Happy Friday! This is how I feel today. It’s an oldie, but a goodie.
Beatrice had come home early to find Elise with her tongue inside the fire-flower plant.
“What is this!–Am I not enough for you?”
Elise’s mind was too far gone, lost in the visions produced by the ecstatic nectars of the plant, normally reserved for special ceremonies. Instead of Beatrice, she only heard echoes from a distant shadow. Crystalline colors appeared, then a memory of spilling ice cream as a child.
“Oh god, you’ve had too much again. You damn bitch!”
Beatrice began to cry and stormed out.
Elise didn’t mind. She just fell deeper, and deeper. Soon the sacred plant would start to glow from within. Under the empty sky of a new moon, the light would sharpen through the sun roof, and dragonflies would lay their eggs.
A horrific accident occurred yesterday afternoon at a local strawberry patch. A Drivelling Loude–a tiny red insect employed to protect berries from predators–had accidentally become enraged due to smelling Big Boy’s cologne. Unbeknownst to Mr. Boy, the active compounds in his new cologne, Fresh Boy (TM), bear a striking resemblance to the pheromones of the Loude’s natural antagonist, the Icy Larn. Thus it was that a trace of the volatile compounds from Mr. Boy’s sweet skin passed into the slits of some Drivelling Loudes, causing them to pass the signal of danger to the entire hive.
Sensing a threat, the colony soon mobilized towards Big Boy and his wife, Big Girl, while the unsuspecting pair was out on holiday picking strawberries at McGoot’s Berry Patch. According to testimony from nearby observers, thousands of the Loudes branched together to form a large blade with the edge of their pincers, neatly decapitating Big Boy. Big Boy’s head landed in a basket of just-picked strawberries.
“Never have I seen something like this in my 59 years as a berry farmer,”
said the defensive Mr. McGoot.
“Certainly, it is a tragedy, but the use of Drivelling Loudes is a well-established practice in berry farming, and they have been judged as harmless helpers by the USDA.”
“We see this type of behavior occasionally occurring in certain members of the Loude species and subspecies,” said Professor K. Horacios, an expert in Loude physiology and ecology at the University of Delft.
“It is exceedingly rare, but, once mobilized, the hive follows strict auto-commands. There have only been two recorded cases of unprovoked attacks against humans of this caliber, once in Zimbabwe in 1948, and the other in Antarctica, in 1983.”
“Blimey, what was a Drivelling Loude hive doing in Antarctica?” mused the professor, as he puffed on his pipe.
There was no word yet on whether authorities expected to press charges against Mr. McGoot.
Ms. Girl could not be reached for comment.
Seeing Tomatito last night at The Palace of Fine Arts was awesome. Here’s a wonderful nugget of wisdom from an interview he did 10 years back: http://www.flamenco-world.com/artists/tomatito/tomatito13072004-2.htm
Most young and not so young guitarists are crazy – they subconsciously want to compete with Paco de Lucía. They might say he’s the best, but they really want to better him. What I did is when I met Paco de Lucía at the age of fifteen, I surrendered as soon as I saw what he could do. That’s why I seek out my own way, that’s why my conscience is clear, that’s why people like me, that’s why I do what I do, that’s why I have my own personality, and know my limits. And young guys still say “Tomate, you play some mean flamenco.” At least they value your music, you’ve carved out a niche for yourself.
And competition shouldn’t enter into music. You have to compete with yourself and you have to bring your fantasies, your dreams to life, everyone has something. That’s why one guy’s paranoid, another one’s stuck at home… but look, we’re all only human! You aren’t Mozart, nor is anybody else, so quit trying to be so mystic – that’s all phony. I mean if there isn’t a flower in my dressing room I won’t play, and if my chair isn’t this color… Get real – go play your guitar, think about your guitar and quit goofing around! You need a shrink, man, you’re not gonna last in this game. You’re gonna get sick and in the end you won’t even want to work, and the record companies are gonna lose their patience with you – audiences too – and they’re gonna end up hating you. Nobody’s indispensable in this world.Camarón died and the world keeps turning. And he was the genius of my generation. We won’t see a greater genius in our lifetimes. He re-vamped flamenco, invented ‘flamenco joven’, the crowds, that identification with the youth, the intellectuals back then… He came to Madrid and packed fourteen thousand people into the Palacio de los Deportes stadium. Who else has done that? Nobody. Maybe back then Serrat could pull it off, but a flamenco artist with a guitar and a suit? He was the only one doing that stuff. His power to draw a crowd and the way he could connect with the masses, that charisma, there was no effort, it was just natural. Any big international musician that came, they all came after him: Chick Corea, Mick Jagger… he came and he was knocked sideways by Camarón. And what do the Stones know about flamenco? And you go all over the world and you see his records. He’s the reference point for flamenco today.
Did you have to learn about synthesizers and computers on your own when you were starting out?
I had been experimenting with synthesis since I was a kid. I took a synthesis class at Berklee, but back then, there was nothing presented that I hadn’t already checked out on my own. When I was at Berklee, I was by far the geekiest kid there. I was really interested in programming and electronics. I’d be in my room in the Hemenway Street dorm using a tiny screwdriver to take apart my Roland TB 303 [a synthesizer/sequencer] to make the resonance self-oscillate, or I’d be line editing autoexec.bat files on my PC for automatic sound creation. Everyone else was ripping through the modes on their instruments at 208 beats a minute.
The kids in my dorm didn’t know what I was doing. I think I missed my peer group by about five years. Now when I stop by Berklee, I see students engaged in the things I’ve been interested in since I was a kid. That inspires me.