Friday, July 26, 2019

FRIDAY'S "FORGOTTEN" BOOKS AND MORE: the links to the reviews: 26 July 2019

This week's books and more, unfairly (or sometimes fairly) neglected, or simply those the reviewers below think you might find of some interest (or, infrequently, you should be warned away from); certainly, most weeks we have a few not at all forgotten titles...if I've missed your review or someone else's, please let me know in comments. 

Patricia Abbott: In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash and Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories and Other Disasters by Jean Shepherd

Mark Baker: The Closers by Michael Connelly

Brad Bigelow: In Our Metropolis by Phyllis Livingstone

Les Blatt: Maigret and the Headless Corpse by Georges Simenon (translated by Howard Curtis)

Joachim Boaz: Orbit 1 edited by Damon Knight 

Z. Z. Claybourne: The Coyote Kings of the Space Age Bachelor Pad by Minister Faust 

Gabe Dybing: "The People of the Black Circle" by Robert E. Howard, Weird Tales, September, October and November 1934, edited by Farnsworth Wright

Martin Edwards: ...And Presumed Dead by Lucille Fletcher; More Rivals of Sherlock Holmes edited by Nick Rennison

Peter Enfantino: Atlas (pre-Marvel) Horror Comics: July 1952 

Peter Enfantino and Jack Seabrook: DC War Comics: May 1975 

Stephen Erickson: Billingsgate Shoal by Rick Boyer

Will Errickson: A Nest of Nightmares by Lisa Tuttle

José Ignacio Escribano: A Pinch of Snuff by Reginald Hill 

Curtis Evans: Nigel Morland, and his career (and correcting a bit of the previous essay)

Olman Feelyus: Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford 

Paul Fraser: Fantastic Novels Magazine, July 1950, edited by Mary Gnaedinger 

Barry Gardner: Original Sin by P. D. James

John Grant: Fire in the Blood by Irène Némirovsky 

(translated by Sandra Smith); Beyond Suspicion by Tanguy Viel (translated by Linda Coverdale);  Vintage 1954 by Antoine Laurain (translated by Jane Aitken & Emily Boyce)

Aubrey Hamilton: Out of the Past by Patricia Wentworth; Sayonara Slam by Naomi Hirahara; Dead Angler by Victoria Houston

James W. Harris: The Way the Future Was by Frederik Pohl

Rich Horton: Dwellers of the Deep by "K. M. O'Donnell" (Barry M. Malzberg); The Gates of Time by Neal Barrett, Jr.; Daybreak--2250 A. D. (aka Star Man's Son 2250 A. D., etc.) by Andre Norton (nee Alice Norton); Beyond Earth's Gates by "Lewis Padgett" (in this case, apparently to suggest Henry Kuttner) and C. L. Moore; Fran Wilde short stories; C. M. Kornbluth stories; The Course of the Heart by M. John Harrison; Dragon Venom by Lawrence Watt-Evans

Jerry House: Pstalemate by "Lester del Rey" (Leonard Knapp) 

Kate Jackson: Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers; Mischief by Charlotte Armstrong; A Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell 

Nick Jones: The Best of Xero edited by Pat and Dick Lupoff

Tracy K: Might As Well Be Dead by Rex Stout; Allmen and Butterflies by Martin Suter 

Colman Keane: The Dead Never Forget (aka Bragg's Lunch) by Jack Lynch 

George Kelley: The Great SF Stories #11 (1949) edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg 

Joe Kenney: Real Endings by Gene Duris(?); Moscow at High Noon is the Target by "Paul Richards" (in this case, Chet Cunningham and Dan Streib)

Rob Kitchin: The Last Goodnight by Howard Blum

Kate Laity: Symposium by Muriel Spark; Libby by Milt Machlin; Maigret and the Good People of Montparnasse by Georges Simenon (translated by  Ros Schwartz); Cari Mora by Thomas Harris 

B. V. Lawson: The Long Shadow by Celia Fremlin

Evan Lewis: Life on Other Worlds by Murphy Anderson (Planet Comics, 1940s)

Steve Lewis: "Night Birds" by Erle Stanley Gardner, Argosy Weekly, August 5 1933; "The Riddle of the Dangling Pearl" by Stuart Palmer, Mystery, November 1933, edited by Hugh Weir 

Gideon Marcus: Galaxy, June 1964, edited by Frederik Pohl 

John F. Norris: Possession by L. P. Davies

John O'Neill: Carol Emshwiller and the Rediscovery Award; Science Fiction of the '40s edited by Frederik Pohl, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph Olander  

Matt Paust: People of Darkness by Tony Hillerman

James Reasoner: Twisted Mistress by Ennis Willie

Richard Robinson: Farmer in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein 

Sandra Ruttan: The Bloomsday Dead by Adrian McKinty

Gerard Saylor: Midnight Rambler by James Swain

Kerrie Smith: The Day the Lies Began by Kylie Kaden

Werner Sollors: "The Bouquet" by 
Charles W. Chesnutt

Dan Stumpf: The Counterfeit Traitor by Alexander Klein

"TomCat": "The Lithuanian Eraser Mystery" by Jon L. Breen, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, March 1969, edited by Frederic Dannay (as EQ)

Bill Wallace: Weird Tales, February 1926, edited by Farnsworth Wright

UNDERAPPRECIATED MUSIC: for June and July 2019: examples and links to reviews and more

The (theoretically) monthly assembly of undervalued and often nearly "lost" music, or simply music the blogger/poster in question wants to remind you reader/listeners of... 

A month that has seen among its less dire aspects the remembrance of the first Moon landing...and a fair amount of summer music, and even two bloggers, George Kelley and Jeff Gemmill, taking up Nolan Glasser's Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste...

Patti Abbott: Billy Elliot The Musical, Stratford 2019: 
"Billy Elliot was amazing. An eleven year old boy does every performance (six months, 3-4 times a week) and he was sensational as was the entire production."
And Gigi, the Original Soundtrack:

Brian Arnold: Batman score by Prince Rogers Nelson

Jayme Lynn Blaschke: Friday Night Videos 

Paul D. Brazill: Elizabeth Everts; Amy Winehouse: "Tears Dry on Their Own"

James T. Cameron: Don Carn and the West Coast Organ Band: Free For All and "Little B's Poem"; Hammond Heroes: '60s R&B Organ Grooves; Long John Baldry with the Beatles, et al.: "I Got My Mojo Workin'":

Alice Chang: Nobuo Uematsu: Final Fantasy X score

Sean Coleman: Joe Robinson in concert; Jimmy Page: Outrider; Wings: Back to the Egg 

Jeff Gemmill: Top 5s; Bruce Springsteen/E Street Band: Live in Philadelphia, 24 September 1999 and 20 Sep 99; Natalie Merchant: Live in Concert, New York City, June 13, 1999; Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis: Beautiful Lie; Bruce Springsteen: Western Stars; various artists: "Up on the Roof" 

Michael A. Gonzales: Benny Carter (soundtrack): "Harlem Wednesday":

Dana Gould: Los Angeles (and West Coast) punk rock, and the Beach Boys and their lovely parents 

Keiko Hassler: The Philadelphia Orchestra & the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: "Awake the Trumpet's Lofty Sound" (from Samson; G. F. Handel)

Jerry House: Harry Belafonte; Will Holt and Martha Schlamme: A Kurt Weill Cabaret; L'Orchestra Cinematique: "If I Had a Heart"; Music from the Past; Hymn Time 

Jackie Kashian: Lydia Popovich on Dolly Parton; Jeffrey Baldinger on the Beatles; Ebony Jones on Beyonce Knowles

George Kelley: The Beach Boys: 20 Good Vibrations; Brian Eno: "An Ending"; Anthony Tommasini: The Indispensible Composers; Pavarotti; 25 Greatest All Time Summer Songs: The Ultimate Collection; Bruce Springsteen: Western Stars; First Date: The Musical

Tom Kraemer: Joni Mitchell: "Refuge of the Roads":

Kate Laity: Belle and Sebastian: "Funny Little Frog"; The Left Banke: "Walk Away, Renee"'; Johnny Cash: "The Green, Green Grass of Home"

April Landrum: Moonchild: "Too Much to Ask":

and Teena Marie: "Where's California?"

Evan Lewis: Bud Wattles and His Orchestra: Themes from the Hip, and more from the album

Steve and Jonathan Lewis and Michael Shonk: Music I'm Listening To 

Barry Malzberg: Bathtubs over Broadway

Todd Mason: Newish Sounds in Third Stream and Related Music: Saturday Music Club

Aimee Mann & Ted Leo: Ian MacKaye; Jean Grae

Joe Megalos: Sasami: Live on KEXP:

Laura Nakatsuka: Mark Bailey: "Blessed is the Man"; and Cantors of the Holy Cross Chapel at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology: "Lord of the Powers":

Andrew Orley: João Gilberto: "Holanda" ("Wave"):

Natasha Padilla: Death: Individual Thought Patterns and Scream Bloody Gore; Afiliando Los Cuchillos 

Lawrence Person: Shoegazer Sunday

James Reasoner: Middle of the Night Music: Brubeck/Desmond/Morello/Wright: "Blue Rondo a la Turk"

Charlie Ricci: Magnificent Desolation--Music for the Moon; Michelle Shocked: Short Sharp Shocked; James Hunter: People Gonna Talk; Natalie Cole: Unforgettable...with Love; Alfred E. Neuman: "It's a Gas"; Music in 2019 

Nancy Ryan: New Originals, in concert, 2016 

Andrew Sherman: Pink Floyd: "Moonhead":

Donna Wilson: Jawbox: "Footbinder":

Lyrics and Legends, this episode produced by WHYY-TV, Philadelphia, in 1963 with the University of Pennsylvania and the American Folklore Society for the National Educational Television (NET) network.

Some more songs for the Mooning:
Samuel Hoffman with Harry Revel's Orchestra: Music Out of the Moon 

Dinah Washington: "Destination Moon"

Gil Scott-Heron: "Whitey on the Moon"

George Russell Orchestra featuring Bill Evans: "Waltz from Outer Space"

Brubeck, Desmond, Morello and Wright: "Back to Earth"

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Newish Sounds in Third Stream* and Related Music: [*Jazz and Classical Traditions]: Saturday Music Club on Tuesday

Camila Meza and the Nectar Orchestra: 

This concert was recorded on March 26th, 2019 at a private loft in Brooklyn, N.Y. SET LIST 0:10 - "Kallfu" 6:01 - "All Your Colors" 12:23 - "Milagres Dos Peixes" 18:41 - "Olha Maria" 24:24 - "This Is Not America" 30:01 - "Ámbar" MUSICIANS Camila Meza (guitar, voice) Eden Ladin (keyboard, piano) Noam Weisenberg (bass) Keita Ogawa (drums, percussion) Ludovica Burtone (violin) Tomoko Omura (violin) Leonor Falcon (viola) Brian Sanders (cello)

Catharsis: "Sister"; "Gallop"; "Zone"

Beast: "Satan"

Matthew Shipp, Mat Maneri, & Michael Bisio: Exploring and Performing Third Stream Music, Pt. 1

Laura Jurd Ensemble: Stepping Back, Jumping In

BandCamp page for the album--free access to selected tracks

Dinosaur: rooftop concert in Holland

"Shine Your Light" "Forgive, Forget" "Old Times’ Sake" "Swimming"
All compositions by Laura Jurd. Laura Jurd – trumpet, synthesizer, Elliot Galvin – synthesizers, Conor Chaplin – bass; Corrie Dick – drums

Maureen Choi Quartet: "Ida y Vuelta"

Maria Schneider and Ensemble Denada at the North Sea Jazz Festival, 13 July 2018

And a ringer:
George Russell and the Big Bang Band of 1967

1: from The New York, New York suite: "Manhattan Rico" 2: (10:19:07:00): "Oh, Jazz"
Poster of the video notes: "from 29:00 the audio has disappeared, no thanks to a certain tube." Here's the missing audio/replacement footage:
George Russell, conductor, piano
Woodwinds: Christer Boustedt, Claes Rosendahl, Bernt Rosengren, Jan Garbarek Trombone: Rune Ericsson, George Bernard, Folke Rabe Trumpets: Lasse Samuelsson, Rolf Ericsson, Bertil Lövgren, Muvaffak "Maffy" Falay Congas:
Rupert Clemendore Rhythm: Carl-Axel Dominique, piano Rune Gustafsson, guitar Palle Danielsson, bass Jon Christensen, drums

Sunday, July 21, 2019

FFB "classic": TOMORROW'S CRIMES by Donald Westlake (Mysterious Press/Warner Books 1990); THE RELEVANCE OF ANARCHISM TO MODERN SOCIETY by Sam Dolgoff (Charles H. Kerr, 1989)

written for (in*sit) ca. 1991, and eventually published in its successor Liberation, Summer 1992; this transcription running a week+ late for the late Westlake's birthday anniversary...

anarchism made stupid:
Tomorrow's Crimes by Donald Westlake (Mysterious Press/Warner Books 1990); The Relevance of Anarchism to Modern Society by Sam Dolgoff (Charles H. Kerr, 1989)

We have here two volumes by intelligent, talented men who've produced major works in their respective fields; one's a pamphlet comprised of the third revision of a long essay first published in 1970, the other's a collection of some of the fantasticated  fiction of a writer best known for hardboiled and absurdist crime fiction, this book largely given over to a short novel called Anarchaos, first published in 1967. They are two of the sorriest introductions to anarchist thought one could have, and both [still could be] betraying that function for dozes or hundreds of readers as you cast your eyes over this.

The Dolgoff is a relentlessly vague, repetitious and mean-spirited screed that frequently undermines the few points it tries to make. He's in trouble from the first paragraph, where he introduces a theme which will run throughout the piece: the "real" anarchists are those who follow "Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, [and] Malatesta"...who didn't agree with each other on various issues rather central to their philosophies (for example, Malatesta and Bakunin would look with less revulsion on armed conflict than would Kropotkin the pacifist); if we follow the thread Dolgoff traces through the thought of these four (without once suggesting they had any differences), we still hit upon discrepancies:  Dolgoff (justly) ridicules those who think The Revolution Just Around the Corner will settle all differences between anarchists and more authoritarian sorts of socialists, then later approvingly quotes Malatesta instructing us to "support all struggles for partial freedom [presumably this includes those of authoritarian socialists] because we are convinced that one learns through struggle, and when one begins to enjoy a little freedom one ends by wanting it all." Tell that to the anarchists who fought in the Russian Revolutions, to the anarchists who at first were willing to work in good faith with the Leninists in the Spanish Civil War (till the CP made it clear that sabotaging the anarchists' efforts and punishing the Trotskyists was more important to them than actually beating the Francoists, Carlists and fascists); tell them how the people in revolt, once they've suffered so much bloodshed from both their old oppressors and those who promise one sort of partial freedom or another, will simply rise up and be decimated again in an attempt to gain the "complete freedom" that Malatesta also speaks of (and which Dolgoff here tells us is unattainable), rather than desperately settle for the mite of any greater freedom they might now have. Malatesta might be excused for the avoidance of practical concerns; Dolgoff the historian and anti-utopian can't be. Dolgoff clearly realizes this, as he spent the first part of his essay severely criticizing "escapists" and bohemians, Nechayevist nihilists and "anti-social" types: one of his redundancies is in breaking these two types of pseudo-anarchists into four, with escapists and bohos almost identical in his descriptions, the nihilists and anti-socials likewise, which he attempts to disguise by arranging them Escapist, Nihilist, Bohemian, Anti-Social. Both Malatesta and Dolgoff were playing More Proletarian Than You, Dolgoff less authentically. 

The rest of the essay is similarly dissatisfying, with a few quotations from non-anarchists who seem to reaffirm anarchist tenets: under the heading "Self-Management", Dolgoff gets excited by the [then] growing attempt to include staff discussion in business decision-making, a la Thriving on Chaos and the like, without bothering to inquire into whether the new tendencies aren't simply a way of masking old hierarchies in friendlier faces, which they usually are. In fact, the coercive use of false consensus is approved here when not glossed over, one of the inherent problems with almost all anarchosyndicalist argument. Anarchists can agree that people should be as much in control of their own activity as possible, and there is consideration here toward an understanding of the advantages of interdependence over isolation, the anarchist potential within our current society, and a legitimate place for sophisticated technology within anarchism, but none of it is compellingly argued. The snottiness toward those with whom Dolgoff [had] disagreed, however, is much in evidence. If you're not already Dolgoff's sort of syndicalist, it won't convince might even turn you away from any sort of anarchism.

Something sure turned Donald Westlake off. His novel, Anarchaos, published originally under his "Curt Clark" (as in rude writer) pseudonym, closes out this collection of stories that frequently verge on our favorite kind of libertarianism. The first Westlake story I read is here, "The Winner" (Nova 1, edited by Harry Harrison, 1970, reprinted in such places as the classroom magazine Read in ca. 1976), about a political prisoner (an "obscene" dissident poet) in an experimental near-future US prison. The
"humanitarian" warden, whose metaphorical name is Wordman to the poet's Revell, can't understand why the poet won't simply resign himself to his imprisonment; this story has stuck with me for [at time of writing the review] more than fifteen years. The other science fiction stories here, notably the rather deft Cold War satire "The Spy in the Elevator" (Galaxy, October, 1961; link to the story here), also evince little patience with such concentrations of power as governments and corporations and the useless idiots who abet them. So what are we to make of such pronouncements in Anarchaos as "The first generation on Anarchaos [a planet], in fact, didn't do too badly, but of course they had been trained on other worlds and understood discipline and group effort, those two hallmarks of government."? The page before, he throws together the prescriptions of "such anarchist, nihilist, and syndicalist writers as William Godwin, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Benjamin Tucker, Josiah Warren, Max Stirner, Prince Pyotr Kropotkin, Georges Sorel and Sergius Nechaev [sic]" as the basis of Anarchaos society. If Dolgoff has presented us with a disingenuously-homogenized bunch of anarchists, Westlake is in comparison entropic; it's difficult to imagine Warren and Nechayev in the same room for more than a minute, much less the entirety of this exceedingly unlikely crew of Founding Fathers.  One wonders if Westlake [was] an irritable liberal who read an encyclopedia article about anarchism once, or a closet Marxist who believes every slur the anti-libertarian socialists and others ever came up with. He, or his narrator/protagonist, tell us after the first generation the devolving syndicates were take over by interplanetary conglomerates, who have subtly encouraged such institutions as slavery...yet he, or his clueless narrator, keeps referring to "anarchist slavers", to "rugged individualists" who engage in behaviors that even Ayn Rand's most deranged followers probably wouldn't. Strange.

A scanned transcript of the 1977 version of the Dolgoff essay.

As not noted in the original review, the story "Nackles" is a fine and amusing fantasy (more than borderline horror) about a sort of latter-day Krampus, made up by an abusive father and husband to terrify his children. That CBS executives refused to produce Harlan Ellison's script from the story led to Ellison's resignation from the first The Twilight Zone television series revival in the 1980s. See the index below to learn where the story and teleplay are available side by side.

A number of Westlake's short stories up at a fan-site here.

The ISFDB index (good for detailing all SFnal appearances) to Tomorrow's Crimes:

The Locus Index (for first publication sites at a glance, and more):
Tomorrow’s Crimes Donald E. Westlake (Mysterious Press 0-89296-299-2, Sep ’89, $18.95, 263pp, hc) Collection of nine fantastic/speculative fiction stories and one short novel by a well-known mystery writer.
  • 1 · The Girl of My Dreams · ss The Midnight Ghost Book, ed. James Hale, 1978
  • 13 · Nackles [as by Curt Clark] · ss F&SF Jan ’64
  • 22 · The Ultimate Caper: The Purloined Letter · ss The New York Times May 11 ’75
  • 26 · The Spy in the Elevator · ss Galaxy Oct ’61
  • 46 · The Risk Profession · nv Amazing Mar ’61
  • 75 · The Winner · ss Nova 1, ed. Harry Harrison, Delacorte, 1970
  • 87 · Dream a Dream · ss Cosmopolitan Aug ’82
  • 93 · In at the Death · ss The Thirteenth Ghost Book, ed. James Hale, Barrie & Jenkins, 1977; EQMM Nov ’78
  • 108 · Hydra · ss F&SF Mar ’84
  • 115 · Anarchaos [as by Curt Clark] · n. New York: Ace, 1967
"Curt Clark" was the primary but infrequent pseudonym Westlake used for his speculative fiction work in the 1960s, after contributing a "farewell to SF and fuck you very much" short essay, "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You", to Pat and Richard Lupoff's magazine Xero in 1961, and then continuing to publish in the field (more often in the '70s and later).  He'd insulted a number of the editors in the field, including at least one he would continue to sell to, though he let his agent offer the "Clark" manuscripts, and I don't  know to what extent the editors in question had any illusion these new stories weren't coming from Westlake. Barry Malzberg has advised me that "The Winner" had been a "trunk" story of Westlake's, which Harrison was happy to take for the first volume of his new-fiction anthology series, and it was the first piece by Westlake in SF media under his own name since the "resignation" letter had been published.

The online scan of the entire October 1961 issue of Galaxy, edited by Frederik Pohl though "officially" the ailing H. L. Gold was still editing.
Impressive issue generally (FictionMags Index entry): 

Todd Mason