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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A new ramble: a film, some lists, the death of Michael Jackson, and new South African music.

I haven't posted anything here for a year and a half. I'm not sure why. It's certainly not because I'm less cynical nor less inclined to ramble. I just came to think that there HAS to be a balance of rambling whinging (this) & positive output (in my case, making music.) Only lately, really, has the latter started to find some footing. Which means, yay!, the whinge can continue in a mind-boggling ramble...

So, I just watched (by chance) a film called The Big Kahuna. I really enjoyed it, though I was quite surprised that they chose to use Baz Luhrman's Everyone's Free (To Wear Sunscreen) at the end & over the credits. That's from Romeo + Juliet right? Well, no. A bit of Google & Wikipedia and you find the origins of the song here, and that the song is not in Romeo + Juliet, even if it is on the soundtrack release...and so the tangled twists of trivia continue. Pursue them if you want to...

I finished watching the film, and on my way back to my computer to do some scoring work, and somewhat still reeling from something of a caffeine overdose (intense, complete with twitching & anxiety) earlier in the day, I thought THIS:

I'd say that Michael Jackson embodied everything that sort of gets my goat these days. That's not to say I don't like his music - far from it. His music is fantastic.
But, the (global? mostly Western?) obsessions with:
money (and lack thereof - see: global economic meltdown);
fame (and fear of anonymity - see: the ever present tabloid media);
dog-eat-dog competitivity (and loss there-in - see: televised embarrassing auditions for 'reality' talent shows, tears and disappointment included, the glee of rejection);
and childhood as the supreme human state (and nostalgia for its passing, see: endless tirade of comic book films & remakes, see: billionaire fluff 'artist' Miley Cyrus).
These are all gripes of mine, and Michael 'Scapegoat' Jackson personified all of them.

So, MJ was The 20th Century Man:
fabulously rich (yet impossibly in debt);
globally familiar (yet highly reclusive - even a shape-shifter... ultimately unrecognisable as himself but entirely unique in his appearance, male/female/black/white/adult/child/dead/immortal);
a recognised, enormously successful & genuine artistic genius in all dominant popular mediums (music, dance, television, fashion - yet always at the mercy of public whim, their critics, incessantly, publically scrutinised & ridiculed);
and a man who spent his entire life (basically) in his childhood, so powerful was his rebellion of its loss.

Renaissance Man, the last...Recession Man, the ultimate.

I thought I had posted this next link before, and written something about A Necessary Music, but it looks like I haven't. Follow this to find & read Robert Ashley' s lecture on the future of music, (in four parts, presented in 2000). Maybe I'll write my thoughts on it someday, 'cos it was quite striking - for now I'll just say this: 9 years down the line and the man seems to have been on to something...scary, but exciting too.

Aaaah.... now that's a trail of thought threads that I don't care to trace backwards... but I do know where they started, even if I don't know quite how they got to this point, and that was watching The Big Kahuna. Without wanting to give anything of the plot away (I hate when people do that!), I was just left with the thoughts of purpose, and the meaningfulness of just doing things, and allowing other people to just do their things, and how honesty will always prevail, and how in 2009 the purpose of the composer and the songwriter and the performer are suddenly incredibly different from what they were just a few years ago - which reminded me of Ashley's lecture. The death of Michael Jackson might hopefully stand for the death (or now-necessary decline) of those gripe-inducing factors he was the (probably unwilling) bastion of. At least, I think that the last of the great, Earth-dominating entertainers, has passed.

The only reason I've actually posted this is because a man I've never met sort of asked me to, because I listened to his album, which he has offered for free, and I really like the album, and I told him so, so he read my blog, which I don't post to anymore, so...

I think that's pretty neat. You can download Righard Kapp's latest album here: Strung Like a Compound Eye. Enjoy....