Comfortably Numb
.: four :.
« Sun 03 Feb 2008 08:54:01 AM »
Day after day; They take some brain away

... well, the inmates have returned to the asylum. I enjoy working with the volunteer inmates, the challenge to get them to think interests me [no, will not pretend I am actually very good at that, but give it my best nonetheless]; not all that enamoured with the paid inmates however - mostly well behaved but you get that occasion when screaming or just being rude is seen as a solution [will never get used to adults being rude yet expecting their students to be the bastian of good manners - raise that good old double standard high]. I work with a lovely bunch of chaps who put up with much. Start of year/term is my least favourite time - little old agorophobe me battles anxiety and puts on a brave face, then blogs about it in secret [because no one reads this shite, right]. Still, it is a living and parts of it I really like - never underestimate the value of job satisfaction I say.

Then turn my face around; To the far side of town

... now there is this curious performance venue space thingy at The Judith Wright Centre, in the Valley, and me and a mate [dearest mrs scum] went on a pilgramage to see "The Necks" perform. Now, this is the second time we have done this, interestingly about this time last year I think. These guys [piano, bass, drums] do improvisational jazz, well, sort of. Their pieces are more textural ambient soundscapes - not recognizable as jazz really but when it is good, it is really good.

The venue is so relaxed that the three performers were in the foyer before the show and at interval [having a glass of wine and pressing the flesh] so I got talking to the bassist [Lloyd Swanton]. I was interested in what their performance technique was [was sure they pre-arranged a chord progression or creative idea, because it would be impossible to be so musically tight and in-touch with what each other is playing without knowing where the piece was going, surely]. Turns out their technique is simple but never pre-arranged. The beginning of a set, they all three close their eyes, think up ideas, whoever starts first provides the impetus for the others to find a way to join them. In situations where more than one starts, they just hope that the keys they had chosen were compatible - if not it is another problem to work out gradually. They negotiate "crossroad" moments as he called them [or movements as I would call them] by introducing new notes or dropping out old ones, allowing the pieces to morph gradually, gently, beautifully in a luxurious tapestry of music that lasts at least an hour. Extended pieces like this are amazing to listen to, but you _have_ to listen - my guess is tha the "bang and twang, 3 minute song freak" would simply not "get" it, because you have to invest a little time as the session unfolds. Good time had by all, the "mosh pit" was actually a cocktail lounge setting - all that was missing was the smoke haze, illicit drugs and the hookers.

...yee gods it was wonderful. Bought the final cd from their back catalogue also [little old completist me] - it amazes me that they have been doing this since the late 80s and only occasionally bring recording gear to a gig, not knowing if what they are about to perform is going to be any good or not. I suspect there have been some seriously great music lost because there was no recording of it and never will it be repeated - improv is like that I guess. Still, I now have 13 or so of their albums, no two the same, all I like a lot.

And tell me that its real; Then ask me how I feel

... so I have been working at this asylum for a long time - it scares me to say this is my 19th year in the same place. Up until now I had not taken any long service leave because ... well ... I did not want to waste it. Both kids [well, young adults now] are finally finished school so "she who must be obeyed" and I are finally able to travel without them [not that we do not love them to bits, just they no longer really enjoy being shackled to their "olds", and quite right too - independence is the price you pay for growing up].

It is a truly odd feeling to be faced with an impending gap in asylum-related duties that is longer than the christmas holidays from which I have only just returned. I hope the inmates cope, but, really, it is not my problem during that time [even if I had to find my own replacement - thanks Kev, you are a lifesaver - is it normal for a person going on leave to have to find their own replacement? Or did I buy into the "we have not been able to find anyone" furphy, caused by a fundamental lack of actual looking? ... might be wrong, but suspect I am not]. Still, 4 weeks of teaching - that is 20 days, well, in truth 19 because there is a swimming carnival in the mix, in truth 18.5 because there is a half day badge/shiny thing giving out ceremony thing ... not that I am counting [would you like that in minutes?]. Must say I am looking forward to my break, selfishly I think I have earned it.

Here I stand, foot in hand, talking to my wall; Im not quite right at all

"All the Madmen" was the first Bowie song I had ever heard, waaaaaay back in 1972, off an obscure album called "The Man Who Sold the World" - lyrically clever, musically lush and 20 years ahead of its time. Do yourself a favour and track it down, you will not be disapointed.
Feeling:: buoyant ["throw me a buoy, I am drowing", He drowned amidst calls of "pervert" and "wierdo".]
Watching:: Jericho [and being amused by the post-apocalypse merchandising]
Reading:: "The Fifth Elephant" by Terry Pratchett [the depth of imagination this man displays is breathtaking]
Hearing:: "Piano Bass Drums" by The Necks [after seeing them live again - such a blast]
Accessed:: 2197 times so far, not that anyone is counting.

intaxication - The euphoria and wild elation you experience when receiving a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with, and is then replaced with "bracket creep" as you realise someone richer than you is able to engineer a bigger slice of return than you.
current blarg
previous blargs - :roboter: :time: :blue: :new: :annus horribilis: :hair: :vegicide: :i love lamp: :show: :life on mars: :plumbing the depths: :zoupa: :traces of nut: :freak of the week: :TV or not TV: :screwed: :pre-op: :what a nerve: :five yards: :gone: :one: :three: :four: :techno-logic: :ergo is not a dirty word: :15 mins: :online: :dust, anyone?: :notwerk: :sprung: :drive, she said...: :kidney: :iRate: :monitor: :alliance: :pamper: :allies: :heroes: :area: :appraisal: :barnstorming: :renegade: :where there is smoke...: :noob year: :dalek: :ende neu: :GOOtube: :place: :artery: :sewer: :fnq: :mole: :hols: :vote: :lumberjack: :prune: :plant: :opinion: :audit: :dig it: :neck: :life is a minestrone: :pastie: :fortysix: :away: :fully-sik: :play: :BoB2006: :cOMMunity: :pops: :bagge: :break: :pwnage: :n00b: :service with a snarl: :open: :NOT(advance): :nectarine: :sushi: :who?: :reception: :another day, another...?: :The WALL (reprise): :the WALL [part 2]: :the WALL [part 1]: :>insert seasons greetings here<: :surf: :Owe-Pee: :catAtonic: :over: :cUt: :airCON: :ooRoo: :building: :tick: :you raise me up: :duct: :yogified: :food glorious food: :diurnal anomoly: :operatunity: :wPod: :myPod [pod=foot, ok]: :is this the real life?: :bitter and twisted: :shiny: :Ahh, Serenity: :computer says no: :smef: :Go Maroon!: :best laid plans of mice: :Ready to Rok: :gravity 1, wonko 0: :Kairos 2: :fluv@x: :cluss prags: :LAN: :Axes of Evil: :Little Slices of Death: :Wrapped in plastic..: :A Horse is a horse, of course: :ego is not a dirty word: :Fun & Run: :Hedging and Edging: :Testiculation: :weak end: :I before E except after C: :Reality - hah!: :fluezy: :Too darned hot!: :Eye of the Storm?: :The Carnivale is Over: :Calm b4 the storm: :Asylum: :A Quest: :High Tea and "Back to Asylum Shopping": :hi ho, hi ho, it: :Working in a coal mine...: :Here I stand, foot in hand, talking to my wall...: :Another day ... another day, really: :We're here because we can:
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