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Spacecrab's Journal
LB in SF
Wine of the Dreamers 
9th-Oct-2005 07:37 pm
Listen here to Paul Kantner telling Steve Silberman about C.S. Lewis, Robert Heinlein, and Benny Goodman -- in celebration of a remixed release of Blows Against the Empire. ((Windows users, Winamp will begin streaming this immediately. Other MP3 apps may download the whole 17000KB before starting to play.))

Also included in this two-hour "Dead to the World" interview: interesting musico-technical neep from Kantner and some good, previously unreleased, Jefferson Airplane cuts. Steve Silberman is a great interviewer and the unreleased BoE cuts feature young Jerry Garcia at his finger-licking best.

How can I say this without alienating everyone? The thing of it is this: these were *real* browncoat/gypsy rebels against the Alliance.

- - -

Kantner: "I steal from everybody. Any good songwriter does. The secret to being a good songwriter, I think, is stealing and changing it enough so that you're not obviously stealing. And adding to it the thing that your band, or you, or whatever is -- to make it unique."

Hide witch, hide!
The good folks come to burn thee,
their keen enjoyment hid behind
a gothic mask of duty.

--Mark Clifton/Alex Apostolide,                         

The witch hunters wail and they bark and they wheeze and they try to turn us
Into their poison

--Paul Kantner,

Astounding, Dec. 1953                                         Blows Against the Empire, 1970

10th-Oct-2005 05:54 am (UTC)
Well, that's the thing about fictional stories: they aren't real. Not quite sure how that merits denigration, though.
10th-Oct-2005 08:28 am (UTC)
I didn't intend to denigrate any fictional stories. I did imply this subtextual grump: "I'm surrounded by people exclaiming 'this, _this_ is the good stuff that I can't get out of my head. But for me *this,* *this* is the really good stuff -- and you might want to check it out."

Paul Kantner's "Blows Against the Empire" has emotional reality for me in some sense that Joss Whedon's "Firefly" does not. This is a side-thought that I wished to let out without it being read as "Firefly" (or "Serenity") are bad because they aren't real."

FWIW, I haven't seen Serenity, yet. I'm still taping and watching the unreleased Firefly episodes before I go to it. I realize, from reading all the commentary (including yours), that Serenity is probably much darker and starker than the Firefly episodes. It may be closer to Kantner's "Cri de Coeur" on its theme of planetary insurrection than Firefly's pastiche. I'm already "spoiled" as far as knowing the surprises that occur in the movie, but I'm not bothered by this. I haven't had that sharp an emotional investment in the characters from watching Firefly. I'm entertained by Firefly. The characters are interesting and skillfully-drawn. But, to me, they're not viscerally real. (I see River as an idealized/bullied fantasy archetype rather than as a believable human being.) Perhaps the movie might have made the characters viscerally real to me, if I had allowed myself to come to it unspoiled. It still might -- though I'm somewhat skeptical, going by the reviews.

I've been exercising some care in not reading spoilers for the first season of Veronica Mars, since I still have two episodes to go on that, and two episodes of the second season. The whodunnit element of that series is really a significant part of the package.

10th-Oct-2005 03:17 pm (UTC) - Hide, Witch, Hide
Thanks for that info about "Mau Mau," and for saying nice things about the Kantner interview. I have wondered about that choral fragment from Blows for 25 years.
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