Thursday, June 19, 2008

If this be Thursday...

It must be jazz time!
I'm five sleeps away from seeing Ken Vandermark (with The Thing) and I'm so excited, it'll probably only be four sleeps. Vandermark's main group, the Vandermark 5, released their 12th album earlier this year, called Beat Reader and it is smoking hot.
The Vanderman himself is going to be doing a workshop on Saturday, here in Vancouver, at Tom Lee Music on Granville at 1 p.m. I'm sure it will be 100% edifying.
I'm kinda bummed that I missed all of Vandermark's shows outside of Vancouver, but I'm definitely going to be at the show on Monday night, so I'm not heartbroken.
If Vandermark is a little too free for your jazz tastes, you don't have to feel left out on Monday night. The remarkable Molly Johnson will be at the Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts performing her inimitable brand of steamy vocal jazz with a pop bent. Aside from being an awesome lady with a great voice and sharp musical instincts, she's also the sister of one my all-time favourite tv detectives, Meldrick Lewis. Er, I mean of the actor who played him, Clark Johnson, utterer of such memorable lines as "You know, you live in your own little world cause don't nobody wanna live there with you."
Speaking of Beat Reader (see top), what's a Jazz Thursday without beat poetry? Sure, Ginsburg's okay and he hung out with Bob Dylan, but if you want the good stuff, dig some Gregory Corso or Lew Welch (who was quasi-step-father to none other than Huey Lewis: small world!).
Speaking of reading, in a moment of weakness I bought the current issue of Details. Yeesh. I used to read Details fairly regularly when I was a teenager, and in fact, an article in a fall 1995 issue about a Balkan sniper really energized my writing ambitions. I hardly read any print mags anymore, except old ones in waiting rooms and laundromats. But Batman's on the cover, so I figured why not? This is what happens when I'm between novels.
The Christian Bale profile was pretty trite, but I get the impression that's as much Bale's doing as the writer's. Bale seems like an arrogant a-hole, but y'know what? If I was as good and successful at my chosen lifework as he is--AND got to dress up as Batman without being called immature--I'd probably come across as a twat too. Also inside: a brief rant about nobody wants to hear how tired you are, claiming tiredness is the new status symbol, nevermind that the US economy is far down the crapper that, yeah, people are exhausted, it's unsustainable, we're all doomed, etc.; a profile titled "Josh Groban is Not a Tool", which sets out to prove that Groban is at least as hep as John Mayer, and that, like Mayer, even though his music sucks you should still respect him, because he's a dude; a pretty objectifying piece on "Hollywood Gross Out Girls", which claims that hot chicks shouldn't have personalities. Throw in a bunch of aspirational claptrap about unattainable manliness, and I'm feeling bad about the five dollars I spent, and even worse about the 45 minutes I lost reading the mag. Howev, there's a redeeming piece from my man Michael Chabon on talking to your kids about marijuana without being a hypocrite. FIVE DOLLARS WELL SPENT!

mp3: "New Acrylic (for Andreas Gursky)" by Vandermark 5
mp3: "Ode to the West Wind" by Gregory Corso
mp3: "Sleep in Late" by Molly Johnson

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