Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"Randolph Mantooth as Fireman John Gage"

The art of fiction. See bullet no. 5.

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Mirror Traffic (streaming at NPR)
Stephin Merritt, Obscurities (streaming at Paste)
Beirut, The Rip Tide (steaming at NPR)
Chicago Underground Duo, Sion
John Zorn, Masada: Live in Jerusalem
John Coltrane, Living Space
  • I heard the first line of Mirror Traffic as I caught you streaming at NPR, which: brilliant!, but really it's I caught you streaking in your Birkenstocks, which: oh. Same difference, in a way. Also, I was at a bar this weekend and turned to my friend and said, "Wait, is this the Rockford Files theme?" and he was all, "er... this is Stevie Wonder."

  • And while we are going down 70's TV show theme rabbit hole, "Randolph Mantooth as Fireman John Gage" is the manliest sentence ever committed to title credits. "Julie London as Dixie McCall, R.N." has its own archetypal hotness.

  • Emergency! was the *best* show when I was eight and once a tree caught fire in our yard - my father was a teacher at the high school and our house got rolled - and they had to call the fire department right in the middle of the homecoming game. The big, townwide alert sirens went off and a stream of cars zoomed past our house on the way to the fire station, then the fire trucks all came. My father had tried to put out the fire with a hose that wouldn't reach, making the leaves on hill where the tree slippery. It was pure organic slapstick with firemen in full gear trying to get up there to put out a puny tree fire, right outside my window. Greatest moment of my childhood.

  • You ever listen to John Coltrane's Living Space? Me either. There are so many. On the title track, he overdubs himself on soprano, playing just off phase to make a living space, dig? It's more than a little magical.

  • I wrote a bit of fiction last night; I mean it was actual fiction and not just a conglomerate of dicey,  dubious facts under the auspice of hopefully being non-fiction. Really, it was fact-slightly-turned-to-become-fiction, a hijacking of lives to which I am privy. I've talked to a few people lately and that's how they do it so I thought I'd give it a shot and it came out OK, though I have trouble putting believable words in someone else's mouth. That's the trick, right? It's like that sandwich up there. I bought the chicken and the mayo and the celery and almonds, I made the chicken salad, I put the chicken salad on the sandwich, I took a picture of the sandwich, and then ate the sandwich. The art of fiction is to starting exposing the story somewhere around the eating.

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