Angela Bocage


Music crushes…one’s already fulfilled…

For sooo long I haz had a crush on my friend The Musical Instrument Cat Lady’s lovely warmly golden varnished wood lap steel guitar. Even unamplified, its sounds have entranced my ADD brain as I held it lovingly on lap and stroked its strings…and now that my friend has a really gorgeous new shiny black one with better features ‘n’ all, my just-the-perfect-lil-awesome-crush-object-instrument came home with me, late Monday night! I had never taken the Chinatown bus to NY, we were going to see music at Jalopy Sunday night, but by the time I got there we were pretty late. Thank goodness we decided to go anyhow! I wanted to live there. All the performances we saw were cool, first a dobro-harmonica duo whose name I am sorry I could not hear, then deadpan-atavistic vocalist Elizabeth Butters with sis Emily singing harmony and a kickass banjo player, and a group called George [couldn’t hear it] and the Phantoms that blew me away. The lead singer/hollow-body guitar player had contract-with-the-devil pipes that could do it all, the piano player was magic; Hank Williams would’ve smiled at the way his lovesick blues were accompanied and sung. I love love love the venue. Lots of old musical instruments on the wall, including examples of my current unattainable lust, the BANJO. The banjo player from the Butters’ band was even kind enough to start telling me some things I ought to consider once I am able to banjo-shop seriously, but my three comrades were leaving and the other two were kind enough to give TMICL and I a ride back to Manhattan, so I had to apologizerealfast and run…but the musicky goodness just never ended: later we listened to Sonatas for Viola da Gamba by J.S. Bach, an astringently pretty CD of mostly-solo oud, some cumbias, and the Ghanaian koura record Yasimika. When a cool new friend shared some gorgeous images of Palo Duro Canyon, juxtaposed with Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting of crows in the same landscape, the memory of ¬†Yasimika’s ecstatic voices and Bach’s ethereal pipe organ accompanying the violas da gamba poured back into my mind. TMICL is going to burn those for me to share right back with her, which seems fitting.

My music-theory-for-bassists book quoted the saying “Music is humanity’s defense against the arbitrary…” It’s the first time in my experience an aphorism’s mutated into an earworm! My earworm panacaea’s Some Other Time, from X’s Wild Gift, better listen asap! ¬†I’m so thankful to live in a world with music like this. And unlike it, too: Kirtani, klezmer and gamelan! But also a world in which “painting” could be substituted for music in that phrase, where there are Giorgio Morandi, Diebenkorn, O’Keeffe, deserts, rivers, skies that turn blue from grey, and the beautiful brains of my friends.

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