… let’s make a couple art-hops.
Ahnold once played Conan the Barbarian (lifeless botch). Conan the Barbarian was created with great pulp vitality by Robert E. Howard. Howard had an intense but unconsummated relationship with the schoolteacher and writer Novalyne Price Ellis. Almost 50 years later, she wrote a memoir of her experiences with Howard, One Who Walked Alone (I have not read it). The book, however, was made into a tremendous movie, The Whole Wide World (1996), that delivers the sprawling tone and texture of Central Texas landscape as well as any flick. Features a nuanced, heartbreaking performance from Vincent D’Onofrio (Howard was, indeed, also a huge dude).
So grab a download or DVD of The Whole Wide World to offset the Terminator karma.
Soak., Before We Forgot How To Dream (Rough Trade)
1st Play: Can’t make up my mind. Neither here nor there. Try again later.
2nd Play: Can’t make up my mind. Maybe too mellow. Some shape coming in.
3rd Play: Something here, maybe. Not sure. Play again soon.
4th Play: BANG! — Good album.
Winners that don’t grab you immediately are the sort of work I would argue you develop a sensitivity to when you can listen to music as a job.Sometimes it goes the other way, but more often a little intriguing twinkle indicates the album will come through eventually.
Maybe a bit strident, but essential. The non-slavery explanations for the Civil War I was fed in high school seemed insanely weak and confusing.
Ellen Goodman was an outsized reason The Boston Globe was worth reading for more years than I like to remember. Wonderful to see she’s involved with helping humanity in a fundamental way.
You only have to think about the sad effects of not having the conversation about dying. I grew up with it as an utterly forbidden subject. It was like talking about death in any half-serious way invited the Grim Reaper into the room.
My Dad was gripped with both death and cancer, equally taboo. He toughed it out and my sister-in-law the nurse was saintly help, but when he was gone I realized how much of him remained unknowable to me, and that he wanted it that way. Ordinary men did not talk about their inner lives.
My Mother had a vague fantasy about moving in with an adored relative out of state when she no longer wanted to work. (I never knew exactly how much the relative was on board with this idea.) But when the relative died relatively young, mother had no Plan B. And often she acted as though talking about death or what she wanted to happen was a coded way of wishing her to pass away.
If we could have somehow had The Conversation, not only would there be enormous relief, I would have known my parents better.
Francois Hardy, Midnight Blues: Paris/London/1968-72 (Ace, 2013)
Extremely worthy collection of numbers done in English by the chanteuse so pretty it’s flat-out frightening. Now that US/UK rock/pop chauvinism is finished, French pop can be enjoyed for the yummy, exotic bon-bon it is and Hardy is one of the most adroit practitioners. I’m not expert enough to do direct comparisons with her expressiveness in both languages but she does very fine, merci boucoup, with English (erotic “Suzanne,” yeah). On one of the standouts, “Time Passing By,” she was a co-writer and knows how to pick ’em from Buffy Saint-Marie, Randy Newman, Neil Young and Lieber-Stoller.* Includes only only one selection from the more well-known En Anglais, so if you want extra helpings …
*Or had a smart picker do it for her.
.. with unsettling vibes from both strangers and friends. But I will embrace the best news: some of my online writing that I assumed was scattered to the ether forever was in fact preserved and may very well appear online sometime in the (relatively near) future. Including, for example, my coverage of the 50th Anniversary Newport Jazz Fest that featured Ornette Coleman in the one time I wrote about him when he was alive.