How the Jackal Got His Scorched Back

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An African fairy tale retold by Alena Benesova and translated into English by Ruth Shepherd. The marvelous illustration is by Karel Franta. From Animal Fairy Stories.

St. Ivo — Rogier van der Weyden

More on Jim O’Rourke’s Simple Songs

I was pretty happy when Jim O’Rourke’s new LP Simple Songs showed up in today’s mail. (I tried to take a photo of the record cover, which has this glossy-embossed-Jim-visual-echo-of-the-cover-to-Halfway-to-a-Threeway-thing going on, but it was too glossy, the cover, so here’s the Drag City packing tape that sealed the package):

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I’ve already lauded Simple Songs here, based on listening to it dozens of times on NPR last week. Even though the streaming quality wasn’t so bad (and I played it over a proper stereo system), it simply isn’t as good as the full rich sound on the vinyl. (As I write this, I realize that I have a tendency, like many people, I’m thinking, to listen to too much new music digitally, over streaming services or as shitty compressed mp3s, or—even worse!—on YouTube. I think O’Rourke’s songwriting, musicianship, and production can withstand these new technologies, but I’ve also been a huge fan of his for, jeez, 20 years now, so I’m compelled to listen to his work much more closely than, say, New Band with mp3).

Anyway.

Simple Songs is beautiful: Rich, full, personal, and somehow expansive at only eight songs in 33 minutes. O’Rourke seems to have structured the album like a 1970s singer-songwriter record—the sequencing is perfect, with each side culminating in moments that synthesize O’Rourke’s cynicism with real pathos. Worth the long wait.

The LP contains a lyric sheet, as well as the album’s personnel:

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I’m thinking that some of these guys are playing with O’Rourke in this concert from last year (I’m pretty confident that Yamamoto Tatsuhisa is on drums):

The Portinari Altarpiece, St. Mary Magdalen and St. Margaret with Maria Baroncelli and Daughter Margherita Portinari, Right Wing — Hugo van der Goes

Kindle Cover Disasters

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Kindle Cover Disasters is a tumblr devoted to Kindle cover disasters. My friend sent me the link so you must suffer too. Here are a few selections that are relatively SFW, but the site itself is not always this, uh, tame. Continue reading “Kindle Cover Disasters”

Marlene Deller — Jack Bush

Guitarra Minhota — Eduardo Viana