The World According to Keitho

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Archive for December, 2016

2016: The worst meme ever

Posted by keithosaunders on December 28, 2016

The latest sickening internet trend is the conceit that a random grouping of 365 days is a sentient being.  This is especially true on Twitter where people are trying to one up each other for the whiniest tweet.  Here’s an example:

So so sad to hear about the death of Carrie Fisher. 2016 has taught us one hell of a lesson.. don’t take anyone for granted! Hurry up 2017!!

I guarantee you I can pick any year and find just as many celebrities that died. Here is a list of notable deaths in 1955:

Albert Einstein, James Agee, James Dean, and most tragically, Shemp Howard of the Three Stooges.

Charlie Parker died in 1955. Bam. 1955 is exponentially worse than 2016.

Again, it’s all about the humblebrag. RIPing  Prince, Carrie Fisher, or ________________________ makes you seem like a sensitive individual, but the effect is to draw attention towards yourself and away from the deceased.

There is nothing new about the  gratuitous social media RIP, but this year came with a new wrinkle:  The anthropomorphism of 2016.  As if a year is a sentient being and that somehow 2017 will be more benevolent.

If I might offer a suggestion, try a different calendar. Why not go by the Chinese calendar? Or give the Jewish calendar a shot. Or the Mayan. It couldn’t hurt.

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Mandate

Posted by keithosaunders on December 20, 2016

Donald Trump won the popular vote by nearly 3,000,000 votes.  A lot of people have been saying, writing, and tweeting that he has no mandate, but I don’t believe his lack of popular support will effect him one bit.

Trump’s mandate is the fact that he doesn’t care whether or not he has a mandate.  Why should he stop doing what has worked for him?  Think of it – he’s bullet-proof.  He can ridicule handicapped people, have an ex-porn star wife, show admiration for a Russian dictator, admit to grabbing women’s pussies, and refuse to release his tax records.  Nothing can harm this guy!

Fasten your seat belts, folks, we can expect turbulence.

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Glass Enclosure

Posted by keithosaunders on December 17, 2016

It took me almost half a year but I finally finished it – a piano transcription of Bud Powell’s Glass Enclosure. It was such painstaking work that two to four bars would take 40 minutes at which point I’d either be out of time or exhausted. The middle section, in which many of the measures contain a different chord for every beat, was particularly thorny. I’m confident I have accurate melody and harmony, but with the lower fidelity of 50s recordings I can’t be certain of the voicings. They are very close, though, and the genius of the piece is evident.

Glass Enclosure was written in 1953 shortly after Powell had been released from Creedmore State Hospital in Queens. According to a 1996 article in Atlantic Monthly written by Francis Davis, Bud, who had an ongoing engagement at Birdland, was kept locked in his apartment during the day by his manager, who was also his legal guardian. One day producer Alfred Lion, the co-founder of Blue Note records, came to Bud’s apartment and heard him working on new material. Glass Enclosure was the most striking of the songs he heard.

After living with this piece for 6 months my level of awe for Bud Powell has increased, if this is possible. The way I see it Bud’s repertoire can be divided into four distinct categories. There are compositions such as Dance of the Infidels, Wail, and Bouncing With Bud which are brilliant, as well as accessible to mortals.

Then there are the through composed pieces that are somewhat inaccessible, such as Glass Enclosure, Sure Thing, and Un Poco Loco. There’s also Tempus Fugit, which you can blow on, but is ultimately a giant pain in the ass. The thing is, even if you learn these tunes, what are you going to do with them other than attempt to play them as much like the original as possible?

In addition there are Powell’s reworking of standards such as I Should Care, Over the Rainbow, and Polka Dots and Moonbeans. These are so personal to him he may as well have composed them.

Then there is late Bud which still contains some gems such as John’s Abbey, Time Waits and Cleopatra’s Dream.

I believe that there is a legitimate case to be made that because of his compositions and the debt that every subsequent pianist owes him, Bud may have been deeper than Bird. At the very least they’re on par.  See for yourself.

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Just another night at the office

Posted by keithosaunders on December 7, 2016

There are so many louts at our gigs that it’s hard not to go all Stockhomy and start liking them.  When your office is a dive bar expectations had better be low or you could go crazy from frustration and aggravation.

At last night’s gig there was ultra loud couple sitting in the booth right across from the band. This guy must have been the funniest thing since Sid Caesar because every ten seconds there would be an ear-piercing cackle from his date. He had this nasal voice that could penetrate the loudest decibel, like a knife slashing through butter. We could have been Led Zeppelin and you would have heard this guy.

Needless to say they stayed the entire night. After the gig I noticed they were making out in the booth so I decided to give them a taste of their own medicine. “GET A ROOM,” I screamed. Then I approached them: “How do you like it when I intrude on your business?”

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Mansplain the vote

Posted by keithosaunders on December 1, 2016

The worst thing about Trump being president is having to endure countless thinkpieces, as well as mansplaining-lectures from dullards as to how the salt of the earth rust belters cast a protest vote against the Dem machine. Two years from now while these idiotic,racist idiots scratch their heads while standing on unemployment lines I’ll be sitting in my ivory tower laughing and pointing. I can do $50.00 gigs until I die, what do I care?
 
But don’t tell me that Trump was employing some kind of Machiavellian strategy, pulling the wool over the American people. Please. Americans are stupid and racist enough. They saw a celebrity with racist overtones and these cretins who couldn’t accept being governed by a woman voted for the blowhard.
 
And fuck Hillary too. That’s the best the Dems could come up with? She’s a modern-day Ralph Kramden, not even bothering to campaign in Wisconsin. That’s how cocky she was.
 
Hillary: I had it and I went with it. Easy come, easy go!
 
So keep on writing and explaining to me, media. I’ll read every wor….[brrrrring!]
 
Hello? Yes? Yes? How much? 50? What time does it start?!

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