Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Beirut - Elephant Gun

If I was young, I'd flee this town
I'd bury my dreams underground
As did I, we drink to die, we drink tonight

Far from home, elephant gun
Let's take them down one by one
We'll lay it down, it's not been found, it's not around

Let the seasons begin - it rolls right on
Let the seasons begin - take the big king down

Let the seasons begin - it rolls right on
Let the seasons begin - take the big king down

And it rips through the silence of our camp at night
And it rips through the night

And it rips through the silence of our camp at night
And it rips through the silence, all that is left is all that i hide

The Touch Me Feeling

So I'm reading a new (to me) really good blog right now called The Touch Me Feeling. It's written by Khaela Maricich who is also a performance artist and musician (The Blow) who does amazing stuff. She hasn't written in it since January (ha! I'm not so bad, Jenny) but the archives are funny and nice to read. There is also a really good article in The Believer this month with her by Miranda July (whose You and Me and Everyone We Know is a truly funny and not depressing indie film about unlikely love that I heart).

Inspired by the last blog about Poetry, and Because we are going to Ohio this weekend for my Cousin Nan's wedding, I made a mix CD today called "For the Sleepwalkers"
here is the track list;
"Tonight Will be Fine"- Teddy Thompson (covering Leonard Cohen)
"Disaster"- Besnard Lakes
"Emily"- Joanna Newsom (live)
"Mount Wroclai (Idle Days)"- Beirut
"Fiery Crash"- Andrew Bird
"In Our Talons"- Bowerbirds
"I Feel it All"- Feist
"Cross Bones Style"- Cat Power
"Hearts of Iron"- Handsome Furs
"Brother"- Annuals
"The Flowers She Sent and the Flowers She Said She Sent"- Magnetic Fields
"If it Be Your Will"- Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons) (covering Leonard Cohen)
A broken Hallelujah, indeed, upon looking at this sketch of Leonard. Oh, there is this site pretty cool called Cover Vs. Original where people vote on which is better. Mr Buckley toppled Mr. Cohen in that one.
The Besnard Lakes and Handsome Furs records are in constant play right now as is everything by Beirut. There is a terrific video on YouTube of the song "Elephant Gun" from the original EP. Feist is getting some heavy rotation but not as heavy as last month. The Andrew Bird record gets better everytime I listen to it. The L.C. covers come from I'm Your Man a really terrible "documentary" "about" L.C. but these are the best performances out of that whole train wreck. The Antony one, in particular is devastating.

Scroll down there is another new post

I screwed up and saved a post as a draft about a month ago so it's publishing it after my previous posts, after The TV post. Sheesh. Stupid.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Joyce Carol Oates' Bookshelves

When I was 14 or 15 I was in Florida with my folks for one of the last family vacations I would take with them. There is a bookstore there we always went to, and where I bought many books that subsequently changed my life including Isaac Asimov's Understanding Physics, The Catcher in the Rye, and Joyce Carol Oates' Where I've Been to and Where I'm Going. Not only did I discover my completely unabashed love for non fiction from this collection of essays, reviews and prose, I also fell in love with the idea of being an adult. In a nutshell, I wanted to grow up so I could have JCO's bookshelves. The way I remember the picture and the way it actually is strike me as vastly different; in my memory the shelves reach from floor to ceiling, and the perspective is of a much smaller JCO and a much bigger room. I guess I speculated the shelves as going all the way around the room, but truth be told, this might not even be her library, it could just be her den. As for reaching adulthood, if the same equation holds true I guess I'm getting there. Right now I have five bookcases of books and an equal amount if not more in stacks on the floor of my own library. We have fiction separated from non fiction and everything is alphabetized. (except for the towering mess on the floor). I still don't feel like a grown up. I guess if I was a real grown up I'd be able to afford a bigger house to put all theses books in. Maybe later.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Say hello to the new best shows you Haven't seen and a thing about Oprah boooks.

I'm an ass, I know. For all seven of you who read my blog I duly apologize for my extreme laziness/ business/ lack of talent and willingness to post. There, I said it. But the next issue of the magazine is going to be great, and I had to do a shit ton of work on it this weekend. I came home early from work to write to you, people. I heart you. Don't leave me.
Things might seem bleak for TV viewers everywhere, with the cancellation of the beloved Veronica Mars (be sure to read Marco's article in The Hatchet in July, it's amazing.)
So anyway, while I am with the majority of people who feel cheated by the whole Sopranos ending, I am glad to say that I have found a new TV show to obsess about and fill the huge void left by the nearly hyperventilating Tony Soprano. (How can a person breathe that loud? How?)
The show is called Brotherhood, it's on Showtime and it's fantastic.But first I have to tell you about another show. You may have heard me go on and on about The Wire (also an HBO show but one that doesn't get nearly as many viewers as The Sopranos did). think The Wire is as good as The Sopranos, no kidding, and Jeff and I are absolutely wracked waiting for the fourth season to come out on box set. I think it's currently in the fifth season on HBO, but do yourself a favor, go to Netflix and put this shit in the top of your queue. It's about drug dealers and cops in Baltimore, and you might think that sounds pedestrian, but just watch and you'll see some amazing portrayals of real world problems. Including but not limited to: an accurate portrayal of racial tension, general bigotry, class issues, the futility of drug laws, poverty and the irreversible effects of the ghettoizing of the poor, etc., etc.. In the history of my favorite shows, it may only be second to the undeniable and inimitable Six Feet Under. Considering I was depressed for a week and sobbed uncontrollably after the finale of SFU (now that's a show that knows how to end) this is a pretty meaningful statement. As meaningful as a statement can be about TV, I guess.
So right, Brotherhood is about an old-school Irish family in Providence, RI. There are two brothers, Tommy and Michael, whose lives have diverged in the most extreme of ways; Tommy is a State Representative and Michael is a mobster. Michael returns to Providence after seven years, having gone on the lam to avoid being whacked by another mobster. That mobster is out of the picture and thus insanity and pathos ensue in the lives of the Kaffey family. This too, might sound a bit run of the mill, but the difference is made up in the performances, the story lines and the strength of the characters. The saintly politician is not really as good as he seems and the violent mobster brother is smart but not cunning, and though a liar and a manipulative SOB you root for him anyway. Like that dude in The Muppets Take Manhattan said, "Peoples is Peoples." So the first season just came out on box set, so again, go to Netflix and put this at the top. The second season starts in September on Showtime, with some exciting additions likeJanel Moloney (Donna on The West Wing). Okay. So the whole point of this post was to explain why I haven't been writing. Now you know.Now go curl up on the couch and watch eight episodes in a row, you know you want to.

Oh, but first, I saw that Middlesex is now an Oprah book and I'm having conflicting feelings. Am I being an asshole here? I honestly like Oprah, I think she's an amazing philanthropist and she even did a special episode about the failing education system that featured my hometown Shelbyville, IN. (woohoo, Hoosier Pride!) Outside of being slightly mortifying, I'm glad she did it, as 95% of the kids I went to elementary school with have ended up either a) completely fucked up b) stuck in Shelbyville C) pregnant really young and divorced not too long after. But anyway, this whole Middlesex as an Oprah book bothers me and I don't know why, really. Except, what does it say about me that my favorite book is an Oprah Book, that The Obscure Object of Desire is ready to be consumed by the masses? Jeffrey Eugenides is an amazing writer, one that deserves a wider audience. But when so many people love the thing you love...don't you feel cheated somehow? I'm an asshole. But I bet you'll be less likely to read it, anyhow.