by carl wilson

A Close Shaver


Fingers crossed that everything turns out all right for Billy Joe Shaver. The 67-year-old country songwriting legend (Old Five & Dimers Like Me, Old Lump of Coal, Georgia on a Fast Train) turned himself in yesterday after shooting a guy in the face (what we call "the full Cheney") in the parking lot of a Waco-area bar on the weekend. Shaver says the shooting was in self-defence against a drunk, knife-wielding stranger, an explanation that looks fairly likely to stick. Shaver posted $50K bail and then went to play a gig at Waterloo Records in Austin.

Chris Frey has a valuable piece about how copyright issues are hobbling documentary filmmakers, related to the Open Source Cinema link I posted on Monday.

Eye-gouger of the week: A re-enactment of 9/11. In mime. The Enya soundtrack does not help matters. This video actually reminded me of an excellent story on the This American Life TV show this week, in which a 9/11 widow recounts how she tried to get back to her hobby - standup comedy - in the year after her husband died, and couldn't understand why her jokes - often about her husband - weren't getting laughs after she revealed the context. "I've got the setups, the beats, the punchlines - what could be wrong?" She was so far inside the experience that she couldn't see that other people would be shocked. In the segment, shot more recently, she watches old videos of herself doing the act, and comments that she must have been out of her mind, but at the same time it was something she'd had to do and doesn't regret. Likewise, the mime in the YouTube video is so locked in his "craft's" invisible box that he can't see the tackiness of his act through the invisible wall. (If I could at this point I would link to the great 9/11 song by Milkbag Brother, but it seems to be nowhere online. Assistance, anyone?)

(I'm liking the TV translation of TAL in general, by the way, although I still prefer the radio version - the show is really well done, the photography especially, but beyond the imaginative richness of radio, the fact that the TV version is only a half-hour rather than an hour on a given theme means it loses dimensionality and depth.)

"In the bed sheets of boredom": Someone has YouTubed a whole lot of scopitones and TV clips of Jacques Brel and other French chansonniers with English subtitles. I love Brel, but sometimes the results of the transliterations explain how Seasons in the Sun turned out the way it did. (Don't get me wrong, I like Seasons in the Sun in all its mawkish glory. But it doesn't quite preserve the urbanity of Brel.) His guitar technique, as in this clip of Seul, is also a thing to wonder at.

Ooh, almost forgot: Since I haven't mentioned any of his pieces for a while except in a complainy way, I want to mention that Sasha's current New Yorker piece on Prince is very good: "His songs can be maudlin, clever, obvious, as ornate as Versailles, as simple as pencils, hilarious, crude, breathtakingly wise, corny, and so musically rich that he seems to be working with instruments nobody else owns."

| Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, April 04 at 2:35 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)



I would just like to say that you're absolutely right about the TV show. It looks good, but it doesn't match actually listening to it in a set of headphones. Although, if the tv show was extended to an hour, the decision may be even tougher to make...

Posted by peter on April 6, 2007 4:29 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson