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Friday, June 17, 2005

As ritual.

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Did make it to Keren Ann at Tangiers. 80 or so people, maybe didn't seem like a lot, but it was the second night of a two-night stand, w/ a McCabe's show later in the week for the Westsiders, so I guess that's healthy. Banter (hesitant, charming) indicated that she was spending the whole week in town, having come from Nashville -- was she covering "Tenessee Waltz" in NYC, or did she pick it up on the way? Surpised that, except for how damn well she sings, the live presentation is fairly loose -- her two bandmates (where/when did she hook up with a US keyboardist?) are quite adept, but the lack of a rhythm section, and hence in most cases a pulse, and the up-front unslickness of KA's own guitar playing further convince me that there's an indie crowd out there that would like this fine but probably thinks itself too cool, if they think of her at all. There's one off Nolita that I don't care for (disc isn't at hand) but which could easily be a hit if a smart director licensed it; mostly, though, I'm taken with the fact that her best songs ("Spanish Song Bird" esp.) have melodies all the way through, as opposed to a hook plus some glue. Bree's verdict: "She has a pretty voice, and the songs don't all sound the same." From her, this is high praise for anything recorded in the last 40 years.

Young woman who took our money was from the I.E., recognized me from my years of Claremont flanerie, and owned 0pb recs in high school -- which she was kind enough to say she hadn't sold.

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Ok, Mayhew already thought himself past middlebrow, relieving me of the need to complain, though it was the formulation "on an everyday level" I had the most trouble with. (I like the tounge-in-cheek Napoleonic abruptness of his po-reviewing suggestions -- but reviving Sulfur is a seriously good call, though not possible for various reasons -- like Temblor, it depended on a link between the lang generation and NAPoetries that may have been severed or weakened over the last decade or so. Don't forget that L.A. poet Dennis Phillips edited their review section for a long time.) Also, thank you for this -- I was going to complain a few days ago about the fact that smart people waste their time on these "quizzes" constructed by Lord-knows-who (and what's with the horoscope crap on Friendster, by the way?). But then I came up as Langston Hughes!

Similarly, Jordan seems to be well past his centralizing impulse for a "Death Star of poetry reviews", but I gotta say, when he first brought it up, by reaction was -- that would be awful.

Poets having met each other out of poetry!

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Shot and printed screen-caps of Paulette Goddard's dress in Modern Times for a project of Bree's. Made fruitless search, late last night, for anywhere that could sell me a copy of Friedrich Hollaender or The Laughter of Loneliness, a 1996 CD by the Dirk Raulf Orchestra, feat. songs in German and English by Marlene Dietrich's musical right hand, sung by Joerg Ritzenhoff and Dagmar Krause. (The very notion of Krause singing "Just Because We're Kids" from 10,000 Fingers of Dr. T gives me shivers; maybe I don't even need to hear it!) Reading this Catherine Lupton book on Chris Marker -- informative, but ploddingly written, and frustrating in the absence of any way to see most of the films. Also involved w/ Notley's Coming After and Richard Moran's Autonomy & Estrangement which are not exactly about the same thing, but are more closely connected than I'd have imagined.

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