything. This is because The Wall Street Journal misreported my earnings, and despite having sent me a letter at the end of last month that they fixed the issue, something, somewhere, clearly isn't fixed at all. One more thing to deal with.


* I refuse to even let my heart rate go up anymore, though. I just take care of that which needs taking care of. I look at the fresh hell laid at the door, and I deal with it. One thing after another, and I create at the same time.


* 3000 stairs ran in the remnants of the nor’easter. Head down, legs churning, even breaths, one regathers the edges of focus, and all becomes center again.


* Here's the mid-day scene down by the water. Airport in the distance.



* People are not interested in telling the truth. Rarely will someone tell you something that is the complete truth. What they say will almost always contain untruths. The percentage will, of course, vary. But a percentage is very likely to be present. What people are interested in is getting something they want for themselves, and being perceived a certain way. That will motivate almost everything they say. There is precious little face value in this world, insofar as how people speak.


* Bride of Frankenstein (1935) has the first great soundtrack in horror movie history, and I think it’s one of the best regardless of genre. Both lush and terrifying. Franz Waxman was the composer.


* 1931's Dracula, with Bela Lugosi as Dracula, features a character doing a Bela Lugosi-Dracula imitation. That's always struck me as neat, given how the Lugosi-Dracula voice became so pervasive in pop culture. 1968's Night of the Living Dead features a character doing a Boris Karloff imitation.


* The best Halloween and harmonica song? Would have to say Sonny Boy Williamson’s “I Been Dealing with the Devil.” And who isn’t, brother man?



* Gomer episodes of The Andy Griffith Show are hard to get through. It's a smart show usually, but then you have these episodes where you have deal with this hillbilly idiot. I guess part of the point is seeing how someone like Andy handles those situations.


* I found a place that has all thirty-six volumes of the Dick's Picks Grateful Dead series downloadable for free. This was a good find.


* Phil Lesh is the Jimmy Blanton of rock bassists.


* I learned that Arnold Hano, author of one of the best baseball books in A Day in the Bleachers, died Sunday, aged ninety-nine. Strongly recommend this book, which chronicles every last part of Game 1 of the 1954 World Series (the one with Mays’ catch).


* Sat in the Starbucks for two hours making detailed notes about what I must do this week in the latest installment of the war that I am going to win. Listened to the Grateful Dead in Rotterdam in 1972 at the same time, which has the longest ever version of "Dark Star." What sublime music-making. One won't hear it here, but they segue into "Sugar Magnolia" and there's both an inevitability--a crystalization of pure musical logic--and a profundity of surprise at the same time in that segue. The greatest art makes me weep that it exists. It's everything.



* Listened to this Author's Radio Playhouse adaptation of H.G. Wells' "The Story of the Inexperienced Ghost," from early December 1944. Well done. Will discuss it on the radio on Tuesday, along with an essay on film in The Smart Set, a new baseball op-ed in USA Today, John James Audubon and wood ducks, and the five best New England Patriots of all-time, which will really be six because obviously one is so obvious. I also made a list of guys who didn't make the six. That itself is an impressive list.



* My Halloween costume: