The dumpster guys just emptied their dumpster and carried on like this drunk guy wasn’t even passed out in this alley. Pretty cold out that night as well.
This is the other river in Seawell, the Correb. Old railroad bridge, now just an elaborate perch for birds.
No, the first book I wrote was when I was in first or second grade. It was about some astronauts who try to explore another solar system. I worked it out so that there were exactly as many planets in the solar system as astronauts, each planet a kind of death trap, so they all got picked off one by one.
- William Vollman in The Paris Review’s interview from 2000
Ended up surfing both the long & shortboard at 2 spots north of Seawell. Roadtrip 4 waves…and scored one of the last warm days of the fall.
DAVE HICKEY ON LOU REED
We all remember Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground as starlets at Andy Warhol’s Factory. We forget that Lou was the scythe of sanity amid that clusterfuck. He was a bullshit detector in a scene nose-deep in it. He polished the cold edge of truth in the kingdom of denial by writing songs like “I’m Waiting for the Man” and “Heroin.” Sometimes, in utter secrecy, Lou would even play catcher in the rye and send kids home. One night, when we were talking about the perils and permissions of the Factory, he shrugged. “Sometimes, you have to be hip enough to be square,” Lou said, “if you want to survive.” He survived for 71 years, and it didn’t seem that long.
Now I’m pissed. Lou caught the train and left us at the station. The suicidal survivalist is no more, and the only epitaph I can imagine comes from his own song: “These are the boxes she kept on a shelf / Full of her poetry and stuff.” Because we are left with the boxes, the poetry and stuff, and none of the weepy options the late Lou so despised. The boxes make a book — a cold-eyed narrative of the American street that spans half a century — spanning six great albums, at least, plus a procession of hard-bitten, twilit excursions and a few pyrotechnic catastrophes. We have all that, but we have lost the only artist-on-purpose in a tsunami of entertainers.
We have lost the master of the mundane and the malicious. The first line, in the first song, on his first solo album, states his case: “It’s hard being a man / Living in a garbage pail.” Nobody much sings that kind of song today, and we have lost one of the few performers who could sing that kind of song with conviction, spitting out the lines with no Mick Jagger strut or Bob Dylan preen; he would always sacrifice his “star persona” for the fictional singer of the song that he’d written, however silly, mean, petulant, or soppy the song might be. This accounts for the crowds that populate his music: the poofter in “Vicious,” the wizard in “Wild Child,” the suicidal girl in “Berlin,” the junkie in “Heroin,” and all of Louis Reed’s Dickensian horde of Americans.
The last time I saw Lou, he was sitting with Laurie Anderson in the row in front of me at a screening of Berlin at the Miami Art Fair. The fair had upgraded the speakers, so the music was as stunningly loud, as it should have been. At one point onscreen, Lou is having so much fun playing his cruel songs that he actually smiles. Lou, in the audience, smiled in sympathy with himself; Laurie smiled in sympathy with Lou, and so did I. We were at an art fair, after all. The fair was so silly and the music so harsh and unforgiving that I thought of a line from one of his poems: “If all the beach was made of diamonds, sand would be the stone of value.” Lou Reed had a lot of sand. So the Everly Brothers should be singing this today: “Bye, bye Lou….”
- DAVE HICKEY from weisslink art newsletter (via derekfenner)
Certain Chinese arcade b-ball games are prized over others in Seawell. ‘Pleasant Sheep’ is so strange of a translation of ‘swish’ that we don’t even care that the shitty Lakers are featured on its backboard. Got a quarter?