Monday, November 29, 2004
Monday, November 22, 2004
"It's entertainment versus politics."
Anyway, entertainment won, McPherson. Relax already.
Friday, November 19, 2004
Louder than Cats.
Starring William, as the Boy with a Thorn in His Side. Will must steer clear of the Vicar in a Tutu, as he desperately attempts to get some "hand in glove" behind the fountain. Act I closes with a soaring rendition of "How Soon Is Now?" sung by Kristin Chenoweth.
The book, for now called Destination: Out!!! after a Jackie McLean Blue Note, is an introduction to free jazz, focusing mostly on great recordings from the late 1950s to now. Here's a teaser from the proposal:
Welcome to the world of free jazz—a place of outsize personalities, outrageous stories, and uncompromising music. Here you’ll meet the performer who plays so hard that keys fly off the piano. The bandleader who claimed to be from Saturn and outfitted his twenty-piece orchestra in space gear--—and sustained the enterprise for over thirty years. The saxophonist whose ragtag gospel marches were cited by Paul McCartney as a major influence on Sgt. Pepper’s. The world traveler who found a common ground between the music of Marrakech and Brooklyn. The pianist who created spectacular glissandi by dragging his knuckles across the keyboard, playing until his hands bled. The sax player whose ear-shattering shows often ended in fist fights with the audience. The electronic noise pioneer who later found success as the composer of the “Taxi” theme song. The avant gardist whose recital moved President Jimmy Carter to tears at a White House Jazz Festival. The musician many believe was killed by the CIA. The group that dons tribal gear and doctor’s lab coats, performing music that swings between vaudeville and African chants. And the free jazz legend whose music touched so many lives that a church was founded in his name and uses his music as liturgy.
Hope that appeals to someone. This music gets some decent coverage in the major jazz record guide, from Penguin, but generally is given pretty short shrift. As noted previously, we're trying to find a free jazz-friendly celeb to pen a foreword, try to up our profile. Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth fame will probably get the proposal I sent him (by request) on Monday. Here's hoping. He's already proved to be a huge supporter of the music, having assembled and written for a Jazz Actuel mini box set.
Monday, November 15, 2004
Haven't the kids suffered enough? dept.
Book deals of limited interest dept.
For all those Metallica/Eagles/Beach Boys fans. Not sure how an A&R guy at Arista qualifies as a rock journalist, but I guess it doesn't really matter. Also not sure how it could be told with any other POV than his, in particular.
Friday, November 12, 2004
Here I sit so patiently waiting to find out what price you have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice.
When he claims that politics has taken the place of morality and politcs is brute force, he's not playing. You have to believe it. You do exactly as you're told, whoever you are. Knuckle under or you're dead. Don't give me any of that jazz about hope or nonsense about righteousness. Don't give me that dance that God is with us, or that God supports us. Let's get down to brass tacks. There isn't any moral order. You can forget that. Morality has nothing in common with politics.
I added the italics, but damn if he isn't writing protest songs again. The book in question is from 1832, but it just as well could've been written before the Flood.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
A large vanity should be no problem, Ms. Aguilera.
Did he just say "cross-promotional recontextualization?"
Here, to make amends, one of my all-time favorite bits of rock crit. Hoary? You bet. Relevant? I bet.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
That the word rockism makes my skin crawl and my head hurt and the backs of my eyelids suddenly interesting makes me realize that I was never cut out to be a true music critic --- and there are tens of dead links in cyberspace that, were they available, would attest to this as well. (Not that this is stopping me from trying to write a book about music. More on that later.)
And for the love of Ford, why not go with the full-on car song, "Boss Hoss?"
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
The crying of Ned Beatty.
During the show, Anderson reportedly mentioned that her plan to write an opera based on Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity's Rainbow “was nipped in the bud when he stipulated that the orchestra must be comprised only of banjos.”
True or not -- well, it should be true. JJ and I, through some friendly intermediaries, got a copy of our proposal to Pynchon; we wanted to ask him to write a forward. Odds: slim to none. Response: none. Overall feeling of tagential connection to literary greatness? Not so much. Next up: Thurston Moore, the Pynchon of alt-rock, given the difficulty we've had tracking down contact information for the guy.
Monday, November 08, 2004
Greil Marcus' imagination, dead at 64.
Greil Marcus is with Sean Wilentz co-editor of just published The Rose & the Briar: Death, Love and Liberty in the American Ballad (Norton); his book Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads will be published next May by PublicAffairs. He is working on a book about prophecy and American identity.
"This is very, very synth-duoist."
I'm on the list.
Friday, November 05, 2004
One man designs while the other man screams.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Pogo: right again.
"The secular states of modern Europe do not understand the fundamentalism of the American electorate. It is not what they had experienced from this country in the past. In fact, we now resemble those nations less than we do our putative enemies."Aiieee. We are becoming THEM. There are things our supremely tolerant nation will not tolerate, and that's other people's intolerance. Largely because tolerance, at home, is in practice such a bitch. But the real drag is not that Bush is back (bad enough), but the sad realization that he is merely a representation of what a majority of Americans want. (Or as Sasha Frere-Jones put it: People want THE EVIL, and they want it MORE than they did last time.) The notion of an American political process devoid of religion now seems hopelessly lost, and while I still believe money is the root of the issue, religion makes a nice cover story to roust the faithful from their hovels. And faith is what it's all about.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
I'm losing my edge ... to the middle-aged.
Also, did it really take a moment of full-on Ecstasy bliss to recognize that "Loose" by the Stooges would get the kids up and jumping? I could help you out there, Murph, without the hypotension. Of course, Reynolds has his own feelings about the drug, so there may have been a leading question or two involved. But, given that I can't even drink anymore, it's also possible that I'm just bitter.
Other Voices, Other Rooms
I also value the pre-election level-headedness of this guy, who despite lacking the consistency of TT, does his part to head off any unseemly hand-wringing.