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Weird Is Good

Weird is Good

Okay, it's time to think outside the box.   We're all in for challenging times ahead, and that's when creativity really makes a difference.  Trying new approaches and considering the unimaginable often means getting into some weird, mind-bending stuff.   (Look at physics and string theory.)

What do you do when your thinking needs a good shake-up?

I pull a book off my shelf, and read it aloud in the voice of a fire-and-brimstone preacher.  It's especially weird when it's an auto manual, or a geography book.....;-)

I also reach for some of the weirdest music on my shelf.  Here's a sampling--give 'em a listen:

Robert Pete Williams, "Robert Pete Williams."   Blues so weird and spontaneous, it sounded like his songs were made up on the spot.   His slide guitar playing on "Goodbye Slim Harpo" is especially warped.

"Classic Mountain Songs from Smithsonian Folkways."  A subset of the Harry Smith field recordings.   With its free-form telepathic call and-response, "I am a poor pilgrim of sorrow," is a spine-tingling revelation of the "old, weird America."

Captain Beefheart, "Doc at the Radar Station."   The good Captain sails into an alternate universe, where music and words are twisted and bent into new shapes.

Ornette Coleman, "Ornette on Tenor."   Known as an alto saxophonist and a pioneer of "free" jazz, Ornette thinks outside of even his own box on this recording, playing the funkiest, meatiest saxophone of his career.

How do you shake up your thinking, and give yourself a different perspective?  If you don't make a habit of that, this might be an opportunity to try something weird.  Let me know how it goes.

Ears and Eyes:  What I'm Listening to and Reading:
    R.L. Burnside, "Mississippi Hill Country Blues."  Buy the CD:
    Toby Walker, "Hand Picked."  Buy the CD:
    Alan Lomax, "The Land Where the Blues Began."    Buy the book:    
    Philip Toshio Sudo, "Zen Guitar."   Buy the book:

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