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327: “Busbarn” by Skerik’s Syncopated Taint Septet

Taint it something?I’m a dream ninja.

I have the ability to control and explore my dreaming mind once I realize I’m dreaming. Many people have lucid dreams. I’ve gone beyond lucid dreaming, to meticulously plotted dream exploration and mastery.

Before I sleep, I create a mental list of the areas to explore once I set the reins on the stallion of my dreaming mind. I fly. I invent. I love. I play masterful music on instruments I’ve never touched. I ride wild beasts. I become the beasts I ride. I explore space and seek out extra-terrestrial life. I transform into energy and join myself with stars.

Some dreams, I find myself in traps set by own mind. Nightmare thoughts that contort to ensnare me. It took a while to figure out the ways out of my own thought traps. I’m wiser now, and I’ve created a device in my dreams that allows me to jump free every time. It’s a panic switch, and it took dream science to create.

I can’t think about it much while I’m awake, or I’ll lose it while I’m asleep. The dream science is what got me in trouble. It attracted… attention. A whole new level of dreams lies beneath our own. I found it… and them.

I’m selecting songs for them here. I’m giving them a glimpse of the human world they’re so curious about. They’re curious beyond imagination, about this beautiful world, the living dream.

~~

I arrest my existential stagings to introduce a most emblematic symbol of the rising tide of the dream-based manifest destiny. It’s the music of Skerik’s Syncopated Taint Septet. The Taintly 7 surf the great wave of the improvising human consciousness, honed over millennia to thrive in novel situations.

This track is “Busbarn” from Skerik’s Syncopated Taint Septet (2003). Another favorite is “Summer Pudding” from Live At The Triple Door (2010). Skerik is constantly touring with a different amalgam of amazing musicians, and always worth a nocturnal intermission.

Do enjoy.

Song: Busbarn
Artist: Skerik’s Syncopated Taint Septet
Album: Skerik’s Syncopated Taint Septet
Label: ropeadope
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
ListenYouTube

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325: “Ahmad’s Blues” by Ahmad Jamal

Ahmad Jamal contemplates you reading this.Ahmad Jamal is standing in a white shirt and loose brown pants, looking into the distance. He is thinking about what might happen to him when he dies. You see, he’s decided he’s not swallowing just any old jazz someone throws him about what’s going to happen to sweet, sweet Ahmad when he kicks the bucket.

In truest fact, Ahmad is now cresting a jagged hillock, his linen clothing stirring in the tropical breeze, considering whether or not the afterlife might be a lot crazier, even, than the wildest tales of heaven or hell.

Ahmad sits down at a piano resting atop a geometrically unfathomable mountain peak on a violently verdant isle.

Maybe everyone gets their own version of an afterlife, based on their expectations and/or demeanor at point of exit.

Ahmad stretches his hands like they’re cats who just woke up.

Maybe the afterlife is a dream you never wake up from, but instead of a human brain sleeping, it’s the interrelations of the atoms and photons circulating around the earth (and beyond) that were at some point part of you, culminating in a hazy, planet-sized dreamstate.

Ahmad is exploring the keys, coloring his afterlife musings with a delicate, undulating subtext.

Maybe the afterlife is a poetry slam where you have to recite your life’s memories in clever verse. You go on to some other afterlife once you start rhyming about the afterlife poetry slam.

Ahmad Jamal is now shirtless, and his hands never left the piano.

Maybe the afterlife is not worth the consideration, if you’re not properly using the time you’ve got.

Ahmad plays “Ahmad’s Blues” with Israel Crosby on bass and Vernel Fournier on drums, on Ahmad’s Blues, released in September, 1958.

Ahmad is still going strong at 83, with upcoming performances. Here, there, and beyond.

Enjoy.

Song: Ahmad’s Blues
Artist: Ahmad Jamal
Album: Ahmad’s Blues
Label: Verve
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: YouTube

324: “Lacrima” by John Medeski

The guy between two limbsHere are some concepts for your cognitive toolkit when you’re awake at 2 or 3am and your mind is racing with shadowy, sinister reflections of your actual life…

Blow Out Your Worry Fuse
Perhaps if you worry enough, you’ll blow out your worry apparatus and your mind will shut down for slumber… Did you feel something on your leg? Does your family have a good escape plan in case of a quickly-spreading fire? Maybe your past transgressions will catch up with you soon. It could very well be everyone at work hates your stupid face and talks about you while you’re not around. Your mom might not even really like you at all. Your mattress contains 42 pounds of dust mites roiling underneath you. And so on.

Do Some Mental Stretching
By ruminating on concepts such as:
-One hand clapping.
-If you time travel and you kill your younger self, what kind of special effects would best render the catastrophic undoing of time and space?
-Trek or Wars?
-What do fish think about?
-Why is there anything instead of nothing?
-Humans have flown into space; humans have created computerized access points to a universe of knowledge that will fit in our pockets; the Spice Girls were also hugely popular.
-And so on.

Grim and Bear It
Simply consider the fact that every living thing will someday die. You may cry when you consider the misery of one person (that person might even be yourself), yet there are millions more suffering as badly and worse. If you were truly able to fathom the current pain and misery worldwide in our species alone, you would surely go insane. You can only slog through as best you can, with protective blinders on, taking only brief glimpses at the grim chasm of reality looming beneath you, lest you lose your resolve. You’re just awake, in the middle of the night, and chewing straw with your goat brain. Tomorrow you will roll the stone up the hill again, and every day after it until you die. Like every single one before and after you. And so on.

Scale Up And Look Down
The earth is a tiny speck of rock (and stuff) swinging a needle’s arc through space, 92,960,000 miles from a medium-sized sun that is one of hundreds of millions of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Then there are hundreds of millions of galaxies outside this one. The distances in and between them are so stupefyingly large, that by existing at all, you are standing on the edge of an ocean of vastness that defies the imagination of your practically quantum-level self-awareness. And right now you’re laying in bed worrying about issues another order of magnitude smaller than your own lilliputian self. On what scale are you measuring your nighttime thoughts?

Think About Your Mother/Grandmothers
Feeding you. Telling you to be careful. Giving you bubble gum. Applying band-aids. Calling out your name. Crying tears for your pain. Hugging you. And so on.

Listen to John Medeski’s A Different Time
“Lacrima” tastes best in the quietest hours of the night. John Medeski‘s first solo piano album, A Different Time, is very intimate. No ornate trappings. Just John Medeski and the orchestra he pulls out of a piano. It’s a great listen with headphones, lying in bed, and savoring the various tones of your existential transit.

Enjoy.

Song: Lacrima
Artist: John Medeski
Album: A Different Time
Label: OKEH
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Rdio

Watch: Album Release Party, Interview

320: “Advice To Medics” by Sun Ra

Look, it's a cosmic butthole!The many faces of Sun Ra include the one giving “Advice to Medics” on Super-Sonic Jazz (1956).

A revealing quote from Wikipedia on Sun Ra:

As a self-invented person, he routinely gave evasive, contradictory or seemingly nonsensical answers to personal questions, and denied his birth name.

The picture Sun Ra painted of his own existence was not only steeped in mystery, but any type of understanding of who he was depended on the acceptance of vast fields of unknowns and shifting realities. Thus, he was either a crazy man or a genius depending on whom you ask.

He also had a testicular hernia that messed with his head via his testicles, which is an effective method for messing with a dude’s head.

And like all of us, but perhaps to a greater degree, Sun Ra was always changing. He was making things up as he went along, but with less subterfuge about it than the rest of us employ.

Enjoy one of Sun Ra’s more eccentric compositions with me, and contemplate the certainties in your life that might be undone if your balls hurt all the time.

Song: Advice To Medics
Artist: Sun Ra
Album: Super-Sonic Jazz
Label: Solar Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Rdio | Spotify | YouTube

318: “Rust Belt” by Charlie Hunter and Scott Amendola

Just the tip, Scott.Practice makes unconscious memory. Not perfection, but astounding results can certainly come with enough practice.

Charlie Hunter perfectly displays virtuosic talent, arrived at through copious amounts of brain conditioning (practice). Charlie’s most recent album, composed of duos with drummer Scott Amendola, showcases his ability to play bass and lead guitar simultaneously about as well as you could expect two separate professional musician brains to accomplish. The album is called Not Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead (2012). The Wizard uses a custom-built 8-string guitar, and the entire album was recorded with Charlie and Scott sitting in a room together, sans headphones. Check out “Rust Belt” to see what I mean about astounding results.

Other examples of the results of diligent practice include:

-Buddhist monks’ ability to regulate their body temperature with great control
-breathing Parkourists
-the ability to spin a pen around your fingers
-finding the slowest line at the grocery store
-getting your cat to poop in the toilet
-butter without crumbs on it
-men looking ladies in the eyes while talking to them

Remember to practice patience, love, and keeping the damn crumbs out of the butter. Enjoy.

Song: Rust Belt
Artist: Charlie Hunter and Scott Amendola
Album: Not Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead
Label: Charlie Hunter Music
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: Rdio | Spotify | YouTube

317: “Volunteered Slavery” by Rahsaan Roland Kirk

It's time to get up, not down.

I’m watching Antiques Road Show and this guy has a flute that was played by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. The flute is made of ivory from the tusks of a brown dwarf star. It’s been appraised at the value of one observational time machine trip (past only) and a large chili cheese tots. Public television is on a roll.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk was the tectonic inspirational force behind the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull), Eric Burdon, and Dan, a guy at work who knew who he was when I asked.

A few forreal’s forya: Kirk changed his name from Ronald to Roland because he was inspired in a dream to switch the two letters around. Later, he added Rahsaan because he heard it in a dream. Kirk was always spilling over the edges of himself. He played two instruments at once because one wasn’t enough. He was politically outspoken. He always had to lead the band. And he wore clothes eccentric even for a jazz musician.

Scientifically speaking, I don’t advise making real world decisions based on the bizness your unconscious mind cooks up. The ways that could go bad…

I so infrequently write actual biographical content here that I feel I should point out that the forreal’s communicated two paragraphs previous were actually taken from Wikipedia and not fictions of my mental undulations.

Without further crap, I present to you my favorite Kirk klassic, “Volunteered Slavery” from Volunteered Slavery (1969).

Please share your thoughts on Roland Kirk and faster-than-light physics, but be most certain of all to enjoy…

Song: Volunteered Slavery
Artist: Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Album: Volunteered Slavery
Label: Rhino Atlantic
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Rdio | Spotify | YouTube

314: “Thema” by Sunna Gunnlaugs

Sunna Gunnlaugs UnoI had just stepped out of the office to get normal when she (echo echo echo, wavy lines) walked by, doing that bipedal locomotion thing, with accents and flourishes in the hips… achieving actual sublimation. That’s when a solid turns directly into a gas.

Sublimate, parallel, and prismatic, as well, were the refractions of the colorations in her sight-balls when hers met mine. I was smote. And in the 14 heartbeats in which I knew her, like a timeless, smote mote did we drift, hand-in-hand on the eternal winds of worlds that could never be.

So it was, that as she walked away, I whistled loudly in her direction and shouted “Datass go BOOM!”

Yet she cast back not even the shadow of a glance from another world, and vaporized before my very sight-balls, forevermore.

~

This writing was inspired by “Thema” by Sunna Gunnlaugs, from Long Pair Bond (2011). Sunna, Icelandic jazz pianist, got Long Pair Bond’s production funded on Kickstarter, which kicks a.

Gunnlaugs is Icelandic for “Gunn laugs.” Her band mates on Long Pair Bond are Þorgrímur Jónsson on bass and Scott McLemore, drums.

I had to buy an Icelandic keyboard on eBay to type that bassist’s name. For you.

So enjoy.

Song: Thema
Artist: Sunna Gunnlaugs
Album: Long Pair Bond
Label: Sunny Sky Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Rdio
Watch: YouTube