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Saturday, January 14, 2006

THE LOVE OF STRANGERS, CRIPPLED CROWS, DISNEY GIRLS, A FLOOD OF MEMORIES & THE POWER OF WORDS

Sometimes I feel like I am the luckiest person on the planet. I've managed to meet and make such dear friends -- and, thanks to the Internet and my blog I've made some whom I love and yet I've never even met! Sure, there is that sweet "secret admirer" who creeps me out a little because he/she will not reveal identity to me. But so many encouraging thoughts and friendships. I find it amazing. I also end up feeling guilty sometimes because I don't know how to return the kindness.

So, even if this embarrasses him --- Todd, thank you for all the encouragement and I received your gift today and I am LOVING it! Devendra Banhart is awesome!!! That was so kind of you! And, you're quite right -- several of the song titles on this CD are the same as those found on one of my fave Barbra albums, "A Star Is Born" --- but I think that is a mere coincidence. I can't even imagine Mr. Banhart listening to a Babs album. But, "Cripple Crow" is a fantastic CD! I highly recommend it!


On the other end of the musical spectrum I found myself fighting the urge to only listen to the Captain & Tennille today. I didn't have a great childhood. Who did, really? But, for some reason I do find a nostalgic warmth in their music. All those great songs from the Love Will Keep Us Together era make me feel good. Especially "Disney Girls" --- which is actually kind of a sad song. But, it makes me think of Patti. One of my first true friends with whom many secrets were shared --- and who loved that song. Then a couple other of C&P's songs make me think of the "J" twins. I will not name them, but this brother and sister team were a major part of my world for a few years. I loved it when I would be invited to sleep over at their house. It was such a better world than my home. The parents were so conservative (which I liked at that time) and they never yelled or hit things. And, "K" and "R" would literally argue over who was my better friend. Despite a bit of frustration from Mrs. "J" we always ended up sleeping in their "den" (yeah, they had a den!) -- the three of us on top of sleeping bags (I used one of "K"'s as I did not have one) and we would use one big cover. They would insist I sleep in the middle. I felt safe and happy. They hated Patti, tho. She was never invited. But, if "we" were good their mom would let them play the "Love Will Keep Us Together" album as we fell asleep. They were fascinated that I got to see so many of the movies of which their parents disapproved -- so as the record would play I would recount which ever movie most interested them. THE EXORCIST was a source of interest to them. Tho, I don't think I had really understood it. I remember telling them that the little girl monster stabbed herself with a cross-knife. ...I remember "R" explaining to me that a cross (which they each had in their respective rooms) was not a knife, but a cross with Jesus on it. So, we would try to figure out why the one in the movie was a knife. LOL!

Anyway, as I was sipping tea at a cafe this afternoon I got to thinking about how the tunes and words of songs can fill you with memory and feeling. And then I started thinking of all the images and thoughts seared into my brain from books. ...and not really good books. Just simple sentences from books over the years which stay with me.

Like, Ballard's "Crash" --- a book too twisted and profane for even me! I couldn't finish it -- tho, I LOVED the Croenberg adaptation of it. However, for some reason there was a really disgusting couple of sentences at the beginning of the novel that so repulsed me I will never forget them. I will not even paraphrase because it is simply too disgusting but the image involves panties, a car wreck and Elizabeth Taylor. The "Ewwwwww" factor is really high on this one!

And, then there is a book that I saw on the shelf of a therapist I saw. It was by Judith Rosner. I think it was called "August" --- I was curious since my doctor had it in his office. I bought a copy and read it. Rosner was a good writer but she ever really wrote one great book. This one was not that good but there are a couple of moments in it that will stay with me forever. Mainly some thoughts running through the head of one of the main characters that puzzled me.

And, most recently, I read an online review of the latest Joan Didion novel/book. I was thinking about picking it up. I went to my favorite book store (Clean Well Lighted Place For Books on Van Ness) and took a look at it. I read only two paragraphs and the sadness of it just ripped into my soul. ...just two paragraphs! I put the book back on the table and opted to not read that one. Brilliant writer sharing enormous pain -- not a good reading choice for me right now I should think! But, man! The power of those words.

...By the way, I suspect that "The Year of Magical Thinking" is a brilliant book. And, one should only use sites like Amazon.com or stores like Borders for browsing! Support your local/independent book stores, kids! Spend your hard-earned money where it matters. ...And that is not Borders, Barnes & Nobel or Amazon.com! ...sorry. that sound is my soap box being pushed under my bed.

Anyway, these are my Saturday musings. Now, I shall make some nachos (Milford has me "sort of" cooking to save some money!) and will watch another gift that a friend recently sent me --- I will get to see Billie Holiday perform! I've been savoring this for a while now!!!

And, I am feeling lazy. I'm not going to check this post for errors. Let's hope it makes sense! Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend!

Oh, I saw an incredible film today! BALLET RUSSES ---- beautiful film!!!! I am a bit late seeing it. Had to watch it in a tiny 'screening room' at the Opera Cinema. ...they really should sell those seats at a discount. But, even still, worth every penny!

15 Comments:

Blogger g8s said...

I had the good fortune to see Devendra Banhart open for Antony & the Johnsons at Tonic a couple years ago, and I have to say that I wouldn't be surprised at all if he'd listened to quite a bit of Babs.

But more urgently, you should definitely read Joan Didion's latest book. To open "The Year of Magical Thinking" is to cry, and the book ought to be sold with a travel pack of kleenex glued to the back. The real magic, though, is the way in which Didion recreates both the grief and the healing within the reader; that is to say that as the book goes on, the emotional connection clears a bit, and gives way to reason & practicality, much as a period of detachment will follow mourning. Didion manages to avoid getting caught up in a discussion of religion & masturbatory sentimentality, yet gives the appearance of holding nothing back. I think you'll like this one, hard as it is to read.

2:31 AM  
Blogger matty said...

Gator! -- Really? Wow! I then, perhaps, stand corrected. I am so jealous that you got to see that line up, but I suspect you've seen some awesome shows in NYC!!!

Oh, I know and cant tell that Didion's latest would blow me away. I just don't think I'm up for for that level of intensity in my reading at the moment. Someday, tho - I will return to it.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wow...we are such kindred spirits Matt...why did you leave Boston? I used to listen to Disney Girls over and over and over and over. Art Garfunkel also recorded it, but Toni Tennille is my goddess when it comes to that song :)

8:24 AM  
Blogger Dessie said...

My god Matty I go under the radar for a few days and you blog like crazy?!! How can I comment on all this???

Hope you're okay babe, I'll blog some soon, not feeling up to it right now. xoxo

10:44 AM  
Blogger matty said...

Doug -- I had to leave! It was just too cold anymore! Art G recorded Disney Girls?!?!? I must hear this!

Dessie -- I'm fine! No worries -- I'm a bloggin' fool! It just pours fourth as of late. Unemployed and with far too much time on my hands!

1:26 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

I agree with Dessie- I haven't checked in for a few days and have a lot to catch up on. Guess I'll do that now, though that frightening pic of good old Courtney Love is burning an unpleasant image in my head....

3:41 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yup..its on his Breakway album/cd...from 1975!!! Oddly its also the album that I listened to the most when I was seriously depressed/confused/upset in college. You can hear a snippet on Amazon....

5:49 PM  
Blogger matty said...

Jon -- Yeah, I guess that's what happens when google calls you a crack pipe image. Sad.

Doug -- just tried to play the snippet on Amazon, but my mac doesn't seem to want me to be able to listend! Wahhh!

8:04 PM  
Blogger g8s said...

Yes, Antony was actually a regular at Florent before he got all famous. Marisol will vouch for me that he's really very sweet. And Devendra? Well, I based my comment on the in-drag portion of his set.

1:36 AM  
Blogger matty said...

Gator -- Yeah, Antony seems almost too fragile for the entertainment industry. He looks weary in his interviews of late. I am really loving the Devendra CD!!! It is awesome. I had never heard of him before!

11:03 AM  
Blogger ginab said...

Matty, you've run the gambit. Silence is deadly after an interview. Like not hearing from a possible interest after you've given them your telephone number. Didion right now and anything titled AUGUST or the height of hurricane season should be off limits to you. I'm sure the independents carry Winterson's 2004 LIGHTHOUSEKEEPING. Her latest, WEIGHT, is on order at the libraries here. It's a great escape, just like when I imagined what adulthood would be like while I'd listened to the Captain and Tennile.

4:39 PM  
Blogger matty said...

Gina -- Yes! I think Ms. Didion will have to wait a while! LOL! I'll catch it in paperback!!! I'm about to start reading two books by Clint Catalyst -- which, while hitting on some serious topics should be off-center and with a good dose of sick/twisted humor. ...my fave kind.

Oh, I had a great phone interview this morning. ...but 30 minutes into it I discovered that the office was not MUNI/BART accesible. ...a car would be required. Oh well. Ugh!

9:50 PM  
Blogger ing said...

I've been listening to the new Devandra Bernhart and coveting it like crazy and then some customer goes and buys it! Arr! I wanted it all to myself (and I was all set to burn a copy for ginab). But of course I'd have to buy it first or else it's not fair to the artist, and I'm soooo broke, so . . .

Thanks! for plugging the independent bookstores. You've won my heart. Again. And no, I'm not Todd.

I'll get back to you about Thursday, but if your dance card isn't already full, sign me up. (And if it is full, good for you! Oh, and give me the secret-dance-card-filling code.)

12:47 AM  
Blogger matty said...

Ing -- I will burn a copy for both you and G! And, you're the only person on my dance card this thursday! Can't wait.

8:23 AM  
Blogger matty said...

ing -- And, I know you're not Todd. I know him! LOL! He's a pal!

8:25 AM  

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