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Monday, August 18, 2008

Whine Pairing

posted by on August 18 at 16:30 PM

Occasionally, Paul Constant takes a book out for a lunch date on the Slog. Sometimes, I too read books. Frequently, while listening to music. Every once in a while, the book/record combo will just click. When that happens, and as the mood strikes me, I may make a point of letting Line Out know about it.

This weekend, I was finally reading The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead by David Shields. I tore through it, but it still took the duration of several records. One record fit perfectly: Alopecia by Why? The obvious common thread here is, of course, death. Shields works out his morbid fixations with precise biological and biographical detail; Why?’s Yoni Wolf exorcises his using more oblique strategiesórecurring poetic images and themes; cold, hollow tonal spaces. There are other connectionsólooming father figures (although that’s more pronounced on Why?’s “Fall Saddles” from Elephant Eyelash than it is on Alopecia), sexual urges and their resulting moral conflicts, basketball courts, Judaica, atheism. Also, they’re both excellent. Alopecia (and, really, everything by Why?) is pretty lyrically dense, which can sometimes make for a distracting reading soundtrack, but if you’re already accustomed to its songs (as you should be), it’s easy enough, and a fine pairing.

RSS icon Comments

1

This would be a great regular feature, Eric.

I love that Shields book, and am eagerly awaiting his next one, which is supposed to be amazing too.

And I need to check out that Why? record ASAP. Thanks for the reminder!

Posted by Chris Estey | August 19, 2008 10:07 AM
2

yes, chris, you do need to check out that why? album. easily one of my favorites this year and a great concert at vera to boot...

i haven't read this book, but i read his black planet book about race in the nba and it was hellllazzzzz good

Posted by ndrwmtsn | August 19, 2008 11:11 AM

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