Posts filtered by tags: Andrew Durkin[x]


 

Gratitude

  While responding to accusations that she’s a tyrant lying about the dangers of COVID, Renae Moch, public health director in North Dakota, asked a pertinent question: “Why would I want to do that?” This, to me, is the strangest thing about the resistance to common sense that is now making a bad situation much worse. It’s stranger than the argument about freedom, which lacks the self-awareness to notice its own compliance, evident in the belief that a retweeted meme counts as independent t...
Tags: North Dakota, Jazz, Andrew Durkin, Moch, COVID Renae Moch


Remembrance

Life is so easy when you don’t have to make room for the experiences of other people. Theory of mind and the rhetoric of empathy can seduce us into thinking we fully understand what’s going on in each other’s heads. As a parent, I’ve seen the millions of ways—incremental, usually innocent, often problematic ways—we impose identity on children, before they’re even born, and before they can think and speak for themselves. I wish we could sit more with the uncertainty at the beginning of ea...
Tags: Jazz, Andrew Durkin, Peter Boag, Dressing America


Jan's Sign

My neighbor Jan  has been updating this sign every day for the past 250+ days. (I only know the figure because, on the other side, he’s also been tallying the number of days in quarantine.)   Mostly, I’ve appreciated this countdown. Whenever the shitstorm got too big to see, it was good to have a small, undeniable number to focus on—if only for a moment, during my morning walk with the dog. “November 3 is election day” turned out to be one of the few real-world truths that couldn’t be corrupte...
Tags: White House, Jazz, Jan, Andrew Durkin, Romain Rolland


Cemetery Boys (review)

As my middle-grade manuscript continues to wander through what is turning out to be a longer-than-expected submission process, I’ve tried to stay on top of my reading, grateful that it has included Aiden Thomas’s fun, powerful YA novel, Cemetery Boys . There are so many things to recommend this book. Strong, clear writing. Carefully paced plotting, and its corollary—tension built with fine-grained cont rol. And the genre—“paranormal romance,” or a love story folded into a ghost stor...
Tags: Los Angeles, Jazz, Pacific Coast Highway, Thomas, Julian, Corvette Stingray, Andrew Durkin, Aiden Thomas, Yadriel, James Dean Natalie Wood Sal Mineo, Julian Yet


The Lost Souls of America

I guffawed when I saw this ad. It’s from Berlin, but even if you don’t speak German, you can probably tell who the middle finger is aimed at. So punk! I doubt the campaign will be effective—most studies suggest that shaming doesn’t change minds or behavior—but who cares? Sometimes you just need an excuse to vent.   Shaming might not change minds or behavior, but here in America, it feels like shame is all we’ve got. I avoid conversation with conspiracists—as Lauren Kerby put it, you can’t...
Tags: Berlin, America, Jazz, Pence, Andrew Durkin, Lost Souls of America, Lauren Kerby


The Year We Lost Our Breath

  During the worst days of the September wildfires, as I struggled to take my mind off the low-level perma-headache, I read an article in the New York Times, about how a group of scientists might have found life on Venus. The evidence—a chemical marker for anaerobic microbes—wasn’t exactly made for Hollywood. Just the filigree of a possibility, invisible to the naked eye. But something in me was desperate to hold onto those slim odds.  The article was accompanied by a painting of the Venusi...
Tags: New York Times, Portland, Jazz, Venus, Andrew Durkin


A Memphis Memory

Twenty-five summers ago, my friend Jodie and I drove my overstuffed Cutlass Ciera from New Jersey to California. I was relocating to Los Angeles for grad school. She was along for the ride. I’m not sure I could have done it without her, but our friendship almost didn’t survive that trip. America can have that effect on people, I guess. By car, it’s possible to get from coast to coast in four days—but we took two weeks, lingering in my favorite music cities throughout the South. On ...
Tags: Mississippi, California, America, Los Angeles, Tennessee, New Jersey, Jazz, Martin Luther King, Memphis, Elvis, Rodney, Wolf, Buddhist, Martin Luther, Lorraine Motel, Lorraine


The Jingle Dress Dance

When I worked at Willowbrook Arts Camp a few summers back, the Native American Arts specialists—Harold and his daughter Harmony—would always treat the kids to a performance of the Jingle Dress Dance. We all gathered under the main tent to watch and listen. Harold struck a big drum, and it rang deep as he sang. Harmony danced in a skipping motion, her dress layered in metal cones that shook like sleigh bells—incongruous and beautiful in the July heat. Apparently, the Jingle Dr ess Dance orig...
Tags: Jazz, Harmony, Harold, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Andrew Durkin, Jingle Dress Dance, Willowbrook Arts Camp


What We've Become

There was an article in National Geographic a few months ago, about “the largest single incident of mass child sacrifice in the Americas—and likely in world history.” According to the piece, that event occurred in Peru, almost six centuries ago, at the hands of the Chimú civilization. The coverage had all the National Geographic hallmarks. The outsized, colorful photographs (in this case, of cinnabar-smeared skulls and sternums). The passive-aggressive distancing between obse rver and obser...
Tags: Americas, Cnn, United States, Jazz, Peru, Andrew Durkin, Trumper, Thandie


Montavilla 2017

I was honored to be a part of the Montavilla Jazz Festival yesterday—the Quadraphonnes, as always, made my music sound so much better than it is.  I wish I could have stayed longer, but I’m thrilled that I at least got to hear Ezra Weiss’s sextet. Everyone knows the brilliant writing, arranging, and playing of this group. But what really got me this time was the inspired programming; beginning wi th Charles Mingus’s “Fables of Faubus,” and closing with John Coltrane’s “Alabama.” The latt...
Tags: Alabama, America, Jazz, John Coltrane, Donald Trump, Charles Mingus, Griffith, Faubus, Andrew Durkin, Ezra Weiss


Getting Better

[image by Drew Coffman] Last week an important conversation about sexual harassment happened in the world of contemporary children’s literature, and I’m so grateful I got to hear it. Over the weekend I celebrated the majesty of an all-black superhero movie and was inspired by high-school students seizing the reins of the gun-control conversation. Through it all, I’ve been thinking about voice and representation and ethics, and my own commitments and responsibilities as an unproven whit...
Tags: Jazz, Tomorrowland, Asher, Drew Coffman, Andrew Durkin, Mercurio, Adam Rex, Jay Asher, Martha Brockenbrough, Ishta Mercurio


Recently

[image by Drew Coffman] Last week an important conversation about sexual harassment happened in the world of contemporary children’s literature, and I’m so grateful I got to hear it. Over the weekend I celebrated the majesty of an all-black superhero movie and was inspired by high-school students seizing the reins of the gun-control conversation. Through it all, I’ve been thinking about voice and representation and ethics, and my own commitments and responsibilities as an unproven white g...
Tags: Jazz, Tomorrowland, Asher, Drew Coffman, Andrew Durkin, Mercurio, Adam Rex, Jay Asher, Martha Brockenbrough, Ishta Mercurio


Once more this year

(photo credit: Newcastle Libraries ) For the past eight Christmas Eves, and the past eight Christmas mornings—except for the year we had that haymaker of a snowstorm, and everything was closed—I’ve trekked out to Parkrose to play the holiday services at the Lutheran church where I am the resident agnostic organist. I’ll be doing it again this year.  It’s a not-quite sketchy part of town, but it’s not Multnomah Village either (and it definitely isn’t the Pearl). There are these qu...
Tags: Jazz, Andrew Durkin, Multnomah Village


Perspective

Fact: Pauline Oliveros was 49 years old when she had her first solo album released.— UbuWeb (@ubuweb) November 27, 2016 [Author: Andrew Durkin]
Tags: Jazz, Andrew Durkin, Pauline Oliveros


At last

Breath of Fire by Andrew Durkin Now available for pre-order: Breath of Fire, my first album in eight years. Check out the free streaming track: "Flower Gun Song."I'm honored to have been able to work on this music with David Valdez, Tim Willcox, Ryan Meagher, Andrew Jones, Todd Bishop, Dennis Carter, and Brad Boatright.Official release: December 13.CD release show: December 15, at Tabor Space, with Jeni Wren. [Author: Andrew Durkin]
Tags: Jazz, Andrew Durkin


Loving Hillary

She’s never gonna make you love her. In fact, she’d probably be offended if you tried—she has grandchildren for that.     (Samantha Bee) During my brief and bitter foray into post-doctoral academic life more than a decade ago, I had a friend and colleague who swore by the mantra “the best ideas win.” I liked that, though I always worried it was a little naive. Not only did it not come to pass at the institution where we worked, but we were living through the presidency o...
Tags: Nbc, Supreme Court, Obama, Stephen Colbert, US, Barack Obama, Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Jazz, Madonna, Colbert, Lincoln, John Kerry, Republican, Johnson, Donald Trump


The Disaster Gambit

[photo by Matt Brown] And so another presidential election is upon us. I really hope I get to vote for a Sanders-led ticket in November. I would do it wholeheartedly: I have loved that guy since he was a regular on Thom Hartmann’s radio show. I want him to win the nomination. He still might. I guess we’ll know more on Tuesday.      But this post isn’t about Sanders. It’s about what some progressives are threatening to do if he isn’t the nominee. It’s about an argument that go...
Tags: Obama, America, Reagan, Gop, Hillary Clinton, Warren, Hitler, Republican Party, Donald Trump, Hillary, Clinton, Sarah Palin, Trump, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Sanders, Bush


Is there anything more stupid than stupidity?

Completely by chance, the only bit of the entire Superbowl I happened to see was the Bob Dylan car commercial. I used to be a Dylan fan, but I found it instantly laughable and annoying. I did not bother watching the rest of the game, or the advertising blitz it was a platform for. I tried to content myself with a brief Facebook vent: " I walk in the room long enough to see Bob Dylan selling cars. I walk out." But today, I find this defense of the commercial as laughable and annoying as th...
Tags: Facebook, Bob Dylan, Gillespie, Dylan, Andrew Durkin


Stew & the Negro Problem: Making It

Normal 0 0 1 901 5140 42 10 6312 11.1539 0 0 0 Stew & the Negro Problem: Making It Tight Natural Production 101 Get it here.      I am ashamed to say that though I lived in LA for ten years, I never crossed paths with the band once known as “The Negro Problem,” and now as “Stew & the Negro Problem” (highlighting the role of front man Mark Stewart, who co-writes most of the band’s music with bassist Heidi Rodew...
Tags: La, America, Radiohead, Netflix, Broadway, Spike Lee, Lou Reed, Mccartney, Stew, Tom, Garvey, LA Times, Mark Stewart, TNP, Elliot Smith, Robert Hilburn


A meandering post on collaboration

“Certainty is as it were a tone of voice in which one declares how things are . . .” (Wittgenstein) Recent reads: two interviews with Terry Teachout, author of a controversial new Ellington biography. I’m about halfway through that book myself, and so far I’m not loving it, although of course the subject is interesting to me—not only because Ellington is a personal hero of mine (he’s the guy who got me interested in jazz in the first place), but also because he is a recurring theme in ...
Tags: Beethoven, Duke, Carnegie Hall, Duke Ellington, Terry Teachout, Lennon McCartney, Teachout, Ethan Iverson, Ellington, Iverson, Billy Strayhorn, Andrew Durkin, Darcy James Argue, Strayhorn, Ellington Strayhorn, Walter van de Leur


A Christmas Thought

[image source] Driving to work this morning, I saw a woman engaged in a game of fetch with her dog, in the field near my home.  As I went by, trying to keep my attention on the road, for some reason I was drawn to the ball she had just thrown, which was at that very moment making a long lazy arc in the air. Everything seemed to shift into slow motion as I watched that little red circle sail higher and higher.  And then it nailed a seagull that had been flying across the field, mindi...
Tags: Andrew Durkin


Thoughts I have every year at about this time

I would trust best-of lists more if reviewers had to pay for the music they reviewed. I would trust best-of lists more if there was a ten-year lag time before any of them were compiled. I would trust best-of lists more if it wasn't inevitable that good music is always left out. I would trust best-of lists more if the media they were published in didn't have to make a buck too. I would trust best-of lists more if I didn't know that some of the greatest music is never recorded. I would t...
Tags: Facebook, Andrew Durkin


Now you know. . .

In some species, peduncles are leafless, though others bear small leaves, or even  cataphylls , at nodes; such leaves generally may be regarded as  bracts . The peduncle may be  ramified , in which case the ramifications are called  pedicels .  Text source. Image source. Just some wacky stuff I found while doing research for the novel referenced in my last post. [Author: Andrew Durkin]
Tags: Andrew Durkin


At last

Normal 0 0 1 375 2141 17 4 2629 11.1539 0 0 0 I have big news. In fact, I have had it for some time, but I have been keeping it under my hat until I knew it was official. That's the reason I haven't been blogging -- I'm not very good at keeping secrets, and this has been one of the hardest secrets I've ever had to keep. But now I can speak freely: My first book, Decomposition: A Philosophy of Music, will b...
Tags: New York, Portland, Random House, Barbara, Proto, Andrew Durkin, Barbara Clark, Knopf Doubleday, Erroll McDonald, IJG


Black Sabbath: 13

Normal 0 0 1 895 5103 42 10 6266 11.1539 0 0 0 Black Sabbath: 13 Get it here.      I grew up lower middle class in a mostly white New Jersey suburb in the 1980s. Generally speaking, two musical communities influenced me there. The first was the high school concert band and its various offshoots (marching band, pit band, a weak attempt at a “jazz” band). The second was the high school metal scene. Officially, I be...
Tags: Ozzy Osbourne, New Jersey, Black Sabbath, Bernstein, Bill Ward, Geezer Butler, Sabbath, Tony Iommi, Hindemith, Osbourne, Andrew Durkin, Iommi


The Song Machine

. . . that vile element of competition in music. Surely that’s soul destroying in itself?   (John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten) Thank goodness John Seabrook’s The Song Machine is sprinkled throughout with quirky trivia about the music industry. Did you know, for instance, that Lou Pearlman (convicted felon and impresario behind such turn-of-the-century boy bands as the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC—plus a lot of similar fare you probably have never heard of) is cousin to Art Garfunkel? Or...
Tags: Rihanna, Berlin, Katy Perry, Amy Winehouse, Chris Brown, Miley Cyrus, Michael Jackson, Jack Kerouac, Bet, Scott Weiland, Luke, Art Garfunkel, Barry Manilow, Irving Berlin, Clive Davis, Seabrook


New music

After a long hiatus, I am once again working on an unfinished recording by my band Proto-Human—a PDX-based sextet featuring David Valdez (alto sax), Tim Willcox (tenor sax), Ryan Meager (guitar), Andrew Jones (bass), and Todd Bishop (drums) . . . plus me on piano and compositions.  I really like the music I wrote for this group, but the project was nearly derailed a few years ago when one of the original members (not anyone listed above) did something detestable, and was (rightly) sent to pr...
Tags: Andrew Jones, Andrew Durkin, Proto Human, David Valdez, Tim Willcox, Ryan Meager, Todd Bishop


"Cheerfulness is an achievement."

(The title is a quote from Alain de Botton.) (photo by Tavis Ford) For some, this is the hardest time of year—a nagging reminder of isolation, and the feeling that, as John Keats put it, “we cannot be made for this sort of suffering.” For some, that feeling is made worse by the superficial visions of happiness that trot across our screens, and in our places of commerce. There, the holiday season can feel like an assault—columns of seemingly uncomplicated, impossibly Technicolor peo...
Tags: Portland, Mommy, John Keats, Michael Flatley, Debbie Downer, Richard Lewis, Andrew Durkin, Tavis Ford


More new music

A short teaser with the Quadraphonnes, in preparation for this Friday ’ s show at Portland ’ s Turn Turn Turn (8:30 p.m., with Doug Detrick and The Crenshaw):Also, this rough mix from the album I mentioned a few posts back. 96 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ...
Tags: Portland, CRENSHAW, Johnny Carson, Calibri, Andrew Durkin, Doug Detrick


The realest thing to do

A week ago I could not have predicted that the 2014 Superbowl would inspire so many interesting discussions about music. I have already mentioned the Bob Dylan thing. Apparently there is also a bit of an uproar over the notion that Bruno Mars performed the halftime show for exposure instead of a monetary fee. (In fairness, he isn't the first pop star to have done so.) That may not exactly suck for Bruno Mars, who probably got a ton of new fans as a result -- but it does suck for those of us fart...
Tags: Bob Dylan, Bruno Mars, Mars, Michael Jackson, Ashlee Simpson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Luciano Pavarotti, Flea, Andrew Durkin, Chili Peppers