3 Delights; or, An Exercise in Minimal Posting

faked by Monday, November 26th, 2007

Three pop-cultural experiences that have recently contributed, with varying degrees, to my reserves of delight:

1. The Mountain Goats have released the tracklist for their forthcoming album, Heretic Pride, out in February of ‘08. You can read it here. If you don’t want to hear an album whose first track is called “Sax Rohmer #1,” that’s okay, we can still be lifelong friends and all, but maybe I’ll find myself worrying about you in the small hours of sleepless nights. I’ll phone people awake from their peaceful slumber and ask, “Hey, doesn’t X seem kind of detached to you? Like he or she doesn’t have enough joy in his or her life, or maybe lacks the capacity for joy? I don’t want to throw around the term sociopath, but. . . ” OK, I overstate. Back before Get Lonely came out, John Darnielle was telling interviewers he was working on a collection of songs about sad monsters, and so maybe this is it? If so I am extra delighted. I have begun setting my hopes on this album’s matching the lofty heights set by Fury household fave We Shall All Be Healed (despite said favoritism being rendered somewhat problematic by WSABH’s appearance on that Blender 100 best indie-rock albums list; what’s the fun of having a dark horse favorite if someone paints it white and shines a spotlight on it? Then again, this is Blender we’re talking about here). Speaking of monsters, you all saw Darnielle’s guest-starring turn in that gore-soaked creature-feature Aesop Rock video, right? Old news now, right? Okay, swell.

2. The passage in Colson Whitehead’s John Henry Days in which an aggressive trend-follower is described as attired in fashions so contemporary that “a subscription card could fall from his navel at any moment” (40). Also, pretty much all of John Henry Days so far; I have a feeling I’m going to have to put it aside for a while as the end-of-semester crunch begins, but I do so with great reluctance and look forward to picking it up again as soon as the break gets here. The whole bit about how when a character’s life should be flashing before his eyes he can only think about Luke Cage, Hero for Hire, is also reasonably delightful.

3. This, the final image from “Farwell, My Palomar,” one of many heartbreakingly great stories collected in Gilbert Hernandez’s new-format Love and Rockets collection Human Diastrophism:

Casimira and Khamo

The perfect distillation of Gilbert Hernandez’s inimitable blend of realism and tenderness. (And blame the pixellation on me, not Gilbert, of course—I may replace this with a better scan later on). I’m coming late to Love and Rockets—I’d read a scattered issue here or there before with admiration, but had never sat down to read through them in any systematic way until these new, inexpensive collections came out. I thought there was no way these comics could live up to their reputation, but I was happily mistaken.

UPDATE: Possible 3.5. Trent Lott is retiring? I will wait to hear why before determining an appropriate level of delight.

3 Responses to “3 Delights; or, An Exercise in Minimal Posting”

  1. gorjus says:

    Eh, to get around the new lobbying laws, some think.

    I love that shot from Gilbert. Listen, y’all, let’s decode: that’s a one-armed girl being ridden piggy-back by her dad—a formerly beautiful man who was scarred and muted in trying to stop his lover’s terrifying act of immolation in protest of war. And his daughter’s arm was shot off by a local sheriff as she hunted for the skull of a baby from a malevolent bruja . . .

    And yeah, she’s caught her prosthetic on fire, and they’re running around waving it. Seriously, it’s extraordinary. Just typing all that made me woozy. I just re-read 100 Years of Solitude, and I like Heartbreak Soup more better.

  2. bulb says:

    To get ready for the latest JD, might I suggest another genius unplugged from 30 odd (no please say you didn’t think I was gonna mention Russell Crowe’s vanity band) years ago: Neil Young, Live at Massey Hall 1971.

    Some of the earliest performances of material that would become Harvest. And one killer rarity: “Bad Fog Of Loneliness” originally written to be performed with Carl Perkins and the Tenneessee Three on The Johnny Cash TV Show.


  3. Darren says:

    Larry Flynt has been hinting that he’s about to reveal a major sex scandal involving a member of Congress. This sentence will, I assume, be the only one I ever write using the words “sex,” “Trent Lott,” and “hope.”