...being the observations and navigational extracts
from the ongoing expeditions of San Francisco Piano Pop trio
True Margrit

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Base Camp! Bass Amp! Alive Alive -O!

I was just googling True Margrit ( c'mon, don't you google your band sometimes?) & guess what ? Our song "Electricity" from SEAWORTHY was an example of the "modern waltz" on a Pandora podcast about meter/time signatures/rhythm!
see! we're an example on a Pandora blog!


For you nice readers I shall own up to all of my obsessions-- other than self-googling--in due course. The confession du jour? For years & years now I have loved to read about mountain climbing! Everest?! ( that is, Chomulungma/Sagarmatha!!) K2?? Denali! Nanda Devi! Nanga Parbat! oooh yes. I eat it up with a spoon--or iceaxe...

In fact, a result of this lifelong proclivity our soon-to-be released album, THE JUGGLER's PROGRESS has a whole mountain climbing image/thread. You'll see/hear. I go through phases & indulge other obsessions, but lately, perhaps with the imminent release of the mountainous album, I'm in full throttle with the Himalayan expedition books, the articles on first ascents, and mountain climbing movies. In case you want to check it out, here are both my top five mountain climbing books & top three movies of all time.

Best Mountaineering Books:
5) Kingdom of Adventure-Everest by James Ramsey Ullman. A classic. I love reading about the treks undertaken back in the old days ( before airstrips and choppers) just to get to Base Camp. Neato
4) Annapurna, a Woman's Place by Arlene Blum. A real corker about an all-women's expedition led by the Bay Area's own Arlene Blum in 1978. Both fun and very sad.
3) Annapurna by Maurice Herzog's account of the French expedition's first ascent of Annapurna. Cool & gruesome trekking tales!
2) The Boys of Everest by Clint Willis. A very intense and intensive survey of British mountaineering from the 1960's to 1980 with the rockstar circle of climbers around Sir Chris Bonington as the focal point. Willis is the best writer by far in this genre--he's a poet of glaciers, cols, cwms, and the human psyche
1) Touching the Void by Joe Simpson. Very well written as well-- and it's the craziest most harrowing mindblowing mountain disaster survival tale. Ever.

Best Mountaineering Movies:
3) hmmmm maybe there are only two great ones....but the IMAX Everest movie is pretty good. I liked Blindsight too, but it's more about the plight of blind Tibetan children and the folks trying to help them ( including the blind athlete Erik Weihenmayer) than it is about mountains.
2) The Man Who Skiied Down Everest--I just watched it this week--it's pretty great and it's narrated by HAL 9000 ( well, the guy who played HAL--Douglas Rain). Pretty surreal with gorgeous cinematography. Won the Documentary Academy award in 1975 ( that date might be off--sue me).
1)Touching the Void--AMAZING! Thrilling & riveting & chilling--even though you know the folks involved survived, since they are telling the story--with the help of surprisingly uncheesy re-enactments.

What about terrible mountain climbing movies? OK, here is my list of the three worst of all time:
3) Vertical Limit--I confess, I saw it in the theatre. What are you gonna do. OH, SO STUPID!
2) K2-- I rented it it yesterday. Oh dear.
1) K2--so bad it takes two spots on the list. BAD MOVIE. Ok maybe there aren't enough mountain climbing films! Make some!

Ok. And we'll let you know when we're at Base Camp. We're going for the summit.


Blogger Gary said...

I believe you can add to your list of bad mountain climbing movies the 1956 John Agar classic, "The Mole People."

Wed Jun 03, 01:11:00 AM PDT  

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