“The faux-democratic ideal of plain-spokenness, the sense that a novelist should not write too beautifully or he sacrifices some vaguely articulated, semi-mystical claim to honesty, is not a million miles away from the Sarah Palin-ish suspicion of east coast liberals, or a Harvard education, or people who know the dates of wars.” – Katie Roiphe feels it necessary to go on the defensive for John Updike on the anniversary of his death.
- Watch a teaser of the Bill Callahan tour documentary at Pitchfork.
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One of my favorite songwriters, Bill Callahan (formerly known as Smog), has a book coming up on Drag City:
Letters to Emma Bowlcut , an epistolary novelette, collects sixty two letters from a nameless protagonist to a woman he saw at a party. The letters form the seduction, in sifting the loose, disparate details of his day to day — the desires, the frustrations, the joys. The self as depicted through emotional weather updates, social observations, anecdotes, advice, and well-timed punchlines.
Letters to Emma Bowlcut captures the sensual and esoteric qualities of letter correspondence. There is something in the time it takes the post to deliver and the physicality of the object that eventually arrives that evokes an intimacy, a depth; a desire to be known and an opportunity to present oneself in the internal fantasy of everyday’s secret internal dialogue.
Judee Sill is one of my all-time favorite songstresses, so it’s pretty much a sure thing that an album with names like Bill Callahan, Beth Orton, Princeton, and Marissa Nadler covering her songs is something I’m excited about. Two of the songs on Crayon Angels: A Tribute to Judee Sill have been made available, Frida Hyvonen covering (in my humble opinion) Sill’s best song, “Jesus Was a Crossmaker”, and Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear taking on “Waterfall”.