Song of the Week, 9/21/2019

The great and powerful Ric Ocasek left us this week, and we are all the poorer for it. Ocasek was not just a rock legend, not just an esteemed producer, but also a genuinely funny person who had become a late-night comedy staple.

The justly beloved first Cars album was full of hits, but “I’m in Touch with Your World” was not one of them. In fact when I first owned the record, on vinyl back in the day, I would go out of my way to lift the needle and skip over it; it was just too strange, too spiky, too different. Now it’s my favorite song on the album, and it is, indeed, a lovely way to go.

Song of the Week, 7/28/2019

This is one of my personal theme songs. It pretty much captures what I sound like when someone asks me what I do. “I don’t know… but I do it every day….”

And while we’re on the subject, here’s a quote I saved from the recent obituary of pianist Jörg Demus. To be honest I’d never heard of him before that, but he sounds like my kind of guy.

I do not have a career. I’m a person who had a life to live. I am leaving “careers” to other people. A career is like a racetrack for horses — I’m neither a horse nor am I running on a racetrack.

A Clearly More Sinister Dimension

A few days ago I started J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise, a 1975 dystopian novel set in a London apartment tower. A paragraph in I was nodding to myself and mumbling, “Now that’s one hell of an opening.”

Imagine my surprise at scrolling the Twitter today and seeing it again, but in a new context.

Song of the Week, 7/14/2019

Somehow or other I mostly missed Blur when they were happening. My first Blur album was their fifth, the self-titled one that came out in 1997. It was only later that I went back and explored their earlier stuff, and some of it fell through the cracks… like this one from 1995’s The Great Escape.

What a smashing number. I particularly like the unconventional structure, the way what appears to be the chorus — “there must be more to life/than stereotypes” — shifts into a chorus-within-the-chorus, the “all your life you’re dreaming” part, and then back. I listened to this song at least once every day this week, and I’m not tired of it yet.

6/13/2019: Raptors 114, Warriors 110

Yup.

If beauty were indeed truth, and truth beauty, I would be sitting here right now writing about how Steph Curry hit a buzzer-beater last night to send the NBA Finals to Game 7. That is undoubtedly the better story.

Things were all set up for it to happen. The Raptors, nursing a 1-point lead in the waning seconds, committed a horrible turnover to give the W’s one last shot. Steph received the pass, got a good look at the basket, and let it fly. It should have been glorious.

Unfortunately, in the timeline I currently find myself in, the shot clanged off the rim and caromed back toward halfcourt. All 10 of the large men in short pants scrambled for the ball; Draymond Green ended up with it and the W’s tried, as one does, to call time out before the clock expired. Unfortunately, they were out of timeouts, which resulted in their being assessed a technical foul. (In basketball this is known as a “Webber.”) And that was pretty much that. The dream was over.

After years of being lucky as well as good, the Warriors found themselves rolling snake eyes over and over in this series. First they brought back Kevin Durant and quickly lost him to a torn Achilles; then in the 3rd quarter last night Klay Thompson went up for a dunk, was fouled in the air by Danny Green, and came down awkwardly on his left knee. After writhing in pain for awhile he headed back to the locker room.

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