At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Saturday, July 24, 2004


These transcriptions are almost too easy to post, but I remember having difficulty as a beginner trying to figure out even basic I-IV-V Dylan songs, so perhaps the following will be useful to some newbies:

Guitar Chords for Van Morrison, "Professional Jealousy":
Verse: Bm7 Gmaj7 D
Bridge: A Bm7 Gmaj7 D A Bm7 Gmaj7 A D (Dmaj7 at the end of the song)

Guitar Chords for Van Morrison, "I'm Not Feeling It Anymore":
Verse: E Amaj7
Chorus: E Amaj7 B

Guitar Chords for Van Morrison, "Peace of Mind":
Verse: D G D G Am7 Bm7 Am7 Bm7 D
Chorus: C C/B D G G/F# Em C C/B D C G

In Hymns to the Silence, the album containing these tracks, Van is notably plaintive for someone so rich, talented, and famous. I guess the human capacity for discontent is more than a match for any combination of outward blessings.

I've got a phone interview coming up with a library in a major metropolitan area! If you believe in prayer say one for me.

This is L.L.'s last week. She says that God told her to quit and start a jewelry business. D.W. will replace her at the cataloging desk, and the Boss is looking into hiring a recent grad of our university to replace D.W. as serials librarian.

L'auberge Espanole recently came out on DVD. Don't see it. It's a boring Eurotrash version of The Real World about eight grad students from across the EU sharing an apartment in Barcelona. There's a hallowed tradition in cinema according to which the easygoing Mediterranean lifestyle has a liberating influence on overly repressed people of northern European stock (e.g. Room With a View, Enchanted April, Under the Tuscan Sun) and I can usually enjoy these movies as fun escapism. L'auberge Espanole is trying to carry on this tradition but the main character, a young Frenchman who trades rainy Paris for sunny Spain, never seemed to me any more likeable for all his hedonistic escapades. He inserts himself with ease into the partygoing set of European hipsters, but given his constantly taciturn personality this social success seems mysterious, as if miraculously arranged by the screenwriters. The fact that he cheats on his girlfriend, yells at his mother, and seduces a friend's wife makes me all the less interested in the outcome of his self-searching. The moral outlook of the film, by the way, is typically leftist--the residents of the auberge tolerate and even celebrate all sorts of debauchery, but the least hint of prejudice or stereotyping throws them into a hissy of self-righteous indignation. The right-thinking counterpart to this film is Whit Stilman's Barcelona, in which acerbic American brothers, one a naval officer, the other a businessman, deflate the pretensions of the trendily anti-American locals.

Also saw The Terminal, a sweet Spielberg confection with little nutritional value, and The Anchorman, which is uneven but has enough good jokes to make it worth a matinee ticket. (Best line in context: "Aqualung!")

Friday, July 23, 2004


"Irish coffee" may help prevent brain damage after a stroke." [Ripped from Crowhill blog.]

Wertkin, Gerard C., ed.  Encyclopedia of American Folk Art.  Routledge, $125. 

Choice: “Entries tend to be detailed, and in some cases, extensive.  The work is heavily and usefully cross-referenced.  Most entries end with brief bibliographies.  Although not heavily illustrated, the work offers a number of interesting color and black-and-white illustrations keyed to specific items.  A welcome addition to an area of art that is becoming increasingly important to American artistic culture.  Highly recommended.”  Booklist: “The editors state that this encyclopedia offers ‘quick and convenient access to a remarkably diverse body of information drawn from three centuries of American folk creativity’—and they are correct.  One missing feature is references in the entry text to relevant plates, and vice versa—plate captions that refer readers to the appropriate entries.  Otherwise, the entries have extensive cross-referencing.  The editors give well-deserved praise to the 92 specialists who wrote the signed entries.  This encyclopedia will be useful to collectors, students, scholars, and experts.  It is an excellent value for the cost and a recommended purchase for academic and large public libraries.”  Library Journal: “This unique and highly useful reference tool is essential for all art libraries.  It is not only crammed with information but also easy to use, fun to browse through, and totally up to the minute.  Highly recommended.”  Reference and Research Book News: “excellent color plates.”