Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul

Bruford – Fainting In Coils


The title comes from:

Alice did not feel encouraged to ask any more questions about it, so she turned to the Mock Turtle, and said `What else had you to learn?’

`Well, there was Mystery,’ the Mock Turtle replied, counting off the subjects on his flappers, `–Mystery, ancient and modern, with Seaography: then Drawling–the Drawling-master was an old conger-eel, that used to come once a week: HE taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.’

FAINTING IN COILS is this amazing tune from the 80’s. I was attending a seminar at West LA Music on Santa Monica BLVd and the board op played it over the PA. “What is THAT?” I thought he said it was “Montrose.“ I guess that’s what he thought it was. Nope. It was Fainting in Coils from Bruford’s (of King Crimson and lately of Earthworks) One of a Kind (ha!) album. I just recently discovered that the collection was on iTunes and I bought it on the spot.

Dave Stewart’s synth work is an example of what CAN be done if you actually know what you’re doing. And the band just moves in and out of odd-time signatures like they were born to it.

Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul comes from Douglas Adams. He was being profound and flippant at the same time. He was like that. He made it look easy. Maybe too easy.

Humor is truth plus pain. Making it look easy is hard. The best I think I manage at one time is almost clever and snarky. With the emphasis on the latter.

So this in the long dark tea time of MY soul. I’ve been playing around with my music stuff and my chops are all gone. At least I’m learning Logic Pro better. Eventually I’ll post some of my stuff. It’s NEVER finished, I always hear something I can change. And worse, I constantly hear something I SHOULD change. It’s not Fainting in Coils.

Bill Wu (bookseller not writer) emailed a couple of weeks ago and told me that I better get my ass into The Castle to see the Palace of Mystery show. He gave me a day he would be there and told me that I better get my ass in there–no excuses.

So I went on Thursday. The computer was down so they didn’t ask me to leave because I haven’t paid my dues. I hustled up to the Palace and Bill was in the queue waiting.

So here’s the setup. There are these guys that are magic historians and illusion inventors. They read old manuscripts and the figure out how old masters did their illusions or how they’re going to invent a new effect for some guy working vegas. The days of the big illusionist tours are pretty much dead. I think Copperfield may be the only one, and after the Russian Mafia stole his act and asked for ransom, I don’t know if he does it anymore. He does medium sized illusionist tours.

One of the historians found some parts that turned out to be an original Robert Houdin automaton. He put them back together and, oh my god, Houdin was a freakin’, scary-good, inventor. Robert Houdin, besides being the premier illusionist of his day, was also a clockmaker. Imagine a two foot doll that does acrobatics on a trapeeze. The automaton has the ILLUSION of responding to commands. It was built in the mid 1800’s.

Another historian acquired the entire warehouse of Carter’s (CARTER BEATS THE DEVIL) traveling act. Carter died while on tour and his entire act was shipped to a warehouse where it sat undisturbed for decades. This historian revived CARTER’S ”Einstein’s Experiments in the 4th Dimension.“

The audience left the Palace amazed when the act finished. The magician pushes a 6 foot box into the space of a 1 foot box, then he pulls the box out of the smaller box, but at a 90 degree angle. It’s an illusion but it’s freakin’ wrong. It’s like watching someone dislocate a major limb on their body. You know it’s a trick but it’s just freakin’ wrong.