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Days Of Future Posts
So many days, so few posts.

Look, I'm really a comment-thread guy more than a blog guy, but making supposedly correct triage decisions not to engage in various Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, etc. convos has left me w/out much public presence, while creating a lot of "notes" for posts here I should "write."

Not in the order they will, could, might, or won't appear:

--Grand opening for the hallway-classroom link and tag. I created them several months ago but have so far never properly introduced or promoted them. Perhaps there will be a banner and balloons.

--Tribal 2, the strong reasons people probably have for using the term "tribal" in a positive sense, like, regarding themselves even (which still doesn't mean you should use the word if you intend to engage in actual for real smart thinking, esp. pertaining to current political and social grouping(s)).

--Tribal 3, the strong reasons people like Paul Krugman, Brad DeLong, Ezra Klein, and a vast ever-multiplying et al. including probably you use the term "tribal" as a pejorative to denote one of the many things that fuck up and make stupid the current political etc. discourse (which still doesn't mean you or Krugman, DeLong, Klein, et al. should use the word if you intend to engage in actual for real smart thinking regarding current political and social grouping(s)). Paraphrases Upton Sinclair.

--Dead Lester 3. Yes, everyone is clamoring for this. </sarcasm>

--Dead Lester 4. One of the Dead Lester posts will be about why I think Paul Nelson never adequately responded to Irwin Silber. This post will be better received than the other one.

--Replication, in regard to understanding the utterances etc. of human beings other than oneself and perhaps other than yourself, too. This will be fun, I hope. It may refer back to the Mark Sinker adjunct thread that for a couple of years now I've been promising to add more to. The post may or may not refer to The Crisis Of Replication in the so-called social sciences, though that part of the post may be less fun.


--Oh My Girl wtf. ("Windy Day.")

--Cahiers du Cinema, Manny Farber. This post will not be as interesting as you were anticipating.

--Who is our most distant animal relative? This post will not answer the posed question, instead will be a meta meditation on taking sides, developing a rooting interest, etc., in which I will try to endeavor not to take sides or root for anything, except maybe will root for rooting and for taking sides, despite my failure to take sides, or root, in the post, unless I do take sides.

--That political discourse appears to batter through, demolish, and utterly flatten the wall between hallway and classroom while being the stupidest, most screwed-up, and destructive discourse in the world would seem to create a challenge to my assertion that (e.g.) rockcrits are being audacious and intellectually strong in not honoring the boundary between hallway and classroom. (The previous sentence leans heavily on the phrases "appears to" and "would seem to.")

--Is there a way for mathematics to finally click for me so that I might someday actually get it and enjoy it? (See the middle of Dave's post, here.)

--Yardbirds raveups.

--Bob Dylan's "Maggie's Farm." (Inspired by Edd Hurt's excellent comments on the "Antirockism Is Rockism" thread.)

--Interesting that Mark says "even the Ramones" (all bands being coalitions) given that the Ramones may be the epitome of a Bowie-Roxy-like "Oh oh oh, look look look, see the disparate elements we are combining," e.g., "See us do power chords with Ronettes melodies" and "Watch us do Dylan existential angst as if it's standard teen heartbreak" or "Watch us do Stones confronting-the-inner-fascist as dumb three-chord la-la-la" etc. etc. (This is a passage from a 4,000-word, rambling, very poorly integrated email I wrote and never sent because I hadn't finished it or remotely come close to figuring out what I was saying; perhaps a readable 1,500 words can be extracted from this. Potentially featuring Earth, Wind & Fire and the Pointer Sisters, who actually appear on a Kantner-Slick song.)

--Is "Only The Good Bits" as bad as "Too Many Bad Bits"? (Perhaps in regard to Paul Morley, and perhaps a continuation of PBS Revisited.)

--Why do we remember the past but not the future?

--Truffaut and Kogan (more of PBS Revisited).

--Wittgenstein doesn't buy into the dichotomy between particulars and universals. (This probably can be applied to the replication thing, now that I think about it.)


--I'm a comment-thread guy. I practically invented the comment thread. So why are even the good comment threads so killingly mediocre? Why is the Internet such a disappointment?

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Oh My Girl wtf
*rolls up sleeves, spits on palms* I AM HERE

In all fairness, in terms of actual replays, it's been "Liar Liar" > "Windy Day" > "Closer" over here. Also "Knock Knock," which I put on my older daughter's birthday mix because she's been so fond lately of telling knock-knock jokes, and because I am a sucker for Seunghee in the chorus and Mimi repeating "beautiful."

btw Crayon Pop now have their own V app channel, though I don't know how often they're expected to actually put stuff on there, and I think a comeback is rumored to be happening sometime in the next month or so

I think about the hallway/classroom metaphor sometimes while walking through actual hallways and peeking into actual classrooms (younger daughter can get to the school bathroom by herself after school, and I can let her; that does not mean school staff approves of her wandering around hallways without my direct supervision, post-dismissal) without drawing any actual useful conclusions. yet. Curriculum Night is Thursday.

This is the first time I've heard the phrase "V app channel." Is it this? What's the advantage of following, rather than just going to, say, a group's YouTube page?

If I'd been being more nuanced I'd have written, "Oh My Girl crypto-wtf," since I can be minutes into an Oh My Girl track before a question mark starts tenuously forming north of my noggin.

Btw, I assume initials OMG are deliberate. Are there any acts whose initials, intentionally or no, are WTF?

I'm 99% certain the name Oh! My Girl was chosen for the abbreviation. Sadly, their fanname is Miracle, not We The Fans or Loving Out Loud or something along those hoary lines. V app -- not sure what its advantages are as opposed to YouTube; maybe it was developed locally?

Here's Crayon Pop's new song “Vroom Vroom”, which was composed by Way and is a pre-release track from their upcoming album. It reminds me a lot of Orange Caramel's Italodisco song "Funny Hunny".

P.S. After listening to both songs several times, the production is so similar that composer Cho Young-Soo or someone else who worked on "Funny Hunny" must have produced "Vroom Vroom". The orchestra hit at 0.07 in "Vroom Vroom" is almost the same as...the orchestra hit at 0:07 in "Funny Hunny".

"The members will participate in the direction for the pre-release video and the overall album production. Way is in charge of promotion, marketing, and the music video, while Ellin and Gummi are in charge of costumes. Choa will be in charge of hair and makeup and Soyul will be responsible for the album jacket and logo design. All of the girls will show off their individual talents to make the first DIY album of its kind among girl groups."

Hmmm. I wonder how much of a hand they had in the producing, if any.

This song is terrific, on a level with "Bar Bar Bar" and "Bing Bing." While the sound signifies "fun," there's a nice ache in the singing.

Edited at 2016-09-10 11:51 pm (UTC)

Credits for "Vroom Vroom" are:
Lyrics by Way, Oh Yoowon
Composed by Way, Yoo Sanggyun, Shoulder Gang
Arranged by Yoo Sanggyun, Shoulder Gang

Shoulder Gang's Instagram tells us that Yoo Sanggyun played synthesizer(s) as well, so it's safe to say he is responsible for the Italodisco texture. Now the only question is whether he had a hand in "Funny Honey".

By the way, here's a clip of Crayon Pop performing "Hey Mister" on a Chinese (?) K-Pop show.

The teaser for Doo Doom Chit (the title track) is out, and I hear an Austral-Romanian saxophone.

By the way, the album will have 17 tracks:
Crayon Pop’s official Daum fancafe has updated information on the upcoming comeback. Chrome Entertainment apologizes to fans for the long wait. The full album will be titled Crayon Pop Evolution Vol 1. Including the title song, “Doo Doom Chit”, there will be a total of 17 songs, with 10 of them being new songs while the other 7 being old favorites. The digital release will happen on the night of the 25-26 September, at midnight, 26 September 2016. The physical album will be sold on 26 Sep 2016. The track list will be revealed on a later date.

There's a powerful monomaniacal repetition at 9 seconds in that lasts for two-and-a-half seconds ("Shaky shaky shaky HAH!" or something like that) which potentially upends or punks up the song in a good way. The rest at first listen goes down a tad too easy, though I like the flimsy discarded-cardboard drum-like sound that propels the track; also, that Crayon Pop sound like they're saying "da-doom shit." I wonder if that's intentional. (I'd guess not, but you never know.)

"It includes the currently most popular club beat mixed with a 90s melody, resulting in a catchy tune."

Was thinking about the decay of Tumblr coming after the decay of standalone blogs (Blogspot, Wordpress) and LiveJournal, and the emergence of Facebook as the new online standard for connecting to likeminded people. It's really frustrating.

As hard as it is to engage in dialogue online (and I think it used to be easier when things were more abstract and text-based -- message board culture, basically), it's REALLY hard on Facebook because everyone has access to things in ways no one can control. I almost never post about anything on my own Facebook feed because it's not just "music people" who will see it -- it's relatives and co-workers and lots of other spheres of life. It has a kind of chilling effect on how deep I'm willing to go.

I think everyone has that kind of mindset when they post on Facebook, which means that what you post is a lot more carefully performative, designed NOT to provoke or deepen or challenge, since doing those things has the potential for lots of unintended or unpredictable consequences that follow you back into your everyday life. It's much more complicated than reading and responding comment thread -- which means that even if you DID have something interesting to say, Facebook is a somewhat awkward place to say it. Pushback, even good-natured pushback, often takes on an unusually personal quality on Facebook.

There are still good comment threads out there. I think Crooked Timber has excellent comment threads for political stuff; for a while individual writers might cultivate good comment communities on their own posts (Ta-Nehisi Coates had a great comment community when he was posting regularly). But the internet trend, and I think it's been in the works for about a decade now, is toward online engagement as an extension of your whole self -- which means that if you don't have a little niche where you can comment in a relatively closed-off community -- likely in one that already existed ten years ago -- you're opening yourself up to *everyone* in your life.

I'm connected via Facebook to people who I know comment intelligently about politics and media education and other topics in niche spaces, and *none* of them bring the same quality of discussion to Facebook. But at the same time, it seems to be getting harder to maintain those niche spaces without it literally seeming like a handful of people hanging out in a room together -- a glorified email chain. (And it's the SAME people, with less and less hope of attracting new eyeballs, since broader reach happens through FB and other social media).

Even in the best circumstances it seems like sustained engagement in comment dialogues is much harder than, say, putting your own writing out there and having more informal responses from other people (likes, shares, minor follow-ups). But the nature of how people actually connect into "dialogue" is making it even harder now than it already was.

Edited at 2016-08-17 03:42 pm (UTC)

My quick, glib reaction is that Facebook as you've described it is another example of the classroom getting squashed under the hallway's fat white-elephant ass, in this case the relevant hallway being not so much the hallway of flirting and fighting but the hallway of just getting along and passing time.* But why this squashing should happen isn't obvious, since my assumption is not only that we can do social media and an intellectualized subject matter at once, but that, assuming we do them well, we'll do them better together than if we'd done each separately.

Back in '87 I was trying to get relatives, flatmates, etc., incl. e.g. random people Patty Stirling had met in Australia, to write for my music zine, which was a spinoff of my other zine which they were already writing for. I was trying to include in the music zine the life experience of people who hadn't been socialized into rock criticism or into indie-alternative. (For non-skyecaptains reading this, my zines were basically message boards/comment threads.) Obv. I wasn't any more frightened of these people than I was of the musos; less so, in fact; though of course the zines being paper and staples we could shut someone out if need be, and being too available-to-the-world was never going to be our problem. And I wasn't in turn being forced to notice and potentially take part in relatives' and coworkers' own streams of life the way I'd be now were I an active participant on Facebook and subject to their half-a-million boring links and reblogs.

In any event, assuming your analysis is right — that on Facebook too many eyeballs spoil the broth, and that the alternatives are all closed-in and fail to breathe the air of the world — I still don’t buy the analysis. Even if the reasons you give are the reasons, I don't buy it.

—"Breathe the air of the world." I.e., what I'm guessing you want as much as I do is genuine critical thinking and critical conversations that create new ideas and vocabulary that we put to immediate use, with these convos flourishing best out in the tumult and drag of the world, which we're participating in and taking in and fending off etc. as we write. But what you're saying about Facebook is that it's a spot where the stream of life is preemptively soggying-up and sinking our critical endeavors in fear.

When I say I don't buy it, I mean, you may well be right, that this is exactly what's happening. But the reasons you've given are reasons why an isolated individual feels vulnerable and shuts down. They're not reasons why entire communities** never get their shit together. —As you know, for me, a problem is that, over a period of 55 years, the various rockwrite/musicwrite communities have never been able to sustain intellectual conversations for more than brief, abortive bursts, or build on any of their achievements. It's utterly rare — was from the early '60s get-go, still is — for anyone to successfully develop his or her own ideas or stretch to understand someone else's. My quick but not-so-glib explanation is that there's never been a critical mass of people who recognize or value critical thinking enough to support such conversations. And I'm certain that if we had this critical mass, we'd find the way to support each other intellectually and emotionally, that the communities would do what separate individuals can't.

In a well-functioning community, if someone doesn't have time to research a question or work out an idea, she can crowdsource the research, ask for critiques, inspire others to develop the concept. If someone misreads, others can correct the misreading. If someone's in repetition mode, others can prod her, or run with her ideas where she herself is staying stuck. If someone goes berserk we can intervene to talk that person down. If someone's getting bullied the crowd can subdue or isolate the bullying, can defend and encourage the person being bullied. My saying this may seem naïve in an online world of distraction and gamergate, and I understand where you might feel at risk at home or at work if everyone knew your truth. But strong communities don't need everybody to be in caution mode and don't need the truth to be squelched. The technology that puts us at risk also connects us. Colleagues and family and strangers can provide unexpected encouragement — so long as enough of them and enough of us see that something is at stake.***

Not that I'm within miles of expecting this to happen. My point is that it's a choice. We can't get a good conversation just by wishing, but we can by working towards one. Dialogue may be worse on Facebook, but you never thought it was all that good anywhere, did you.

I think you're overestimating fear as a motive, and underestimating inertia and obtuseness. As an experiment though, why don't you simply take your comment above and post it on Facebook? It's not really going to put you at risk among friends and family, or colleagues, or students. How would it? My guess is that what would make you hesitate isn't the fear of angry retaliation but rather that those who respond might want you to take time to explain yourself. And maybe your excellent bright friends might get a vague glimmer that you actually think their thinking is third rate — you do, don't you? even in better venues than Facebook, it is, isn't it? — and that you kind of expect them to try harder, just as if they were students or something.

A brief analogy here to Daniel Kahneman's idea of loss aversion: loss aversion isn't quite the same as risk aversion, since people are willing to take risks if they think they can regain what they've lost.**** But everything being equal — i.e., the odds — people will be twice as likely to act to prevent loss as they will to seize opportunities. There may be a biological basis for this: underestimating a threat is more immediately and catastrophically consequential than underestimating an opportunity. My feeling is that, at least hypothetically, we can outwait people's fear, reach the land of opportunity. We're more likely to persist in the face of our students' fears, though, than our friends' and inquisitors'. We're responsible for teaching our students, after all; whereas if we're getting along passably with our friends, why rock boats and upset apple carts? It's easier for friends to vote with their feet (or their fins, if we've rocked their boats). They can just leave. It's the hallway, after all.

*Double meaning of "passing time" here, since actual hallways are at most use during the time of passing from one class to another, and of passing one another — this time of passing carrying with it a built-in exit strategy: if you don't want a conversation to go too far, you can always just say, "Great to see you. Gotta go." Meanwhile, briefly, you are just hanging out, passing time.

**Communities? Sets of people — loose aggregations of similar types, loose aggregations of sets, similar sets with similar or somewhat related hooks, spinning off from some musics, and (mostly postbeatnik to liberal to left) social critiques, and in fairly similar other things, in the lives of children, the lives of children and music, and media, and school...

***How many people? What's the critical mass? My guess is that it's not so many, that five or ten at a time can change whole discourses, five or ten motivated, smart thinkers, with maybe another 50 or 100 decent and interesting people looking on, fooling around, misunderstanding, cheering, two-centsing, grandstanding, greasing the wheels, adding their experience and wit, joining various fives and tens from time to time. We've never gotten the five or ten, though.

****I'm not sure how this squares with Kahneman's (probably correct) idea that praise is a much better motivator than criticism, though.

Regarding my "Kahneman" analogy, there's this from my reply to Jessica in the anti-antirockism thread:

Your constant anguish and self-doubt demonstrate why — at least in the short-run — the hallway tends to stymie and strangle the classroom online: one's first impulse in a conversation is to wonder where one's self is potentially under threat — how you come across personally and what social type you're perceived as. So the need to identify types and alliances and social markers and hairstyle is way more immediate than the need to understand someone else's actual ideas. We're likely programmed biologically to look out for risks first, before seeking opportunities. The mind tends to shut off once one arrives at a position appropriate to the sort of person one is. Examining ideas and rethinking one's typologies enough to be surprised — that comes later, if at all. (But again, if you don't shut off, this ought ultimately to help you do a better job of understanding people and types and alliances and threats etc. So there doesn't have to be a tradeoff between hallway and classroom.)
Dave, I'd say that in our dialogue in these comments both you and I are trying to come up with an understanding of what's systemically going on/going wrong, with me looking at what's been embedded long-term in the culture and you looking at what the constraints are when the cultural and psychological are run through a particular technology (Facebook's).

Obv. the line betw. what I'm calling "culture" and "technology" is very porous, since we're not just dealing with what Facebook's algorithms allow people to see but also the Facebook rule that people use real names, and the convention on Facebook that you befriend and make yourself potentially available to everybody who has a connection to you.

The Blackberry/iPhone era has helped limit conversation too: people began to feel they had the right to tell me to keep my emails short, partially because — I assume — of what fits comfortably on the little screens.

But to me this is just a lot of excuses. I don't want to belittle the role of technology in creating constraints, but I think basically what the Internet provides is opportunities. The constraints are coming from the long-term culture, in this case the hallway and the conventions of leisure time and of passing time clamping down on sustained discussion — because people don't value the discussion enough to put out for it.

Edited at 2016-09-05 12:32 pm (UTC)

Then again, I just picked up the new Chuck Eddy collection from my postbox, and right in the first sentence he thanks "any and all friends on Facebook (more or less 570 these days — I'm kind of selective)."* I can see this, Chuck rolling along in full voice, gabbing with others about whatever old or new record he's just found, or old or new idea someone's just put forth, as if he's on the ilX "Past Expiry Hard Rock Dollar Bin" thread. He knows what the conversations are missing, and where they're frustrating, but that's not going to stop him from playing around with whatever he's happened this day to have gotten his teeth into, not constrained or abashed in the least.

*You and I, among many others, get our own special thanks on the next page.

Edited at 2016-09-04 05:10 am (UTC)

"Against Transparency" by Matthew Yglesias, which of course isn't about which public spaces for conversation are better than others, but about the need for private conversation, including private written convo. So doesn't address our issue directly, but draws on the same reality. James Madison on the Constitutional Convention, which he thinks would have been a failure had the deliberations been public.

Had the members committed themselves publicly at first, they would have afterwards supposed consistency required them to maintain their ground, whereas by secret discussion no man felt himself obliged to retain his opinions any longer than he was satisfied of their propriety and truth, and was open to the force of argument.

Still mulling over your other posts, but funnily enough was about to come over here and post this very article. Definitely hit my "I don't like doing this on Facebook" buttons.

But I also hesitated to post it -- Facebook has its own problems, but to the extent that there are problems, they aren't problems that the internet (or whatever) has created. That is, the issue isn't really about transparency or privacy, since sure, Facebook might suck, but it isn't the only thing out there, and the advent of the technologies that include Facebook have undeniably created more promise for connection, not less.

Rockcrit has its offline "private" or "non-public" or whatever channels, always has, and the internet has undoubtedly made that process better, probably without any negative "side effects" at all (if the alternative was, like, letter-writing -- you can still do that, too).

I don't know how you could argue that internet communication hasn't improved the ability for one critic to connect with another one, and then a third one, while the first one sees that, too. And it's not like you couldn't have a good intellectual conversation entirely through *email*, say, with a list of a hundred or even a thousand people, and due to the nature of your choice of medium, not feel so "public" about it, if "public" is a problem.

And if you can allow for that part -- that "yes, an email with two or five or a hundred people on it counts as a sustained intellectual conversation," and that it didn't *have* to draw in passersby, say, or set the world to rights by showing everyone the results of that conversation (or something -- is that part of it?), then we're back at your thornier piece of the problem, which isn't just that people won't sustain the conversation, but that they can't.

I mean, I still think that there's some kinda Conversation Meltdown pie chart with:
--"don't know how"
--"know how, but can't because [reasons]"
-- "I thought I was already doing this, but it doesn't really seem to count in Frank's definition -- what are we supposed to be doing again?"

Not sure how big all those slices are. But it's probably true that the "don't know how" slice is the most difficult one -- it's the one where you have to do all that classroomy shit without abiding the classroom/hallway split -- so maybe I'm just focusing on all the easier slices because I just don't want to deal with the hard stuff. (Don't know how to deal with the hard stuff? Maybe.)

I do think reviving posts on this subject will help deal with that third slice, though -- what is everyone supposed to be doing and how is it that they're not doing it already, even when they think they are?

I had a thought the other day about "classroomy shit but not The Classroom" -- my students HATE the stuff we do that is the most classroom/hallway-busting (even if it doesn't really accomplish that goal) -- getting into what actually matters to them and letting them do it in the way they want to do it, but expecting some of the rigor they're expected to apply to "the subject matter" even though what we're doing isn't, strictly speaking, "the subject matter." Except to the extent that in the hallway, everything is always the subject already, hence there is no "subject." (Don't really want to mangle up my teaching observations with your metaphorical landscape here. I know that's not always the most productive way to apply it; it's just where my head's usually at.)

What my students usually want to do is pure hallway; but what they believe they SHOULD do, or are supposed to be doing in school, is pure classroom. So first choice: pure hallway. Second choice: pure classroom (this surprised me a little, but it makes sense). Third choice: Dressing up the hallway as the calssroom (as when, e.g., a Jeopardy review game is secretly just an excuse to hoot and holler and gossip and sing and not learn things about what you're supposed to be learning about). Fourth choice: Dressing up the classroom as the hallway (this is just watered-down classroom, and it's usually when students wonder why they can't just pick the hallway or the classroom). I don't know that they really have choices of what they'd like to do in school that doesn't abide classroom/hallway. They don't think that these things should "count" as school.

Employing the practice and deliberation and care that the classroom demands to everything outside of it (*potentially* doing that, anyway -- not that you have to, but that you can and will) is uniquely difficult, I think, when you grew up inside the split.

An imperfect metaphor: when I learned jazz piano, after 15 years of classical training, I was really stuck on how to do it right, since "doing it right" was EASY in classical, was a series of accomplishments achieved with the right practice, more or less. But in jazz you had to do all that technical stuff and also be COOL. You could do everything right, study and practice and all that, and still sound like a dork, still have no hairstyle to show for it. ('Course you needed a hairstyle in classical, too, and I had one. My problem was always with the deliberation and practice, not with the hairstyle. In jazz, my problem was BOTH. I wasn't great at the deliberation and practice, but I also needed a lot more hairstyle to not sound like a goober, and even once I had a hairstyle, people could still make fun of it and they wouldn't be wrong.)

"After much experimentation and discussion, we’ve concluded that the comment sections on stories are not providing a useful experience for the vast majority of our users. In order to prioritize and strengthen other ways of building community and engagement with our audience, we will discontinue story-page comments on on August 23."

Nate Cohn's tweet regarding "total failure of comment threads"

Nate Cohn: "I feel like the total failure of comment sections foreshadowed 2016."

Don't really agree, that comment sections are through and through failures.

But it's interesting that it's Cohn who says this; he writes for the NY Times, which is still pushing its comment threads, still seems to be using them as ways to attract and engage readers. I find most comments on Times threads to be commonplace and ignorant, with some pomposity thrown in, though the threads provide an interesting window nonetheless; but I generally don't find the threads offensive or grossly dysfunctional.

In our musicwrite world, the problem seemed to be that message boards gave way to Tumblr and Twitter, and the latter are far worse than they should be (and probably far worse than what they replaced). But (1) I don't know if I'm right in that judgment, as I haven't explored even "our" end of Tumblr and Twitter all that much; and (2) I don't know how much this applies in general to Twitter and Tumblr, rather than just to "our" part of it.

To some extent Twitter and Tumblr are comment threads, so what goes for comment threads should at least somewhat go for them as well. So, does Cohn think Twitter and Tumblr are total failures as well?

Starting Nov. 9 it might be worth trying to engage Cohn and ilk in this discussion.

Edited at 2016-10-02 04:36 pm (UTC)

Frank, saw a line or two from you about Irwin Silber and Paul Nelson. Silber I know a little about; Nelson I've lately become interested in. If the word "tragic" means anything, it applies to Nelson's strange, solitary life. I don't share his aesthetics, for the most part--Chet Baker, Jackson Browne and Ralph Stanley make for a strange trio--but I do admire his devotion to writing and his obsessiveness,, and his taste in cinema. Is the Nelson-Silber contretemps about Newport '65 and Sing Out? I'm interested in this. I've skimmed Richie Unterberger's interview with Silber, plan to re-read it shortly. --E.H.

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