Sunday, April 6, 2008

How Useful is Sleep, Really?

I read in the Atlantic Monthly, I think, that Davide Blaine was going to try and stay awake for two weeks. Like so many things I can't imagine, I can't imagine that, really. But I can certainly imagine trucking along with 10 or 11 episodes of The Prisoner and putting off my story on White Fang until tomorrow at about 8 a.m. That sounds altogether manageable.

Here's Keith Richards on staying awake (courtesy of SFgate):

The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards has a warning for illusionist David Blaine, who plans to go a record-breaking 13 days without sleep later this year. The rocker says he ended up with a broken nose when he stayed awake for nine days.

Richards claims he managed to stay awake for nine days back in the 1970s, thanks to a cocktail of narcotics, but the feat ended badly.

He reveals, "On the ninth day I was putting a tape into a tape deck. In 0.3 of a second I fell asleep and crashed headfirst into a JVC speaker, smashing my nose apart. I just lay there and let it bleed. It was a chemical thing.

Yup. It was a chemical thing. I don't have any chemicals. But I'm going to put on a record. This record, actually:

You know, when I read that little article about Keith Richards, I might read it differently than you do. Since I began writing as a semi-serious endeavor, whenever I read a little article like that, I can't just read it. Instead I wonder what kind of question elicited the anecdote. I wonder what the writer didn't include, and why. I wonder if Keith was stressed or kicking back on a couch when he was getting interviewed, or whether he was between the front doors of a hotel and a limousine. I wonder if he was just trying to get the reporter off his back and feeding him a line. I wonder if the writer is happy with his life, bugging celebrities and rock stars for anecdotes that might become a blip on the larger cultural radar. I wonder if that gives him any job satisfaction.

But those kind of details rarely make it into a short entertainment story, so I just keep wondering.

And if you're going to buy a Mal Waldron album, don't buy that one (unless you're my friend Amy Sly, who I think would prefer that one). Buy this one:

I love that one.

There's really little rhyme or reason to the Jazz albums I fall in love with. I just buy tons of Jazz (and, occasionally, download some Jazz) and some of it grabs me. Then I buy everything I can by the instrumentalists I like the most. It's kind of like looking at your friends' friends' friends on MySpace. So The Quest was the first Mal Waldron album I ever bought. It looked cool and had two fantastic players (Eric Dolphy, whose Out To Lunch was an early favorite when I was getting into Jazz, and Booker Ervin, who I knew from some of my favorite Mingus albums). And anyway, The Quest is totally brilliant and adventurous. Blue World is less out there, but a very pretty, even romantic traditional trio album nonetheless, and it features one of my favorite bassists, Paul Chambers, plus the great Art Taylor holding down the rhythm section.

Lastly, I didn't address the idea or reasoning behind keeping this blog. There isn't one. And lord knows the last thing I need is another place to keep my writing. But I'm hoping to make this a pretty stream-of-consciousness type deal, kinda like going to a shrink and saying stupid shit for an hour a week, except I don't have to pay the bills or admit I have problems.


1 comment:

Ben Moral said...

Oh hi. Whatcha doin here? Bloggin?

Welcome to the blogosphere, dork.