Late Night Music/Fashion Open Thread

Shout-out to beloved Malaysian Balloon Juice correspondent Amir Khalid!

Via NYMag‘s ladyblog The Cut, “Malaysian Pop Superstar Yuna on Fashion, Race, and Not Showing Her Hair.” I enjoy the lady’s music, yes, but I seriously envy her way with a headwrap. I would happily go full-metal Georgette Heyer “terrifying old lady in a turban” mode… except that on me, the look comes off as “drag Drew Carey impersonator”.

RIP Guy Clark

There are some people who become type specimens.  They’re the folks who define the characteristics of the category of folks to whom they belong.  Guy Clark was — or rather, given what remains — continues to be the type specimen of the singer-songwriter.

Charles Pierce has already written his remembrance of this artist, who died today of what sounds like complications of a hard-lived, powerfully felt life:

He was a craftsman in all the best senses of the word–in the way he created his songs, and in the way he told his stories, and in the places the music took you…

That’s exactly right.  And yeah, go read the rest, and listen to Charlie’s picks of the Guy Clark songs that resonate for him.

For me?  Well, the first number I recall was his biggest mainstream hit, “L. A. Freeway” — which holds up OK, but isn’t what drew me back to Clark when I started listening to him with intent a few years ago.  This is the one that got me started, at a time (as I face again this year, dammit) when too many people that mattered in my life were dying on me:


This one got me next, and still does:*

And this is the one I think of on the day Guy Clark left us; he’s taken his place in the room he sings us into:

All of which is to say that Clark couldn’t have a good time. He loved a party** — just ask him:

The list goes on. The Hon. Pierce has it right: Clark was a meticulous song writer and a brilliant one (the two modifiers don’t describe the same quality). Dive in anywhere, and the worst you’ll get is fine fun. At his best….

Dammit — it’s been a crap year for musicians here in these United States.

I’ll leave you with one more favorite, one that captures the heart of what I love most about Clark — the way his music inhabits a story and vice versa:

Rest in peace, Guy Clark.

*And here’s a lagniappe.  Check out this tune, the one Clark sends us to in an homage and something of a statement — a recognition of the league in which Guy himself could play.

**In the old days, when it was Clark and Townes Van Zandt and some more bad boys and girls, I don’t think I could have come close to keeping up, had I had the amazing fortune to be in the right bar at the right time.  But that’s another story.  If you want to read up  on Mr. Clark — this is a fine and recent profile.

Saturday Night Open Thread: Eurovisions

William Lee Adams, in the NYTimes:

Stockholm — ON Tuesday, during the first semifinal of the Eurovision song contest, the Bosnian singers Deen and Dalal stood onstage inside Stockholm’s Globen Arena singing to each other through a barbed-wire fence. As they crooned about love, a woman in strategically sheer leggings squeezed a cello with her gym-honed legs. She didn’t seem to mind that her gold tinfoil jacket made her look like a rotisserie chicken.

Despite rapturous applause from 14,000 spectators, the act failed to advance to the final, leaving a nation of Eurovision fans mourning.

Two days later, Deen and Dalal’s stage director, Haris Pasovic, told me that the foil jacket represented the blankets given to Syrian refugees landing on the Greek island of Lesbos…

At Eurovision, whose final will be broadcast live for the first time in the United States on Saturday, much is lost in translation. But everything — a shirtless acrobat spinning around a pole (Slovenia), a hologram of a naked man with a wolf (Belarus), a singer clutching a peach (Italy) — is steeped in meaning….
Read more

Tuesday Night Open Thread: Equal Funds

Kudos to Ms. Lauper, and James Corden, too.

What’s on the agenda tonight, besides the usual polticial meltdowns?

Saturday Morning Pop Culture Open Thread

(via Slate)

Seven Samurai is the version I know, so I don’t have an allegiance to the “original” American remake. I adore Denzel Washington, I like Chris Pratt & Jennifer Lawrence, and Anton Fuqua’s Training Day was very good IMO. So we may not get around to seeing this in a theatre (the Spousal Unit does not have a strong stomach for on-screen violence), but I’ll watch it at home eventually.

On a rather different topic, while I am not qualified to have an opinion on Beyonce’s Lemonade, I know some commentors like Melissa Harris Perry’s work and you might have missed this, because Elle. And before you explain how separate you are from this topic, you might at least enjoy the way it sent Alex Jones a little further over the edge
Apart from entertainment & arguing, or arguing about entertainment, what’s on the agenda for the day?

Thursday Night Open Thread: Breathe

(h/t commentor SCAV)

Feels like we need a break. What’s on the agenda?

Afternoon Open Thread

After listening to an absolutely obscene amount of Prince in the past few days, I think I can say with a good deal of certainty that my favorite all time song is Take Me With You. It’s charming piece, a sweet love song, and the way Prince and Appolonia’s voices harmonize make it so sexy and with a sense of yearning and desire and potential. It makes you feel good and makes you think about the freshness and intensity of young love.

Every day since his death I’ve woken up with this song in my head. It’s just a perfect little song. It’s beautiful and bright and sunny and upbeat and just makes me feel good. In a sense, this simple song triggers more complex emotions than many. I love it.