Music City

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1. I visited the beautiful city of Nashville, Tennessee for the first time two years ago. I can't believe how much of this great town has been damaged in last week's flood.

2. It's very weird that attempted Times Square terrorist Faisal Shahzad left a DVD of the anomie-striven movie Up In The Air to be found in his home. Novelist Walter Kirn, who we recently interviewed about the film of his book, wrote this on Twitter: "times sq. bomber leaving behind copy of 'up in the air' reminds me of chapman, lennon's killer, and catcher in the rye. icky feeling now."

3. Here's Michael Orthofer's take on the Web's Global Problem (the problem being, of course, that the web is not very global). I'm not surprised that Literary Saloon's international numbers are better than mine.

4. Soft Skull and Vox Pop founder Sander Hicks, a good guy with big ideas and a passion for changing the world, is running for Senate in New York.

5. I don't quite understand the context surrounding this video, but apparently this is a five-year-old Flannery O'Conner in an archived British newsreel clip about chickens who are trained to walk backwards. More about this here. Good country people.

6. The Birth of Tragedy is a powerful book by Friedrich Nietzsche about Apollonian and Dionysian tendencies in ancient Greek drama. Apparently Nietzsche's fellow Existentialist Soren Kierkegaard had his own thoughts about this topic.

7. It's definitely a fact that more women than men work in mainstream commercial publishing. Jason Pinter ponders what effect this might have.

8. Thoreau backlash.

9. Various memories (including a first person account by Devo's Jerry Casale) of the fatal student protests at Ohio's Kent State University, May 4 1970.

10. A new website for Kentucky poet Ron Whitehead.

11. How the mechanics of literary copying have suddenly changed.

12. "Nobody Rides For Free" by Grant Hart (formerly of Husker Du), a music video directed by Laki Vazakas.

13. Words Without Borders is braving the teen terrain.

14. Charles Bukowski is getting some respect at the swanky Huntington Library in Los Angeles.

15. Kathy Acker is getting some respect at the swanky HTML Giant.

16. Late British writer Alan Sillitoe reflects on his fellow Angry Young Men of the 1950s, who apparently were not always as angry as they looked.

17. Peeking at political contributions by notable writers.

18. Jewcy Magazine, which seems to have gotten a welcome boost of energy from its new editor Jason Diamond, is putting on a show, "Yiderati", featuring Rachel Shukert, Jami Attenberg and Sam Apple, at The Strand Bookstore in New York City on May 18.

19. There is some serious-ass old school hiphop going down at New York City's Summerstage (which is apparently now taking place all over the city parks, not just Central Park) this year. DJ Kool Herc. Doug E. Fresh and DJ Dee Wiz. Nice and Smooth. Brand Nubian. Raphael Saddiq. Gil Scott-Heron. The mighty EPMD with Funkmaster Flex. Lisa Lisa. Big Daddy Kane. Somebody in the New York City Parks Department knows their stuff.

4 Responses to "Music City"

"7. It's definitely a fact that more women than men work in mainstream commercial publishing. Jason Pinter ponders what effect this might have."

I confess I've only experienced one sit-down with a professional literary fiction editor of a certain stature at a good house. I was neither blown away nor scarred by the experience, but it was memorable. I felt that she got me, but that her hands were tied by the system in which she herself was trying to be a change agent while maintaining her familial and community responsibilities. (People shouldn't be forced to make Sophie's choices on a daily freaking basis.) Extrapolating from my one lovely lunch, I would venture that if there's a critical mass of publishing professionals as clued-in as she is-- Levi, my brother--we could getting something, something actually worth doing, done.

by KKizer on

re 19) Oh shnap! That's quite a line up! I'd love to see EPMD, Big Daddy Kane and Doug E. Fresh in particular. I remember where I was the first time I heard Doug E. Fresh's "The Show" with Slick Rick.

Be thankful KRS-One's not in the line-up otherwise, Levi, you might have had a Peorian visitor crashing on your couch.

by Chuck on

As you noted in the interview, there is a great deal of distance between the book Up in the Air and the movie.

Hopefully this fact will help to soothe Kirn's "icky feeling."

by Steve Plonk on

A portion of an e-mail about the Nashville, TN flood of May 3, 2010 was sent to us by a friend who lives there.
We live about 125 miles southeast of Nashville in the Chattanooga, TN metro area. E-mail was received May 8, 2010. Entitled: Disastrous Conditions in Nashville. Last we heard there were 30 dead and still counting. This flood was said on our local news as being the worst flood in Nashville, TN's history.

“Briley Parkway (major roadway in Nashville) is closed in multiple areas and has water higher than the concrete lane dividers that go down the middle of the multiple lanes. Gaylord Opryland Hotel, the Grand Ole Opry House, Country Music Museum, and those other buildings and T.V. recording studios over there, and the Opry Mills Mall are flooded – not with a few inches, but with SEVERAL feet.

Downtown Nashville is flooded – banks, offices, apartments, the Nashville Symphony House, Broadway street where multiple of tourism businesses reside… Large buildings have multi-level garages in their basements completely flooded, as well as the first level floors of the buildings. Hotels are saying that they’ll not be able to take in guests for many weeks, if not months. Even Gaylord Opryland Hotel, one of the largest in the world which is a huge part of the Nashville economy through its tourism and conference hosting, has posted such on their website. The Grand Ole Opry will have to be moved to another location.

The Titans stadium is flooded up to the third row of bleachers… which don’t even start at the field level… They just said on the news that that the locker rooms, exercise rooms, news press conference rooms, etc., are below bleacher level and are completely flooded.”

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