Thursday, April 10, 2008

Love and Happiness (Spring Edition)

(A la maniére de Taylor)

Trader Joe’s Shammies

Cheap, eco-friendly, they absorb loads more than your average sponge, dry fast, stand-up to washing, and you get to say “shammy." Four bucks for a two-pack at Trader Joe’s or these bad-asses online.

PSB Alpha-B1 Speakers

I don’t care what the audiophiles say - $280 ain’t cheap for speakers – but they’re a sight less than Bose and apparently a lot better quality. I love mine. The sound is rich and clean and allows me to hear all sorts of detail that was getting lost on my little JBLs.

This Heat – S/T

A recording much enhanced by good speakers, This Heat’s 1978 debut was rehearsed and recorded in a converted refrigerator locker. You can hear it, not only in the echoes of the recording, but in the chilly angularity of the compositions themselves. The music is varied and tough to sum up in a paragraph, so I'll just say (cheaply) This Heat couldn’t exist without Krautrock and post-rock couldn’t exist without This Heat.



Mavis Gallant, Varieties of Exile

The young, lonely women who populate these stories would probably implode if faced with This Heat, but their creator, Mavis Gallant, is in her own way just as steely. My favorite stories in the collection deal with every day tensions between English and French Montrealers in the period in and around the Second World War. Gallant is a master of realistic characterization and describes subtle strains with economy and precision. Michael Ondaatje puts it well in a blurb: "Before we know it she will have circled a person, captured a voice, revealed a whole manner of a life in the way a character avoids an issue or discusses a dress."

Genesse Cream Ale


Cheaper than Bud, tastier than Pabst, a historic beer from fearsome upstate New York. Take it ice cold, straight from the can, with something salty. You won't miss your Stella.

4 comments:

Kevin said...

i love shammies!

alice said...

i like to say chamois. it makes me seem more educated.

Karen said...

But the French sponges--when new--give you an opportunity to ask the uninitiated "What do you think this is?" and nobody ever knows. (I never saw a "chamois" since I don't like to shop in the chain stores that are homogenizing NYC.)

Karen said...

what's on the drummer/singer's face?