Thursday, July 09, 2009

HED: DEAN MARTIN BYLINE: Eugene Robinson

Hey pallies, back to more 'bout our detached Dino. Gotta warn you the language in this Dinoprose can be blue, but this Eugene Robinson writer dude shares deeply and passionately 'bout his "pure and clean" love for our Dino. To view this in it's original format, just clicks on the tagg of this Dinogram.

I loves the way that is Robinson dude describes our Dino and his detachment..."in life as in his art he sat outside of it all, a curiously
detached dues to the worlds he was creating.
Detached but not without his passions. Detached passions all oxymoronically as perfect
as perfect could be....."

Hopes all you Dinoholics will takes the time to read and reflect on Robinson's understandin' of our unknowable Dino....and woulda loves to have some Dinodialogues on portions of this Dinopost if any of you are Dinowillin'... Dinoawed, DMP




HED: DEAN MARTIN
BYLINE: Eugene Robinson
The drill is one that’s familiar to habitu├ęs of the halls of musology at this point. The knee
bone is connected to the ankle bone and the ankle bone is connected to the foot bone and
voila you have the beginning of the magical monster parts that make the artist that you
like just a cross-hatched reference on either side of the lame calculus “sounds like a cross
between the ‘making the same record again Sonic Youth’ and ‘making the same bad
record again Beck’.”
And then there’ll be a stumble and a rush onto the next music morsel and so we catalog
and catalog everything that was joyful into dust.
So yeah, the whole enterprise is a rotten one.
Translation: EPIPHANIES, my ass.
Because the sounds that have formed the basis for OXBOW (www.theoxbow.com) and
the music that WE make are the sounds that thrum along in the throb of bloodstream and
are most noticed in moments say when the hand is becoming a fist and it all slips into that
double time theater where everything rushes comic quick and it’s not over until someone
is crying. Yes, the sounds of violence, because violence does have an animal sound that’s
all its own, as well as a taste and a timbre, and it’s this that has captivated us for so very
long of a time.
So then strange for me to have discovered this skulking in the recesses of my voluminous
vanity and quiet rages and attached, inescapably, to the avatar of dead-eyed, late-stage
debauchery: DEAN MARTIN.
I’ll wait while you laugh. Go ahead, laugh, laugh if you want, but the irony here is not
post-modern because the irony here is that there’s no irony here at all. My love for Dean
Martin is pure and clean.
Let’s slide back a bit. In time. To a time when vocalists roamed the Earth. Not just
singers but vocalists, that is, artists who sing. From a place that’s as inaccessible as the
place that gives rise to life’s big FUCK YOU items: loss, love, longing, lust. JOHNNY
HARTMAN. JOHNNY MATHIS. JOHNNIE RAY. FRANK SINATRA. JOE
WILLIAMS. SAMMY DAVIS JR. and a passel of others whose stars dimmed or died.
All eventually done in first by musicians who had lost sight of the fact that in full Greek
chorus fashion the vocalist was the demiurge without which they were just, oh I don’t
know, free jazz players doing the sound, doing the fury, and signifying if not nothing than
surely the fact that some exercises in ego are more fun to play than to listen to. Later, the
terrible troika of bad singing (read: Britney), no singing (read: Mogwai) or non-singing
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(read: D.J’s), would make singing if not unnecessary, then horribly misunderstood, as
was the vocalists that were responsible for it.
Which is where we are now. With no referents. No coordinates. Up shit creek, drifting
through a crap causeway because everybody’s gone all egalitarian and thinks that singing
is as easy as opening your fucking mouth.
Well it’s not.
And in the gloam of my imaginings I can see them all now, these purveyors of the
violence of cool: Bing Crosby. Dean Martin. And Elvis. All of a type with Crosby the
Father, Elvis the son, and Dean the Holy Fucking Ghost of the Killing Disconnect. You
see after reading everything there is to read about Dean Martin I know this much about a
man that I’ve lionized straight-facedly as a Saint (to which a waggish detractor decried,
“he’s just a sleazy boozehound.”): in life as in his art he sat outside of it all, a curiously
detached dues to the worlds he was creating.
Detached but not without his passions. Detached passions all oxymoronically as perfect
as perfect could be, this former boxer (boxed as Kid Crochet. Not after the knitting but
his real last name Crocetti) insinuated his way into my life for the first time when I was
five years old. The song was “STANDING ON THE CORNER” and while I don’t
remember that I knew it then it seems to me at this remove that the song’s signature line
for me—“Brother you can’t go to jail for what you’re thinking, or for the woo look in
your eye”—was blasting out of every Italian house in New Rochelle, New York, when
Italians still lived in New Rochelle, New York, as gardeners and chauffeurs for the rich
ensconced in nearby Westchester.
“For what you’re thinking.” Indeed. Because as leastways as anyone could figure out
they could never figure out what Dean was thinking. When he knocked the Beatles off
the charts in 1964. When he moved over to good films, The Young Lions, and bad TV in
those endless, drunken variety shows. When his son died.
Like his former partner Jerry Lewis (a genius in France) used to say: NOTHING.
Or to quote author and son of the famous Groucho, Arthur Marx in his hard-to-find
Martin bio "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime…(Especially Himself)," the
mystery to Dean was no mystery at all because “Looking backward, the secret of Dean
Martin's extraordinary success has always seemed to be 'complete indifference' when
opportunity comes knocking.”
And rather than understanding this as the end result of that horrible product of the stupid
and beautiful—cool—I understood it totally differently. As incredible hostility. Sure,
sure, sure we KNOW that they say that every biography and certainly every hagiography,
is really a writer’s attempt to write about themselves and hearing OXBOW music you
might be tempted to say “sure he sees hostility there…he probably sees hostility
EVERYwhere.” But it’s there I tell you.
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In VOLARE. In ON AN EVENING IN ROMA. In MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS.
Trojan horsing its way into the collective subconscious of an entire generation who
would later see this music pawned with the pejorative EASY LISTENING, or mocked by
the jive ass lounge revival, Dean Martin’s vocals say one thing to my ears: FUCK YOU.
Or as he most honestly sang in his long suppressed nightclub sides where everybody,
regardless of relation, was a “Pally,” “Blow me…a kiss before you go.”
Out. On the arches. Away from him. His disdain was elementally existential.
I’ll wait while you laugh. Go ahead, laugh, laugh if you want, but the irony here is not
post-modern because the irony here is that there’s no irony here at all. My love for Dean
Martin is pure and clean.
END-END-END

10 comments:

Keith said...

Hey pallie DMP. Thanks for sharing this. I hadn't read this before. You are sharing some really cool things here at the Dinoblog.

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Keith, so tell me pallie what you think of what Robinson sez 'bout our Dino....I find him to be very insightful on our Dino's detached persona...

Maria Jensen said...

This was written beautifully! And i can see that he means every single word and i do agree with him in all most every single thing!

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Maria, I think this Robinson dude is sorta a famous writer...and yes I love his Dinoprose...he shows so much true Dinodevotion....wonderin' if you woulda be interested in havin' some Dinodialogues on parts of this...the way we could do it is that you or I would select a few sentences of this Dinoprose and through email carry on a Dinodialogue and then I would it post it here as blog posts at the little ilovedinomartin Dinoblog....what d'ya think?

Maria Jensen said...

Yeah sure ; ) You start ?

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Maria, wonderful...may not get to it until early next week...probably when we finish with your Dinointerview...are you enjoyin' answerin' the Dinoquestions?

Maria Jensen said...

Yes, a lot : )

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Maria, that just warms my Dinoheart to hear you say that...'cause I'm havin' a great time throwin' the Dinoquires at you...so you are ready for a few more?

Maria Jensen said...

Oh yeah, as many as u have : )

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Maria, cook.... then likes let the Dinoquestions continue....