Friday, December 16, 2005

Lavender and Old Lace by Myrtle Reed: XII. Bride and Groom

"'You ain't changed nothin' here, Jane,' he continued, hurriedly, 'there's the haircloth sofy that we used to set on Sunday evenins' after meetin', and the hair wreath with the red rose in it made out of my hair and the white rose made out of your grandmother's hair on your father's side, and the yeller lily made out of the hair of your Uncle Jed's youngest boy. I disremember the rest, but time was when I could say'm all. I never see your beat for makin' hair wreaths, Jane. There ain't nothin' gone but the melodeon that used to set by the mantel. What's come of the melodeon?'

'The melodeon is set away in the attic. The mice et out the inside.'

'Didn't you hev no cat?'

'There ain't no cat, James, that could get into a melodeon through a mouse hole, more especially the big maltese you gave me. I kept that cat, James, as you may say, all these weary years. When there was kittens, I kept the one that looked most like old Malty, but of late years, the cats has all been different, and the one I buried jest afore I sailed away was yeller and white with black and brown spots--a kinder tortoise shell--that didn't look nothin' like Malty. You'd never have knowed they belonged to the same family, but I was sorry when she died, on account of her bein' the last cat.'"
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Irish Poetry Ulster Scots--

cat melojiin (melodeon)--broken/useless (equivalent of banjaxed) "thon oul trasher (thresher) is cat melojiin"

fans of quirky alt-folk would do well to check out the site of Deserted Village records, which has info about and mp3's of bands like The Magickal Folk of the Far Tree, United Bible Studies and Murmansk. Title of the week: "The Cat's Melodeon"...

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

interesting Deerhoof: Pitchfork Interview

" I completely disagree that there's ever a lack of newness. Anything anybody ever does is new, it's never happened before. Everything. If I take a sip of this water, I've never taken a sip of this water before, at this moment. There's no way in the world that you're gonna convince me that the world of indie rock or the world of rock or the world of music is in any way lacking in life because music is not lacking in life. Music is everywhere, all the time, and it always has been. Even before human kind. Birds have voices too, and any animals. Everything that happens in a new day sheds a different light not just on our albums but on everything. That's why it's so fun to go back to much older music, and see-- it's amazing to me that there is music that still means something to somebody years later. Decades ago or centuries ago. No panel is necessary. Music does not need to be saved."
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from Fit 5 (The Beaver's Lesson) of The Hunting of the Snark: an agony in eight fits, by Lewis Carroll; illustrated by Henry Holiday

"As to temper the Jubjub's a desperate bird,
Since it lives in perpetual passion:
Its taste in costume is entirely absurd--
It is ages ahead of the fashion:

"But it knows any friend it has met once before:
It never will look at a bride:
And in charity-meetings it stands at the door,
And collects' though it does not subscribe.

"Its flavor when cooked is more exquisite far
Than mutton, or oysters, or eggs:
(Some think it keeps best in an ivory jar,
And some, in mahogany kegs:)

"You boil it in sawdust: you salt it in glue:
You condense it with locusts and tape:
Still keeping one principal object in view--
To preserve its symmetrical shape."

The Butcher would gladly have talked till next day,
But he felt that the lesson must end,
And he wept with delight in attempting to say
He considered the Beaver his friend.

While the Beaver confessed, with affectionate looks
More eloquent even than tears,
It had learned in ten minutes far more than all books
Would have taught it in seventy years..."

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and of course on the west coast not the pork and bean but the straight out Pig War, which seems to have attracted its own reenactor community--

"The Pig War occurred between the United States and the British Empire in 1859. The outbreak of hostilities was contained to a small island in the Oregon Country, on what is now San Juan island in Washington State. To be sure, the only casualty was a pig, a "British" pig shot by an "American" farmer. In its death, the pig illuminated the sticky fact that both nations claimed ownership of San Juan island. The cartographical ambiguity was resolved immediately, however, when both nations sent armed troops to the island, in preparation for war. Ultimately, there was no gunfire, no war. The troops co-occupied San Juan island for years, until Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany decided that San Juan island fell under the rightful and just rule of the United States of America. "

My idea was always to make a lowbrow F-Troop/Carry On type comedy set during the Pig War, highlighting national differences in a hilarious writes itself.

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from the history of that vast county in Northern Maine, the Aroostook War, an earlier lumber/border dispute, involving secret maps, etc...

"The Aroostook War, also called the Pork and Beans War, the Lumberjack's War or the Northeastern Boundary Dispute, was an undeclared, bloodless North American "war" that occurred in the winter of 1838 and early spring of 1839...The majority of early Aroostook River Valley settlers were from "over-home", that is, from the St. John River Valley and were typically British citizens. The population swelled in the wintertime when lumbermen were freed from farmwork to "long-pole" up the St. John River to the valley. These migrant lumbermen were a particular point of tension for the Americans. Some eventually settled permanently in the valley and improved their land claims. Most settlers found themselves too remote from the authorities to apply formally for land, and since the boundary was ambiguous it was uncertain which government was in authority, anyway. Disputes heated up as factions maneuvered for control over the best stands of trees in the valley."

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whatever you do, avoid Cute Overload! except in emrgencies...
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this is a real find, "Parallelograms", an amazing album from 1970, recorded by dental hygienist Linda Perhacs (who didn't quit her day job or ever play live) with the help of Hollywood soundtrack composer Leonard Rosenman, very subtle, sophisticated multi-tracking & arrangements, her voice a secure Joni in its upper register and close to Lani Hall/Nick Drake below, an air of Tim Buckley's Blue Afternoon...
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

always nice to see a proper iconic wise old owl (nice vest!), from a bookbinder's business card (on Court, entrance Joralemon) from the Fulton Street Trade Card Collection via metafilter
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Monday, December 12, 2005

my picks from the Turner Classic Movies Print Schedule times Pacific, schedule Canadian (for rights reasons there's some we don't get up here), this week

12 Monday

2:30 PM Some Came Running (1958) A veteran returns home to deal with family secrets and small-town scandals. Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine, Dean Martin. D: Vincente Minnelli. C 136m. (near-best from all leads)

13 Tuesday

8:00 AM 3:10 To Yuma (1957) A sheriff must run the gauntlet to get his prisoner out of town. Glenn Ford, Van Heflin, Felicia Farr. D: Delmer Daves. BW 92m. (from an Elmore Leonard story)

3:00 PM Possessed (1947) A married woman's passion for a former love drives her mad. Joan Crawford, Van Heflin, Raymond Massey. D: Curtis Bernhardt. BW 108m. (haven't seen it, but...)

8:00 PM The Haunting (1963) A team of psychic investigators moves into a haunted house that destroys all who live there. Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Russ Tamblyn. D: Robert Wise. BW 112m. (still scary)

12:00 AM Sabotage (1936) An unhappily married woman discovers her husband is an enemy agent. Sylvia Sidney, Oscar Homolka, John Loder. D: Alfred Hitchcock. BW 77m. (from Conrad's Secret Agent)

14 Wednesday

3:00 AM The Brothers Karamazov (1958) In this adaptation of the Dostoevsky classic, four brothers fight to adjust to the death of their domineering father. Yul Brynner, Maria Schell, William Shatner. D: Richard Brooks. C 146m. (stolen by Albert Salmi as Smeryadkov)

6:00 AM Othello (1922) In this silent film, a famed general is led astray by jealousy and an evil underling. Emil Jannings, Lya De Putti, Werner Krauss. D: Dimitri Buchowetzki. BW 80m. (never seen it, but...)

7:30 AM A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935) Shakespeare's classic about two pairs of lovers and an amateur actor who get mixed up with fairies. James Cagney, Dick Powell, Mickey Rooney. D: Max Reinhardt, William Dieterle. BW 143m. (Mickey Rooney as Zukofsky's Puck)

2:30 PM Julius Caesar (1953) An all-star adaptation of Shakespeare's classic about Julius Caesar's assassination and its aftermath. Marlon Brando, James Mason, John Gielgud. D: Joseph L. Mankiewicz. BW 121m. (Brando steals it...)

15 Thursday

5:00 AM Jezebel (1938) A tempestuous Southern belle's willfulness threatens to destroy all who care for her. Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Fay Bainter. D: William Wyler. BW 104m. (all the Wyler Bette Davis movies are great)

11:00 AM The War Lord (1965) A medieval knight's efforts to defend his lord are complicated when he falls in love. Charlton Heston, Richard Boone, Rosemary Forsyth. D: Franklin J. Schaffner. C 121m. (strange kind of prequel to Planet of the Apes)

5:00 PM The Man From Laramie (1955) A wandering cowboy gets caught in the rivalry between an aging rancher's sons. James Stewart, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp. D: Anthony Mann. C 102m. (they have a nice print)

16 Friday

4:30 AM A Dispatch From Reuters (1940) An entrepreneur builds an international news agency. Edward G. Robinson, Edna Best, Eddie Albert. D: William Dieterle. BW 90m. (has scenes of pigeons)

6:00 AM Manpower (1941) Power linemen feud over love of a sultry nightclub singer. Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, George Raft. D: Raoul Walsh. BW 103m. (this used to be on CBC twice a year--some good Warner Brothers weather)

9:15 AM Experiment Perilous (1944) A small-town doctor tries to help a beautiful woman with a deranged husband. Hedy Lamarr, Paul Lukas, George Brent. D: Jacques Tourneur. BW 91m. (never seen it...)

3:00 PM Winter Meeting (1948) A repressed poetess and an embittered war hero help each other cope with their problems. Bette Davis, Jim Davis, Janis Paige. D: Bretaigne Windust. BW 105m.

11:00 PM It's A Wonderful World (1939) A runaway poetess helps a fugitive prove himself innocent of murder charges. Claudette Colbert, James Stewart, Guy Kibbee. D: W.S. Van Dyke II. BW 86m. (poetess double feature, haven't seen either)

17 Saturday

5:00 AM He Walked By Night (1948) After killing a cop, a burglar fights to evade the police. Richard Basehart, Scott Brady, Roy Roberts. D: Alfred Werker. BW 79m. (unseen noir...)

7:00 PM The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946) Three returning servicemen fight to adjust to life after World War II. Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy. D: William Wyler. BW 170m. (Wyler again, with Gregg Toland)

18 Sunday

9:00 PM The Unknown (1927) In this silent film, an escaped killer pretends to be a sideshow's armless wonder. Lon Chaney, Joan Crawford, Norman Kerry. D: Tod Browning. BW 50m. (never seen this...)

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interestingish essay on the present perilousState of the Art crisis crisis--

"In the 50's and 60's, young, aspiring art critics were confronted with an intellectual divide. They could write about art out of their particular passions and responses, or they could adopt Greenberg's vision. The first, the belletristic option, allowed for the exercise of personal style, the careful inspection and precise expression of one's own reactions, and it found adherents among poet-critics like John Ashbery and Frank O'Hara, and individualistic, iconoclastic intellects like Susan Sontag. But freedom came at a price. The problem with belletrism was a lack of any shared perspective, a floating subjectivity. It depended on little more than hedonistic responsiveness. Greenberg offered coherence and solidity."

enjoying "The Minimalism of Erik Satie" by the Vienna Art Orchestra, one of the great HatHut records, a genre as much as Impulse! or ECM (has anyone heard Phil Minton as Pound?) Thinking about Satie, we need a device for removing the musicians from live albums or the piano from Glenn Gould. Did applauding the solos begin with Jazz at the Philharmonic? And wouldn't it be great to hear what people were talking about that was so important that they felt they had to do it over top of Charlie Parker. And shouldn't some backwards masking expert be transcribing Gould's humming? It might be the previous record backwards or morse code or something.

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