Tea Time With Jesse

Six of One, Half Dozen the Other

Archive for August, 2012

Music Fridays – Mercenary Irie

Posted by middlerage on August 31, 2012

My good friend, Notsoniuew, is a brass polymath, playing a variety of horns in a variety of bands in a variety of wine country venues. As such, he and a friend have put together a mercenary back-up, horn section that can be called in for anybody who needs hired guns for their traveling band. Recently, a booking agency asked them to play in the background for the internationally recognized reggae stars The Mighty Diamonds. In a hilarious turn-about, the Diamonds never showed (later info turned them up in London, playing some weird double-booking game, perhaps going for the biggest payoff). A panicked club owner begged the horn section to become the featured act! With aplomb and chivalry, the horns stepped up, literally, moving to center stage and performing a rousing, Jazz-inflected, brand of fiery, brassy reggae. (I tried to come up with a joke, alá Microsoft-bashing, along the lines of “it’s not a bug it’s a feature,” but I got nuthin’).

In his own words, here is Notsonieuw about the following video:

Here’s the first video clip from the gig, recorded on a smart phone in the audience. This is the first song of the night […] There’s some amusing pantomime, as I try to get Rich (sax) to take the first solo, but he was busy making the “stretch-the-tune” motion, so I demonstrated my lack of slide-trombone solo chops first. As the night went on, Dan (trumpet) and I realized we didn’t want to *follow* Rich’s solos, so that worked out, in a way. Toward the end, the drummer (leader) was yelling something that I interpreted as “let’s end this mess!”, so I fearlessly led us into the final statement of the melody which led us into the segue into the next tune. It turns out the leader wanted yet more song-stretching, but in the heat of battle shit happens…

Irie Mon. The pantomimes are funny, but don’t let that distract you from the excellent musicianship. I think they do an awesome job, and I be jammin’ to deh sly tones of dem hired guns. File this under I Know People.

Posted in I Know People, Thinking 'bout music | 10 Comments »

Interesting Link on Privacy

Posted by middlerage on August 29, 2012

This blog hasn’t touched on privacy issues in a long time. I just ran across an interview with author Garret Keizer who has a new book out, titled, succinctly, Privacy.

It’s an interesting interview and I link it below. His book is going on my To-Read list.

Six Questions for Garret Keizer, Harper’s Magazine.

Posted in Privacy Issues | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Oh Dear. Dear Me.

Posted by middlerage on August 29, 2012

Dear Readers,

Long ago there were these things called “letters,” which you wrote on paper and sent through the mail to people far away. When we were in second or third grade, our teachers taught us how to write such letters, and invariably they always began, “Dear, Whosis…” For example, when I wrote to my Granny, I would start writing, “Dear Grandma, how are you? I am fine.” The prose fairly flowed like a it came from the honeyed lips of a wine besotted bard. Or something.

When I got older, I wrote to my friends, but now I was “cool,” so I began my letters more along the lines of, “Yo Smackhead, waz up mah pizzle?” Or at least the late-70s, early 80s version of strutting slang. Then along came email, and my notes were lucky to begin with a ‘Hi’ before proceeding to the meat of the message. Much later in life, I got hired by a person who learned English as a second language, and her emails to me often began, “Dear Jesse…”

How quaint.

I assumed (incorrectly) that learning English in the formal atmosphere of an ESL setting had engendered the silly, over-formal use of Dear, but I was wrong. It is actually more of a science thing – in the back and forth between distant institutes or refereed journals, scientists are actually quite formal, and use the Dear opening quite often. Or at least it is in climate science.

So I’ve gotten back into the habit of beginning emails to strangers with ‘dear.’ I ask you, Dear readers (heh heh), am I making a faux pas? Am I being unconsciously daft when I fire off an email to the cable company or gas utility that begins,

“Dear So and So,

as per our phone conversation this morning, I am attaching copies of my last seven years worth of bills…”?

Just what is the place of Dear in our modern, familiar, first-name-basis, informal, I’ll-send-you-a-text world?


Posted in observations | Tagged: | 9 Comments »

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