Saturday, January 31, 2009

It’s Audrey’s Party, &….

OK, I am changing the posting schedule a bit—I’m sure you are all anxiously awaiting the history of the kazoo, but that’s going to get pushed back a bit. This, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing, which is not to cast aspersions on the marvelous kazoo, but instead to say we’re going to have a marvelous guest blogger tomorrow, our dear SoCal pal, Audrey Bilger.

I’ve known Audrey since my days in Charlottesville, VA, & I remember her from that time as witty & smart & always up on the coolest recordings—
as I recall, Audrey & I shared a passion for Jonathon Richman’s music. Audrey & Eberle have been fast friends for many years, a friendship built on the voracious reading habits of each, as well as their passion for feminist criticism—& no doubt on each other’s wit, since they are two of the funniest people I know, as well as both being quite brilliant. In addition to her other qualities, Audrey is always a stalwart friend.

So I’m completely jazzed that Audrey will be contributing to Robert Frost’s Banjo as a guest blogger, with her first post coming tomorrow. A few biographical facts: Audrey received her PhD from the University of Virginia, & has taught both at Oberlin College, & at Claremont-McKenna College, where she’s a professor of lit & gender studies. She’s also done time as a drummer in a blues band, & when her insane schedule permits, I’m hoping Audrey will join the Musical Questions series. She lives with her spouse, Cheryl (one of the many marriages those Prop 8 SOBs are trying to undo), & when not teaching she keeps herself busy with a lot of writing projects, including interviews—in fact, Audrey was a big contributor to the interview questions for our own Musical Questions series. Audrey’s initial guest appearance will be an interview she did with Lesley Gore a few years back. The interview was slated to appear in Rockrgrl, but sadly that mag folded before the publication date. It’s happy for us, however, in the sense that Robert Frost’s Banjo now gets to post the interview with this rock legend. I’m sure at least the folks out there of my vintage will recall Gore—not only her monster hit “It’s My Party,” (see video below) but also pop songs with a feminist slant that was unusual (to say the least) in the 1960s: “You Don’t Own Me” & “That’s the Way Boys Are.” Audrey’s interview with Gore was done right after the release of Gore’s 05 album Ever Since. In addition to showcasing the singer in more jazz-oriented settings (tho it’s worth noting that Quincy Jones worked as arranger for Gore’s 60s hits), the album also has a new version of “You Don’t Own Me.”

So be sure to stop by tomorrow for Audrey Bilger & Lesley Gore!

In other blog news: one more grateful nod to Jacqueline T Lynch of Another Old Movie Blog, New England Travels & Tragedy & Comedy in New England—all blogs that are really worth regular visits—for the Premio Dardos award. I was also gratified to see that Scott over at Deep Craft has started his interview series with other Bay Area craftspeople. Scott contacted me about the questions used in the Musical Questions series, & he’s now using a modified version of these for his own blog. The first interview is here. Scott’s blog is also a delight & very much recommended by yours truly.

Speaking of delightful blogs, I’ve found some new ones over the past several days that I’d like to give a plug in my own small way: JenX67, a blog that presents personal observation & experience in a very compelling way—whether the blogger is contemplating the situation of Generation X latchkey kids or writing about how she experiences the urban frontier of Oklahoma City—a place I’ve never visited, but which she renders fascinating
JenX67 is great reading; & as someone who came along as the Boom generation was petering out (1956), I can say you needn’t have been born after 1960 to be engaged by the writing here.

Another wonderful blog that’s new to me is Lizzy Frizzfrock; this blog originates from a city I’m abashed to say I’ve never visited, Austin, TX. Lizzy Frizzfrock’s photography & observations are wonderfully refreshing. The blogger & her husband share at least one passion with Eberle & me—bird watching, tho based on her photos they do a lot more of this out & about, while Eberle & I often do it thru the windows looking at our various feeders. Lizzy Frizzfrock, like JenX67, also is able to write compellingly about place—I’ve been quite taken by her observations about Austin.

The Pics & Poems blog comes to us from the UK, & brings some thoughtful (& often humorous) observations on any number of subjects relating to the arts: the role of poet laureate both in Great Britain & stateside; observations on Robert Burns; an in depth examination of swearing; & a post considering the question of whether a viewer needs “context” in order to appreciate art. This is a wonderful essay entitled “Like what you’re looking at, then?”; it’s quite relevant to some recent observations on reading poetry that I’ve made in this space. Speaking of which, thanks to Kat at Poetikat’s Invisible Keepsakes & Willow at Willow’s Manor for their support of the Reading Poetry series.

& finally, one more classic film blog: Silents and Talkies; the concept here is wonderfully original—blogger Kate Gabrielle is also a talented artist, & she produces a sketch of a classic film star to accompany her appreciations of their work & recommendations for viewing. It’s an enjoyable blog, & pleasing to look at as well as to read. Many thanks to Ginger Ingenue of the equally enjoyable Asleep in New York for linking to Silents and Talkies in one of her recent posts.

Nuff said. But one last reminder: tomorrow—Gore & Bilger—be there or be square!


  1. Wow! Looking forward to tomorrow's post by Audrey. Thanks for filling us in on her background.

  2. Lesley Gore holds her head as if she were singing gospel. She almost never faces front. I wonder what the point of all that was supposed to be...

  3. Willow: It's up, so hope you enjoy!

    K.: They certainly do film her in right profile a lot, especially in this clip-- less so in the "You Don't Own Me Clip." She really belts out "You Don't Own Me" on the live version-- well worth a listen.


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