Dear future grandchildren,
I’m writing this blog for you. Someday all blogs will be engraved on the bottoms of wide flat stones and you’ll slide your finger across a surfaceless touchpad and the stone will turn and you’ll read these words and think about the life of the man who begot you.
I put on my semi-rumpled suit and walked to Spinoza’s grave in the rain. It was inscribed with Hebrew characters, some Latin. In English it said “please also visit Spinoza.com!” Just kidding, 1632–1677. Ate a sandwich alone at a cafe run by Hillary Clinton and her 12 secret Dutch sisters and daughters. I wanted a sandwich with cheese and vegetables on it which I felt confident they had but I couldn’t decipher the menu so I had “aubergine”.
Went to a panel discussion at a bookstore. Panelists included me (an animatronic goat named Chloë), Breadstixxxxx (dressed like a celebrated motorcycle journalist), and Diacrunktrixxx, who dressed perfectly. It was Us vs. three Dutch publisher/editors, plus another hyperfriendly Dutch editor/novelist moderating. Also in the mix were three short fiction readings from playwrights associated with the small nonprofit theater company where I work.
The music part of the festival began tonight. Saw James Kelman, the amazing Scottish novelist, read three short stories. Kelman was followed by God Save the Girl, which is Stuart Murdoch from Belle & Sebastian and a “cracker” team of musicans (ex-B&S, Teenage Fanclub, et al) backing up a trio of deeply attractive Scottish women singing highly theatrical 60s story-song B&S-style tunes. One woman behind us said wryly to her friend “The gentlemen must really love this band.” It was, according to Murdoch, their first “proper gig”. I enjoyed myself, Breadstixxxxxx was a puddle on the floor. Afterward Pru (I have not changed her name because her fucking name is Pru) said she thought Murdoch was pedantic toward the girls– and he was, he wanted everyone to know he’d written the songs and it was really his show and for everyone to be really excited at the end when he sang a song, but it didn’t ruin anything for me, because the songs were terrific and the band was tight (very much in the style of Belle and Sebastian at their most huge-production loungey Dear Catastrophe Waitress mode) and the trio of singers–one of whom murdered Breadstixx’s heart, maybe Breadstix himself, in an elevator at the hotel earlier today, maybe yesterday, Brdstx at the time having no idea who she was beyond just painfully Scottish and lovely–were lovely.
Then about 10 minutes of Akron/Family then all of Grizzly Bear whom I’ve seen a few times and are at the peak of their powers and put on a great show for a crowd of 400 seated elderly (median age maybe 36) Dutch people whose rows and rows of glowing heads from behind were occasionally as compelling to look at as the band itself. I’m not entirely sure why I’m staying awake right now to warm over tired rock-crit cliches essentially reviewing a show I’m embarrassed to have attended (see “I don’t deserve this hotel room,” 11/20/09) but anyway demons begone guitars are often described as shimmering or glimmering or glittering but Daniel Rossen’s guitar in that band is truly a shining blade that cleaves Chris Taylor’s thick bass into savory slices.
Your Grampy Jommz