At first I didn't quite know what I would do with the book, other than read it over and over again. My distrust of history then was still strong, and I wanted to concentrate on the story for its own sake, rather than on the manuscript's scientific, cultural, anthropological, or 'historical' value. I was drawn to the author himself.
This page renders best in Firefox (or Safari, or Chrome)
READIN started out as a place for me
to keep track of what I am reading, and to learn (slowly, slowly)
how to design a web site.
There has been some mission drift
here and there, but in general that's still what it is. Some of
the main things I write about here are
listening to (and playing) music, and
watching the movies. Also I write about the
work I do with my hands and with my head; and of course about bringing up Sylvia.
The site is a bit of a work in progress. New features will come on-line now and then; and you will occasionally get error messages in place of the blog, for the forseeable future. Cut me some slack, I'm just doing it for fun! And if you see an error message you think I should know about, please drop me a line. READIN source code is PHP and CSS, and available on request, in case you want to see how it works.
So I'm hereby formalizing what's been going on for the past couple of weeks -- Every time John and I practice this year I want to tape it and upload some highlights to you tube...
This week's session was a lot of fun, although the placement of the tripod and the lighting arrangement could both have been a little, even a lot, better. A rockin jam -- the best part was when John forgot to bring our gig book -- and I'm getting better at editing the tape.
In later years music historians would speak of the Lonesome Nickel tapes as the birthplace of the Mountain Station sound.
Circle be unbroken -- traditional
Green Eyes -- Coldplay
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll -- Bob Dylan
"ten little monkeys" jam
500 Miles -- traditional
God-damn Lonely Love -- Drive-by Truckers
Lonesome Nickel -- Jeremy Osner
According to a 1955 assessment of the Library's manuscripts for the Bulletin of the Institute of Ethnology Academia Sinica (Taipei, Taiwan, 1958) by art historian Li Lin-Ts'an, "The Yunnan Province was famous for Yunnan pines. Their wood, after being set on fire, liberates a soot which is easy to collect. This soot, when mixed with some glue and water, forms an excellent ink. During winter, the leisure season for farmers, the [Naxi] sorcerers, without any farming work to do, sat down by their fireplace and using a bamboo pen dipped it into their ink while humming to themselves, and they began to write a Sacred Book for pleasure or for some special festival usage."
Mr. Li wrote: "The books for sacrifices to those who committed suicide from frustrated love are the most romantic and poetic of the [Naxi] people. The [Naxi] youth all believe that at the upper part of the Jade Dragon Mountain, just under the white snow peaks, there is a wonderful land, with thousands of kinds of flowers covering its fields, called 'The Kingdom of the Suicide Lovers.' If any couple, who because of love frustration, climb to this wonderful place and kill themselves, they will never part from each other again and will keep their youth and beauty forever, and will be happy always."
Mr. Li reported that 440 of the volumes in the Library's collection were for funeral ceremonies. "This great number is due to the fact that the [Naxi] people look upon death as an affair of great moment." The Naxis believe the soul goes immediately to hell. One of the Dongbas' primary duties is to lead souls out of hell. Another 74 volumes were used for divination, wrote Li. "The [Naxi] people are a tribe whose members like divination above all other things."
I picked up Fantagraphics' Krazy and Ignatz (b/w Sunday pages, 1933-34) yesterday evening -- reading along on my commute and I am amazed to see this strip, which I feel just sure is a direct inspiration for Dr. Seuss' Good King Looie story. (Or I will think that absent any evidence to the contrary anyway.)
Hm, haven't posted any fiddling in a while. Here is me playing an arrangement of "This land is your land" by Woody Guthrie.
Mountain Station played a song today at the Saturday Afternoon Song Swap in Millburn, and it was a lot of fun. Highlight of the afternoon was (maybe) the song (by a musician whose name I did not catch, rats) based on a Chinese funeral scroll that I need to find out more about.
You have to look at it for a while to make them out, but there are some interesting patterns in the blackness. The image is my neighbor's house across the street, a tree in his front yard, and behind his house a light shining on the westbound platform at Mountain Station. There is enough of a mist in the air to give the lamp a nice halo.