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Dream Journal

’36, Night Crashers 2

“Night Crasher” was a famous storm (perhaps even hurricane) which — you might be surprised to learn — was actually promoted by Hollywood and its movie stars in 1936. There are posters and other artifacts which I find fascinating and puzzling. Why promote a storm, and how did they know it was coming? Was it a real storm? I’m fairly certain it was a real film, as was alive to remember its decades-late sequel “Night Crasher 2”, released in the early ’90s.

A quaint, yellowed old-timey map shows a staggered row of island groups between the latitude above Australia and south of the equator. Never before have I seen these islands so presented (either grouped, or as a timeline) showing the odd order they were discovered, claimed, and settled. The map is even illustrated with cute icons to be helpful and memorable. Once again, this map was actually promoted by Hollywood media types at the time (so perhaps also from the 1930s).


I’m a small spry man of indeterminate age riding as a passenger in a car’s backseat. My companions and I travel at night in drizzly rain through an unfamiliar neighborhood. I’m not too familiar with my companions either, but they’ve also never been here. There’s an unacknowledged tension — as if we are all on a mission none of us signed up for. I weigh the balance of providing directions versus disturbing the group dynamic.

Soon it must be tested anyway; we arrive at our first destination. I tromp up a steep hillside of industrial scree to the curved wall of a concrete bunker. I’m the only one to have dealt with these people before, at some village-scale trade negotiations. With the vantage from climbing I now can see into their unobscured control room — no ceiling, disorderly but oft-used, a place of daily work for the overworked. We are summarily buzzed in and I must hop quickly after my taller male companion, as the timed doors close promptly after me.

An insouciant gray-haired lady greets us by suggesting we wait and go play table tennis. My companion is young and likes tasks requiring only brawn. He needs handholding, so I try to assure him that he simply doesn’t understand their ways here: they mean no disrespect, neither is it some kind of test. We really do only have to kill time. And pleasantly there is an actual pool table (or close enough).

After a while I leave through a different door within this compound, wanting to go outside to break up the time. Unexpectedly I encounter what must be the concert of the season going on… many people I know in wider social circles are seated across loads of metal balconies in this half stadium, all reveling. I’m glad I’m there: a few friends start hanging off the balcony rails; by chance I know the structure’s particular weaknesses. Once again I weigh the prudence of sharing advice. I’m glad I do share it this time, though.

Returning to the main room of the place, this industrial business compound, I meet up with my occasional friend Chloe. A great song starts playing and we spontaneously dance around the pool table. Turned away, with our butts pressed together, she offers a friendly warning: “don’t think this means any more than what it really does”. While playfully bumping/humping her from behind I respond in kind by quoting Rick Astley, “you know the game, and so do I.” This response lands well and I’m glad we’re on the level.

In my wallet I save keepsake political art made to look like dollar bills. These are even valid currency in some odd cases. I am only reminded when I go to pay for something (maybe the jukebox?) and I notice a $39 bill. It’s collectible, a feminist pro-union message as I recall, supporting daycare access for working women. Another one is an otherwise normal boring $10 bill. It’s design is so incredibly plain and modern that the overall effect strangely exotic. A sleeper hit, I guess we’d call it.

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Dream Journal

Belle Delphine’s Tiny Skull Machine Concert

Belle Delphine invites me to her concert, from a corner balcony at the edge of the venue. She seems really nice and I’m even considering joining her Patreon/Onlyfans for $5. Held inside walled-in park grounds that usually hosts metal shows, once I’m inside I’m not surprised the crowd is mostly guys. It’s a pretty good concert for someone not otherwise known as a singer/musician.

Random piles of cool little toy skulls can be found in stacks, many different shapes & colors. I collect as many kinds as I can. In a confined screened-off space I come across a squat bulky machine totally covered in controls and meters, like Dalek steampunk art or fused-together antique medical devices. But my boating friend Marc Roper comments that to him it “doesn’t look like they’re just kludges” (a.k.a. greeblies, that is to say not just for show). Chicken John does an explanatory bit in the middle of the show for Belle in order to explain the machine: we are to drop the skulls into the top of the device to collect a variety of corresponding prizes. I’m happy that I’m set to collect a lot.

It’s now very crowded with fans behind the machine, among some open-air shelves. Crouched in a small ball near a top shelf, I try to cheer up a sad withdrawn little Triceratops (like Sarah from The Land Before Time).

Part of the show involves an experiment where the crowd is allowed to feel Belle’s outstretched leg. This seems to go well; perhaps something of the peer pressure of not wanting to be the guy that caused the fun to stop. She’s really engaged with her audience and seems to interact on the same level. Soon she is milling among the crowd after the performance and personally thanks me, using my name. I question aloud how she could’ve known my name, and my friends parrot back, perhaps mockingly, “I dunno Orin, how did she know your name?”


Driving a junker car through dusty parts of my hometown. As I drive along, alone, I chuck my signature ping-pong balls with skulls melted into them in the backseat. I’m listening to the radio (AM 1205?) because I don’t have my usual phone transmitter. Only just make a yellow light at a large intersection against a long line of cars going the perpendicular direction — while crossing, I maintain my eyeline on the tall tamarisk trees on the opposite corner.

From memory, I park in the driveway of the address I think I’m headed — 1284 — next to a woman parked in a car there already (it’s a long driveway so there’s room for me to pull right beside her, then back up). If this is the wrong address, I figure she’ll just have a close encounter and nothing will come of it.

Categories
Dream Journal

5 Scenes from Varied Dreams

Chicken is attending a concert by a Japanese cellist with his wife and daughter. We have a friendly stilted conversation afterwards. He says he could’ve done without the cellist’s political discursions, but found the concert enjoyable.


A lifted pickup truck with a circular rollbar parking on the street. It brakes hard while backing up and flips over — and odd, interesting old feature.


Fixing Autumn’s air conditioning. There’s a purpose-built enclosed orange space just left of the stairs where all the air is pushed through.


Donald Trump is a sad, half-cocked big city real estate investor. He’s leaning against his family, of which I’m one. Simply being there is the most sympathy I can think to have.


Our pet rats have been set free for a long time, and we’re outside calling them. They come quickly, seemingly from nowhere. It’s a teary, warm-hearted reunion. I know they won’t be able to breed (neutered) but they’re living out their lives in freedom, among their rat people.

Categories
Glot

Bulgarians

Odd to think there’s a whole country of them. Well, I mean, I’m sure there’s not a whole country full of them who can sing like Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, but still… the music is fascinating. It was when I went to see them perform at Grace Cathedral on May 28th.

I couldn’t tell you exactly where we sat (as Lynae decided to come at the last minute), it’d be the front row of the back section (apse?), carefully behind the singers… my architectural jargon isn’t up to spec. Nor could I try and easily explain how I became interested in this specific musical niche, the convoluted methods that I useta employ finding listening material. I can’t even tell you what I heard… not would I care to try and learn (then explain) what modal scales or dissonant harmonies are.

I found a recording that might possibly clarify. At right, the group sings one of our less sophisticated American folk songs. The harmonies are totally off, aren’t they? Not off, just… odd. They’re of a different logic. The mentality is different. Sitting there, listening to song after song and having a different internal experience each time, I envisioned mountain landscapes where women signal to each other over vast distances. The microtonalities made sense, because doesn’t a nuanced emotion deserve expression as much as a powerful one?

Dressed in their traditional outfits for the first half, they were a little too precious. I waved at one of the resting soloists and she waved back—just in time for me to bashfully turn my head. These were Bulgarians! How many times had I listened to them on my iPod on the subway? And here they were in their delightful little Bulgarian costumes! The second half was much better for me; dressed in formal blackwear, coven-esque, it became only about the music and less about the novelty of having an ethnic experience (for an ethnic group, I might add, that I’ve personally checked in to stay at a hostel where I worked).

It was surprisingly immersive; songs were in a different scale for hours afterward. It was a joyful way to break out of that subway. It made something which had become just “one more thing I’m into” and made it “something I’ve done.” It was a good thing to spend fifty bucks on.

Categories
Au-dee-o

Live! – J.J. Parree

Amazing! Two musicians, one week! Let me rephrase: I have, through good fortune of knowing about Re/seach Publications show, seen two of my remembered favorite musicians from the time when I was an avid collector and compiler of excellent music, in the past week (not to say I ain’t anymores but hey, a guy has to diversify). After Sunday’s commanding performance by the accordion virtuoso Dick Contino, how can I be anything but amazed at my good luck hearing yet another…

Jean-Jacques Perrey, already known for being French, was also a pioneer of electronic music back in the 60’s—where he had to actually use a razor blade and magnetic tape to achieve his splendid happy bouncy electro-pop. He, along with the Germano-Yank Gershon Kingsley, mid-wived electronic music into popular existance.

He related a story of how he went to Brazil out in the wilds and recorded bees at different rates, all to make “Flight of the Bumblebee” sung by real bees. He spent the next 72 hours splicing the thing the old-fashioned (painfully pain-staking) way. When he happened to run into Salvador Dali, and played it for him, Dali’s first response to it was “you are CRAZY!” Then, after a second listen a an uncomfortably pregnant silence, exclaimed: “fantastic!

So it goes, in the world of experimental music. If you aren’t crazy you’re probably boring. Full Bittorrent soon to come, until then here’s a fun little selection called “Chicken on the Rocks.”

UPDATE: Bittorrent not soon to come. The complete performance was not recorded as pristine as I’d hoped, and I simply have no time to clean up my bouncy friend Mr. Parree. However, if you desire it, ask and ye shall recieve.