Good morning. Hello. How are you? #506

Music stuff, X-Files, friends visiting, and not a thing about cracking eggs or Nicholas Trist

Good morning! Hello! How are you? What is going on? Thursday, eh? That is exciting. Got a bunch of meetings today but supposedly an old friend is dropping by, passing through town on a road trip. That’ll be exciting. And, coincidentally, that’s exactly what happened to Emma yesterday: an old high school and college friend of hers stopped by, someone she hadn’t seen in, like, 15-20 years. And she brought her husband, her brother, her sister-in-law and her niece. It was lovely. We had a little hangout sesh over on the new playset and the little 2 year-old niece and Jane played. Jane took a ball from her at one point, but I explained to Jane that wasn’t kind and she gave it back. Jane does not have a lot of experience playing with other kids. She also eventually got annoyed that mommy was giving all her attention to other humans, and started complaining, then I brought her inside and she had a full-blown meltdown, perfectly timed with my weekly management call at work, so that was super fun. But she re-composed herself, the friends said goodbye and we had a lovely evening, so that was nice.

Oh and I did not oversleep today, yay me.

I finished my book! I started reading What Hath God Wrought; The Transformation of America 1815-1848 in early September, so, you know, six weeks, no biggie. Kinda blew away any chance I had to recover my once-proud book-a-week goal for this year, but it was worth it, what a hugely informative book. I desperately want to continue on in the Oxford History of the United States, with the next entry, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James McPherson, but… I dunno. I am torn. War books are not really my thing. But it does say the civil war Era, which is what I’m looking for. And my friend Paul says it’s good, so, yeah, probably eventually. I am taking my time, though, reading some shorter books in the meantime, starting with Bree’s book (Who Will Love the Dying Girl) and Liara Roux’s The Whore of New York. I like history books, though, it’s like… you feel like you are working on current events, learning things, being politically informed, but also you are safely away from the trauma of current events. Mostly. Sort of.

Also the book made me investigate whether Stanton Street was named for Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Mott Street was named for Lucretia Mott, or their ancestors. It does not seem so. Though it did remind me that I love that so many streets in New York City have Wikipedia pages. I also learned that the bend in Mott Street at the southern end, in Five Points, was because there used to be a pond there. And I deeply wish Mott and Stanton intersected (so close!) so there could be a cool feminist intersection in Little Italy/Chinatown.

Anyway, if you want a fantastic history of a period in American History that you’ve heard a ton about but may not know enough, I can’t recommend it enough:

(Notice how I said “you may not know enough,” rather than the modern, internet-parlance, accusatory “that you don’t know enough about.” What is with that? Why not just name your podcast You May Be Wrong About? Why is everyone really gung ho saying “You’ll never believe” or “You never knew.” It is super annoying.)

So yesterday I saw a Facebook ad for the 80’s goth band from Inkberrow, Worcestershire, UK, And Also the Trees, alerting me to the re-issue of one of their early albums that I currently do not have on vinyl, Virus Meadow. I really wanted it, but as is often the case in these situations, the vinyl is only for sale in Europe, it’s expensive to start with, and then you gotta ship the thing, which is even more expensive. I was sitting there debating how much I wanted Virus Meadow, which I had not actually listened to in years (though I am listening to it now), and hadn’t thought about in years. I put a copy in my cart, and just let it sit there, not buying it. I decided to take a pause.

I was working on other stuff, debating in the mental background whether I should buy this album, and I remembered that hey wait a minute, I had ordered another record from England, like six months ago, and it never showed up. So I decided to do some investigating. I had really wanted this album on vinyl — For Those I Love — but it was only pressed in the UK and it had already sold out from most of my normal record purchasing avenues. So I found this online retailer The Record Hub that had it in stock. I’d never bought anything from them, but they seemed legit, did not seem super fly by night. So I decided to roll the dice, back in April, and order a copy of For Those I love from them.

And then I forgot about the whole thing. Until this week.

So I still haven’t gotten the record, so I go searching through my email and I find a shipping notice from July. I click on the tracking number and it says that it shipped from Portugal in July, and was last seen in Belfast a few days later in July. This is ironic because the band is actually Irish so I guess the album wanted to go find its way back to its maker.

So, yeah, this record’s lost. I briefly feel guilty about not realizing it for so long, and wonder how many other records I purchased and I didn’t receive, and I kinda hate myself for that, and vow yeah, okay, I don’t need this copy of Virus Meadow, I can’t be trusted to keep an eye on it. I email The Record Hub, and I’m like “Yo this record never showed up, can I get a refund?”

End of story. Except.

Later that evening, I emerge from my work cave for dinner and Emma’s like “oh you got a package” and she hands me a record package that looks like it’s been to the other side of the world and back, and I look at the label, and sure enough: For Those I Love.

My other musical obsession this week has been Hymn for the Fallen, a song that has been slowly creeping into my subconscious for a month or so now as I have been listening to several of the 2005 Dead Can Dance live show releases that have been making their way to Spotify. They didn’t play it every night (and did not, alas, play it at the Boston show, which I attended), but they played it about half the time, usually as the closer. It is an amazing, moving song. I’ve grown obsessed with it. The weird thing is, though, that I can’t figure out who wrote it? Like I can’t find any songwriting credits online for the 2005 Tour albums, and it does not appear on any of Dead Can Dance’s studio albums.

So I did some Googling and Google told me that it is a cover of John Williams, from the Saving Private Ryan soundtrack. Except Google is wrong, it is manifestly not a cover of that song, they are both completely different, and in any case, the Williams tune is titled Hymn to The Fallen, though typos abound for both tracks. But they are clearly different. So then I do a discogs search and ah-ha! I find it. It is on a Lisa Gerrard solo album — One I have never heard, The Silver Tree. Listened to it yesterday, it was fantastic. Lisa has so many solo albums and collaborations I didn’t know anything about. But the weird thing is, “Hymn for the Fallen” is only on one version of the album, the original UK CD, and only as a hidden track. There is no songwriter listed. Discogs merely notes: “Track 13b is a hidden track, followed after 15 seconds of silence. It's the song that Dead Can Dance used to play as their final song during the 2005 tour and is previously unreleased as a studio recording.” Helpful!

Also, there are no copies of that version of the CD currently for sale, and the Spotify release does not include “Hymn for the Fallen” in studio form.

Anway, if you know anything about this song, let me know. I am currently obsessed:

Yesterday was October 13th, or 10/13, and if you are an X-Files fan this date has special meaning as Fox Mulder’s birthday, as well as the birthday of X-Files creator Chris Carter. For years (decades?) Emma has celebrated 10/13, sometimes with large parties, sometimes just the two of us. So we celebrated by watching two episodes, one featuring Jodie Foster as an evil, talking tattoo, and one that was the X-Files spin on the Groundhog Day conceit, both of which I had only seen once, and both were highly entertaining. Their spin on the Groundhog Day conceit was different and fun I liked it.

On the domestic front, I cured the smokey oven, breakfast went off without a hitch yesterday. I miss bagels. The compost is doing fantastic. Emma had a good idea for the garden layout for next year and the Birdie’s Beds that I ordered back in May finally arrived. The vendor had been especially great about keeping me informed about where they were. Where they were was sitting off the coast of Los Angeles in a container ship for Three Months. I think about this constantly. Are those poor sailors just sitting out there? For months? Are they allowed shore excursions. I heard through a friend about a sailor who has been vaccinated with six different vaccines, so that he could go ashore around the world as his container ship moves around the world bringing us shit. It feels like the sailors of the world have had an insanely bad time for the last two years. I would read an entire book about it.

Finally, here’s a picture of my hair down. It’s getting very long, though I never wear it down. Not sure what the point of it is, may cut it soon, so here’s a photo since I probably won’t see you in person before then:

Mixtape! Old and new! All just great! Enjoy!

Ok! Jane is awake! I’m coming baby!