Audiobooks I’ve Heard So Far This Year

Midnight Haul, Max Allan Collins
Quarry, Max Allan Collins
The Baby Blue Rip-Off, Max Allan Collins
Library of the World’s Best Mystery & Detective Stories, edited by Julian Hawthorne
Animal Farm, George Orwell
Great Expecations, Charles Dickens
The Woman Who Married a Cloud—The Collected Short Stories of Jonathan Carroll
The Call of the Wild, Jack London
The Land That Time Forgot, Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Man Who Knew Too Much, G.K. Chesterton
Tom Sawyer Abroad, Mark Twain
Johnny Carson, Henry Bushkin

Rock Gods #351: Adventures in Our Little Music Scene

You don’t notice the cliques forming at the Bullfinch unless it’s a very busy night or a very quiet night.
On a crowded evening the groups clump off like sovereign states in a republic—they’re all there for the same thing, but they identify in separate sections and cultures.
There are the college cool kids, the street youth., the undergrounders, the “professionals” from bands and studios and record shops, and the shy ones by the door who aren’t sure they’re gonna stay.
On quiet nights, when the band’s not that good and everybody’s there to drink, every table in the Finch could be available and only one will be occupied to overflowing. On those nights, the crowd divides thus: those who know each other and those who don’t. And if those who don’t have the price of a pitcher and are willing to share, then they’re allowed to switch tables with alacrity.
On Friday, a conceptual dance night, half the tables in the club were removed at the request of the band—a hotshot act from a big city. The effect was doubly disorienting. You didn’t know who to hang with, there were less places in which to do it once you’d figured out the “who” part.
What confounded the most was the realization that dancing matters to our little crowd. It’s the great divider. Many us grew up despising dance clubs and everything they stood for. We might bounce vertically, or trot clockwise with elbows akimbo, but we felt that we were safely among fellow disestablishment terpsichoreans (those who are against the practice of dancing). So even an ironic performance-art oriented dance event was polarizing.
Someone we thought we knew, really knew, did some moves—as a joke, she swears—and we couldn’t contain our disbelief. A married couple did a swingdance routine they say they learned in birthing class. And the folks whom we’d swear must have insisted on attending every school dance and prom from sixth grade onwards? They sat on their hands.
Dance stance. Each to their own revolution.

Tonight: The Wonder Books, power pop that’s too good for us, at the Bullfinch… Tanglewood at Hamilton’s, with a horn section… An Evening with The Hawthornes at D’Ollaire’s. Short evening…

Riverdale Book Review

Rhyming Gag Titles in Archie’s Funhouse Comics Double Digest #12
Sad Lad
Theme Scheme
Heap Cheap
Work Turk
Library Lunacy
Sum Fun
Sock Yock, or “I Made a Big Hit Tonight”

I find the idea of titling these gags amusing enough already—the title takes up a panel, and the gag itself only lasts two to four panels—but it’s even funnier when the title has a lengthy subtitle. It’s a throwback to the overly words comic strips of the turn of the 20th century, which were so festooned with titles and captions and descriptives as to make the drawings superfluous. But even that style of overexplanatory panels was passé by the time Archie was created in the early 1940s.

Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

The City, Dean Koontz
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin
Missing Reels, Farran Smith Nehme
Off the Record (The Record Series Book 1), K.A. Linde
On the Record (The Record Series Book 2), K.A. Linde
For the Record (The Record Series Book 3), K.A. Linde
The Saint in Action, Leslie Charteris

Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally, Bob Zmuda & Lynne Margulies
I Must Say, Martin Short
My Life is a Situation Comedy, Bill Persky
Chasing the Ripper, Chasing the Ripper
And Now…—An Oral History of Late Night With David Letterman
Charlie Chaplin—A Brief Life, Peter Ackroyd
The New England Life of Bob Montana, Carol Lee Anderson
Pranksters—Making Mischief in the Modern World, Kembrew McLeod