Some day perhaps I’ll understand why movies put me to sleep when I watch them at home.
This week, Truffaut’s ‘Shoot The Piano Player’ put me under. So did an episode of ‘Sherlock.’
What did not were a few books, and some music.
I’ve read eight books since the end of April, including Will Hermes’s Love Goes To Buildings On Fire, a history of music in New York in the 70s; Krugman’s End This Depression Now!; Ornstein and Mann’s It’s Even Worse Than You Think, a political book so honest and smart they can’t get on anybody’s tv channel to promote it; The Long Goodbye, which was like water to a drowning man; Gene Lees’ Singer & The Song II, which reminded me of how delightful Lees was when writing about jazz and American songbook stuff, and how maddening he was about everything that came after, say, 1956; Chris Hedges’ Empire of Illusion, a deeply, deeply depressing book about life as it really is, at least according to Hedges; Duane Swierczynski’s Hell & Gone, a black hole of a noir that I stumbled across reading Ethan Iverson’s blog “Do The Math;” and last but by no means least, the biography of Doc Pomus, Lonely Avenue.
(The eighth book was a guide to Windows 8, written for the ‘consumer preview’ edition of the software.)
Musically, the general drift is toward words and melody and away from the kind of challenging noise I’ve lived with for so long. So, fr’instance, the last day was Philip Glass’s Saxophone, which is just lovely; Merle Haggard’s Back To The Barrooms; the soundtrack to The Harder They Come; Red Garland’s At The Prelude, among other things.
Plus, the slick part of the 70s keep coming up in my rear view mirror – Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell (Hejira, The Hissing of Summer Lawns).