I don’t know all that much about pat Metehny. I know he’s a jazz guitarist held in high regard by some and in less high regard by others. This song is Metheny playing a John Zorn composition–indeed, it comes from an entire album of Zorn covers called Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels, Vol. 20. I have been a huge fan of Zorn for decades, and yet some time ago I had to stop following him–his output is just too huge. So this Book of Angels series by the Masada String Quartet is unfamiliar to me.
Knowing what I do about Zorn, this piece is quite an interesting statement–it’s got a lot of the wildness that Zorn throws into his music, but it’s also got the pretty melodies that Zorn writes as well as the Jewish melodies that saturate the Masada albums.
Strangely enough this song reminds me more of Frank Zappa than John Zorn. That may have to do more wbecause it’s a guitar and not a sax, but it also has something to do with the bass guitar that is playing along–it’s got a very Zappa sound to it.
I feel like I’d rather just listen to Masada, but I’d have to really compare the two to see how this holds up. It’s a pretty wild guitar workout though, if you like that sort of thing.
[READ: May 16, 2013] “Vision Quest”
The five brief pieces in this week’s New Yorker are labeled as “Imagined Inventions.” And in each one, the author is tasked with inventing something.
Karen Russell is the first of the five authors whom I did not recognize (although I have read a few short pieces of hers in the New Yorker). She describes her last invention, which was for the seventh grade science fair. It was called the Roller Solar Cream—she poured sunscreen on a roll-on deodorant stick. It got a C+. So she explains that she’s not much of an inventor, but she’s going to give it a try. She also states that she doesn’t know how any of these inventions would work, nevertheless she proposes four.
Number 1 is a “Trapster” for social situations. The original trapster is an app to alert you to speed traps and the like (I’ve never heard of that). Her app would alert you when you are heading into a socially dangerous situation (be careful what you say around this person, her dad is famous). Number 2 is called “Last Wishes Glasses” which upon wearing allow you to know what your dead relative would actually think of your plans/ideas (“she would have wanted it this way” is no longer needed). I have to admit I find this invention to be pretty nonsensical. Number 3 is the one I like most. It’s called “Baby Roshambo” and it’s a program that allows you to see what a baby’s life will be like depending on what name you give him or her—see how Ashley, Bubbles, La’Dynasty and Gertrude would turn out differently just because of their names.
Number 4 is kind of weird and I don’t think I’d like it. It’s called the Anonymizer and it would remove any significance from items that have bad associations that you’d like to use again (like an awesome T-shirt from an ex –boyfriend). I sort of get the idea behind it, but I guess I don’t have too many things that have bad associations.
Russell’s inventions weren’t all that inspiring to me. Perhaps she should have worked on one good one instead.