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pretty things

I like looking at beautiful things other people make, and keeping notes of poems or other ideas I like. I'm particularly drawn to things that are inspired by the natural world.

Filtering by Tag: music


amanda morales

When my sister got me tickets for my birthday to see Drake in the recently re-opened Forest Hills Stadium, one of the first things I thought was: Dylan. Bob Dylan, of course!


Forest Hills August 28 1965 is an infamous show in the Dylan cannon. Just off his electric blasphemy at the Newport Folk Festival, he persisted with his new-fangled ‘folk rock’ and played with Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, and Al Kooper to a very confused and unhappy crowd. He was literally and symbolically extricating himself from the folk and civil rights scenes, eschewing the mainstream, as always.

That Dylan show was almost exactly 50 years ago but because the of the beauty of the internet you can listen to a recording of it right now, boos front and center, and read the New York Times review of the show (which described Dylan as a 'model of patient composure’).

Forest Hills stadium was once a marquee stop for major bands - when the Beatles played to 16,000 fans there in 1964 they were asked how they felt about being a 'threat to society’ -  and re-opened last year after 30 years of dormancy. While the audience tonight will know what it’s in for - the rap stylings of Lil Wayne and the boy Drizzy Drake, sounds which would have been unimaginable in 1965- Forest Hills is still a tony, sleepy neighborhood that may have trouble grappling with both the sonics and the kind of crowd they will attract. (The booking is such a curious choice for the venue that the bio they have for Drake on their website ends in 2009, before he even released a major album!)

Still, we’ve undoubtedly opened our ears in this country. But with protests of the killing of an unarmed young black man in Ferguson dominating our collective consciousness, we are right to wonder how much we've opened our eyes, our hearts.

Worst Behavior’ will be a highlight for me tonight, and I won’t be surprised if Drake saves it for his encore. It was my favorite song of 2013, and around this time last year my broken heart used its anxiety and bravado to muster up the sweet vindication of anger. “Motherfucker never loved us... remember?” I would mouth on the subways.

It could serve as anthem for Dylan too, who certainly has the last laugh all these years later. Can’t you just picture him scowling the lyric “They used to never want to hear us, Remember? / Motherfucker never loved us, remember?”

And no doubt its sentiment echoes through the streets of Ferguson, and anywhere else where people are marginalized and fed up:

“They used to never want to hear us, Remember?

Motherfucker never loved us, remember?”

“I should let you know ahead I’m coming back on my worst behavior”.



lest you wind up

amanda morales

I Am A Lonesome Hobo

I am a lonesome hobo
Without family or friends
Where another man’s life might begin
That’s exactly where mine ends
I have tried my hand at bribery
Blackmail and deceit
And I’ve served time for ev'rything
‘Cept begging on the street.

Well, once I was rather prosperous
There was nothing I did lack
I had fourteen-karat gold in my mouth
And silk upon my back
But I did not trust my brother
I carried him to blame
Which led me to my fatal doom
To wander off in shame.

Kind ladies and kind gentlemen
Soon I will be gone
But let me just warn you all
Before I do pass on:
Stay free from petty jealousies
Live by no man’s code
And hold your judgement for yourself
Lest you wind up on his road.
- bob

oliver sacks

amanda morales

Hume wondered whether one can imagine a color that one has never encountered. One day in 1964, I constructed a sort of pharmacological mountain, and at its peak, I said, “I want to see indigo, now!” As if thrown by a paintbrush, a huge, trembling drop of purest indigo appeared on the wall — the color of heaven. For months after that, I kept looking for that color. It was like the lost chord.

Then I went to a concert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the first half, they played the Monteverdi Vespers, and I was transported. I felt a river of music 400 years long running from Monteverdi’s mind into mine. Wandering around during the interval, I saw some lapis lazuli snuffboxes that were that same wonderful indigo, and I thought, “Good, the color exists in the external world.” But in the second half I got restless, and when I saw the snuffboxes again, they were no longer indigo — they were blue, mauve, pink. I’ve never seen that color since.

It took a mountain of amphetamine, mescaline, and cannabis to launch me into that space. But Monteverdi did it too.

— oliver sacks