Dedicated to classics and hits.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Event Preview: Coachella 2016

Event Preview
Coachella 2016
(Official Set Times)

   It's been what can only be described as a dizzying ride on the Margo Price express train to stardom in the last month, and I don't doubt for a moment that she will be playing both Coachella and Stagecoach next year, but tomorrow THIS year's Coachella starts, and I'm not going to Stagecoach this year, so in terms of festivals, this might be it.  I might go to Austin City Limits this fall, but also might not.

  Coachella is a huge work event for my date (and pass provider.)  Her firm has the following artists playing: LCD Soundsystem, the Kills, Run the Jewels, Pete Yorn, Miike Snow and Autolux.   Additionally, personal friends are working with artists Jack U, Borns and Silversun Pickups, so I have to take all that into account in fashioning a working schedule.


  Only inhuman monsters and the actual artists get to Coachella before 6 PM on Friday.  You want to have a meal, settle in.  The Kills play at 6:15 PM on the second stage, which is also a border-line decent hour to arrive. It's unlikely I would miss seeing our friends who work with Borns because they have an infant and are rarely available.  Borns is 7:15 to 7:55 in the first tent. Underworld, who are my personal highlight for friday night. I actually listened to the new Underworld record and it was really good.  Underworld were also pioneers in the area of chart/EDM crossover, and I'm interested to see how they are received by the Coachella "Sahara Tent" EDM community.

 Underworld is over at 8:45 PM.  There is a dead spot in between the end of Underworld and the beginning of LCD Soundsystem at 11:10 PM.  I've got zero interest in the Last Shadow Puppets, I know my date doesn't want to watch Sufjan Stevens,  Savages start at 9:30 PM, and since I've never seen the live show they seem a likely candidate to fill the time.  Between  8:45 and 9:30 PM is snack and/or dinner time.   I think probably a swing through Jack U would be in order, but I can't imagine.


   Saturday begins with Lush, starting at 4:30 PM.  A personal highlight.  Run the Jewels plays basically at the same time. Courtney Barnett is good, and starts right after Run the Jewels.  Courtney Barnett finishes ant 7:45 PM. Vince Staples starts at 7:55 PM and the Damned play at 8:20 PM.  Silversun Pickups at 9:25 PM and allegedly Guns n Roses at 10:30 PM.  Shamir playing at midnight is an intriguing late night possibility.


  Sunday starts with Pete Yorn, Autolux and Chis Stapleton in order in the Gobi Tent.  Stapleton is a country artist who is part of the broad group that includes Sturgill Simpson and Margo Price.  He is by far the most financially successful of the three and has a history of writing hits for "bro-country" artists like Luke Bryan.  He is playing Coachella and Stagecoach, a rare double, especially in the same year, so I could see both Margo Price and Sturgill Simpson doing it next year.  Stapleton ends at 8 PM, and besides work obligation Miike Snow between 9:45 and 10:35 PM there's not much going on.  Calvin Harris as a mainstage headliner is a joke, but it is Sunday night.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Joke (1967) by Milan Kundera

Book Review
The Joke (1967)
 by Milan Kundera

  The Joke is Milan Kundera's first novel, and it only lasted two years on the 1001 Books list. The translation history from Czech to English.  Kundera hated the original translation, and a second, approved translation came out in the 80s.  Kundera eventually grew disenchanted with that translation as well, so now there is a third version.  According to the Wikipedia plot summary, Kundera called this book "The Joke" because there are several jokes at the center of the plot, about the interconnected lives of two students attending university at the same time in newly Communist Prague after World War II.  One is denounced by a friend after he makes an innocent joke with a romantic target.  He is sent off to the Czech version of a re-education camp, where he mines coal and begins an ambivalent relationship with a mysterious young girl.

   Ludvik, the student sent away to the re-education camp, recovers from his time in disgrace and becomes a successful professional.   Years later, he meets Helena, the wife of his rival(Pavel.)  He seduces Helena, but what begins as a simple revenge plot becomes complicated, in a darkly comic fashion involving a failed suicide attempt and laxatives.   Like many works of the Czech New Wave, and the Polish New Wave and the French New Wave, Kundera's debut addresses issues of intertwined fate between the main characters.

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