Jesse Jarnow

Archive for October, 2007

the beach boys on the coast of utopia

“Terrapin” – Syd Barrett (download) (buy)
recorded 24 February 1970, Top Gear, BBC Radio 1

(file expires November 7th)

About 10 years ago in Copenhagen, I saw a dude walking down the street in a leather jacket with the words “Rock & Roll” written on the back in bedazzled studs. And I think he really meant it. That’s pretty much how Tom Stoppard means it in Rock ‘n’ Roll, currently in previews in New York, a play — when it boils down to it — about Czechoslovakian politics and, ahem, Syd Barrett. But, in the context of Czechoslovakia, where rock remained a revolutionary force for several decades longer than the United States (if it ever was here to begin with), the simplicity is totally excusable.

Midway through the first act, intellectual/rock dork Jan (Rufus Sewell) stomps around his room in Prague. His hair has grown out and he wears a long coat. When he turns to face his four shelves of vinyl, for a moment, he resembles nothing less than one of the proto-Commie dreamers of Stoppard’s Coast of Utopia. Rock ‘n’ Roll is in, many ways, an epilogue to that trilogy, catching the last few decades of socialism before the Velvet Revolution and the fall of the Wall, a bridge back to the modern world from the ideas Herzen, Belinsky, Turgenev and others opened up in Utopia.

As a standalone work, Rock ‘n’ Roll is a bit simplistic. Like Ethan Hawke’s clownish Michael Bakunin in the Lincoln Center Utopia, the characters do a lot of shouting about Ideas. In places, the music is predictable — cuing “Welcome to the Machine” after a typically Stoppardian debate about mind-as-spirit vs. mind-as-machine, for example. But Pink Floyd, it turns out, is still a foreign substance to legit thee-ay-terr, and the effect — mixed, Jah bless ’em, at a genuine loud volume — is at least a superficial mimicry of how Czech rockers the Plastic People of the Universe must have fit into political discourse: rudely. Indeed, the songs were always abruptly cut off before resolution, the lights thrown up and the next scene begun instantly. (And, sometimes, the music is totally unpredictable, like a totally WTF?! excerpt of the Rockin’ the Rhein rendition of the Dead’s “Chinatown Shuffle.”)

Stoppard’s got his post-existential/surrealist formula down pat: the life/emotional arcs of characters embroiled in sweeping historical/intellectual concepts, with a few plotlines about incidental contemporary happenings to keep things cosmically circumstantial. In Rock ‘n’ Roll, the latter role is filled by Syd Barrett, who haunts the play, sometimes literally. Formulaic or no, though, it always leaves me excited, the way I felt the first time I saw Arcadia as a freshman in college, like everything was somehow connected.

“Well, that’s the last Stoppard I’m ever going to,” huffed a British chap outside afterwards. Maybe Brian Cox switched accents midway through some scenes, as my friend suggested. Maybe it was just too loud. (Thx, G’ma.)

super taste!

I love me some Super Taste. Their spicy beef noodle soup makes Republic’s taste like a styrofoam cup of ramen flavored with the pepper packets from an airline meal. The hand-pulled noodles are soft, full, and delicious. Man. And it stings.

I had always assumed that it was the noodles that I loved, and that part of the Super Taste experience is the notion of getting through the spice to the noodles: eating with the fear of slurping a noodle that would lash around like a serpent’s tail and flick spice directly into the eyeball (a sensation surprisingly not unlike what the tongue experiences). Recently, after I’d espoused this idea to Boomy, it was suggested that I simply order the soup without the spice — in fact, an option directly below Spicy on the menu. Nothing to feel guilty about, she said. If you like the noodles, just get the noodles.

So I did. And it just wasn’t as good. On one hand, I feel like this is a revelation my unrefined tongue has been working towards for years. On the other hand, maybe it’s just ’cause Super Taste is so ridiculously ridiculous. Either way, my good blue shirt has some subtle spice staining action this eve.

is it time for spring training yet?

Sadly, probably not. What a lame Series. At least it’s time to end the self-imposed moratorium on reading baseball books.

o The New Yorker‘s Ben McGrath gets loose on Scott Boras, agent to A-Rod, Carlos Beltran, and many others.
o A pair of scholarly studies about the effects of the Designated Hitter, including a PDF of “the Etiology of Public Support for the Designated Hitter Rule” (apparently, um, Democrats favor the DH more than Republicans) (Thx, MVB)
o will keep me entertained during the long, cold months. Of this, I am sure. (Word, OAK.)
o Richard Ford has a nice piece in today’s Times about the game-as-played versus the game-as-discussed. Anything that “refines the idea of spectatorship” is good. Anything “trying to sharpen the focus on a bunch of focusless stuff that not only doesn’t matter a toot, and could never be proven true or false and therefore isn’t really journalism, but that also doesn’t have anything to do with the game as it’s played”… well, that’s bad.
o It is time for the annual reading of A. Bartlett Giamatti’s “The Green Fields of the Mind.”

No, seriously, is it time for spring training yet?

have read/will read dept.

o Indie rock is white. No, it’s not. It’s just classist.
o Wes Anderson is white. Uh, yes, he is, but so what?
o The Coen brothers in conversation with Cormac McCarthy.
o Chuck Klosterman on Harry Potter.
o Clappy on post-DIY indie rawk.

“crank that (soulja boy)” – soulja boy tell’em

“Crank That (Soulja Boy)” – Soulja Boy Tell’em (download) (buy)
from (2007)

released by Collipark Music/Interscope/Stacks on Deck Ent.
week of October 27, 2007
#1 this week, #1 last week, 14 weeks on chart

(file expires November 1st)

The question that “Crank That” poses is thus: can a single chord, played ad nauseam, count as a hook? Perhaps, when played at an enormous volume, the overloaded piano hit here sounds dope. Streaming through Hype Machine, though, there’s not much to it. At first, the ear moves towards it. What is it made from? Is that just piano? Is there some orchestral oomph behind it? Kettle drums, maybe? It’s almost like the way illusory melodies suddenly surface in the elongated shimmers of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music (or any other feedback session), except mega-compressed, so it goes by too quickly to distinguish. Ultimately, though, who cares? Yeah, a single chord can probably carry a song (any suggestions?), but not this one. Not nearly weird enough. It’s kind of lame, as big chords go. I do like the layered vocals, though only as a potential source for cascading/refracted remixes.

I also like that his album is called, that the album is indistinguishable from the project as a whole — which now includes 179,295 streamable answering machine messages from, er, Soulja Girls — one medium pointing at another. More, I like that the Soulja Boy concept is embedded at every level — the song title, the album title, the artist name, in the lyrics, etc..

frow show, episode 30

Episode 30: RIP Oink.

Listen here.

1. “Baked Potatoe” – Gene Ween (from Synthetic Socks CS)
2. “Frow Show Theme” – MVB
3. “Get You Down” – Super Monster (from Super Monster EP)
4. “Just As You Are” – Robert Wyatt (from Comicopera)
5. “Diamond Heart” – Marissa Nadler (from Songs III: Bird on the Water)
6. “Julia (sped up/slowed down)” – The Beatles (via WFMU’s Beware of the Blog)
7. “? ?????? ??? ??????” – Yori Morozov (via End(-)of(-)World Music blog)
8. “Love Can Tame the Wild” – The Monks (from Black Monk Time)
9. “In the Future” – David Byrne (from Music from the Knee Plays)
10. “The Grid” – Philip Glass (from Koyaanisqatsi)
11. “I’ll Be Your Mirror” – Lou Reed, John Cale, and Nico (from Le Bataclan ’72)

martin dressler

A particularly lovely fantasia from Stephen Millhauser’s Martin Dressler:

While taking note of the unusual living arrangements, and ignoring conventional features such as lobbies, cafeterias, and a very efficient laundry service, many observers preferred to comment on the large amount of space devoted to services and entertainments not generally associated with hotels: the many parks and ponds and gardens, including the Pleasure Park with its artificial moonlight checkering the paths, its mechanical nightingales singing in the branches, its melancholy lagoon and ruined summerhouse; the Haunted Grotto, in which ghosts floated out from behind shadowy stalactites and fluttered toward visitors in a darkness illuminated by lanternlight; the Moorish Bazaar, composed of winding dusty lanes, sales clerks dressed as Arabs and trained in the art of bargaining, and a maze of stalls that sold everything from copper basins to live chickens…

yo la tengo in port washington, 10/19

“Ripple” – Yo La Tengo (download)
recorded 19 October 2007, Landmark on Main Street, Port Washington, NY

(file expires October 29th)

Yo La Tengo at Landmark on Main Street
Port Washington, NY
19 October 2007
Chris Brokaw opened.

The Landmark being (as we discovered) across the street from Finn MacCool’s, the watering hole of choice for the 1986 Mets, many of who resided in Port Washington, we naturally had to toast Danny Heep en route to the show. Via Jeff Pearlman’s The Bad Guys Won:

Strawberry did much of his damage at Finn MacCool’s, a tavern in Port Washington where many of the Mets hung out. One night Henry Downing, the bar’s manager, concocted a drink for the Mets that he named The Nervous Breakdown. It was a potent combination of vodka, cranberry juice, tequila, and schanpps, and the twelve Mets sitting around the table eagerly devoured pitcher after pitchers. Among the participants were Ojeda, Mitchell, Dykstra, and Backman — guys who could hold their own. Yet the one who drank the most was Strawberry. ‘I remember he really took to that,’ says Connie O’Reilly, MacCool’s owner. ‘I guess he liked the taste.’ … ‘The next afternoon we were watching the game from the bar, and the broadcaster said Darryl wasn’t playing,’ O’Reilly says. ‘They showed him sitting on tbe bench… something about a twenty-four-hour virus.’

Tom Courtenay
Beanbag Chair
Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House
Fog Over Frisco
Mr. Tough
Ripple (Grateful Dead)
Surfin’ With the Shah (The Urinals)
Cone of Silence
Sloop John B (trad/Beach Boys)
Black Flowers
Luci Baines (Arthur Lee)
I Found A Reason (Velvet Underground)
Oklahoma USA (The Kinks)
Story of Yo La Tango
Detouring America With Horns
Speeding Motocycle (Daniel Johnston)
You Can Have It All (George McCrea)
*(encore, with Chris Brokaw on guitar)*
A House Is Not A Motel (Arthur Lee)
Tell Me When It’s Over (Dream Syndicate)
I Feel Like Going Home

“julia” & “tomorrow never knows” sped-up & slowed back down

“Julia” – The Beatles (sped up & slowed back down by Editor B) (download)
“Tomorrow Never Knows” – The Beatles (sped up & slowed back down by Lee R.) (download)

(files expire October 26th)

So, Steve McLaughlin compressed the entire Beatles’ catalogue into a single, one-hour mp3. Cute. But then some other dudes, Editor B and one “Lee R” (hmm), took out chunks and reconstituted them back to normal speed. The result is one of the most literally psychedelic remixes ever, a technological approximation of the tricks the acid-enhanced ear plays when listening to even the most familiar music. It’s gorgeous, like watching an image gradually decompose on a xerox machine. Or, more accurately, a xerox of a xerox of a xerox, or even the granular decay of Alvin Lucier’s “I Am Sitting In A Room” or David Wilson’s “Stasis.” Thing is, though, while it’s a pretty academic experiment, there are Beatles melodies’ in the middle, rising out of the noise, already complete in most listeners’ minds.

The breaks in the middle of “Tomorrow Never Knows” are fantastic, the famous backwards guitar almost indistinguishable from John Lennon himself. On “Julia,” Lennon’s voice practically pixilates, but it is no less evocative of the subject’s seashell eyes and windy smile, though the beach might now be the silvery landscape glimpsed in William Gibson’s Neuromancer:

The city, if it was a city, was low and gray. At times it was obscured by banks of mist that came rolling in over the lapping surf. At one point he decided that it wasn’t a city at all, but some single building, perhaps a ruin; he had no way of judging its distance. The sand was the shade of tarnished silver that hadn’t gone entirely black. The beach was made of sand, the beach was very long, the sand was damp, the bottoms of his jeans were wet from the sand… He held himself and rocked, singing a song without words or tune.

(Thx, Boomy, for pointing out FMU’s post.)

steal global, buy local

“Get You Down” – Super Monster (download) (buy)
from Super Monster EP (2007)

(file expires October 24th)

Said it before, but I was reminded tonight during the Industrial Park Records CMJ showcase at the Tank: steal global, buy local.

That is: download/appropriate/pilfer whatever music you need by any means necessary, so long as you support local musicians when you can by going to their gigs, buying their tour CDs, a tee-shirt, or whatever. The locality, a slippery term in this age, is whatever neighborhood/karass/clique/scene you choose to define.

have read/will read dept.

o Why didn’t anybody tell me there was a Mad Decent blog? All kindsa groovy/poppy/dancy jams from the world’s trenches.
o Bizarro crate-dug cuts from all over the globe at the End-of-World Music blog. I recommend the Yuri Morozov.
o Bill Wasik nails the zeitgeist.
o Tom Stoppard on Syd Barrett.
o Dean Ween is blogging.

mexican baseball in red hook after all, 10/07

los angeles plays itself

Coming nowhere near a Netflix queue near you is Los Angeles Plays Itself, Thom Andersen’s three-hour docu-ode to the City of Angels. Made entirely from footage from other movies and narrated with omniscient nonchalance by Encke King, the film is a veritable geography of Los Angeles real, Los Angeles imagined, and — most intriguingly — the Los Angeles created between the two. Given the copyrights on the footage (which probably comes from at least 100 pictures, if not far more), there is no way this film will ever see widespread commercial release. So — both because it’s great & ’cause the Mang doesn’t want you to have it — here is a torrent of it.

in rainbows

Bugger off. Listening.

frow show, episode 29

Episode 29: A Slightly Used Hope

Listen here.

1. “More Mets Than Yanks” – Roger Angell (from Ken Burns’ Baseball)
2. “Moby Octopad” – Yo La Tengo (from I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One)
3. “Frow Show Theme” – MVB
4. “Paper Planes remix” – M.I.A. feat. Bun B & Rich Boy
5. “Fractured Skies” – Parts & Labor (from Mapmaker)
6. “The Lord” – Young People (from War Prayers)
7. “Bad Education” – Blue Orchids (from The Greatest Hit)
8. “Andy’s Chest” – Lou Reed (from Transformer)
9. “It Don’t Come Easy” – Ringo Starr (from Ringo)
10. “Cherubic Hymn” – Bruce Haack (from Electric Lucifer)
11. “Sukiyaki” – Kyu Sakamoto
12. “Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)” – Peter Starstedt (from The Darjeeling Limited)
13. “Stella Blue” (live) – Ween (from unknown show)
14. “Can’t Leave Her Behind” – Bob Dylan (from 1966 Hotel Room Tape)

highlights reel

highlights reel

(A list in progress of personal faves, etc..)

Features/Profiles/Interviews, etc.:
Reed and Right, Lou Reed profile (London Times, 7/04)
The Spirit of Radio, WFMU 50th anniversary profile (Signal To Noise, summer 2008)
How Jerry Got Hip Again (part 1 only) (Relix, 8/08) [see also “Hippie” below] Hunter S. Thompson Keeps Moving, my visit with the late Doctor. (Relix, 4/03)
Happier In Hoboken, Yo La Tengo profile (Paste, 4/05) [see also “Yo La Tengo” below] The Fugs: American Peace-Creeps, a visit with Ed Sanders (Relix, 11/09)
The Tinkerer, Tristan Perich profile (Village Voice, 6/08)
The Numero Group, a visit with the Chicago archival label (Indy Week, 11/11)
Running Into Stonehenge, essay about my Dad (Paste, 6/08)
Circuit Bending Lets Old Toys Play Tunes (Associated Press, 4/06)
Trey Anastasio’s Empty House (unpublished, 8/06)
Dreams Less Sweet, Circulatory System profile (Indy Week, 8/09)
The Penguin is Mightier Than The Sword, Berkeley Breathed profile (, 11/03)
On Long Island, Memories of Harvey Milk Have Expired, a trip to Harvey Milk’s hometown (Paste, 11/08)
American Beauties, Akron/Family profile (Village Voice, 4/09)
Turning the Kleig Lights Around, Mountain Goats profile (Paste, 6/05)
Nobody Expects the Cricket, Glenn Kotche profile (Signal To Noise, summer 2006)
Unleash the Love!, Mike Love profile (Times Herald-Record, 4/06)
Passing the Turing Test With Brian Wilson (unpublished, 12/05)
How To Steal A Smile, on the flawed by wonderful reconstruction of the Beach Boys’ lost classic (Relix, 11/11)
Simple Meals, Talking Cats, an email interview with Haruki Murakami (Paste, 4/07)

NYC music:
Tapes ‘n’ Tapes ‘n’ Tapes, on Abandon Ship and the noise tape scene (Village Voice, 8/09)
The Jazz Loft: A Rare Find, on the convergence of W. Eugene Smith and Thelonious Monk in the Flower District (Indy Week, 3/09)
Fun, Money, Dolphins, Jake Szufnarowski profile (Village Voice, 1/08)
CBGB Closes (Associated Press, 10/06) (audio report, photos by Jack Chester)
Viva Talibam!, Talibam! profile (Village Voice, 3/09)
Monster Island’s Last Hurrah, profile of the arts space (Village Voice, 9/11)
Janka Nabay, A Bubu King, Grows in Brooklyn, profile of the Sierra Leonean transplant (Village Voice, 11/10)
Jimmy McMilllan, Rent Is Too Damn High dude’s musical past life (, 10/10)
NYC Taper & the Proud, Obsessive Lineage of Audio Hoarders, on tapers & taping (Village Voice, 1/10)

Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? – Of Montreal (Paste, 1/07)
Her Majesty, The Decemberists – The Decemberists (, 9/03)
Feels – Animal Collective (Paste, 1/06)
An Open Letter to My Friend Chris Regarding the Mountain Goats’ We Shall All Be Healed (Pop Matters, 2/04)
Americana: Home Recordings – Jim Croce (San Diego Fahrenheit, 12/03)

Suffer For Fashion” – Of Montreal (Paper Thin Walls, 12/06)
Boy With A Coin” – Iron and Wine (Paper Thin Walls, 9/07)

Of Proust & Potter, reading Marcel Proust and J.K. Rowling (Paste, 5/09)
Phil Spector & Brian Wilson bios (London Times, 4/07)
Spook Country by William Gibson (Paste, 8/07)
Black Swan Green by David Mitchell (Paste, 5/06)
Don’t Stop Believin’: How Karaoke Conquered the World and Changed My Life by Brian Raftery (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/08)

The Dead at Red Rocks (, 8/03)
Paul McCartney at Madison Square Garden (, 10/05)
Smokey Hormel at Sunny’s (, 1/08)
Cornelius at Webster Hall (, 1/08)

Yo La Tengo:
Yo La Tengo, Hanukkah 2007 (, 12/07)
Yo La Tengo, Hanukkah 2008 (, 12/08)
Yo La Tengo, Hanukkah 2010 (, 12/10)
10 Years of YLT Hanukkah (Village Voice, 11/11)

A Recent Rap With Jerry Garcia (Perfect Sound Forever, 2/06)
America On-Line (Dave Matthews Band in Central Park) (unpublished, 9/03)
Phish at Coventry (, 8/04)
Throwing Down With the Upper Crust, Jerry Garcia guitar auction (, 5/02)
Phish: The Biography, a review (Indy Week, 1/10)

Gospel Zone, on Bob Dylan’s gospel period (Boogie Woogie Flu, 12/08)
Bob Dylan at Sunfest (, 5/03)
On the Outside Looking In, Dylan’s Hollywood Foto-Rhetoric (The Forward, 1/10)

The Multiplex Dreams of Bollywood (San Diego Fahrenheit, 8/03)
Searching For The Next Little Thing, a trip to the Consumer Electronics Show (unpublished, 1/06)
HST (, 3/05)
E-Pro, or Why We Shouldn’t Be Mad at Beck for Being A Scientologist (Pop Matters, 12/05)
Living In Hope, an appreciation of Tuli Kupferberg (Boogie Woogie Flu, 12/09)

yo la tengo at the new yorker festival, 10/6

“Autumn Sweater” – Yo La Tengo (download)
“This Man He Cries Tonight”- Yo La Tengo (download)
recorded 6 October 2007, Brooklyn Lyceum, Brooklyn, NY

(files expire October 15th)

Yo La Tengo at Brooklyn Lyceum
6 October 2007
New Yorker festival
between song Q&As moderated by Ben Greenman

The Cone of Silence
Stockholm Syndrome
Story of Yo La Tango
Magnet (NRBQ)
Autumn Sweater
I Heard You Looking
Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind
This Man He Cries Tonight (The Kinks) (live debut)

newish joints from jonny greenwood

“Popcorn Superhet Receiver” – Jonny Greenwood (download)

“Smear” – Jonny Greenwood (download) (buy)
from The Jerwood Series, v. 2 (2006)

“Arpeggi” – Jonny Greenwood and Thom Yorke (download)
recorded 27 March 2005, Ether Festival, London

Skip through Jonny Greenwood’s “Popcorn Superhet Receiver” at random — dropping the cursor here or there — and it could be an orchestra, it could be an electro-acoustic collage. Perhaps it’s the anything-goes approach of Bodysong, perhaps it’s the lonely Ondes Martenots of “Smear,” perhaps it’s the fact that he’s a member of frickin’ Radiohead, but “Popcorn” seems like it could disintegrate to fuzz and bleeps and chiming Rhodes at any moment. Really, though, it’s just an orchestra, even if it blurs into sonic mirages.

The fact that Greenwood sustains it for 10 minutes before the ambient chords swell to Hitchcock thriller trills and explode into another world is impressive enough. Meanwhile, “Smear” — taken from a compilation of new music performed the London Sinfonietta — is a more unpredictable, though lacks the dramatic scope of “Popcorn,” which will receive its US premiere in January as part of the Wordless Music Series.

Are they right and proper formal compositions? Are they just a rock musician dabbling in archaic tropes? Are they boring string excursions? Do they matter except as a research prelude to (say) this version of Radiohead’s forthcoming “Arpeggi”? No answers here, of course. And though I’m excited to hear “Popcorn” performed live, I probably won’t listen to it as much as “Arpeggi” or In Rainbows.

dylan in the distance, 10/07

“in the craters of the moon” & “autoclave” – the mountain goats

“In the Craters of the Moon” – The Mountain Goats
“Autoclave” – The Mountain Goats
recorded 2 October 2007, Studio B, Brooklyn, NY

[Downloads removed at the polite request of JD.]

Mostly, this was an experiment to see how long it would take to record a show with the aforementioned iTalk, up it to my computer, and extract a few segments, as well as to see how much juice it would take, both in terms of power and memory. The answers: with laughable ease and laughably little.

So, here are two new Mountain Goats songs, performed this evening at Studio B in Brooklyn, a dance club a few blocks from the kielbasa parlors and bright-eyed/enchanting Polish girls of Greenpoint. The frame and drama are pure Mountain Goats, as hard-boiled and stylized as Bukowski or the Coen brothers. Some lines, especially on “In the Craters of the Moon,” feel like stock John Darnielle: “I think I’m gonna crack, I can’t live like this any more.” Others are perfect and inventive: “We swim in the dark until our bodies are numb, clandestine (?) rats in the moonlight, too far from the shore.”

Differentiating good & bad lines seems a tad silly, though, especially at this stage of the game. Darnielle found his voice a long time ago, and he’s sticking to it. They’re new songs. If you like the Mountain Goats, you’ll probably dig ’em. (An autoclave, as Darnielle pointed out, is a device built to sterilize medical instruments and kill all lifeforms, except — as recently discovered — one particular type found at the bottom of the ocean, near volcanic seabeds, which not only survives the process, but multiplies.)

useful things, no. 9

The ninth in an ongoing collection of functional webpages and dork tools (excluding any/all Google programs)

o A guide to free wifi hotposts.
o Send free text messages to any mobile phone via the webz.
o Skip the thumbnails in Google’s image search.
o Trade oodles of used CDs for credit at and they’ll even send the goods first, along with an empty box and return postage for whatever’s being traded.
o It ain’t free (cost me $50), and it’s impossible to truly set levels, but the purchase of Griffin’s iTalk gizmo seems well worth it already — even if I haven’t used it yet to tape an interview or bootleg a show. Those will come soon. Excepting an emergency flashlight next to my bed, I no longer have any device that requires a constant diet of double-A batteries. Weird!

the nice autumn air

Baseball deals in increments of hope: a two-run homer that brings the team within one, a strike closer to a strikeout, an out closer to the end of the game, a victory closer to the end. Each is a small clearing where suddenly a path to the future opens up, and everything is all right.

“There’s more Mets than Yankees in all of us,” Roger Angell once said, or something like it, which is maybe small consolation to a Mets fan this week. But it was a drama to participate in, milked to the very last day of the season: a statistically impossible and literally historic slide with one glorious high before the absolute crash, a redemptive one-hitter/blow-out (with a fight, taboot!), followed by a game in which a future Hall of Famer possibly making his final career start was blown out after giving up five runs in the first, a renowned slugger had his wrist broken by an errant pitch, and a kryptonite-weighted wunderkind ended his honeymoon with the fans. One utility player finished up an all-star career while his wife wept quietly in the stands, and September call-ups packed their bags, hoping for a shot in the spring.

For now, it is time for new routines, new ways to mark the post-agrarian seasonal changes. For some, it’s further escape into different culture industries: the fall movies (Wes Anderson! the Coen brothers!), other sports (a guy next to us at the game was tuned into the Jets today! The Jets!), or even changes that have nothing to do with consumption (taking the train to work instead of riding a bike). They are changes that would have happened with or without baseball, but now we can be aware of the Indian summer rising around us, the last nights to go out on the town and enjoy the air, instead of being lashed to a radio or a ballpark seat. Yeah, that’s the ticket: the nice autumn air.