Monday, September 26, 2011

with whom they were all a lover

Losing my religion; finding it in a driveway around the corner.

Ian McEwan, Amsterdam
Ryan Adams, Ashes and Fire (streaming at NPR) and Easy Tiger
Fleetwood Mac, Tusk
R.E.M., Up and Around the Sun
Nico, Avance
Serge Gainsbourg
, Indifférente
Various artists, Allons Boire Un Coup: A Collection of Cajun and Creole Drinking Songs

  • I'm going to be a guest on WNYC's Soundcheck Tuesday afternoon (1pm CST/2pm EST) for the R.E.M. break-up smackdown, ostensibly to speak ill of the dead.
  • The idea of speaking ill of the dead permeates my trouble with Ian McEwan's Amsterdam, a book I am enjoying while reading but feeling nonplussed about the second I step away from the text. It's about a consortium of men dealing with the passing of a vivacious, free-spirited woman, with whom they were all a lover. No one can say a bad thing about the gal though she seems like she might have been fun but also a bit of a pain in the ass. People are never clear cut in life, why should they be expected to be so out of life? Why is that our tendency to make them so? Is it because the closest we get to understanding is "calling it" ? I'm waiting for Amsterdam to coalesce, make a pearl from this grain of sand or another.
  • Like Ryan Adams? Is he really that puzzling? I mean, I've too played the erratic card with reviewing him, but generally, I find that an attractive feature in an artist. I don't know how many artists to whom I've said form my critical armchair: you know, you can do anything now, so why do you choose to still do that same thing? Has anyone ever asked Fleetwood Mac that question? I've never asked Ryan Adams that question. Ashes and Fire is slow and pretty and complete sounding like he sounds when he does his thing. No one in my adult lifetime has made a better record than Heartbreaker and I still love Easy Tiger. GUITAR SOLO!

    Ryan Adams, "Halloweenhead"
  • So, this thing about Sly Stone living in his van is true? I mean, if any big star ever invited the wrath of causality upon himself, it is arguably Sly Stone, crazy is as crazy does, but it's still a bummer. Stone is likely a hard cat to love in toto, but who isn't. We all have moments where the world should love us, surrounded by other moments where hopefully some runoff of that love will sustain us in the shadows until we again become lovable, or recede into memory where we aren't afforded the opportunity to fuck things up.

    You wanna think, it's a sweet van.
  • This post is kinda bumming me out. I didn't mean for it to. I'm having a great day leading into a great week and even enjoying those mid-2000's R.E.M. records more than I intended to. The Nico on Avance is not the Velvet Underground one but I was all you know, what the hell, let it play, y'all. Let the music play, like Shannon told us to do! I love everybody today and wish them the best!

    Shannon, "Let the Music Play"

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