February 2017 reading

Kelly Dean Jolley, Stony Lonesome

The Selected Poems of Du Fu, trans. Burton Watson

Black History: A Reappraisal, ed. Melvin Drimmer

Alice W. Flaherty, The Midnight Disease

Percival Everett, Suder

E.H. Gombrich, A Little History of the World

January 2017 reading

Dominic Symonds, We'll Have Manhattan: The Early Work of Rodgers & Hart

Allen Woll, Black Musical Theater: From Coontown to Dreamgirls

Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Robots, Men, and Minds: Psychology in the Modern World

Kenward Elmslie, The Orchid Stories

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Globalectics: Theory and the Policy of Knowing

Ishmael Reed, Reckless Eyeballing

Elanor Heartney, Helaine Posner, et al., Art After the Revolution: Women Who Tranformed Contemporary Art

Percival Everett, Cutting Lisa

December 2016 reading

Paul Beatty, The Sellout

Howard Pollack, George Gerswhin

Keith Waldrop, Windfall Losses

Max Wilk, They're Playing Our Song

Feliz Lucia Molina, Crystal Marys (chapbook)

Andrew Levy, Nothing Is In Here

Suzanne Doppelt, Lazy Susie

Garrett Caples, Retrievals

Lilian Hellman, Scoundrel Time

Alicia Cohen, Coherer

Robert Forster, Grant & I

Charles O. Hartman, Verse: An Introduction

Erika Meitner, Copia

J.B. Jackson, Landscapes

Robyn Schiff, A Woman of Property

12.30-31.16

[This is a convenient stopping point, for now, for daily entries.]

12.30

Up 8, watched Wedding Rehearsal (Alexander Korda, 1932). A little correspondence, then drove to Pasadena for coffee with Ted Apel; had a good talk, I think, and went to Book Alley (where a guy recognized me from NPB). Bought Charles Hersch, Subversive Sounds: Race and the Birth of Jazz in New Orleans; Percival Everett, Cutting Lisa, and Sam Price and His Kay Cee Stompers, Barrelhouse and Blues (Jazztone LP). Listened to v. 1 of the Czech boogie-woogie collection on the way out - fantastic Jimmy Yancey version of "St. Louis Blues." Some groceries for Bree + wine for New Year's parties. Hit rush hour on the way home - more b-w, and Elliot Carter String Quartet No. 1 (1951). It doesn't seem -quite- as opaque in construction (though only passingly 'tuneful') than other Carter I've listened to. Dinner, home: Read a bit of the Schiff here and there, but not much. Seem to have misplaced the Wharton.

12.31

Up 7 or so, stopped at Upland Starbucks and found my Edith Wharton book as suspected, went to a 9:40 matinee of La La Land; songs aren't bad but sort of unmemorable, most interesting touch is that the 'love theme' never gets words, there's a weird thing w/ jazz purism (and, implicitly, race), the dancing seems fine, and the movie's main demerit is that Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling don't have singing voices to carry a musical. Shame Marni Nixon isn't working. Finished Schiff; would repay a slower look, no doubt, and the last poem "The Houselights" is esp. intriguing (oddly gets into musicals/entertainment.) Gym, 1st time in ages, 30 min. on elliptical listening to the M. Fields album. Home, read 2 more Wharton stories, dinner, watched 1/2 of the Tony Bennett 90th birthday TV special, went out about 8 to Nathan Wilson's New Year's eve party; dj'd one short set while there from recs I've bought on this trip. Talked w/ Chris + Cleaver (whose Xmas party we missed), Steve Krank, Lisa Kuta, Steve Folta. Stayed to count in midnight, left around 12:15 - was fearing bad traffic or checkpoints (I had one stout), but it was fine. Listened to some Liquid Liquid and E. Carter Quartet #2 (less dynamic/engaging than #1, on first exposure) and most of Robert Forster's Songs to Play on the way back (I know what he's going for by this point, but a little staid). Also the 2nd boogie-woogie disc on earlier drives.

Might as well own up to my main goals for 2017: 

1) Finish full draft of bridge book
2) Release Work from Home cass. and (I hope) Viable singles comp
3) Finish recording new HH album for 2018 release
4) Drop 1/2 lb./wk (this includes 2-3 gym visits a week + some light home exercise, but mostly not being a pig)
5) [personal; redacted]

12.29.16

Up 7. Went to coffee: read another Wharton story (a light satire on pseudo-intellectual club ladies) and wrote a poem (strictly speaking, yesterday's) for the daybook based on a passage in Landscapes. Worked for a couple of hours on "Always Chasing Rainbows" (though I'm not sure whether the Harry Fox who first recorded it - as opposed to the composer of record Harry Carroll - is the individual after whom the Harry Fox Agency was named; he may, however, have invented the fox-trot). Met Bree and parents for birthday lunch at BC Cafe; dad gave me a copy of Bruce Springsteen's memoir (a funny choice, in a way, given that I haven't bought or read Elvis Costello's). Bree and I went on to the Goodwill bookstore on Foothill, Penny Lane, and the bank. Books purchased:

Rap Music & Hip Hop Culture, 2nd ed., Richard Mook ed.
Beckett the Shape Changer: a Symposium, ed. Katharine Worth
Nicholas Thomas, Possessions: Indigenous Art/Colonial Culture
Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule Our Minds

CDs:

Liquid Liquid, Slip In And Out of Phenomenon
Billy Bragg, The Internationale (deluxe)
v/a Anthology of Boogie-Woogie Piano (2CD on a Czech label)
v/a A Piano Anthology (from Jelly Roll Morton to Bill Evans)
v/a Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents: The Fire of the Fundamentals

LPs:
Charles Rosen, Beethoven Piano Sonatas 26-27.
Mighty Sparrow in London
George Shearing/Dakota Staton, In the Night
v/a Stompin' 17 (R&P comp w/ Jesse Stone cut, 'Woo Woo' Moore)
Luis Bonfa/Don Burrows Brazil
Pearl Bailey, For Adult Listening
4 "Co-Star" LPs ft. Basil Rathbone, George Raft, Arlene Dahl, Vincent Price [Bree's purchase]

Cyndi Lauper "All Through the Night"/"Witness" 45 (for non-LP b-side)

Came home about 5, finished Landscapes; made plans to see Ted Apel tomorrow. Eventually took Bree to gym, wrote in daybook, Started Robyn Schiff, A Woman of Property. Strange book, "well-written" but more diffuse than I expected. Came home and watched Always Leave Them Laughing (Roy Del Ruth 1949), w/ Milton Berle, Virginia Mayo, Ruth Roman, Bert Lahr - and Max Showalter. Lights out 11.