May 27th, 2004

morning coffee

(no subject)

I walked to work this morning. Usually I take the C-train, which saves me time but is not the most pleasant experience. If you want to lower your opinion of the human race, just try cramming yourself onto a crowded train early in the morning. There always seems to be someone who should bathe more often, eat less garlic or stay home with their bad cold. Then there are the people with the huge backpacks. What do they put in them? You'd think they were going on a three-month canoe trip up the Amazon, rather than a day trip to the office. And they seem blissfully unaware that every time they turn, their backpacks are knocking people over like bowling pins. Anyway, walking the mile to work is not only enjoyable but good exercise, and I will do it as often as possible during the summer.

Not that walking is without its hazards. I believe it is illegal to ride bicycles on city sidewalks, but in practice cyclists seem to think that not only is it OK, but that they have the right to go as fast as they want regardless of the amount of pedestrian traffic. This morning as I was walking I heard a muffled "on your left" and stepped to the right just in time to avoid getting mowed down by a woman on a bicycle towing a baby trailer! And she was going flat out, standing up to pump the pedals.

CDs I received this week:

  • Papermill Creek Rounders 2/26/2004 Sweetwater. The debut performance of a bluegrass group consisting of David Nelson, Banana (of the Youngbloods and Zero) and several other musicians. It's a very good audience recording, and on first listen I'm impressed by the musicianship, especially the warm tone of Banana's banjo playing. I'll be listening to this one some more.

  • Jorma Kaukonen, Too Hot To Handle. This is a "live in the studio" recording Jorma made in 1984. Just his guitar and voice, with the guitar very much out front. His playing may have been at a peak for complexity and precision. He does a percussive thing, I guess rapping on the guitar with his thumb or fingers, that I haven't heard him doing in more recent performances. My only complaint is that the liner notes mention that some songs were written by him and some by his late wife Malles Meje, but nowhere does it say who wrote what!