Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Stop the world....I wanna get off....sometimes.

Technology is out of control. There.......I said it!!!!! Not that I don't enjoy a good chunk of it.....but......RELAX!!!!!! Do we need ipods that can hold 10,0000 tunes? How 'bout 100....200? I like music. A lot. I've been a musician since I was thirteen.....twelve? But I just don't need to carry music around and have it in my head 24/7. If I want to listen to music I know where to find it. It's around. Not far at all. All kinds. And I'm aware that it might be me. That I'm the nut. I've never owned good audio equipment. Over the years I've somehow acquired a stereo system, a couple of cd players and a fair amount of albums, tapes and cds. But I've always used these things as a means to an end. Usually to learn a song. That's why my records are beat to hell, a lot of my cassettes are tape snapped, cds skip and all my old cassette players have busted rewind buttons. You try to learn the bass part to "Revival." That's a lot of rewindin', man.
I bring this same mind set to instruments. I have friends who keep their guitars in "shrines". Rarely let them leave the case, let alone the house.....and don't you even THINK about touching it. Hey....c'mon it's a guitar!!!!! What would Robert Johnson say? Strum that bad boy!!!! I have a Martin D 28 that was a gift from a friend many years ago. I love that guitar. It's hanging on the wall right behind me. But it's been present at many a fireside jam, river party, porch party, house party, gig, in the back of my car, on my bike..........and it's got a few scars to show for it. I change the strings, wipe her down and back on the wall she goes. I give an occasional guitar/bass lesson and I always tell students to leave the instrument out...close at hand. When you sit down in front of the tube, pick it up and strum some chords. While waiting for the computer to warm up run some scales. As James Brown once said, "Owwww!!!!!, it'll do you no harm!" (Hey, did somebody forget to bury the "Godfather of Soul"or what? He's touring more now than he did when he was alive). I remember once reading about Paul McCartney tossing his famous Hofner bass to a curious reporter....and thinking nothing of it. The guy almost had a heart attack, but he WAS asking about it. See...Paul understands. Now, don't take this as a lack of respect. It's just that I see instruments, especially mine, as old friends, not icons. One night in 1976 I was playing at a club called "Dodd's" in West Orange, NJ. I used my Fender Precision bass to deflect a flying beer bottle. Carried that ding around till one night the guitar was stolen from the back seat of my car......along with a hand made guitar strap that I loved. I've always kept an eye open for that strap.
But, as usual, I digress. I'm just saying, could we slow down......a little? Y'know.... the old smell the roses/coffee thing. Hey......R & D guys........we don't need faster, bigger, smaller, brighter, darker, sleeker, more intelligent.....right now...today, do we? As the old joke goes, "Patience...jackass." And having said all that, I too, am guilty of "wanting it now." I got a new computer last year and this mamma jamma can do anything short of fixing dinner. Sometimes I float around on it just to see what's in there. Way more than I need. I don't need 75 games. How 'bout ten. I don't need four or five ways to play music or open pictures. How' 'bout......ONE!!!! I'm just not that bright.
But I discovered that my computer has a program to make cd labels, inserts etc. Now you've got my interest. Great for the home studio guy. But as I'm going through it I'm thinking, "Yeah, well this is good but if it could only do that........ Hey, it's not my fault I can't do both sides of the insert, it's my computer's." See, like the good bleeding heart liberal that I am, I refuse to take responsibility. There, I feel better.
So I guess the moral is, choose your poison. We all need something from this steamrolling technology. Someone wants 10,000 tunes in an ipod the size of a quarter...so...go for it. Someone wants a cell phone that can take a picture and immediately be sent to grandma's e - mail.......so....go for it. I want this. You want that. As my grandfather would say,"That's what makes a horse race." But doesn't it seem like things are getting exponentially faster? I just had a birthday so maybe it's the age thing.....but....I don't think so. Let's be careful. I refer you to "2001 A Space Odessey's" Hal. You remember Hal......that nutty, rapscallion of a computer? "You're not going anywhere, Dave. Sit down and shut up, before I RIP YOUR HEART OUT!!!!"......or something like that. We're getting there. The little paper clip icon knocks on my computer screen everytime I try to do something that can't be done and gives me that, "Hey idiot" look. Oh yeah, I can just imagine him and the little dog and tiny Einstein all back there having a good laugh.
Now, I like water. I love and need water. We all do. But I don't feel compelled to carry it around. We don't live in the Kalahari. Water is available. Close. I'll bet you could walk to a water source. You won't shrivel up. STOP!!!!!! So upgrade to the latest version of XP and put all your instruments in a vault. Plug your brain directly into the nearest music source and I heard it might rain so run.......RUN....... to the nearest grocery store for milk, eggs, and ....water. Must.........have...........water. Ahhh.... again... I feel better.
Solo Gig - Fri, Apr 27, at the Arc of Hunterdon County, 7 - 9pm
Annandale, NJ
Check out my archived blogs....if you dare..
and listen in Thurs morns 6 - 9am on www.wdvrfm.org

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