Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Song for a Birthday Tuesday

When I was in High School I had a vivid, almost feverish dream. The look was sort of film reel, from the 60's, but the black and white contrast was razor sharp. A Catskills comedian in horn rim glasses and a plaid jacket stood in a hot spot light. He said, in the rehearsed cadence of a joke:

"I had a friend who owned a hardware store...it's okay, he's HALF OF 70!"

The audience went crazy. I woke up.

Today, I am half of 70.

I'm looking forward to 35. It seems like an interesting number, two prime numbers shoved together in an uneasy partnership. It's got a 5 in it.

(I came to the conclusion yesterday that 5 is my favorite number, with its strong brow and stout body. It's a prime number and part of my birthday date. I always have enjoyed counting by fives. )

34 always seemed to hedge it's bets, you know? "See, I'm still KIND OF in my early thirties, right?" Now there is no looking back. I'm in my Mind-thirties today.

I must say, I am proud of it. Glad to be here.

So, what to choose on such a momentous day? Favorite song ever? Least favorite song?

Since 35 feels like a halfway mark, a looking forward and a looking back...today's song is "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" by Deodato. This is the groovy vibraphone filled (nearly ten minute long) 1973 version.

The original, Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss was composed in 1896 in response to Friedrich Nietzsche's work of the same name. In 1968 Stanley Kubrick used it as part of 2001: A Space Odyssey, his film adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's colossal mindbender. Looking back on the use of this piece of music as an response to and instrument in the questionsing of humankind's purpose, I am in complete and total awe.

And in 1973, the year of my birth, Deodato took the first steps into electronic irony by incorporating Strauss' notes into this strange "rebirth of Spinal Tap" jazz fusion release.


For those who want to hear the beautiful and terrifying (and considerably shorter) original...


Erica said...

You are awesome in every way. Hooray!

(ooh, my confirmation word is glyconia--fancy.)

Jan Smelk said...

you and your creepy music...oh, well, I guess you're old enough to choose for yourself. Have the best Bday EVAH!

joe g said...

Happy birthday!

Mr. B said...

Happy Birthday, Scary DaDa person!

Many Happy Returns,

-j-j- said...

Thanks, y'all!

Anonymous said...

Hope you had fun last night. Sorry we couldn't make it. Happy birthday!

You can legally run for President now!


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