Salubrious Saturday: “Dirty Water,” The Standells

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I know this “ode” is tongue-in-cheek at best, but I still grew up listening to it and still mean it when I sing out the chorus.  Given I’m planning a trip home next month, I have to post some home-town love.

And, hey – do you like apples?  On this day in 1788, Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the new constitution.  How d’you like them apples?

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Salubrious Saturday: “S.O.B.,” Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

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Your fearless heroine had a, shall we say, “wet” December.  The gauntlet that shoots one from Thanksgiving to New Years turned into a slip-n-slide of festive parties.  The moon rose on events and the sun rose on headaches.  It was a lot of fun.  Until it stopped being fun and started being kind of stupid.  There came a moment, around December 31st, when I woke up just felt generally unpleasant, like a washcloth that had been used too many times before being cleaned out.  So Mr. Yankette and I decided that we would have a “dry” January.  This means I haven’t had a single one of these drinks at all this month:

I also haven’t had any of these, which are of course in the liquor shelf in our kitchen:

  • Tanqueray 10
  • Green Hat
  • Green Hook
  • Oban Little Bay
  • Aultmore 12
  • Espolon
  • Santa Teresa
  • John Myer rye
  • Becherovka
  • Tito’s

I’m not here to preach the gospel of dryness.  Of course I feel great.  Obviously I feel great.  I am as clean and unblemished as a brand new window pane.  I’m squeaky and practically translucent.  And, this feeling is certainly nice enough to skip over what people who attempt this generally do after their dry month, which is plunge head first into a booze pool in February.  I’ll go back to my pre-holiday moderation, no problem.

But.  As a working professional in a busy, high-maintenance city, where networking happens around happy hours and drinks lubricate the awkward few minutes of conversation,  I hadn’t fully grasped the extent to which drinking punctuates daily life.  It’s the lingua franca of collegial complaints (“what a terrible meeting – is 11am too early to drink?”), and the liquid that forms the social cement (“We should get drinks sometime!”).  Substitute almost anything else in that sentence and you sound batty: “We should play tennis sometime!”  “We should paint landscapes sometime!”  “We should take a walk sometime!”  (That last one sounds suspiciously like a date.)     What to do?

Well the obvious answer, the best answer, is, order ginger ale at the bar when you meet your friends.  It’s not rocket science.  But that won’t protect you from good-natured ribbing, which is a curious phenomenon.  There is something of a wall between my friends and me that I didn’t notice until this month, and it’s entirely unexpected.  Friends feel very slightly awkward drinking around me.  They ask if I mind (I don’t).  They ask why I’m doing it (I say I felt gross and needed a break).  They consider this.  Time lumbers on.  It’s weird.  So I can’t deny that, once February comes around, I’ll feel a little more connected.

I also can’t deny that, while watching the GOP debate last night, I didn’t long for a dirty martini (or a hammer to the head, whichever is fastest).  A fun new parlor game is considering what my first drink will be on February 1st.  But a habit can turn into an identity, if left unchecked, and I’d much rather be more deliberative about drinking.  So my New Year’s Resolution is to only drink exquisitely delicious things, and to take my time about it, and savor it.  Chin-chin, y’all.

TDTU: A Valentine’s Day Spectacular

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Hooray! It’s Valentine’s Day! Whatever your feelings on the day, the Tune-Up’s gotcha covered.

Choose your own adventure!

Pro-Love: “I Will Dare,” The Replacements

Love happens at any time and when it does, it’s really exciting.

Meh-Love: “Shape of my Heart,” Noah and the Whale

A song about being excited to love again but man, kind of totally not excited at all.

Anti-Love: “No Children,” Mountain Goats

This song is so horribly bleak that it’s really, really funny.

Salubrious Saturday: “There Will Come A Time,” Noah and the Whale

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One day things will turn out as planned
You’ll have her in the palm of your hand
But it’s not tonight, no not tonight

One day she’ll look at you and say
I never thought I could feel this way
But it’s not tonight, no not tonight

There will come a time
Where you will need your friends tonight
There will come a time
Where you will need someone tonight

One day she’ll hang on to your arm
Chasing the night all the way ’til the dawn
But it’s not tonight, no not tonight

One day soon you’ll find a way
To learn to lie and what you’re thinking you say
But it’s not tonight, no not tonight

There will come a time
Where you will need your friends tonight
And there will come a time
Where you will need someone tonight

And when it feels like everyone’s turning their backs on you
And when it feels like everyone’s turning their backs on you
Oh well the sun’s not out but you know you got to see it through
Oh well the sun’s not out but you know you got to see it through

There will come a time
Where you will need your friends tonight
There will come a time
Where you will need someone tonight

There will come a time
Where you will need your friends tonight
There will come a time
Where you will need someone tonight

There will come a time
Where you will need your friends tonight
There will come a time
Where you will need someone tonight

 

FRIEND WEEK! Salubrious Saturday: “Study #21 for Player Piano (“Canon X”),” Conlon Nancarrow. Submitted by Chris.

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Yankette’s Reaction:

This piece is demented.  Absolutely, without question, demented.  And I love it.  It’s a great piece for the day after Halloween – it’s very spooky.  If I ever have an abode that I want to turn into a “haunted house” for neighborhood kids, this will be one thing I play on the hi-fi.  The left hand starts and you think, “Okay, a little a-tonal, but intriguing.”  And then the right hand kicks in and you think “what in the name of God is that.”  But you can’t stop listening!  All of a sudden the pace of the hands switches!  Why!  Why is it switching!  And then all you can do is cling to the octaves being played until that gets wiped out, and then…it stops.  …What.

Chris’s Justification:

Sometimes a piece of music is all about the idea behind its construction. This notion goes all the way back to the earliest notated music we know about, and the early repertory of vocal music is full of arcane structural devices not apparent to the listener. One example of this sort of thing is the canon – a piece of music based on the idea of strict imitation. In it’s simplest form, it’s a round: “Row, row, row your boat” is a canon. One voice sings the idea and it is repeated exactly by the second voice. But you could make that into a retrograde canon by doing the second voice in reverse: “boat your row, row, row.” Composers love ‘em: every third variation in Bach’s famous “Goldbergs” is a two-voice canon in which the second voice starts on progressively higher scale degrees.
So here is a canon in the hands of Conlon Nancarrow, the wildly eccentric composer for player piano. In this case, this canon for two voice is all about time. Both voices are based on the same 54-note melody, but at the start the treble voice plays that melody ten times faster than the bass. As the piece progresses the notes in the treble slow down while the notes in the bass speed up in exact proportion. The time values cross in the middle (the “X” of the title). The overall effect is astonishing. And it was all done by hand, using paper and pencil to plot out the formulae and a piano roll punching machine to manually create the roll.

So THAT'S what that was...

Modernism Monday: “Christopher Columbus,” David Polansky

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Welp, this is “a whimsical song whose lyrics tout factual and near factual tidbits.”  So says Polansky, at least, and really, who am I to quibble.  Columbus Day is one of the many Mattress Holidays that we enjoy in this country (if you don’t know what a Mattress Holiday is, type it into the Search bar) and I treat it just about as reverently as it deserves, as does this song.