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.
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:
For a short sketch taking up that aspect of Adam's biography, among others, see this.
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?Oh dear.
-- Lee Siegel, The Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2009
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.
A response to this sad spectacle.
Unfortunately the Washington Post is not the only case of this sort of thing that comes to mind.
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Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
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
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog