Wire you still here?



Wire was more referenced than listened to–typical of bands modified by adjectives such as “seminal” “cerebral” “hugely influential” (i.e. weird brainiac art punk)

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Chairs Missing


Not only due to their most excellent post-punk album covers, I love this band. So did the Minutemen, Minor Threat, R.E.M., the guy from Guided by Voices, Robt E. Smith of the Cure, Elastica, Blur, My Bloody Valentine, and Fischerspooner, amongst others.

anyway they are playing for free in nyc @ South Street Seaport on Friday, but no one apparently remembers them but me.

I’m gonna go, but I freely admit I haven’t actually listened to a Wire song for at least 5 years. til now!

anyone out there also recall these guys? south st seaport, here we come!


Lit Minds is cool! Literary Mixtapes – yeah.

The very excellent http://litminds.org/blog/2008/05/literary_mix_cd.html blog today is pimping Martha Pettit’s “My Awesome Literary Mix CD.”

and so am I!

Martha works at the San Fran indie bookstore The Booksmith. She created this list, as quoted in Lit Minds, because “I was inspired by the song Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush; [we] were discussing what a great song it is and I relayed the story of a friend who also loved the song but had no clue that it was a reference to Emile Bronte’s novel.”

So what Martha did was make a mixtape list of great songs and the books that inspired them or are referenced by/in them. Way cool.

I love it cuz I’ve always been fascinated by creative connections between different genres of art. A song, a movie, a painting, a book – what are the similarities and irreducible differences? A lot of artistic – hell, a lot of human – expression is based on riffing on previous human expression. That’s what culture IS. That’s why I named my blog Palimpsest – most of our culture is an accretion of layers of reference, whether we know it or not. And i LIKE to know it!

That’s my thing: That’s why I majored in Classics and art history – cuz I loved to tease out the references to the old in the new. It adds a little frisson of “A-ha!” when one realizes that the cult classic movie The Warriors is based on the plot of the ancient Greek historian Xenophon’s Anabasis.

As I recall, my college entrance essay was on Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, and its roots in and references to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and the Doors’ The End. I’m damn glad I don’t still have that essay, but I would add the Doors (even tho’ I hate them!) and Heart of Darkness to this list!

Here is Martha Pettit’s full playlist for your listening and reading pleasure:


by Martha Pettit, The Booksmith

1.”Killing an Arab” –The Cure (The Stranger by Albert Camus)

2. “Tear in Your Hand”-Tori Amos (Sandman series by Neil Gaiman)

3.”Wuthering Heights”-Kate Bush (Wuthering Heights by Emile Bronte)

4.”Ghost of Tom Joad”-Bruce Springsteen (Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck)

5.”Paranoid Android”-Radiohead (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams)

6.”Mr.Tambourine Man”-Bob Dylan (Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson)*

7.”Satellite of Love”-Lou Reed (Ghostwritten by David Mitchell)*

8.”The River”-P.J. Harvey (The River by Flannery O’Connor)

9.”Myla Goldberg”-The Decemberists (Bee Season by Myla Goldberg)

10.”Ground Beneath Her Feet”-U2 (Ground Beneath Her Feet by Salman Rushdie)

11.”Norwegian Wood”-The Beatles (Norwegian Wood by Hakuri Murakami)*

12.”Disorder”-Joy Division (Crash by J.G. Ballard)

13.”Girlfriend in a Coma”-The Smiths (Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland)*

14.”La Pastie de la Bourgeoisie”-Belle & Sebastian (Catcher in the Rye by J.G. Salinger)

15.”Holland 1945″-Neutral Milk Hotel (Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank)

16.”Alice”-Tom Waits (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll)

17.”Little Green”-Joni Mitchell (Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore)*

18.”My Vien Ilin”-Ted Leo & the Pharmacists (The Odyssey by Homer)