Sippican Cottage

Working 9 to 5

In some ways, the work that goes on behind the scenes in most forms of entertainment is more interesting and fulfilling than whatever the “talent” is up to. I’d rather own a football team than play on one, too.

I always found bars to be dull unless I was working in them. The most fun I had in the music business was generally after the show was over and we were breaking down the equipment. It was my job to look like I was having fun while I was performing, and I tried to, whether I had a strep throat or a chisel wound in the meat between my thumb and index finger or not. Most applause simply brings a feeling of relief, not elation.

You have to be on top of your game and your craft to be in charge of the stage at the San Francisco Opera, whether you can sing a note or not. There are satisfactions to being invisible.

Obscurity and a competence—that is the life that is best worth living.  -Twain

I’ve Located The Last Page Of The Intertunnel

I named it the Intertunnel, of course. You might call it the Interwebs, or the Hypertubes, or THE AOLs, or whatever. But no matter what you call it, it’s not a place; it’s more like a trip. An Alighierian trip. It starts out innocently, but it doesn’t end up that way — like a double date, or maybe representative democracy.

Maybe you start out a German tenor —August Schramm, let’s say– and there you are, standing up straight and trying to get Mozart up a stump in a concert hall where everyone can get a look at him.

But you can’t leave well enough alone, can you? You get one of those cameras full of pixels and brimstone, and point it at yourself, and upload that badboy to the Intertunnel. Pretty soon you get to poking around on the Interwebs after you watch your own video on YouTube. In no time at all, you’re picking Lady Gaga’s merkin hair out of the Intertunnel’s intellectual shower drain:

There you go, folks. We’re done here. The Intertunnel is finished. Kaput, if August is tuning in. You can turn it off and go outside now. But for God’s sake, don’t press the print button first.

(Thanks, I think, to reader and commenter and correspondent Charles Schneider for sending that one along. I guess. Pretty sure. Maybe. Whatever)

Too Many Notes

Hey, Mozart’s got a new tune out, and it’s got a beat and you can dance to it, I’m tellin’ ya.. He was about ten when he wrote it, so I don’t know about you, but I’m prepared to forgive the hint of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I picked up in there.

Mozart’s latest. 

Stifling Uniformity

Look at Andres Segovia in the fifties. If you didn’t know who he was, I could have told you he invented a transistor, or reviewed mortgages at the savings and loan, or toiled in any number of mundane professions, and his appearance wouldn’t give it away.

People used to be serious, and you’d find serious people in every walk of life. Now all the Jeeves are dead, and everyone’s either a high or low budget Wooster. Who allows their work or their art alone to speak for them anymore?

It’s Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart’s Birthday, Bitches

The Bobby Orr of music was born in Salzburg on January 27th, 1756. I see all you haters going on about Beethoven, the Wayne Gretzky of G clef, calling him the shizzle over Wolfie, but sheezy, a deaf piano player? Mozey had all the sick beats, and could bust rhymes to get all the fine dime brizzles.

Pure ballin. Admit it. If Schroeder had put a bust of Brahms on his piano you’d all be headsprung over Brahms Third Racket, not Beetlebrow. Gettin your beats from Peanuts? What’s next, learnin geopolitics from Family Circus? It’s Mozart, dawgs! And don’t gimme any of those musical Mahovlich brothers, you know, the Bach bunch. Ringo Starr married the only Bach worth mentioning.

I’m hooking you up with Lacrimosa — Old Skool.

That’s what I’m talkin about. Shit’s deck, is what I mean.

Wolfie was all about the beats. Let’s pour out a 40 for the playa that could pour out Symphony Number 40. Let’s drop it like it’s hot.

So pants at half mast for Chrysostomus’ sake today. Drink ten Red Bulls and try to keep up with Amadeus, like Heifetz done.

Off the hook, nomesayin?

Your Plumbing Doesn’t Work

I played trombone in a local symphony orchestra many long years ago. You’d be hard pressed to believe how little classical music is written for the awful piece of plumbing I was blatting into. Like many “modern” instruments, it got parts written for other instruments transcribed for it, here and there, but in general, you’d open up the sheet music and see the the big bar going across the page to indicate the number of measures you were supposed to count silently without playing before you got to your part, and the number would be something like 242. Then play fourteen notes and get another 242 bars rest. Imagine counting to 4 — 242 times. It was like 100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, only duller because you were sober. Well, everybody else was sober. I started drinking.

So I like to see the freaks getting some. Here’s Mozart, played on a Flugelhorn. Man, that’s just wrong. But I don’t want to be right; never have.

Tag: Mozart

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