Tea Time With Jesse

Six of One, Half Dozen the Other

Archive for March, 2013

Music Fridays – Really Listening

Posted by middlerage on March 30, 2013

This post only has one music video, because I want to spend my time talking about music. Or, hopefully, dialoguing.

As I get older, I find myself revisiting past music with new ears, so to speak, hearing things I didn’t hear before. I wonder if this is the difference between musicians and non-musicians; it takes longer for us non-musicians to really see the forest for the trees. As a lay person, I have always been attracted to the leading-man, hero, guitar gods. That is what I initially hear. That is what I want to be. And of course you can’t talk about guitar deities without mentioning Jimi Hendrix. He is one of my favorite and longest loves of all things Rock-n-Roll; he is a voodoo music god, and you’d expect I’d want to make a post about him and highlight his expertise. Instead, however, I want to talk about the other two members in his band –  drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding. Perhaps, with the benefit of several years, now, of listening to Jazz and classical music, I return to Jimi Hendrix and the Experience able to hear an ensemble. And boy am I blown away.

In the video below, I wish I had a karaoke machine to eliminate the voice, and fade the guitar. I really want you to listen to the drumming. Rather than the thump-tap of basic back beat drumming, you hear a call and response dynamic between Jimi and Mitch, with the drums just whacking out a flurry of funky – what? dare I say melody? My musician friends are more than welcome to chime in.

Not being a musician, I turn to that ubiquitous source for all knowledge – Wikipedia. The entry for Mitch Mitchell describes his technique as “lead style” playing, resulting in an interplay with the lead guitar. Sounds good to me. the entry for bassist Noel Redding says time-keeping duties fell to him,  allowing Mitchell to stretch out and wail with non-time-keeping riffs. Again, I leave it to my musician readers to analyze the correctness of those entries, but I as I listen to the song below I AM UTTERLY FLOORED by Mitchell and Redding. I (gasp) hardly even hear the guitarist, anymore. AWESOME.

Herewith, Fire, by The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Posted in Thinking 'bout music | 5 Comments »

The Tyranny of the Majority

Posted by middlerage on March 28, 2013

Once upon a time, I learned an interesting concept from a Libertarian professor. We need a representative form of government and a Supreme Court to protect the interests of minorities from the Tyranny of the Majority. (I mention the prof was libertarian, because it is interesting hearing a defense of big ‘S’ state come from that quarter. Tho’ I admit, ‘tarians don’t want no government, just less).

It has been an interesting week watching the Supreme Court grapple with marriage equality, homosexuality, and DOMA. One thing I hear over and over, as I listen to the news, is that those opposed to the idea of equality for homosexuals are no longer saying, “It’s immoral! Ban it outright!” Now they are saying, “It’s a democracy. Let’s let The People vote on it. Have referendums! It’s patriotic AND democratic, and even liberals can’t argue with democracy, right?”  And therein lies the snare of the Tyranny of the Majority. Justices, and Laws, and government are there to protect us from that tyranny.

It is a majority Christian nation. What if the majority wanted to mandate that only christian holidays would be observed? Most of us are pretty able, what if we wanted to mandate no more Americans With Disabilities Act? And, most of the country is white. What if the whites wanted to… well, been there.

So ya see, democracy is great, but balance is required.

Posted in observations, Politicks | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

The Tragedy of Snow

Posted by middlerage on March 25, 2013

The snowy, blustery Spring that has battered the states this year has me musing about the bright line that snow represents to our lives. On one side is wonderful, crazy childhood, where snow, deep snow, lots of snow, represents fun and days off from school, and sledding, and snowballs, and snow forts. On the other side is adulthood, where we gaze with anxiety at the forecast, knowing our unsympathetic bosses will want us to trek to work anyway. We have to worry about sudden daycare, and whether the car will make it, and if some loser will slide into us. How is it that the same kids who grew up playing in snow can be the same company administrators who tell us to get to work? Snow is that genetic marker for carefree child that gets replaced by the un-remembering asshole. Snow is the big switcharoo. Snow is that op-art twister – the drawing of a beautiful young girl? Or an old hag?

Posted in Asshole Jobs, observations | Leave a Comment »

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