“Listen – Blue Nocturne MP3″
I wish I could say that this post brings with it happy news but I am afraid that it is not so.
I walked into work on Friday, and for the first half of the day, al was as they say, hunky dory.
Shortly after noon, it was no longer so.
A slow and steady parade of people (which would shortly include your truly) were called into the boss’s office and informed (a week before Chanukah, and two weeks before Christmas – we celebrate both in the Grogan house) that we were to be “redeployed”, as of Monday.
I suppose that this is a somewhat softer blow than being told that we would be laid off, but as it turns out (at least from my own point of view) not all that much.
A full 30% of my department was told that we had to pack up and go elsewhere in the organization. I – unlike a few of my coworkers – will still be doing something at least remotely related to my current job (very remotely…it’s not that far off from what I was doing ten years ago). Some of them are being packed off into areas where their existing (and at least until Friday afternoon – valued) skills are by and large useless.
I was relatively lucky. My salary won’t be cut, and the folks I’ll be working with are cool (some of whom I’ve known for almost my entire 22 year run with the company). However – and this is a big however – the kind of autonomy that I’ve experienced for the last 10 or so years will be no more. My access to the interwebs (during working hours) will dwindle to a point where it will be all but non-existent.
The bottom line being, though the Funky16Corners Blog will not cease to be, the frequency with which it is updated with new music and information is going to decrease markedly.
I’ll still be posting – at least once a week, more if I can swing it – but it’s going to be rough going for a while. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this was the only post that I get up this week. My family and I have to get used to the fact that my hours are changing (yet another, unpleasant kick in the ass), and I’ll be training (re-training…no doubt being refitted for 21st century usefulness) all week long.
The sad thing is (completely above and beyond any personal pain) is that this kind of crap is going on all over the country, as the corporate greedheads, propelled by concerns over “stockholder value”* make drastic cuts to their workforce (and in the end the quality of their product, though in my case we’re dealing with the kind of people to whom that kind of thing is utterly meaningless). At least the kind of place I work can’t be shipped overseas and outsourced (I should watch my mouth, there’s probably some eager young up and comer down at corporate working on just such a “solution”). Though in my case, the insult will probably end up stinging worse than the injury.
So, today I bring you another delightful taste of the music we know as soul, and tomorrow I walk through the front door where I work, into a whole new bag as it were. I’ve heard all the clichés about taking lemons and making lemonade (or more appropriately taking chicken shit and making chicken salad – I’d much prefer the lemonade solution), and though my conscious mind is trying to work in that direction, my subconscious keeps poking it with a sharp, pessimistic stick. I’m pretty sure things will work out in the end. If there is in fact a silver lining to this particularly ominous cloud, it is that I’ll probably be trading in an often intolerable level of stress for a decidedly more manageable one. We’ll just have to wait and see how long it takes for the bruises to fade from my ego.
Thankfully the holidays are fast approaching, and I have a three year old at home for whom lighting the menorah and plugging in the Christmas tree hold a great deal of joy (the same kind of joy my wife and I get surrounding both of those symbols with presents for him and his four month old brother). The next few weeks – and all the visits and good cheer within them – should do much to alleviate any bad feelings that I’m having now.
That all said…the tune I bring you today is one that I stockpiled/digitized before I had any idea that anything like this was going to happen. It’s a long, longtime favorite of mine, a tune I discovered over 20 years ago on the flipside of a much better known King Curtis tune (‘Memphis Soul Stew’). The tune in question, ‘Blue Nocturne’ is one I’ve never been able to get a firm handle on. My suspicion (educated guess?) is that is a track from his early days at Atlantic (yeas before he recorded ‘Memphis Soul Stew’) that was pulled from the vaults for b-side use. This of course may be incorrect, but the fact that it doesn’t appear to have been included on any of his Atlantic LPs (and has been compiled with other early work) suggests to me that it is of an earlier vintage.
‘Blue Nocturne’ is an absolutely heartbreaking instrumental ballad, redolent of very late nights and a certain loss of hope. The guitar (I wish I knew who was playing) is perfect, and the organ humming in the background gives it a slightly churchy edge that I dig. Either way, it’s a record that I have long loved, and listening to it (wallowing in it?) several times while writing this has massaged my soul somewhat.
So, in the words of Bob and Ray, write if you get work, and hang by your thumbs. I have lots of cool stuff ready to go, as well as a couple of mixes in the old digital storage bin, so despair not (at least not as much as I am), because though the mighty ship Funky16Corners may be have temporarily run aground, she will soon be righted and sailing the seven seas once again.
Wish me well, and I’ll see you next week.
*Oh, and uh… FUCK a stockholder….