Friday, September 11, 2009

Dinosaurs And Liquid Architecture

There are days when I'm online that tend to create in me the sense that I am a dinosaur. Come to think of it, those days exist in "real" life too. I may be 59, but much like any twentysomething, I too have my "whole" life ahead of me. It just happens to be somewhat shorter a "whole" life than it used to be. Maybe I am more aware of it today due to the recent death of many of the icons of my life, and maybe it was the death of my friend Sue this past week. She wasn't the closest of my friends, but she was a friend. I spoke with her Wednesday evening, she was found dead on Thursday morning. Life plays those kind of tricks on you. Those tricks are conspiring with each other to make me old.

I have been told that old is a state of mind rather than age. Whether we are old or not old supposedly depends on how interesting we find new things and how willing we are to accept change. Does this mean that I am not old if I embrace the new technology by standing in line at 3 in the morning to be the first on my block to buy the new whatever? Will I prevent aging if I wear all the latest fashions, call everyone "Du-u-u-de". or wander around listening to hip hop? What do I do with the parts of my body that have migrated south and won't look at all attractive in halter top dresses, or daisy dukes? Lets not go there, it ain't pretty.

We've established that I won't wear today's fashions and I have no use for a cell phone that I can text with or go online with. Frankly, I enjoy my time online, but it isn't something I wish to have intrude on the rest of my life. I am quite capable of going somewhere and enjoying the scenery or the company or the music I'm hearing without having to grab a phone and report to someone. I have to carry a cell phone as part of my employment, which doesn't mean that I have to do much with it beyond take calls and follow through on them. When I'm with my friends, I have little need to contact other of my friends and waste my time sharing what's happening every minute of the day. I appear to be out of touch with the modern world that way. Don't care either.

I am also out of touch with the modern world when it comes to much of the music I listen to. While I do like Pink and Kid Rock, I would much rather listen to Blondie or Bob Segar. That might be due to the memories associated with the songs of my youth rather than the quality of the music. Those songs connect me to the people that shared my life, some are still around, some are not. I don't live in the past, but I am a product of the memories of the events in my past. The music of the time accompanied me during many of those events. Sometimes it is that music that reminds me of the event, and recreates the pleasant emotions I experienced then. You might call it the music that raised me.

One of my new online "friends" is Sam Andrew. He is a member of 2 bands that brought me my all time favorite blues rock singer, Janis Joplin. Sam is a guitarist who played with both Big Brother and the Holding Company and The Kozmic Blues Band. Sam is an artist both on the guitar and with paint. I asked him if, when he played, he saw color and form. His response to me was that he saw transparent form and he called music "liquid architecture". He continues to create this liquid architecture with the re-formed Big Brother and the Holding Company.

Much of what they play in concert are the songs that were hits for them and Janis in the 60's. They are older, and wiser. Currently the singer that tours with them is Sophia Ramos. She's not Janis, but then who was or ever could be? Sam says he no longer uses drugs and his current addiction is to coffee, which he thinks he probably should stop. Much like my life, the structure of his existence has changed. Births, deaths, world events, societal mores, daily stress and yet there is the ever fluid music that connects it all. The structure changes, the tides ebb and flow and the life of a dinosaur is touched by butterfly wings and raindrops.

Big Brother and The Holding Company with Sophia Ramos