Sunday, November 18, 2007

ROBERT EARL KEEN, THE FREEBIRD BOOKSTORE, CELINE, PIERRE BAYARD

ONE

ROBERT EARL KEEN is a singer from Texas and did a show at Fillmore East on Irving Place in New York City Saturday night. I knew of him because of his song, "The Road Goes on Forever," which is one of those songs that once heard is never forgotten. Celebrating two young people: drugs, cars, guns...Bombay Gin... and then there is Gringo Honeymoon and Merry Christmas from the Family which has the endearing lyrics: Send somebody to the Quik-Pak store/ We need some ice and an extension cord/ A can of beandip and some Diet Rite/ A box of Tampons and some Marlboro Lights...
The best Keen CDs: Gringo Honeymoon
West Textures

TWO
Pete Miller a publicist at Bloomsbury has in addition to that job taken over a used bookshop in Brooklyn: FREEBIRD 123 Columbia Street. He had a party Sunday night celebrating this and had along the French author, PIERRE BAYARD whose new book HOW TO TALK ABOUT BOOKS YOU HAVEN'T READ is just that: a self-help book for people who don't read.

On my way there Anna the wife told me her cousin was reading the book having been given it by his father who works for Barnes and Noble. According to the cousin all the employees of Barnes and Noble are being given copies of this book. His father didn't have time to read the book so be passed it to his son... of course all those people you see working at Barnes and Noble are not employed because they like to read books. Their chief job is alphabetizing the stock and adding and removing titles based on printouts that come from the central office...

THREE

At the concert two details: an awful lot of the audience spent much of their time talking to each other, working their cellphones, IPhones, Blackberries--- all the while that Keen was singing just like the multi-tasking students in Denis Donoghue's classes. However a lot of people in the audience to which I joined sang along with Keen as we all knew the lyrics from having heard them many many times... something that ding happen many times when I was going to MAGAZINE , JOHN CALE or NICO concerts

FOUR
Brooklyn seemed like a far away place from here on East First Street in Manhattan. Having been one of the very few people at the party who was actually born in Brooklyn-- if maybe the only one--- those long dark streets from the subway station at Bergen, those carved up Browstones all tastefully decorated, the spare modern restaurants good for a pre-suicide snack were pointedly juxtaposed for me by walking over the Brooklyn Queens Expressway... the sound of the noise of rushing cars... the music that a Stockhausen might have appreciated that begins as...

None of those people at the party or in those brownstones were thinking of why as Thomas Wolfe said, only the dead know Brooklyn...

Or as Celine was saying, you have to be a little bit dead to be really funny

1 comment:

Cameron J. said...

thomas--

glad you found my blog. the story you told A. Dillard is easily one of the most captivating parts of A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (excepting the bit about wolves tongues and knives).

also: "you have to be a little bit dead to be really funny" makes me think of warhol.

all best,
cameron turner