1. Bruce riffin’. No one does Springsteen like Springsteen. Cannot really be improved. But I love this version of “Drive All Night” by Glenn Hansard.
I wasn’t familiar with him or his band, The Frames, until the movie “Once” was released seven years ago and I fell in love with his voice and his soulful and unpredictable lyrics. This version of “Drive All Night”, which features Eddie Vedder and Jake Clemons, is not as raw as the original but it’s more soulful, very evocative and melancholy. If you are in that kind of mood this week-end.
2. More downers. It must be the clouds and the uncharacteristically chilly temperature outside that are making me pensive. A few days ago I went to see “A Most Wanted Man“, the new Anton Corbijn movie, for a host of reasons: it’s adapted from a John le Carre book, still my favourite espionage writer, and it’s one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last performances. I wanted the pleasure to see him in action once again – and he did not disappoint (nor did Willem Dafoe). I liked the movie, which is like a Hamburg sky: heavy, unrelentingly gray and sad. I loved even more this remembrance of Philip Seymour Hoffman that John le Carre wrote for the New York Times. A window into the souls of both men.
3. Lifting the mood. Poetry improves my life on a regular basis. I wish people used poetry more and self-help books less. But I rarely read poetry around the net, maybe because it’s too hard to sift among the good, the bad and the (mostly) truly awful. I came across Ben Stanton because I regularly check his blog of mainly visual art. Didn’t know he wrote poetry. This little sample made me smile, the visuals of it stayed with me for days. He clearly writes from images he sees in his mind.
4. Ring around my finger. If sofagirl dances to the words, I dance to neither words nor beats. I am a hopeless dancer. Yet, there I was, a few weeks ago, taking tarantella lessons. Not sure you would want to know why. But my (patient) tarantella partner ended up being the jewelry at Sophie Colette. I am sucker for big clunky pieces – which I never wear but I admire on the fingers or wrists of others.
5. Simply Japanese. When I was in San Jose, I literally stumbled into this Japanese emporium, Muji. How could we have never met before? They sell everything from household to beauty products, from clothing to writing implements. At very very affordable prices. Part of their no frill philosophy is “the aspiration to modesty and plainness”. When was that ever the mission statement of a retail chain?? I find the simplicity of Japanese aesthetic extremely soothing – I ended up buying a journal made of recycled paper for a whopping $1.75. There are a handful of stores in Southern California (including Santa Monica and Hollywood) and New York, but not to worry, the online store welcomes all.