Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Que Seurat, Seurat

October 22, 2017

(‘Whatever Seurat is, Seurat is’, that is, ‘Seurat is what he is’. That’s with English que /ke/, as in “Que Sera, Sera”.)

A photo by Elizabeth Zwicky on Facebook on the 14th:

(#1) Boston harbor; the orange bit is a reflection of a construction crane

In the photo (of ripples in water, with reflected points of sunlight), Ellen Evans, on Facebook, saw life imitating art, in this case, Seurat’s pointillism, and I agreed, hence the title of this posting. Robert Coren suggested Monet, and that’s not impossible, but a pointillist painter is a better fit.

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Revisiting 8: Rod Canyon

October 16, 2017

(At least at the beginning, about gay porn, focused on men’s bodies and mansex, so not for kids or the sexually modest. Eventually, there will be comics, movies, music, and plants.)

From the 12th, in my “Pizza Boy outtakes” posting, the idiom canyon yodeling, at first only ‘cunnilingus’, then ‘man on man anilingus’, with the sexual slang canyon extended from ‘vagina viewed as sexual organ’ to ‘male anus viewed as sexual organ’. And then today in viewing the gay porn movie Rear Deliveries (William Higgins, 1980), I came upon the wonderfully named pornstar Rod Canyon, whose porn name unites the two central but opposed objects of gay male desire, the penis (insertive) in Rod and the anus (receptive) in Canyon. As far as I can tell, Lance Box hasn’t been used yet as a (dual-purpose) porn name, but Rod Canyon labored in the P&A fields of pleasure around 1980.

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A musical journey to NW MA

October 14, 2017

Opal Armstrong Zwicky, my grand-daughter, is now well into her freshman year at Northfield Mount Hermon school, off in the wilds of northwestern Massachusetts, a place that (except for the fact that American English is the local language) is significantly different from where she grew up, here in the SF Bay Area, in a school that’s significantly different from the ones she went to up to this point. NMH from the air:

(#1)

That’s the Connecticut River in the background. It all looks so New England villagey. (Here in northern California, we have plenty of New England-derived domestic architecture, along with lots of Spanish Mission-style stuff, but we don’t have anything that looks like this. We do have deciduous trees that turn color in the fall, but we also have palm trees, redwoods, and live oaks, all over the place).

On to maps and to the hymn tune Northfield (155 in the 1991 Sacred Harp), one of many shapenote tunes named for places in Massachusetts (and close by).

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Angel Eagle’s knights

October 14, 2017

(Underwear guys, inspired by the Daily Jocks ad in #2 below. Sexy text, trips to the gay baths, so probaby not for kids or the sexually modest.)

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He had an American name

October 8, 2017

Yesterday, on the Our Bastard Language group on Facebook, this entertaining item passed on by two members of the group from Thunder Dungeon’s page:

(#1)

Despite the fact that many Americans are accustomed to confronting, almost every day, names they don’t recall ever having heard before — well, most of us have ancestries from elsewhere, a lot of different elsewheres — there are still many names we recognize as “American”, even if we have some sense of the ethnic heritage of the bearers of those names. They might be perceived as English, Scots, Dutch, Irish, German, Jewish, Italian, Mexican-American, French, or whatever, but for us they count as American. And we are keenly aware of divergences from the set of typically American names, as above: Steve is an American personal name, Sleve is not; Dwight is an American personal or family name, Dwigt is not; Hudnutt is an American family name, Dugnutt is not; Gonzalez is an American family name, Bonzalez is not.

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The news for musical chameleons

October 5, 2017

Through a Facebook connection, this .NAF. cartoon:

Yet another play on an antic song title.

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Livin’ La Vida Multilingüe

October 3, 2017

Yes, Ricky Martin is the hook for this posting. Aside from the fact that I’m a big RM fan, this is not at all a forced connection, as you’ll see. For the moment, this:

  (#1) See also #1 in this posting on RM, showing him in a performance of the song.

Back in June, I posted (here) about the retirement party for Stanford’s Eve Clark, prominently mentioning Herb Clark’s comments about the 2014 Festschrift for Eve edited by

Inbal Arnon, Marisa Casillas, Chigusa Kurumada, Bruno Estigarribia

There I said, of Eve and Herb, that

each of them read and critiqued almost everything the other wrote, and they talked about their research essentially on a daily basis. As Herb remarked yesterday, this made it incredibly difficult for him to write his contribution to the Festschrift … without tipping Eve off to the project; complex ruses were resorted to.

Herb also reflected on the diversity of the editors’ names, each from a different language — Bruno’s, from Basque, being the most exotic of the four. They are all multilingual (and multicultural), Bruno pretty spectacularly so. And, being linguists, they all know at least a bit about a huge number of languages (and the cultures and societies those languages are part of).

Such experiences, I think, incline linguists to a certain liberality of spirit: openness to new ideas, appreciation of social, cultural, and individual variety, and resistance to prejudice. Characteristics to be seen in Eve and all four of the editors. And, arrived at by a somewhat different route, in Ricky Martin.

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Two musical flash mobs

October 2, 2017

Some weeks ago YouTube brought me a delightful video of a flash mob performance of Ravel’s “Boléro” (in a town square in Toluca, Mexico). About the same time, my Enhance Fitness class (aimed especially at older and disabled participants) at the Palo Alto YMCA conceived of the idea of converting one of our regular exercise routines — done to the original Billy Ray Cyrus recording of “Achy Breaky Heart” — into a flash mob performance in the lobby of the Y (all this achieved at 5 p.m. on Wednesday September 20th).

Both musical flash mobs were “cumulative” — starting with just a few participants, with more and more added in stages until there was a true mob. Especially effective for the Ravel, which starts with a snare drum ostinato to which a flute is added, and then further instruments, a few at a time, as the piece builds to a crashingly loud finale.

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One-hit grinders

October 2, 2017

The Zippy from September 30th, featuring Mary’s Coffee Shop, which also offers grinders:

(#1)

Plays on several senses of grind, plus the idiom one-hit wonder (with its phonological play on /wʌn/).

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Ecstasy

October 1, 2017

Following up on yesterday’s posting “The archangel Michael” (focusing on the nature of angels and archangels, especially those represented in art as wingèd men), on to angelic music in the Sacred Harp hymnbook: on

angels, wings of love, robes of light, flying away, being carried away, ecstasy. With trumpets.

As before, I’ll start with the Christian context — of art yesterday, of music today — and move to sexual, in particular gay, interpretations of these works, finding in them homoerotic elements that were surely never intended. This move is straightforwardly sacrilegious, and therefore offensive to many, so I’m warning you now that after a respectful discussion of themes in hymn texts, I’ll turn to descriptions and depictions of flagrant mansex, but I’ll flag this shift, so you can bow out if you wish.

The connection is the ambiguity of the word ecstasy, an ambiguity that is rooted in a significant similarity between religious ecstasy and sexual ecstasy: being transported or carried away, in mind and body, by an experience.

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