Yes, it’s been a while. Hoxsie is still going strong, but there are only so many hours in the day, and at least one of those hours is spent binge-watching “Gilmore girls,” which somehow I missed completely when it was on the air. Currently kicking myself over that, but the good news is that now I get to experience its brilliance for the first time.
“The Basic Eight,” Daniel Handler. Again, how did I miss this? I always love his books, but wow . . . this is an inventive novel. Just so different, interesting, intense, real, and well-written. He always creates worlds I want to live in, and books I wish wouldn’t end.
An old picture of what was likely a roasted chestnut vendor on South Pearl Street in Albany led to thoughts of the old days when that beaver-mad town, founded on the wealth of pelts, was chock full of vendors of beaver-on-a-stick, beaver jerky, castor canadensis oil . . . And then I realized there was just no way to make that thought funny or interesting, but I still couldn’t get the idea of streetcart beaver-meat vendors out of my head.
I once had the brilliant idea that music could be saved if we enforced a three-album-and-an-EP rule. Once a band was signed, that’s what they got to do: three albums and an EP. After that, they’d have to break up. Why? Let’s face it, most bands barely have three albums of good material in them. Having a set limit would forced them to weed out the crap and put their best foot forward, and they’d focus on creativity if they knew they were only going to have a limited oeuvre. I never worked out how to deal with really good bands that had way more good songs than that — The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Squeeze, Elvis Costello — so there were still some kinks to iron out in my new world order, which would result, somewhat ironically, in less New Order.
There is a reason I don’t often sharpen my box saw (and that’s not a euphemism). The teeth are tiny, the angles precise, and the work quite boring.
Work on a dining room table is proceeding apace. Much old pine, recovered from a rehab at 9 First Street in Troy, is being planed. There’s simply no other way to come by 3″ thick old growth, tight-grained pine. You know what doesn’t like to come out of Civil-War-era pine? Civil-War-era nails, that’s what. I like to assume they came from Henry Burden’s nail factory, and that whoever made them may have been buried in the Nail Factory Cemetery, because that’s how my mind works.
I’m re-reading “The Great Shark Hunt” for the first time in many years. If I had stayed in journalism, I could only have been constantly disappointed that I wasn’t the next Hunter S. Thompson — unless of course I had become the next one, in which case I’d probably have been disappointed in myself.
Bonded with younger daughter over our love of “Quadrophenia.” I can’t understand how people can even listen to “Tommy” when this incredible dark, beautiful masterpiece exists. The Who really stand out because each member was simply incredible, innovative, and unique, and that album is just phenomenal. There was a time when the story maybe meant a little too much to me, but I remember overnight bus rides to Schenectady with a tape of Quadrophenia blasting into my ears (on what was called a “Walkman,” kids) as the sun came up over the Thruway, and that album resonated deeply with me.
THIS: 23-member Mucca Pazza, playing an insane Tiny Desk Concert. If you don’t enjoy this, you’re dead inside: