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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2005-12-05 - 10:51 a.m.

The most remarkable thing about the Townes van Zandt documentary is how funny and sweet it is, a well-rounded portrait of a talented songwriter and achingly authentic singer who was well-loved by friends and family, even as his addictive behavior--exacerbated by electroshock therapy that obliterated his earliest memories--confounded and hurt them.

Home movie footage and abstract shots of the open road are artfully edited in with live performances and talking head interviews with family and friends (including Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and a very amusing, tequila-swigging Guy Clark). Most potent are the reminiscences of his children who, like their dad, are gifted with open-faced honesty and sensitivity.

Throughout, Van Zandt's spare, minor-key originals provide a haunting soundtrack.

Went bowling this weekend. Yes, I did.

What I like about bowling is that no matter how careful you are about selecting the right ball and making the right movements, you still always have to factor in gravity, other physical laws, lane wax, and karma. Even the best, most prepared bowlers get gutterballs, and even the lousiest bowlers (hi!) get strikes.

I understand this applies to all non-video sports, but I don't play sports, regrettably.

I also enjoyed actually hearing, over the speakers at the lanes, the music that I have to deal with only on paper on a daily basis --the reggaeton, the Kelly Clarkson, the Fiddy Cent. To hear it, and to see the effervescent effect it has on people is to understand my job a little better. And damn, that KC song is catchy.

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