Mr. Brown and I have been doing vinyl swaps now that I live within a day's drive. This most recent one goes back to, I think, February. We pick out six albums we want to expose the other to, then hand them over until the next time we see one another. The albums in my most recent bag from Brown included Steve Earle's 2021 J.T. and it is exceptional.
Other than a few failed attempts at getting into Copperhead Road back around 2008, the only thing I really know about Steve Earle is he did a stint on HBO's brilliant Treme, where unlike most of the other Louisana musicians who appeared on the show as themselves, Earle played fictional local musician Harley Watt.
The linear notes for J. T. tell the story of Justin Townes Earle, the first son and, by his own right, accomplished musician/songwriter who recorded and toured for nine studio albums before he passed away at the age of 38 in 2020. J.T. then, is Steve Earle and his band The Dukes recording a selection of his son's songs (one original closes out the album). Pretty powerful stuff. I'm not familiar with Justin Townes Earle's stuff outside of spinning this record half a dozen times now, but I can see why the term "genre agnosticism" keeps coming up when I read about him. The track I selected today has a very early 90s jangle pop sound hidden amidst its straight country leanings.
Sunday night K and I sat down to watch Sidney Lumet's 1975 film Network.
I'd seen half this movie back in the USPS Netflix days, when whatever DVD release they stocked needlessly split the 2-hour and 1-minute film onto two discs, apparently unknown to the service, who only sent me one disc. After that, well, Network faded to the back of my mind until I noticed it on HOBOMAX recently.
The prescience of this film - released in 1975 - is staggering today. This predicts EVERYTHING about our media-defined reality in 2023: The "Howard Beale Show" almost seems a template for every influencer, toktik "star" and social media celeb. The lengths the network will go, the manner in which everyone who doesn't agree falls quickly in line when they see the reactions of the masses (republican party 2015 anyone?) and the general disconnect Diana Christensen has from the world and the people around her - for anything other than the television - is so spot on with our world it's frightening. I really want to try and hit Cronenberg's Videodrome in the next day or two now, as I think these would be a perfect double feature.
Alice in Chains - Jar of Flies
Fen - Epoch
A Perfect Circle - Mer De Noms
Sleep - The Sciences
The Sword - Warp Riders
Slayer - Decade of Aggression
I felt compelled to stay with the Thoth Deck for this morning's Pull, so here we go:
• 4 of Cups Luxury - 4's traditionally denote stability, and when Crowley named his version of the 4 of Cups "Luxury" he did so as an intimation that, removed from the Earthen themes of Disks (pentacles), the luxury here is a stable, healthy emotional mind frame. This is the opposite of manic, which incidentally, is how I've felt the last two days.
• Prince of Swords - the Intellect when applied to the interconnectivity of relationships, whether they be personal or Earthly (ie legal and the like) - this is the road out of manic ville - thinking with purpose.
• 8 of Swords Interference - Pretty self-explanatory; it pains me to say that, when my mental gears are not processing something I've just read, watched or listened to, my thinking tends to be rather passive. I get carried away on flights of fancy very easily, resurface and often have nothing to show for it. THIS is what eats my productivity as a writer, but it also leaves my mind lazy. This then, is what I have to watch out for, as it produces a lethargy that then manifests (eventually) as a manic state.
I definitely could see how Network ties into this; television in general.