Sunday, October 4, 2009


As a silent protest to the fact that the whole of Germany is on involuntary consumer lock-down in the shape of a public holiday that falls on a Saturday I have spent almost the entire weekend in bed, a bed-in if you will, a John Lennon like gesture to the world, sadly without a young Yoko Ono to keep me from writing bad rock n' roll. The main difference being that time was spent, not talking to the press or sleeping but rather watching series 2 of Prison Break. I can hear Angela 'the haircut' Merkel shaking in her ill-advised fuck me boots from here. I showed her. I showed them all... Kind of.

So I emerged just under an hour ago from a stale bedroom and a hot laptop that has, with the exception of a couple of sleep and toilet based breaks just played host to 22 episodes of Prison Break 2 in a row. For the record my time was not well spent (Really?) and yet again after dedicating an entire day of my life to that series, there is no pay off. When will Hollywood learn, this is not the way to treat a viewer. On that note, I cannot believe that David Chase and James Gandalfini are still alive after the shit they pulled with Sopranos. I know people who gave that show years of their life and for what exactly? Fuck you Hollywood.

Anyway, onto the light at the end of this particular HBO based tunnel... It is called 'Wisdom Through Music', certainly something I am in no danger of getting from watching literally hours worth of mind numbing and repetitive television. Anyway, lesson learned until next time. This came the year after the frankly unlistenable 'Thembi' and is considerably closer to the man's opus 'Karma'. It is if we are honest, well disguised world music. Despite the Impulse label and the 'Is he taking a shit or feeling the jazz?' jazz face on the sleeve, what lies inside is a journey to Asia, to Africa, but it certainly sounds a long way from Pharoah's New York home and game.

Now let's start with the negative: The production is shit. It's a million miles away from the much crisper, cleaner 'Karma', it's muddy, dull, it almost sounds like I am listening to it through a wall. Despite this the grand designs of the piece do shine through. A flurry of flutes, percussion and chanting that spans five tracks over two sides. I would swear I just hears a sitar as well but according to the sleeve I just imagined it. There was no sitar. It has much in common with a lot of what Alice Coltrane was doing around the same time and while 'World Jazz is a term I would more usually associate with the likes of Giles Peterson... I don't feel comfortable saying that phrase but I think that when it comes down to it, that's exactly what this is. World Jazz. 

'Wisdom Through Music' is a happy album and although it can't quite take the edge of the fact that I just spunked an entire weekend up the wall for the sake of a TV show (oh and a show of strength against an uncaring government that charges me more for health care than the US) it has given me something positive to pull from two entirely devoid days.

So the reason for turning an entire country into a ghost town, failing to service the community and talking prime trading time away from a national high street when a country is (regardless of what the papers say) still in a recession? German re-unification. A celebration of the Eastern Blocks realization that the DDR was bankrupt and that particular idealist dream was over, (also the greatest spike in unemployment in Germany since the end of the great war) and we celebrate that by what? Taking away consumer rights and the rights of retailers for an entire weekend. Don't worry, they will do this twice more before Christmas. FUCK a country run by the church and a woman in what looks like a wig.

Anyway, calming throughts, calming thoughts...Thanks Pharoah, nice beard.

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