Look kids, it’s Professor Newton pondering the perfunctory nature of his particularly profound performance with the Wedding Crashers. Yes, all of that he is ….and more. What more you ask? Well, if I told you I’d have to kill you, and if I killed you then I’d have to go to jail and there’d be a big court case discussing the untimely manner of your death ….and that’s just bad for me all around. So let’s skip all these unpleasantries and just revel in the ambiance of Professor Netwon’s surroundings. Yes, reveling is good.
And so is cake.
April 2nd, 2011. Wow, I didn’t think it had been that long but I suppose time flies when you’re not watching it. That date btw, was the last time I played a King Muskafa show ….until last night that is. I subbed in for Dan (their regular bass-guy) at a ska-inspired wedding, and all was well. Or well enough I guess. I crammed in some of their newer tunes and played a bunch of the old, so it kept me on my toes …especially since I forgot my charts/sketches for the new stuff at home. I know, dumb move. But I survived. Except my ears I suppose, which needed the earplugs that were sadly beside the forgotten charts. C’est la vie.
And how was King Muskafa after this long hiatus you ask? It was OK. Yeah ….just OK. The novelty of that band for me was the 2nd horn. With no keys either. The current lineup has long ago ditched the second horn and now regularly uses a keyboard. The problem though is that it makes the band sound like any other band …except for the most-excellent bone player that is. But she’s not enough. And as someone colourfully remarked some time ago, the single horn is kinda redundant. And it’s true. Sadly.
There’s no real distinction with the group’s sound anymore. To that end, playing songs like Superstition, Jenny and Boys of Summer (to name a few) even with a slightly ska-inspired beat, still come off sounding of rather standard flair. Sure they’re all fine players, but fine players don’t mean squat when the music you happen to play isn’t exactly rocket science. That is, you don’t need the best to groove out on three or four chords. What you need though is that sound that makes a difference, and sure ….Amber is still a wonderful vocalist and works the tunes as she always has, but you could put any competent band behind her and it’ll come out the same. Soooo, what then is it that makes King Muskafa King Muskafa?
I’m gonna guess tradition. Or perhaps the past. Or perhaps I’m being too hard on the ol’ Alma Mater? Perhaps I’m just waxing nostalgic for the sounds of yesteryear? Perhaps the only thing I know is the thing I know, and the ‘new’ sound of the group hasn’t sunk into me as it might have if I had still been playing with them?
Or, perhaps I didn’t drink enough.
If I could stop listening for the door I think life would be a lot easier. It’s just a door after all. A fucking door. It opens and closes like any other door and the fact that my ears are primed for its gentle sway across the carpet is a sad indication of things. A reminder that the mind, in all its 21st Century revealed glory, is still not much more than a cell or two away from that proverbial ooze we pride ourselves on having evolved from. It’s a dumb machine at its roots when you think about it; programmed to believe it’s its own thing. Self-determined. That it has some sort of ‘free will’. But the awful truth is much further away. So much further.
Much like the intervals between that opening door.
Your Baritone Doctor got to spread his wings for a bit this afternoon kids, when the Man requisitioned a sousaphone repair. Post haste as well. I don’t get to mess around with too many of these odd creatures, but aside from the obvious flair of the instrument, the guts are eerily familiar; it’s just a dressed up tuba/baritone. The one today was of the fibreglass variety (King) and in pretty good shape, needing but a simple solder and cleaning to bring it back to its former marching glory. It is a marcher by the way, and as I found out on wiki was named after the iconic march-master himself; John Philip Sousa. After getting it all spiffed up I got to take it for a spin around the shop, so O-ran grabbed a couple shots for my scrapbook. Which happens to be here I suppose ha.
But the Doctor’s days are winding down it seems, as it’ll shortly be time to retire the apron and hop back into the drivers seat. That’ll be nice actually …to not just get back to a regular routine, but more importantly get out of the shop that’s been like the proverbial Santa’s workshop for the last two months. Not that it’s all that bad being there, but I’d much rather have the changes in scenery the traveling affords me. A lot more private time too, which means I can be stupid without having people watch me be stupid. Well, aside from those neighbouring travellers who may happen to glance out their window and spot me talking or singing to myself. I can deal with them though. So yep ….a few weeks of crazy on the horizon (in the gig department too ….groan) and then it’ll be back to the same-old same-old.
But not too same-old same-old of course :)
Remember that shoulder thing I mentioned some time back, well ….it seems to be on the mend. That’s good news! It’s been a royal pain at times but today I was able to do some circle rotations that didn’t cause it grief. Plus I actually moved some weight on the shoulder press machine. Although, the extra weight I managed probably wasn’t a result of me getting stronger per se, as it was about that shoulder bearing more of its share finally. So this is all good, and I hope it translates into some better (ie: heavier) lifts in the near future.
Then there was the glorious run last night. With a near full moon in these parts, around 13 cel. and the fog thick in the river valley, I sweated out a 9km route that felt great at the finish. It wasn’t too fast, and I didn’t take any water either which meant it simply couldn’t be fast. It’s been a while since I ran at night. There something therapeutic about it I think; something ‘grounding’ …as you don’t see as much of your environment as you feel. That’s the nice part, almost running without seeing. I can’t say for certain but I think I noticed a few bats going from tree to tree as well. Unless there’s other zig-zaggy birds flying around in the middle of the night?
*and if there are i don’t want to know!*
A nice workout tonight. Finally.
Strange considering the copious amounts of alcohol (for me at least) this past Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Saturday was a day of rest obviously. Thursday though, where it began, was with a great bunch of guys who I’ll be joining as bass player for some gigs they have running into October. It’s a cover band (some great bass-songs too) doing some of the less-classic but still classic classics along with a few country gems. We’ll see if they keep me around after the bookings they have …hopefully it’ll pan out.
Friday was an impromptu night on the town with a few friends that turned out to be, in a word, stellar. In my opinion. The Aud and I began at a little nerdy bar, shifted gears into a karaoke adventure, plateaued into a classy gin-joint (although we just had the beer), teleported into a burlesque-less burlesque show, joined Ry-guy for some country-offerings (including a mechanical bull) culminating the entire event off with bad pizza while rapping along to hip hop classics on the Utubes. Definitely fun, and definitely one for the memory books. Not the blog perhaps ha.
Saturday was tough only cause I had to scamper into work for five hours or so. There were a few things that needed to be done by tomorrow (our Monday (today) is a holiday in these here parts) which meant the shenanigans continued on the Sunday. This night had Ry-guy joined by Padycakes and Newtron for what was at first a quick stop/primer at the B-dog, then a few steps over to see some knee-bending blues at the Commercial followed by a casual meander over to the MKT’s patio until they shut it down. Definitely less energy than the earlier crawl, but still a fun hang.
And so the much needed workout was, finally, had. And the body seemed to appreciate it. It’ll probably appreciate the sleep as well, but I can’t promise it that. Those sleep muscles sometimes have a mind of their own.
Hawkeye’s Too Washroom won Best In Show on the Friday night! *don’t ask…*
it carries the dirt
in fingers and blobs.
it carries the leaves,
the corpses, the smogs.
it carries them off
not to here’s or there’s
but shuffles, like cards,
the pains and despairs.
mixing them freely,
choices and queries
and lists – all to do’s.
it does this it seems -
a cleanse, time to time,
as if…. that it knows
the workings of mind.