Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hamlet + Brad Mehldau

Two unrelated quick notes:

One, I'm teaching Hamlet and feeling particularly thankful that I, somehow, got myself a job that requires -- actually requires -- me to read, talk about, and write about literature. Like, someone pays me to read Hamlet. Someone pays me to start (and try to stay out of) discussions about Heart of Darkness. Someone pays me to talk about Beloved. Someone pays me to reconsider the ending of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. And, on the best days, someone pays me to read a student paper that makes me see a book, a poem, a play, even a word, in a new light.

And two, there's a cover of Oasis' "Wonderwall" on Brad Mehldau's new CD. And it's brilliant. Completely reinvents the dang thing, beat first, keeping enough of the melody to showcase its smart simplicity, transforming enough of the melody to make it obvious that its simplicity is not necessarily its strength. Drums, bass, and piano keep unlocking and relocking, unlocking and relocking in this wonderful almost-chaos that's never as close to collapse as it appears.

Plus, Mr. Mehldau's trio plays out here at the end of the month.

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