Although I have done it all these thirty years or more, although I live my life surrounded by other people who are always doing it, still I think that there are few activities so worthy of inspection as the reading of novels.
This page renders best in Firefox (or Safari, or Chrome)
My own and other people's.
READIN started out as a place for me
to keep track of what I am reading, and to learn (slowly, slowly)
how to design a web site.
There has been some mission drift
here and there, but in general that's still what it is. Some of
the main things I write about here are
listening to (and playing) music, and
watching the movies. Also I write about the
work I do with my hands and with my head; and of course about bringing up Sylvia.
The site is a bit of a work in progress. New features will come on-line now and then; and you will occasionally get error messages in place of the blog, for the forseeable future. Cut me some slack, I'm just doing it for fun! And if you see an error message you think I should know about, please drop me a line. READIN source code is PHP and CSS, and available on request, in case you want to see how it works.
A mix tape (is mix tape the right term here? Something like a playlist but including readings and videos as well as music...) (and whew! there is something unfamiliar about blogging in English!): The ordering of the playlist is my own chain of memory (with proddings from others) starting from chapter 7, "More than love", of The ground beneath her feet.
Ormus speaks. I have been liking this novel while being rubbed a little the wrong way by the narrator's voice -- Rai seems a little off to me, a little cynical and annoyingly, smugly verbose. I found quite striking the short piece in the middle of this chapter that shifts into Ormus' voice, and into him quoting his father's voice. His mention of vultures and of Attar, and of Prometheus, got me into a "classical birds" frame of mind. Ormus speaks, read by The Modesto Kid
Attar's poem in Fitzgerald's stellar translation, The Bird Parliament. (This would be an amazing poem for reading out loud -- I tried that earlier and got about a ¼ of the way into it... I may have to upload a recording of this to SoundCloud.)
I'm also put in mind a little of Borges' mysticism, in a way I have not been by this novel so far -- the bits of magic in Rai's narration have been undone by his glibness. Specifically The Theologians I guess, though I don't recall there being birds in that.
(The embedded video is a YouTube playlist. After each song, the next one should start. Use the fast-forward and rewind buttons to skip around, or visit YouTube to get links to the individual songs.)
The Sailor's Hornpipe (trad.) 1:30
Frim Fram Sauce (Nat King Cole via Diana Krall) 2:59
John Hardy was a desparate man (I am not sure if this is trad. or by a Carter) 3:55
East Tennessee Blues (trad.) 1:28
Barbara Allen (trad, Child ballads) 6:08
Serpent at the gates of wisdom (Robyn Hitchcock) 4:03
Jeremy's Breakdown (The Modesto Kid) 1:19
All songs arranged by The Modesto Kid. That's like nearly 22 min. of music! Fully a ¼ of it Barbara Allen, whoa...
Recordings are made with Kodak Zi8, whose built-in mic is for all its smallness and cheapness, one of the best recording instruments in my house. Edited and saved using Windows Live Movie Maker and YouTube's "edit video" function.
Update: I changed the set listing a bit, so the first two comments below will no longer make sense. ("Humoresque" used to be included and is no longer, since it (a) was not recorded in the kitchen and (b) did not rise to the level of these tapes.) A word about the arrangements: I'm really taken with this form! It seems like something brand-new.
(this playlist is preceded aurally by the playing of "Harvest Home" on my fiddle. Its object is mainly to ascertain how many songs in a row my computer can randomize that will keep me interested. And yes, obscurely a manner of bragging about my music collection I guess. For whatever good that does. I'd be glad to put the playlist on a disc and send it to you if you'll pay me potsage, drop me a line. Or better yet you can listen to the first d tracks of the playlist at dtracks.com.)
Hello, you've reached Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese's classic tale of Italian-American manhood, starring Ray Liotta, Bob DeNiro, and Joe Pesci. Unfortunately we're all busting each other's <bleep> at the moment.
Hmm. 50 min... or depending on how many times you repeat it, potentially forever. Many songs on this list that I would like to play and/or sing. (I got the borderline crazy idea that "The L&N don't stop here anymore" lyrics would sound really great sung to the tune of "Nashville Blues". And "Ecstasy"? Yes, "Winter Love", yes...(Other songs that would fit in this general arrangement and key: "Who'll Rock the Cradle," "Sweet Baby's Arms." And on this very mix, "Things ain't what they used to be" is at least a closely related arrangement and key.))
Found (with some help from Mr. Huddell and Mr. Berman) some fantastic versions of two songs from The Basement Tapes.
Joan Baez, "You Ain't Goin Nowhere"
The Byrds, "You Ain't Goin Nowhere"
The Byrds, "This Wheel's on Fire"
Dylan and the Band, "This Wheel's on Fire"
Dylan and the Band, "You Ain't Goin Nowhere"
The Rave-Ups, "You Ain't Goin Nowhere"
Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3, "Olé Tarantula"
Robyn Hitchcock, "You Ain't Goin Nowhere"
Julie Driscoll, "This Wheel's on Fire"
Julie Driscoll, "The Season of the Witch"
I compiled a video playlist of most of these songs on YouTube -- particularly recommend checking out the almost hallucinatory quality of the two The Byrds versions and the really striking fan video for the Rave-Ups' version. And the Venus 3 number, while it strays a bit from the theme of the playlist, fits in quite nicely and fits into a broader playlist theme of "Songs I would wish to cover". (Plus some bonus tracks added, if you listen to the end...)
A vacation playlist. Composed over at cleek's place.
q. Marche au Camp, Laurie Hart (wow do I ever not listen to this record enough)
w. Down the Road, Flatt and Scruggs
e. Across the Universe, Robyn Hitchcock (Maxwell’s, November 04 — the linked version is the not-particularly-closest thing I could find)
r. Cumberland Blues, Fiddlin Doc Roberts (this shuffle is truly shining in the fiddle department)
t. Visions of Johanna, Chris Hintz
y. Dry Town Blues, Leake Co. Revelers
u. Cypress Grove, Vassar Clements
i. Ain’t That a Shame, Brian James (IRS Greatest Hits)
o. Ten Tiny Toes, One Baby Nose, Sol Ho’opi’i and his Novelty Quartette
p. Egyptian Cream, Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians.
Really recommend checking out the Laurie Hart piece, that (Danse ce Soir) is one of those records that I forget all about for long periods and then hear a song from on shuffle and fall in love with all over.
After the shuffle I am going to go spend a while listening to Laurie Hart.
I'm enthralled with 8tracks' algorithm for ordering its users' mixes. Either the average quality of mixes (adjusted for being in accordance with my own tastes, blah blah blah) is phenomenally high, or the site's software is very, very good at figuring out what music I'll like. I found "You wait so long" by listening to a mix tape that was served up to me seemingly at random. Now I am anxious to find out more about Trampled by Turtles, and about Cadillac Sky and Old Man Luedecke as well.
I spent a lot of time last night listening to and playing "Mystery Train" -- this was the upshot of cleek's Start Your iPods post for this week. Did not take long for me to find a high degree of assonance between that song and "Meet Me in the Morning" -- well, one thing led to another... Here are some blues tunes for you to listen to.