Saturday, December 31, 2005

Prefuse 73 Takes His Time

Last night I attended the fabled Black Cat, quite possibly DC's best presenter of real and true indie music. Last night wasn't your average indie show. Sure the hipsters were out in full force; the bearded savants, the leather belt-clad punks, the trendy Asian woman, and a few brothas and sistas here and there.

The opener was a sort of noise-experimental electronic artist named Tyondai Braxton who I had never heard of. He played sitting down on a carpet with all sorts of pedals and gears. His voice and guitar were run through all these and he got a really echoey vibe on all 3 songs he played. This was not like noise exactly. It was more like Lungfish or Deerhoof but without intelligable lyrics. At one point I think he MC'd but overall his set was pretty mediocre. Check out his website for the projects he has worked on including a commission for Yale and some work with Elliott Sharp. It seems like he's toured with Prefuse quite a bit over the last two years.

But the real main event didn't hit until 11:30. I won't go into the long ridiculous wait (which was ridiculous.... and long). But when he finally went on, he really brought it. Prefuse 73 aka Scott Herren is an Atlanta-bred now world-famous hip-hop/electronic producer whose last few albums for Warp records have been extraordinary. He was maneuvering on some sort of synthesizer or a rack of synths that he seemed to be striking like he was hitting the bobbing heads of the hippopotami in Hungry Hungry Hippos. He spent most of the time bent over this contraption (except when he turned to the crowd during intervals, hands clasped and bowed, soaking in the enrichment of the crowd's cheers). Thus, most of the time it was hard to see exactly what he was doing or on which machine. I think he also had one of those KAOS pads which he constantly had his left hand running all over for the craziest zoomy, bangalicious, and whooping effects.

Behind Herren's back and in front of the audience was a skilled turntablist whose named I didn't catch, but you could tell this dude has been diggin in the crates for some time. However, I recognized several of the background vocals and some of the chords on some hooks from Prefuse's latest Prefuse 73 reads The Books. Probably the majority were produced or co-produced by Prefuse. But the spontaneity of the abrupt changes in key and time signature (usually demarcated with a screech or other loud cacophonous noise) was breathtaking. There was very little scratching if at all. Somehow they kept mixing it up with new stuff. I don't think they used the same trick or record twice or for more than 2 minutes.

Unfortunately, I was with some high school friends who weren't really into it. One of the four of them actually paid for a ticket and came upstairs, but none of them had heard his name or his producing credentials. Most of the night, these three were downstairs at the downstairs bar, drinking cheap $3.50 drafts. It really kills me how so many people are unwilling to go outside their sphere of familiarity. Even liberal-minded kids who are cultured and shit. It is depressing.
On the other hand, It was encouraging though the number of people at the show. There had to be at least 300 people there. It is a huge room so it is hard to gauge but it was more packed than any indie or "artistic" show I've been to in Pittsburgh. Thank god for people who book with good taste. I think when I get back, I am going to decree that we buy all the Prefuse we don't have.

Anyways, I left about 40 minutes into Prefuse' set since I had been waiting around for him since 9:45 and due to my one friends' pressure (the one who bought a ticket!). So you'll have to check another blog or the Post or next week's City Paper to see how it ended. I got several pics on my cell phone and once I get to a machine with Bluetooth I will put them up here - who knows how good or bad the visual quality will be. They were cell phone pics without a flash. It was truly an invigorating night. Made me want to go buy his shit...especially the album with Ghostface.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Soon Du Bu

Today was a whirlwind of medical offices, forms, insurance numbers, and iPod troubles!

I started my day at 9 AM after almost 11 hours of straight sleep. I should really do that more often. Not going out and waking up in the morning is way underrated.

First we went to DC to get my stitches removed and a flu shot. Of course my mom had an arsenal of questions lined up for her long-time doctor who was nice. 9,342 forms later, we were off to the gastroenterologist to investigate my indigestion and bloating after meals. Aside from leaving my new chic cell phone there after a lengthy discussion of routes I could take, that visit was rather uneventful. Finally we had to rush to do blood tests required by the gastroenterologist, which it turned out we couldn't do because the friggin blood people cannot do what the patient asks for, only what the form says. So if I have eaten anything in the last 8 hours, I can't get the blood test done for the six other things that don't require me to not have eaten. Basically I can't be selective with what I test for. So that was annoying.

Then finally a circuitous quest to eat food. We saw tried to grab a bite at a Chipotle but NOOOO, I can't have dairy for the week says the gastro guy. And as we all know, you can't have a Chipotle burrito without sour cream! So we decided to try to kill two birds with one stone by going to try to sell the remainder of my CDs at Joe's Record Paradise. Earlier in the week I had been moderately unsuccessful in trying to unload these CDs for cash at CDepot in College Park. So we pull up at Joe's and the old terrific Chinese place I used to eat at after getting rekkids was gone. So much for the sustainability of the suburban strip mall (more on that at another time). But ephemerality (word?) does not apply to Joe's. Yes, it might be in the self-same strip mall, but it is a bulwark of the long-playing record as an institution. You can find SO much more at Joe's than at Jerry's. But you pay for it. I got $20 in trade for a bunch of crappy new shit that I probably bought trying to be up with the times. I am getting over that attitude in my collecting and listening. So today I picked up the following vinyl:

  1. Oliver Nelson - The Blues and the Abstract Truth (Impulse!) (the original artwork with the right side of Oliver Nelson's lit by a blue light)
  2. Freddie Hubbard & Woody Shaw - Double Take (Blue Note)
  3. OTB - Out of the Blue (Blue Note) w/ Kenny Garrett, Ralph Peterson, Ralph Bowen, Harry Pickens, Michael Philip Mossman, and Bobby Hurst
  4. Rahsaan Roland Kirk - The Return of the 5000lb. Man (Warner Bros.)
  5. Phineas Newborn Jr. - The Great Piano of Phineas Newborn Jr. (Contemporary)
(Flashback to Monday)

Well, I met up with my friend Adam (who has developed a sweet tenor sound and concept up at McGill since I last saw him) and we took a trip as a group to CDepot, the BEST local store for new and used jazz CDs and frankly any other recorded sound or video in the DC metro area. Not very centrally located, CDepot houses millions of volumes at any given time. I was able to unload what amounted to $25. But thanks to Channukah money and some other cash I got:

  1. Branford Marsalis - I Heard You Twice the First Time (Columbia)
  2. Others will come in due time.


Saturday, December 24, 2005

Can I help you with anything, sir? PART DOS

Continued from last night's post:

When I popped in the Blindfold Test CD, I was struck by this one really dense piano piece. It starts off populated by thick openly-voiced block chords, very quiet, very syncopated. And then it goes into this much more happy-go-lucky swingin' solo section where the pianist shows signs of being free but it's all within the mindset of straight-ahead. I thought for some reason of Oscar Peterson mixed with hints of Jaki Byard and Cecil Taylor. Very interesting. Can't wait to find out what this actually was. I am waiting to listen to the whole test more thoroughly before I post my comments and then look at the answers (which are already up now).

The other piece that was really good was a clarinet feature backed by a really tight big band. It was truly virtuosic playing. It couldn't have been Don Byron. It was too "refined" in its articulations. This cat was really tearin' it up.


Arrived home. Ate home-cooked food for first time since Thanksgiving.


Attempted to sleep. All I could do was scat. Whenever I go to sleep, or try to go to sleep, I scat. Like as if I was playing my horn. I even do the approximate fingerings by muscle memory. I do this a lot when I am not trying to sleep as well. It is what jazz musicians do. I should do a study on how much people obsessed with jazz hum melodies/improvisations to tunes out loud or in their heads during their day.


Showered, shaved. Left to get haircut for social event.


Arrived at Cingular Wireless. "Can I help you with anything, sir?" No. Thanks I am trying to get in and get out. But oh wait, did I mention I am with my mom? And she has a preferred guy she likes to deal with. His name was Kyle. Now, I should have known that taking a trip to the mall with a woman was a bad idea. With my mother - a terrible idea.

However, lately I have been very unable to do stuff without a working cell phone. After about an hour of talking fascist equipment/plan upgrades (since AT&T Wireless is no more and Cingular is the big boiee now), and features (camera phones, bluetooth, keypads, flip vs. non-flip, bluetooth earpiece vs. regular earpiece, etc.) I had a phone picked out. Check it. Hotness. No hope for the tape deck, or the Creedence (and by tape deck and Creedence I mean essential phone numbers on the phone but not on the SIM card (CURSES!!!). When your screen has been violently disconnected from your phone, it's rather hard to extract any sort of data - thank God for the SIM card...) Then we had to wait for all the other 600,000 people buying cell phones today for Christmas to get their SIM cards recognized and initialized by the network. We wait, and wait, and wait.


I go acrosss the hallway to try on dress shoes (cuz I forgot my one brown pair and my mom says I need a black pair too, which is true) at another corporate chain (Rockport). They don't carry Double E widths for my size. More curses. Got a fruit smoothie. Made the horrible mistake of ordering Sour Apple with Passion Fruit. Way too sweet. I felt like a diabetic on insulin-overload. Up to Johnston and Murphy where aside from the clerks and their shitty British accents and terrible service, everything in the store is $149.99 or more. FUCK ME FOR VISITING A MALL WITH MY MOM!!! Finally settled on a pair of loafers - so now I can look like a real corporate toolkit...


Went back to Cingular to see if our phones were ready. They weren't. But Kyle let us take the stuff home as the cards registered to the network overnight. Ok I have a sweet phone now, but I can't use it.


Listened to the end of Friday Drivetime Jazz with Willard Jenkins (one of WPFW's only quality jazz shows where the host knows anything significant about the music). Tune in every Friday from 4:00PM-6:00PM on 89.3 FM on your radio if you are in the DC area and online at They stream through Real Audio. The number in the air studio is (202) 588-0893. Willard's website is He and his wife Susan are big movers and shakers in the jazz world.


Got home. Started shabbat with Ben and Jon. Went to Raphael's going away party. Check out his blog. He just got a job with AP in London. Sweet deal for him. That's where good genes kick in in your favor.


Went home - vegged out on couch watching TV - House Hunters followed by some we-invade-your-house-and-renovate-it-while-you-are-away reality show. I have to say it was good. Addictive might be the better word though. Listened to more of the Blindfold Test.

Sleep at 3:00 AM.

Can I help you with anything, sir? PART UNO

No sir. I do not need your help sir. I am trying to get in and get out, SIR!

Flashback to 6:15 AM Friday morning:

I woke up (unusual for those who know me well). Lately this has been more like when I'm just getting to sleep (usually for no good reason). I turned on iTunes realizing DJ Slobro would already be on the air because he rolls like that. He announced he would be playing a 70-minute raga and I decided that I had put off coming home for too long.

The car was already packed from a day ago and I grabbed some Einsten Bros. and went to the station to do a quick OOB before I took off for home.


Mission accomplished. DJ Slobro is marking the stuff OOB and placing in the library. Money


Drop off CDs at the Carnegie. A couple Ray Brown things, some Roy Hargrove from mid-early nineties and a Red Garland Trio on Prestige. Fucking FREEZING!!!


Exxon has no de-caf hot tea. FUCK! Got on the road and began driving. I got WRCT out til just past Monroeville entrance to the Turnpike - too bad cuz I was enjoying the Dershowitz-Chomsky Israel-Palestine debate excerpts. After that I listened to NPR Morning Edition for a while. One totally confusing story about Iraqi-Kurds, Iranian-Kurds, and slew of other religious and ethnic minorities at the borderlands of Iraq and Iran. I tell you, if anyone understood what the hell that story was supposed to convey besides confusion, please by all means enlighten me. An interesting story followed on a community off of Massachussetts coast that survives on catching and selling lobster. The reporter did the story really well. It had great sound bytes and good narration. It really made me feel like I was up in this town. It had a really down-to-earth-ness about it. I don't really listen to NPR in Pittsburgh during my daily grind since I'm listening to WRCT all the time or jazz on my computer or stereo. But I should really start going to bed at a reasonable hour and forcing myself to get up with Morning Edition. God knows its more palatable early in the morning than Amy Goodman.

Although god damn it NPR, why do you have to try to be college radio in your schizophrenic often bewildering music selections for your 10-15 second music breaks. What the hell do you achieve by that? I mean, I appreciate the All Songs Considered segments. I listen to those podcasts on iTunes but how is 15 seconds of a song no one knows gonna help the band or the listener. You never identify the track and its always some new hipster album. At least give us a clue....or play more like 20-25 seconds and tell us who the artist is. And another thing, what's up with the "philosophy" of silence. I mean, things could be a lot tigher. I know stuff is coming in from satellite feeds and you have to get timing right with member stations but sometimes there is literally 5 or more seconds of silence between bits. That's not professional. Come on guys!


Got off the Turnpike at Somerset cuz I was feelin uneasy about doing that Tunnel at Allegheny Mountain. Claustrophobia in tunnels FREAKS ME OUT!!!! I broke out that Roland Kirk Live in Copenhagen which I mentioned earlier in a previous entry. I'm not gonna lie. It's certainly not his best live session but the energy is there and it makes you excited to listen to him go on about what he's doing as he does it. He shared that trait with Cannonball and I wonder if they ever did a concert together or shared a co-billing. Hearing the two of them rap and play off of each other would have been amazing. Tete Montoliu is very good on keys and NHOP also excellent on bass. I was gettin excited when Kirk quoted Confirmation on track 3.

I also noticed that his soprano tone was really good. Like not just decent. It is fucking hard to get a good tone on soprano (only Wayne Shorter, Joe Ford, and Billy Pierce can do it well as far as I'm concerned - of course Trane had it too). Roland Kirk had a money soprano sound - full-bodied like all his other axes. To me the greatest thing about Kirk is that he was equally facile on all those instruments - not that he played a bunch at the same time. That's cool too. It's a novelty and it surely took a hell of a lot of practice and concentration but the mastery of so many individual instruments that most cats take years and years to perfect their sound on just one. Kirk's sound is not couth. It's guttural and emotional but its always a soulful and full sound. Well, maybe not the stritch or the nose flute. But the manzello, tenor, alto, soprano, clarinet, flute, etc. all sound consistently good.

When the Kirk started repeating, I popped in the Woody Herman I just bought. They play a truly grindin', groovin' version of 2001: A Space Odyssey that feels like its in 5 or 7 but its in 2. The placement of the melody in a rhythmic sense is ingenious. Hats off to the arranger on that one. Woody Herman gets too little credit for the number of talents he brought to the world. On this disc, one of these talents, probably the guy who had the most profound impact on the jazz world following his tenure in the Thundering Herd, is Stan Getz. And while, I don't really care for the way Getz continually overblows the horn and plays in a kind of corny white-boy way, his soul is undeniable and his artistry is like Woody says, "inimitable." The CD also features a reunion of three of the four original four brothers that played that famous staple from the Herman book, "Four Brothers," (Al Cohn and the song's composer Jimmy Giuffre in addition to Getz; not present is Serge Chaloff, the bari player from that herd). Also making appearances on this 1975 Carnegie Hall concert are Jimmy Rowles and a young herd-member Joe Lovano who solos on a few tunes trading choruses with Cohn and Getz.


The Herman disc runs out and I pull out Tjobbe's Blindfold Test #31 (BFT 31) from the Organissimo bulletin board, a website where I and many other jazz freaks fritter away a lot of our time learning about and discussing jazz from today and the past (as well as the future, although most guys on this particular board are more interested in older Blue Note/Prestige stuff with a heavy emphasis on "soul-jazz").

Blindfold Tests for those of you that don't know is a long-standing feature of Down Beat magazine in a which a musician listens to records from other artists and tries to guess who they are. On Organissimo, the tester is a board member who makes a mix CD of random unidentified cuts (tracks) and sends them out all over the globe to participants who try to guess the tracks based on their collections and their knowledge of music in general. They post answers, guesses, and impressions and then there is an answers thread.

Anyways, there were a few cuts that really hit me hard in a way that I wasn't expecting. But now I am tired and I will finish the story of this day a bit later.

Now listening to: Venetian Snares - Meathole (on my iPod)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

a jazz post

I was browsing the web this morning and I rediscovered an old obsession of mine called Audioscrobbler (now rebranded and greatly improved). It's called and it allows you not only to find artists similar to the ones you like by a simple search, it now allows you to stream music based on your taste. how does it know your taste in music?

well, it uses a tagging/recognition system where you run a program that tells its server what you've been playing in your media player (Windows Media Player, MusicMatch Jukebox, iTunes, etc.) and it compiles information on you. it then works out these charts for you. it works best once you've been using the system for a while so it can tell what you're more into and what you are less into.

so the reason for this post is that I launched a customized radio station this morning with some special software that was very easy to download and make work on my mac that played music that was very much in tune with my interests. it led me to not only discover a few artists who I really dug but it played some really good stuff that I hadn't heard by artists who I am familiar with. for example:

Lunz - Remembering
Joe Henderson - What's New (off of Mirror Mirror)
Don Cherry - forget the name of the song and the album
Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Bright Moments (off of Bright Moments)
Pharoah Sanders - Midnight in Berkeley Square (forget the name of the album)
much much more.....

Check it out. I am off to DC. Not sure if I will remember to post but keep tuned for more music stuff. Oh, there is a chance that the Vandermark 5 will make a Pittsburgh appearance in the beginning of February 2006 if I have anything to say about it.

Now Listening to: Chris Potter - Live in London

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

just when I thought everything was cool....

I was celebrating my completion of the paper which I worked on all last night after the last post. Then I slept from Noon to 8 PM, got right to work, and had the paper done and emailed to the professor at 11 PM.

I tried to rally the troops that are still around for a little late night half-price food action or something but no one was up for it. So I started watching this stupid HBO movie with Alicia Silverston and Cary Elwes (you know, the dude Wesley from The Princess Bride) called The Crush. At a really creepy point, I couldn't stand the horribleness of what was going on so I decided to leave it for a second. I came back to my computer contemplating placing an order for pizza online, because you can do that these days and I didn't really feel like taking the effort to cook or go out in the freezing cold to pick up something. It's 1:30 AM mind you.

When I realized I wasn't so hungry that I was willing to go through all the effort, I sprang up realizing the movie was about to end, and tripped over the metal edge of my bed.

Initially the pain was so sharp that I thought I had just stubbed my toes really bad (I was barefoot). But then when I got to the living room I inspected my foot and discovered a nice fleshy opening between my second and third toes from the big toe. It was a big cut, spreading an inch and a half from between the toes to the top of my foot. It had not only cut open the skin slightly, but pretty deep. I parted the toes which tend to stay together and right there I realized I had to call 911. But as I noted, my cell phone is totally broken now. Not only is the LCD screen totally ripped off the keypad part, but something happened to the female part of the earjack thingie so now I can't even hear whoever I call or whoever calls me.

What do you do when you need to call 911 but you have no phone? You ask your roommate who also just finished his final project too a couple hours ago. He was cool about it. He even entertained me while the paramedics took their sweet time to get here.

So they got here and they're like "We can take you or you can take yourself."

Ummm, I'm sitting here in pain applying pressure and they still haven't looked at the cut. What the fuck guys? I know you have a shitty job and its a quarter to 2 in the morning but throw me a friggin bone. So they gimme some gauze letting me apply it to my own cut.

Standard questions: what's your name? take any meds? social security number? ID? "No ID, can't take you to the hospital without that..."

Of course I had left my wallet in the car downstairs from early this morning when I deliriously drove home. Finally once I had everything I needed, we got in the ambulance, I had a nice little chat with the paramedic and I get to the hospital. Now it's 1:55 (about 15 minutes since the incident). After two rounds of registration where they ask me all the same fucking questions the paramedics asked, I got to wait for someone to see me. Meanwhile my foot is still moderately bleeding. Just as I sit down the security guard calls over to me that I have to sign in. What the fuck is that? Sign in for what? Can't you talk to the other two registration women I just talked to?

It's about 20 minutes before some woman comes out and butchers my name. I sit in the treatment room for another 20 minutes before the physicians assistant comes to attend on me.
They put in 4 stiches (wasn't too painful) and then they left me in the room for another 40 minutes - cuz why do I need to get home and go to sleep?

And then I get to the door and I have to walk home cuz of course I can't call anyone to pick me up. I don't have my cell and I can't use the courtesy phone since I don't know anyone with local phone numbers except Plumpernickel and I remember seeing his AIM message saying g'night while I was looking all over for my wallet.

Now I'm home after freezing my ass off and I'm fucking hungry this time.....

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

finishing this paper

So, the crux of my argument is basically that Rome and Dunn are arguing on different terrain and therefore it is largely unappropriate to compare their studies. But they do overlap in the land of values - values concerning personal choice versus the public good; choices concerning selfishness versus selflessness; choices concerning the ecological decisions we make as beings capable of mass destruction and change.

Meanwhile, am I writing this paper. No I'm on the air spinning live Keith Jarrett Trio from 1988. And yes, that's on vinyl. The last two hours I've been on the air I've spun exclusively vinyl. I figure I can forego the three new cuts per hour right now cuz its random schedule and CMJ is not taking reports. I am pretty sure I have decided to spin all four sides of this double-LP gatefold Jarrett. It's called Still Live and includest titles like "When I Fall in Love," "The Song is You," "Autumn Leaves," "My Funny Valentine," "Come Rain or Come Shine," "You and the Night and the Music," "Someday My Prince Will Come," and "I Remember Clifford." Good shit if you are in the mood to listen to Keith whine to himself, which of course is the exact mood I'm in.

DJ Lode, DJ Denton, and Plumpernickel have all left and supposedly gone to bed. Those lucky chums are done with finals and when I finish tomorrow, I think I might have finished college - depending on a couple things.

I really need to get a more regular job that requires me waking up in the morning and going to sleep before 2 AM. Preferrably before 1 AM. That is gonna be a paradigmatic shift for me given the wanton lifestyle I have been living here. I still have to take care of my shit at the Underground and I don't think I can just go cold turkey on WRCT (both by habit and because the current system would probably fall apart if I just up and left). I will probably take one class though and get a crap hourly job at first (maybe catering - I know someone doing that right now whose doing ok for himself) while I conduct a more thorough multi-city job search for something in public relations or where I can promote or present music. I will also be looking for jobs in public radio of course, which would really be a dream come true if I got one of those. I would totally be willing to work my way up even in non-jazz formats.

Ok. Just signed off. Ugh. Terrible automation track. Is this hip-hop????????? Awful. Eat me....

Monday, December 19, 2005

Gene Ludwig, Reggie Watkins

So Gene Ludwig, an organist who never became very famous outside of the midwest, will be playing the Underground, the student venue I book on campus at CMU. He is gettin' pretty old now no longer tours or plays with huge names and tends to stay in the Pittsburgh area with the occasional trip to New York or Cleveland. I happened upon this bootleg of a performance he did somewhere in Kentucky with guitarist Pat Martino in 1969. He was really smokin' and its something else to think that there must have been a hundred of other guys like Gene - regional talents on their instrument who received even less acclaim than he has. It's not like Gene has gone without recognition, but being a white player in the shadow of souldaddies like Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Captain Jack McDuff, and others has to be hard.

The Underground date will occur January 28, 2006 at 8 PM and will feature former Eric Kloss sideman guitarist Ken Karsh, saxophonist Eric Defade, and drummer Tom Wright. For more info, visit the Activities Board site.

And on the topic of local musicians, if you are part of my captive DC readership, check out Reggie Watkins, easily Pittsburgh's #1 trombonist for two separate pairs of dates at Twins Jazz in DC:

- December 23-24 (as a member of The Reunion Sextet w/ Scott Brookmeyer)
- January 13-14 with his band, the A-List

And he will be at the Underground back here in Pittsburgh on January 21 with a cast yet to be determined.

Stay tuned.

Now listening to: Marty Ehrlich - News on the Rail

Hank and Passion

Hank is a fellow I have a rather complex relationship with. Some days we are super tight. Other days I feel like we are enemies. It usually depends on what stupid shit came out of my mouth recently and what he remembers and chooses to not remember.

He has this unique brand of dry humor where he says things over and over as if he is dead serious but underneath it all, I know he is yanking my chain.

He has a remarkable knowledge of music - spanning many forms and this knowledge never ceases to amaze me in his ability to put a show together on the fly. Unfortunately he lacks mastery of any particular instrument, although I have to admit he is a pretty good percussionist. He is one of those dudes who appreciates really complex music but never had the opportunity to pursue an instrument seriously when his mind was most able to grasp it (i.e. during childhood). Either that or he had other priorities in life.

Music (particularly growing an audience for jazz) is so much a part of my life, that sometimes I forget to realize that there are so many things that make others happy about living. For Hank, it's a mixture of many different things as far as I can tell. He not only has a deep appreciation for music, but also technology, fine arts, film, and god knows what else. For Plumpernickel its poetry and writing. For DJ Denton its RF and other technical shit.

This brings me to a broader and more profound point - people at CMU might be very "boring" in my view. They might be very "one-dimensional" but they must be really passionate about what they do. I mean a lot of them must LOVE engineering and computers so much that all their energies are focused on those areas. That concept just throws me for a loop. That kind of dedication requires spending hundreds of hours in libraries and labs trying to figure out stuff that countless others before have agonized over. However, much like the arts, all this stuff requires a good amount of creativity and ingenuity to achieve new ends and I respect that.

Now listening to: Woody Herman - Featuring Stan Getz ("Blues in the Night")

First Post!

I feel so affected creating a blog. It's like joining myspace or facebook and just basking in your own juices hoping that others will follow in fleeting moments of curiosity.

Anyways, here I am. In Pittsburgh, I am known as Dr. Jazz Ph.D. which is my radio moniker. I have a show called Full Boat Radar Range which playfully pokes fun at another member of the station who happens to use hilarious terminology for audio files and computer configurations both knowingly and unknowingly (mostly the latter). Those who get it will get it. Those who don't....well, too bad for you.

So, this blog will be a mix of my witticisms (sp?/is that even a word?), observations on the state of this great country of ours, and my feelings on the past, present, and future of jazz which is the lifeblood of

I want to give shoutouts to the following individuals who have inspired this blog: Grandma, Seth, Benjoid, Mom, Dad, Uncle Abrascha, Dave Munk, Plumpernickel, dhartuni, ams1, Raphael (good luck in London!), Tonaming, Wingonding, jbsgnats, Adamame, BGS, Doug Ramsey, and that ass Bret Primack who makes like he invented the idea of jazz musicians having websites.

Tonight and for the next two days, I will be writing a critique of two books: one defining and arguing against suburban sprawl called Bulldozer in the Countryside by noted environmental scholar Adam Rome; and the other extolling the democratic virtues of the private automobile, essentially defending sprawl under the auspices of democracy and arguing against the menace known as "smart growth" called Driving Forces by some Fascist named James A. Dunn of the Brookings Institution.

So far my work ethic has been very poor, but I think I will be able to pull something together that sounds coherent without being too radical and pro-smart growth.

Yesterday at Paul's CDs in Bloomfield where WRCT gets all the good shit, I bought 4 CDs for myself: a Woody Herman concert from Carnegie Hall 1975 (Woody Herman Featuring Stan Getz), a Roland Kirk live set from Copenhagen originally on Mercury (the years before he became Rahsaan) and rereleased on Verve (Kirk in Copenhagen), a jazz chamber album called The October Suite by pianist Steve Kuhn, arranged and conducted by Gary McFarland, and a Freddie Hubbard session from 1962 called Ready for Freddie which I have been wanting to pick up for years.

Now listening to: Roland Kirk - Kirk in Copenhagen