I recently read ‘A Visit From The Goon Squad’ by Jennifer Egan. The story is outlined in interlocking chapters that skip backward and forward in time with music being a central theme. The book is simultaneously fascinating, appalling and drenched in tension.
I love books that have an unusual twist such as drawings or odd insertions in the text. Jennifer Egan has provided a few unusual approaches to sharing her story. One is a chapter, from a child’s point of view, that is done in PowerPoint. It’s brilliant. Not only the concept, which I love, but the emotions and observations are incredibly moving. But, and a big But, the thing that sent me over the moon? It includes a fascination with pauses in rock And roll music. So cool. Now THAT is the kind of thought progression that I adore.
Here is the PowerPoint presentation.
In the book, one character brings an old friend a fish that he caught in NY’s East River. It’s a very bizarre chapter.
Here is one way Bennie could prepare his gifted fish.
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups white rice
1 lb broccoli, chopped
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 lb sole or seafood fillets of your choice
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (2.8 oz) can French fried onions
1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
2. In a medium bowl combine broth, rice, broccoli, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Mix well. Spoon into a 13×9 inch pan. Top with fish. Sprinkle with paprika.
3. Bake at 350℉ for 30 minutes or until fish is cooked through.
4. Top casserole with cheese and onions. Bake for 5 minutes longer.
Recipe from Schwan’s Family Favorites Cookbook
Songs with pauses. There are so many out there.
My interest in song pauses began the first time I heard The Human League’s dance mix version of Don’t You Want Me.
The awesome pauses occur at the 2:15 mark.
Aside from the songs with pauses mentioned in the PowerPoint slides, some others are Bruce Springsteen’s Rosalita, Madrugada’s Only When You’re Gone, The Decemberists’ Mariner’s Revenge Song, Love Shack by The B52s, Hurricanes and Butterflies by Muse, The Beatles’ A Day In The Life and Never Tear Us Apart by INXS to name some off the top of my head.
Here are two more of my absolute favorite songs with pauses.
Trips And Falls-Marginally More Than Mildly Annoying
Oh how I love this song.
The Replacements-Can't Hardly Wait
I first wrote about Trips And falls in this post.
The new album ‘People Have To Be Told’ is out on Song, By Toad Records. You can buy it there.
You can buy The Replacements’ music here.
Let me pause to wish you all a fantastic weekend.