Up early, didn't check time, but fell asleep again on the family room couch. Watched a bit of The Great Ziegfeld, read another 50 p. of Scoundrel Time:

"I can't remember when [Harry Cohn] died, but there was a nice story at the time, attributed to George Jessel. Jessel and a friend were standing outside the funeral parlor. The line of mourners was very long. The friend said, "I never saw such a mob at a funeral." Jessel said, "Same old story; you give 'em what they want and they'll fill the theater."

More to the point:

"There was nothing strange about my problem, it is native to our time; but it is painful for a nature that can no longer accept liberalism not to be able to accept radicalism. One sits uncomfortably on a too comfortable cushion. Many of us now endlessly jul from one side to another and endlessly fall in space."

Went out to Coffee Klatch, learned via facebook that I missed a Slow Children gig at Hi-Fi! Took some good notes on the (very clear and worthwhile) "Song" chapter in Charles O. Hartman, Verse: An Introduction, which I had put aside for a while. Came home, read the (also useful) notes to the salsa comp. Bree official has a cold, so I drove out to Pasadena myself and finished Scoundrel Time over lunch at the Hat. I hadn't made the connection that Blitzstein turned The Little Foxes into his opera Regina partly as a result of their left associations. Did our X-mas shopping; picked up a few things for myself at Battery and Canterbury as well, but I'm not in the mood to list them -- though I finally broke down and bought the Hamilton OCR. Driving both ways, listened to some Glauznova ballet music, which I preferred to the Sibelius on the same disc (Soviet recordings from '62, apparently), and Schubert, die schöne Mullerin (v. Mark Padmore/p. Paul Lewis), closer to strophic forms than Winterreise. Home for dinner w/ parents, watched some of the first Thin Man movie, tried to nap. Read the rest of the Hartman chapter + a chunk of Cohen. 3 p. in daybook.

Loaded in at the Press (in the rain, which I hate), hung out (Brain Macpherson came out, plus more expected Claremont crowd). Started at 10. Good show, w/ the characteristic Spgt looseness/chaos; I played better than I did this summer (though I felt myself flailing w/ the rhythm part on "Janitor"). As I was told last night there were to be "costumes," I wore a fringey/sequined singing-cowboy shirt w/ pearl snaps that I bought in, I think, St. Louis on tour w/ Jenny in 2001. I was spared the indignity of a Peter Criss mask. Downside: the ceiling was leaking all night, and water crept down the wall and toward my amp through the evening; the staff sandbagged me into my corner of the stage w/ towels and (correctly) shut down the second set after "Head Through Iowa." I don't know what the actual degree of physical risk was, but it all felt pretty sketchy, and I wish there were somewhere else to play in town; I don't need to burnish my rock credentials through electrocution. Also soaked loading out. Home 12:30, sat up a while.


Up at 4:30 again. Read 100+ pages of Caples (finished the post-face later; excellent book). Koffee Klatch, 7-10, mainly correspondence, responded to light edits on GT notes; will look at the proofs in time, but I think I can call that project done! Stopped by Rancho Cucamonga Library book-sale room, picked up for (.75c-$1.00), Rickie Lee Jones, Flying Cowboys, The Thermals' 1st album, an Ella Fitzgerald selection packages as a children's album ("A-Tisket A-Tasket" and similar early material). Also Wm. Gass Middle C (which who knows when I'll read); E. Wharton short stories, Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron Mills; and Rebecca Burlend, A True Picture of Emigration, an 1831 narrative by an Englishwoman whose family ended up in New Orleans.

Came home, napped to Young Man With Ideas (a minor Glenn Ford movie) while everyone went out, read 1st 1/3 of Alicia Cohen, Coherer. Compressed, and a bit more ecopoetic than I'd sussed on purchase; there is perhaps a Surrealist touch, but that may be the Caples talking. Back out from 2-5, mainly for Xmas shopping for parents/Bree, several stops, but also stopped at Cinema Paradisio (ran into Scott Feemster) to rent the Mag. Fields doc for research; the prison charity bookstore, where I picked up $1 CDs of Saint-Saens' piano works, and recordings of Schubert's Die Schoene Mullerin and Schumann's Heine settings. Books, $3-5, inc. a fancy monograph on Fairfield Porter; Kenneth Koch, The Gold Standard; and a 1947 guide to American dialects (for Bree). 

Stopped in Rhino to say hi to Dennis, walked out w/ used LPs: John Hartford, Iron Mountain Depot (1970, was kind of hoping they'd have something), ; Jr. Walker, Peace & Understanding is Hard to Find (1970 on Motown's Soul imprint, w/ cover of "Soul Clapping"); Graham Gouldman [Yardbirds/Hollies songwriter], Animalympics; and a brass band record; and the irresistible Hard to Learn That English (As a Second Language) Blues, 1975,  which looks to be an ESL equivalent of Schoolhouse Rock or an industrial musical, ft. titles like "Past Progressive Jealousy Cha Cha Cha." Dinner at home, went out about 7; picked up bottled water for Bree, ran into David Allen in the Claremont Starbucks (and told him about my 'discovery' via Mitch Easter that the Chamberlain was made in Upland/Ontario, and rehearsed w/ Spgt (about 3 hrs, playing 'lead' on songs I did/didn't know). I wonder if we will actually play the Joe Walsh and U.K. Subs covers. Home, stayed up long enough to read a ways into Lilian Hellman's HUAC memoir Scoundrel Time.

Car listening: 2nd disc of the Soul Jazz salsa comp, and Sibelius Symphony No. 7 (he may not be my speed).



[I was thinking of abandoning this journal temporarily, but am going to stick with it for a while longer, though the length/detail of entries may be less consistent for the next several weeks.]


Up 5:30. Flew NYC>>>CA. Missed our original LGA flight b/c of construction traffic, waited through several standbys, finally rebooked from JFK, went home for a couple of hrs (which allowed me to mail HH records to Iowa and buy 2 Zappa CDs and a Monk box from a vendor on 37th Ave.), finally got out at 9 pm, got a $40 Super Shuttle to Upland, arriving at 2 pm PST; we had been up for 23 hrs straight. On plane, finished Doppelt, read bits of an NY Academy of Sciences volume on [against] "The Flight From Science and Reason" (I'm sympathetic, and agree for example that Sandra Harding's characterization of Newton's Principia as a "rap manual" is overstated, but the perspective is too conservative to convince advocates); this connects to my annoyance at laudatory facebook posts about John McCumber's new anti-analytic-phil book + having-it-both-ways views on affirming "facts" in the post-Trump era. Also did Daybook listened to Luke Haines' Smash the System, watched Stephen Frears' Florence Foster Jenkins movie (like FFJ, they can say I couldn't sing, but not that I didn't*), and 2 incomprehensible episodes of Mr. Robot, which is the strangest-looking CD I've seen this side of BBC productions of Pinter. 

*Also write, play guitar, etc.


Internal clock totally off; up before 5 am. Went to Coffee Klatch, my usual Inland Empire morning haunt, wrote up the Steve Allen story for Jon Solomon's Xmas WPRB show in 3-4 hrs.; 1800 words. Came home, napped to Experiment Perilous w/ George Brent and Hedy Lamaar. Went to KSPC to pick up an access card for my shows over break, while the bldg is closed, and recorded the above piece in Audacity; then picked up the luggage that had gone to Ontario. Listened to 1st CD of Soul Jazz salsa comp, w/ the amazing 14 min. Eddie Palimeri track. 
Dinner w/ parents, then met Kyle and Annalee (and his dad) to see his kids' school's annual Holiday Sing; the school band wasn't bad, esp. on "Carol of the Bells" (which has some strikingly musematic bits). Visited afterwards at El Merendero, brought Bree home, turned around despite exhaustion to see Amy Maloof play a few songs (which I liked, esp "Houses, People, and Trees") at the Press; did my daybook during. Also heard part of a set by a local folkie, Adrian something, who was more effective on "country"- than "indie"-styled originals; also included covers of "Masters of War" and "Just Like Heaven." Back home in bed a little after midnight. No time for reading.


As for today: Up around 10. Finished a draft of the Game Theory liner notes, 3K - about 4 hrs in early afternoon + 3 after a dinner break. I'd guess I put about 10-15 hrs into it total, maybe on the shorter end of that. Sent it to Dan Vallor; there will be edits, but it's nice to have completed even a modest piece for the first time in what feels like months. Otherwise, packed and took care of some pre-travel loose ends. No substantial reading.


Up 9. Weight same (though up from a week ago). Watched last night's SNL clips - oddly moved by the gentle Obama-themed parody of Run D.M.C.'s "Christmas in Hollis." Met Drew G. and Michael G. (from Columbia) at Muhal Richard Abams big-band rehearsal 11-2; same line-up as last week, though he also had a synth player, not present last time, making sounds somewhere between Sun Ra and Richard Teitelbaum on a Nord + delay. George Lewis showed up! (But didn't play.) Wrote down a lot of Abrams' directions and stray comments in the daybook. Best was to the rhythm section: "I'm telling you something, you know, but I'm not tell you anything." Had a coffee w/ Drew. Forced myself across town to the Met Breuer (the old Whitney bldg, I now realize) for the big 2-floor Kerry James Marshall retrospective. Fascinating painter, working through African-American themes w/ a range of techniques, though this isn't the place for art criticism. Particularly struck by his mock-sentimental "vignettes," esp. one involving a wishing well, and a parody of Barnett Newman with text from Baldwin in the red field. Lyrics from Smokey's "Two Lovers" scroll through one painting. Heaed downtown, listened to most of a minor '80s McCoy Tyner trio album while on foot. Tried to stop by Housing Works bookstore - that place has the most annoyingly erratic hours and event closures. Met Bree at Pangea for Carol Lipnik's show; talked to her pianist, Matt Kanelos, for a while before and after. Wrote in the daybook a bit more during the set, including new originals and 3 Leonard Cohen songs. "Anthem," done more martially than the original, seemed so apposite. Kind of a pricey night out, w/ a food minimum and a cab home. I've decided not to record expenses until the end of the year, to avoid getting annoyed at Xmas expenditures and for the sake of self-administrative sanity. Did some pre-packing at home, got to bed at 1. Red quota of Rosenberg over the course of the day, have stalled out on the Doppelt poems. No prose.