Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Johnny Cash ticket

I saw a fantastically good show earlier this evening; it was a small venue and a relatively little-known singer-songwriter, Pete Sturman at Dixon Place on the Lower East Side, but the quality of the material and the performance would have warranted filling a much larger venue.

Anyway, just a great catalog of songs, a very nice mix of the moving and the comical; the one that makes the tears run down my face (partly because I first heard it not long after our mutual friend Helen Hill died, indeed at her memorial, and because it so strongly makes me think of her, but also just because it is a very good song) is "Wasn't Plannin' on Leavin'". It is a good reminder, too, of the perfection of things on a small scale - this is what the popular song can do, no other genre or mode that I can think of does quite the same thing, it is very lovely and I wish I wrote and sang such things myself!

(Am actually very tempted to get one of the little electric ukeleles that guest performers Sonic Uke were playing...)

Light reading around the edges: Emma Donogue's Room (very good, surely justly deserved to be the huge bestseller it has been); Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad (engaging, memorable, it actually belonged in a talk I heard the other day only perhaps it has been written too recently to have made its way in). Curiously both books make something of the word contrail; I would say I had rarely seen this term in fiction, only of course the reason I noticed it in Egan was having just seen it foregrounded in Donoghue...

(I am trying to "read up" a lot of things I put on my Kindle and then didn't quite get to - seeking an "inbox zero"-type level of purity and cleanliness over there!)

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