Friday finds

“His trailer was filled with strange memorabilia. In one corner he had a poster of Aguirre: The Wrath of God and there was a shrine built and a candle burning in front of it. When I walked in, I shrank back and I thought, ‘Oh, get yourself out of here. Stay out. Stay away from the man.‘”

Joseph Conrad, Dorothy Lamour, and Lord Jim.

John Grisham and day jobs.

Grad students in The Simpsons.

Making sense of the Black Panthers and their legacy.

Take the Guardian’s Ray Bradbury quiz.

“Here is why jazz players love the blues: it is the perfect box to break out of, the most restrictive of musical forms. A composer of Gregorian chant had more freedom than someone trying to write a blues . . . Performing is another matter. In traditional blues songs there are gaps for improvisation after every line (the singer says ‘I bought me a coffee grinder, the best one I could find’ and the player has two bars in which to improvise a response—one which will probably indicate that she’s not really talking about coffee) and in a jazz performance the song provides the framework for any number of improvised solos. This reveals the secret of jazz performance: First, construct a box. Second, break out of it. In so doing the musician enacts a moment of liberation.”

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