WWSP's "The Alternate Boot!"

Friday, February 14, 2020

Reading is a Superpower!

Reading is a super-power. The human imagination, another super-power.

Sub-zero freeze here. But who gives a damn? I'm time-traveling and head-tripping.

The last week or so, I have been living in Jamaica 1976. Reading Marlon James' fabulous novel "A Brief History of Seven Killings." (2014). I am nearly 200 pages into the novel (total pages 688), and already, I am hoping it never ends. The story is told by 75 different characters. Amazing book. "The Singer" (Bob Marley) hovers over the whole thing, the early action all revolves around him too.

It wasn't long ago I was buried in Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov." (1879-1880). I lived and breathed crazy, emotional, irrational Russians, day by day.

From old-world rural Russia to concrete jungle, urban Jamaica in few leaps of the page.

It's funny, I do feel super-empowered. Hell, a hefty tome, an over-stuffed novel, a long, rambling narrative? No problem. I mean,  over the years I've read Melville's "Moby Dick" (1851) twice, and I even tackled David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest" (1996). I read every page of Jest, 1079 pages. I read every damn footnote too.

I do not feel intimidated by a fat book at all. Super-power, indeed.

The A.M. soundtrack - The Rolling Stones' "Goats Head Soup" (1973). Some folks over-look this one. It's actually a fabulous record. I highly recommend the 1994 CD Virgin remaster by Bob Ludwig. Sounds tremendous. One of the best sounding Stones records ever recorded. Primarily recorded in Kingston, Jamaica. The drug-ravaged, tax-exiled band chilling out on the island. Keith Richards deep into his heroin addiction. Supposedly the legendary Producer Jimmy Miller was strung-out too, nodding out often during the sessions, cutting Nazi symbols into the recording console. Keith perks up enough to deliver one of his greatest songs: "Coming Down Again." Mick Taylor plays some of his finest lead lines. Jagger also has fabulous moments especially "100 Years Ago," and "Winter." The ballads stand out as the best songs, but I do like the rockers too. Maybe only the last song seems a bit "trying too hard." "Star-fucker," hah! Debauched, decadent r&r. Murky. Druggy. I believe this one definitely stands up to their other classic albums, (Beggars' Banquet, Let it Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street), I mean, a most excellent record. To listen to it today is pure pleasure. The Stones had quite a string of masterpiece r&r albums, for sure.

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