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The Connection

The Connection Blue Note LP cover

Reading Birth of the Cool: Beat, Bebop, and the American Avant-Garde by Lewis MacAdams. I want to see the 1961 film version of The Connection (directed by Shirley Clarke), Jack Gelber’s play originally staged in 1959 by Judith Malina and Julian Beck’s Living Theatre.

Buddy Holly

Reading Greil Marcus’ The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs. I’ve read most of his books over the years (starting with the indispensable Mystery Train), and what I find thrilling about his writing is the way he seamlessly combines deep knowledge with unbridled imagination.

The chapter on Buddy Holly (“Crying, Waiting, Hoping: 1959/1969”) is the best thing I’ve ever read on that artist. “1969” alludes to the Beatles’ attempt, in the studio, at playing the Holly songs that inspired them to start a band in the first place — as their band was falling apart. “A Day in the Life” has a big part in the chapter too. The whole ten-year story, as Marcus tells it, is heartbreaking.

ABKCO Records

Great interview in the new Tape Op (#129) with Teri Landi, curator of the huge ABKCO Records tape archives. Especially the info about Cameo-Parkway recordings, like how there was often gobs of reverb on the tapes that almost disappeared in the transition to 45s.

Presonus Eris 3.5

Presonus Eris 3.5

Wanted a decent, inexpensive pair of powered monitors for everyday listening, so I got these Presonus Eris 3.5s. Very pleased! They’ll be useful for mix-checking, too.