Weather Update: Summer is over, officially, and though we were promised a cold front today, it’s still about 96 degrees outside in Austin, and about 99% humidity.
Publication Update: It’s been a while since I’ve had anything new accepted. It’s been over a year. That’s a while. But there’s a new story on the way! You’ll be able to read it soon in Devilfish Review, where there’s already a lot of weird stuff you can read right now. I spent the better part of a year writing this story (called “The Field Trip”), all the while trying to write something I thought was more important.
Books Update: I spent the summer reading so many good books. I read a lot of pretty mediocre and terrible books, too, but that is what happens while reading. I haven’t been reading online at all lately, which was the original reason for starting this blog. I’m linking to Powell’s since they’re not Amazon and they’re in Portland, but you can probably find e-versions of all of these. Since my tastes run murderous and weird, I only recommend the following if you are feeling particularly good about the decisions you’ve made in your own life:
- The Woman Upstairs, Claire Messud
- Mr. Peanut, Adam Ross
- The Miniature Wife and Other Stories, Manuel Gonzales
- Iodine, Haven Kimmel
- The Interestings, Meg Wollitzer
- American Gothic Tales, Joyce Carol Oates, editor
- Strangers on A Train, Patricia Highsmith
- We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (read this, don’t listen to it)
- A Queer and Pleasant Danger, Kate Bornstein (Trans* activist memoir AND Scientology expose!)
Music Update: Many thanks to Waterloo Records and their eclectic listening stations.
Lord Huron’s Lonesome Dreams is one of the most beautiful albums I’ve ever seen. It’s a gorgeous concept from start to finish – album art, video, arrangement, lyrics. All of it. It’s just an experience that I’m glad I had. They are playing tonight in Austin, and I’m not there because my dog’s head is in a cone and he’s really upset about it.
Shirlette Ammons‘s album Twilight For Gladys Bentley has been on repeat since May. This album’s namesake, Gladys Bentley, was a poet, musician, and entertainer who was openly gay and genderbent. Shirlette is honest, funny, and pissed off about all kinds of interesting stuff. This song, Fast FWDing is by far my favorite, but I’m a fan of Take A Chance, as well. Especially the part about the cat.
Whitehorse’s “Devil’s Got A Gun” has got to be the best song I’ve heard in years. Here is a live version that sounds like a bad dream you’re not upset to revisit. The album version is terrific, too. After the top of your head is blown off during the bridge, the ending harmony is like a revelation. I have listened to the song many times solely to hear that last line. They’re Canadian.
I know Mal Blum has been around for a while, but I only just discovered her music this past March at SXSW. She was unbelievably cute, and her bassist and drummer were also unbelievably cute, so I was prepared to hate her music because I thought it would probably be unbelievably cute. The past few years I have developed a very real aversion to silliness, playfulness, and general cheer. But then, she sang this song. I was completely wrong about her. She hadn’t released her newest album Tempest in A Teacup yet, and I have only heard parts of it. However, you won’t be upset if you download the following songs from Everywhere You Go Somewhere: Watercolors, Circus Heart Part II, New Year’s Eve, San Christobal.
Also, here is your new internet girlfriend with a guitar, Laura Tsaggaris.