Texas-Sized Decision

Y’all decide. Is Scott Cantrell calling Arthur Kampela’s Nosturnos a piece of shit, with all kinds of undigested thingies in it? Or is he calling Arthur Kampela’s Nosturnos a breakfast inside a dog that’s been eaten?

Now, here’s your context:

A 1993/2003 Nosturnos by the Brazilian-American composer Arthur Kampela made quite a show of virtuoso fireworks, including glissandos and two-arm clusters. But it was also an undigested dog's breakfast of Philip Glass, Barber, Scriabin, Messiaen and goodness knows what else.

And some research:

Well, no; no research. There’s not much to look at on the intertubes. A Google search for “undigested dog’s breakfast” (with quotation marks) yielded two results. The first was a link to Scott’s article. The second, to this, another music review (2005), which used the phrase in a very similar way. (And I suppose once this post is published, this will be the third.)

On the other hand, a Google search without quotation marks lead me to this picture on this site (disturbing; may not be kid safe):

And this, from the Philippines:

So I’ll ask again: which is it? A piece of shit with corn or a breakfast inside an eaten dog?


And Scott, just a thought, but a euphemism for “shitty hodgepodge” might be more effective if it is a little...subtler and less awkwardly phrased. Besides, it would have been much more hip to use “brunch,” instead of “breakfast.” Oooo! How about, “It was also the late-evening dregs of an expired brunch comprised of Glass...?” I like that one—you can use it if you want.


Also, you should check out Arthur Kampela’s music. It’s pretty cool! It’s not shit with undigested thingies in it.


Sator Arepo said...

I really don't mind that he thought it was bad. That's fine.

But what a fucking bizarre turn of phrase! It gave me...pause.

Gustav said...

That picture is most definitely not fun to look at.

Aaron said...

I dunno. I've heard and read the phrase used for years to mean "a big yucky mess." I don't think it's that bizarre, honestly.

Empiricus said...

Weird, I've heard it around before, too, but couldn't find anything about it. No references, no definitions. Not even the Urban Dictionary had anything resembling the phrase. Seriously, though, if it is indeed a known and accepted phrase, how come Google didn't find any other references to it? Curious that its existence is purely aural.

Also, shouldn't it be "a dog's undigested breakfast?" It's clearer that way. Otherwise the dog is being digested.

Also, also because I know I wasn't entirely clear, I'd like to pose this question: Does Scott dislike the piece or eclecticism in general? I'm not sure.

Empiricus said...

How about this instead: "undigested dog-breakfast?"

By the way, I was right (toots own horn: "toot"). This post is one of three results you now get when you Google the phrase.