WRLD: Indians, Road Movies, Apocalypse, Trance, Deadpan Fables, High-Rise, Math Rock, and Winogrand

Medicine from the 30's and 40's at Ruddy's General Store in Palm Springs
Medicine from the 30's and 40's at Ruddy's General Store in Palm Springs


Coming to Light: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indians [AmazonNetflix]. Amazing photographs, and a story of dedication to a photography project like no other. Highly recommended.


Driving Visions is an academic book about road movies that's organized by decade. Laderman does a superb job of showing the evolution of the form from the 60's through the 90's. The analysis of 70's existential classics like Two Lane Blacktop is particularly good. The book concludes with a chapter that analyzes the European road film, including a nice look at Wim Wenders' Kings of the Road.

Beta Testing the Apocalypse is what would happen if J.G. Ballard could draw comics. Kaczynski has set the bar really high with the 10 stories in this dystopian graphic novel. Highly recommended.


Trance profiles Patty Hearst's time with the SLA using a blend of history and fiction that often gets compared to DeLillo's Libra. I couldn't put this book down. And I also couldn't get the Camper Van Beethoven song Tania out of my head. Trance has really great characters, Bay Area settings, and gave me new insights on the activities of the radical left during the 70's.

Three to See the King is a simple fable by the author of the ultimate deadpan novel about work, The Restraint of Beasts. The subtle themes about home, relationships, and community have really stuck with me over the last few weeks. Recommended if you're already a fan of Mills' work. If you haven't had the pleasure yet, start with Beasts or All Quiet on the Orient Express.

I realized after reading Kaczynski's Beta Testing the Apocalypse that I'd never read Ballard's High-Rise. Wow, that was demented.


Sleeping People's Growing was a Pandora discovery on the Don Caballero station. If Fripp riffs haunt your dreams, you may want to give this great math rock band from San Diego a listen. Reminds me of Rumah Sakit's great self-titled album on the same Temporary Residence label.



Venice Beach

If all of the press and crowds have scared you off, visit the Garry Winogrand exhibition at SFMOMA in April -- when members get in 1 hour early on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.