Archive for the ‘Sonora Review’ Category


I’ve recently discovered the awesomeness of Austin City Limits.  And in the two or so years that I’ve been watching, I’ve seen some great live shows (even is most bands are reduced to 30 minutes).  This re-broadcast of The Decemberists, however, just blew me away.

The concert comes from The Crane Wife tour, and it is just a wonderful exploration of this fantastic CD.  I’ve liked the Decemberists for years, and have listened to all of their discs multiple times, but there was something about this recording, in particular the wailing guitar work of Colin Meloy (seeing him lying on the floor making crazed feedback was pretty impressive), and the amazing solo work of Chris Funk that gave me even more respect for this wonderful album and the band.

It is highly recommended. For more info see here.

[READ: January 14, 2010] 100 Page Tribute to David Foster Wallace

I was able to order a copy of this journal directly from The University of Arizona and received it not too long ago.  It is a two part issue (55/56) that is chock full of all kinds of things, including this 100 page tribute to DFW.  I intend to read the whole thing, or at least more than just the DFW stuff, but as I don’t see that happening too soon, I wanted to address this tribute section directly.

DFW received his MFA from UA and he was also an editor at Sonora Review.  He also published “/Solomon Silverfish/” there shortly after getting his MFA.  So the tributes make sense from this publication.  All of the tributes here come from varied people and are all either interesting or moving to the Wallace fan. (more…)

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sonoraSOUNDTRACK: TINDERSTICKS-Nénette et Boni [soundtrack] (1996).

boniAfter releasing two albums of atmospheric brilliance, Tindersticks were called upon to score the music for the film Nénette et Boni.

And this disc answers the question of whether it is Stuart Staples’ voice that is the driving force behind the band.  And the answer is, indeed not.  This disc is almost entirely instrumental (except for “Tiny Tears” which is a different version from the second disc and is here titled “Petites gouttes d’eau”).  The band brings the same atmospheric/noir quality to this disc that they bring to the ir previous works, but you get to hear it in all of its glory (since you’re not trying to figure out what Stuart is talking about).

I haven’t seen the film, so I can’t say how well it works for the film.  But I feel like I know the film quite well from the tone and music (and what I think may be sounds from the film) that are present.  If you like the band musically, you absolutely cannot go wrong here.  There’s not a bad track on the disc.  Even the half dozen or so tracks that are only about a minute (this is a soundtrack after all) are quite evocative.

I read a brief description of the film online, and I’m not entirely sure I want to see it.  But I sure do enjoy listening to the music.

The reissued disc comes with a bonus disc called Marks Moods.  Marks Moods was a promo disc sent out to film producers to showcase just what the band could do (again, without Stuart’s vocals).  So this is another moody instrumental disc.  The difference is that there are many songs from other discs that are done (or re-done, I can’t be entirely sure) as instrumentals.  The four tracks with vocals are “Sleepy Song,” “Don’t Look Down,” and “Buried Bones” which is actually a duet.  And then there’s “For Those…” one of my favorite songs which seems to crop up all over the place but never on an actual album.

This appears to have been something of a find back in the day.  I’m not sure if it was really worth hunting down, but it is a nice bonus to this disc.

[READ: October 18, 2009] “/Solomon Silverfish/”

The last few uncollected DFW stories that I read were a little less than satisfying.  So I wasn’t looking forward to this one very much.  But man, was it good.  It seems to be a hearty precursor to Infinite Jest (without the endnotes).  It even has a character named Wardine!

The story is typographically a little odd.  The title and “section” headings are in backslashes.  (I have no idea if that signifies anything other than a typographical choice of DFW or the magazine).  The section headings are the names of the character whose point of view the section is.  So, when the story opens we see /Solomon/.

But aside from that, the most unusual thing in the story is that it is written in the voice of a very Jewish individual.  For Solomon Silverfish speaks in an almost stereotypical Jewish vernacular.  Solomon is married to Sophie Shoenweiss, a Jewish woman who is dying of breast cancer.  As the story opens, Solomon is fielding a phone call (at 2 in the morning) from Sophie’s brother Ira.  Ira has just been caught with his third DUI and he’s begging his brother-in-law, a fine public defendant, to bail him out (again). (more…)

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