Zia Hassan

Disproving The Turtles John Popper Spontaneity

+++ title = “05” date = 2006 +++

It was hot today. Scorchingly Killingly hot. For the first time this year, I felt the Sauna of my car as I sat down, the stickiness of the steering wheel burning my skin off, avoiding the seatbelt as I clicked in. And that lovely two-minute wait between total AC oasis and standing-on-the-sun boil.
Friday night: Chris and I went to Tower and I bought a random Eno DVD, two video paintings that ended up being quite strange and I don’t know if it was worth the money I spent. We sat on the deck with no hookah for once, but we drank beer instead. Heineken Light and Corona. We watched “What the @#%$ do we know?” and I fell asleep, even though I love that movie.

Saturday night: Went to PJ’s around 9 or so, and he had a special movie for us to watch, turns out it was Ninja Turtles, the first one. There are some absolutely fantastic lines in that movie.

Uh guys, this may not be uh, structurally speaking, the best time for your buddies to uh, drop in.

And of course, Casey Jones being a claustrophobic, and so instead of sleeping in the gigantic sewer living room, he squeezes into his tiny car. Not to mention that the scar Splinter leaves on Shredder’s face won’t go away after all these years. Even if I could suspend my disbelief about th scar, the Shredder didn’t use logical or conventional methods to cover it. Instead, he wears blades on his shoulders, a mask that makes him sound like Darth Vader, and a long trash-bag cape. I really wish Kraang had made an appearance in the movies – he was that talking brain that was behind Shredder’s plans – and don’t try to tell me that it would be too unbelievable. There are men in turtle costumes, and a large talking rat. The subsequent movie was great, as I remember it, and I’ll probably rent it again sometime soon. The third one was kind of like the third Back to the Future, not because it involved time travel but it was completely out of place.

I’m at work now listening to Eno & Fripp’s Evening Star. I remember searching high and low for this album, and finally finding it in tower. It’s pretty much everything you could want from Robert Fripp in terms of washing the guitar over Eno’s soundscape. I’m kind of considering starting an Eno fansite, even though there’s an amazing one that exists already called Enoweb.

I’ve had conversation with a few people recently, concerning my obsession with Eno. I don’t think I know anyone besides Chris who enjoys listening to it, and that’s really understandable. Eno’s not a master musician. In fact, he’s pretty talentless when it comes to singing or playing. If you’ve ever heard “By This River,” you know that the piano part isn’t anything complicated, and a 10-year old piano student could plunk it out if he had 30 minutes to spare. He sings occasionally, and though I’ve grown to love his voice, there’s no way I’d play it for someone and expect them to be impressed or intrigued. The people he works with (Harold Budd, Robert Fripp, David Bowie, David Byrne, Talking Heads, U2, Paul Simon, Cluster, Jon Hassell, Jah Wobble) are all fantastic musicians, though.

What he does, though, is create pieces of sound that transcend a lot of ideas about music. He writes with such a different mindset than a lot of writers. It’s not always about the song. It’s about what it was intended for, who it was intended for, what function it serves, if any. Like his collaborations with Harold Budd (The Pearl, Plataeux of Mirror). Take a listen to a solo recording of Harold Budd (La Bella Vista, for example. Very cool idea – Daniel Lanois invited these gorgeous women over to his house, and asked Budd to play new songs for them. So he was under pressure, and Lanois and Eno recorded the whole thing secretly. Either way, there’s no extra production done to these recordings, but that’s a concept, isn’t it? Putting the musician in a spot, candidly, and putting him under incredible pressure to perform well. That type of stuff isn’t at all musical.) Anyway, take a solo record from Budd and then listen to one of the two he did with Eno. You listen to his solo recording, and his lovely and fluid way of playing the piano, the compositions which mix jazz/classical/new age elements. Then, you hear the stuff with Eno. Every key that’s hit is so colorful, so perfect, there’s a hazy synth off in the background like a sunset. It’s the placement of everything that’s so fantastic, and I think it’s something I’ve listened for since I was a kid. I used to love it when I wore out a tape I had gotten tired of. It added this whole new weird dimension to it – the warbling of the music as the tape passed. And to the idea that Eno could take a shit on a record and call it his creation? Yes, he could. So could you. That’s another thing – listening to his music/reading his book has made me realize that art can’t really be examined from one view. People do it to create pleasure, but another way of thinking about it is: how do I illuminate the pleasure that’s dormant but available? So if you’ve totally immersed yourself in this stuff, and still want to hate, it won’t bother me. But, just like any problem/situation/idea, it should be looked at from all angles, even ones you never knew existed.

Sunday night: pre-party at Jon’s house with lots of Yueng Ling, great food, and good friends. We went to Hometown Holidays after that, and I had my annual rendevouz with Stiles and Schlaf. Also ran into Amy Lieberman (not Liza’s mom). Aimee came with. Blues Traveler was fun, and the best part about the whole show was that it was an hour long. After that, we played on Jon’s deck for a bit, and Tony came over. Chris and Aimee slept over and we watched the office.

Monday: Aimee and I met Billy at Potbelly, and after eating three wrecks between the three of us, Aimee and I saw Mission Impossible 3, which was actually pretty entertaining. Tom Cruise always looks like he’s about to cry. Even when he’s smiling. Ryan says it’s the aliens inside him. Nonetheless, the story was fun, and Laurence Fishburne’s tooth gap was wide. I got a haircut – I now have sideburns again, like in high school, and a mini goat. Went to Scott/Mike/Ed’s to enjoy the night and hang out, and then came home. At about midnight, Billy and I randomly go to Andy’s house for late night hookah. It was one of the nicest experiences I’ve ever had this summer, and a lot of it was due to the weather. We laughed about funny things. I want to record the frog noises from Andy’s yard and use it for Still Life. Wish I had that Talkboy. It was based on the type of spontaneity that summer is made of.

Plans for today: hang out with Chris and/or PJ. Find a way to cure my boredom at work. Figure out why my server isn’t working. Look at reviews on Amazon for records I already own. Think about being with Liza soon, 4 days 1 hour 42 minutes 22 seconds from now to be exact.

Toad show on Friday and I finally have a show-partner, Sami. I’m glad that it’s someone who is as big of a Toad as fan as I am.
Just a sidenote: you can post comments in this log whether you’re a wordpress member or not. You don’t need to, of course, but I just thought I’d make it clear.