Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Take a look at this.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Somehow this (including my overlong response, the fourth one) is reminding me of what might be my favorite Q&A ever conducted: John Lofton interviewing Allen Ginsberg for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture in February 1988, published originally in December 1989 and reprinted in full in Spontaneous Mind: Selected Interviews 1958-1996, a book that will stay with me anywhere I go. David Carter, the book's editor, introduces it with a note that "Lofton wrote in 1999 that he wanted to interview Allen 'to confront him with the Truth of God's Word.'" Here's how it ends:

JL: I asked you to end with a little poem denouncing the Khmer Rouge and you attack John Foster Dulles!

AG: You asked me to denounce the Communists on your terms. But I'd rather denounce them on my terms.

JL: Yeah. By denouncing John Foster Dulles.

AG: I'd rather denounce them on my terms. But I'd rather not just denounce them but try to point out that everybody is complicit in this situation.

JL: Speak for yourself. I didn't have anything to do with Cambodian genocide. Did you? Do you take some blame for that?

AG: I would be willing to take some blame. And I think we should all take blame.

JL: What role did you play in causing this genocide? And have you apologized to any Cambodians?

AG: Yes.

JL: Who? Who did you apologize to?

AG: You're setting up something here which is not . . . it's like, again, you're going back to this black and white, either/or interrogation.

JL: But some things are black and white.

AG: And this comes from your monotheistic insistence.

JL: Is nothing black and white?

AG: Nothing is completely black and white. Nothing.

Friday, November 07, 2008

(I've never seen Ken Burns Jazz, btw--I just thought the line was funny.)

LOL: One tries in vain to think of the conceptual equivalent of the Ken Burns history of Jazz -- the Margaret Dumont history of whorehouses, perhaps.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I still DJ Wednesday happy hours, 7 to 9 p.m., at Havana, on Pike St. between 10th and 11th. Tonight I played a themed set in honor of the new president. Not all of it fit as well as I hoped at the time, but I did it pretty much on the fly, so I don't feel too badly. Here's how it went.

Chuck Berry, "Come On"
Sylvia Striplin, "Give Me Your Love" [I had the idea this was on Curtom, which it's apparently not--it wouldn't necessarily make it a Chicago record if it were, but still]
The Handsome Family, "Everything That Rises Must Converge"
Wale ft. the Budos Band, "The Chicago Falcon Remix"
Lupe Fiasco ft. Matthew Santos, "Superstar"
Common, "i used to love h.e.r."
The Chi-Lites, "Have You Seen Her?"
Shellac, "Crow"
Bo Diddley, "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover"
King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, "Dipper Mouth Blues"
The Staple Singers, "Uncloudy Day"
Gene Farris, "This Is My Religion"
Wilco, "Either Way"
CLS, "Can You Feel It (In House Dub)" [actually New Yorker Todd Terry, whoops, oh well]
Kanye West, "Touch the Sky"
George Wettling's Chicago Rhythm Kings, "The Darktown Strutter's Ball"
DJ Sneak, "You Can't Hide From Your Bud"
Crucial Conflict, "Hay"
Esther Williams, "Last Night Changed It All" [another NYC label record, but I played this one for the lyric anyway]
Mahalia Jackson, "My God Is Real"
Felix da Housecat, "Pray for a Star"
Curtis Mayfield, "Beautiful Brother of Mine"
Chicago Gangsters, "Gangster Boogie"
Frank Sinatra, "Chicago" [the only ringer I played on purpose, but hey]
Frankie Knuckles & Jamie Principle, "Baby Wants to Ride"
Muddy Waters, "I Just Want to Make Love to You"
Louis Armstrong, "Sun Showers" [from 1937, I believe after he left Chicago, but fuck it]
Red Saunders with Dolores Hawkins and the Hambone Kids, "Hambone"
Bam Bam, "Where's Your Child (12 Inch)"
The Sweat Boyz, "Do You Want to Perculate?"

I was going to finish with Green Velvet's "Flash," but my time was up. I need to do more theme nights.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A plus, America.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I loved Studs Terkel the minute I started reading Race, when I was 19. He's one of my absolute heroes--I could never be like him, but I can learn from his example at least some of the time. Here's a short piece about him as a music fan, the level on which I connect with him most deeply. R.I.P. to one of the greatest of all time.

Reading this (found via Rex)--particularly the part about Zalaznick's attitude toward product placement--made me flash back on something that happened the first time I live in New York. A publicist--someone I genuinely like--offered to pay my way to an industry confab half the country away. When I turned them down, s/he asked, "What, do you have ethics or something?" They sounded puzzled, not contemptuous. I was speechless.