A few odds'n'ends today:
I just finished Stephanie Crease's biography of Gil Evans, Out of the Cool, and I highly recommend it. She is clearly very knowledgeable about the music, including on a technical level, but she doesn't resort to the blow-by-blow descriptions of tunes that slow down many jazz biographies. (Collier's Ellington jumps to mind) Great interviews, great insights, just a good read. Makes me go back and listen to much more of Gil, especially the stuff post-1965, where I pretty much plead ignorance. (I have one album from the 80's, which the book says is one of the poorest. On the first listen- I was 17, I think- I couldn't get the bird whistles and the moog.)
I'm told that fellow blogger David Ryshpien is spending his summer on my original Cruise Ship X, which meets us once a fortnight. I hope he blogs about it, and that we can trade notes.
Belatedly, egged on by the lefty blogosphere, I watched Stephen Colbert's painfully funny skewering of all assembled at the White House Press Corps' dinner. (Warning- it's a Salon link, so there's an ad involved) It's been hashed over a lot at this point- I like this one best, written by a comic. For myself, I thought is was tremendously funny, but I ultimately wonder if it is all that useful. Maybe it's useful to tell the emporer he has no clothes, but we're well beyond that point with Wubba. Maybe it will drag the White House press corps off its ass, but I doubt that too. (I went to high school across the street from the offices of the Boston Globe, and I think we got more coverage than any school of our size in Boston. Not because we're that good- though I think we are- but because yes, reporters on the whole are that lazy.)
It's clear to me, and I hope to everyone- by now that wit is lost on Wubba and his cronies. They are so virulently anti-intellectual (that's too "reality based") that wit, or any other flexing of mental muscle- is pretty well lost on them. Part of me thinks that Bush kind of knew he was being insulted, but otherwise missed teh joke completely. Hence, the position we're in. The only language they understand is power. (Witness the immigration marches- both sides know that thousands of people in that crowd can, and will vote, hence you see motion on both sides) We on the left had better find any power we can get our hands on- political, social, intellectual, moral- and ride it to change this November. Then, just maybe, we'll see some movement, instead of being left to criticize the emporer's wardrobe.
Current listening- Glenn Gould's "Well Tempered Clavier"