Friday, July 18, 2003

Thurs --

After struggling with the Worst Post Office In The World (Wilcox & Selma), edited Ess. Logic piece on the phone w/ Chuck Eddy, first I'd talked to him. Killed one or two of my babies, but no major structural issues. Interviewed Weba & Joseph, at some point during the day realized I hadn't done a Clientele review for TONY, so I did it. If anything other than music writing happened today, I've already forgotten. Oh yes, stopped by Sea Level, picked up two Julie London LPs and a Lloyd Cole 12" I've picked up and put down many a time.

Today --

No one came to office hours, so I prepped my class. Triple threat: Button on shirt came off (fortunately found safety pin)/AC leak in ceiling panels of classroom, hence huge puddles in buckets of built in desk-seats/left power-supply for laptop at home, so ran on batteries during class, ran out just as it was ending. Too many loose ends/special cases among students that I have to deal with one way or another. Checked out "The Ugly American," so I can write about the Eitzel disc of the same title -- I'd always thought it was a piece of sociology or reportage, not a political novel.

Listened to 'Amnesiac' in the car -- am I playa hater, or is it just something I don't dig? It's the self-importance that gets me, esp. in the vocals. In one way they're modeled after Talking Heads, even after taking their name from a song -- but Yorke isn't Byrne, what humanity there is the voice is always preening about it self -- I'm falling apart! (And the voice is more often kept integral/non-treated than other elements.) Electronics (and to a lesser extent jazz) is their funk -- I do seem to like the couple of songs w/ horns on this and 'Kid A' best. It's -calculated- in a way that saps its life, and I don't just mean 'carefully produced/recorded.'

When the late Rogers Albritton heard I was a poet, he asked, suspiciously, "Are you a -language- poet?" I don't remember what I said -- he and Cavell had been teachers of Charles Bernstein. Then he asked if I could recommend any poets who would give him the 'rush' (maybe it was 'thrill') that Stevens had done when he (Rogers) was young. Again, I don't remember what I said, but I later found out that his undergraduate thesis was a defense of poetry against logical positivism!!

NB: Susan Wheeler piece in Denver Quarterly on Dylan's humor, w/ small section on similarities to Gershwin/Porter. Copy, or find edited volume -Do You Mr. Jones- (Chatto & Windus).

I doubt I'll get a chance to blog tomorrow, so: Brand lib. booksale in a.m., possibly meet Rael and/or Ted/Janice/Dave there, lunch, then Kristi's graduation party. Present?

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