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Anonymous Poet

3.31.2008

by Stanley Moss

Read it here.

If no one is kissing you, death is real...

I came for you, for you, I came for you

by Steve Duin for the Oregonian

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Bruce takes requests.

For the first two hours of Friday night's reunion with the E Street Band at the Rose Garden, an intrepid fan held up an over sized Oregon license plate reading "JNG LND," begging Springsteen to take one more stab at romance and disappear with the faithful down Flamingo Lane.

After opening his encore with "Girls in Their Summer Clothes," Bruce pulled the sign from the crowd, turned to the band and held it aloft, informing pianist Roy Bittan there'd been a change of plans and warning Clarence Clemons to warm up the saxophone.

And with that we were off again, the midnight gang assembled, rendezvousing 'neath that giant Exxon sign that brings this fair city light.

Springsteen and the band lit up Portland with a show that featured one of his classic greetings from Asbury Park, "For You," and convinced just about everyone in the house he came all this way especially for them, and for them only.

Danny Federici didn't make the trip, and Bruce's wife, Patti Scialfa, was back in New Jersey. "We have the three teenagers now, so the fort must be guarded," Springsteen said. "Just as I was leaving, the pot cookies were coming out of the oven. Sent a few over here, it looks like."

But guitarists Steve Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren were in their glory, drummer Max Weinberg was at his locomotive best, and Clemons had just enough energy to drag that sax to center stage and bring out the best of "Jungleland," "Radio Nowhere," and "Badlands."

That's saying something, given the sense of theater at the Rose Garden. Springsteen was an hour late reaching the stage, but once he arrived, every song felt original, every line heartfelt, every musical bridge a tribute to the band's ability to change direction on the run.

Like "Jungleland," "For You," Springsteen acknowledged, was an answer to a special request from the crowd. For three girls from Lake Oswego, so was the scene that played out backstage after the concert.

In her college application essay, my daughter, Lauren, wrote about last summer's raid, with several friends and cousins, on Springsteen's Jersey compound in hopes of meeting the guy whose music she's grown up with.

Because the group ran into Bruce's black poodle and a security guard, but not the rock star, I sent the essay to Jon Landau, Springsteen's manager, and asked if there was any chance Lauren could meet Bruce in Portland.

Amazingly, there was. As the dust settled and the echoes died on "American Land," Jerry Fox Jr., the head of security, met a group of 30 of us and led us downstairs to Bruce's dressing room.

He was standing in the hall, still full of energy, catching up with old friends, greeting new ones, in no hurry to say goodbye to anyone. When Lauren and her two friends, Rachael and Leila, clustered around him for a photograph, he gathered them in again after the flash went off and requested a second take.

And when the girls mentioned Lake Oswego -- where Bruce was married to his first wife, Julianne Phillips, a model and actress in the 1980s and 1990s -- the name of the town sent Bruce lurching into an old vaudeville routine, intoning, "Slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch . . ."

He was so gracious. He spent five minutes with the girls, talking about Lauren's essay, his dogs and his No Trespassing signs. And when Lauren mentioned one song he didn't play, her lone regret of the evening, Bruce said, "When you come to the next concert, just let someone know the black-poodle girl is coming and she wants to hear 'Thunder Road.' "

I suspect my daughter, like thousands of others who spent the night with Bruce, is listening to it now.

it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive

3.29.2008


Hoo, boy. What a night. My dad and I rode the MAX tonight to the Rose Garden and found our way to our 300 section nosebleed seats. The tickets listed the start time as 7:30. No opening act. They took the stage after 8:30. As my father said, "They make you want it."

Danny Federici (keyboards) was missing, as was Patti, who Bruce said was home with their three teenagers. But everyone else was in full form and completely delivered.

The songs played; not in their correct order (and only those I can remember right now):

"Radio Nowhere"
"She's the One" (total surprise to me and my dad, absolutely awesome)
"Lost in the Flood" (wasn't familiar with this one--it's off Greetings from Asbury Park and it's incredible)
"Lonesome Day" (classic)
"Gypsy Biker"
"For You" (Bruce played it just because someone made a sign requesting it. *swoon*)
"Candy's Room"
"Devil's Arcade"
"Prove it All Night" (such a perfect live song)
"Last to Die" (new song but it's very likable)
"Livin' in the Future" (also new, so new in fact I thought for sure someone else wrote it and that they were covering it...cause I knew the lyrics...and it was so familiar...)
"The Rising" (we clapped in time throughout the entire thing)
"The Promised Land"
"Long Walk Home" (another home run new song)
"Badlands" (I could not physically bring myself to sit during this song...surely one of the best rock songs ever written)

Bruce makes the set list every night before a show, and will pick songs from all over his decades of music, to the point that some of the band members have to pull our chord charts and listen to the CDs to refresh their memories. How he remembers all the lyrics is extraordinary.

The encore consisted of:

"Girls in their Summer Clothes" (lucky women in the front row)
"Jungleland" (someone handed him a large piece of fabric that had an Oregon license plate with the letters: JUNGLND. He loved it, showed it to the band, showed it to us, and we went ape****. My dad and I screamed the entire lyrics to each other, air-guitared, air-saxophoned, and couldn't believe we were seeing and hearing this masterpiece live. Bruce even managed the heart-wrenching groan vocals at the end.)
"Dancing in the Dark" (I thought anything from the Born in the U.S.A. would never be played, just like Tunnel of Love...but here it was. We also screamed these lyrics, this time with hand-motions no less.)
"Born to Run" (for both this and "Dancing in the Dark" the houselights were on so they could see us all rocking out)
"American Land" (two words: two accordions).

Part of me was appalled at the absence of "Thunder Road", but my dad and I decided that if he always did the Holy Born to Run Trinity ("Jungleland", "Born to Run", "Thunder Road"), what would keep bringing people back? :) And there was no "Atlantic City" or "My Love Will Not Let You Down", but the concert was fantastic no matter what. It's so fun to appreciate musicians who have huge catalogs of work: you can almost always discover something old that is new and fresh to you.

I'm not sure what it is about concerts, why they're so powerful, make me feel so alive. Here are these songs, so many of which were written long before I was born, being played especially for me and my neighbors. Hell yes I'll shell out money for that. To sing back to an artist the words that they wrote. Yes, your songs touched us. They move us still. Thank you. Please keep writing, and visit again soon. BRUUUUUUUUUUCE!

Part 2 in a 100-Part Series of "Broadway Shows Maryann Will Never Forgive Herself for Not Seeing"

3.27.2008


This may be the grand-daddy of them all, and it's only my second entry.

The musical The Boy From Oz originally debuted in 1998 in Melbourne, Australia, and in 2003 became the first Australian musical to make it to Broadway. At the 2004 Tony's the show was nominated for four awards including Best Musical, and Hugh Jackman won Best Actor for his portrayal of legendary Australian singer-songwriter Peter Allen.

All the songs in the show are either written or co-written by Allen, many of which may be recognizable to non-musical fans, such as: "I Honestly Love You", "The Best That You Can Do", and "Don't Cry Out Loud" (which are nowhere near my favorite songs).

I think I heard about this musical in my junior year of college and decided to order the soundtrack from my library. I couldn't believe the man who played Wolverine in the X-Men movies could play a gay pop star, and so well! Other incredible performances include Isabel Keating as Judy Garland and Stephanie J. Block as Liza Minnelli, who was married to Peter for a time.

My friend Anna here at the library lived in New York for a while, and she saw the show on Broadway. I can't tell you how many musicals I discovered for the first time by listening to the soundtrack as I shelved books in the library. But to experience the show on stage, on Broadway, with the original cast? There must be nothing like it.

My favorite songs from The Boy From Oz are "The Lives of Me", "Only An Older Woman", "Come Save Me", "Not the Boy Next Door", "Everything Old is New Again" (have it as a ringtone), "I Still Call Australia Home", "Once Before I Go", "I Go to Rio", and "Tenterfield Saddler".

I really hope someone will make the movie, and that Hugh Jackman won't be too old or too busy to star in it. Heck, I'd take him in any musical. And no, doing a voice in Happy Feet (2006) doesn't count. Thank goodness they videotaped his performance in Oklahoma!, but that's another part of this 100-part series.






This is a picture from Liza and Peter's wedding day with Judy.




















At the final performance on Broadway, Hugh Jackman brought up Matt Damon for a lap dance, and then they both gave one to Barbra Walters.















And if you want to see the man in action, look no further than his 2004 Tony Awards performance of "The Boy Next Door" starring P.Diddy, Sarah Jessica Parker, and a camel.

mcsweeney's lists for a wednesday

3.26.2008

Titles
of Love Songs
I Would Write
for People Like Me.

BY KATHY SALERNO

- - - -

"A Friend Again, Naturally"

"Hopelessly Inexperienced Sexually"

"Mind Boyfriend's Back"

"Wishing, Hoping, Checking Your MySpace Relationship Status"

"Never Gonna Ask You Out, Never Gonna Make My Move"

"Give Me Just a Little More Time (By Then You'll Surely Be Dating Someone Else)"

"Are You That Anybody?"

"Let's Give Them Something to Prove I'm Straight"



Broadway Musicals
Written by Gender-Studies Professors.

BY SASCHA COHEN

- - - -

Annie Get Your Symbol of Violent, Colonizing Western Masculinity

Hello, Doula!

How to Succeed in Unpaid, Undervalued Domestic Labor Without Really Trying

The Best Little Female-Operated Sex-Worker Co-op in Texas

Bye Bye Burqa

Joseph and the Amazing Heterosexist Dreamcoat of Male Privilege

Jesus Christ Oppressive Religious Figure

Lys Mys


Brews
to Accessorize
the Modern Hipster.

BY KEVIN SCHEITRUM

- - - -

I Liked These Guys Before Anybody Else Knew About Them English Bitter

Boys Don't CrIPA

Oh Fuck My Rent Check Didn't Come in the Mail Bock

Fixed-Gear Bicycleweisse

Essentially Empty Yet Always Present Messenger Baggleywine

Almost Stout of the Closet

All My Friends Are White Ale

So What If I Messed Up Your Starbucks Order Porter

Rummage Sale Pale Ale

I Don't Really Like This but I'm Drinking It to Get Back at My Parents and/or Friends With an Overt and Crass Display of Being Cultured Lambic

I Am Entirely Fucking Done With Society Because It Is Run by Corrupt and Criminally Exploitative Man-Machines Who Don't Give One Shit for Anyone or Anything Except for Money and Power Light Lager

Sleeping Pillsner

I've had enough.

3.24.2008



I'm sick of wearing hats. I'm sick of straightening and curling. I'm sick of trying to defy gravity (flying high, defying gravity). I wanted to call and make an appointment at a salon all this weekend. My Easter hair was disgusting--wiry, greasy, thin, flat, and worst of all, my dark, dark roots. My life is so hard.

What I'm asking for: "Please cut as much as you think I can get away with." I know that only old women and hot androgynous models look good with short hair, but I can't stand my hair when it's long. Actually, so many of my favorite women starlets rocked short hair: Leslie Caron, Liza Minnelli, Barbra, Audrey Heburn, Shirley MacLaine, Kate Hepburn, Julie Andrews. I could be in worse company.

I would luuuuuuve something along these lines if my hair could take it:


In other good news, my rope sandals arrived and I may never wear anything else ever again.

I had a fantastic Easter.



Amazing people, amazing food, amazing conversations, amazing service at St. Mark's, and amazing God. This picture is for my friends from the dining room table.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

3.20.2008


I can't put this is in my 100 part series of "Musicals Maryann Will Never Forgive Herself for Not Seeing" because this isn't a musical. They could make it into one...but that's a different story.

Terrence Howard (Jackie in The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992)!, but especially from The Best Man (1991) with Taye Diggs) is going to star on Broadway in an all-black production of Tennessee William's Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.

He will be playing the alcoholic former football star Brick, Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls (2006)) his wife Maggie, James Earl Jones (aka Darth Vader--one of his many great roles) as Big Daddy, and Phylicia Rashad (Cosby Show) plays Big Momma. To top it off, Debbie Allen is directing.

My only experience with the play is from the 1958 film starring Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, and Burl Ives (the snowman from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer). If you are headed to New York any time soon, be sure to try to go see the show, but if not, rent the movie. Everyone gives strong performances with classic direction from Richard Brooks.

Lost in the Stars

3.18.2008

Before Lord God made the sea and land
He held all the stars in the palm of his hand
And they ran through his fingers like grains of sand
And one little star fell alone

Then the Lord God hunted through the wide night air
For the little dark star in the wind down there
And he stated and promised he'd take special care
So it wouldn't get lost again.

Now, a man don't mind if the stars go dim
And the clouds blow over and darken him
So long as the Lord God's watching over him
Keeping track how it all goes on

But I've been walking through the night and the day
Till my eyes get weary and my head turns gray
And sometimes it seems maybe God's gone away
Forgetting his promise and the word he'd say

And we're lost out here in the stars
Little stars big stars blowing through the night
And we're lost out here in the stars
Little stars big stars blowing through the night
And we're lost out here in the stars



"Lost in the Stars" is a 1949 musical with book and lyrics by Maxwell Anderson and music by Kurt Weill based on the novel Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton.

yak butter candle

Tibet, summer 2006

Via Negativa

by R.S. Thomas

Read it here.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

3.17.2008


Ok, Leprechauns really have nothing to do with this holiday besides an association with Ireland, but Finian's Rainbow (1968) is the most Irish thing on my radar right now. Tommy Steele (far right) plays Og the Leprechaun who travels to find Fred Astaire who stole his gold and took it to Rainbow Valley.

And to come full circle, the third man from the left is Don Francks--the main singer from "The Great Come-And-Get-It-Day" video I posted. His voice is one-of-a-kind--so I looked to see if he had recorded anything else.

I found out his daughter is Cree Summer--another fantastic singer! Her album Street Faerie was produced and even features her longtime friend Lenny Kravitz. So I bought two of her songs: "Miss Moon" and "Revelation Sunshine" which I am enjoying immensely!

There's no trivia tonight at Mulleady's, it being an Irish Pub and all. But if you are looking for a fun place to spend St. Paddy's Day, you should check it out!

McSweeney's

MIDLIFE-CRISIS

BIBLE STORIES.

BY SUSAN SCHORN

- - - -

The Garden of Eden

Before expelling Adam and Eve from Eden, God gave them a final test.
Taking each of them aside separately, He said, "Look, I'm willing to let you stay,
but only if your partner is exiled from Paradise forever."

The Lord had hoped they would refuse such an unfair offer.
But instead each exclaimed, "Yes! Let me stay! It wasn't my fault!"

Appalled by their disloyalty, God threw them both out into the wilderness,
to suffer and toil for all eternity.

But at least they had each other.



Noah's Ark

In the Great Flood that God, in His anger, sent upon the Earth, every
living thing that was not on the ark perished. And this was a vast relief to Noah,
who had taken out a second mortgage to finance the ark. So when the waters receded
he built an altar and offered sacrifices to the Lord, in thanks for his superb credit rating.

But then Noah realized that, along with all the bankers and mortgage brokers,
so, too, had all the Earth's boat dealerships been swept away.
And there went his dream of trading in the ark for a 73-foot Rizzardi CR Hard Top.

It was a stupid fucking dream anyway.



The Annunciation

God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary in Nazareth, and Gabriel said,
"Hail, Mary! You have been chosen by God to bear His only begotten son."
And Mary, being pure of heart and way too young to know what she was getting into,
said, "It shall be as you say, for I am the Lord's servant."

Then the angel went on, "And this son will bring you nothing but misery.
He'll have a big mouth and an attitude to match. He'll be in constant trouble with the law
and spend all his spare time drinking with his friends.
And he'll never produce any grandchildren for you, or even bring home a decent girlfriend.
But he'll tell anyone who listens how great his father is."

And Mary thought, "Well, maybe the next one will be a girl."



A Prophet Without Honor

Jesus returned to his hometown of Nazareth, accompanied by his apostles.
And everyone there doubted the stories they heard about him, saying,
"He does miracles? You mean Jesus, the carpenter? You've got to be kidding me!
I've known that loser since he was 9. My sister beat him up once."

So Jesus said, "Screw you guys. I should have known this place hadn't changed."

And Jesus swore he would never attend another high-school reunion as long as he lived.

For a Five-Year-Old

3.16.2008

by Fleur Adcock

Read it here.

3.13.2008



      We do not grow
         absolutely, chronologically.

We grow sometimes in one dimension,

A
N
D

N
O
T

I
N

A
N
O
T
H
E
R, UnEvEnLy.  We grow p.a.r.t.i.a.l.l.y.

We are relative.
         We are mature in one realm, 
                                    childish in another.


- Anais Nin

Rain

3.11.2008

I love all films that start with rain:
rain, braiding a windowpane
or darkening a hung-out dress
or streaming down her upturned face;

one long thundering downpour
right through the empty script and score
before the act, before the blame,
before the lens pulls through the frame

to where the woman sits alone
beside a silent telephone
or the dress lies ruined on the grass
or the girl walks off the overpass,

and all things flow from that source
along their fatal watercourse.
However bad or overlong
such a film can do no wrong,

so when his native twang shows through
or when the boom dips into view
or when her speech starts to betray
its adaptation from the play,

I think to when we opened cold
on a rain-dark gutter, running gold
with the neon of a drugstore sign,
and I'd read into its blazing line:

forget the ink, the milk, the blood--
all was washed clean with the flood
we rose up from the falling waters
the fallen rain's own sons and daughters

and none of this, none of this matters.


- Don Paterson

I just bought an album by a 83 year old woman

3.06.2008



Ok, technically she was 77 years old at the time of the recording.

If, God willing, I even live anywhere near that age, I may not be much like Mother Theresa, but I would settle for Elaine Stritch.

One of musical theaters best broads.  Amazing comedic timing.  Elaine Stritch: At Liberty is her self-examination/stand-up/Hollywood-tell-all/concert of her life story.  She performs the whole thing in a white button-up shirt, black tights and heels.  And it won two emmys.  She also won an emmy for her appearance on 30 Rock as Jack's mother.

I love her stories of Rock Hudson, Judy Garland, Noel Coward, Marlon Brando, Ethel Merman, Richard Burton, Rosalind Russell, Gloria Swanson, and more.  What an exciting time to be an actor and singer.  

She's been in Pal Joey, Company, Call Me Madam, Bus Stop, Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf, and more.  She bitter, tragic, crotchety, talented, hilarious, and sharp as a tack.  She's old as you can get, and it hasn't slowed her down one ounce.

"Two drinks a day, on or off stage. Two drinks a day. Two drinks a day. TWO drinks a day. It doesn't work! Not when you want eleven. And not when you start shopping for wineglasses in the vase department at Bloomingdale's." 

The saddest part of the show is when she sings "Not for Me/If Love is All."

Old man sunshine, listen you
never tell me dreams come true
just try it
and I'll start a riot

Beatrice Fairfax don't you dare
ever tell me he will care
I'm certain
It's the final curtain

I never wanna hear from any cheerful Pollyanna
who tells you fate
supplies a mate
it's all bananas

I believe in doing what I can
crying when I must
laughing when I choose
hey ho, if love were all
I would be lonely

I believe the more you love a man
the more you give your trust
the more you're bound to lose
although when shadows fall

I think if only somebody splendid
really needed me
someone affectionate and dear
cares would be ended if I knew that he
wanted to have me near

He's knocking on a door
not for me
he'll plan a two by four
by not for me

When every happy plot
ends with a marriage knot
but there's no knot for me

Cares would be ended if I knew that he
wanted to have me near...

I believe that since my life began
the most I've had is just 
a talent to amuse
hey ho, if love were all


It's so depressing.  Elaine actually did marry a man named John Bay, but only for 10 years before he died of cancer.

Now I have to buy the Judy Garland album of her live at Carnegie Hall, where she too sang "If Love Were All."

Pamela Sukhum










Learn about her here.

Van Gogh's Prayer

By J├ínos Pilinszky

Read it here.

The Catch

3.05.2008

by A.E. Stallings

Read it here.

Desert Island Discs: Movies

3.03.2008

Ok, so now that we've done music, we must do movies.

If I was stranded on an island and could only watch 5 movies ever again, they would be these 5:

1. An American in Paris (1951)
2. Funny Girl (1968)
3. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
4. The Red Shoes (1948)
5. Holiday (1938)

I feel like this list would change every day if someone kept asking me.  If I could add 5 more:

6. Almost Famous (2000)
7. Kiss Me Kate (1953)
8. Amelie (2001)
9. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
10. You've Got Mail (1998)

Hard, man.  Really tough.

Yours?

Oh no she didn't.

3.02.2008

This has to be the worst music video of all time.
Roger Daltrey.  Mikhail Baryshnikov.  Barbra singing to 'punk rockers.'  Best of all?  Someone had the incredible nerve to create a making the video documentary.