Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish listening to Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops – a few of his 70s Deutsche Grammophon albums. After his long tenure at RCA he did the move over and I don’t believe I ever bought another Pops album after RCA. But a few years ago DG put out four or five volumes called The Arthur Fiedler Legacy and themed them – Broadway and Hollywood – Pop – Symphonic Spectacular, etc. I know I listened once when I first got them and they were fine, but I’m really enjoying the two I brought into the house – the film and stage one and the pop one. The arrangements are occasionally so off-the-wall wacky and you can’t help but love them. Mr. Fiedler was very ahead of his time with his programs for the Pops – he began the whole trend of keeping current with the Broadway and Hollywood programs but especially the pop music of the day. That’s why his audiences loved him so much. He was a wonderful and colorful conductor and he just “got” what made a great pops concert and his long time with the Boston Pops shows just what a huge success he made of it all. I’m not sure if each of these two-CD sets are still around, but you should give it a try if they are. They’re really fun and they sound pretty good, too – not as good as the more focused RCA stereo, but pretty good.
Yesterday was sort of an okay day. I did get almost eight hours of sleep, so that was good. Something in the salad I’d had the night before from the Ralph’s salad bar was no good – I suspect it was the cold salmon – so I was pretty nauseous before going to bed, but I fell asleep quickly, thank goodness, and pretty much slept through the night. Upon arising I was still a bit queasy so I popped a Pepcid. Then I answered lots of e-mails, did some work on the computer, had telephonic conversations, and did some prep work for my lunch meeting. Then I got ready for said meeting.
Prior to arriving for the meeting, I picked up some packages at the mail place. Then it was the lunch meeting, which was fun. I had a Cobb salad with ranch dressing. We were there a little over an hour, got business done, and then I came right home. I was just astonished at the street traffic at three o’clock. Ventura Blvd. was a joke. It’s literally a five-minute ride from where I was dining – it took fifteen minutes. Damn them, damn them all to HELL.
Once home, I listened to some music – Gottfried Von Einem’s very interesting opera of Kafka’s The Trial. I quite liked it. I was amazed to see that there were three other operas based on The Trial – one by Gunther Schuller called The Visitation and set in the rural south and updated (no recording), then a composer named Poul Ruders wrote one called Kafka’s Trial, mixing bits of the novel with bits of Kafka’s real life (recorded) and finally one by Philip Glass (recorded), which I’m very interested to hear.
As I write these here notes I am now listening to Australian violin concertos, the first of which is one of the most annoying atonal things I’ve ever heard. One wonders if composers who feel this is modern or serialism (whatever that means) or whatever have bats in their belfry? I mean, to me it sounds like a composer just throwing up various notes and pitches into the air and letting them fall where they may. There are no tunes, no melody, just a violin run amuck to accompaniment that is a lot of noise. I’m hoping the other two are more to my liking. I do know there are certain academics who like this sort of thing, so thank goodness I am not an academic.
Where was I? Oh, yes, I was about to sit on my couch like so much fish, which is exactly what I did.
Last night, I watched the first of the Department Q movies, The Keeper of Lost Causes. As I wrote here after watching the second film in the series, I’d decided to watch them out of order because I’d read a “review” that said the first one wasn’t very good and that there was too much time devoted to the backstory of the characters and Department Q. Well, imagine my surprise that everything this inane critic wrote wasn’t true – when will I learn? Not much time at all is devoted to backstory – we get an opening scene, the result of which is that our protagonist is given a shuffling papers kind of job in the police department, where he meets the fellow who’ll help him – closing out cold cases. Well, within the first fifteen minutes the actual story begins and it flies from there – it’s the shortest of the three movies and the best of them. A good plot, easy to follow, very suspenseful last thirty minutes, and this and the third film are just terrific. So no more listening to inept critics, this one named Noel Murray on a site that just happened to come up first when I Googled Department Q movies.
After that, I made some scrambled eggs with cream cheese – I think this is day four doing Keto-friendly meals and I don’t think I’ve lost a damn pound. Or maybe I have – I don’t have a scale and have no idea. I’ll know when my pants are looser – that is a sure sign something is working. I’m doing this for another few days and if the pants aren’t looser then the HELL with it. We must have the looser pants, do you hear me. We simply must have the looser pants – Looser Pants – that’s the title of my next novel. Then I just relaxed and listened to Fiedler and then some fiddler playing atonal music for seventeen atonal minutes.
Today, I’ll sleep in, then I’ll write the commentary, hopefully pick up packages, eat, and relax.
Tomorrow will be more relaxing and finishing up the commentary, and then we begin the crazy week of Kritzerland rehearsals and music rehearsals for A Carol Christmas. It will be nutty, I’m sure – but fun, always fun.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, write, eat, hopefully pick up packages, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: What is your favorite “far out” music, whether shows, films, or classical – you know, stuff that’s just outré? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, waiting for the day when I have looser pants.