Saturday, November 30, 2002

Hi Colonel Mustard:

Dude, I tolly slept for a whole day and night. It's weird. Time and space completely changed. They didn't cease to exist entirely, but they opened up into a bowl, where I swam. It was warm.

If I could explain it, I would, but my brain is wrapped in fluffy stuff.

The thunder is so thick and warm-sounding.

I think I have a brain-fever that makes it impossible for me to talk or think.

The other night me and Ken Basart had another music-listening hootenanny, and while we were listening to Run-DMC's first record, I had an epiphany, yo. Musical pioneers almost always sound really bad later on, or at least really primitive and dorky. You listen to them and you think, how did they ever sound so modern and new?

Like, Patti Smith sounds dorky to me. Or Run DMC, a little. Or, well I can't think who else because of my brain. Anyway, you get the point.

But the reason they sound like that is because they are trailblazers. A trailblazer's job is to go into brambles and cut out a path by sheer violence and will and vision and everything. A trailblazer makes the way, then others come along and pave the trail, and manicure the brambles, and put up signs and fences and stuff. But the first person, their whole deal is just to carve a path in wilderness; to make something from nothing.

That work is heavy lifting, to use another metaphor. It is messy and rough, and doesn't leave much room for subtlety. That's why you listen now to trailblazers and think they're retarded. Their sound has already become so much a part of your ears that you don't even notice it, and the subtle refinements of their followers have fine-tuned your ears to the point where the originator sounds like a primitive version of the imitator.

But you know better.

And sometimes the imitator is every bit as good as the originator, or better. I'll take Bob Dylan over Ramblin' Jack Elliott and even Woody Guthrie. You know.

The thunder sounded like Minnesota just now: A metallic crack, vibrating across the hills. I better get off the dang 'puter.



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