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Potpourri, June 18th (2017 edition)

Image: circa 1952, JES + Dad[Latest in the apparently annual June 18 tradition, of commenting about whatever the heck I want to…]

I damned near forgot what day it was… or, at any rate, that I typically do a blog post for the occasion! (The photo at the right was taken circa 1952, and celebrates another occasion — Father’s Day in the US.) I’m in a much better frame of mind this year than last (with the multiple-hard-drive disaster I’d been grappling with for months).

To get this rolling, here’s today’s strangely apropos poem of the day, from The Writer’s Almanac:

There Comes the Strangest Moment

There comes the strangest moment in your life,
when everything you thought before breaks free—
what you relied upon, as ground-rule and as rite
looks upside down from how it used to be.

Skin’s gone pale, your brain is shedding cells;
you question every tenet you set down;
obedient thoughts have turned to infidels
and every verb desires to be a noun.

I want—my want. I love—my love. I’ll stay
with you. I thought transitions were the best,
but I want what’s here to never go away.
I’ll make my peace, my bed, and kiss this breast…

Your heart’s in retrograde. You simply have no choice.
Things people told you turn out to be true.
You have to hold that body, hear that voice.
You’d have sworn no one knew you more than you.

How many people thought you’d never change?
But here you have. It’s beautiful. It’s strange.

(Kate Light)

I’m so glad that although Garrison Keillor no longer hosts Prairie Home Companion, he’s maintained his curation of the Almanac. I know at some point he’ll have to surrender that, too, and I know that he himself does not personally compile each issue; he delegates that to his staff. But for now, he still does the audio reading of each daily entry. Here’s today’s, read in full:

[Read more…]

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Book Review: The Blue Jar, by Marta Pelrine-Bacon

Cover: 'The Blue Jar,' by Marta Pelrine-Bacon (electronic edition)[Note: please be sure to read the disclosure at the foot of this review.]

Marta Pelrine-Bacon is a fan of the old Twin Peaks TV series; she has actually named one of her several online abodes Searching for Agent Dale Cooper (the FBI agent in the series, played by Kyle Maclachlan). In the promotional copy for her debut novel, The Blue Jar, her publisher says:

Fans of the quirky and off-beat will love this atmospheric, psychological tale of revenge and obsession with its unexpected twists and turns. Lake Belle, reminiscent of Twin Peaks set in the deep American South, provides the atmospheric setting for this thrilling psycho-drama with its underlying theme of weird justice.  Is it magic? Or is something else at work?

All of which pretty much lays it out there for anyone else familiar with the program — or its reputation, for that matter: expect the off-center.

So, how off-center is it? Let’s see…

[Read more…]

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Midweek Music Break: Dominant Legs, “Make Time for the Boy”

From a group named “Dominant Legs,” what in the hell sort of music should we expect? Tina Turner in black leather, maybe?

I can’t say I have a ready answer to the question. But it wouldn’t have been, for me, something like this: a Lynchian, sweetly blissed-out, dream-dancing, burbling-organ, saxophone-accented, group-sing throwback of a pop song:

[Lyrics (courtesy of Ryan Lynch of Dominant Legs)]

By “Lynchian,” I don’t mean just that it reminds me, musically — right down to the finger snaps — of the song “Freshly Squeezed” (from the soundtrack to (yes, I know, sorry: again) Twin Peaks). I mean it literally: Dominant Legs’s sparkplug is a young man named Ryan Lynch (he’s the lead singer in the video, and also plays keyboard and guitar). He’s joined by Hannah Hunt, who sings and plays keyboard (she’s the blonde woman above); Andrew Connors (bass guitar); Garett Goddard (guitar); and Rene Solomon (drums and percussion). The young woman whose dream-trip this apparently represents is played by Raina Mieloch. I don’t know who operated the mixing board, but I hope he or she got paid overtime.

The group just released their first album, Invitation, a few months ago. (For another taste from it, see the video for “Hoop of Love.”) They’ve gotten a lot of favorable attention from critics, but “regular” folks seem split. It depends, evidently, on whether you did or didn’t get burned out on 1980s techno-pop. Maybe I’m just an easy audience, but “Make Time for the Boy” is already on my list of favorite 2012 earworms.

_______________

P.S. I assume someone will ask. So, just in case…:

[Below, click Play button to begin Freshly Squeezed. While audio is playing, volume control appears at left — a row of little vertical bars. This clip is 3:48 long.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The title “Freshly Squeezed” refers to this scene in the very first Twin Peaks episode (the song itself begins playing near the end of the clip). Even after seeing the scene probably a dozen times, I still grin throughout. Especially at the end.

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