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Tag: Anton Chekhov

Friday, October 2nd

tonight in Chicago

These guys will be playing at Constellation.

The Thing (Mats Gustafsson, baritone and tenor saxophones; Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, bass; Paal Nilssen-Love, drums), live, London, 2010

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lagniappe

reading table

You ask: what is life? That’s like asking: what is a carrot? A carrot is a carrot, and that’s all there is to know.

—Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), letter to wife Olga Knipper-Chekhova, April 20, 1904 (translated from Russian by Cathy Popkin [Anton Chekhov’s Selected Stories, Cathy Popkin, ed.])

Saturday, April 4th

sounds old and new

Nathan Davis (mbira, electronics), Simple Songs of Birth and Return
Live, Chicago, 2014


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lagniappe

reading table

In the fifth century, the sun used to rise every morning and lie down to sleep every evening just as it does now. In the morning, as the first sunbeams kissed the dew, the earth would come to life and the air would fill with sounds of joy, hope, and delight, while in the evening the same earth would fall silent and be swallowed by stern darkness. Day was like day, night like night.

—Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), “Without a Title” (translated from Russian by Robert Chandler [Anton Chekhov’s Selected Stories, Cathy Popkin, ed.])

Thursday, March 12th

never enough

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Suite No. 5 in C minor for Unaccompanied Cello; Anner Bylsma, live, 2000

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reading table

I haven’t got a kopeck, but as I see it, it’s not the person with a lot of money who is rich, but rather the one who has the wherewithal to be alive here and now in the lush, bountiful setting bestowed upon us by early spring.

—Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), letter to Lidia Avilova, April 29, 1892 (trans. from Russian by Cathy Popkin [Anton Chekhov’s Selected Stories, Cathy Popkin, ed.])

Saturday, March 7th

On this date thirty-eight years ago my father died. When I was a child, he often took me to concerts. In the early sixties, at Chicago’s Arie Crown Theater, we saw two guys with short dark beards and a lady with long blond hair.

Peter, Paul and Mary, live (TV show), England, 1965*


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lagniappe

reading table

To a chemist, nothing on earth is unclean.

—Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), letter to Maria Kiselyova, January 14, 1887 (trans. from Russian by Cathy Popkin [Anton Chekhov’s Selected Stories, Cathy Popkin, ed.])

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*Set list (courtesy of YouTube):

1. When the Ship Comes In (Bob Dylan)
2. The First Time (Ewan MacColl)
3. San Francisco Bay Blues (Jesse Fuller)
4. For Lovin’ Me (Gordon Lightfoot)
5. Jesus Met the Woman at the Well (Traditional)
6. Early Morning Rain (Gordon Lightfoot)
7. Jane Jane (Traditional)/Children Go Where I Send Thee (Traditional) (new words & music by DeCormier/Stookey/Yarrow/Travers)
8. The Whole Wide World Around (Tom Glaser lyrics; J.S. Bach St. Matthew Passion melody)
9. Early in the Mornin’ (Paul Stookey)
10. The Times They Are A’Changing (Bob Dylan)
11. The Hangman (The Gallows Pole) (Traditional)
12. On a Desert Island With You in My Dreams (Paul Stookey & Dick Kniss)
13. Puff the Magic Dragon (Leonard Lipton & Peter Yarrow)
14. The Rising of the Moon (Traditional)
15. Come and Go With Me (Traditional)
16. Blowin’ in the Wind (Bob Dylan)
17. If I Had My Way (Rev. Gary Davis)

Sunday, October 19th

sounds of Mississippi

Pastor Evelyn Hubbard (Commerce Boulevard Christian Church, Robinsonville, Miss.), “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” (T. Dorsey), live (TV show)

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lagniappe

reading table

A stray cockroach ran around on the desk in a panic near Nevyrazimov’s writing hand.

—Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), “Small Fry” (translated from Russian by Cathy Popkin)

Thursday, June 19th

passings

Jimmy Scott, singer, July 17, 1925-June 12, 2014

“Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” live, New York (Birdland), 2000

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lagniappe

reading table

If you were to open up Iona’s chest and pour all the grief out of it, you would probably flood the entire planet, yet it is not visible.

—Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), “Grief” (often rendered as “Misery”; translated from Russian by Rosamund Bartlett)

Tuesday, May 27th

the other night

The sky’s all thunder and lightning, and it’s almost midnight, and I’m sitting in a Walgreens parking lot near Midway Airport, waiting for my son Alex’s long-delayed flight to arrive, and if it weren’t for Rubinstein’s recordings of Chopin’s nocturnes, which I keep playing over and over amidst the rain and the neon, I’d be going absolutely bonkers.

Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 1; Arthur [Artur] Rubinstein (1887-1982), piano

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random thoughts

Listening to Chopin, reading Chekhov: if I ever retire, maybe I’ll relocate to the 19th century.

Wednesday, May 14th

basement jukebox

J. B. Lenoir (1929-1967), “Mama Talk To Your Daughter,” 1954


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lagniappe

reading table

In the hospital yard stands a small annex surrounded by a whole forest of burdock, nettles, and wild hemp. The roof is rusty, the chimney is half fallen down, the porch steps are rotten and overgrown with grass, and only a few traces of stucco remain. The front facade faces the hospital, the back looks onto a field, from which it is separated by the gray hospital fence topped with nails. These nails, turned point up, and the fence, and the annex itself have that special despondent and accursed look that only our hospitals and prisons have.

—Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), “Ward No. 6” (opening paragraph; translated from Russian by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky)

Friday, February 8th

only rock ’n’ roll

Some bands I keep coming back to.

The Dirtbombs, “Ever Lovin’ Man,” San Francisco (Amoeba Music), 2008


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lagniappe

reading table

Odd, I have now a mania for shortness. Whenever I read my own or other people’s works it all seems to me not short enough.

—Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

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