Saturday, July 08, 2006

Blog Rolling

A Wolf Has Been Caged
I have been left in charge of getting out The Daily Growler for the time being, summer being a calling from afar for a lot of these ex-Hippy, ex-Beatnik, ex-Xers, Boomer rejects who are tumbling off in multiple directions saying, "Hell, Wolf, nobody reads this shit, so why not you taking it over and see if you're the charm that lures in the fat ducks and we're the cloven hooved Panites who are following other Pied Pipers for the moment, right?...." F-all you all, is my standard reply to mutiny and like Captain Bly, OK, put me off me own ship and out to high sea in a rowboat; F-you, I'll make it to Typee or somesuch old adventuresome Ibertian port of call and soon I'll have a hot island babe out in the moonlight swimming nude in some squandered lagoon while back in my yacht another bevvy of atheistic beauties are warming up the snifters for the old Armagnac we are all soon going to be guzzling in an orgiastic celebration of glee.

In reality, I sit drearily in this hotel room in Davenport, Iowa, and I hear the riverboat calling all the gamblers for the afternoon cruise--and they are lining up down there on the old Mississip, which has certainly known every gambling scam ever invented for river adventure, and the line is long, full of men, women, children, it doesn't matter, except, of course, the kiddies can't gamble, though why not let them shoot marbles or play "Go Fish" for "potato" chips? Come on, give the kiddies a break. But anyway, dad and mom will certainly blow a couple'a bundles 'fore the day is o'er, which is just being a good Amurican these days, your only hope, truly, being in gambling and hitting that billion-to-one chance of walking away from any kind of gambling establishment anywhere in the world in clover for the rest of your life. Yeah, you'll be in clover all right, the clover growing over your grave after you've had to commit suicide to take care of your gambling debts. Sammy Davis Jr. left his wife and kid totally wiped out, not only wiped out, but with huge gambling debts and the IRS claiming old Sammy had danced his ass away from paying taxes to the tune of 30 million bucks, a bill along with a threat of jail going to Mrs. Sammy who Sammy left holding the bag, 'cept Sammy's money bag was full of shit.

I am not a gambler. Wolves don't gamble, they play sure things. Wolves don't bet on a horse, they eat the horse. Dig?

I am totally into music these days. I can't work on my own music right now since I'm waiting for a new CD recorder since I don't know how to hook my digital recorder up to my computer...Jesus, I'm just now upgrading to Mac OSX; I just bought PhotoShop 7. Like the two-headed beauty Franny & Zooey reported in her "Left Behind" post, she was obsolete no matter how up-to-date she thought she was; like me, I'm perfectly happy working in the system I have on my computers. My OSX, I must admit, seems slower than my old 9.2 was, but then I'm probably being nostalgic; wolves have that problem, especially after a good kill and a full raw juicily bloody meal when there's plenty of time for howling out a chorus of nostalgic memories.

So gamblers abound while I sit sipping on some of the Keokuk moonshine I'd left here from my last visit, this being my "cabin" on this Iowan "Walden's Pond," my place of transcendency, away across the chess board from NYC, my solar plexus home.

I wander about on today's blog. I did notice The Daily Growler got a 5-across-the-board rating on

(just type in The Daily Growler in the search and you'll see our rating. Hey, it gives me as the publisher).

Still wandering. I did buy an Ives book on eBay today; it's the book of Ives's Memos, edited by John Kirkpatrick the pianist who introduced the Concord Sonata in 1938 and who from that time until Ives's death was in constant contact with Ives in discussions of his music and friendly visits to his side. Kirkpatrick studied the Concord with Ives before he recorded it in 1948. I can't wait. Ives is becoming such a fascinating creative type to me; he appeals to the "correct" Gestalt in me. The most fascinating thing to me about him is that this common old ordinary insurance salesman, so successful in insurance it made him a millionaire, was the extraordinary composer of such essential music as he was--American to the core but universal in his expression, in his "indigenous grandeur." I was going to buy a rendition of the Concord played by a contemporary pianist, but here again, the big CD dealers on eBay wanted an arm and a leg in shipping and insurance fees making a CD selling for $10 nearly 20 smackeroos by the time you add on the extras, like shipping and handling and mandatory insurance.

So here I go, growling off into today's solid sunset. Out of words for the moment. Getting borocho on this cornfield rotgut--hell, I'm gonna put my hind paws up and mellow awhile.

for The Daily Growler

The Daily Growler Quote of the Day
"Charles Ives's Four Transcriptions from Emerson, dated 1920, is a normal-lengthed piano sonata fashioned by its author out of the first movement of his vaster Concord Sonata. Like much of Ives's music, it is fascinating harmonically but not very personal in expression; rhythmically, too, it is a little dead. It is a polyharmonic evocation of German Romanticism rather than, to my perception, a portrait of its subject. It can scarcely be a portrait of Mr. Ives's feelings about his subject, either, since its emotional content is all too familiar in other, and many other contexts. Its chief originality is its chord structure, which is both consistent and interesting. I doubt if it will ever be a very useful repertory piece, for all its airs of grandeur. It is, as expression, too banal." Virgil Thomson, 1948 review of a recital by pianist Webster Aitken, Music Reviewed: 1940-1954, Vintage Books, 1967.

See, we do allow criticism of our heroes. Virgil Thomson was a smart cookie from Kansas City and his music reminds me so much of a powder puff version of Ives via Paris and Nadia Boulanger. Virgil sees his own American heritage through the eyes of French ears. His music was light. Virgil grew up playing the organ in church just like Ives. His Kansas City heritage, however, is transcended by Ives all-American Danbury heritage. Obviously Virgil didn't realize Charles Parker, Jr., would come from his hometown later after Virgil was an ensconced music critic with the New York Herald Tribune.

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