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Day 4 – Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’?

May 28, 2010

I love the idea of ghost electricity – those extra few seconds after the power stops flowing through something but a light on a power strip or stereo still glows.  Technically this shouldn’t happen, but throw around a few words like impedance, resistance, and capacitor and it either sounds like you know what you are talking about or naming new super heroes.   When our cable modem goes out, we are always told to unplug it, wait 10 seconds, then plug it back in.  What happens during those ten seconds to the ghost energy, since it isn’t created or destroyed?  I think it goes into my carpet, waiting for a radiator-dryed out winter morning to shock me as I let out the dog.  In any case, it bring me to…

CD#4: The Morning Benders – Big Echo (Rough Trade)

With production power via Grizzly Bear there is an abundance of ghost energy to this cd – lingering Beach Boys lushness and sunny pop goodness and Beatles-y love.  I wasn’t too sure of this one at first – I was prepared for a more causal listen and easy win based on the name-dropping of the early reviews.  The songs are more demanding and shift textures – some to sing along with, others to dance to, and a few in need of headphones-focused listening.  In all, a rewarding cd that sent me back to their earlier work and the realization that many of the bands I’m most excited about these days fit into this similar bin in my personal record store (or last.fm station).

Book #4: Campbell McGrath – Seven Notebooks

Check out this funky collection of McGrath’s poetry.  I love the idea of seven notebooks and the opportunity to explore the details and wanderings of his eyes and attention.  The rap on McGrath has been a desire for his to move from observation to interpretation, a phrase I’ll often use in comments to my students on their essays, and it’s not entirely unwarranted here.  Don’t get me wrong – I can groove to a big Whitman or Ginsberg listy poem into the wee hours, but  the build in intensity and layers of meaning there has perhaps poisoned my reading here.  A blueberry, dawn, hurricane, or astral notebook (four of his seven titles) works best when celebrated for being just that.

But then there’s always the question – what lingers?  What sticks to memory?  Why?

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