Jim Morrison – “The Village Tapes”

April 28, 2009 at 7:41 pm (Jim Morrison, Poetry & Literature)

Come
for all the world lies
hushed & fallen
green ships dangle
on the surface of
Ocean, & sky-birds
glide smugly among
the planes
Gaunt crippled houses
Strangle the cliffs
In the East, in the cities
a hum of life
begins, now come
~~~

Of the Great Insane
American Night
We sing
sending our gift
to its vast promise

Pilots are a problem
The rain & hungry sea
greedy for steel

Say a soft American Prayer
A quiet animal sigh
for the strong plane
landing

We rode on opium tires
from the colossal
airport chess game
at dawn, new from glass
in the broken night

landed then in quiet
fog, beside the times
out of this strange river

Then gladly thru
a wasted morning
happy to be alive to
signs of life
a dog,
a school girl
are we in Harlem?
~~~

Blessings

accept this ancient
wisdom
which has travelled
far to greet us
From the East
w/the sun

Call out to him
From the mountain
high, from high
towers

as the mind
rebels
& wends its way
to freedom

grant us one more day
& hour
the hero of this dream
who heals & guides us

Forgive me, Blacks
you who unite
as I fear & gently
fall on darkness
~~~

Science of Night

Earth Air Fire Water
Mother Father Sons & Daughters
Airplane in the starry night
First fright
Forest follow free
I love thee
watch how I love thee
~~~

The Politics of ecstasy are real
Can’t you feel them working
thru you
Turning night into day
Mixing sun w/the sea.
~~~

Ledger domain
Wilderness pain
cruel swimming ambience
sweet swimming fish hook smile
I love you all the while
even w/the little child
by the hand
& squeeze

You’re learning
fast

Keep off the walk
listen to the children talk
~~~

Cobra sun / Fever smile
-No man kill me

“Who is this insane messenger?”

In times like these we need
men around us who can
see clearly & speak the truth.

Out of breath

Raving witness

-Who comes?

-Asia.
~~~

~Cassandra at the Well~

Help! Help! Save us!
Save us!
We’re dying, fella, do something.
Get us out of this!
Save us!
I’m dying.
What have we done now!
We’ve done it, fella, we’ve committed the

Help!
This is the end of us, fella.
I love you fella.
I love you fella.
I love you cause you’re you.

But you’ve got to help us.
What have we done, fella,
What have we done now?
~~~

Where are my dreamers
Today & tonight.
Where are my dancers
leaping madly
whirling & screaming

Where are my women
quietly dreaming
caught like angels
on the dark porch
of a velvet ranch
dance dance dance dance
dance dance dance
~~~

It was the greatest night of my life
Although I still had not found a wife
I had my friends right there beside me

Indians scattered on dawn’s highway bleeding
Ghosts crowd the young child’s fragile eggshell mind

We scaled the wall
We tripped thru the graveyard
Ancient shapes were all around us
No music but the wet grass
felt fresh beside the fog

Two made love in a silent spot
one chased a rabbit into the dark
A girl got drunk & made the dead
And I gave empty sermons to my head

Cemetery cool & quiet
Hate to leave
your sacred lay
Dread the milky coming of the day
~~~

In this full-throated
Sex’d cry
we must try again
to speak of the ununited
miles of sleep around
us
Bumbling thru slumber
Blind numbers

In a tiled room
We sit & brood
Refuse to move
The guards refuse

and in the last place
and in the last sweet breath
& in stroke of sine-wise crab

and in stars of plenty, stars of greed
in the written book & majesties
in fulfillment on a cliff
on the inside of butter
on smooth backs & camels
in the open vessel
in the vein
in lives untold
who witnessed everything
~~~

For those people who died
for Nirvana
for the heavenly creed
for you, for me

These lines are written
to convey the message
To ignore the warning
To spree upward into
Tantalizing voices
To visit under-seas
Believe
Things more horrible
than war
Things out of the tales
Great beasts
Suffering extinction
~~~

All these monstrous
Words forsaken, falling
by all Hell
loose walls, forgotten
tumbling down into
Night/Fast friends
fellows of the one true cross
earthly lovers crash
sweet sorrow blackness
on the spilled roadside
down, into fire
silence, cry
~~~

Argue w/breath
nice
while I cry
Midnight!

it must come
like dream
sperm
uncalled
from the center
Borderlands
where liquor’s
made
flow

it must come
unbidden
like the dawn
soft haste
No hurry
hairs curl

The phone
rings
We create the dawn
~~~

I fell on the earth
& raped the snow
I got married to life
& breathed w/my marrow
I saw young dancers
I am meat & need fuel
Need the whorey glimmer of tears
in women, all ages
Laughter sandwich, fuel
for the lunch of meat minds
Now damn you, dance
Now dance
or die sleek & fat in your
reeking seats, still
buckled for flight
~~~

If the writer can write, &
the farmer can sow
Then all miracles concur,
appear, & start happening
If the children eat, if their
time of crying was Mid-
Night

The earth needs them
soft dogs on the snow
Nestled in Spring
When sun makes wine
& blood dances dangerous
in the veins or vine
~~~

To have just come wondering
if the world is real is
sick to see the shape she’s
made of.  What wandering
lunacy have we soft created?

Certain no one meant it
sure someone started
Where is he?
Where is he or it when
we need her?
Where are you?
In a flower?

To have just been born
for beauty & see sadness
What is this frail sickness?
~~~

Round-up, Rondolay, Rhonda,
Red, Rich roll ruse rune
rake roan ran regard
if you know what I mean.
This is concrete imagery Vermont
The mouth leads this way
I that way
No good faster the hand too slow
To exist in time we die construct
prisms in a void
The truth  faster  These hang-ups
hold-ups  shooting the republic
The president’s dream behind
The throne
four-score fast fever the clinic
the wisdom syphilis doctor nurse
Indians americans Atlantis
Save us  guide us  in time of need
prayer to the mind cell body
prayer to center of man  prayer
to evening’s last whisper  as the
hand silently glides into peaceful
thorns  stones  storms
I await your coming
w/negligence   Speak to me!
don’t leave me here alone  Torture
clinic chamber  I know the man
arrested  The stale bars  his mother
who will help a match a cigarette
I’m going. God? What is your name

There must be some way to define
stop happening space shades
postures poses snapshots  The
World behind the word & all
utterance  Can’t now
coming for us  soon leave  all over
The Republic is a big cross in a
big cross the nation  The world on fire
Taxi from Africa  The Grand Hotel
He was drunk  a big party last
night there.  Pastures fields
skunks snake invisible night birds
night hawks  summer disasters
out of doors  listen to the lions
roar in the empty fields
These are forgotten
lands  Speak confidently of
the forest  the end  the joke
is on me  most certainly
There must be someone today who
knows  they do  but they can’t
Tell you  like feeding a child
Wine  like sniffing cortex
blue babies lists  real estate
cleaning offices  word-vomit
mind soup  crawling lice  book bonds.

Feeling streams lead to losers
back going back in all directions
sleeping these insane hours
I’ll never wake up in a good mood
again.  I’m sick of these
stinking boots.  Stories of animals
in the woods  not stupid  but
like indians peeping our  their
little eyes in the night  I know
the forest & the evil moon tide.
“We sure look funny don’t we fella?”
Plu-perfect.  Forgotten.  Songs
are good streams for a laugh.
The mind bird was a good fella
Who minded labyrinths & lived
in a well  He knew Jesus
Knew Newman  Knew me &
Morganfield  I hope you can
understand these last parables
were hope (less) sure  if you can
regard them as anything beyond
matter  Surely not more than
Twice-fold fork follow & loose-
tree  Now here’s the rub  rune

Rib-bait squalor the women of the
quarter yawned & meandered
swimming dust tide for food
scraps to child feed  No noon
for misses  The Church called bells
inhabitants of the well  come to hell
come to the bell  funeral jive
Negroes plenty, fluttering their
dark smiles.  Mindless lepers-
con-men  The movie is popular
This season  in all the hotels
rich tourists from the continent
shore up & hold a story seance
nightly  The birds tell & they
Know all  Telephones crooks
& castenets  The lines are wired
Listen  hear those voices & all
This long distance from the other half
I love to hear ya ramble boy
missionary stallion  One day
The devil arrived only no one tell
or you’ll ruin the outcome.  He
walked to the pulpit & saved
The city while certainly scoring
Someone’s female daughter.
When his cloak was hoisted
The snake was seen & we all
slipped back to lethargy.

Buildings gilded no interruptions.

Constructions everywhere.  Our
own house was solid astrology
Tiny flutes won their starlings
sunrise.  And in the estuary
side-traps stopped our dinner
He came home w/bags of meat
& sacks of flour & the bread
rose & the family flourished.
~~~

Those who Race toward Death
Those who wait
Those who worry
~~~

The Endless quest a vigil
of watchtowers and fortresses
against the sea and time.
Have they won? Perhaps.
They still stand and in
their silent rooms still wander
the souls of the dead,
who keep their watch on the living.
Soon enough we shall join them.
Soon enough we shall walk
the walls of time. We shall
miss nothing
except each other.
~~~

Fence my sacred fire
I want. To be simple, black & clean
A dim nothingness
Please
The sea is green
Smoke
like the child’s version of a
Christmas dream
w/no
waking.
~~~

Why the desire for death.

A clean paper or a pure
white wall. One false
line, a scratch, a mistake.
Unerasable. So obscure
by adding million other
tracings, blend it,
cover over.

But the original scratch
remains, written in
gold blood, shining.

Desire for a Perfect Life

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Drew – “Some ‘Zaireeka’ Starting Points” (1997)

April 28, 2009 at 9:19 am (Music, Reviews & Articles, The Flaming Lips)

Instructional article on the best way to listen to The Flaming Lips’ 1997 experimental 4-CD set opus Zaireeka. Written by a guy named Drew (don’t know last name) and taken from the WBR.com website (link below)…

 

Okay, so you’ve gone out and bought Zaireeka. Now what? Do you have four cd players? Do you have four hands? Can you decide which disc to put in which stereo? Can you get it to run smoothly?

The answers to these questions probably aren’t all yes – a lot of people have certainly written and asked things along these lines. If it’s the case that you’re wondering about which way to go, then what follows might help you to progress but remember one thing – the whole point of the multiple sound source idea is to allow you to become involved and be an interactive decision making part of the entertainment. It’s up to you – don’t do the same thing all the time, experiment on your own terms and see what happens! These notes are just some of my (Drew’s) ideas to help people get started or to keep a gathering running smoothly if you’re involving the unconverted……. once you’ve tried a few, then just do everything you think of – even if it seems like a bad idea, you may be suprised and thrilled by the results!

The question everyone asks about Zaireeka at some point is about getting your cd players synched up. Well, don’t be afraid – you just have to learn a little about how well your players start. A simple count in (eg “One, two, three, go!”) should suffice if all your cd players start instantaneously from pause play (see liner notes for further instructions). However, if you (like me) have a particular cd player that needs a few seconds to think about it (even from pause) then obviously you need to get some delays going on there. So, what you could do is figure out where your slowest starter compares to the middle starter and how the fastest starter compares to the middle starter. Then adjust where you start each one on the count – still aiming for all the players to start around the time (or fractionally after) you say go. Try it out a few times, and the you should be able to get it right every time you start a track. The sound of all the players seeming like one voice for the start of track announcements is most satisfying and when you have to check they all started, you know you’ve synched it so well to sound great – the next variable comes from how closely the players run in time with each other (which will have a lot to do with heat, so assume nothing from one session to the next!). If they go well, you might not have to restart if for each track – judge that on how close to one voice the announcements sound at the start of each track. Of course, you might want to stop it all anyway and go for a different track, or go for a different disc combination…..

So, the other regular thing that comes up is about the number of cd players. I can tell you this – you can play cd one and get a great set of tunes, for the most part. Perhaps Track 2 and Track 6 lose a bit too much, but it’s still quite great. If you’ve two or three cd players, then you’ll be wondering which disc(s) to leave out. Well, the obvious answer is to try all six combinations with the two cds, or all four combinations with three cds. But if you want some thoughts about where to begin then, for the easiest and most song based listen try cds one and three – you’ll get almost all the vocals except ‘Future Crashendos’ which will sound completely ethereal without the vocal from cd two. Similarly, for three players, try one, three and four to give the same result with slightly more substance to the air around you! You could also try cds one, two and three for a similar result and get all the vocals I think. I actually like ‘Future Crashendos’ without the main song part but if you want that bit, then just fool around with any combination containing cd two. So, that’s the safe way – next it’s time to start deliberately choosing the cds to eliminate the vocals or certain melodies and then see what strange soundscapes you end up with. Believe me, it’s worth spending a few hours at that!

So, that’s all isn’t it? Well, no – we forgot something: how do the stereos compare to each other for sound quality and what controls do you have on each stereo? Volume, tone, equalization, pan, and more in some cases. You’ve got multiple sound sources and they’ll create a different mould according to what cd you allocate to what source and what you do to the variables for that sound source. If you’re going for an easy listen, then cds one and three are probably the ones to put in your best stereos, with the controls set for normal listening. If you want to explore the horizons of the sound offered to you, then try anything else that comes to mind! Set the controls for no bass, lots of bass, or saturate the treble and the bass… turn it right up or right down, put the main part cd in the trashiest cd player and the texture sounds in the expensive seperates hi-fi on low volume… put your speakers along two walls, surround youself with speakers in pairs, put each left speaker together and each right together, stack speakers on top of each other from all over – get random or WHATEVER! This is a multiple sound source experimentation kit waiting for you to have fun. You have huge potential to alter the shape of the great music in that four cd box. (personal hint: try playing all the cds except number three… but put cd one in a real trashy stereo and the other two in good machines – spacious sound will ensue… well, I like it anyway!)

Of course, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you could then take it all to an extreme and deliberately start the cds at intervals to see what happens… I haven’t tried that one myself yet but it might yield some interesting results.

As you can see, the possiblities with Zaireeka are many – you could listen to it a hundred times and make it specifically different each time. Besides which, each listening experience is likely to be unique due to speed variations on the cd players! Whatever you do, remember this – with Zaireeka, YOU are in charge! Find your own way through new sound experiences with the experimentation kit you’ve got at your disposal… and if anyone offers you a single cd of Zaireeka mixed down from it’s four parts, remember to laugh in their face.

Drew

http://www.wbr.com/flaminglips/cmp/zsf.htm

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Chadwick Jenkins – “The Aesthetics of Absorption: Truffaut’s ‘The 400 Blows'” (2009)

April 28, 2009 at 7:41 am (Cinema, French New Wave, Reviews & Articles)

I just recently saw this movie for the first time, and was blown away by its simplicity and poignancy. I definitely recommend it to any lover of cinema.
This article comes from the
PopMatters website and was written the day before I saw the movie (although I didn’t know it until a week later) – April 3, 2009…    

François Truffaut’s first film, 1959’s The 400 Blows, may very well be his finest. Indeed, Truffaut himself wondered if he would ever devise a script that engaged him as deeply and as personally as this semi-autobiographical exploration of a clever and rambunctious schoolboy who seeks the pleasures of cinema, camaraderie, and freedom while attempting to navigate the cold neglect of his family and the bitter demands of his schoolteacher. Often mistakenly credited as the first film of the French New Wave, The 400 Blows managed to inaugurate many of the characteristics closely associated with that style.

 

The release of a new edition of the film on Janus Film’s “Essential Art House” series, however, reminds us that The 400 Blows is more than an example of a cinematic style; it is an evocative and lyrical meditation on the exasperations and disappointments but also the joys and aspirations of youth. It is perhaps the quintessential film on adolescence, and thus should be considered a vital constituent of any serious film collection.

Truffaut’s first film and the French New Wave in general, emerged not out of practice but rather out of theoretical speculation. Truffaut was a writer for the film journal Cahiers du cinéma and in his critical assessments of directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and John Ford, Truffaut contributed to the so-called “auteur” theory (la politique des auteurs). This was the notion that, despite the fact that film is necessarily a collaborative act, a good director ought to be considered the film’s author, inasmuch as it is the director who decides upon the specifically filmic elements of the work. In other words, the director leaves an authorial trace upon the film by implementing his/her personal style and imbuing the frames of the film with his/her vision of the subject matter.

 

The important thing to note concerning this theory is that the writers for the Cahiers are not claiming that the director need write the script nor are they claiming that the script is, in any strong sense, the meat of the film. Rather, the auteur theory insists that one look to the specifically filmic elements of the work (such as camera angles, the editing of shots, the use of close-ups and pans) in order to read the film qua film as opposed to reading the film qua narrative.

 

Indeed when proponents of the French New Wave came to direct films themselves, they emphasized precisely those elements that were under directorial control to build new filmic languages. The use of the plural here is important because, aside from an increasing interest in the shot as the building block of a filmic language, the differences among the various directors of the New Wave far outweigh their similarities. To clarify this observation, consider a comparison between Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut.

Both directors are masters of the panning shot (perhaps Godard can be said to have sensationalized the technique in the extremely long panning shot in Weekend); both draw attention to the camera itself as a presence within the filmic moment (that is, neither attempt to conceal the actions of the camera in the manner of earlier French narrative film). Both directors seek to communicate with audiences through the use of filmic technique, relegating dialogue to a secondary and largely inessential source of meaning. But here the similarities largely subside.

 

Godard emphasizes the artificiality of film. He endeavors to make his viewers constantly aware that they are watching a contrivance. Thus, characters speak directly to the camera. The camera sometimes seems to get bored with its subject and meanders off toward something else. Godard makes use of the voice-over in a manner that intrudes upon the narrative aspects of the film. In all of this, we cannot help but think of Godard’s filmic technique as a cinematic reworking of Berthold Brecht’s theatrical technique of alienation.

 

We are meant to understand Godard’s work as something “worked up,” something manufactured. We are meant to register our distance from the characters and events onscreen. We are meant to feel discomfort and not be allowed to invest ourselves directly in the film. We are always aware of our presence as viewers because we are aware of the camera’s presence as medium.

 

Truffaut also draws attention to the movements of the camera, but the effect he creates totally diverges from Godard’s overt irony or his later agitprop. If Godard can be said to employ Brecht’s alienation effect, then Truffaut reminds one of the effect of absorption that Michael Fried discerns in French painting of the early to mid-18th century (particularly the works of Chardin). In Truffaut, the camera works not to keep the viewer out of the constructed reality of the film but rather to draw the viewer into the artifice, to make the viewer complicit in its feigned reality.

 

As an example, take the delightful sequence from The 400 Blows in which the camera follows a group of students being led by the gym teacher in a jog through the streets of the city. While tracking the procession, the camera sweeps high into the air. We witness small groups of students peal away from the phalanx to disappear into alleys and small shops. The teacher remains oblivious and the joggers eventually amount to only two students.

 

The camera offers us a view that can be held by no casual passerby (except perhaps a passerby of the avian sort) but the artifice of the shot does not separate us from the scene it records. Rather, the view from above becomes part of the joke so that we seem to participate in duping the teacher right along with the students. We become absorbed into their prank by the overt manipulation of the tracking shot.

 

Similar examples abound within The 400 Blows. Truffaut articulates his story not through plot (relatively little happens in the film) and not through dialogue (the conversations are largely repetitive and pointless), but rather by following the protagonist Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), documenting his movements, his reactions, recording his expressions, his moments of surprise and astonishment, his increasing awareness that the structures of his life will offer him no respite, no chance for liberty.

 

None of this is said as such; it would be far too trite if Truffaut announced such themes openly. Our understanding of Antoine emerges from our willingness through the kind blandishments of the camera to become increasingly solicitous of his position in the world. When we first encounter him, Antoine is caught drawing a moustache on the photograph of a scantily clad woman. He is sent to the corner for engaging in the same misbehavior as the rest of the class. This scene sets the tone for the film. Antoine is hardly a saintly child. He is mischievous and given to prevarication. He prefers to wipe his dirty hands on the curtains rather than walk a few more steps to get the towel. However, in these habits, he differs little from his classmates. Antoine’s most grievous sin seems to be his penchant for getting caught.

 

However, as the film proceeds, we cannot help but become involved with Antoine’s concerns and tribulations. He skips school and goes to a film and a carnival. We watch him on a ride, his form spinning within the machine. He contorts his body into odd shapes, attempting to derive as much joy as possible from the fleeting moment. The world whirls by and Antoine seems so small. We see him fascinated by the writing of Balzac. He goes so far as to create a shrine to the author and nearly burns his family’s apartment down in the process. He runs away, steals milk, washes his face in nearly empty fountains, and hides in the shadows.

 

He steals a typewriter, only getting caught when he attempts to return it. His parents send him to a reformatory near the sea. He had never seen the sea. He escapes during a soccer game, launching one of the most memorable sequences in any film by Truffaut. The camera tracks Antoine as he runs down the dirt roads toward the beach. His feet pound a rhythm—steady, incessant, mesmerizing. He reaches the sandy beach and we follow him still. There is no fear in the child’s eyes but not much hope, either. He just runs and we follow. He escapes but not from us.

 

He reaches the water’s edge, turns, and gazes directly at us while Truffaut freezes the frame. It is a remarkable moment. It is an ending constructed not from narrative as such but from something essentially filmic. Perhaps that is why that particular image is not likely to be erased from the mind of anyone who truly sees it.

Chadwick Jenkins

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