Tuesday, August 2, 2011

like me like process

Prince Jazzbo, Get Tonight Brother
Dave Eggers, Zeitoun
Giant Sand, Glum
Richard Buckner, Impasse and Our Blood
Eleanor Friedberger, Last Summer
  • Getting flashbacked by Zeitoun, Dave Eggers' tale of a Syrian man who stayed in New Orleans through Katrina. Even though I didn't go through Katrina, in a sense. I did; in Baton Rouge, our power was out for a week and it was traumatic and Eggers captures that well with his wife and kids driving around town in their van to escape their relatives. Like her, our discomfort was blanched by what we saw on TV happening down the road to people and a place we knew and loved, where the road ended suddenly in floodwater and racists. It's a shock to me that the city has bounced back at all, six years ago this month. I wrote an Oxford American piece on Katrina's effect on Baton Rouge a while back, if yr inclined.

  • There is a great two-part interview with Richard Buckner at No Depression, tracing the dots through his catalog leading up to his new record Our Blood, though I wonder why Impasse and Dents and Shells didn't even merit a mention. Or the one he did with Jon Langford? Granted, they might be the less-sticky of RB's catalog, but Impasse best exposes its own process better than any contemporary rock record that Wilco didn't do. And nerds like me like process. Anyway, RB kept mentioning Glum by Giant Sand which I've never heard and whoa! I'm glad I've never really dug into Giant Sand before because I get to now. I'm gonna listen to one-a-day until I turn into a sandworm.

  • I took Maya by the Wolfgang Puck coffee machine and she was as impressed as I. One of the janitors passed by and said, "They're talking about gettin' rid of that thing." and we shrieked in unison, "NO!" We poked our heads into the other vending machines in the central hall - Coates Hall is more than adequately served! - and there was one with blue books and Scantron sheets and floppy disks. I tried to explain to my computer savvy daughter the nature and purpose of a floppy disk and she looked at me like, Is it something like a butter churn, or a buggy whip? She did gamely ask, "Like a hard drive that you take with you?" proving she got it, but wasn't buying my story. "They aren't even floppy."

    "It's all unreal here in real time," says Howe Gelb of Giant Sand.

    Giant Sand, "Left"

  • We picked up a down-the-street kid for a bike ride last night and went all over the neighborhood, Pied Piper style except with Prince Jazzbo nattering away, until the kids got complainy but hung in there and then at the edge of his own yard, he wiped out hard.

    Prince Jazzbo, "Mek I Tell You"

  • Stan Brakhage tells a story about Beat poet Christopher Maclaine in his book Film at Wit's End : Eight Avant-garde Filmmakers that Maclaine was staying at his house when early one morning there was a tremendous racket; Maclaine was playing a set of bagpipes and leading the delighted Brakhage children right out the door into the woods. Maclaine made only two films and here is one.

    Christopher Maclaine, The End (1953)

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