Mars Junction?

You couldn’t make up the Winklevi; they are so much better than satire.

I enjoy a train wreck as much as the next surly old geezer, but I have not yet sampled the Aoelan cadences of Mars Junction.

Music In The Air

Sister Rosetta rocks a mean axe and sings like she means business.
Enjoy the guitar compilation:

I can’t confirm whether or not she ever opened for Renfield. She played a Les Paul custom with three PAF humbucking pickups, three-way selector switch, two volume and two tone controls; and gold-plated side-action vibrato system.
She helped to pioneer distortion, and her 1964 Manchester show with Muddy Waters was cited as an influence by Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Keith Richards.

Holidays in the Sun

PiL will represent Ireland in Eurovision with Hawaii, an ode by Lydon’s to his wife. It apparently IS a love song.

Blinding Me With Science

Between Chat GPT, Midjouney AI image creation, and now these robots, it’s only a matter of time before all these computers start talking with each other and take us all over. This is cool technology for sure, but no doubt will be used to do bad stuff. Do you think we will be living in the prequel for The Matrix?

Diabelli Variations

I’m sort of a theme & variations junkie.  From Bach to Coltrane, they show just what a musician can do when taking a single melody and running with it.  A while back I posted Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which didn’t really improvise the main melody but came up with new ones while repeating the bass line.  Subsequent composers usually varied the melody by elaborating on bits of it, like in this Beethoven set. This set came about after the musician and (more importantly) publisher, Anton Diabelli, sent a waltz melody to the leading German composers of the time and requested each of them to write a variation on it.  Beethoven thought the melody was garbage and ignored it at first. One story has him changing his mind when he learned that other respected composers (Czerny and Hummel, a sometimes rival) were doing it.  Or maybe he decided that the melody was pliable enough to accomplish something.  Most likely Diabelli simply offered Beethoven money to compose multiple variations; he knew they’d sell.  Beethoven wrote 33 variations.  Like Coltrane working a show tune, these 33 get pretty far out there, way ahead of their time.  There’s everything from mockery of the melody (“this melody is shit”) to transcendance (“look what I can do with even a shitty melody”) and, well, who knows what to call it.  There have been plenty of great theme and variation works since, but none have put a melody through the wringer quite like this. 

Beethoven was a master of improvisation; he wrote other such sets, but also worked variations into his symphonies, piano sonatas, string quartets, etc.  If you want a shorter example, try the second (and final) movement of his piano sonata #32, his last, where he twists a hymn-like melody all over the place before landing in long, brutal, and otherworldly trills that would cripple a normal hand.  The second movement starts at 9:00 if you don’t want to hear the first.