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Friday, January 27, 2017

Tubs and bones.

Well, nice try anyway. I always thought it would be best to start on the valve trombone and work your way up. Maybe I was right for once, though the odds are against it. Anywho ....

Oh, hi. Just talking to my illustrious brother, who was gifted a trombone for Christmas this past month. We're always stretching our musical horizons here at the mighty abandoned Cheney Hammer Mill, always looking ahead to the next Big Green project, whether it be a new album, a podcast, or just some random squeaking in the night. Sadly, whatever that project may turn out to be, it's unlikely to have trombone parts on it. Matt's not big on the mouthpiece, frankly. Making music is just plain hard!

This is far from the first time we've attempted to add instrumentation. And no, I'm not referring to when Marvin (my personal robot assistant) hired a Lowry organ for a fortnight so that he could learn the wedding march in time for Queen Elizabeth II's wedding on Netflix. (Sentimental pile of lifeless tin.) I mean all those other times, like when Anti-Lincoln took up the glockenspiel or when the mansized tuber tried to carve a piccolo our of one of his root-like appendages. (This, too, I have seen with mine own eyes.) I even banged on some drums once upon a time.

Um, I think you need mallets with that thing.The simple fact is, when we are producing a piece of music, our only resource is ourselves. We can't go out and hire people to score and perform orchestral parts - that's prohibitively expensive .... in that it would cost more than the fifteen bucks I have hidden in the mattress. No, sir .... Big Green forages for what it needs, plucking banjos and bagpipes from the junk pile of music history. That's part of our thing, actually - found sound made with found instruments. What the hell ... if we didn't do that, we would have to get another thing.

What kind of instruments will we need for our next album? Good question. Sousaphone comes to mind, but only because I like the sound of the word "sousaphone" ... even more than I like the sound of the horn itself. We may have use for mandolins and accordions, but it's a little early to say. Ask me after dinner. That's when I do some of my best thinking.

Week one.

Well, we got through the first week alive. That's the good news. I had the creeping fear that Herr Mr. Hair might mistake the biscuit for his smartphone one early morning and, in an attempt to throw Twitter shade on Alec Baldwin, mistakenly launch World War III. That didn't happen, but it has been a busy start to what promises to be a very problematic presidency. There has been the usual flurry of shiny media objects, which in Trump world amounts mostly to diversion tactics, drawing the press's attention away from the crucial legislative and executive actions that form the core of the Republicans' reactionary agenda.

Get the big picture.The most effective way of distracting the media is by attacking them head-on, which we saw last weekend when Sean Spicer marched into the White House press room and delivered a stern lecture to the fourth estate, mostly based on outright lies and falsehoods. It was a remarkable performance, worthy of a pre-teenager, and pure Trumpist arrogance/ignorance. All presidential administrations lie; the Trump cadre, however, is distinctive in that they tell painfully obvious lies - lies that require no research to disprove. Many of their transparent lies are rooted in Trump's overheated ego: the whining about the relative size of his inaugural crowd, the fable about millions of fraudulent votes in California, and so on. The press should just slap the "lie" label on this trash and soldier on.

It's what lies behind the lies that should be our focus. The voter fraud accusation is the opening salvo in Trump's effort to nationalize the ongoing GOP war on minority voters. This will start with an investigation along the lines of his inquiry into Obama's birth certificate. ("You won't believe what my people are finding.") And while the mainstream press has reported that Trump's fellow Republicans have backed away from this, Paul Ryan's response was instructive. He essentially said that voter fraud was a "concern" in Wisconsin that the state addressed through voter I.D. legislation and other measures. Those responses helped deliver that Wisconsin to Trump, of course. So, with respect to legislative "solutions" to so-called voter fraud (i.e. voting on the part of people who don't typically vote for them), Trump and Ryan are on the same page.

Bottom line: Keep your eye on Congress and on the executive orders and memorandums flying out of the White House, and respond accordingly. That's where the real fight is now.

luv u,

jp