The advantage of a bad memory is that one can enjoy the same good things for the first time several times. — Friedrich Nietzsche
Yes, that’s lox and cream cheese on a toasted bagel I’m having along with Komodo Dragon coffee. The salmon are harvested from the river that runs through this Estate and smoked right here. The cream cheese is from Riverrun Farms, a neighbor of ours, and the bagels are created right here, all in all a quite delicious breakfast indeed.
That tasty music playing was recorded at the reunion concert of Skara Brae, an Irish trad music group from Kells, County Meath. The group consisted of three siblings, the late Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, and Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, with Dáithí Sproule from Derry. It is two tunes, ‘Ar A Dhul Chun’ and ‘Chuain’ off the soundboard recording.
There’s no theme this edition, so you’ll find a bit of everything from two chocolate reviews by Robert to reviews of music such as those from the Scottish trad and Americana genres. Our What Not is a bit different as our Publisher delved into several recent pop culture purchases he made. And I’ve been told that the Coda music is of a Nietzschean nature. H’h.
Denise delves into love of Uncle Stevie for a look at Tony Magistrale’s Hollywood’s Stephen King. ‘Tony Magistrale’s comprehensive but not all-inclusive review of King’s filmography not only stirred my interest in the deeper meanings of these films, but sorted their various themes and connections. Hollywood’s Stephen King shows that there are films in the author’s oeuvre that are just as worthy of discussion and critical review, and in some cases the stories these films tell are just as important as the original works they were based on.’
Arthur C. Clarke’s Tales From The White Hart, says Gary, is ‘is a series of superficially linked stories told by the fictional patrons of a fictional pub somewhere in London. The narrator is a fictionalized version of Clarke (the other patrons rib him for being a teetotaler), and I’ve no doubt some of the other patrons mentioned are probably based on others in his scientific and writing circles. These patrons are all either scientists or writers, and they tell each other science-based shaggy dog stories. Most of the stories are told by one fellow in particular, a Harry Purvis, who seems to have led several mortal lifetimes.’
He also looks at Geoff Emerick’s Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles which he says is by one of the unsung heroes behind that group: ‘Inveterate reader of liner notes that I am, I’ve been aware of his name for some time, but it tended to blend into the amorphous blob of names of other guys on the periphery of The Beatles story, like their roadies Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans. I wasn’t all that clear on what his role was. Eventually I figured out that George Martin was the producer and Emerick the engineer on most of The Beatles’ records – whatever that meant.’
And we have a book about writing, and history, and science fiction — Kate Wilhelm’s Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop. Says Robert: ‘I was prepared to like this book just because of the publisher’s name — and, of course, the fact that it is by Kate Wilhelm, one of science fiction’s legends: aside from the quality of her stories, in the 1950s and 60s she was one of the two or three women of note in a field dominated by men.’
Cat has something a little out of the ordinary for our film selection this week — would you believe ‘Saturday morning cartoons’? Yep — a whole season of Justice League Action: ‘Justice League Action is the latest animated series to be set in the DC universe. Unlike earlier series that were roughly twenty two to twenty four minutes long and had seasons of no more that twenty or so episodes, this series has forty, yes forty, episodes running roughly twelve minutes each in what is called its first season.’
Robert seems to have had a ‘choco-rama’ week. First, he treats us to Lindt’s Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffle Eggs: ‘Lindt (more formally Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG) is a Swiss chocolatier founded in 1845 and known for, among other things, its chocolate truffles.’
And then he got to sample Ghirardelli’s White Chocolate Premium Baking Bar: ‘I have to confess that even in the days when I was an active cook, my baking was limited — I was much more a main dish sort of guy, and not really into sweets. Consequently, I didn’t essay any baking with this bar, but I will readily admit to having nibbled my way through it.’
Gary has a recording for us that he says is top-notch: ‘Beatrice Deer is a singer-songwriter from Nunavik, the icy region of Quebec north of the 55th parallel and home to Quebec’s Inuit people. My All to You is her fifth record since she left her tiny hometown of Quaqtaq for the big city of Montreal in 2007 to get serious about making music as well as for other personal reasons.’
He also writes about a new album by Kiran Ahluwalia, who was born in India, raised in Canada, and now lives in New York. On her seventh album 7 Billion, he says, ‘She embraces the desert blues of Mali, but she also incorporates Western idioms like the blues, rock, R & B and even a little jazz, into her own new hybrid artform.’
Ryley Walker says he wanted to change his approach on his new release Deafman Glance. Gary says, however, ‘Eschewing the “jammy acoustic” thing doesn’t mean that there’s not a lot of really tasty guitar playing on this record. To the contrary.’
Robert looks at a recording where narrative boundaries get challenged: ‘Robert Wilson, Philip Glass’ collaborator on Einstein on the Beach, noted that until that work hit the boards, theater was bound by literature. Thinking on it, he’s pretty much right: stage plays, opera, even film were constrained by a narrative line that relied on a chronological sequence, all based on language. Not so Einstein.’
Terry Riley’s The Cusp of Magic also gets reviewed by him: ‘That’s the key thing to remember about Riley’s music, I think — he’s taken all those traditions, all those influences, all those idioms, and truly synthesized them into a new vocabulary — it’s far beyond references or quotations — and yet it’s very comfortable.’
Cat has our What Not for this week — they’re not exactly action figures, but close enough: Quantum Mechanix’s Pinky & The Brain Q-Fig Toons Figures: ‘Pinky and The Brain are two laboratory mice that were enhanced to be smart but only one ended up being a genius and one ended up, well, not insane as the intro to the show puts it, but definitely odd and hyperkinetic to boot.’
Robert, after reading our opening quote, immediately came up with our Coda for this week: Friedrich Nietzsche, by way of Richard Strauss and Stanley Kubrick.