Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rock Bottom by Robert Wyatt is an amazing record. It was made after Wyatt broke his back and became wheelchair bound. Before that he was in Soft Machine, doin' Canterbury prog-jazz thing. Rock Bottom bears some resemblance to that music but its more open-ended, with a mobility similar to a sea creature moving through the ocean, many tendriled.

Alifib by Robert Wyatt

Not nit not nit no not
Nit nit folly bololey
Alifi my larder
Alifi my larder
I can't forsake you or
Forsqueak you
Alifi my larder
Alifi my larder
Confiscate or make you
Late you you
Alifi my larder
Alifi my larder
Not nit not nit no not
Nit nit folly bololy
Burlybunch, the water mole
Hellyplop and fingerhole
Not a wossit bundy, see ?
For jangle and bojangle
Trip trip
Pip pippy pippy pip pip landerim
Alifi my larder
Alifi my larder
(I'm not your larder,
jammy jars and mustard.
I'm not your dinner,
you soppy old custard.
And what's a bololey
when it's a folly?
I'm not your larder,
I'm your dear little dolly.
But when plops get too helly
I'll fill up your belly.
I'm not your larder,
I'm Alife your guarder).

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Joanna Newsome's The Milk Eyed Mender just keeps blowing me away. There are points, like with any great record, of just listening and being astonished. I think a feeling of astonishment, almost being overwhelmed is important. And I don't mean technical or special effects or that type of thing. The Raincoats for instance, are astonishing. Just listening to them make music together on their first record, is astonishing. But yeah about Joanna Newsome's music, there's just something about the synthesis of the voice, the instrument and the words, that feels so new, so rare. But there's a natural openness. She has an emotional dexterity within the music. Like say, Monk, the music is very complex and very moving at the same time. There's music in the whole body. Ecstatic. It doesn't have to be a mystical or a religious fervor, just a human making sound matter in the air. And contact. Basic intimacy, as in 'I to you and you to me' (Frank O'Hara). Joanna Newsome's music is enigmatic at the same time tho, I grant you. Meaning simply she doesn't hold your hold. But this gives you more to key into every listen. And you can also passively listen. Its just a wonderful sound to have in the air of one's immediate environment. And everything's in the air. When you make a sound you put it into the air. Joanna Newsome puts her perception, her experience of being alive and knowing others are alive into the air, like in any art.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The purpose of this blog, if I can continue with it, and for some reason I feel that it must have a purpose and that I must continue with it, will be to learn how to write critically in my own way. That is without having to resort to phrases like 'the plain musical tautness of Lorine Niedecker'. Without having to resort to 'phrases' at all for that matter. I mean maybe LN's poems do have said quality, but it doesn't feel like something that comes from my experience of the work. Its very hard to get to that. No big surprise, but one person who I feel is able to do that is Alice Notley in Coming After. And there's a temptation to try for Lester Bangs prosody. He did pretty much write about everything. But its seems ill-advised, after how many have imitated him, to go down that road. The other big rock critic I read in my teens and early early twenties was Simon Reynolds. I remember being pretty bowled over by The Sex Revolts. I found myself really turned off by it after a recent rereading tho. Like Bly on poetry, too many binaries. Putting things in binaries is just too easy. This will be mostly a poetics blog. I won't consider it a poetry blog because dodo is that, and its that because it really is all poetry, or has been for some time. Thing about poetics blogs, lime tree, Silliman's Blog, bemsha swing et al., is that they all seem to have an implied basis (at least partly) in theory. Maybe theory's not the right word, but what I mean is an implied thing where you at least partly understand poetry through, I don't know, Roland Barthes. I have always thought (really) that the way one understands poetry is through itself. I mean you could look at Lunch Poems and contextualize it with the work of someone who dealt theoretically in a similar vein. I think people like Ron Silliman have done alot to bring that about. Do you have to tho? But like I said I just don't have that frame of reference. I'd love to read Barthes. I'd probably like it alot. But I always just figured you understand poetry by reading poetry. Like with Notley. If you want to understand her poetry, you read her poetry with an open mind. And then maybe you read some poets she mentions in interviews and such, who might have influenced her own work. Is this naive?