Tuesday, May 11, 2010

snake eye die

The National, High Violet (out today) and Alligator (2005, Rhapsody)
Padgett Powell, The Interrogative Mood (2010, Amazon)

Media announcement: "Mad Dogs and British Columbians," my twofer review of the recent recordings by the Fall and Frog Eyes is posted on outsideleft.com in all its writhing, convulsive glory.

Repeated listens to the sorrow drowned in perfect sound that is High Violet has made me further appreciate Alligator, the album I might be tempted to put up as my favorite of the 2000's. He's so naked and raw on that record. I've said it before: I saw the National on that tour at a bar here in town along with 30 other people and it was the show that kickstarted my pro-critic career, so you can thank/blame them depending on how you feel about it. I want spraypaint the lines of "Baby, We'll Be Fine" on the long concrete ramps of parking garages so you experience the whole thing from roof to street level. So heavy. I'm glad I didn't have a cubicle gig when I heard this song.

The National, "Baby We'll Be Fine" (Rhapsody)

Or maybe I'll just tattoo "I won't fuck us over!" on my back for pool season.

The National, "Mr. November" (Rhapsody)

I've heard my daughter sing the chorus of "Looking for Astronauts" in the backseat after her father keeping this on perpetual repeat. It kinda chokes me up now just thinking about it. It's more than my medium-sized American heart can bear.

The National, "Looking for Astronauts" (Rhapsody)

Last night with half a lazy eye on the TV I read the Kindle sample (I love a Kindle sample of a book; it's what I want to read of most books anyway) of The Interrogative Mood, Padgett Powell's novel built entirely out of questions. Even in the brief chunk of it, a rhythm emerges, a hook and you get completely sucked in by the barrage, taking microseconds of your life to answer things like In what area does your want of learning concern or disappoint you most, botany or mathematics? (botany) or Would you rather have, in principle, fifty one-pond bags or one fifty-pound bag? (in principle, the latter, but aesthetically, the former) and so on.

The future of publishing rests in the brevity of smart things to read on the toilet (my first book Darkness, Racket and Twang was laid out with that in mind, and is available for Kindle) and the devices with which the content revolution will be fought reflect that need (one handed operation) as well as those of the standby engine of communication: pornography (also, one-handed operation.) Is a body catching a body coming through the rye regarded as a good thing or a bad thing? I don't really know, but I like how all this questioning is dragging me out of the parenthetical to find out.

Above: that single snake eye die was waiting for me at the bus stop this morning.

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