February 8, 2011

It's been evening all day long
It's been evening all day long
How can something so old be so wron

George Condo, Spiderwoman, 2002

* An evening with j.D. Salinger. excerpt:

Toward the end of the night, as the other guests were putting on their coats, Joe found me in the front hallway. He spoke into my ear, “Jerry has asked us up to his place for a drink. Are you game?”

We three had our coats on, waiting for Salinger to say his good-byes, then he joined us and we went out to the street and found a cab immediately.

What a great turn of events! For Salinger to be taking such interest in us!

In the apartment, which was a brownstown further uptown, Salinger asked us what we would like to drink. I offered my help getting out the ice, but no, he’d prefer to do it himself. The bar’s bottles and glasses were arranged at one end of a counter between the small kitchen space and the living room, and we stood around while Salinger poured—whiskey for all, I think. Drinks in hand, Jill, Joe, and I sank into a long sofa across from the bar, Jill sitting between us. Salinger sat down on a chair facing us across a coffee table.

In my buzzy contentment I looked around the room at the pictures on the walls, and I lost track of what Joe and Salinger were saying to one another until I heard Joe ask, “Where did you go to college, J. D.?”

Salinger did not immediately reply and in that momentary silence the mood in the room changed. I caught my breath. I believe that Joe’s businesslike tone could be heard as faintly aggressive; it was familiar to my ear.

Salinger said evenly, “A little college in upstate New York. A college you’ve probably never heard of.”

“Which one?” Joe asked. Nothing suggested that Joe had heard anything in Salinger’s voice but information sharing.

After another short silence Salinger said, “Hamilton. Does it make a difference to you, knowing that the name of the college is Hamilton?”

* Bob N. on Silver Jews' Starlite Walker, which is Drag City's item of the week:

"Starlite Walker was an Oxford, Mississippi record. David resided on the outskirts of town at the time. He was renting a tiny building that was part of a professor's chemistry lab in the woods. He paid $100 a month. It was mildly suspicious. Stephen and I went there to rehearse for about five days. Oxford is a beautiful town. There are lots of beautiful people. We were well. Peaking physically. We built songs around David's words. David had just about all of his lyrics written down in a notebook. When we were 70% ready, we headed up to Easley Studios in Memphis (which burned to the ground a few years ago). Doug and Davis were ready for us. They were cool and it was welcoming. Steve West joined us on the songs that we needed a 'real' drummer. I just wasn't good enough. It didn't bother me. I was proud of my drums on "Trains Across The Sea" and my moog on "New Orleans." We didn't have any significant problems recording and it turned out well. Our host Sherman Willmott (we stayed above his record shop in a small apartment) did a marvelous job of keeping barbecue sauce on our faces the whole time. I gained six pounds. Upon completing Starlite Walker, Silver Jews felt like a band instead of a project. We became formidable.

* "Only a novelist can know how neurotic, devious, underhanded a novelist can be." -- Walker Percy


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