21 November 2007

Triumph, Luck, Magic, Love, Loss

Several pieces of exciting information.

First of all, I got the TA position! My excitement at the prospect of finally beginning to teach and to do something more than keep a clean, well-lighted place knows no bounds. I am terrified, in a good way. I will be jumping right in beginning this January, teaching a Composition 2 course on Lyrics as Literature, which I will be designing. Any cool ideas for texts for my students to read, be they lyrics, articles, interviews, stories, reviews, critiques, essays, manifestos, biographies, or analyses or explications of a given lyric-writer's songs, please shoot 'em my way.

The second piece of exciting information is almost unbelievable. Whereas I have worked hard and earned my TA ship, this piece is just amazing luck. I think I bought the first edition of For Whom The Bell Tolls today. With book jacket and in mint condition, this book--among the most revered texts of twentieth century literature--goes for as much as 1800 dollars.

I bought it for 20. No book jacket. And in a little less than mint, but very good condition nonetheless. Of course, given my religious fetishism of books, I would not sell such a treasure unless I was about to made homeless.

To come back down to earth where there are nice things that aren't the amazing events just listed above, I bought the new Einsturzende Neubauten album today, Alles Weider Offen. I like it a lot. I love the quieter, more restrained side of Neubauten, begun on albums Ende Neu and Silence Is Sexy. I was a little disappointed when the familiar "Die Wellen" opened the album (because a friend of mine generously lent me the MusterHaus release Klaviermusik, which is quite difficult to obtain and which is lovely, weird, avant garde, and oscillates between soothing and beautiful and clanky and aggressive), but by the end, when Blixa is shouting at the waves: "Are you staying? Are you staying? Are you staying or what?" I was very at peace with the decision. The next nine tracks take the open listener through some excellent territory. "Nagorny Karabach," Ich Hatte Ein Wort," "Von Egen," and, before building to its slow boil crescendo, "Unvollstandigkeit" move the listener through fresh grooves of odd instrumentation and Maestro Bargeld's entrancing incantations. "Let's Do It A Dada" mixes playfulness with the industrial dance and thrash of earlier works like "Haus der Luge." "Ich Warte," the final tracks, has to be heard to be believed. Is that an almost simplified madrigal acoustic line repeated to ensorcelling effect? Yes. For several minutes--again with Blixa's rich voice speaking his German poetry-philosophy hybrid over and through and under it--until unexpected violent stabs of sound punctuate at random intervals. I have the feeling I am going to be doing a lot of my writing of my final papers to this album. Of the October releases, which include Dave Gahan's sexy sophomore album, "Hourglass," and Siouxsie's disappointing (yes, let's face it, disappointing) "Mantaray" premiere solo album, Neubauten's Alles Wieder Offen emerges the strongest of the batch and certainly one of the best ten albums of the year.

Before signing off, I would like to just mention that it is always powerfully mysterious how songs work on us. I unexpectedly just heard a band called The Alice Band performing a faithful and well-rendered cover of Lucy Kaplansky's "Ten Year Night," a song I haven't heard in more years than I'd care to remember, and was immediately moved very close to tears. I felt something in my guts that I couldn't name. Immediately following the pressing of my Weep Now button, I felt a sense of exasperation and wonder that didn't leave until I sat down to compose this entry.

Well, I'll be seeing most of you readers very soon for Thanksgiving.

To conclude, I would like to say that I am thankful for you, all of you, each and every one of you, and each and every one of our good and bad times shared.

And thank you for reading.
Now get back to work.


james sherwood said...

Congratulations! Looking forward to working with you. I've been listening to Iggy and The Stooges lately, as well as Depeche Mode (Violator) and Dylan. Good stuff. Also, Siouxsie was best pre-"Peekaboo."

I'm off to Borders Books tonight for inspiration for MY booklist for next semester. Take it easy, enjoy the break.

KLA* said...

Thanks! I'm looking forward to working with you, too! It's been too long since we've bantered back and forth for others and our own amusement.

Violator is amazing (maybe their best?) and you are totally right about Sioux.

Juju forever!

modernaged said...

So happy for you.

What do you know? Your life is looking up in just about every way possible now.

I'm glad everyone was together tonight. Hope you had a good holiday.