Music: Also while on vacation, Mrs. N. and I got to see the film Once, and we both highly recommend it. In case you're not aware, it's an independent Irish film about a Dublin busker (Glen Hansard of the Irish band The Frames) who meets a young Czech emigree (Markéta Irglová). They start to collaborate performing and writing songs, while forming a close friendship and trying to achieve success with their music. It's a feel-good movie with a bittersweet end, and the soundtrack is terrific - much of the movie, in fact, plays like a musical, with the songs integrated directly into the action of the film. See it if you can.
Recent CD acquisitions:
1. Augie March - Moo, You Bloody Choir: My first "freebie" from the Amazon Vine club (see August 7th blog) - it's a strong album by this Aussie band - a bit hard to pigeonhole, but imagine a cross between Crowded House and Elbow. You can see my full review here.
2. New Pornographers - Challengers: Still deciding how this stacks up to their previous three albums - the last one, Twin Cinema, was one of the best albums of 2005. For those unfamiliar, they are a Canadian-based "supergroup" whose members include alt-country chanteuse Neko Case, and they do power pop better than anyone since Lindsay Buckingham-era Fleetwood Mac. This time out their sound has mellowed a bit, but a lot of their trademark style is still there. Chances are it will end up on my final best-of-the-year list, as will Augie March.
No Top Ten list this time out - the XPN bulletin boards, my source for these lists, has been down for several days.
Poetry: Still trying to weather a creative drought - dashed off a couple of short pieces last night, but nothing to brag about. No new publication news, either. So I'll pull another old favorite out of my hat. This one appeared a few years ago in Edison Literary Review:
Clouds in the Jaguar Window
Natural selection on the highway –
the Jaguar cuts in front of me at the light,
buffed and detailed, a sleek animal
the color of a Colt revolver,
its occupant, suited, cellphone to skull,
speaking to someone, no doubt,
more important than me.
But before the light changes,
before he gets another five-second jump on life,
cumulus clouds from the windy blue sky
reflect on his rear window.
They roll across like screen credits,
chiaroscuro on smoky glass,
steaming majestically to their next country.
And when we ply the road again,
I want to pull my unworthy minivan
abreast of him, and mouth these words
to his air-conditioned window:
Thank you for reminding me
that the clouds still travel untethered
even over you.