Monday, July 25, 2005

Ugly found, Good, Bad, still at large

Saw Bob Dylan in fine form last night. Apropos cowboy hat? Check. Glitter-lined black tux? Check. Amazing rendition of the rarely-performed “Don’t Think Twice?” Bonus! And say what you will about a 64-year old man in a sparkling Western outfit, at least he’s got some style (and wears his hat the right way).

Dylan’s shows, while packed, never sell out, and a smaller venue would probably have better acoustics. One might ask why he even comes to Calgary on every tour, when most large acts skip over the hapless prairies for Vancouver’s hipness. Apparently the story is that Bob “just likes to look at the mountains.” Well who doesn’t really?

My folk/blues lust satisfied, I found I was in need of some good jazz, so I recently bought a compilation of Miles Davis recordings. It contains a few tracks from Kind of Blue and ‘Round About Midnight, but what makes it purchase-worthy is the track “It Never Entered my Mind” which is frankly one of the best pieces of music I believe I’ve ever heard.

Elsewhere, I think it’s rather amazing the speed at which London police are cracking down on last Thursday’s attacks. Certainly London’s famed Panopticon experiment has paid off. I recall reading that this is London’s first terrorist attack, but that’s not exactly true.

Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent, a novel about a guy who wanted to blow up the Greenwich Observatory, was based on the real account of French anarchist Martial Bordin. His bomb also prematurely detonated in 1894, but he didn’t have the luxury of escape, as investigators found half of him on the pathway to the observatory. It’s worth a read, as Conrad is an amazing novelist, a claim made more evident when you realize that the adjective-laden English is his third language, after Dutch and French. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wrote with his left hand just for kicks.


Anonymous said...

Well, this is quite the entry. Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Joseph Conrad. (Of course, the Harper I could do without, but you know what they say...don't punch a gift horse in the face.)
You got a nice Bob setlist. I've been wanting to hear Lonesome Day Blues live since that album came out. And Can't Wait is a surprise. Unfortunately, it seems as if the thunder ain't rolling further east than Calgary this time. So close and yet so far...
Oh, and while checking out that Miles Davis compilation, I came across this:
(hint: check track 4 in particular--looks like you and Joni would have something to talk about.)


Anonymous said...

Watching BBC or CNN is like the reading the (second?) last chapter of The Secret Agent, as new information is doled out with agonizing slowness.