05 June 2008

Hobo stew... a little of this, a little of that, and a shoe.

There are a few things I want to blather about, and I love lists... ergo, I give you a list of random stuff that I find interesting.

To be forehead-slappingly obvious, Obama got the Democratic nomination, and Clinton has (gracefully/finally) stepped aside. Things are starting to come together, people... as long as the more extremely bitter of Hillary's supporters don't go to the dark side. I don't care who you are - four more years of similar ideology is not what this country needs. I overheard more than my fair share of anti-American sentiment abroad, and it's going to take a long time to undo that damage. Let's start now, shall we? Not to beat the old drum of "CHANGE," but I'm thinking this Obama fella might be able to get us back on track.

Art & Literature
After two solid years of sitting on my bookshelf, I've finally started de Kooning: An American Master. So far, it's fantastic. De Kooning has always been one of my favorite artists and he was really one of the last romantic, striking, artistic figures in American art. He was flawed and complex; he's compared to (and sometimes is in the shadow of) Pollock, as they were both Abstract Expressionists, but de Kooning had less bravado and was less brash than Pollock. Pollock ran the risk of drowning in his own machismo, but de Kooning was always in flux and found any sort of "definite" to be incredibly claustrophobic. He was a man of contradictions - both in his art and his life, making him a pretty awful boyfriend and husband, but a phenomenal artist.

The book also touches on influences of other artists in de Kooning's life, including the tremendously tragic artist, Arshile Gorky. The picture of life during de Kooning's time is so exciting. Poor artists running around New York City, doing things you'd think poor artists would be doing... and more. The book covers a good range of material, but manages to stay focused on de Kooning and the big picture at the same time.

Chuck Palahniuk's 2001 novel Choke, about a sex addict and con artist who works at a colonial-era theme park to support his dementia-afflicted mother, has been made into a film. It features Anjelica Huston and Sam Rockwell in the leads - both very appropriate choices. I hope this isn't like most other Sam Rockwell movies, where he does a great job... but is stuck in a lame, horrible, very bad movie. The trailer for Choke is here. Judging from that alone, it seems to stick very closely to the book - the stripper scene included. Palahniuk translates well to film - it's a shame they refused to make Survivor, my favorite of his books into a film. That had real potential.

I don't really have much music news, except that Calexico has announced they're releasing a new album, Carried To Dust, on September 9th. Apparently, the band's been whittled down to just Joey Burns and John Convertino for this record... whether that's a permanent change, I'm not sure. I wonder if they'll tour as a whole...

Moving on, Jack Drag, the husband of the husband/wife duo, The Submarines, has done a remix of Josh Ritter's "Rumors." You can catch it at My Old Kentucky Blog. It's pretty good - very different from the original, but still sort of stays within that sort of whacked out Historical Conquests vibe. Peaks my interest in those crazy Submarine kids.

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