September 11th, 2005


DVD: History of Rock 'n' Roll -- #5 "Plugging In"

Watching, having fruitful night of thought fragments and quotes.


Thinking, especially when I got to this fifth segment, "Yeah, that's me—that's my biography." At formative stage in my life, popular music went from accessible to complex and took me with it.

Recently at work I was on break, listening to iPod & reading Contemporary Jewish Religious Thought, which, at 1160 hardbound pages, looks rather like a book, and a coworker came by and started chatting. I paused the iPod and chatted a bit. After a few, he noticed the earplugs and said, "You were listening to music? And reading?" I mumbled my admission. "Wow. I couldn't possibly do that. I struggle with just reading." I kind of had to shrug, and didn't know what to say. To me, after a lifetime of it, music is air, music is the fishes' water. Oh, yeah, at some points that particular book had complexities such that if the current song had an especially present lyric I had to skip to another song, but … And then again, my wiring is such that I respond to music, even songs, even songs with lyrics, as music first and foremost. The only reason and extent to which I can say I know/understand the lyrics of any given song is that its music has sustained my interest in it enough times so I can finally start to piece together what its words are and what they might mean. Of course, there are times a particular phrase catches right away, but it's not in a context of the song's other lyrics so as to give it meaning to me. (I guess except for low-musical value, up-front & simplistically worded songs which I can more-or-less understand on first hearing [e.g., "When I Was a Boy," {some 50's song(s) as example? "Charlie Brown"? "Get a Job"?}]; but because of lack of lyrical & musical depth tend to wear thin on me fairly quickly. Can listen only so many times before it wears out on me.)


My life. Why not "successful" musician, photographer, artist, whatever? Fearful, personally conservative, not able to take risks. Maybe a bit too distractible as well. I just can't sustain balls-out going for it for any great length of time. On other hand, the successes, the if I might say it the brilliance that I sometimes show, have flashes of, in music, in photography, are from my sporadic ability to be totally there, totally "in the moment" as we now say, from time to time. I think my music is best when I'm channelling something else, whether it's my "deeper self" or the room's gestalt being or the cosmic All; not when the front-brain-me is "driving." I gotta be there enough to remember that the music will stop (for the moment) if my hands and voice and body don't continue to "do" it—to not drift totally into the space whence creative jizz—but that's about it. Doing photos too: best when I "set up" the camera and the situation and then "check out"—let … hmmm … my "greater being" take the pictures. I don't know. This all, both the negative and positive elements of my nature I'm talking about here, may well be a result of ADD and hyperfocus. Or maybe not. Maybe it's just how I am and there really isn't any need to apply clinical labels to the … root causes.

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