Been Meaning To Try This For a While …

EEpersipaawa goodgibble whazutuutu? Hoompawho wahwauhup. Nonhawaypup, but nanyahhowmptut. Then godddadydaaya puh or something.The other yackacatachk goo. Fondawandamonda gleech, and the creepy dooboodudu. Who could noodloochie wowow? But maybe honkhonkhonkka whompadoozie.

Whoo wee?  No nampum or free whap?

Excellent Essay on Stage Fright

Certainly a topic not written about often. And Acocella nails all the angles. Have to agree, also, that solo musician performance is the most stressful. No band, let alone orchestra, is going to have nervous attacks all at once. I did know that Glenn Gould claimed he was being a modern like fellow Canadian Marshall McLuhan. But strangely enough, I did not know about the Daniel Day-Lewis spasm.

On “Rick and Morty,” Again

Since my original post on this animation is (mysteriously) popular, I thought I should follow-up with a reaction to the second-season debut last night.

I’ve got no problem if the show becomes “Rick and Morty And Usually Summer.” The complaint that “Phineas and Ferb” was sexist in relegating characters like sister Candace to the sidelines so often was not quite fair but not entirely wrong, either. The time-suspension main plot with the good technical gag of the split, split-split, split-split-split etc. screens and the right-on guest-voice fourth-dimensional aliens was plenty wack-funny and inventive enough. I’m worried about parents Beth and Jerry. They’ve always been a bit problematic (why doesn’t Beth get it over with and start having affairs away from this zero of a husband?), but the injured-deer subplot, while nicely bizarre, was also overlong and too arbitrary. The non-insane older folks could be an outright anchor on the action in a half-dozen episodes. Strong enough start for the show, though.

Rick and Morty 2

The Enigma of Shirley Jackson

I’m an average-enough America boy who went to high school in the West in the ’60s, so of course I read “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. Earns every whit of its reputation. (Should add that the fine-tuning of the creepiness becomes more apparent if you re-read it after living in New England.) While still a teenager, I went through the short-story collection with “The Lottery” as well as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in a Castle. I considered Jackson the incarnation of a pro writer. Meticulous, dedicated craft. Where did she gets these wild ideas?

I knew that Jackson had died relatively recently, but I assumed she was like 20 years older than she was. Whoa — only 48? What was going on here? For a long time, it was hard to find out. That she wrote these light-touch best-selling domestic non-fictions only added to the puzzle. (I’ve sampled a bit, but even the apex of such stuff is not my thing.)

Now there’s yet another collection of posthumous work (the third, I believe). This line by Mr. Theroux, however, is a tad peculiar: “We will have to wait for next year’s promised biography by Ruth Franklin, who wrote the foreword to this volume, to know how deeply Jackson was affected by the harassment and the shunning.”

There already is a full bio of Jackson, which resolved much of my unsolved questions, though I only know it through this review. Interesting that Judy Oppenheimer’s work is not on the “Recommended Reading” list at the Jackson website. Shuttered house of shadows, indeed.

The Coolest Album You Haven’t Heard About This Year …

… is Mekons, Me Tunes (self-released, for sale at concerts only — for now, anyway). And I’m going to be a big tease about it. Nyah!

Only clue is that if it is indeed their final release — as seems more likely than at any time in the past — it’s the perfect ingenious bookend to “Never Been in a Riot.” A kind of farewell to recorded music as well as a kind of art project.