Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Four Things Found On The Internet

This photo book, from Thurston Moore's new publishing concern and featuring the work of former Village Voice photographer James Hamilton, looks like it could be some kind of milestone in the photos-of-musicians genre.  That Johnny Rotten photo!  He looks downright huggable, almost angelic. [via]

The limited exposure I've had to Tao Lin's work (like the majority of the small minority of people who've heard of him, I have a greater familiarity with his self-promotional stunts and shenanigans than his writing) has left me intrigued but a bit doubtful of the success (in literary terms) of his admittedly distinctive project.  I didn't really "enjoy" but was at least semi-engrossed by his recent account of being arrested for "trespassing" at NYU, but this piece in Canteen is a pretty impressive literary performance, bordering on heroic feat of sustained concentration (actually, I think "heroic feat of sustained concentration" might more accurately describe the act of reading the piece).  I hate to go here, but it did remind me a little bit of a DFW footnote (like, say, some of the longer ones in Brief Interviews) in its "how long can he keep this up?"-ness.

I'm glad somebody (Ben Ratliff, though there are probably others by now) has written about the "new" (1940) Savory recording of "Body and Soul", a sample of which was posted by the Times yesterday.  I don't really have enough knowledge of the state of jazz saxophone circa 1940 to know just how far ahead of its time Hawkins' playing is in this sample, but it seems like he's making some pretty strikingly radical choices here.  The playing is so much more modern-sounding than the recording that it produces an exciting friction (frisson?) - there must be a good analogy, but I can't come up with it.  It's not like he's into Dolphy territory exactly, but it's hard to believe anybody else was playing like this 70 years ago.  It's also hard to believe that I'm posting about a 47-second sample of something.  Obviously, I'm eager to hear the whole thing.

And last but far from least, rare foulmouth Elvis blues (with commentary by Nick Tosches!).  The Hound should be declared King of the Internet, at least for today, for posting this.  Go listen before somebody makes him take it down.

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