Van Gogh’s Cypresses
I approach a themed show at the Met with some skepticism: are the curators making, let alone creating, a point in order to justify amassing loans for a blockbuster show? From a museological viewpoint, it is no longer enough, or professionally justifiable, to say, “Here are a lot of van Goghs for your viewing pleasure” (although the Rijksmuseum’s current Vermeer show contradicts this thesis). They must find something “new” to warrant putting on an exhibition and, particularly, to make pressing loan requests. (“We can’t tell the story without your wonderful example, blah, blah, blah.”)
Jackson Browne 2022
Jackson Browne made me just as happy last night as he did four years ago when he sang at the Bowl. More than half his set list was different, which speaks to the size and quality of his repertoire. I started thinking that he must be the best songwriter of our generation, after Dylan and Springsteen; but his songs are so much more relatable. The early ones are about love and longing, the more recent tend toward political issues; but the words are always clear and thoughtful. Then there is the sound.
I had to take this in in two sittings, it was so long and so loud (as was the audience of young women). It’s hard to find fault with Taylor Swift, and I couldn’t. Some songs were better than others, but it probably helped if you knew them all by heart, as most of the adoring crowd did. What stood out, beyond her looks, her smile, her engagingly coy cuteness, were the clothes, the choreography, the dancers, backup singers and band, the overall production. Edited down from the live show, when presumably there were breaks for the costume and set changes, the 2:48 film was a nonstop powerhouse of visual and aural delight.
A Stupid Rule
On Sunday (7/11) the Twins blew a game, 7-6, to the Blue Jays when Emilio Pagan gave up two singles and a home run in the 8th inning, but the loss equally belonged to Carlos Correa, whose throw in the dirt on the back end of a sure double play allowed the Jays’ three previous runs to score. One run came in on the play, two more when the next batter hit a home run with two outs. Twins pitcher Louie Varland was charged with three earned runs, because you can’t presume a double play. In other words, if the defense gets the first out on a force, they won’t be charged with an error for not completing the double play, even if