Up 7. Meditated 15 min. Took something Bree is returning to UPS Store. Sent files to band. Worked on a “complete” project/to-do list for a while. Left at 11. Therapy. Lunch, finished Deveaux. Looked in an Urban Outfitters for sweaters (unlikely). Bought Bree an Ethernet cable. Sat over coffee for an hr., wrote a couple of pages of “free” notes.
Listened to the rest of Mark Turner s/t on train home. Subtle to a fault (it’s an early record as a leader). Read a tiny UPD chapbook by Sareeta Morgan. Sort of a semi-abstract second-personal-plural young-and-confused-in-the-city poem. Looked for sweaters in outlet stores on 82nd, also to no avail. Bought a new stock file folders. Took care of a tax detail, put in laundry, read 30 p. Brecht (see below), put laundry in drier. Left at 7:15. Met Pete Galub at Le Poisson Rouge, watched opening band, a heavily processed guitar/loops/drum duo called Yvette. Not bad, and a couple of decent tunes in the vein of “difficult” Wire, but they looked exactly the way they were supposed to for how they sounded, esp. in the club’s hi-contrast lighting, and what is the point of being “noisy” if everything’s going to come down to 4-bar periods anyway? Followed by This is Not This Heat: 6-person lineup, with I guess one orig. member in addition to Charles Hayward, ‘cos the other 4 were younger. I liked that one played out clarinet as much as guitar — gave it that non-idiomatic Brit texture. Some pieces “rocked” more than others, would liked to have been more familiar w/ the words; one was a kind of Arabic-dub groove over which bits of the Preamble to the Constitution was sung, presumably to say it would have been nice if they’d meant it. Got tired of standing at the front of the crowd about 1/2 way in, sat in back, ran into Chris Nelson, talked about doing some kind of duo situation, possible for Che Chen’s series at Outpost on 4/18. Read quota of W&P on the way home, listened to the Thermals first album and a little bit of an Earl Hines compilation. Lights out midnight. Seem to be out later than I’d like the nights before I have to teach.
Brecht, from “Letters on recent reading,” 1944 (901)
With pleasure I read
How Horace traces the evolution
Of Saturnian verse from rustic farces
Which did not spare the great families, that is until
The police banned mischievous songs, and
The taunting writers were forced to develop
A more subtle art and to taunt
With more elegant verse forms. That at least
Is how I construe the passage.
[This conceivably bears on the transition from blues to popular-song forms as a basis for jazz - very rough analogy, but a striking passage.]
1st stanza of “On the critical attitude,” c. 1945 (1927)
The critical attitude
Seems to many unfruitful.
That is because in the body politic
They can achieve nothing with their critique.
But what seems in this case an unfruitful attitude
Is simply a weak attitude. A critique with weapons
Can smash the state.
[To which I add: Can weapons without a critique?]