It’s a fool’s game (I’m furious)

Tell your heart

RIP Julee Cruise, 1956-2022

All hearts are strange

Todd Haynes interviewed at Slate about his film The Velvet Underground

Sam Adams has a nice conversation with director Todd Haynes about The Velvet Underground, Haynes’ marvelous documentary about the band.

I saw the film this weekend and it’s one of the best musical documentaries I’ve seen in ages. The film is really about the art scene in New York City in the 1960s, and as such, Haynes employs a number of aesthetic conceits, all of which vibrate on just the right side of pretentiousness. There are lots and lots of clips from Warhol’s films and screen tests combined with archival footage (John Cage on teevee, for example), and old interviews interspersed with new interviews with John Cale, Moe Tucker, and a host of other musicians, artists, actors, and folks who bore witness to that whole scene. The film is its own thing—it transcends being “about” the band—indeed, that’s the best thing about The Velvet Underground: it lets you see and hear the band you discovered when you were thirteen or fifteen or thirty with fresh ears and fresh eyes. To this end, it’s possible that the film might turn off folks completely unfamiliar with the band and its influence. Haynes addresses this in his interview with Adams:

I mean, there are some people for whom this will be frustrating and not what they expect from a documentary. They kind of want that tidier oral history. If you’re interested, there’s all kinds of more stuff to find and discover for yourself. But I wanted it to be mostly that experience where the image and the music were leading you, and then it was a visceral journey through the film.

A visceral journey it is.

A highlight for me in the film is a series of late appearances by Jonathan Richman. Adams enjoyed that too:

[Adams]: As someone who’s been listening to him for a long time, the interview with Jonathan Richman is a real highlight of the movie. It makes me hope there’s a Blu-ray someday so you can just release the whole thing as an extra.

[Haynes]: Oh, it’s so fucking great. The whole thing is just, it’s a complete piece. I was crying by the end of it.

Was it your idea for him to have the guitar, or did he just bring it with him?

No, he just brought it. And I mean, come on. It was just so generous and so insightful. And he served the purposes of saying things that I had sort of decided I would not include in this movie: fans, other musicians, critics. It was just going to be about people who were there. That was the criteria. Well, he was there, in spades, and I didn’t realize to what degree.

That picture of him as a teenager with the band, I’d never seen that before.

Fucking crazy. But he could also then speak so informatively as a musician and as a critic and as a fan.

Read the interview here.

David Berman’s Nashville Mix

From The Minus Times #29, as republished in The Minus Times Collected. 

I made as much of the mix I could—D.C.3’s second record The Good Hex isn’t streaming or even on YouTube. Here is David Berman’s “Nashville Mix” mixtape:

Someone who up and left me low

By the time this cigarette is finished, a rusted elegance will emerge

Read back my youth

grammies, etc.

It does not matter it does not matter just stop fighting

Instead of time there will be lateness and let forever be delayed

RIP DCB.

Thanks to this whole sick crew for the sing along.

This one tore me up.

My heart starts to soften

RIP MF DOOM

RIP MF DOOM, 1971-2020

What a stupid fucking year.

“All art constantly aspires towards the condition of etc. etc.”

Watch a 1970 short documentary about Alice Coltrane

Did not make the second show

“Pressure Drop” (Live in ’75) — Toots and the Maytals

RIP Toots Hibbert, 1942-2020