Nicotine, Beer, & (Un)funky Funk


There is some fire below in the form of a rare David Byrne recording at the bottom of this post.

Computers have been an annoying the past few days.  The laptop couldn’t talk to the internet despite being connected.  This problem pales in comparison to the issue of Ableton’s sudden, unfixable problem of a runtime error.  After looking into many possible causes and trying different solutions, the problem remained unresolved.  I finally achieved success today and got Ableton working again.  I was starting to get real annoyed because I wanted to keep up my learning and had just consistently gotten the midi controller working.  So now it is back on.  My only current issue are poorly performing knobs, which don’t properly pan.

Still, I am glad to be back and working.  Having the controller mostly functioning allows me to trigger samples and play synthesizers and drums.  In short, it means making music is way more fun than just clicking the mouse.  I am going to work on a few of the older songs I feel are worth salvaging and have some new stuff I’m working on.  If I only have the money to get a midi pickup for the bass, I’d have a lethal little setup to master.  It just isn’t the same playing bass on keys.  Strings are so lovely to stroke.

I was going to have to start writing a story that has been floating around my head the past few weeks where I would prefer for it to remain, pure and untainted by the wordsmith struggle, for the time being.  I have been feeling a bit tapped out lately when it comes to writing, and in life in general.  Long stretches of unpleasant weather, particularly when it is supposed to be nicer out, and underemployment can do that.

When it comes to writing, the blog takes a surprising amount of work to keep up, even as I have cut down the amount of time I spend on it lately.  Ideas and words don’t produce themselves all the time.  When it comes down to it, I need a writing break to think about adapting my writing style and getting a reloaded vocabulary.  Thanks to weekly vocab quizzes in English and Latin, I had a strong working vocabulary.  I would like to get it back.

I live in a different state of isolation then before.  It has been interesting, but lately I have been desiring a larger crew to kick it with.  College is hard to re-create, and I have no desire to re-create most of it, but not having a close circle of cats and a larger acquaintance pool kinda sucks.  It takes energy to maintain that lifestyle, and I certainly want to be devoting a good amount toward a job and a good amount of the rest towards music, photos, etc so I don’t need such a large circle.  Still, a crew to drink pints, wax philosophically on politics, pop culture, history, sports, and other aspects of the universe and have adventure withs would be nice.  Since, the old house fell apart I haven’t had a zombie movie buddy.  What do I do, I have had at least one good friend into zombie and horror films since I was 18.

Ignore all that, I generally don’t post much overly personal stuff on this blog, but sometimes it is good to write.  Plus, I am working on my discipline and will, not just in regards to writing. Continuing this blog is a goal of mine, it is nice seeing the number of hits grow daily and weekly.  And one way those numbers go up is if I have more posts, especially ones mentioning Obama and the economy.  I really don’t have any smart-ass remarks today.  I want the economy to get better because I want a job.  I am a man who needs little money, but I do want a midi pickup, better digital camera, a video camera, and painting supplies.  Creativity requires time and resources.  Santa, think you could come early this year?


Seattle’s got to get over the humpday weather is surprisingly nice, albeit chilly in the AM.  The weather has been shit here lately, so the predicted return of the sun better happen.  This is especially true because the elegant, old-English D’d gentlemen from my Motor City are making their only appearance in Seattle this season.  I am going to be attending a game or two.  Hopefully, the team will play with more spirit and skill than the 2008 team, who sucked when I saw them last year.

It was a day I remember well.  Before the season began, I, and all my fellow Tiger fans, were swollen with expectations of an amazing season.  The Tigers being my first sports love, and having achieved great success at mediocrity, during my youth and continued on through my teenage years, including the three I worked at Copa, I was craving more success after the surprise season of 2006.


The Tigers didn’t live up to expectations from the start of the season, but for a while it was young enough that it was easy to drink the kool-aid and expect them to turn it around.  This was a veteran team of proven players.  They had one of the highest payrolls in the league.  Neifi Perez was gone.  Most of all, Jim Leyland was their manager.  The man smokes like 2+ packs of cigs a day and he will blow the smoke in your face or worse if needed.

Anyways, the day was May 31st.  On a averagely gross late spring day, the Tigers entered 8 games back of .500 unable to recover from the horrible start.  Lightly drizzling at the start of the game, they closed Safeco’s roof.  Figuring they would open the roof back up once the piss drizzle stopped, I was saddened to find out the expensive apparatus isn’t opened back up once closed.  Verlander was on the mound, which was an exciting prospect despite his struggles.  The Tigers struck out a lot, but that Saturday they did their best Rob Deer impression striking out 11 times.  Producing a scanty 2 hits and no walks, base runners, two men got on base due to being hit by a pitch, were as common as Leyland without a smoke in his hand in the locker room.  Seattle knocked the Tiger pitching for 5 runs, 10 hits and walked 4 times.  It was a very dull game.


Wave 'Em Through Gene

The only thing that made it worthwhile was seeing Leyland ejected in person.




Otherwise, the experience was quite horrible at the time.  Then, just as now, I was a very broke person.  My friends had an extra ticket, which they offered up.  I wasn’t sure if the offer was free or not.  This is were my responsibility lies, although I may have tried calling and was unable to get through.  I mentioned the ticket to an acquaintance who enjoys baseball.  Accepting the opportunity, off we three went to meet my other friends.  Finding out they wanted money for the ticket, which was $20, this person balked at paying so I was stuck paying an extra $20 that I didn’t have for the crap offered as a game that night.  The game was played inside, which was my first indoor baseball experience.  I appreciated the warmth it offered ultimately the experience was dissatisfying.  The Tigers sucked.  Even worse, the game was boring.  Strikeouts don’t do much for you when you are stuck out in the outfield, especially when it’s your team whiffing 11 times.  To top it all of, when Mariner Jeremy Reed hit a home run in the bottom of the 8th the P.A. started blaring P-Funk’s “Give Up the Funk.”

Blasphemy.  Seattle isn’t funky enough to be using that.  Worse, they bust it out against Detroit, one of the funky epicenters of the universe.  Blasphemy.  And I let the crowd around me know of the sacrilegious action going on.  Those notes of P-Funk, notes of healing, being used to celebrate a humiliating act of running up the score.  Corpses feel more shame.

After the game, I found out I had to pay for the other ticket.  Pulling out that Jackson, money I didn’t even really have thanks to the wonderful idea of credit, the steam built up but mostly controlled from my 8th inning rant became too much.  Exploding into a screaming , I let out months of frustration in minutes.  I felt the power of menacing virility coursing through my veins, which is an unusual feeling for me.  I can recall an instance in 5th grade basketball where I grabbed hold of a loose ball and ripped it away from a much bigger opponent where I felt the animal rage within.  Damn, I am rambling tonight.  Before I keep going on, and trust me I could go on for thousands of words in regards to Seattle’s (un)funkiness, the merits of P-Funk at a stadium (I have to say it was a first for me), and whatever else pops in my head as I think of those things.  So onto the original purpose of this post, music.

David Byrne is one of a bad mothalicka.  As I get older I find myself listening to him more and more whether its’ the Talking Heads or some of other projects.  I was fortunate to discover an album of his titled BBC4 Sessions.  Working with a orchestra, David performs a range of material, including plenty of Talking Heads songs, which sound amazing with live strings

A brief google doesn’t bring up much in the way of this recording besides it was recorded in 2002 for BBC4.  Be sure to get this one, it’s hot chocolate on a cold day and cold beer on a hot one.


Track Listing:

And She Was
Once in a Lifetime
The Great Intoxication
The Revolution
La Traviata
This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)
What a Day That Was
U. B. Jesus
Life During Wartime
Road to Nowhere


One Response to “Nicotine, Beer, & (Un)funky Funk”

  1. […] View original here:  Nicotine, Beer, & (Un)funky Funk « Gateway to the Burbs […]

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