Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"Irma" an opera by Tom Philips. Music by Gavin Bryars. Libretto by Fred Orton (1978) Obscure Records. Produced by Brian Eno.

"Irma" Obscure Records, produced by Brian Eno

"Irma: An Opera by Tom Philips.  Music by Gavin Bryars.  Libretto by Fred Orton" (1978).  Obscure Records.

April 28, 2015

I spent the day on the ninth floor of the federal court building on Temple and Spring.  I was on jury duty in a murder case, and I didn't get chosen, due that I wasn't paying any attention to the case on hand or the procedure or rules.  For one, I had a flask with me, and was drinking from it from the jury box.  The Sheriff took the flask away from me, and at one point I was falling asleep while being questioned by one of the attorneys. It was kind of embarrassing if I think of it, but like other unpleasant experiences, I like to store them away in the back of my head.   As soon as I was dismissed (they kept the flask), I walked towards the library on fifth and Flower.  On the way there I went to the Last Bookstore, not for their books, but their vinyl department.  My timing was perfect because I found a perfectly fine used disk of "Irma: An Opera by Tom Philips" in stock.  The price of the album is $19.95, and I immediately took the recording into my arms and paid for it.  Once I got home, I put on my "audio-technica air' headphones on, and went into another world with this album. 

The album is on Obscure Records, which are a label started by Brian Eno, during the mid 1970s.  He produced 10 albums for the label.  Now it doesn't exist.  If one is a collector, there is a need to have all ten albums.  If nothing else, for the design.  All of them are fantastic albums, and my favorite one of the bunch is "Irma."  

"Irma" is an opera by Tom Philips, but it seems when it came to the recording, Gavin Bryars took over, not only the opera, but also had Fred Orton write the libretto.  So, I'm not sure what is left of the Philips' version.  All I know is that Philips wasn't pleased with the results of the album that was released on Obscure Records.  Then again, Philips based his opera on a visual motif - 93 random phrases from the 1892 novel "A Human Document" by W.H. Malloch.  On the other hand, the album is excellent.  

The composer, Michael Nyman is on the record, and his piano playing to me is always uniquely his.  He can only play 'charm' that is his signature on a recording.  To me, he's the Noel Coward of serious (sort of "ha") music.  His playing is always witty and quite sophisticated.  "Irma" of course is all sophistication.  Although Obscure Records are thought of as releasing 'experimental music, ' there is nothing really experimental about "Irma," at the very least, the Obscure recording headed by Gavin Bryars.  Perhaps a touch eccentric, but what isn't eccentric in the works of a British citizen? I imagine if Lord Berniers was alive, he would be part of the Obscure Record label world. 

I was called back into Jury Duty, and beforehand, I made a MP3 of the album, so I can listen to it while in the courtroom.  The case, if I'm not mistaken, is about a police shoot-out with some other gang or another.  Not to my taste, really.  So hearing this album makes the time go faster and forces the tedium of a long arm of distance. The thing is I have to make sure the deputy or the judge does not see my earplugs.  

Portrait of Brian Eno by Tom Philips

As I watch (I really didn't listen) witness after witness giving some sort of tedious information, I started to think more about this recording of "Irma."   I find the music to be very soothing, but not in the 'new age' way - more in tuned with the beautiful melodies that are within this piece.  Tom Phillips wrote the opera as a conceptual piece, but Gavin Bryars turned that concept into a beautiful piece of music.   When you hear the word "opera" one thinks of a staging or a theatrical experience - but as far as I can tell, "Irma" is a music piece - and it is performed as a concert work - but not with actors -unless one thinks of the vocalists as acting out the libretto by Fred Orton.  The libretto was taken from the victorian novel, it has a romantic feeling, although one is not sure if that is the purpose of the piece or not.  The way I listen to "Irma" is totally emotional, and I'm impressed with the romantic sweep of its emotions.  Overall, when I hear a work by Bryars, it is usually emotionally tainted, in that it conveys a sense of romance and lost.  

Gavin Bryars

I have been listening to this album over and over again.  I never tire of it, and I often sing the phrase "love is help mate."   To me, it sounds like Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart."   Both equally doomed, and therefore music that is essential to one's health and being.  On the other hand, I suddenly noticed that the lawyers on both sides of the case are starting to look at me with some sense of contempt.  The judge's eyes are like darts aimed towards my heart.  Other jurists are looking straight ahead and pretend that I don't exist.  The lawyers are called to the bench, and I suspect that I won't last for more than three minutes. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Sunday Series: Sunday April 26, 2015

Sunday April 26, 2015
"Reed Steams" by Terry Riley

I just wanted to travel as far as I can, but without luggage or even a toothbrush.  It is one of the key reasons why I love music so much, because it takes me far, yet, I can travel lightly.   I woke up in the afternoon hearing a female voice saying "wake-up Tosh."  She said it only once, and it was a voice that I wasn't familiar with.  I tried to imagine the voice of the body, and my educated guess (because I have been around the block, if you get my drift) is that she is a beauty.  Alas, she did not exist and perhaps she never did.  Yet, I did what the voice said, and I was lifted from the living room couch to wander the inner world of yours truly. 

Today being Sunday, I downloaded an album by Terry Riley called "Reed Steams."  It's early work and recordings by the so-called minimalist, which personally I find that term very short-sighted.   Riley to me strikes me as a maximalist.  I hear everything in the world within the grooves of his music.  There is a piece here called "In C (Mantra) that reminds me very much of the Rolling Stones "Sing This All Together."   Only in parts, and I actually think the Stones came first - but this is not a rip-off, but merely a reflection of one's other work.   Compared to other Riley works, this is very much a 'rock' piece.  It builds and builds, and I suspect that the method is by Riley, using tape machines, looping instruments as they play.  So in that sense, he's Eno before Eno was doing this type of work.  On one level it sounds like a jam, but the fact is there is something compositional about the work.  I think the more you listen to this piece, the more melodies one gets.  Textured like a multi-layered cake, each taste brings a new sensation or flavor.  It's a wonderful way to wake-up in the late afternoon -surely the woman who awakened me was thinking of this specific recording. 

The only frustration I have with this album is that I downloaded it from I-Tunes.  What I miss is the liner notes, the packaging from Tom Recchion, and as an object to hold.  I do not think that this music was ever released on vinyl, only CD. Nevertheless I can play it anytime I want to - but I believe that it is the property of Apple computer and their side-business, I-Tunes.  There are so many ways to listen to music these days, but the best is when it is on vinyl, and you have to force yourself to get up and turn the record over.  That is a part of the process of listening to music.  I-tunes, streaming - that is art without any effort - and it seems that our culture is very much doing serious stuff without effort.

  Drone bombings are a perfect example of doing war, but not being involved.  The Vietnam war and before, one had to take part in the battle or war.  You couldn't really ignore it, due to the issue of getting drafted.  Now that the draft is gone, the army is basically either poor people, or those who are waiting to obtain a green card.  Then the government hires thugs to handle security for the troops and so forth.  At the moment, we have been in a state of war since 9/11, and yet, as citizens we really don't have to worry about being in battle.  We are authorized to fear the threat of being attacked, but in most cases, it is what it is - fear. 

So I approached the music of Terry Riley with a certain amount of fear - perhaps being bored, or wasting my precious time.   Once you get past that fear of not understanding or boredom, your brain really opens up to something new and wonderful.  Terry Riley is such a force, where I now feel kind of bad that I haven't paid serious attention to his work.  I know some of his later recordings - "In C" and so forth, but totally missed out on his early works

"Untitled Organ" has no beginning, no middle and no end.  The recording of this piece is about 20 minutes.  On the other hand, there are shifts, which remind me of two people having a long conversation, where the other is listening to the other participant.  The tempo accelerates, as if one is getting emotional. Then a second voice kicks in, as the other sort of drifts off in an echo.  At times, I forget that this is an organ.  It also sounds like a saxophone.  The sensitivity of the different pitches brings out a unique sound.  The intensity of this piece never wavers. 

"Reed Streams" is an organ and saxophone.   Or is it just saxophone?   The beauty of all three piece on this album is where one sense of reality disappears into something quite different.   For 15 minutes, "Reed Streams" throws me into a timeless state of mind, and I can almost imagine the "girl" coming back to me.  Alas, it was only a dream, but I dream with a certain amount of passion and hopefully, with skill as well. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Sunday Series: Sunday April 19, 2015

Sunday April 19, 2015

The only holiday I like is Record Store Day.  Like "Read a Book" day, it is the one holiday where you can surrender your passion to a common cause - which is to keep the local record store open in your neighborhood.  If you don't have a record store in your neighborhood, then that means you live in a place that has no importance whatsoever.  People are fed many ways.  I think most people would consider a 7/11 or Trader Joe's as an essential business to live nearby.  I, on the other hand, would prefer a record store than a shop full of food.  You eat, but then what?  Music has a lasting presence in one's life, and therefore I feel it is much important than a good meat department.

There are those who complain loudly about the negative aspects of Record Store Day, which is hysterical, because there are none.   To stand in line in hopes of getting that specific piece of vinyl that is being released that very day is part of the pleasure as well as the disappointments in not obtaining the sacred item you're in line for.  One wonders while standing there, if there is a possibility of not getting that specific record.  Of course it is, because perhaps the store forgot to order that product, or due to its limited edition status, so there were not enough copies to go around. So yes, I was disappointed when I didn't get the Serge Gainsbourg collection of his soundtrack work - but it was a sense of failure with a great deal of anticipation and adventure attached to it.

I must say it was a shock to me that I found four copies of the "Charlie Feathers" 10" album of his King recordings in the bin.  Originally issued on 7" 45rpm and 78rpm format. This collection is a must if one has even the slightest interest in rockabilly music.  The guitar work of Jerry Huffman is like a series of switchblade cuts on one's body.  When I put the needle on this record, I hear human misery.  So yes, music to me is like putting a mirror in front of my face - it has to represent the inner and deeper feelings in my soul.  Food just keeps me going till the next meal, but music like Feathers, keeps me fed on a spiritual/sexual plane that can't be denied.  Rockabilly music is all fucking, violent death, cheap liquor, and desires being mis-placed at the wrong place and time.  Satan's favorite music.  And one is dying just to taste the bottle that Satan had his diseased mouth over. After playing these four songs, I feel like spitting the blood out of my mouth.

On the same trip to the record store, I found another great 10" album by Chris Barber and his jazz band.  The album is called "Jazz Sacred and Secular."  Barber is a British trombone player, and is one of the key players in the Soho London music scene of the 1950s.  He was famous for having Lonnie Donegan in his band, who later became the figurehead that in a certain fashion, started the British Invasion in the early 1960s.  Shuffle genius and architect to the do-it-yourself type of music, he made a major presence on a lot of British musicians.   The beauty of this recording is that it is like listening to a well-received long distance call.  Although from the UK, it reached out to New Orleans.   Chris Barber actually spent time in New Orleans, and that one visit had a profound effect on his whole life.  This 10" disk is a combination tribute to Duke Ellington as well as the New Orleans life.  The mood is happy, but of course, it has traces of deep sadness.  Music unlike food serves on different levels. If you taste food and it's too bitter or sweet, one may choose to spit it out.  Music, on the other hand, is a texture that one craves for - due to its emotional responses within the grooves of the record.   Barber's version of "Black and Tan Fantasie" is originally from Harlem, but here it is placed in Soho, London.   Even the British spelling of Fantasy gives this recording a sense of being placed out of the storefront window, looking in, and just absorbing the goods in the store although you're outside.   The sense of location changes, but nevertheless they are real places - and each place has a vision or a history.   Even if it is made-up, it is still real, because what you're hearing is a place that is imagined or desired for.

A bad day is a world without a turntable and a good pair of headphones.  I live in a very dangerous world - although it is in my imagination, I have the music to back-up that landscape of desire.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tosh Berman at Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Rare Bird, my publisher, was kind enough to invite me to sign  my book "Sparks-Tastic" at the Los Angeles  Times Festival of Books this coming Saturday April 18 at 10:30 AM.   Early, yes, but also the best time to visit the book festival before it gets too sunny and hot. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Sunday Series: Sunday April 12, 2015

Sunday April 12, 2015

Sickness took over my body two days ago.  I spent two weeks in and out of a court room, which besides holding two defendants and their lawyers, also held germs in captivity. I started feeling ill as soon as I walked in the court room.  With a will of my own making, I imagined not to get sick during jury duty.  After I was released, and not suitable for either one's case (both the defense and the state) I started to feel the strains of a cold.  I of course ignored it as much as possible.  I went to an outside concert in West Hollywood, and it was there that it was obvious that I shouldn't be out on a cool night.  Since then, I have had a hard time concentrating on my writing as well as my daily reading.  I haven't been sick for at least five years.  I tend to think it is due that I gave up eating meat -but I couldn't escape the clutches of justice.

For the past two days, I have been in bed reading about Los Angeles art history of the 1960s.  There are two books: "Out of Sight" and "Rebels in Paradise."   "Rebels" I find it a total gossip narrative which has very little truth.  The stuff I read about my dad (Wallace Berman) were at its worst, just plain silly, but also I was more alarmed that the author didn't have any sources backing up her story regarding my father.  "Out of Sight" I think is the better book, because I sense a real appreciation of the artist's work.  History, especially recent history (the last 50 years or so) is basically based on various individuals, and each one has a specific point-of-view - and if they don't have a point-of-view, they tend to make things up.   As a writer I never trust my opinion, in the words of Truman Capote, I'm not really a writer, but just a typist.

This Sunday (today) I wanted to go out in the sunshine and see a film later tonight.  Alas, my breathing, the night sweats, coughing, is a strong clue that I will stay in tonight.  More likely to be in bed all day.   My eyes get tired when I read, and the Internet bores me.  What I find fascinating is laying on my back on the bed and watching my ceiling.   I imagine that if I die, and I die in my bed, the last image will be the ceiling. I'm hoping that it will be this ceiling, because it gives me immense pleasure.  The lighting fixture for instance doesn't even work. I think we need to change the lightbulb, but for whatever reason, we just refuse to change it.  I like to think it is due to laziness, but I think it has more to do with let nature do the job.  I'm having trouble sleeping, so I look at the ceiling a lot for the last few days.  Both the natural lighting outside and the lamp on my side of the bed add interesting textures to the ceiling.  It is the one area where I can fully meditate and not think of anything.

For the last two days, I haven't changed my bed clothing or the sheets.  Nor have I taken a shower or bath.  In the sense, I'm rotting in the bed, and that also gives me a sense of peace or pleasure.  Since my cold is getting worse, I'm also enjoying the changes in my so-far mild suffering.  It is if life goes on, even though I have stopped everything.    Now, I must stop typing, and focus on my ceiling.  For some reason, I feel that the answer to the world is on that ceiling.  I don't understand what or why, but I do know that the focus is on that ceiling.

Friday, April 10, 2015

"Film as Film: The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos" edited by Mark Webber

9780992837709  The Visible Press

As of this time and moment, I have seen only two films by the Greek American filmmaker Gregory J. Markopoulos.  "Galaxie" and "Gammelion."  If I was a cine-purist, I would have seen these films at the perfect location for his work, which is Temenos in Greece.  His life-time work is to have all his films to be presented in this location, which is outdoors, and some miles away from Athens.   Remote, and probably not that easy to get to - yet the journey itself I'm sure is magnificent, and if the two films I saw are example of his other works, probably more likely worth the trouble.   It is refreshing to come here upon an artist/filmmaker who doesn't compromise their work for....anyone!

  This marvelous collection of essays/poetry/rants/thoughts by Markopoulos is an essential to anyone who is interested in American underground film world.  Specifically in the heights of the 1960s through the 80s.  The source of these writings are from self-published works or Jonas Mekas' excellent publication of the 60s FILM CULTURE.  And some are lectures or introductions to his work throughout the world.  Markopoulos is on the same league as Stan Brakhage and Kenneth Anger.   An important artist, that the few only know or have seen his works.  As an anthology this book reads well - I think not only due to Markopoulos' writings, but also the editorship of Mark Webber, and the additional overall great design of the book.   Webber has put together tight chapters or sections that focus on his work as a commentator on other filmmakers, as well as focusing on his films and of course, the projection of his complete works in Greece, which is sort of an installation piece.

The two films I saw were pretty hypnotic, not only due to its editing, but also how one is drawn to his subject matter.  "Galaxie" is a compilation of film portraits of various (mostly well-known filmmakers/artists) in the New York world of the early 60s.  It is all an amazing snapshot of a time, but also you can tell how Markopoulos feels about his subject matters as well.  The film is silent, except what sounds like bells in the background, is 92 minutes and not one boring moment was had.   "Gammelion" is a study on a castle in Italy, and one is almost peeking around the corner.   It's a beautiful film and almost meditative in its approach at 'looking' at a structure.  Markopoulos has an eye for beautiful buildings and great looking people ("Galaxie").  The book is a must have if you make a film library, and anyone who is interested in film aesthetics must-have this as well. Hopefully this will not the last word on Markopoulos, but it is clearly the first - and that this book, is an exceptional book.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April 8, 1962: Telstar by The Tornados

April 8, 1962

I went to my local record store, Mono Records, to get the new Tornadoes album called "The Original Telstar."  I have heard the song "Telstar" on the radio and I was intrigued with the sound of outer space that somehow landed on KRLA airwaves. Most of my friends go out and buy 45rpm singles, but I have always preferred the 12" or 10" album format.  A lot of times, the songs are not as good as the more familiar hit song by the artist - but I feel I'm getting a full picture of that band or singer's work.  Also at this point I don't have that many albums in my collection.   Maybe 8 or 10 albums at the most.  I would get more, but the cost of albums, which are usually anywhere from $1.99 to $2.99 is expensive for me.   I had a job, but I didn't like it.  I was pumping gas at a Shell gas station on the corner of Fletcher and Riverside, but I found the customers rude - and my feelings get hurt really easily. 

I still live at home, and luckly my mom didn't kick me out when I reached 21.  I'm 22 at the moment, and I still feel like a new breeze on a hot day.  One day I'll move on, perhaps to a better world, but alas, my mom is a great cook.  She works during the day, so my responsibility is to do the house work, such as making the beds, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, and organize the bills that come in by the date that they are due.  I'm sort of like her secretary.  On my free time, I listen to my small collection of recordings.

The Tornadoes are from the U.K. and they're an instrumental band.  Clem Cattini (24) on drums, George Bellamy (22) on rhythm guitar, Heinz Burt (20) on bass guitar, Roger La Vern (24), on piano and some sort of organ, and Alan Caddy (22) on lead guitar.   Together they're The Tornadoes.  Of the twelve songs that are on this album, their lead guitarist Caddy wrote two songs, and their producer Joe Meek wrote four - so I have to imagine that they are both the leaders of the band.  

One of my favorite songs on this album is "Popeye Twist," which uses the melody or theme song from the Popeye cartoon TV series.  Like the title says, they give the beat a twist, and it's a rocking number.  It's the last song on the album (side two) and it's a good way to say goodbye to the listener.  The album starts off with "Telstar" which is the hit off this record.  I imagine if they were making music in outer space, this tune would sound like it came above the clouds.  There is a sense of hope for the future. Yet to me the recording sounds a tad sad.  One thinks that there is nothing but hope in outer space yet, the way we treat people on planet Earth, would we even change our ways once in space?  So maybe that is why the recording is both sad and hopeful for a better world or happiness elsewhere.  

I'm also quite fond of "Love and Fury," written by Duke, which sounds like to me the introduction music to a great adventure story.  When I go to the movies, I try to see an action film, and if possible, in technicolor.  If I pay money for something, I want to be taken away from my everyday life into a world of beauty.  I especially like films that take place in a foreign country or culture.  "Love and Fury" sounds like the soundtrack to that type of movie.  It's bigger than life, and when I listen to it, I feel like I'm being sucked into a very special world.  Due that I share this small house with my mom, I listen a lot to my music on headphones, and this particular recording sounds incredible to my private ears.  

Which comes to mind this is not music one wants to share with others, but more of a private or reflective listening experience.  I sense bold emotions but told in a miniature manner, where a small gesture can lead to a bigger truth of some sort.   A lot of the songs here express a desire such as "Chasing Moonbeams," "Dreamin' On A Cloud," Ridin' The Wind," and "Jungle Fever."  These recordings were made in London, and what I have read is that since the war ended, they are still having difficulties with buildings still abandoned or blown up - and the economy is struggling.  So I have to imagine that these songs appeal to the citizen of London (and elsewhere) where they feel the disaster of the 20th century upon them.  I live in Southern California, where things are not that bad, but at least we got good weather.  So hearing this music in that situation or position, it makes me feel happy that I'm here - but on the other hand I have never heard such strange music like this Tornadoes album.

I know I should be looking for a job, or at the very least, think of my future.  On the other hand, when I hear "The Original Telstar," I feel that the future maybe here already, but I'm just not aware of it at this time.  I dream, and I know this album will be its soundtrack. 

Conversation Between Tosh Berman and Gerry Fialka - Where I give my Opinion about everything...

A two-hour interview where I expose all my feelings, thoughts, and god knows what else.  It's here and the gentleman who is interviewing me is Gerry Fialka.    It's here:


Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Sunday Series: April 5, 2015

Sunday April 5, 2015

The closest thing I have, that I think are god-like is my parents.  When my father died when I was 21, it was not only a shock of losing a parent, but realizing that a god can die.  It was at that point in my life I realized that I couldn't count on a higher being or a person to help me out.  If anyone is going to pull myself out of trouble, it will have to be me.   One tends to surrender to a higher power.  Whatever that means to that person, but for me, that strikes me as a very dangerous position to be in.   Faith as a noun, is a thing that one believes in.  I understand the need to believe, and also to be part of something bigger than you.  Religion and family are such a grouping where one hopes to find comfort and hope.  Of course, there are even conflicts in both groupings, which do not make it either an enjoyable experience or give one a sense of security.  Throughout my life I remain outside the two categories, due that I find them both faulty as institutions and over-all, leads to either a controlling factor in one's life, or a game of loyalty.  In the city where I live, Los Angeles, I feel that there is a huge presence of gangs. I think of gangs as a family.  Usually there is a parental figure - or a father figure.  One joins the gang, either due to previous family practice, or the need to be part of a bigger group or family.  The Los Angeles Police Department is another gang.  It operates on the same plane as a criminal street gang.   But this is not the subject of my essay here, it's the return of Jesus to our planet on this Easter Sunday. 

There is a man who has lived on the vacant hill next to our house for the entire past week.  He has a full beard and longish hair, and wears mostly a dirty white robe, whose fabric seems too heavy for this warm season.  He has nothing except a lamb that he carries around.  Often the lamb fallows him around, and both creature and man rarely communicate with any other.  He basically sleeps on the weeds, using the lamb as a pillow.  I have seen people with their dogs, but never have I seen a man and a lamb together.  It makes me feel funny about the wool sweater I have in the closet.  I hope to never wear it in front of this lamb.  

Today it's Sunday and it is Easter, and one could easily presume that this gentleman and his pet are part of the holiday.  There's a church down below the hill, and occasionally the patrons of this specific church stand behind the fence that divides the property between the land owned by the Department of Water and Power and the church.  Over the years, there have been disputes between me, DWP, and the church whose responsibility to clean up the mess that is left here by visitors, homeless people and various gang members.   Today, all eyes are on our current guess resident and his lamb.  

I can clearly understand someone who wants to help Jesus, but don't fully understand why anyone would want to 'serve' Jesus.   If one dares to approach him, he does preach to you - and I once asked him why doesn't he just write it down, that way people can read his views at their leisure.   It seems he doesn't work that way, which for me is unthinkable.  Because I like to write, and to this day I rather communicate to people either through a letter or e-mail.  For instance, I don't like the telephone.  Or to be lost in a conversation with someone.   But Jesus (the historical one as this fellow) prefers to dictate their belief through the art of oral narration.   I got the feeling, knowing that I write, would want me to take his dictation down, but that's silly.  There are computer apps and programs that can do that, if he had a computer.  Alas, he doesn't.  He just has his lamb. 

All of us, meaning the neighborhood came to the hill this Easter morning to see what will happen with our guest and his lamb.  We were all shocked to see that Jesus dug a hole it seemed, overnight, and at the moment, he is roasting his lamb over a flame and coal.  First of all, this is obviously a fire hazard, and second, being a vegetarian I was very much turned-off by what was taking place in front of me.  At first, I couldn't believe my eyes.  I thought maybe he purchased or someone donated some big hunk of meat for him.   My eyes and brain started to work together, and then I realized that the head attached to the rest of the body was the lamb.  The creature's face was still recognizable, and had fur still, even though burnt, you can make out the features - but the rest of the body was just meat.  The smell was horrible as well.  I don't understand why Jesus had to do this on our hill on what looks like will be a beautiful morning.   

Jesus had paper plates, and he started to cut the lamb into pieces and placing it on the plate, and he went out to the small crowd and offered each person a plate of lamb, with lemon on the side.   He came up to me, but I turned down his plate, but I was very polite and told him "No, thank you."  What I did notice is that the crowd that was around became very supportive of our Jesus, and the doubters became if not a friend exactly, at least showed some support.  As I stood there, I didn't feel like I was part of the family, so I went back to my house and played the vinyl version of Steve Reich's "Four Organs" on headphones.  For one, the music sounds better on headphones, and second, I didn't want to share the music with the outside world.