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Monday, December 04, 2006

A Couple of Videos

The wind refuses to quit around here; it's been serious straight-line wind for several hours now, but we're still anchored to the ground. (It's been this way off and on for several days -- winter blowing in?) Sleep, on the other hand, is somewhat elusive. So I provide you, gentle reader, with two worthwhile gleanings from my aimless internet wanderings.

First, let me say that I am discovering how surprising I find people. Here in Britain, many people are quite keen on trainspotting: not quite my cup of tea, but I really like trains, so I can sort of understand it But there are also some youth -- and who else but youth, right? -- who are keen on trainsurfing. It is increasingly an issue here in the UK, and even more widespread in South Africa. And I ran into this video on Myspace:

Posted By:•Jðhññ¥ VïÐêÖ•

Get this video and more at MySpace.com

Do I really need to tell you not to do this? Yes, the price of train tickets are high and set to go higher at the new year -- don't get me started -- but really, riding on the outside, your copy of the Guardian will blow away and there's no trolley service. (That said, there is a haunting beauty to it. Or maybe that's the video editing.)

But while I'm busy sharing videos with you -- and I hope it goes without saying that I don't endorse everything that MySpace or YouTube, for all their fun, time-wasting goodness, post for viewing -- I should tell you how much I love Ken Nordine and his spoken-word artistry.

I really, really love Ken Nordine and his spoken-word artistry.

Oh, I know, you're thinking: "who?"

Trust me: you probably don't know his name, you won't know his face. But you know his voice.

Ken is now 86 years old and still going strong. He has been a voiceover artist, a voice artist, since the 1940's. He created Word Jazz, described as 'aural vignettes', more or less stream of consciousness spoken word performances recited over a background of cool jazz, sometimes humourous, sometimes thought provoking, and sometimes undertaken just for the sake of the journey. They are inimitable.

My wife and I went to see him perform 7, 8 years ago at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. The room was packed, and he held us transfixed for an hour, hour and a half, two hours, just talking. I'll never forget it and desperately hope we get to attend another one.

Nordine put out a Word Jazz inspired album entitled 'Colors', in which he performed an 'aural vignette' for each of the colours. I found the following video on YouTube, a video accompaniment to Nordine's performance of 'Yellow'. Enjoy.



Well, the winds have died down, so I guess I'll turn in for the night.

(Oh, and I updated my book list on the sidebar, for those of you keeping score at home.)

4 Comments:

Blogger maggi said...

just worth pondering, Jason, that there are more trainspotters in Cambridge than in the rest of the UK....

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 9:26:00 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

Really? I had no idea...I just knew that it was a generally more popular pastime in the UK than the US.

Yes, quite worth pondering, the correlations of the two.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 3:01:00 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Actually, the more I've pondered it, the more amazed I am that we actually know how many trainspotters there are in any particular region of the country.

I mean, which is more odd: spotting trains or spotting trainspotters?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 8:16:00 PM  
Blogger PdB said...

Being one of the uninitiated, it first appeared to me that he was mass-marketing his panhandling by washing the wind"screen" of the public transport! Then the train started moving in the opposite direction... Much safer for him that way, I'm sure.

BTW- Did you know that our old friend Howard is a trainspotter here in Illinois?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 4:06:00 PM  

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