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September 29, 2020:

ELBOW PASTA

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we’ve had us a little miracle so many thanks for all the excellent vibes and xylophones.  Otherwise, I am sitting here like so much fish having taken yet another allergy pill, because I just feel sinus-y and it’s really irritating.  It hasn’t helped that we’ve gone back to our stupid heat wave – today was 92 and tomorrow is supposedly going to be 100.  Disgustingly disgusint, if you ask me and you did so I have answered.  What in tarnation is “disgusint?”  I really am overtired, I suspect, and I suspect I’m overtired.  I am filled to the brim with tuna pasta salad and in fact had to throw away about four ounces of it because I could eat no more and no more could I eat.  I’m quite done with tuna pasta salad for some time now, but I enjoyed it, but the smaller elbow macaroni just didn’t work as well, I’m afraid.  If they have elbow macaroni, why don’t they have knee or ankle macaroni?  I gotta tell you.  Seriously, who decided on damn elbow macaroni.  Hold tight – ah, elbow macaroni was invented by an Eyetalian named Giacomo Francesco Piero Antonio Elbowissimo.  One day he was playing with a piece of tube-shaped past and bent it into the a little “C” shape.  He said, “Guarda che – che forma interessante per la pasta – sembra il mio gomita, che fa anche parte del mio congnome – penso che la chiamero pasta al gomito come me stessa!” which translates to something like, “Look at that – what an interesting shape for pasta – it looks like my elbow, which is also part of my last name – I think I’ll call that Elbow pasta after my very own self.”  And that is how elbow past was born.

In any case, I am listening to more Philippe Entremont piano playing and enjoying so much of this.  So far, the Gershwin Concerto in F had some distortion – whether that’s built in to the recording, in which case you can’t do much about it, or if it’s something to do with the album masters, I have no idea, but it’s a shame as the performance is great.  But the nadir of the set, thus far, sound-wise, is the Bartok disc with two Bartok concertos.  The first of the concertos is one of the most ineptly produced things I’ve ever heard – the second one fares a tiny bit better but still isn’t all that.  What’s fascinating is that those two CDs are not produced by the regular Ormandy/Entremont producer, Thomas Frost, who was great and who knew what he was doing.  And the Bernstein/Entremont Bartok album was not produced by Bernstein’s usual producer, John McClure, also great.  In the cast of the Bartok, the producer was a young ego-ridden upstart protegee of Goddard Lieberson named Thomas Z. Shepard.  Of course, he’d go on to produce some classic Sondheim cast albums, but clearly he hadn’t a clew how to produce a classical album.  You have never heard anything like this, actually.  The balances are actually comical in the first movement of the concerto that opens the disc, the band sounds like it’s down the hall, and the piano, you know, the focal instrument in a piano concerto, sounds like it’s in a closet.  How they ever released this is anyone’s guess.  But thankfully, it’s really an anomaly for Columbia not to have pristine stereo sound, so thanks to those two producers Sony did have two not so great Columbia stereo CDs.

Now playing is the Khachaturian piano concerto one of my favorites.  I had some import CD of it and hated the sound of it – one of the producers was the same guy who did the Gershwin concerto.  But whatever they did in this mastering really helped things a huge amount and I love the performance (and it has the Flexatone), which was recorded in London.  Then I’ll have to get bach to the Bach St. Matthew’s Passion for part deux.

Yesterday was another day where I woke up at six-thirty in the morning after three-and-a-half hours of not enough sleep.  I was up till nine then went back to sleep and thankfully slept through to one-thirty but that was still only seven-and-a-half hours sleep and I really need to catch up.  Once finally up, I answered e-mails, got the good news about the little miracle, which really relieved a lot of tension, chose a few songs, went to the mail place and picked up three envelopes, two of which had huge residuals totaling almost ten dollars.  I got those right in the bank, let me tell you.  There might just be a Taco Bell meal in my near future.

Then I ate two helpings of the tuna pasta salad.  I must not have eaten all eight ounces on day one of eating because there seemed to be a never-ending amount left.  It was good.  Then I got a response from someone I asked to guest in the November show – said response being a no because said person was just too wiped.  I didn’t remind said person that said person promised me that if I ever needed anything from said person to just ask and said person would be there no matter what – that’s because I did said person a HUGE favor three years ago.  But too wiped is a good excuse during a pandemic, I suppose.  I sent a couple of singers the songs I’ve already chosen, so that’s all in the works now.  I also have to figure out how and when we’ll do the interviews for the October Backstage at Kritzerland – that has to happen next week, actually, but should be fairly easy to get done.  Then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on Blu and Ray entitled Key Largo, starring Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, and Lauren Bacall, along with Lionel Barrymore and Thomas Gomez.  I bought the Blu-ray four years ago and never watched it.  And I’d only actually seen the film once prior to that.  It’s a thoroughly entertaining movie – great characters, great performances, a terrific screenplay, and terrific direction from John Huston.  The dialogue crackes, there’s great interplay between everyone, and considering 90% of the film takes place inside a single location, the amount of atmosphere is amazing.  Best of all, this transfer is absolutely stunning.  If you’ve never seen Key Largo, it comes highly recommended by the likes of me.

After that, I ate as much of the tuna pasta salad as I could – a medium-sized helping followed by a small-sized helping, followed by dumping the rest in the trash.  The rest you know because it was all in the first paragraph, which is also the title of my next novel, which will only be one paragraph long.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll choose more songs, I’ll eat something totaling 1000 calories or slightly less, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages and mail, and then I can watch, listen, and relax.

The rest of the week is more of the same, but mostly preparing for the October Backstage at Kritzerland show and finishing up choosing songs and casting the November show.  I’ve only confirmed one guest so far, but hopefully others will say yes.  But I have quite a few songs left to choose so I will buckle down, Winsocki and choose ‘em.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, do whatever needs doing, choose more songs, eat, hopefully pick up packages and mail, then watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite films of Miss Lauren Bacall and Edward G. Robinson?   Let’s have loads of lovely  postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to know how elbow pasta got its name.

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