Nels Cline with Wilco at Red Butte

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Nels Cline with Wilco at Red Butte

This one just had to be black and white because it reminded me of high ISO, super grainy film from back in my print publishing days. Back then, I shot with a Canon Elan and I thought I had hit the jackpot in the camera department. Scanning 3200 ISO film added more noise and grain and then when it finally appeared on newsprint, the dot gain from the ink pretty much assured a dodgy looking photo. I think I have about 3 shots that are keepers from those days. Comparing the clarity in this shot to the grain of my older work shows what better lenses, better sensitivity and amazing noise reduction from software can do to give one more control about how to work the image. In some cases, I’ve introduced a little noise to help soften the crisp edges that digital photos have. If you look closely, you can see it here. I think the software does a great job of graining it up.

The player ripping it up in the image above is Nels Cline, a stellar guitar player whose solos on Wilco songs add an experimental edge as well as a gritty, but lyrical feel to songs like “Impossible Germany”. It may be hot where you live. Try to listen to this song, particularly Cline’s solo, when it’s raining:

There are a ton of songs off that album that I’ve avoided listening to for a long time because of the memories both painful and beautiful associated with the sound of the album; ignored signs that in retrospect pointed to the obvious, especially signs that pointed to right now; typing this alone, way too late, way too wistful and way too torn, listening too literally to these life soundtrack songs to write coherently about loss, hindsight and/or the future. This sounds a little wallowy, but it’s not. I’m just struggling for words to describe the recall and playback of good times, bad times and the bittersweetness of memory. I’m not going to lie, these nosedives have decreased over the months. The fog is lifting, truly. But every now and then, I get a glimpse of what was, what could have been and how all of it is now filtered through a sharper focused reality. The past is beautiful. The past is painful. The past is over.

I’m sure in a few years, I’ll look back at these posts and cringe. But for now, this is what I’ve got. This is the song that I shouldn’t have listened to:

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Daily affirmation: Find the good and beautiful, even if it’s small.