Quick Study: August 2009 Archives

Who knows how long it will be up, but someone has posted the video of "Soon" by My Bloody Valentine, so here it is...

Not quite able to accept the realization that Loveless is now almost twenty years old, I just spent a few minutes looking around for discussions of it online, and came across the following at Pop Matters, which reminds me why I have kept a safe distance from most rock prose for some while now:

At first, what streams from the stereo may appear an indecipherable code, a foreign cacophony. It can be appreciated for its pure otherness just as one not fluent in a script may be seduced by its graphic qualities. The lettering becomes an impenetrable surface to ponder. Consider the convolution of slashes and lines of Kanji or the blocky clarity of Hebrew or the celestial curvature of Arabic. But in hearing a piece plucked from the hazy bulk of Loveless and presented on college radio, bracketed by the requisite indie-rock banality, it becomes some spectral broadcast. Not to say that this tangle of pitches and tones once considered too thick to unravel suddenly comes into focus and becomes intelligible. Rather, like all great art, one may begin to see, or in this case hear, the work on its own terms. Every sound is no longer translated into some comfortable clearness. Rather, one begins to love its pure, dense sonance.

Oh yes, one do.

Over a decade has passed since I have lived with this album, literally thousands of others have passed through my hands and shelves. Loveless remains the only sacred tome. Acquired on the cusp of adolescence it traced my awkward, giddy ascension into the realm of adulthood. And, most importantly, inoculated me with that insatiable need to attain further sonic knowledge, to listen with a ravenous, poriferan sentience. Even for its makers it remains insurmountable, a glorious flash that produced a long, slow fade.

Listening with "ravenous, poriferan sentience," I think I can hear the sound of Walter Pater throwing up in the background.

August 28, 2009 11:10 AM | | Comments (8)

The great Les Paul is dead at the age of 94. I don't know what to say -- a man so legendary for so long that it seems superfluous even to try thinking of anything.

Here he is with Mary Ford playing "How High the Moon," circa 1951:

August 13, 2009 12:40 PM | | Comments (0)
My piece about Adam Robinson and Publishing Genius Press is up as this week's column. I made a point not to go into something both of us have in common, more or less -- namely a background in hinterlands fundamentalism, which is no great advantage careerwise but a strange source of energy sometimes, even so.

For a short sketch taking up that aspect of Adam's biography, among others, see this.    
August 12, 2009 11:38 AM | | Comments (0)
This being the 100th anniversary of the first American edition of "Huckleberry Finn," it is the perfect time to ask an essential question: Are you a Narrative or an Episodic personality?

-- Lee Siegel, The Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2009
Oh dear.

When last I paid attention, Lee "Sprezzatura" Siegel was making a hash of psychoanalytic terms. Now he is rewriting basic American literary history.

That or he's become a character out of Slaughterhouse Five, "unstuck in time."

Actually that sounds pretty good. If it is 1985, I am going to listen to Husker Du.
August 10, 2009 1:43 PM | | Comments (3)
The death of John Hughes is deeply meaningful to me. When my wife and I first started going out, she mentioned that The Breakfast Club was the first time she'd ever walked out of a movie. And I thought, "Yes, she's the one."
August 7, 2009 11:48 AM | | Comments (1)

A response to this sad spectacle.

Unfortunately the Washington Post is not the only case of this sort of thing that comes to mind.

August 4, 2009 12:01 PM | | Comments (1)

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Quick Study in August 2009.

Quick Study: July 2009 is the previous archive.

Quick Study: September 2009 is the next archive.

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About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
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