Category Archives: Music

Trap

for sound track click at the end of the post
Thank you to Interesting Literature, for bringing this across my desk.

“If he had not been consumed by ambition and convinced that one day some newly-discovered rubbish heap would reward him, the disappointments he had suffered, let alone the fatigue and derision, would have made him give up the pursuit.”

Virginia Woolf’s “Solid Objects”

As a former literary scholar, as a person who questions the worth and meaning of the responsibilities of every day life, and as a person who collects and struggles with a clutter of odd things I find valuable,  I am grateful to think about this story.  My solid objects are china, truly interesting (to me) rocks, and art supplies or now-useless items with ‘potential’ for found art. Without that collecting and cluttering, might I give up the pursuit, not just of my collecting but of bothering with life at all?

It’s a somewhat middle class / first world problem, though. To a hammer everything looks like a nail, so I assume Virginia Woolf must have struggled in a similar, though probably harsher, ‘trap.’ She seems to have been too sheltered and just barely financially secure enough that she had no need to fight for life, but too smothered by gender and class norms and too unskilled to really break out into an independent life.

Writing and mental illness were the arenas where she fought her good fight. There was no resolution. There was only cessation.
I certainly question the worth of my aesthetic, my beliefs, my collections, my efforts, efforts I make and efforts I shirk. I wonder if she did as well. The lion’s share of my sense of meaning in my life comes from creative work- but the lion’s share and more of my time and energy are spent in the repetitive acts of living.  I am sifting my solid objects and my life every day, trying to discern whether and in which areas to bother. How very 2019. 
Some early Trap Music and a reference

 

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Filed under African, American, art, British, Music, quotable, reviews, social currents, Southern, trap, United Kingdom, virginia woolf, women

Music Alone Shall Live: Collections of American Song

 

Collectors, fans, and musicians may find these two works of interest.

I am watching a BBC documentary about earliest human history. The presenter suggests that what allowed European Homo Sapiens to outlive their more robust, better adapted cousins the European Neanderthals was – can you guess? – art and music. Art and music created cultural identity across broader geographic regions and for larger tribes and served to preserve the weaker, smaller brained Homo Sapiens.  With this perspective, the importance and influence of the arts for any culture has greater urgency than ever.

Song in America our Musical Heritage by Burl Ives (1962) collects 311 folk songs, arranged by Albert Hague. Even in our modern era the words of folk songs can vary widely from region to region, artist to artist, and decade to decade. It is good to have another reference, especially one so complete.

A Treasury of Stephen Foster (1946) includes historical notes that lend context to Foster’s work, including his use of themes from African slavery and minstrelsy. Cultural theft? A good faith attempt to strike universally recognizable sentimental notes of loss, longing, and fun in spite of it all?

“Foster composed about two hundred songs and a few instrumental pieces… a half dozen rank with the world’s greatest ballads; at least twenty-five of them have become American folksongs and more than fifty are well worthy of preservation.” Collected songs are arranged for piano by Ray Lev and Dorothy Berliner Commins.

If you are interested, please contact us at winecountrybooksnapa at gmail. Best wishes, and happy reading – or in this case, playing and singing.

nbpmome

 

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Filed under American, illustrated, Music

I’m back!

A friend recently gave me the Ray Davies tribute album This is Where I Belong. It brought  my adolescent crush on Davies back in an overwhelming rush. In my heartstruck state I have been doing some research and found out just how much growth and innovation the Kinks and Davies personally contributed to early rock and roll.

So naturally this one comes to mind when I sit down at my Wine Country Books desk for the first time in too long. How I’ve missed you, books!  I got me an exercise ball chair… I got me a stack o’ books… In here in the dark I can hear the birds singing sweetly out there. It is an unseasonably beautiful November day here in wine country, perfect for photographs of my lovely books. To work!

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Filed under Music, Rock and Roll

Scott Freeman’s Midnight Riders: The story of the Allman Brothers Band

(First Edition, First Printing, Little Brown and Co 1995)

Midnight Riders was a bestseller.  Scott Freeman was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize while at the Macon Telegraph and News.  Just looking at the title forced me to crank up some Allman Brothers.

Don’t even try to tell me those first few Hammond B3/acoustic notes don’t make your heart stir in recognition and fellow-feeling. Arrangement, vocals, lyrics…

“tells of the brothers’ difficult childhood: their extraordinary self-education in the world of Southern blues and r&b; their unsuccessful early musical incarnations; and their triumph as they rose to unimaginable wealth and success…” drugs, Dixie Mafia connections, tragedy, loss, and musicians and storytellers at the very top of their craft… what’s not to love?

midnight riders

Get Midnight Riders: The story of the Allman Brothers Band by Scott Freeman at your public library. If not there, buy the first edition, first printing here.  Condition VG+ (book pristine, appears unread, dust jacket shows shelf wear including shine partially rubbed away)

A steal at $30 and shipping is free! Email winecountrybooksnapa at gmail dot com.

 

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July 25, 2013 · 3:10 am