July 29, 2014
This has been a good season for music. One of Jenny Lewis’s best solo records. A solid album from Conor Oberst. (Weirdly they both played late night talk shows last night.) Not to mention the albums by the War On Drugs, Sharon Van Etten, Cloud Nothings, the Hold Steady, Angel Olsen and a new TV On The Radio on the way this fall.
After recommending the True Detective OST to a friend, I mentioned that I’m worried I’ll turn into the kind of out-of-touch person who finds music from movie soundtracks. He reminded me of Judgement Day, Singles and Reality Bites. All great, for sure, but knowing that didn’t make me feel any less old.
There’s no escaping it. In my friend’s backyard on Sunday, we sat listening to his teenage stepson playing music on Bluetooth speakers while we played Redneck Horseshoes. I thought every song was Skrillex. Maybe I need to move back to the city. I’m losing touch. This cultural isolation breeds restlessness. I see too many of you in the cities and I wonder how much of this order I can stand before I seek out chaos. You all look so alive out there in the struggle.
Can anyone recommend good small presses that put out poetry collections or chapbooks? I’ve compiled roughly 50 pages of poems that I’ve written over the years and I would like to publish them. The working title of the manuscript is “The Shadow is the Veil.”
I’m undertaking another project that has me excited: reading all of John Steinbeck. Over the years, “Travels with Charley,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” and “A Russian Journal” have found their way to me. I enjoyed all of them, the first two more so than the last. Recently, after reading some of Steinbeck’s letters, I felt I needed to get deeper into the work of someone who I respect for, at the very least, his prolificacy. So I’m beginning with the short novels. “Tortilla Flat” has already charmed me, despite the problems with how the paisanos are depicted. I love the way he’s alluding to the King Arthur stories. Of course, I’ll still be reading the five other books I constantly have on my nightstand, but this is going to be fun.
July’s over. We have plans for a wedding on a farm in Colorado at the end of August, a trip through Wyoming if we have time, and then we get ready for the cold. Let’s not think about that yet. The days are still long enough. I’m going outside.