Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Perpetual Idea Generator

Scientists are now able to study what areas creativity comes from in the brain. By setting up jazz musicians with a keyboard inside an MRI scanner (no horns--they mess up the magnets involved), researchers measure the performers' neural activity throughout their brains while playing scales and then again, during improv solos. Throughout the improv sessions the brain patterns are similar to dreaming; inhibitions are low and ideas and impulses are allowed to roam about freely.

I know my best ideas come in the middle of the night during my frequent insomniac episodes. That's how I came up with the Lindsay Lohan quilt, Dead Kennedys sports socks, and designer eyes (patent pending). I'm full of useful ideas, especially at 3 a.m.

How about a Butoh Tupperware party? High art combined with American-engineered quality product and sales expertise. I would attend that and admit it, so would you.

Butoh Tupperware Party
Anarchist Bathing SuitWhat about the Anarchist Bathing Suit? This has been on my plate for years. Why aren't these all over the beach? What is everybody waiting for? Instead we still have to wear brightly colored stripes or big white flowers upon our swimming garb.

Here's another idea: Music Wars. Take any musical concept, genre, year or geographical location, and make a war out of it. For instance, East Coast vs. West Coast, 1968: The Velvet Underground, White Light/White Heat vs. Steve Miller Band, Your Old Lady. Too easy: no contest. Kids today still revere the VU and can't believe they're from the hippie dippie 60s. Nobody back then could believe it either. White Light/White Heat still continues to amaze. On the other hand, nobody wants to hear Your Old Lady. In fact, I'd bet that nobody wants to hear most every Steve Miller Band song, yet those songs are played on the radio CONSTANTLY and the Velvet Underground, hardly at all. So ultimately, VU won the battle, but Steve Miller Band won the war. Boo!

Here's another one: Your first concert vs. your last. For me that would be the Police at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, 1980, vs. Boka Marimba, Autopilot, Gypsy Caravan Dance Company, and The Balloon Guy at The Crystal Ballroom's 94th birthday free-for-all, Portland, 2007. Maybe this is too mismatched. Most people's first concert is a source of embarassment, but perhaps you were very cool and got to see the Rolling Stones in the Ed Sullivan TV studio or something--I don't know.

No contest for me. I'd rather attend a free party with dozens of bands (including a 10-piece traditional African marimba ensemble) with kids dancing around, wearing surreal two-foot-high balloon sculptures on their heads, than get crushed in a mob at the Cow Palace, no matter how cute the Police were at the time. Plus the Fleshtones opened and someone threw a tomato at the lead singer's face. It wasn't easy for new wave in those very early 80s. And who brings a tomato to the Cow Palace? It almost was a war.

Your last significant other's favorite bands vs. your current (or future) significant other's favorite bands. Ha--is this a deal breaker for you? How important is musical taste in a relationship? That's for another time; another post. I have to go try and have a life now. Actually I need to get some sleep. I'm almost out of ideas...


Anonymous said...

Hey Lisa:

Great post. Thought you might be interested to know that I write about theat Fleshtones/Police show in my new book Sweat: The Story of The Fleshtones, America's Garage Band:

(For the record, my first show: Rolling Stones, 1981, Capital Center in MD; my last: the Hives, last week at the Riviera in Chicago.)


Lisa Mc said...

Thanks Joe. The Fleshtones were (are?) such a hard-working band. I remember them touring constantly. When Peter Zaremba got smacked with that tomato he was so pissed but he kept on singing. What a pro. I'll never forget that searing look of anger on his face. I would have been terrified. It was a huge unruly crowd full of assholes. My friends and I on the floor were lifted in the crush of people and "floated" back and forth several times before we scampered to a balcony seat. It could have been worse. My friend's first concert was Foghat.