August 06, 2005
Recurrent Obsession Edition -- in which this Fool revisits, with fresh links, subjects that just keep ... pulling him ... back ... in ....
- At The Morning News, Robert Birnbaum, with a little help from his dog Rosie, produces one of the best, widest-ranging (and longest) of the many recent interviews with Camille Paglia, who is still talking about poetry, the process that resulted in her recent hot pink Break Blow Burn, what's wrong with these kids today, academia, politics, shopping, "and, of course, Camille Paglia." (Link via The Elegant Variation.)
Philip Seymour HoffmanLester Bangs recounts a waking dream:
I had been there for a while, half-listening and half-daydreaming, when something odd happened: I starting thinking about something that didn't exist. I was quite clearly recalling a conversation I'd had with Charles Mingus, the room we were in at the time and the things he'd said to me, except that I had in reality never been there and the conversation had never taken place. I realized immediately that I was dreaming, though I had no memory of falling asleep and had in fact passed over into the dream state as if it were an unrippled extension of conscious reality. So I just lay there for a while, watching myself talk to Mingus while one-handed keyboard bobbins pinged placidly in the background. Suddenly I was jolted out of all of it by the ringing phone. I stumbled in disorientatedly to answer it, and hearing my voice the called asked: 'Lester, did I wake you?'
And so begins a long lost -- no longer lost, actually, but still unequivocally long -- Bangs essay based on extensive interviews with Brian Eno ca. 1979. A must for Eno-philes, especially valuable for its insights into Eno's drift in to, and out of, Roxy Music and the nature of his longtime working relationship with Robert Fripp. (Link via Coolfer.)
- Alan Williamson of the *sixeyes music/MP3 weblog (mentioned just below) has begun contributing semiregular "Mercredi mixtape" entries to Torontoist.
- Torontoist also recently reported the fascinating rumor that Montreal-based fans'-and-critics'-darlings, The Arcade Fire (whose album actually does live up to most of the attendant hyperbole) will soon tour as the backing band for David Bowie. As good a reason as any to point yet again to George Hunka's Superfluities weblog, which reproduces a photo of a bearded Bowie ca. 1982 when he played the title role in a BBC production of Bertholt Brecht's first play, Baal. (Bearded Bowie is slightly less rare, and arguably less disturbing, than Bearded Spock.)
- [Speaking of Montreal: in proper New World French style, its citizens recommend to aspiring hipsters intrigued by the city's burgeoning music scene that they should, please, just go away.]
- More from *sixeyes: Alan has also just posted an item on the music of Jim White. Chris, the noted dissertation procrastinator, also made mention of Mr. White about a month ago at escapegrace, pointing to the documentary, Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus, in which the singer takes (per the description at the film's site) "a thought-provoking road trip through the American South -- a world of Churches; prisons; coalmines; truckstops; juke joints; swamps; and mountains" and "reflects upon what it is about this baffling place that inspires musicians and writers, whilst at the same time working through his own preoccupations with his muse -- or, as he puts it, 'trying to find the gold tooth in God's crooked smile.'"
I am quite partial to White's last two CDs -- he is the nearest thing you will find to a country artist on David Byrne's Luaka Bop label and exemplars from those two records are included in that *sixeyes post -- and have been meaning to write about him myself, but I have never gotten beyond the first sentence of a post. If I ever do write it, it will begin something like this:
If Flannery O'Connor had a brother, and if Flannery O'Connor's brother had a band, then Flannery O'Connor's brother and his band would probably sound something like Jim White.
For now, though, that's all there is.
- Again via Superfluities: Just how long is Wagner's Götterdämmerung? The answer comes via Lisa Hirsch's Iron Tongue of Midnight weblog. Reading around that site, you can find a link to an enthusiastic review Ms. Hirsch wrote last year after viewing a version of the Ring cycle in Berkeley even more abbreviated than the upcoming Long Beach production on which I reported below.