That mini-dust up at Bags following my review of the Propagations disc (Potlatch) is still simmering. I seem to rub Damon the wrong way, what with the "agenda" I'm pushing. I think at least some of his antagonism stems from my disinterest in what I've heard out of the Bay Area scene, actually for quite some time. Of course, I've only heard a smattering of releases over the years, but nothing's really grabbed me.
I was thinking how far back this extends and it's been some time. I was pretty much into Henry Kaiser in the mid-80s for several years; I still enjoy his cover band, actually, as well as a few projects like the duos with Frith, the Wireforks disc with Bailey (opinions seem wildly divided on that one), a couple of others. Never really cared for his pure improv, but I'd lost interest generally by the mid 90s. When I saw him at Roulette some time ago, didn't care for his work at all (though I thought Greg Goodman was fine).
I remember being excited about Peter Apfelbaum's initial large band disc; bad anticipation, there.
Every so often, I'd come across something else from that scene, things involving ROVA (some of whose albums I'd liked), Gino Robair, Vinny Golia or others and nothing ever really clicked. I think I reviewed a disc of Damon's for Bags a few years back and was middling. Gino has sent me a few items over the last couple of years and again, I couldn't hear much. While it's impossible, of course, to generalize based on a small sampling, with limited time and resources, one necessarily chooses where to invest one's attention. Unfair? Could be, but what are you going to do? Hell, there aren't many NYC based musicians I'd go out of my way to hear (Sean Meehan, maybe one or two others); it's not like the scene is incredibly vital around here either.
So Damon has at me every so often, which is fine. Then Walt chimes in, dragging in all manner of nonsense from left field, as has all too often been the case recently, getting snide and personal. I'm still trying to figure out who the Euro-nihilist with the accent I'm apparently trying to impress is. Alex? He's an American, fer krissake.
These reactions are just strange to me, so much not my way of coming at things. If I read a review of something I care about with which I disagree, I'd comment accordingly, stating my areas of disagreement and that's about it. By the same token, I have a tough time taking seriously people who get personal, so it pretty much slides off my back. (Aside from posting about it here, of course).
I did get a chuckle out of Damon going on about my "important writing". Yikes. I hope it's informative and gives potential listeners something to grasp onto but please....
Japanese Death Poems (thanks for the pointer, Jesse!)
Mark Rothko - Writings on Art
About to Watch:
The Battle of Algiers