My house was robbed moments after last week’s Indexing was published, and my, what an amusing week of not-reading things on my not-laptop! It’s incredible how much non-reading you can get done in the information age when you’re stuck in the appreciated but still woeful bunker that is borrowing someone else’s Powerbook. First world problems y’all!
The blow was cushioned this week by flipping through Smothered in Hugs, Dennis Cooper’s collection of shorts. His talking points on pro wrestling lack proper gristle, but his interviews with time capsules like Private Idaho-era Keanu are rich, lyrical conversations that always tickle minor profundities from their curious subjects.
This week’s Book Notes from Largeheartedboy, a/k/a blogger-extraordinaire David Gutowski, profiling Becca Claver’s LA Liminal, is that rare bullet points interview that really makes me want to read the book. It’s a testament to Gutowski’s gentle genius and prolific streak that the format ably carried over into a live show this Tuesday at WORD in Greenpoint. Taken in with Comrade Carroll and a plastic cup of red, acoustic songstress Amy Bezun-Artea with authors Marcy Dermansky (Bad Marie, Twins) and Mark Safranko (Hating Olivia) put on a sweltering show ideal for a cold January eve. Like Marvin and Tammi say: ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.
Lately, I’ve been on a nonfiction kick — earlier today, I finished reading Sara Marcus’s Girls to the Front, and I’m about to segue into Anne Carson’s Eros the Bittersweet. (In the on-deck circle: Bryan Charles’s There’s a Road to Everywhere Except Where You Came From; expect a review to follow.) For a while, I was reading almost nothing but nonfiction; lately, I’ve been trying to find more of a balance between genres (and throwing some books on craft into the mix — currently, William H. Gass’s Finding a Form.)
Girls to the Front is one of several works I picked up not long after Vol.1’s 90s punk panel earlier this month. It wasn’t the only one, however. In the days after the panel, I ordered Grass Widow’s Past Time, The Evens’ Get Evens, Slant 6’s Soda Pop*Rip Off, and Tsunami’s World Tour. Lately, I have been listening to all four with a verve that borders on the religious, and have been delving back into the DC- and northwestern-centered parts of my record collection, and finding much to love. I’ve also been reminded that Tsunami’s A Brilliant Mistake (an album that’s aged tremendously well, incidentally) has a song called “David Foster Wallace.” So hey, it all circles back around to the literary. Or something.
Finished up Justin Taylor’s The Gospel of Anarchy. Will have a review very soon. Just finished reading this piece of fiction by Julia Jackson over at BlackBook.
I’ve had a week where I’ve stayed in the W’s in my iTunes. Wipers and Wire. That’s pretty much my entire soundtrack. I will also go get the new Cult of Youth LP. Sean Ragon is a pretty smart guy (as evidenced by this interview at Stereogum) and I’m gonna bug him to do a Band Booking.