Friday, March 18, 2011

The Feeling That the Sky Might Be in the Back of Someone's Mind

  • Damn.
  • This is one of my five favorite songs ever. Ever. Quite possibly my third, no less than fourth, most air-guitared song ever.
  • More
  • Also, Joe at Three Chord Monte did a long set yesterday.
  • This and this and this and this are possibly four of my five most air-guitared songs over the past thirty-five years.
  • Chilton requests solicited. Most air-guitared lists (which is different from a list of favorite songs as of 3/18/11) welcome.
  • Damn.


John Ashbery

Kind of empty in the way it sees everything, the earth gets to its feet and 
        salutes the sky. More of a success at it this time than most
        others it is. . Then there is no telling how many there are. They grace
        everything--bush and tree--to take the roisterer's mind off his
        caroling--so it's like a smooth switch back. To what was aired in
        their previous conniption fit. There is so much to be seen everywhere
        that it's like not getting used to it, only there is so much it
        never feels new, never any different. You are standing looking at that
        building and you cannot take it all in, certain details are already hazy
        and the mind boggles. What will it all be like in five years' time
        when you try to remember? Will there have been boards in between the
        grass part and the edge of the street? As long as that couple is
        stopping to look in that window over there we cannot go. We feel like
        they have to tell us we can, but they never look our way and they are
        already gone, gone far into the future--the night of time. If we could
        look at a photograph of it and say there they are, they never really
        stopped but there they are. There is so much to be said, and on the
        surface of it very little gets said.
 There ought to be room for more things, for a spreading out, like.
        Being immersed in the details of rock and field and slope --letting them
        come to you for once, and then meeting them halfway would be so much
        easier--if they took an ingenuous pride in being in one's blood.
        Alas, we perceive them if at all as those things that were meant to be
        put aside-- costumes of the supporting actors or voice trilling at the
        end of a narrow enclosed street. You can do nothing with them. Not even
        offer to pay.
 It is possible that finally, like coming to the end of a long,
        barely perceptible rise, there is mutual cohesion and interaction. The
        whole scene is fixed in your mind, the music all present, as though you
        could see each note as well as hear it. I say this because there is an
        uneasiness in things just now. Waiting for something to be over before
        you are forced to notice it. The pollarded trees scarcely bucking the
        wind--and yet it's keen, it makes you fall over. Clabbered sky.
        Seasons that pass with a rush. After all it's their time
        too--nothing says they aren't to make something of it. As for Jenny
        Wren, she cares, hopping about on her little twig like she was tryin'
        to tell us somethin', but that's just it, she couldn't
        even if she wanted to--dumb bird. But the others--and they in some way
        must know too--it would never occur to them to want to, even if they
        could take the first step of the terrible journey toward feeling
        somebody should act, that ends in utter confusion and hopelessness, east
        of the sun and west of the moon. So their comment is: "No comment."
        Meanwhile the whole history of probabilities is coming to life, starting
        in the upper left-hand corner, like a sail.


  1. I spend a lot of time away from the US, some of it in remote places where I only have access to news that is immediately and unavoidably relevant. Last spring was one of those times. This is by way of explanation and not an excuse for this: I had no idea Alex Chilton was dead. It seems that I should have, but I did not know until I went to the google/youtube machine to look for some of his music. I was doing that because last week someone desperate enough to smash my car window under a street light on a busy street between 7 and 9 o'clock and smart enough to find my ipod in the console and carefully remove the usb/charger cord, stole more music than I could listen to in what's left of my life. In my techno-ineptitudity I didn't want to spend the time to figure out where (or whether, yikes!) I had backed it up. And so I found out that the One Year caption coupled with Thank You yesterday wasn't another allusion or inside joke I didn't get. Not getting everything doesn't bother me, especially if it is accompanied by Big Star.

    We lost him before, you know. He dove into the boozy, addled world of nighttime New Orleans. But his friends and admirers brought him back with more than he had before. An actual genius (along with Doug Sahm who checked out too early, too) who understood what popular music was and then some, Alex Chilton brightened my life every time I came into contact with his music, whether directly or in the forms it took as other people unpacked it.

    So, thanks for stuff you do here and I'll spend the weekend seeing if I can find where I put all that music (I know its right around here somewhere, as I say all too often) and listening to it loud and in a different way. Maybe after some beers in honor of the guy.


  2. @TheRealDoD Qadafi U fucked #Libya

    Evil Limey Bastards A vs Evil Limey Bastards B? Now who am I supposed to root for? Go ref go. Bet (not really) Special Jose makes the final but has to play Schalke. Heh, but at least, as an American, I'll never die.

    Man, I remember having to pass all that big hair on the way to Aladdin's Castle to throw quarter after quarter into Gauntlet.

  3. I can't beat this comment, so I'll merely pass it along:


    17 March 2011 1:23PM

    I suppose it has not occurred to them that the reason why the USA has a poor image around the world is precisely because of such behavior.

    You do not have a perception problem. You have a REALITY problem.

  4. The Black Crowes basically built their sound off Mod Lang.

  5. Beers in honor soon. April 9 perhaps. Sorry about your car.

    I say this without snark or pride: I wouldn't know a Black Crowes song if I heard one. I remember when they came out and they neither sucked or impressed and I promptly forgot them.

  6. Has it been a year? Damn. You mentioned Owsley's passing the other day. #1 Record was my number one record for owsley waning early mornings. Bar none. I mean, how beautiful is the end of that record—Watch the Sunrise? C'mon, give me a break. And how perfect the first side. Just listening to it now gives me flashbacks; and I mean that in a good way.

    September Gurls probably tops my all-time air guitar list.

    Requests: When My Baby's Beside Me. Hey Little Child (from Sherbert)

    Future Trivia Answer: Yes, Nina, the wife of the protagonist of my as yet unpublished novel, EULOGY, as well as her father Brad Chilton(!), are indeed named after Alex. I hope you can win a bar bet for pints on this point at some point in the future with one of your lit prof friends. Here's proof; print it. Wink. Speaking of unpub'd mstrpcs, more nibbles of late. ttyl.

  7. Wait a minute. Doug Sahm? Turn me on, please.