Thursday, January 02, 2014

Before the Parade

The centerpiece of Pasadena's yearly Solstice celebration is a parade - the Rose Parade.  If you live in the U.S., I'm sure you know all about it.   We Americans assume you also know all about it even if you live in another country, so just nod your head and pretend that you understand what I'm talking about.  OK?

We, the staff of Mixed Meters, have an veritably un-American disinterest in the floats and bands and horses and fully-fertile nearly-adult young princesses that make up the parade, even though the route comes quite close to our central offices, high atop Mixed Meters Towers.

What we are interested in, however, is all the civic preparation which goes into such an event. Especially the clean up.  There's really a shit-load of cleaning up to do afterwards.

Click this link to see all of MM's Pasadena parade coverage over the years.

On Mixed Meters you'll have seen Rose parade trash, Rose parade religious fundamentalists and honking Rose parade tow trucks - but no floats, bands, horses or princesses.  This year we seem to have focused on heating devices used by the Rose revelers who spend the entire winter night outside waiting for the parade.

I spent New Years Eve with Leslie and friends in Old Pasadena, our trendient restaurant district.  At 11 p.m. I elected to walk home along the parade route, Colorado Boulevard.

The sidewalks had long since filled with people camping out overnight - preparing to sleep on the street just as homeless people do.  Except the authentic homeless don't sleep in plain view on major streets.  Nor do they build open fires nor buy over-priced luminescent trinkets and plastic noisemakers from wandering vendors nor make a mess by hurling eggs, tortillas and silly string at passing cars.  Those are privileges of upstanding citizenship.

I stopped occasionally during my walk to shoot video.  When I got home I quickly edited the clips and composed some music.  The music took longer, even though there's just a little over a minute of it.  Strange music.  Very strange.


A word about this music.  I downloaded a huge sample sample library from Samplephonics.  Sorry,  these freebies have since disappeared.  Largely intended for techno, pop or pretty much any form of music I don't do, I used this project Before the Parade as an opportunity to explore this huge collection of audio whatever.  It includes hundreds of samples.  I listened to only a couple dozen and used sixteen of them. I  think the result is kind of fun.  Also strange.  Very strange.

Here's the Mixed Meters' Rose Parade video from 2009. Honking tow trucks. Repent placards. You can see a gas station in the background - low test gasoline was $1.89 per gallon.

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