Posts Tagged ‘Manifesto’

Went Caspian

March 30, 2010 Leave a comment

I was a hesitant Phish fan for many years.  I think it just took me a long time to ‘get it’.  But it takes me a long time to ‘get’ most trends.  I guess I’m just slow like that.

Then again, Phish are hardly a trend. They’re something very special and timeless.  A successful experience with Phish is one that appeals to the very essence of what it means to be a human being – the realization that we can revel in melody, in rhythms, and in the communal experience of a concert. And to those who don’t ‘get it’, I can only say that I’m sorry.

Look, you need’nt be a wanderlusting vagabond to appreciate this band. Do not let the reputation that’s perpetuated about a small sect of their fandom keep you away.  In a time where the market is absolutely saturated with bands – most of whom are bereft of staying power or individuality – Phish are one of the great forces in rock and roll that still care to share their abilities with audiences.

Sorry, what’s the cause for this screed? Most Phish fans get pulled into the band via one specific song, or jam.  For me, the performance that really hooked me was their ‘Prince Caspian’ from the Great Went.  It’s not necessarily a ‘jam’ per-se, but instead an exposition for the guitar.  But in being so, it also demonstrates what Phish do best.  Here you have essentially one long solo, but in that solo are several different melodies, all completely spontaneous, and all resolutely furnished by the other three members.  It’s a real triumph.

So if you hate my self-important soliloquies, then I’m truly sorry I wasted your time.  But if you’re curious about what it takes to turn a normal dude/casual fan into a normal dude/serious fan, then look no further…

Categories: Music Tags: , ,

A guide to set your compass…

March 24, 2010 Leave a comment

President Obama’s recent victory on health care got me thinking about the election days, and the talent he demonstrated therein.  While mulling over some old youtube clips I stumbled over this snippet of a Colin Powell ‘Meet the Press’ sitting, where it was billed that he would publicly endorse the Senator from Illinois.  He did do so, but what stuck with me was the beautiful, eloquent preamble he gave to his endorsement.  I remember seeing this clip when it happened, and I distinctly remember thinking how refreshing it was.  Here was a major political figure being completely candid on national television.  When does that ever happen? Gen. Powell is a patriot of the highest order, and – in my opinion – couldn’t be more dead on in his assertions.

The good stuff begins at 4:30.


Categories: About Me, Religion Tags: , ,

There’s Only One

November 11, 2009 Leave a comment


I’ve been going to New York city at least twice a year since I was a wee boy.  I didn’t appreciate much back then, especially not much of what it meant for me – a kid from the DC ‘burbs – to be in glorious New York.  However, I did get a feeling from the city – an intense buzz I would say is akin to watching the lions get fed at a zoo.  Truly.  I don’t know how old I was, but I distinctly recall sensing that I was in middle of something startlingly different from my own life, something important, something great.

Not too long ago, I was in New York city, and sure enough, after 18 months NY-free, the feeling came flooding back.  Not only had my body not forgotten it, but it hadn’t lost one ounce of its intensity.  Now, I’m not saying New York is my favorite city – it’s not.  Nor do I think I could ever live there.  But, what is abundantly clear to me, is that New York is the greatest city in the world.  I’m not trying to be a douche, but I’ve been to great cities all over the world.  Seoul, Tokyo, Barcelona, London, Paris, Hanoi, and I’m not even going to mention all of the big American guys… all of these grand metropolises, and none can come close to conjuring up the vivid electricity I feel in the Big Apple.

To all my friends now making their lives in ‘the city’: I admire you, I wish you the best of luck, and I humbly ask in advance that you retain a couch so that I may come and get my fix from time to time.

Categories: About Me Tags: , ,


October 23, 2009 Leave a comment


I’m currently at a wild, but not necessarily exotic place in my life.  I keep reminding myself that I’m young, though I can’t help but see the glaring realities of my situation: I’m unemployed, dispassionate about the plan I had formulated for the last year, and not quite sure where to go from here.  I suppose I’m comforted by the fact that many others are in a similar dilemma.  But still, imagining this untangible doesn’t make waking up every morning any easier.

I’ve always been a person who lives heavily in his own head.  I share constantly, because to do otherwise would cause either my heart or my head to spontaneously combust.  I’m the kind of guy who NEEDS a solid relaxant that I can always return to.

In this case, and in so many other similar instances, I turn to my Martin guitar.  Cheesy though it is, I have a real emotional connection to my instrument.  First of all, to me, Martins are not just any guitar.  Like Ford, Coke, or John Deer; Martin is an American classic.  They are as integral to the American musical tradition as any other single factor, and so I react with equal amounts of pride and awe while playing my own.  Moreover, my guitar – though I suppose it could be any guitar, really – allows me to fully escape the mental pitfalls of life.  As I play, I’m at once completely physically present, though I couldn’t be further away mentally.  It is almost impossible to talk with me while I’m playing.  I’m really gone in a lot of ways.  And while I wish I could parlay my passion into a career, I’m content to just use my guitar as an agent of escape.

There’s a lot that could go wrong in my life at this point.  The stakes are higher than they’ve ever been, and I’m surrounded by people I love, whom I desperately don’t want to let down.  I think about this every morning that I wake up.  It’s heavy, very heavy.  However, I will admit it’s all palatable, well, in a lot of ways, but most readily because my Martin guitar is among the first things I see every morning.  So while I’m probably thinking dreadful thoughts, at least there is a solid anchor nearby to keep me from floating off into a morass of self-doubt and insecurity.

Categories: About Me Tags:

The Band – Acadian Driftwood

October 12, 2009 Leave a comment


“Everlasting summer filled with ill content… this government had us walking in chains… this isn’t my turf… this aint my season… I can’t think of one good reason to remain… I’ve worked in the sugar fields up from a New Orleans… It was ever green up until the flood… you could call it an omen… it points you where you’re goin… Set my compass north… I got winter in my blood.” – JRR

Categories: Music Tags: , ,


October 9, 2009 Leave a comment


Living in the DC area exposes one to a variety of accents.  We get a little New York, a lot of deep south, and a good mix in between.  Unfortunately this mix includes a disproportionate amount of Baltimore.  I say this without reservation: the Baltimore accent is the grossest accent I’ve ever heard.  I’m not sure I can describe it, at least with the amount of clarity that it deserves.  I suppose I could say that it’s a fusion of rural Pennsylvania, booze, and high cholesterol.  It’s the type of accent you would imagine all overweight, female phone operators might have.  Now, I’m not making any statement of the people of Baltimore themselves.  I just think that they have one of the most truly unfortunate accents in the known universe.

Here is the best that youtube has to offer.

p.s. – If anyone can find a ‘natural’ Baltimorian letting it rip, please, PLEASE send me the link.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Putting it out there…

October 7, 2009 Leave a comment

I realized something while watching “Into the Wild” on the tube today.  When I get on in years and starting looking for a permanent partner on this mortal coil, I hope to end up with a woman who looks like Catherine Keener, and is actually like an amalgam of all her characters.

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