over and over and over again

i believe in establishing continuity in my music while pushing my creative envelope tirelessly.  i am ok with constantly retreading my musical path, but not at the expense of chasing new ideas.  i have certain sounds that i like from particular musical sources.  i’m not big on learning patterns and licks because, seriously, who cares that you memorized a formula in all 12 keys and are ready to pull the trigger at any moment.  however, i am intrigued with various intervals and the design of improvised lines, so i may try to cop the gist of something and infuse it into my playing.  i continue to attempt balancing spontaneity through improvisation while codifying my own vocabulary.  bean, bird, and trane all did this.  

i also think it’s valuable for bands to pound out the same landmarks in the set list.  this marketing tactic gives people something to look forward to and keeps them engaged.  when pat metheny took his 99-00 trio out, they started most gigs with bright size life.  fans of the bad plus waited impatiently for the power trio to play their rendition of smells like teen spirit by nirvana.  a quartet i led in college would always close each gig with mo’ better blues, signaling the end of the show.  pop/rock acts often suffer from this beast that they built.  bob seger was just in town, and i’m sure the crowd wouldn’t let him leave until he busted out old time rock and roll (and probably slipped him a sucret when he graveled his way through we've got tonight).   

christmas around our house is full of tradition.  we run the same annual protocol when we decorate the crib for the holidays, yet manage to work in a new wrinkle or two to break the monotony.   first thing's first - we make our way out to flowerama, pick out a good looking tree, snap a picture with it, then try to jam it into the back of our stationwagon.

then we put on some christmas hats, crank the holiday jams, open up the big green tubs of ornaments, and go to town.  

next, we assemble our willow tree nativity collection on top of our china hutch while talking over the story of christmas (mary, joseph, and them other jokers).  the real fun starts afterwards, trying to remember which animals go in which box.  

when the weather is cooperating, me and the boys hang up lights all over the outside of our house.  each year, we augment our display with the least tacky item we can agree on. this year, we picked up an inflatable elf and nailed him to the front of our house.  score one for the kids.

we're a quirky family, building our foundation on keeping inside jokes, possessing memories like elephants, and never getting rid of dilapidated decorations.  the singing penguins are my favorite.  they are a mix of dollar general and schoenberg.  dig the shifting tonal centers!  we won this trio at a faculty christmas party.  people usually regift stuff like this at the next holiday soiree, but not us.  that would erode the very core of who we are.  enjoy...

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