How Am I Not Myself?

Some notes from the long icy weekend of staying home:

The DVD commentary by writer/director David O. Russell on I ♥ Huckabees is something I highly recommend. It reminds me of a companion study guide as Russell is given the room to expand on the ideas the film presents. When I first saw the movie, I just enjoyed it as a clever head scratcher, plus I went to a late show and was sleepy at the time. I know my date fell asleep, and I think I may have as well. But after watching it again, I realize it’s a great movie for anyone with an interest in Zen or Existentialism or philosophy in general. It’s a great unpacking of a lot of important concepts for modern, thoughtful living.

I also recommend Kentucky Fried Movie.

Much of my weekend was spent in the music room playing either keyboard or guitar. I plowed through a stack of Guitar One back issues. On the piano I discovered something completely new to me: the black keys spell out an E flat pentatonic minor scale. This means that anything you do will sound cool if you use the E flat key as your tonic. Even better, that black keys are raised, so there’s more lattitude for sloppy playing. This struck me as a tremendous metaphor for music in general: the white keys spell out the traditional C Major/A minor scales that form the basis of European classical music while the black keys spell out the pentatonic scale, the basis for all blues and rock music. Ebony and ivory indeed.

I also got my cool, and apparently rare, Quik Lok tiltable keyboard stand last week. It had been on backorder from Sam Ash for so long I had given up hope of pretending I’m Tom Brislin.

Another pleasant surprise: I never noticed my copy of John Coltrane’s Blue Train had a CD-ROM feature. The bad news: the disc is from the mid-90’s. Meaning it wouldn’t work quite right and I think I accidentally installed Quicktime circa 1997. Oh well, a video and tons of audio interviews will make up for that.

And finally, Bill Graham’s vault. So many vintage posters, t-shirts, and more from the late San Francisco promoter/manager extraordinaire. He is generally credited with inventing the rock concert as we know it, and apparently he was quite the pack rat.  While much of it is super-expensive vintage memorabilia, there are some cool reproduction t-shirts that I’m thinking about getting.

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