Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm Your Man

(Play/Pause music at right)

So much time so little to write.

Strike that. Reverse it...

Yes and yes, evening has descended during my sabre-toothed tiger nap and I now greet my shadowy companions by the artificial light of this writing machine, and the flickerflame that is the my willful will.

I am pleased to announce that the new Culture Grits site is planning to be up and running full-speed by the beginning of September. Hail - I - You - Jah. The faithful - ok, more or less - among you will be familiar with the luminous publication (my new word I just made up for any online publication: a publication not read BY light, but made of it) and may have even been following the sweat-soaked-saga that is the Memphis Soul Series that I have been chronicling since the publication was ignited.

I have been reading the amazing book The Botany of Desire by the curiously named Michael Pollan. Pollan has gone on to mega-celebrity with tomes like The Omnivore's Dilemma, but Botany' is a really special book that posits the role that human desire has played in the co-evolution of people and specific plant species.

Pollan's corollaries line up as follows:

Sweetness - Apples
Beauty - Tulips
Intoxication - Marijuana
Control - Potatoes

This book is an enegetic rush of ideas that can leap from tulip flowers bankrupting the country of Holland, to the proclamation that best gardening in the '80s and '90s in America was carried out by underground pot-pirates, to the labeling of Johnny Appleseed as The American Dionysus. However, we arrive at each amazing revelation via Pollan's measured, jewel-cutter writing, which is informed by both a gardener's eye and a poet's ear.

I recently watched the film Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen. 'Cohen is a very entertaining doc that captures Cohen's day to day life in Montreal, on a holiday visit to see his family in 1965. At this point, our hero is already living on the island of Hydra in the Greek Adriatic.

He is a well-known, award-winning poet and novelist in his native Canada. He is not yet a singer/songwriter, but one scene finds him singing one of his poems in a strict melody - almost like a Cantor - over a simple grouping of chords.

This film is great - if slightly sycophantic - and Cohen comes off as one would expect: sincere, sad, dreamy, and hilarious. This movie makes a great bookend to the disappointing music-film I'm Your Man.

In fact, it might be worth considering a Sleepless Film Festival of Cohen-inspired movies.

I'm thinking Ladies and Gentlemen', I'm Your Man, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, and maybe even one of Leonard's Miami Vice episodes...

If you are inclined toward a liking of song/poems and music/words, please take the time to check out the following links to preview my new CD Blue Turns Black, enjoy free downloads from my previous releases, and explore this site.

You can also explore Blue Turns Black using the player on the right side of this page.

Be gentle in your sleepy hands on this world.
Be a killer in Heaven.

Joe Nolan

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