Archive for April, 2012

From the deep archives: SPALDING GRAY

April 12, 2012

I first saw Spalding Gray performing with the Performance Group and doing his solo work in 1979. I wrote about him a lot in the early days, interviewed him several times, and got to know him a little bit. I just unearthed for my archive the feature story I wrote about him for the New York Times in 1986, as well as the chapter on him that appeared in Caught in the Act: New York Actors Face to Face, published the same year. My collaborator for the book was photographer Susan Shacter, who took this beautiful picture of Spalding.
Of course, reading these interviews — especially the one for the book — is incredibly poignant now after he’s gone.

Also, I remember editing the Times article over the phone from a post office in Paris and fighting with my editor who told me that the word “horny” could not appear in the august pages of The Newspaper of Record, even in a direct quote. The compromise we arrived at was “randy.” I’ve changed it back to “horny” on my archive, but you can still read the original published version on the Times website here.


In this week’s New Yorker

April 12, 2012

The travel issue surprisingly didn’t excite me much. I read without interest Basharat Peer on the hajj and Lauren Collins on Croatia as destination for drunken revelers from Britain. I skipped Julia Ioffe on Russian borscht and Daniel Mendelsohn on the Titanic. The high points for me were Patricia Marx’s fascinating piece on — never heard of it! must make note! — and Bruce McCall’s great cover, “Carry-On Luggage” (above), which reminds me (like so many things these days) of Louis C.K.’s neo-Seinfeld episode on that subject. Hilton Als writes about a couple of plays in Chicago by intriguing writers new to me. And although I’m often happy to follow Sasha Frere-Jones wherever his musical enthusiasm leads him, I remain unconvinced by his take on Spiritualized, whose new album “Sweet Heart Sweet Light” strikes me as pretty yawny. If you hurry, you can check it out free yourself on NPR’s First Listen page.

Playlist: iPod shuffle 4/9/12

April 10, 2012

“Boom Boom Pow,” Black Eyed Peas
“Dirty Back Road,” the B-52’s
“Cause=Time,” Broken Social Scene
“Heart It Races,” Dr. Dog
“There’s a New Moon Over My Shoulder,” Jimmie Davis
“Why Baby Why,” James Taylor
“Small Craft on a Milk Sea,” Brian Eno
“Hunter,” Portishead
“Seminole Wind,” James Taylor
“Det haster! (On Montreal remix),” Casiokids
“Night of the Iguana,” Joni Mitchell
“Oh Phoney,” Morrissey
“The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game,” Massive Attack with Tracy Thorn
“Time to Pretend,” MGMT
“Darkness,” Leonard Cohen
“Run,” Kathleen Edwards
“Juanita,” Sheryl Crow and Emmylou Harris
“Ariodante: Act II, Aria; Scherza infida,” Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
“None but Shining Hours,” the Books
“Tried to Be a Man,” Rickie Lee Jones
“Wonderful You,” Audra McDonald
“Exorcismic Breeding Knife,” Of Montreal
“The Peacock,” Beirut
“Ten-Day Interval,” Tortoise
“If You Don’t Love Me,” Kylie Minogue
“George Square,” David Berkeley
“Praying Man,” Atlas Sound
“Flowers,” the Ruling Class
“Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am,” Baaba Maal & Taj Mahal  (Red Hot + Riot)
“Again Soon After Sunset,” Ohayo
“Seventeen,” Dudley Saunders
“Fok Julle Naaiers,” Die Antwoord
“The Child,” Alex Gopher
“Bedroom Hymns,” Florence and the Machine
“Second Chance,” Junior Boys
“Sun and Sea and You,” Pond
“In My Bed (CJ Mix),” Amy Winehouse
“Shop Vac,” Jonathan Coulton
“Unsustainable,” Eliza Gilkyson
“Wake Up Alone,” Amy Winehouse
“Speechless,” Lady GaGa
“Greek Song,” Manhattan Transfer
“Skin,” Sade
“A Good Idea at the Time,” OK Go
“Wondaland,” Janelle Monae

Quote of the day: PRAYER

April 10, 2012


The third great prayer, after Help and Thanks, is Wow!

— Anne Lamott (whose birthday is today — happy birthday, fine writer!)

Photo diary: the week in review

April 10, 2012

gamelan in disarray

Wednesday stash




Erick and Randall at Thalia after "Once"

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