Sunday, June 05, 2005

iPods & Flying Fish

When Apple unleashed the iPod on the masses last year I thought that we were one step closer towards living in a world dominated by machinery ie: H.A.L. in 2000: Space Odessy or SkyNet in the Terminator movies. While the copyright wars had subsided (because NapSter got faded by the record companies), I still thought that there was a possibility that good tunes would get played on the airwaves (eventually) and there was no need for an iPod. I was wrong. As of this writing, corporations, broadcast networks (T.V., film and radio) are merging exponentially and in such a way that there'll never be free form programming again. Scary, son. About two months ago I broke down and purchased an iPod Mini to carry my tunes with me when I traveled or worked out at the gym and since that time I've become born-again-hard about why they're necessary...

At first I thought it would be cool just to step around listening to the radio (while suffering through the corporate ads and shrill, ass-clown D.J.s) for the cuts I liked but I quickly started to learn that there's no way to do so -- simultaneously the auditory-dependence on my iPod took on a life of its own... Mind you, technology has its drawbacks because it takes away that primitive hands on feel of taking care of business sans electricity and USB cables but I'll tells ya, once you go digital with your sound, you'll never want to go back -- if I like, I can build set lists that contain tunes from John Coltrane ("Be-Bop) or The Beatles ("Tomorrow Never Knows") or Mutabaruka ("Check It") or Jimi Hendrix & the Band of Gypsies ("Machine Gun) or Massive Attack ("Everywhen") or Ennio Morricone ("The Mission") or The Verve ("Bittersweet Symphony") -- without any garish interruptions...

All of this reminds me of a tune I wrote (back when I used to play music, jump around and sweat on a nightly basis for my bread) called "Flying Fish." I wrote it for the stage divers who would jump off stage while we rocked out. When these people would jump off the edge into the seas of people behind them, I used to note that they always had one thing in common: they'd jump into the void behind them fueled by nothing more than the faith that they'd be caught by somebody. Most of the time they were but sometimes they weren't (and I've witnessed some gnarly-ass spills from behind the mic-stand) again, for the briefest of moments, they all had the same look on their faces just before they sallied backwards. I'd like to say it was a look of peaceful bliss but I'm sure on more than one occasion alcohol, cannabis or a mixture of the two (maybe other things) led them to "partake" in those flights of fancy but that's niether here nor there, hindsight 20/20 and all that...

I said all of the above to say this: if you have the means (and a computer), get yourself an iPod and liberate yourself from the tentacles of the suits whose allegiance to fiduciary gain kills the very means which has allowed them to do so: the creativity of others ...George Clinton once sang, "free your mind and your ass will follow" and while I know that some might say "buying shite from Apple would be selling out." To that I'd say "you're wrong, sir. Have your seconds meet my seconds at dawn!" The Great American Rock and Roll Swindle, christened on the heads of Blues and R&B musicians as early as the mid-50's has become the coin of the realm -- I don't think Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at those infamous cross roads in Mississippi. He probably just signed a record deal with the leeches who'd get rich off of him after he kicked...

Think about it, when's the last time you heard anything on the radio that made you want to drop what you were doing and run out and buy it? (for me it was when I heard U2's "Beautiful Day" a couple of years back )...In short, the corporations have already slouched towards the Bethlehem of good programming, infiltrated its perimeter and left us true music lovers with few alternatives. Sure, you can download music that you've already bought in one configuration online for a nominal fee but the men behind the curtains are sewing all of the angles up there too which will soon make it possible to download sounds only through a handful of (heavily monitored) sources -- sound familiar cellphone owners? -- at least with an iPod you can take the wheel and mix it up to your heart's content while retaining unscratched copies of your CDs for posterity's sake...Try it. I think you'll like it. No commercials is a beautiful thang, kid. and it's quite difficult to get an online audio feed when you're sitting in a subway car or flying thousands of feet over the Grand Canyon in a 757...oh yeah, I'll post the lyrics below to that tune I wrote in tribute to what those stage divers made me feel back in the 90's...we turned out many a crowd from NYC to GA. State with this cut and it sold like hotcakes when the CD it was on (Full Stop: G.Y.S.T) was still in print...I guess the message slipped through the cracks...BTW, "Flying Fish" is what we called those who chose to dive off the stages back then...Laters...

The Fish Song

Chorus: Music takes me so much higher. Egocentric aim is lost.If you see what you desire, flying fish go back and forth!
(the music will) Get a little bit nicer on ya! Get a little bit nicer...

Now here's a little ditty dedicated to the fish - flying off the edge to embrace those he wish.
Self motivated, he came to kick loose, so this is called the fish rap: dish your juice!
He never shows fear for what others may think. Way overhead, he's straight in the brink.
Roll with the waves can you mosh it like this?
Thrash like a flounder, Flying Fish...

Life is sure a bitch at the bottom of the sea. Take it to the surface, I think you'll agree.
The view's much better when the water is hot. So give in to the groove until your groove it got.
Step into the school. Move with force. Break away the shackles and chains of remorse.
Once it hit ya, once it gets ya. [oooh shit!] You'll be a Flying Fish.

Music takes me so much higher...

Flying Fish! You should know about the way he swings and all those things.
Shake your rump. Wave your fins -- I do believe we're getting nice again.
Cool runnings, feelin' fine. [a big barracuda's in your behind!]You work yours and I'll work mine.
Big or small, we'll have a good time. [In the words of the fish:] Life is just too short to contemplate.
Don't fiddle in the middle, just get it straight and here's the groove for which you wait!
I go pogo when I flow, yo. So precise. [Yes, you know!]
I wouldn't change a thing about the way we sway.
If the fish is in your ass, don't give it away...


Blogger mj said...

you are so right, i need an ipod. and why would anyone have a problem w/ buying an apple?! this is a rebel company compared to ibm and bill gates and most corporations these days. you have to act like all the other companies at least some if you want to compete, but mac has kept it real from the beginning. they do not cater to the after sale market of virus and spyware protection and all that. i never had a virus problem with the many macs i have owned over the years. they don't break down-they just work. mac is as alternative a company and a computer as is going to be found in this world and yet, they compete and perform remarkably well. still the gold standard for graphics and the creative side of life.
the thing is, i can't really afford to get one. the way it all works for me, is i let my surroundings dictate what i will listen to. when i'm in my car, it's a single cd of my choice or the radio but i avoid music radio mostly. some kcrw or 103.1 but mostly, i go air america these days. at home it's one of the stereos, two of which i can play 5 cd's spinning randomly or pre-programmed by the greatest mixer of music i have ever known; (me.) when in rome, i let the romans choose the tunes. at the colorado bar, $5 in the jukebox will get about 12 pixies songs, 3 clash and 1 each pearl jam and the pogues. so for now, i'll do w/out the ipod. but i know just what you're talking about.
have you ever checked out culture jamming is cool.

12:28 PM, June 06, 2005  

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