Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Backroad blogging

Scratched out a few words on the Jews' early times (actually it's just this song). Read all about how I compare Berman to F Scott without any supporting evidence. Here.

By the way, the Pavement version of this song is incredible.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Waking up groggy

My job isn't the worst provided I don't encounter the owner, who is. Wrote that last night and then this morning he came in and was quite civil. Day naps are bad when you can't seem to function like now.

Third of the way into Walker Percy's The Last Gentleman had me thinking that this was everything I ever dreamed of and more, but by the end of it, I wanted to throw it into the econolodge indoor pool where a yellow tinge in the water had been noted in my log book. The sauna is broken and has been since I started. What frustrated me most is that I have a bunch of unread Percy's, including the sequel to The Last Gentleman!

Rescued by a delightful novel called Preparations for the Ascent by Gilbert Rogin. Steve Connell at Verse Chorus tipped me off — he's been reissuing Gilbert's stuff over the last couple years. I was curious what kind of comic novels they were publishing there, but Rogin's from another dimension. The New Yorker published him in the 60s and his stylish humor and prose complements the Salingers and the De Vries. 

Moving between fiction and non. Watching basketball alone, sometimes with people. Drinking white russians for breakfast and then going to bed with Gilbert Rogin, stuff like that. Saw Prometheus and liked it a lot. Revisiting Robert Hughes' memoir and occasionally noting interesting vocabulary: lapidary and parsimonious,  for instance. His account of artist Ian Fairweather is something. More than others, his account made me eager to see what his paintings looked like and so I went and found one.

Chaser's gone to the hills for the summer. The reason I am not with her is I am unqualified and I would die in the Colorado Mountains. I write her a note explaining how I needed to drink a bottle of wine that I was intending to share with her. One of the last things we did before she left was see this exhibition in town by sherrie wolf. Those are her squash up above and this is Chaser from the rear pensively perusing the Wolf. 

Friday, June 08, 2012

Grievous Gringos and Comrade Hansolov's new Doppler Shift

Snagged a position at econolodge night desk, slowly been acclimatizing myself to that. So far it's been a waking frightmare, but I suppose that's the case when you have to learn new things in life such as consistency of continental breakfast waffle mix. Outside of work I've been trying to sleep and when I'm having trouble doing that I read, or write letters like Flaubert did.

Melbourne's Michael Hawkins visited and we had our picture taken next to a fine act, who did many renditions of good old country standards. We probably wouldn't have stayed if it hadn't been for my seeing the setlist next to the singer's foot pique my interest, how song 6 was called Grievous and sure enough they played a rousing Gram Parsons. 

It's funny how a stylish friend of mine from Melbourne (Paul Phillipson) took umbrage with the outfit I was wearing  that day. Only now do I realize that it was clearly inspired by Charles Portis' Gringos — a droll novel I was reading at the time about bounty hunters, hippies and UFO chasers in Mexico— an author Paul can't stand. Before I left Melbourne, I had sold him my copy of True grit, saying that it was well worth the six dollars. What a load of crap was soon to be Paul's take and now I realize his strain of existential urbanity doesn't gibe so well with the folksy parlances in Portishead (Portis's head).
Anywho, I remain a fan of both Portis and Paul's taste in books and here's a wonderful snippet from Gringos where a nutjob relates his UFO experience to our skeptical narrator.

“I am a payroll programmer from the state of Missouri and I wear nice shirts and nice suits when I'm at home. I live in a garage apartment which suits me, though I could afford something much, much nicer. It's comfortable enough and very private. I sleep upstairs, alone, needless to say, and my bedroom window faces southwest. At a little after 11 o' clock on the night of August third I was awakened by an expiring rush of air. Then there came a pulsing light and a low frequency hum, or a sort of throbbing...I am a professional man with a peptic ulcer and chronic scalp problems. Otherwise, I enjoy normal good health.”

There's far more to the anecdote, but not only am I too lazy to transcribe it, I'm in a rush to get to work. It's a heckuva book, I'd recommend it to most anyone, aside from you know, you-know-who.

Began Working the Doppler Shift, Steve Hanson's new mostly music writing project. Steve lives in Wales and is literally so cultured they should name a yogurt after him. We been sharing ideas, music (we pass a memory stick back and forth - more on this here) and a mutual appreciation of Meltzer dating back to our salad days at Plan B. He is track 4 on Neu's 75. He fights against cliche with erudition, style and grace. He'll keep you guessing. I am still trying to work out the artist who belts this juicy sax on this acid jazz mash-up he made.