Thursday, November 22, 2012

ow wow


This tableau met me at the bus stop the other day. It's like that Magritte painting, The Empire of Light, where the sky is day but the trees are night.

Eyehategod, Confederacy of Ruined Lives
UFOmammut, ORO: Opus Primum and Eve
Gallon Drunk, The Road Gets Darker from Here
Drive-By Truckers, The Fine Print
Richard Buckner, Since and Devotion + Doubt
The Drones, Havilah


This little little rhombus of creation whispered its good mornings on Saturday.

Gary Clark, Jr., Black and Blu
Crime & the City Solution, Shine
The Gun Club, The Las Vegas Story
Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King


This is a picture my spirit donut. Actually my spirit donut is the vanilla jalapeño from Tiger Deaux-Nuts, but I ate it before I could take a picture. Their key lime is my runner up spirit donut.

This is what I thought of A Hologram for the King.

A Hologram for the KingA Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked this book until it came to a shuddering close and then the air was left empty from the vacuum of architectural spectacle. Eggers can put together a sentence and can skateboard around the parking garage of ennui and do interesting tricks. He can even make me overlook the tired slump-can't-quite-get-busy-with-this-woman-out-of-his-league-who-wants-him-too thing until it happens a second time and I'm like, wait a second, and then the book is done. Snapped off like a hologram itself. Poof.

I mentioned to my wife that it started out as a Waiting for Godot thing and she questioned why I'm surprised it wasn't all that good. Point taken. Maybe I should start reading books where things happen in them. Surely existential crisis can find a literary bedfellow in a chase scene or shoot-out or something.

Lee Hazlewood, A House Safe for Tigers
Sonic Rendezvous Band, Live Masonic Auditorium, Detroit, 01/14/1978
Drunk Horse, In Tongues

This is the greatest song ever. Everything on this week's sonic docket was good but, ow wow, Sonic Rendezvous Band is just the best band.

Blurt, Smoke Time
Medium Medium, Hungry, So Angry
Dub Narcotic Sound System, Hand Clappin'
The Delta 72, The R&B of Membership and The Soul of the New Machine

This was thanksgiving 2012. I'm thankful for my family, the bounty we enjoy and the ability to share pictures of food over the internet. In the future when we are fed by thought waves and glucose patches and are post-food, we will be still posting pictures of green bean casseroles on Pinterest every Thanksgiving out of habit.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

This photo is important


"This photo is important," I thought, crouched in the street cradling my coffee and the dog's leash with my left thumb while clicking the phone with my right. I thought about what filters I would later apply to it in PhotoShop to accentuate its importance. Then I applied them and they looked terrible. Then I tried the original photo and it was terrible too. Then I asked one of the student photo editors I work with and she was all here, here, and here and that did it. Maybe. It might still be terrible. The student gifted some carefully wrapped praise for the shot - "pretty well balanced". Maybe that's the only important part of this photo.

Desert Noises, Mountain Sea
Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King
Wild Birds (of Heaven), "Killing Time"

Clinic, Free Reign
Jim Jarmusch & Jozef Van Wissem, The Mystery of Heaven
Alvin Lucier, "I am sitting in a room" and "The Only Talking Machine of its Kind in the World"
Nico Muhly, Drones & Piano and Drones & Violin
Charlemagne Palestine, Fifths In The Rhythm Three Against Two For Bösendorfer Piano 
We are so deft with our thumbs now, how we type and take pictures and, in high security environments, identify ourselves with our thumbs. We are all thumbs.

This reflexology photo popped up on Facebook the other day. I have a trackpad instead of a mouse so my desktop digital life and well as my mobile is a thumbed indexing of data. Notice that the part of the thumb by which we navigate the world, or at least the one I use to hit the command and option buttons, is tied in the reflexologic sense to the anus. Thumb-ass relationship. If you admitted being bored to my Uncle Jack, a farmer, he'd suggest you go sit on your thumb and lean back on your finger.

Uncle Jack had a guy that worked for him who we'd then label as being "slow". Once over dinner (which is what farmers call "lunch") the guy remarked, "Jack... these cabinets are just like ours, except they're different."

All of this is possibly important.

But, yeah. The photo. I thought it looked like liquid splashing, like flat planes unfurling, like how nature is so comfortable with the bending of dimensions, that there is no up and down and left and right in the non-human world.

I am loving the hell out of Dave Eggers' A Hologram for the King, a dovetailing of failures in both life and business that makes a particular Everyman and how the timeline of that Everyman's Everything is a "hurry up and wait" and so he hurries and waits and doesn't have any other idea on how to be. Even as nothing happens.

It's a couple of hours now since I started this post and now I don't really care for  the alleged important photo. It looks completely different to me. Just like it was except it's different.  Which, again, important. So it stays.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Closeup of the flag at on the LSU Parade Ground

Colosseum, Valentyne Suite
Wilco, The Whole Love
Sigmatropic, 16 Haiku & Other Stories
Terry Riley, Atlantis Nath

You can't thank veterans enough. Even during Battleship, the worst movie ever made in Baton Rouge (and that says something), in that corny scene where the old museum guards fire up the U.S.S. Missouri and take on the aliens or whatever was going on, those old men were a little inspiring. Those old men that served us in their youth an beyond and do after they are gone. They always are.

Old man lunch

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Live from Alabama
Dov Charney, Cease/Desist
The Who, Live at Hull 1970

After I ate my old man lunch at my desk and put on my old man sweater, I totally didn't tear up when I walked past the big Christmas tree going up and then under that giant American flag while goddamn Jason Isbell was singing "Goddamn Lonely Love" and the horns and the undulating of the stars and the stripes and the old men scurrying around a tree and they just want things to be nice for the Christmas and for God and country so shut up.

LSU Christmas tree goes up in front of the memorial tower.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Nick Cave cool

This image of being drawn & quartered, offered up as a melodramatic distillation of the past week's general tenor, was found from the Affordable Housing Institute's website. It is more disconcerting that this image is tied to affordable housing than it is to my work schedule.

Morton Subotnick, Silver Apples of the Moon live at Moogfest 2012
Ameret String Quartet, Morton Subotnick: And the Butterflies Begin to Sing
Alvin Lucier, Almost New York
Various Artists, Music for Merce Vol. 10
Zeena Parkins & Ikue Mori, Phantom Orchard

Saturday was a quiet, dozy blur.

Larry Coryell, Introducing the Eleventh House with Larry Coryell
Embryo, Father Son and Holy Ghosts
Milton Nacimento, Club de Esquina 1

Southern Culture on the Skids, Santo Swings
The Blasters, Fun on a Saturday Night
Little Charlie & the Nightcats, Nine Lives
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Pressure Cooker

Van Der Graaf Generator, Pawn Hearts
Curved Air, Air Conditioning and Phantasmagoria
Linda Perhacs, Parallelograms
Max Roach, Max Roach with the New Orchestra of Boston and the So What Brass Quintet
Eric Dolphy, Out to Lunch

Dorothy Ashby, Afro-Harping

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Camper Van Beethoven, "Northern California Girls" (via Billboard)
Patti Smith Group, Wave
Roxy Music, Stranded

Johnnie Taylor, Taylored in Silk
Eddie Floyd, Rare Stamps
The Fall, Touch Sensitive...Bootleg
Tindersticks, Waiting for the Moon
Paul K, A Wilderness of Mirrors: Motion Picture Soundtrack

It's been a week. Classes and night classes. I got a story cut form a magazine and then a message asking for my address for the check. I'll take it! Maybe I'll embark on a career of not getting published. There was an election and a riot - c'mon, city fathers and even more powerful city mothers of Oxford Towne, crush that kind of indignity under the heels of your fancy shoes - and a discussion of said riot in one of aforementioned classes.

Sweet old Camper Van Beethoven.

Drawn and quartered is probably a very Nick Cave way to feel. It's not the canon-correct answer, but Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!! might be my actual, functional favorite Nick Cave album.  Like there are the ones you are required to adore like Tender Prey and Murder Ballads and Your Funeral, My Trial and all, but this one is rock solid with me. I'd like Adult Music Club to work up "Dig, Lazarus, Dig"and play it at some congenial gathering in the park. "Poor Larry", I'll croon in an aside to congenial festivalgoers. I love everything about this song: the stunted funk of it, the beat poetry filtered through the cheesecloth of a bygone personal danger, the low-lamp showbiz of the video. Actually, I just want to imagine for a minute that I am Nick Cave cool. I have the mustache. And the dance moves. I can dream.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I Put a Spell on You

Adult Music Club, "I Put a Spell on You" (Screamin' Jay Hawkins)

These are all from the Adult Music Club performance at the Louisiana Book Festival. That's me in the orange along with Jayme St. Romain, Lance Porter, Lewis Rousell, Louis Lipinski, Jason Davis, Bowdre Alverson-Banks, Benjo Fernandez and our spiritual advisor David Hinson.

All week:
Lots of Tom Waits and a little Prince
Barry Hannah, The Tennis Handsome

I keep meaning to blog and and then it strikes me what a weird thing that is to say and then I'm breaking the cardinal rule about blogging which is to not blog about blogging and then I have papers to grade and Halloween and a book festival to present at and a rock band to front so I forget. But the star moments sustain us.

Adult Music Club, "Goo Goo Muck" (The Cramps). I was informed my dance moves are exactly the same as they were in 1995.

Adult Music Club, featuring Jamye St. Romain, "Dreams" (Fleetwood Mac)

Adult Music Club, "Pipeline" (The Ventures)

I'll put up our devastating strafing run through "Way Down in the Hole" as soon as it gets uploaded.

Adult Music Club, "Way Down in the Hole"

A big thank you is in order for Rachel Vernon for shooting and uploading and sitting through it all. I burned myself out on Tom Waits years ago but this recent embodiment of the form has rekindled my  interest. Plus, Maya is into it. We particularly are taken with the making feet for children's shoes bit in "Singapore".

The book festing part of the book festival was great. This really is one of the nicest cultural events in Baton Rouge. It feels for a moment to be a brainy town. Just a few years ago I sold good ol' Darkness, Racket and Twang from a little rented table on the walk up to the Capitol building where the big shots were reading and it thrills me that I am one of those.

Well, I was in the museum auditorium with a generous, perhaps optimistic amount of seating for an 11:45 book talk, but you don't measure success by the numbers, but by channels swum and mountains scales and rooms played. And Courtney from Barnes and Noble actually had a stack of DRT and The First Annual Outsideleft Hardy Annual (look out for royalties Joe and Kirk and Paul; we actually sold one!) next to Louisiana Saturday Night at the merch table.

All of which you can buy. Just sayin'. Holidays are coming up.

I want to thank LSU Press for believing that I have something publishable and salable to say about things and for putting out the version of The Tennis Handsome I am picking my way through. Barry Hannah. That fucker could write.