Passages records the books I'm reading, the live music I'm hearing, and the movies I'm seeing. Every now and then I'll throw in a passage from a book I read a while back or a trailer from a old favorite movie. Occasionally, there is something that simply caught my eye. But most of it is what I'm reading and hearing and watching in real time.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Train Dreams

Granier was aware only of a great amazement, and then he was high in the sky, while his stomach was somewhere else. It never did catch up with him. He looked down at the fairgrounds as if from a cloud. The earth's surface turned sideways, and he misplaced all sense of up and down. The craft righted itself and began a slow, rackety ascent, winding its way upward like a wagon around a mountain. Except for the churning in his gut, Grainier felt he might be getting accustomed to it all. At this point the pilot looked backward at him, resembling a raccoon in his cap and goggles, shouting and baring his teeth, and then he faced forward. The plane began to plummet like a hawk, steeper and steeper, its engine almost silent, and Grainer's organs pressed back against his spine. He saw the moment with his wife and child as they drank Hood's Sarsaparilla, in their cabin on a summer's night, then another cabin he'd never remembered before, the places of his hidden childhood, a vast golden wheat field, heat shimmering above a road, arms encircling him, and a woman's voice crooning, and all the mysteries of this life were answered. The present world materialized before his eyes as the engine roared and the plane leveled off, circled the fairgrounds once, and returned to earth, landing so abruptly Grainier's throat nearly jumped out of his mouth.

Denis Johnson, Train Dreams (2011)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

All that was elegant is shabby

All that was elegant is shabby, all that was noble is shabby. All that once told of civilized elegance now speaks of ruthless barbarism.

Union Army surgeon in the aftermath of the Fredricksburg campaign, December 1862

The Ghosts Of Belfast

Fegan moved around the coffin, heading for the door. McGinty blocked his path.

"I mean it, Gerry. Don't test me. You don't want to tell her, all right, but don't interfere."

Fegan stepped to one side, but McGinty gripped his arm, and the two looked hard into each other's eyes. The politician's thin lips broke into a soft smile. He cupped Fegan's face in his hands, leaned in, and placed a dry kiss on his cheek.

"We've always been such good friends," McGinty said. "Ever since you were a kid. Don't fuck it up over a woman. Not a whore like Marie McKenna."

Fegan's cheek burned. He pulled away and finally reached the door. The people on the landing made way for him, and he hurried down the stairs.

Stuart Neville, The Ghosts Of Belfast (2009)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

John Moreland

Capital Ale House, Richmond VA, 1/22/15:

Fred Eaglesmith

Ashland Coffee and Tea, Ashland VA, 1/8/15:

The Words Of Martin Luther King, Jr.

I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will will proclaim the rule of the land. 'And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.' I still believe that we shall overcome.

Martin Luther King, Jr., The Words Of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1984)


Inherent Vice

Doc ended up sticking around till closing time and watched Coy getting into the sinister Mercury woodie that had chased Doc down the canyon the other night. He walked down to the Arizona Palms and had the All-Nighter Special, then sat through the dawn reading the paper and waited out the morning rush hour at a window with a downhill view into the smoglight, the traffic reduced to streams of reflective trim, twinkling ghostly along the nearer boulevards, soon vanishing into brown bright distance. It wasn't so much Coy he kept cycling back to as Hope, who believed, with no proof, that her husband hadn't died, and Amethyst, who ought to have something more than fading Polaroids to go to when she got them little-kid blues.

Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice (2009)