--american experience: roads to memphis--
despite all my reading about the kennedy assassination, i'd never really investigated the assassination of dr. king. roads to memphis was pretty sad, but it's something you can't turn away from. when it was over, i felt like that days events were still echoing, rippling out into the now. also: i had no idea james earl ray was a fugitive long enough to escape to london, and only just missed a flight to rhodesia.
amelia didn't really like this french comedy of errors, and at first glance, i wasn't really into it either. a bumbling designer (mr. hulot, apparently a recurring character) follows his designer car to an auto show in amsterdam, and all sorts of hijinx ensue along the way. the best shots and scenes are the monotony of the road, complete with engine and interstate noise levels. also great were the recurring shots of apparent everymen/everywomen, waiting in traffic, succumbing to habits of nosepicking, yawning, etc. not something i would watch again intently, but something i might leave on in the background. also: the little 5-or-so-note melody from the score wormed its way into my brain, all fresh & bright.
--yo la tengo--Electr-O-Pura and And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out--
definitely a yo la tengo week. after spending weeks with the b-sides & covers collection Genius + Love = Yo la Tengo, i reconvened with 2 records from opposite sides of their spectrum. Electr-O-Pura is mid-90s guitar-buzz that rarely relents. Alt-rocking "Tom Courtenay" and skronky "False Alarm" are two standouts here. And Then Nothing... is the quietest YLT record, less breezy than Summer Sun, but heavy in a way that even the album cover nods to. "You Can Have it All" is pure pop, sweeter and shorter-lasting than Flavor-Ice. "Saturday" is drum-machine-dub filtered through the usual instrumental suspects, organ and guitar-feedback.
--Janet Malcolm's "iphigenia in forest hills" in the New Yorker--
a lengthy summation of a recent somewhat-bizarre, completely complicated murder trial in NYC. while you end up feeling pity/remorse for the protagonist, you never really get a sense of her innocence in any amount. still, malcolm makes you feel for the-guilty-who-are-wronged, a subset of people that never merit much consideration. if you can't protect the weakest amongst a population; who can you protect?
--John Dos Passos' U.S.A.--
finally hacked into this 1000+ page monster that i acquired this summer while browsing for nothing-in-particular at Bloomington's Caveat Emptor. picked it up due to it's seemingly enormous scope. only 40 pages in, i've just scratched the surface of a single narrator (i believe there are upwards of ten), and am becoming accustomed to Dos Passos' accumulation of songs, facts, news headlines, and first-person detritus in-between the more narrative sections of the book. Very rough-and-tumble feel so far, though eminently readable. Just tackling a book of this size again gives me a good feeling.
--pork ribs, baked beans, mcclure potatoes, cranberry salad, garlicky greens, mac n cheese, and rhubarb pie for Amelia's Grandpa's 80th birthday celebration. oh, throw in a Sam Adams Pale Ale and a few glasses of red wine (went surprisingly well with the ribs and pie). had never had straight rhubarb pie before, but it was stunningly good with a touch of citrus from orange zest. (and ice cream, of course)
--twin steer at the east side's own Historic Steer-In. the twin steer is a big mac done right, with 2 smash-style burgers, 3 (buttered & griddled) buns, lettuce, tomato, pickle, cheese, and special sauce. always fresh!