Currently listening to(1991) by Jonathan Richman. Particularly “That Summer Feeling”, oof. Such a gentle song, and so brutal. Particularly this performance.
It’s a beautiful, premature spring day today. Mid-50s in the sun, and might even reach 60F tomorrow before it drops back down for a bit.
B and I picked up some cupcakes from Ladybird and I stopped to feed him on the bench outside. An older guy was sat on the neighboring bench reading Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism by George Hawley, but mainly holding court. He asked me B’s name, and we got talking about books and movies. Larry gave me some homework:
- Listen to the Octavia E. Butler interview on Krista Tippett’s On Being podcast. This is a tough one… I had a look for it but couldn’t find it. Perhaps he meant the episode with Anthea Butler and Arlene Sánchez-Walsh on Sister Aimee? I don’t think so though since he said the interviewee was talking about spirituality and sci-fi. I scanned through all of the episodes before Butler’s DOD and didn’t find anything. Perhaps it was a different radio show? I’ll have to ask if I run in to him again.
- Watch Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, a PBS documentary presented by American Masters. You need a membership to watch it, but there are some short clips on YouTube as well.
- Watch The Hustler, a 1961 film with Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, and Piper Laurie.
- Watch Days of Wine and Roses, a 1958 episode of Playhouse 90 on CBS with Cliff Robertson and Piper Laurie. He said it is on YouTube but unfortunately I can’t find it. Perhaps it was taken down. He also recommended the film from 1962 with Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick.
- Read A Clockwork Orange, the film isn’t enough. Anthony Burgess was his teacher.
- Check out Thomas Nast’s editorial cartoons.
- Check out Alice Neel’s portraits. He mentioned a retrospective at the Whitney that made a huge impression on him, when I look for it online it looks like that was back in 1974. Looking at her paintings now online, I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of her before. Shame to have missed her retrospective at The Met last summer but c’est la vie, we weren’t in Brooklyn yet.
Currently listening to(1998). Had no idea about them, came across them via two cool cats on Twitter.
These vibes are the perfect thing right now. Also, will be taking photos of the Alessi Bros to the hairdresser when that’s an option again.
Apple Music | Spotify
The album’s not on Bandcamp, but “Seabird” is included in Late Night Tales: Metronomy.
Currently listening to(2014) by King Creosote.
Sam took me to the lovely Howard Assembly Room in Leeds to hear him perform this back in October 2014. Probably one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to.
I return to this album a lot. But have to say, “Miserable Strangers” really hurts right now. I miss everyone so, so much.
Currently listening to Black Prince Fury//Jet Black Raider (2013) by Anna Meredith. Manic, insistent symphonic electro-pop 👍
Jet Black Raider EP on Bandcamp | Black Prince Fury EP on Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify
Currently listening to My Finest Work Yet (2019) by Andrew Bird. “Bloodless” is particularly on the nose.
Well, the best lack all conviction
And the worst keep sharpening their claws
They’re peddling in their dark fictions
While what’s left of us
Well, we just hem and we haw
And it’s so damn slinky, catchy.
LP from Loma Vista Records | Apple Music | Spotify
Currently listening to the album Funkify Your Life (1995) by The Meters. Someone on Twitter recommended it, I wish I could remember who…
Apple Music | Spotify | Ebay
sweet love, sweet love love my throat is gurgling the mystic mouth leaves me so defted defted my throat is gurgling the mystic mouth leaves me so defted and the deep black nightingale turned willowy and the deep black nightingale turned willowy by love’s tossed treatment berefted
The lyrics to John Cage’s “Four Walls: Act I, Scene VII”. I couldn’t find the lyrics many places online, so here they are.
Been listening to Symbol by Susumu Yokota a lot recently, finally took the time to look up a few of the songs he sampled. The voice in “music from the lake surface” is particularly haunting and weird, turns out it’s this piece.
“Four Walls” premiered in Steamboat Springs, CO in 1944, and this particular piece was originally sung by Julie Harris. The lyrics are a poem by Merce Cunningham.
I wonder which recording he sampled… It’s my favorite that I’ve heard so far, am not that in to many of others I’ve heard. Though I do think that the version from the 1989 album by Richard Bunger and Jay Clayton is pretty good (Apple Music, Spotify).
Related: I purchased John Cage: A Mycological Foray published by Atelier Editions a while back and it’s gorgeous. I really should send the postcards inside, but I’ll probably hang on to them. Need more pleasurable things to look at during the day-to-day right now.
Related to related: Listen to Mushroom Haiku, excerpt from Silence (1972/69) on UbuWeb. Browse the rest of Ubu’s John Cage artefacts.
Currently listening to the album Playing Piano for Dad (2016) by h hunt. Thanks to BL for the rec, by way of SB. It’s all about the piano, but I also like the occasional background talking, bits of humming, snaps, throat clearing, restarts, sighs, hearing the pedals. It’s an antidote to the franticness of the news cycle this October.
Taken at 9:40am today. Somehow it seemed to get darker between when I woke up around 7:30 and now. It’s dark enough to be 7/8pm. Apparently ash is falling like snow in Concord.
Soundtrack for this morning: Silver Apples’ eponymous album from 1968. Came across this via @erikinternet’s tweet, didn’t know about Simeon Coxe III before. RIP.
Worth reading: 2019 Guardian article ‘Fire is medicine’: the tribes burning California forests to save them.
Edit at 9am on 10 September
The sun never really came up yesterday. We woke up this morning wondering if it would be the same.
The orange is gone, replaced by light beige smog. The 10 minute average air quality index (AQI) is over 200 in most of the city according to PurpleAir, over 270 in parts of the Sunset district. “Everyone may begin to experience health effects if they are exposed for 24 hours; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.”
Though it looks better than yesterday, the reality is way worse on the ground.
Edit at 4pm on 10 September
Now the air is thick, opaque. AQI is in the 300s in most of the city, mid-300s in the Mission. “Health warnings of emergency conditions if they are exposed for 24 hours. The entire population is more likely to be affected.”
Edit at 9:30pm on 10 September
The AQI has dropped back to the mid-200s in SF. Things are a bit better (still not great) once you get south of Santa Barbara, hovering around 100. In the mid 100s around Tahoe. Oregon is feeling it the worst right now, it’s over 500 in Portland. As Duane King said on Twitter, “‘Airpocalypse’ helps explain why my eyes are burning indoors.”
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