Thursday, June 1, 2017

Musical Theater Therapy: "Tour De France"

From the musical Amélie.

When You Gotta Go...

CASH Music is a non-profit that's working to create and provide open source tools and information for musicians, along with advocacy on behalf of musicians with respect to issues that affect them in the digital era, like net neutrality and covfefe. Sorry, it's late here; I'm punchy.

Years ago I donated money, a Kickstarter-type thing, to help CASH Music get going. I reached out to them, intending to volunteer writing documentation for their tools. Or I meant to but didn't. Either way I never heard back from them, so it's entirely on them that I didn't do that.

An occasional email from CM would show up reminding me of their existence which would last a few hours, probably.

I think I got to pick a thank you from the whatever level I donated at. Let's say the Marvin Gaye level. It's very possible there was a t-shirt and that the size options meant that Clark got that shirt. Which is fine.

At some point I started following a dude on Twitter with the too cool to be real name of Jesse Von Doom PhD. Dr. Von Doom. I know there were a few times over the course of Twitter life when I'd remember that he was with CM and different times when I'd remember that he is in Portland. So he's a neighbor.

Blah blah blah, he's leaving his role as Executive Director of CM (remaining on its board) and the whole reason I'm even writing this post is that I love his post announcing his departure and I want to have it available to shamelessly steal aspects of it for my later use.

The full post is here. I'm copying the content without formatting below.

Well… gotta go.
The shortest possible version: I resigned my role as Executive Director of CASH Music, Maggie’s in charge, and I plan to vigorously support her from the board of the organization.
It was October 2007. The Red Sox were playing Cleveland in the ALCS. Joe Castiglione was telling me all about it from the shitty AM radio in my friend Jack’s car. We were driving back home to Rhode Island from New York where CMJ had just wrapped. I saw the best Xiu Xiu show I’ve ever seen and sang the worst karaoke you could imagine. I also met Maggie Vail for the first time in person on that trip, but it’s not time for that part of the story yet.
Jack had this story about a friend who would drive up to a toll booth, pay the fare, then say “well…gotta go” as he drove off.
It’s funnier when he tells it.
But here we are at a toll booth so we decide it’s time for us to be cool. Neither of us had ever really been cool so we thought we’d give it a try. Jack pays and says “well…” I finish it with “gotta go.”
Jack missed the gear. The engine revved. We didn’t go anywhere. Makes a better story in retrospect, and it’s a good reminder that sometimes shit just doesn’t go the way you had hoped.
That trip was the first I made as part of CASH Music, only a few months into a ten year journey. This is my last post as Executive Director of CASH. This isn’t the ending I had hoped for, but it’s been a great fucking story.
Here’s the real talk part: it’s a bad time to be a small nonprofit. Revenue is down. Giving is gone. Focus is nonexistent. CASH doesn’t have the budget to support a full staff and I’ve taken on a lot of personal debt to subsidize my work on CASH Music. I’m not in a position to continue, and to be blunt: I carry a lot of intellectual baggage after ten years. A change in leadership is for the best of the organization.
Leaving CASH Music is bittersweet but I’m nothing but thrilled to say that Maggie will take the Executive Director position and make this organization I love so dearly her own. She has a vision for where CASH needs to go, a plan to revitalize the organization, and my full support.
I’ll still work as a volunteer to help guide the CASH Music platform development and I’ve taken a seat on the board. I’m not gone, but it’s time for me to play a support role for Maggie and I ask that you do the same. The mission of finding open and sustainable career options for artists is vital now more than ever. It’s getting dark here in America, and artists hold the light that can lead us to better times. The idea of CASH Music more important than you realize.
A few things before I go:
  • If you work in the music industry: stop being so fucking stupid. Stop letting startups fool you over and over again, building the longest daisy chain of middlemen the world has ever seen. Collaborate on open technology and use your shared strength to compete.
  • I mean I get it: fuck this president. But while you’re out there working to #resist you need to work for a world you want to live in. Don’t just look to fight against the things that make you sad. Look to support the things that bring you joy.
  • Buy music.
  • Buy music from musicians.
  • Buy music from musicians at their shows.
  • Buy music from musicians at their shows and on their websites.
  • Thank the people who inspire you. They don’t hear it as much as you’d think and there’s no shortage of assholes tearing them down.
  • Fight for a fair, free, neutral, and inclusive Internet.
  • Eat more vegetables.
I’m not sure how to end this other than to say, simply, thank you.

Dolly is how he ended the post. And Carly Simon is how I'm ending this post about his post.

Song of the Day: "Still Summer"

Matt Pond says that after the tour for Matt Pond PA's 12th album, Still Summer, concludes, Matt Pond PA will be no more.

It's weird when the dude's name is the band's name, right?

Still, sounds like he/they're going out on a high note based on this track.

Song: "Still Summer"
Artist: Matt Pond PA

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Musical Theater Therapy: "Recit de Cassard"

From The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, part of Musical Theater Therapy's Paris in Spring Thing.

A Quick Guide to Mento*

I've been watching Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law on Hulu for the last few hours. If I haven't enthused about the show directly to you I will do so now: the show is a brilliantly imagined look at the post-superhero life of Birdman (no relation to this), now an attorney in the Hanna-Barbera shared continuity, wherein Birdman (Harvey to friends) represents many characters in a variety of exploits.

By the way, Harvey Birdman, HB; Hanna-Barbera, HB... thoughts?

The show features great voice work from Gary Cole, Steven Colbert, Peter MacNichol and John Michael Higgins as Mentok. I love Higgins as Mentok, especially the character-supplied sound effects. It inspires me to add my own sound effects to everyday tasks, a thing I need to avoid doing if I ever hope to gain real employment ever again.

* The asterisk in this post's title is meant to indicate a wildcard character and not a footnote, even though I'm posting a footnote for it.

The Unimaginable Fuck Revisited

A few days later and the events from last Friday that began with an Islamophobic and anti-immigrant rant directed at 2 teenage girls (TEENAGE GIRLS for fuck's sake) by a white supremacist twice their age, and which ended with 2 men dead, one critically injured, and (thankfully) the attacker arrested are now more frustrating than confusing.

This article breaks down the events.
Passengers Best, Namkai-Mache and a third man, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, were trying to deescalate the tense situation, intervene and get Christian off the train, she said. Macy said she didn't know where the two teenage girls who were the target of his racist rants were seated. She said it appeared as if the men who were stabbed "were trying to be a barrier'' between Christian and the girls.
I take solace knowing that the headline might have read "commuters watch in horror as 2 girls killed."

The more I learn about the 3 men who stood between the attacker and the girls, the more my heart beams at their deed and their character. It's as though their backstories, each with Portland flair, had been written after the attack: an award winning poet with a history of addressing Islamophobia, a city employee who was a coworker to friends of mine, and a Reed College graduate with an inexplicable name whose last words bring tears to my eyes when I consider them.
"Tell everyone on this train I love them."--Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche
I can imagine my last words as a variation: "tell everyone on this train to go fuck themselves."

He was 23 years old and his final words are those of a man at one with serenity.

In the chaos of the attack, several people stepped up to help the victims heroes or to ensure that the attacker wouldn't get away. Giving comfort to the dying is such a considerate thoughtful magnanimous act. First aid, yes, I would have had the presence of mind to do what I could with first aid, and/or pursuing the attacker (not capturing him, mind you, and likely to be too winded after 1/4 of a block to keep up). I am considerate, but I tend toward the... not sure if pragmatic or utilitarian is the right word... I'll go with utilitarian because that means practical but not necessarily attractive.

Adding to my to-do list: be more mindful about being more mindful.

Also: figure out some last words that will make everyone think I'm great.

Mayor Ted Wheeler continues a string of bad decisions by requesting that the Feds rescind permits for an alt-right a white supremacist rally scheduled for this weekend. Why he couldn't just ask Portland Police to handle that rally the same way they handle peaceful liberal gatherings is beyond me.

The Oregon ACLU now gets to fight for the alt-right's right to party. They have so much other shit to deal with right now that they shouldn't have to address this too.

Song of the Day: "The Ultimate Jedi Who Wastes All the Other Jedi and Eats Their Bones"

When you're a Jedi you're a Jedi all the way, from your first light saber to that time you're cut in half after vowing to come back more powerful than ever only that never really happened, did it.

Song: "The Ultimate Jedi Who Wastes All the Other Jedi and Eats Their Bones"
Artist: Mountain Goats

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Song of the Day: "LIFE, LIFE"

Ryuichi Sakamoto released his first solo album in 8 years recently. One of the few tracks with vocals reunites him with David Sylvian. It lacks the ethereal brilliance of their earlier collaborations, possibly because the lyrics are a poem by Russian poet Arseny Tarkovsky (although it stands to reason that if it's a poem, it's by a poet; that he's Russian might have been clear from the name).

I was hoping for more of a "Madonna when she's produced by William Orbit" kind of thing.

Song: "LIFE, LIFE"
Artist: Ryuichi Sakamoto/David Sylvian

Monday, May 29, 2017

Musical Theater Therapy: "New York, New York"

From On the Town...

Song of the Day: "Anymore"

I know I should appreciate Goldfrapp more than I do, but she/they are burdened by this vague association of the moody electronic sound with some European auto racing video game that I hallucinate.

Song: "Anymore"
Artist: Goldfrapp

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Musical Theater Therapy: "Maria"

A song I'd always thought was called "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" but it's not... from The Sound of Music

Bonus: peer feedback for Maria K

Song of the Day: "Tired as Fuck"

Who can say why YouTube recommended this track by The Staves to me: probably my eager ear. 

The band is composed of 3 sisters who "are vocal in challenging tropes about sensitive wilderness-bound artists that dominate modern folk music culture."