The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Charles Dickens’

Pledge week

Posted by keithosaunders on January 30, 2017

Let’s have a live look-in on NPR’s winter pledge drive!

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This year why not take the plunge and become a gold member. You’ll receive 2 tickets to SF Jazz, our magazine – Boredom Weekly – and the brand new Keillor-Blocker.

This state of the art console attaches to your listening device to automatically block disturbing Saturday programming such as, A Prairie Home Companion, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, & Look Ma, No Hands.

In their place you can choose from among the following:

Game 6 of the 2003 World Series

Noam Chomsky reads The Pickwick Papers

&

Keitho sings A Love Supreme [in the shower]

Finally it is safe to drive a vehicle on a Saturday.

Hurry! There’s a limited supply.

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Posted in media, San Francisco, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Shut up already!

Posted by keithosaunders on January 4, 2011

There ought to be a statute of limitations on how long a jazz vocal track can last.  I was listening to a New York jazz station, and they played a track, which at the time sounded like it had African lyrics, but in fact turned out to be a made-up language. 

 OK, I give the artist points for innovation.  He, she, or they (it was a chorus of singers)  came up with something a little unusual and Pandora-ish — that is to say the fictitious world of Pandora from the filmAvatar,  rather than the internet radio site of the same name —  and at least for the first three minutes it was engaging.

The  song, a medium swing tune with the faux-African jibberish, was not the worst melody you had ever heard, but there was nothing, save from the language, that was particularly interesting about it.  About six minutes in I turned to my friend, who was driving us home from lunch, and said, “Is this ever going to end?”   My friend was wondering if Charles Dickens had written for singers.  The song was like a mini-series.   I was wondering if perhaps the DJ had to go to the bathroom and needed a track to eat up a large swath of time.

Folks, when you’re dealing with singers you have to get in and out of the song.  No extended choruses please!  A little brevity can go a long way. 

Finally the song ended and it was followed up, mercifully, by a Frank Wess recording.  Frank is 89 years old today and could not, even if he wanted to, play a solo that is too long!

Posted in jazz | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The song remained the same

Posted by keithosaunders on October 29, 2010

Last night I took the family for a Thursday night dinner at a local Nepali restaurant.  It was a cute neighborhood restaurant with a friendly waitress and good, simple food.  

There was a song playing in the background that I took to be Nepali folk music and it had a catchy little refrain.  About ten minutes into our meal I began to notice that the refrain of the song had come back around.  It was then that it began to dawn on me that the song had never ended.  Of course once you notice something like this you can’t ignore it, and for me  it became the focal point of the evening.  Either this song was on some kind of loop, or it was one of the longest songs ever written —  it lasted for the duration of our stay at the restaurant. 

The song had lyrics, but since they were in Nepali I couldn’t tell whether they were repeating or if the composer’s attitude was, “Fuck it, I’ve got a lot to say, I’m writing more verses.”  I’m betting that the composer was paid by the note and is known as the Charles Dickens of song.  I used to think that Bob Dylan’s music was wordy until last night.  Now, as far as I’m concerned, he’s the king of brevity.  John Coltrane himself never took a solo this long.   

The question I have is why would you do this to your customers?  Even if you go on the assumption that most people are not as attuned to a restaurant’s background music as a musician, it still makes no sense.  After a while — and I was there for the better part of an hour — even the most tone-deaf among us are going to begin to notice that something is askew.  It was like a chinese water torture of music.  If I had to hear that song for another minute I’m sure I would have confessed to the murder of JFK.   

That melody is burned into my soul and if I live to be 105 I will never forget it.  But wouldn’t you know it, as we were leaving the restaurant the song ended and a new one began.  Needless to say I didn’t stay to hear how that one turned out.

Posted in music | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »