Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

I'm taking a break from Outside the Asylum this week, but it'll be back next week with more on how to make a politics based on autonomous zones.

Something/Someone Old
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My Something Old today is The Yes Album.

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One thing I didn't know about this album until today is that it's actually Yes' third album, not the first. They had released two albums of cover songs earlier for Atlantic Records, and were actually in danger of being dropped from the label because the first two had done so badly. They released their first original work, The Yes Album, in 1971, and it did much better, especially in their home country of Britain. Another thing I didn't know is that this cover was shot after the band got out of the hospital. Because they had been in a car accident, they only had a half hour to shoot, and the photographer basically had to fly by the seat of his pants and come up with something on the spot. That cast on Tony Kaye's foot isn't an artistic gesture.

Yes is one of the bands from the sixties that remained a force with my generation in the eighties. Like The Doors and Led Zeppelin, you could find them playing in many people's homes (including mine). In the case of Yes, I'm not sure why this is. The Doors, I think, appealed to my generation's generally dark view of things, and Led Zeppelin just rocked. But Yes can be challenging. There's as much classical music and jazz in their work as blues and rock. Yet you could find Fragile spinning (yes, I'm old enough for vinyl) in the background while our teenaged or young adult selves chatted or smoked weed. There's few things as transcendent as listening to "Heart of the Sunrise" or "Starship Trooper" while high.

Even if you are sober, by choice or necessity, give this a listen. It's marvellous.

The Yes Album was the first time guitarist Steve Howe played with the band, joining singer/writer John Anderson, bassist extraordinaire Chris Squire, keyboardist Tony Kaye (who left after this album), and Bill Bruford on drums. Steve Howe is a wondrous force, and most conventional wisdom is that it was his addition that put the band over the top and brought them success.

For my money, Chris Squire is one of the three greatest bassists of the last sixty years, along with Les Claypool of Primus and Geddy Lee of Rush. He plays the bass like it was a regular guitar, and I mean that as a compliment. Played. Damn, I'm still sad he's gone.

The combination of Squire, Howe, and Anderson led to the greatest music Yes ever made, and The Yes Album was the first time it happened. After Squire's death, John Anderson said:

"Chris had such a great sense of humor… he always said he was Darth Vader to my Obi-Wan. I always thought of him as Christopher Robin to my Winnie the Pooh.”

That sounds like a complicated relationship, but am I ever glad they had it.

This is a famous live version of "Yours Is No Disgrace," from The Yes Album. Enjoy!

Something New
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We have a new pit bull puppy, Prudence. Well, actually she came at the end of February, but she's still pretty new both to us and the world. I can't get my actual pictures of her to upload, but here's a reasonable approximation:

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She's wonderful, but she's driving us crazy with her intrinsic puppyhood--grabbing everything she shouldn't, table-surfing, and eating pieces of the philodendron when she's outdoors resulting in

I have no idea why this diarrhea video sounds like either a speak-n-spell or an Anonymous video.

She has no loss of appetite, no bloating that I can see, no fever, no lethargy, but probably we should get the vet to look at her. She has all her immunizations, and she takes meds that are supposed to prevent heartworms, ticks, etc. But I guess she could have bacteria or another kind of parasite.

Yes, I just blogged about puppy diarrhea. You must excuse me; we've had several nights either short on sleep or sleepless. It's like having a baby.

Something Borrowed
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orange.jpg

We got the word "orange" from Sanskrit! Well, sort of. The word "orange" takes a long journey before it reaches English.

The Sanskrit version of "orange" originates in a Dravidian word. If you, like me, don't know what Dravidian languages are, here's a quick definition:

The Dravidian languages are a language family spoken mainly in southern India and parts of eastern and central India, as well as in Sri Lanka with small pockets in southwestern Pakistan, southern Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan,[2] and overseas in other countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. The Dravidian languages with the most speakers are Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam.

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The Dravidian word for orange is the same as the word for "bitter orange" or "sour orange" in Tamil. So, probably somewhere in southern India, a speaker of a Dravidian language, maybe Tamil, came up with this word for orange.

Next, the word traveled to Sanskrit. Well, it didn't have to travel very far, since Sanskrit was also spoken in India in ancient times, and even in medieval times as a language of high culture. To a speaker of Sanskrit, the word meant "orange tree."

Its next stop was Persian, or Farsi, where the word became "narenj." From there, it entered classic Arabic as "naranj." None of these words applied to the sweet orange we know today, but referred instead to bitter orange, which I imagine as being something like the sour oranges used on Christmas Eve pork in Tampa. Sweet oranges were imported from China by Portuguese traders, and so many, many cultures call the fruit we refer to as "orange" by a name that sounds like "Portugal:"

Some examples are Albanian portokall, Bulgarian портокал (portokal), Greek πορτοκάλι (portokali), Macedonian portokal, Persian پرتقال (porteghal), Turkish portakal and Romanian portocală.[32][33] Related names can be found in other languages, such as Arabic البرتقال (bourtouqal), Georgian ფორთოხალი (pʰortʰoxali), Turkish portakal and Amharic birtukan.[32] Also, in some of the Italian regional languages (e.g. Neapolitan), an orange is portogallo or purtuallo, literally "(the) Portuguese (one)", in contrast to the Italian arancia.

Those Portuguese sure got around. Sound like latter-day Phoenicians.

Finally, from the Arabic "naranj," the word entered European languages. In its journey through Italy and France it lost its "n." It finally reached English as the Old French "orenge."

"Orange" is supposedly unrhymable in English, which has led, of course, to many people trying:

US Naval Commander Henry Honychurch Gorringe, the captain of the USS Gettysburg who discovered Gorringe Ridge in 1875,[11] led Arthur Guiterman to quip in "Local Note":

In Sparkill buried lies that man of mark
Who brought the Obelisk to Central Park,
Redoubtable Commander H.H. Gorringe,
Whose name supplies the long-sought rhyme for "orange."

William Shepard Walsh attributes this verse featuring two multiple-word rhymes for orange to W.W. Skeat.

I gave my darling child a lemon,
That lately grew its fragrant stem on;
And next, to give her pleasure more range,
I offered her a juicy orange.
And nuts, she cracked them in the door-hinge.

This is Willard Espy's contribution to the quest, "The Unrhymable Word: Orange." I think I like it best:

The four eng-
ineers
Wore orange
brassieres.

Something Blue
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Blue Train is John Coltrane's second album as a band leader. Its cover is known as one of the best album covers of all time. I don't know about that, but it certainly is evocative:

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Apparently, Coltrane had stopped using heroin four months before making this album, and was newly playing with Thelonious Monk. Five months before--one month before he stopped using heroin--Miles Davis had kicked Coltrane out of his band. I wonder whether he was working through these changes in his music? Clearly Coltrane hadn't burned all his bridges, though, for two musicians from the Miles Davis Quintet joined him on this album: drummer Philly Joe Jones and bassist Paul Chambers. The album also includes pianist Kenny Drew, trumpeter Lee Morgan and trombonist Curtis Fuller.

Here's the title track:

How are you all today?

EDIT/ADDENDUM: Holy cannoli, look at what I found in the comments beneath that video of Coltrane:

Gabriel Nuñez-Soria
2 years ago

“To be a jazz freedom fighter is to attempt to galvanize and energize world-weary people into forms of organization with accountable leadership that promote critical exchange and broad reflection. The interplay of individuality and unity is not one of uniformity and unanimity imposed from above but rather of conflict among diverse groupings that reach a dynamic consensus subject to questioning and criticism. As with a soloist in a jazz quartet, quintet or band, individuality is promoted in order to sustain and increase the creative tension with the group--a tension that yields higher levels of performance to achieve the aim of the collective project.”
― Cornel West, Race Matters

Let's all be jazz freedom fighters.

Who says there's nothing good in YouTube comments!

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Lookout's picture

you read those comments? I am. Brother Cornel and jazz freedom fighters...that's a great idea. We need an army of them! (I often find little pearls like that in youtube comments)

Puppies are like infants. Over the years we've found two to be easier than one because they chew on one another and have a play companion...I'm sure your one is plenty to tend to.

I saw Yes many years ago in Tuscaloosa...fun concert as I recall.

We're still picking blueberries. They just keep coming, but the turkeys have tuned in and are helping us along.

All the best!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout Good morning!

I wish I could go berrying with you. I love blueberries and have missed them twice in a row. Something about having bought a house for the first time is taking up all my brain. Blueberries are over down here (too hot).

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Eagles92's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Great read today, as always. I'm fascinated by linguistics, so the lesson on the origins of "orange" was most welcome (and instructive!).

Things are well in Vermont today. Bright sunshine, much cooler temps than last week, garden literally exploding. These days, it's good to find pleasure in the simple things. Smile

Hope everyone's having a good Wednesday!

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dance you monster's picture

. . . may refer to the Asian Poncirus trifoliata, or hardy orange.

http://www.eattheweeds.com/hardy-orange/

Look closely at the photos in that link, to see the long thorns and twisting growth habit this tree has. It was for a while a popular hedge plant because no one would ever think of trying to go through it. It's arguably the wickedest-looking plant in the world.

Its fruit is too tart to eat off the tree, but excellent preserves can be made from it, or it can be dried or sliced to add another dimension to other foods. Poncirus is the only orange that will survive North American winters, so all those sweet-orange trees you see in Florida, CStMS, are grafted onto Poncirus rootstock -- which explains why shoots that arise from the trunk below the graft have thorns.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dance you monster @dance you monster This is the kind of thing I'm talking about. It is referred to as bitter orange as well as sour orange (my grandma always called it sour orange):

The guy shows the sour oranges, but of course, not the plant, so I can't be sure it's the same thing you're talking about.

By the way, if you use this recipe, make the following alterations for maximum goodness:
Don't use liquid smoke, though I know why he does; the truly traditional way to do this is in an actual hole in the ground or on a spit. But I think liquid smoke is a poor substitute; better to do without. Do use bay leaves (he's out of them so he leaves them out). Something I noticed that's different between his authentic Cuban recipe and my Tampa recipe is that we always use oregano. I don't know what to say about that; he's Cuban so he should know what goes in the dish, but I can vouch for the fact that the marinade with oregano always tasted good!

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

dance you monster's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

(actually, those look like a lemon and a lime), but they may just be cultivated hardy oranges. The small seeds are typical for Poncirus, which as he notes is just a tad sweeter than limes.

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detroitmechworks's picture

Stupid move on my part. We were working on a speed drill and I tried to run before I had my feet fully under me. Went down hard, and bashed my knee pretty good. Fortunately managed to turn the rest of it into a roll (Thank you Judo) so I escaped with only the sore knee.

Looks like I'll be out for at least a few days. Nothing too serious, just hurts to put pressure or weight on it, but it's much better than yesterday. Keeping it elevated with ice. I figure I'll be good to get back to it this time next week. I am a little bummed about missing a class and my damn brain is trying to convince me that taking time off to heal is tantamount to quitting, so there's that crap...

And for some reason I'm on a late 70's Early 80's Kick recently, so forgive me.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks Dude. Tell the brainweasels to fuck off. You're not quitting. You're injured.

A week ain't gonna kill your process.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks I'm usually on a late-seventies/eighties kick, so no apologies necessary.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

enhydra lutris's picture

@detroitmechworks
keep up with. I just finished two I had missed (Athena & Dionysus) only to find there is another to be read. Thanks, they're great.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

detroitmechworks's picture

@enhydra lutris at least as far as writing goes. Normally in the past on days like this I'd spend all day writing, then burn out and not write again for years.

Keeping to ONE poem a Day seems to keep the inspiration flowing. Plus it's a subject that I enjoy. (Mythology, AND Character Studes, AND I get to be Anti-war? Joy!)

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Sorry I'm late; I have not only a puppy but painters. Another Something New is the colors I'm putting on the walls to replace the godawful blue-gray and bruised blueberry that somebody thought were going to "cool down" the golden and orange oak that's all over my 80s house.

Someone needs to figure out that placing cool colors next to warm ones doesn't "cool down" the warm colors. This isn't entropy; it's perception. Placing cool colors next to warm ones makes the cooler ones look cooler and the warmer ones look warmer. It's called contrast.

Anyway, good morning!

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7 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal So, the accent wall color is just what I'd hoped; the color on the rest of the walls is, I think, too dark. I'm probably gonna have to get them to paint over it with another color.

I did my best to visualize it beforehand, painted big squares of foamboard and set them in my room so I could see them in all lights...but pear cactus looked a lot lighter on the board than on the walls.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

up
5 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

CS in AZ's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

I’m pretty sure I read recently that EL was taking a short vacay.

Zoebear however, I am worried about her. We were in contact fairly often and she was planning some essays. Then she just disappeared, no comments and no replies to messages for a few weeks now. I hope she is ok.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@CS in AZ I sent her a message a while ago too, when I started the Outside the Asylum series.

I hope she turns up.

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5 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

LeChienHarry's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again you did not know. ~ William Wiberforce

If you can donate, please! POP Money is available for bank-to-bank transfers. Email JtC to make a monthly donation.

enhydra lutris's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
We headed off for the sierras on the 29th and got back at dinner time on the 7th - no service up there. Unloading, unpacking, sorting, cleaning and storing until the next venture has been ongoing ever since. My OTs were written and queued in advance, but I did peek in a bit on Sunday and Monday.

Just firing up the Yes video. Don't recall them, maybe missed them. Not sure about the bass player list, there were too many, often obscure, kickass bass players, especially if you include those playing the Chapman stick and the Jazz upright bass crowd. Many(?) of them also played it like a guitar instead of a bass, Jack Casady immediately comes to mind, Rob Wasserman too. Then there's Tal Wilkenfield -

with Jeff Beck (snippet)

Solo - Chelsea Hotel

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris Mountain vacations trump posting online by about 1000%. Wish I could go on one!

I should have said: best of the bassists I'm aware of. There could be hundred better that aren't stars.

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6 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Granma's picture

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QMS's picture

@Granma She passed down the river about a month ago.

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Listen to your higher mind.

enhydra lutris's picture

@Granma
recall the details.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Granma I wrote a small acknowledgment of her contributions to this thread into my OT after she passed. Sad day.

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7 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Mark from Queens's picture

As a budding, omnivorous music fan in my adolescence they hit me like a ton of bricks in the late 70's.

I was weened on R&R and funnily enough made my way pretty much chronologically, beginning with my parents music from the 1950's. After doo-wop and early R&R, it was on to the Beatles, as well as taking in the beautiful variety on Top 40 hits through the 1970's.

But Yes floored me in the 7th grade, at a point when I had mostly been enthralled with the hard rock of the day, including Aerosmith, KISS, Foghat, Black Sabbath, Foreigner, etc. They had elements of the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, two of my favorite bands then, but with these wondrous, ethereal passages woven throughout of touches of classical, folk and jazz. They were part of that Progressive Rock movement that included Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, and more (and then later, Rush). I really dug that stuff.

To me, there's something uniquely transcendent about Yes particularly. While Pink Floyd is perhaps more cerebral and more lyrically literate, Yes was like majestic, gorgeous forays through the cosmos and arriving at a oneness with the universe. I've told a few friends this: if I am fortunate enough to be in a position to choose the music I want to hear when I leave this world it will be something or a few things by them.

Didn't know that about the band having been in a car crash prior to the cover shot of The Yes Album (and never noticed the cast, but will now never see it the same). I still love that weird, almost ghoulish, off-green of the cover art; it takes me right back to being a nascent pot smoker/questioner of authority/seeker of larger truths.

What a magnificent album, and the first I bought. Steve Howe's contributions take them to new, more powerful heights. Still remember falling hard for the shortest song on the album (not including Howe's solo piece), "A Venture," reminiscent of McCartney. "Starship Trooper" is an example of one of those transcendent pieces (though the outro goes on a bit too long, one of the only complaints I can dredge up on them).

You and I are of the generation who found out about them after they had been out for while and had already been through many changes. So like you I didn't really know their first two records, though my older friend fans talked reverentially about them. I've gone back and really appreciate and quite like them now. But not as much as the period after. The first two records were not cover records, btw. They did cover the Beatles "Every Little Thing," but the albums were their own compositions.

Just as we missed those early records, the original fans (my uncle's generation) missed a load of masterpieces often thought of as after their heyday. "Going For The One" (1977) and "Tormato" (1978) represent an incredible back-to-back divergence that has to be heard to be appreciated. The former is in line with their most majestic stuff of the early 70's, while the latter is an attempt to write shorter, more propulsive pieces in line with the punk ethos but with the tremendous weight of their unparalleled imagination, dexterity and poetic flourishes. The album after, "Drama" (in 1980, and the only one in which lead singer Jon Anderson was not on) is incredible also, a sort of merging of the styles of the previous two. And then of course their huge MTV breakthrough album, "90125," brought them legions of new fans.

Very specifically with Yes, I find deep serenity, a universal sense of oneness and a path to truth.

(Funny you mentioned Geddy Lee also. All throughout my adolescence I was a devout Rush fan. They were viewed more by my generation as a current, newer band for us than Yes or Zeppelin were. Saw every tour from Hemispheres through some point in the 80's when I lost favor with them. Thing with Rush was, like clockwork, almost every year there'd be a new album and tour. Those were big trips with lots of friends to the Coliseum and the Garden to see them year in and year out.

So check this out: I just started a weekly residency gig a couple of weeks ago at the Hard Rock Hotel in Atlantic City (if folks like that type of thing, stop by and say hello). I'm being shown the stage and room for the first time. And I look over and to stage right is, Geddy Lee's bass enclosed in a gold frame with an inscription! Heh. A flush of memories and serendipity for me.)

Thanks for the always engaging and edifying OT's.

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"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut