It’s heating up here in Seattle and I’m looking forward to a couple of lazy days in the sun. I’ve been working hard on a variety of things–one of which is my first short story in years, just accepted for publication.
The story, “It Takes Two,” is a new kind of tale for me, very indoor, very urban–no lingering descriptions of trees or sky or water–and featuring characters who haven’t a shred of earnestness to their name. They’re calculating, scheming, out-for-number-one types with fewer social skills than they would like to think: they work in the software, biotech, and adult entertainment industries. Even the length is new to me: a novelette, just south of 12,000 words. I had enormous fun with it. If I had to classify it, I’d put it in the ‘hot and sticky’ category, along with works like “Yaguara,” “Touching Fire,” “Song of Bullfrogs, Cry of Geese,” and “Wearing My Skin.”
So heat has been on my mind. And then, on the Bilerico Project, I came across a video of Janis Joplin singing “Summertime” in Stockholm. I’ve always loved this one. It’s a quintessentially summer sound to me, sort of like the Beach Boys–only completely different.
Joplin, I think, was a stunning performer. I’d give a lot to go back in time and watch her live.
So then I started thinking about open air concerts. If you could pick the fantasy lineup for a summer’s afternoon-turning-to-evening, with, say, 500 people in a park, maybe some hash, maybe some wine–nothing outrageous, just serious mellowness–who would be in the lineup? Remember, this is fantasy.
Okay, so in my show would be Janis Joplin, Michelle Shocked, early David Bowie, early Pink Floyd, early-to-mid Led Zeppelin, perhaps a little Joni Mitchell… If Kelley were there (and of course she would be: it’s a fantasy), then some late 80s U2 to make her happy. Ooh, maybe a little BRMC. Perhaps Groove Armada. John Martyn. Oh, and Bob Marley. Eric Clapton…