While I've been struggling with the Mountain Goats the way the faithful struggle with Bible verses they don't like I've been listening to Mermaid Avenue, on which Billy Bragg and Wilco put their own music to old found Woody Guthrie lyrics. It is a terrific album. In particular, Walt Whitman's Niece (the song from which I pulled this post's title) is a riot of a song. If Billy Bragg is this good when he writes his own lyrics I'll have to find more of his stuff.
Yesterday for the Fourth I went up to Evanston to meet up with some Fora crazies and watch professional pyrotechnicians create spectacular entropy over Lake Michigan. There was a concert band playing before the fireworks. It was the Palatine Concert Band. Directed by none other than Ron Polancich, former band director of star clarinettist Al Dimond. Great to get out of the house.
I think I'm ready to turn it around. I don't care if I get it completely right, I just need to get it a little different from now.