Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Kind Hearts and Coronets

November 30, 2019

Or, Art and Artifice

In the most recent New Yorker (the 12/2/19 issue), a review by Anthony Lane of the 1949 film Kind Hearts and Coronets, in a new print, now showing in NYC. Lane’s last paragraph:

If you are unfamiliar with “Kind Hearts and Coronets,” the question is not whether making the trip to Film Forum [209 W. Houston St. in Greenwich Vilage, showings of KH&C 11/27 through 12/5] to see it is worth your while. The question is how stiff a penalty should be levied upon you by the City of New York should you fail to do so. My personal view is that a brief prison sentence would not be too harsh. There really is no excuse.

Anthony Lane has spoken; listen to the man. (Sadly, I have had to resign myself to watching a DVD of an earlier print.)

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Revisiting 36: Lafayette on tour

November 10, 2019

The earlier go-round: my 9/7/19 posting “Big sexy prime birthday gay ice cream”, with a section on the Marquis de Lafayette (among other things, a French hero of the American Revolution), because I share a birthday with him.

And now (note from Joelle Stepien Bailard) the Lafayette Trail organization. Its logo:

(#1)

With, as linguistic added value, the quite rare, but relatively learnèd-transparent N/Adj co-natalist ‘(someone) sharing a birthday with’. God is not my co-pilot, but Lafayette is my co-natalist.

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The lizard on the 101

November 8, 2019

From Ela Thurgood on Facebook today, this photograph of a recent visitor to Ela and Graham’s house in Chico CA:


(#1) An alligator lizard, presumably a southern alligator lizard, Elgaria multicarinata; alligator lizards are a western US thing

That’s in Chico, in NorCal. But at least since 1972, alligator lizards have been famous as a SoCal phenomenon, celebrated in song as apparitions in the air above “Ventura Highway”:


(#2) DeviantArt by nightly03 illustrating America’s “Ventura Highway”

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Butch cooks with a little butch truck

November 7, 2019

From Jeff Shaumeyer on Facebook on 11/3, this cookbook find — the butch cook book, by Lee Lynch, Nel Ward, & Sue Hardesty (Perfect Paperback, 2008) — at his favorite local thrift store, which moved him to wonder whether anyone still uses butch as a noun:


(#1) Adventures in cooking and in the language of sexuality: the title is intended to be read as ‘cook book for butches’ (rather than ‘cook book which is butch’) (JS’s phoro)

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For all the saints

November 4, 2019

In Mexican tradition, November 1st is the central point in the Days of the Dead (October 31st through November 2nd), while in older Christian tradition it’s All Saints’ (or, as many would have it, Saints) Day. For some of us, there is specific music for the day: the magnificent processional hymn “For All the Saints”, sung to the Ralph Vaughan Williams tune Sine Nomine.


(#1) Fra Angelico, The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs (from the 1420s, tempera on poplar wood) (from Wikipedia)

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11k little bears, done in by the Huns

October 21, 2019

Today’s saintly tale, thanks to a reminder from Anonymous 4, advertising their wonderful album 11,000 Virgins: Chants for the Feast of St. Ursula (by Hildegard von Bingen).

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Unaccompanied

October 13, 2019

This touching Sara Lautman pun cartoon from the 10/14 New Yorker:


(#1) “You know, sooner or later we’re going to have to let her go out unaccompanied.”

It all depends on what you mean by unaccompanied.

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Not demented yet!

September 19, 2019

Facebook exchange on the 13th with John Singler about my most recent wave of physical afflictions, with John providing sympathetic commentary. Part of my response:

… yes, I’m a giant compendium of alarming conditions and ailments. … Meanwhile, having tended someone through dementia into death makes me constantly fearful that I am myself slipping away without realizing it.

For some time now, my slogan for my physical travails has come from Monty Python’s Mary, Queen of Scots: NOT DEAD YET! Now thinking of adding NOT DEMENTED YET! — while I search constantly for evidences that I’m still well plugged in (just very, um, odd).

I am abnormally good at counting backward from 100 by 7s, having been through this diagnostic item with Jacques, and some other patients, many times. So that’s of no use.

But on the 14th, Stephanie Smith gave me a chance to show off my chops, with this appeal:

Saturday night at the office because these files won’t resolve themselves and I have anxious comrades to check in with before I take a week off. Send revolutionary vibes.

I got five revolutionary vibes for her, right off the bat, without having to do a search, and immedately posted four of them (discarding “You say you want a revolution / Well, you know / We all want to change the world” [Beatles, White Album, “Revolution”] because it was too unsubtle, actually used the word revolution crucially). Felt clever and thoroughy undementic, or at least not yet dementic.

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Sousa thump

September 19, 2019

The springboard is a Facebook exchange between Doug Ball and me back on August 11th — in the midst of which I erupted parenthetically and largely irrelevantly in recollections of Reading PA (an area I left in 1961):

Doug: I wonder which Sousa march was stuck in my head as I walked this evening. On second thought, I don’t want to know…

Arnold: In my experience, you really don’t. I once tried to identify a Sousa march by speed-listening through a collection of them, and it just clogged my mind up with all these very similar compositions and then I could no longer sing the melody line of the one I was after and had all of them jangling in my head for days. Perhaps you are made of sterner stuff.

(Reading PA, where I am sort of from, is prime marching band territory, with the Ringgold Band dating back to the 1850s (yes, 8), a local band composer, Althouse, of some note, and lots of bandshell concerts. Sousa conducted the last band performance of his life in Reading in 1932 — retired for the night to the Abraham Lincoln Hotel and died there. My dad remembered the occasion; he was 18 then.)

Doug: I’m suspicious that it was a blend of several marches, including The US Air Force song, which is not by Sousa. [AZ: melody line and original first verse — “Off we go into the wild blue yonder” — by Robert McArthur Crawford in May 1939, the winner of a competition]

Arnold: If so, you’re probably not going to extricate yourself from it. Flee!

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Segregation in the soapy comics

September 15, 2019

Today’s Zippy takes us into the world of soap-opera comics, specifically those by Nick Dallis (with various collaborators):


(#1) Realistic cartoon characters from three Dallis strips: Rex Morgan, M.D.; Judge Parker; and Apartment 3-G (among other well-known soap opera strips: Mary Worth, Brenda Starr)

The characters in realistic cartoons are stylized sketches from life, while those in cartoony worlds are grossly exaggerated, some not even humanoid in form. Zippy himself is human (a Pinhead rather than a Roundhead) but cartoony — though as other Zippy strips have demonstrated, he can be made even more so (cartooniness is a recurrent theme in Bill Griffith’s world).

Then there’s the segregation theme, with realistic cartoon characters mostly taking the position that realistics and cartoonies shouldn’t mix in any way: stick / keep to your own kind! (Note the meta move of having cartoon characters espouse beliefs and attitudes about cartoon characters.) With the predictable tragedy of prejudice against mixed couples, joined by bonds of affection, sexual relationship, or matrimony.

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