23 October 2007


My thoughts are fragmentary today. Here are some of the shards:
  • A few days ago I watched The Dresden Dolls: Live at the Roundhouse, and though it didn't give me the utter and complete joy of the Dolls' earlier DVD, Paradise (because how could they possibly top Christopher Lydon listening to the song about him?! And Brian Vigglione's wonderful drumming at the beginning of "Half Jack"? And the stiflingly heat and invigorating intimacy of the stage? And...?), it's great fun if you like their music. I was particularly taken by the collaboration with Trash McSweeney (of the Australian band The Red Paintings) on the old Tears for Fears song, "Mad World". I've liked the original version of "Mad World" since I first heard it while riding on the school bus one day many years ago -- that version of the song seems utterly psychotic to me now; Gary Jules offered a somewhat more melancholic and teen angsty version later. The McSweeney/Dolls version turns it into a kind of anthem.

  • Speaking of music, as I just was -- do you all know about the Daytrotter website? (I'm often late to this sort of thing.) Tons of free, legal downloads of indie bands performing exclusive versions of their songs. Far too many great bands for me to point any out here, but I will point to one particularly beautiful song: Shearwater's "Nobody".

  • Speaking of beautiful, my mothers are famous! Being good, frugal Yankees who like to globetrot, they read Budget Travel magazine religiously, and my mother thought that for their once-in-a-lifetime trip to New Zealand and Hawaii this past summer, they should get some advice. (This was mostly because my mother wanted to learn how to surf.) So they wrote in, and the magazine did a little piece about the Hawaii part of their trip. Then my mother got to write up how it all went. The picture on the website is of them, which is appropriate, but I hope some of their great photos of sights (and sites) from the trip make it into the printed magazine.

  • Haydn vs. Mozart. (Mr. Bowes, I expect a comment!)

  • I don't think I ever linked to my review of Rupert Thomson's Death of a Murderer at Rain Taxi. Until now.

  • "The Night of the Cure": a play by Austin Bunn.

  • Currently reading: Foreigners by Caryl Phillips (more a book to appreciate than love, I think, but there's much to appreciate) and Christopher Priest's The Affirmation (which I'm finding incredibly unsettling, though I'm not sure it's a particularly unsettling book -- I think it's just driving a sharp pin into some of my current neuroses).

  • A Manual of the Art of Prose Composition.

  • A map of the Apocalypse.