|I think I'm only going to post about those B-musicals if something just demands to be registered; so far, all four I've seen have been diverting but not-earthshaking, and summarizing them is feeling like a chore. The best by some distance was the Paramount oddity Sweater Girl (1942, William Clements, which combines a college-show setting, early Jule Style/Frank Loesser numbers, and some murder-mystery elements that are oddly "heavy," given the tone of the whole. In particular, the hit of the movie, "I Don't Want to Walk Without You [Baby]," is introduced as having just been written by Johnny Johnston. When he broadcasts the song over some sort of intra-campus carrier station, we see and hear a full chorus, and then cut to the rest of the cast at a break in their rehearsal, who listen as he's strangled to death on the other end at about bar 15. Early Capitol signee Johnston, by the way, was a genuinely talented singer (he had one of the biggest hit versions of "Laura") and capable guitarist who was briefly married to MGM soprano Katherine Grayson. Otherwise, pleasant work by Eddie Bracken and the now-obscure June Preisser, a sort of proto-Debbie Reynolds who also happened to be an adept contortionist.|
Curious Mountain Goat sighting: Peter Hughes interviewed by "personal productivity" dude Merlin Mann. Loving the bit where he contrasts the sense of "mission" experienced on tour with his day-to-day life. I'm with ya, Pete.
What I've been trying to tell you, via a Seed piece quoted on (and linked from) Language Log:
"In a recent study, Deena Skolnick, a graduate student at Yale, asked her subjects to judge different explanations of a psychological phenomenon. Some of these explanations were crafted to be awful. And people were good at noticing that they were awful—unless Skolnick inserted a few sentences of neuroscience. These were entirely irrelevant, basically stating that the phenomenon occurred in a certain part of the brain. But they did the trick: For both the novices and the experts (cognitive neuroscientists in the Yale psychology department), the presence of a bit of apparently-hard science turned bad explanations into satisfactory ones."
"One of the major functions of the avant-garde is to contribute to the imaginative erotic life of teenagers."
-- Mark Grief, in P.S. 1 Symposium: A Practical Avant-Garde, (n+1, 2006) [Buyer beware: your just read the most striking line in the whole transcribed discussion.]
"[T]o the huge number of uncultivated people who have been brought up in tasteless homes by commonplace or disagreeable parents [...] literature, painting, sculpture, music, and affectionate personal relations come as modes of sex if they come at all. The word passion means nothing else to them."
-- George Bernard Shaw, Afterword to Pygmalion, 1916