r.i.p. thompson, you crazy bastard
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005), caricature by John Shakespeare
Before heading off the beddy-bye last nite, I thought I'd take a quick glance at the political blogs to see what, if anything, of interest had happened over the weekend. I took in a stunned gasp as Atrios tipped me off to the tragic news of writer Hunter S. Thompson's demise. Now I won't claim to be well-schooled in the work of Thompson, but he was a true original & I've always loved what I've read. He was also a regular contributor to ESPN.com, and you can check out all of his columns in the Page 2 archive. Lots of bloggers, including (somewhat randomly) R'n'R in the Real World, just for a day, Daily Refill & largehearted boy amongst others, are paying their respect to the late, great Doctor of gonzo journalism today, and so I will do the same.
ETA: Rox Populi has a nice collection of HST links etc (via moebius rex).
I am a big fan of Terry Gilliam's visually overloaded adaptation of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, which was quite the trip for me back when I saw it in 1998. I've seen it many more times since then, having read the book multiple times & soaked up more of historical context. Anyway, this Big Brother & The Holding Company track begins the film exposively, throwing the audience right into the thick of things with Duke & Gonzo barrelling down the desert highway, both whacked out of their gourds & in search of the "American dream." While the wordless crooning of Janis Joplin & Company may not be indicative of Thompson's manic verbosity, it does capture the wild, free-wheeling spirit with which Thompson wrote, the visceral rush he provided as he took his readers where they might not dare venture with his signature flare for the extreme & extremely descriptive. "Combination of the Two" starts off both the Fear & Loathing soundtrack, as well as Big Brother's 1968 major label debut Cheap Thrills. I'll have to find some extra time this week to re-watch all of the Thompson-related goodies on the extensive Criterion Collection special edition Fear & Loathing dvd.
Hunter S. Thompson was a child of Kentucky, which ended up being a bonding point between Thompson and actor Johnny Depp, who briefly lived with the good Doctor while doing research for his acclaimed performance as HST doppelganger Raoul Duke in Fear & Loathing & is slated to star in the upcoming adaptation of Thompson's The Rum Diary. This song is from Wilderness, the latest solo effort from The Sea & Cake member Archer Prewitt, and reportedly about the death of Prewitt's father. I heard it earlier this afternoon on The Current, and thought that the somber pop melodies of "O, KY" was appropriate today for a number of reasons, besides just being a great tune. Wilderness is currently out on Thrill Jockey records.
Speaking of 89.3 FM The Current, Chris Dahlen has written a feature about the station, its anti-format, and public radio in general for Pitchfork.
I bitched out on several shows this weekend, including Saturday's Les Georges Leningrad show at the Entry & the Rogue Wave / Comas / Vietnam triple bill at the Triple Rock, as well as last nite's Antony gig at the Fine Line. Saturday was eaten up by Rachel's golden birthday celebration (though her actual b-day isn't until the 24th), and an imprompto Sunday afternoon of boardgames stretched into the evening hours. So I'm thinking of skipping tonite's 24 & dragging myself down to the 400 Bar to see Shivaree, though I haven't made up my mind yet. How lazy am I? It would be fun to see lead singer Ambrosia Parsley, who sings the news on Air America's Unfiltered every week, and Frank Chromewaves certainly enjoyed seeing her. Perhaps I'll make up my mind around 5pm CT, when The Current plays an in-studio Shivaree performance & interview w/DJ Mary Lucia (go here to stream it).
BTW: When I call HST a "crazy bastard," I only do so lovingly, of course.
ETA: Markos Moulitsas - HST & Arrested Developent fan. Ka-blamo.