daily muse

The Importance of Wearing Hats

Just when you thought the neighborhood had lost all its character, you meet an elderly gentleman wearing a psychedelic Muhammad Ali t-shirt and a captain’s hat. We struck up a conversation about the importance of having many hats, how picking a certain hat helps set the tone and mood for the day. He has 4 fedoras (his favorite from France, bought in Paris, 1957, for $30), six cowboy hats, three captains hats (a white one with gold trim for when he vacations in Long Island), two sombreros, a variety of scally and skull caps, and many, many others. In total 74.

Not sure about the lesson here, but I wish some people shut the fuck up about nonsense, and paid more attention to what hat they’re wearing. It might just make us all a little bit more interesting.

4 examples of hats on jazz legends.

A Writer’s Place – Harry Crews

This passage speaks to me, and it should speak to most writers.

‘When I awoke, I knew that this day was to be worse than the day that preceded it and that I could not hope to get down from where I was, until I was safely home with my books and my typewriter and all the crippled and ruined manuscripts lying about on the desk. I wanted to get back to the place where I had resisted so many things, and failed at so many things, back to the place where even when I succeeded I failed because it was never good enough.’

-Harry Crews, Climbing the Tower

 

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Your Future in Books?

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I wouldn’t trust this book. It’s giving the kid some bad advice. Formative minds of the next generation, be careful of illuminated, floating (perhaps, possessed) books telling you that your future will be found inside their pages.

Sheridan Le Fanu – Happy 200th!!!

Joseph+Sheridan+Le+Fanu7Happy 200th Birthday to Sheridan Le Fanu (who in my youthful ignorance, I always thought was French….thankfully, an Irishman dutifully corrected me). Before the tawdry ‘True Blood’ and the bosom-heaving bloodsuckers of Hammer Horror films, there was Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’, the first lesbian vampire to grace the Gothic. ‘Green Tea’ is a hallucinatory classic, and paired up with ‘Murders at the Rue Morgue’ one can’t help but look differently at our fellow primates. And you can’t beat ‘Uncle Silas’ for a prime lesson in Gothic fiction.

It’s quite amazing how the duo of Le Fanu and Bram Stoker gave life to the vampire tale. Add in Oscar Wilde, Charles Maturin (of ‘Melmoth the Wanderer’ fame) and short story writer, Fitz James O’Brien, and it’s quite impressive on how the Irish helped set the stones of Horror Literature as we know it today.

A Noir Triptych: Jazz for the Genre

Elements of Noir maneuver through territories of the desperate, the melancholic, the heartbreaking and the violent. Here’s a trio of jazz mixes I made that touch the nerve and bring a soundtrack to the gritty, existential pulp — a focus here, at least in a pictorial sense, of elegant, yet damaged goods. (click on the images and give a listen)

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Gracy Kelly, Elements of Noir, Spoonhead, 8tracks

 

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dolores del rio, someone to watch over, spoonhead, 8tracks

 

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joan crawford, somewhere in the night, spoonhead, 8tracks

Grow your own Writer’s Beard

There are so many choices. Depending on your personality, grow your own writer’s beard.

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‘The Lawrence’. Full enough without being reckless. Distinguished, prone to melancholia.

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‘The Verne’. Astute, adventurous, yet still academic. Professorial with a nautical touch.

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‘The Disch’. More in the urban mode. Edgy, cynical, liberal. Takes the subway.

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‘The Moore’. Rasputin meets acid rock. Rampant and moody. A beard not to fuck with.

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‘The Hemingway’. Opinionated. Charming. Not a skinny man’s beard. Likes to fight.

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‘The Hayden’. A modern Melville. Stylish for the shoreline. Nautical, bold. Keep the upper lip clean.

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‘The Delaney’. A modern ‘Whitman’. Intellectually welcoming. Cerebral, well-spoken. Requires a comb.

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‘The King’. Full and rounded. Slightly maniacal, prolific. Northeast. Deep woods.