Remember how I used to turn you on to cool new things every week in Blotch? But then I got sorta lazy and stopped? Well, I’m not one to let a little thing like my lack of follow-through stop me from telling you what you should be listening to/watching/reading/observing curiously while puffing on your tobacco pipe. From now until further notice, I’ll regularly offer a slew of cool/interesting people, places, and artifacts to check out, starting now with an old-ish (August) slideshow at the Huffington Post of the 15 most overrated contemporary American writers, a list that includes Times book critic Michiko Kakutani, the only journalist mentioned. However, I strongly disagree with the Huff-Post writer, Anis Shivani, that to be regarded as not overrated, a writer must tackle weighty politicized issues and only in a manner bereft of experimentation –– we live in a fractured age, and writing that manifests seemingly disparate points of view and wild usages of language speaks to our uniquely 21st-century, utterly po-mo perspective. Sure, avant-garde poets Jorie Graham and John Ashbery have become the Establishment, but just because they make money doesn’t mean they’re hacks or have lost their literary virtue. You could argue that their success bodes well for the state of readership today (and that not every reader seeks only a guilty pleasure in deference to a challenge). What’s also funny is that by calling William T. Vollmann a “third-rate Pynchon,” Shivani probably has encouraged more than a few Pynchon fans to pick up some Vollmann. I know I did. I’ll let you know how he is soon.
For you loyal Hip Tips readers who got the reference in the title of my post, here’s a little rundown of appropriate vids for which I searched and searched (read: searched briefly) the entire world wide web.
Here’s the tune from the source. Pretty bad-ass.
Here’s Slash with Zakk Wylde. Slash’s playing LOOKS great –– if we could only hear it. As for Wylde, you kinda get the feeling that if he could string his penis and play it, he would.
Here’s Satch, Steve Vai, and Yngwie performing at what looks like a high-school prom. I like their solos –– they each sound like their players. And if you look closely at Yngwie’s outfit, you’ll notice that he’s wearing an eat-nine-meals-get-the-10th-one-free punch-card lanyard from Golden Corral.
And here’s perhaps the best thought-out, most sincere version by, yep, SRV (and I’m not even an SRV fan).