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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Stream of Barely Conscious

What the fuck do I care? I have no responsibilities here in Spain other than my harsh self-imposed dictum of learning the language in an unrealistically short period of time. Other than that, and trying to become a writer other people would care to read, I have nothing much to do. So who cares if I stay up until all hours of the night talking politics and listening to music? I have to excuse my Spanish roommate who actually has a job. Not me. No job and not much to do tomorrow seeing that the forecast calls for rain which means another day that I can’t ride my bike.

I’m on the longest vacation of my life, what the hell do I care if I stay up until all hours of the morning writing letters and listening to my 80 gigs of music on random play? In Spain I thought that you’re supposed to stay up all night and sleep late? Did I hear wrong? I’m only slightly distracted by the Mozart string concerto movement that is coming through the headphones. It’s moderato and I only mention that because I knew that it wasn’t allegro so I checked. Just for the sake of curiosity (I know that you are dying to know, too) I’ll wait to see what comes up next on shuffle…Mozart usually wrote short, snappy little pieces but this one goes seven minutes and 55 seconds…are you still waiting? I guess that I could just hit the “next’ button, but it’s Yehudi Menuhin. Interrupting a master like him would be rude.

See, that didn’t take very long. Got to get you into my life by The Beatles, not bad as far as segues go. Not one of my favorite songs by those guys but they didn’t write too many bad songs. From there we move on to yet another Beatles tune, Revolution 9 which, if you haven’t listened to it in a while, is not much of a song at all. It’s more just a bunch of sound bites. I guess that during their White Album years they could do no wrong. Only they could have got away with recording a bunch of noise and passing it off as avant-guard brilliance. I wish that I could do that but I’m forced to adhere to fairly strict guidelines as a writer. I need to make a little bit of sense, even though it is three in the morning and I’ve had a bit of brandy.

I didn’t begin this night boozing and listening to music on random play. Spain beat Iceland 1-0 in their group for the upcoming European Cup 2008. They needed to score more goals but now we’re on to another song. Gilberto Gil A Paz (pronounced a-pies) is a lovely acoustic version that I picked up somewhere. I really liked my Brazilian phase that I went through.

If you don’t have Squeeze Singles 45 and under in your collection you have a serious gap. If I didn’t love you is one of their hits that everyone that I once knew, and everyone I didn’t know, knew by heart. It freaks me out to hear that there are people who have never heard of this group.

Even a charlatan like me can tell an early Beethoven piano sonata from a late sonata. This one, Sonata 13 in E flat major, is so pure and beautiful that it practically shatters my headphones. Even this seemingly simple piece is interrupted by moments of tremendous ambition—the voice of Beethoven to come. I love it when his melody comes back into play after minutes of being seemingly lost in improvisation. It’s hard to believe that this piece evolves from such a simple theme.

Juan Luis Guerra is a maestro of popular dance music from the Dominican Republic. I only recently happened upon his latest release, La Llave de Mi Corazon so this is the first time I’ve heard this song, Te Contaron. It’s almost obscenely festive listening to it alone at 3:30 a.m. I should be leading someone in some slick moves on a dance floor.

A really cool girl that I used to know turned me on to Spoon as well as a lot of other great music. This is the first time that I have listened to this group since I knew her. Thanks, cool girl.

De Que Me Sirve by Julieta Venegas is another song that I’ve never listened to before, but her stuff is all over the airwaves over here in Spain. I poached her concert in the park during Las Fallas. I stood on an adjacent bridge from where she was playing in the central park. She put on a pretty good show from what I heard.

This is followed by some J.S. Bach cantata in German from his Notebook for Ana Magdalena. This was a study book that he wrote for his second wife. As a beginning pianist I learned quite a few pieces from this notebook.

I can’t say that I can understand much Greek these days, nor much from this song from Nikos Kourkoulis. Something,..something…me…your passion. I need to brush up on it as I am thinking of a visit there this summer.

Ironically, Nikos Kourkoulis is a lot like the next artist to come up on the queue, Hank Williams. Baby, We’re really in love probably has the same message as the Greek love song it followed although my Hick is as rusty as my Greek.

It’s really late.

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