Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

Posts Tagged ‘2011

Catalogued: Books Read >> 2011

leave a comment »

• in no particular order •

Helen deWitt: Lightening Rods
Tyler Cowen: The Great Stagnation & Create Your Own Economy
Evelyn Waugh: Vile Bodies & Decline and Fall
Marya Hornbacher: Madness
Nick Zimmer, Zachary Lipez and Stacy Wakefield: Please Take Me Off the Guest List
F.A. Hayek: Constitution of Liberty (well, mostly…)
Bill Clegg: Portrait Of An Addict As A Young Man
Diana Athill: Instead of a Letter
Sharon Solwitz: Bloody Mary
Kay Redfield Jameson: An Unquiet Mind
Siri Hustvedt: The Summer Without Men
Rainer Maria Rilke: Letters to a Young Poet
Peter Kramer: Listening to Prozac
John Tierney & Roy Baumeister: Willpower
Douglas Kendrick: Sex, Murder and the Meaning of Life
Ratey & Hallowell: Delivered From Distraction
Edna St. Vincent Millay: Collected Poems
Porter Shreve: The Obituary Writer
Amy Sohn: Prospect Park West
Aleister Crowley: Diary of a Drug Fiend
Flash Fiction Forward: 80 Very Short Stories
Anne Lamont: Bird by Bird
Anton Chekhov: My Life
Arin Greenwood: Tropical Depression
Portia de Rossi: Unbearable Lightness
The New York Stories of Elizabeth Hardwick
Sam MacDonald: The Urban Hermit
Kathleen Gerson: The Unfinished Revolution: How a New Generation is Reshaping Family, Work, and Gender in America  


Written by ENB

January 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Posted in Culture, Lit

Tagged with , , ,

heat wave/lavender wild {a mid-summer 2011 mix}

leave a comment »

As promised (to myself, anyway),  the second installment in my 2011 summer mix tape trilogy (first installment here); a little late to be classified as ‘mid-summer,’ perhaps, but So. Awesome. that I’m sure you’ll forgive me. The past two months have been really good months for music, as far as I’m concerned. New albums from Beirut, YACHT and Ducktails, and new LPs or singles from Woods, Best Coast, Jens Lekman, Real Estate, and Forest Fire—I mean, seriously? Thank you, Summer 2011, thank you. And you wanna give me a whole album of Buddy Holly covers as an added bonus? You’re too much, really. Aural exuberance overload of the best kind ….


heat wave/lavender wild {a mid-summer 2011 mix}


East Harlem – Beirut
Pure joy, really. Combine this with the YACHT song following it, and I triple dare you not to feel a little burst of happiness. 

Shangri-La – YACHT
This seems like a departure to me from previous YACHT albums (I’m thinking ‘Psychic City’), but I could just not be remembering previous YACHT albums correctly. Anyway: BY FAR my favorite song on this mix; upbeat, poppy, and it’s not only about Los Angeles (a city I love), but about starting a commune in Los Angeles (an idea friends and I have discussed many times). “If we build a utopia will you come and stay? Shangri-la la la la la la la la la ….”

Our Deal – Best Coast
Thanks to Ms. Rachel Steinberg for sharing this adorable Romeo & Juliet a la swoopy-haired teens on Brooklyn-rooftops video, directed by Drew Barrymore and featuring Arrested Development’s Maebe {you’ve probably already seen it, but if not}.

Find Them Empty – Woods
I love Woods; I’ve said it 2 million times on here, and I think I’ve run out of ways to profess my love for them other than that …

It’s Real – Real Estate
I think I creeped Real Estate lead singer Alex Bleeker out the other day when I cut my twitter follows down to 80 (that’s practically 3 in twitter numbers) and he made the cut … But I’ve got a soft spot for Greenpoint boys, having lived there myself not long ago; and an Alex Bleeker & the Freaks show at Monster Island Basement a few years ago where they first played the ‘Touch-of-Gey’-inspired ‘Getting By’ was one of the best shows I’ve seen (I’m more of a AB&TF fan than Real Estate, but I’m actually really digging this song …). Dear Alex: Can you & the Freaks please cover Thunder Road sometime?

Right Away – Vetiver
Two points for any song that mentions living in Ohio!

Middle Cyclone – Neko Case

(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care – Cee-Lo Green
Unnervingly catchy, from the overall-great Buddy Holly cover-album Rave On Buddy Holly.

An Argument With Myself – Jens Lekman
Weird and catchy and slightly irritating and slightly funny; very in the vein of ‘Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo’ or ‘The Opposite of Hallelujah,’ but with more of Jens talking to himself …

Sympathique – Ben l’Oncle Soul
Thanks to Rachel for this one as well. French soul music. If you can’t get behind French soul music, I can’t get behind you.

Rhubarb Girl – Ducktails
More Greenpoint boys! I think … I may be wrong about this one … regardless, I have a hard time not loving any part of the Woodsist cabal …

Future Shadows – Forest Fire
I have seriously been waiting for years for a new Forest Fire album, as in, probably searching every 6 months since 2008 to make sure I wasn’t missing anything new by them; that’s how much I loved their 2008 album ‘Survival.’ Well the wait is (almost) over—Future Shadows is the first single from Staring at the X, which is supposed to be released in October. {Oh, this song doesn’t disappoint, p.s.} {And thanks to Courtney for the tip}

Ohio – Boy + Kite
From the debut album of this Austin-based band. This song really gets me at the beginning, but the chorus gets really, like, late-90s psuedo-indie pop, if that’s such a thing … Mixed feelings on the album as a whole, really. I can’t remember why I downloaded it, nor why I included it here …

The Rose With the Broken Neck – Danger Mouse, Daniele Luppi & Jack White
Because I apparently can’t resist Jack White duets?

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know – Herman Dune

Not Fade Away – Florence + the Machine
More from the Buddy Holly album.

Hop Pala – Stephan & Haigaz
I’m gonna let Rcrd Lbl handle this one: “Hop Pala,” a haunting cut off a new three-disc set of music from the Ottoman-American diaspora between 1916-1929 curated by Ian Nagoski and released by curatorial masters Tompkins Square, is the soundtrack of immigration. We hear this music and think of places and times both strange and foreign, yet the compilation is called To What Strange Place because that place for these musicians was New York City. Artists like Stepan & Haigaz populated small pockets of major Manhattan neighborhoods and eventually Astoria, Queens. This was their folk music, a way to keep their unique culture alive in a strange new world, yet it’s still resonant today.

Let’s Do Something Impossible – William Elliott Whitmore
The opposite of the authenticity of the song above … I used to argue with my friend JVLaB about William Elliott Whitmore, because he hated his ‘shtick’ of being all depression-era bluegrassy. Okay, okay—but he does it so well ….

Bury Me Beneath the Willow – Linda Stoffel & Blackberry Winter
From the soundtrack of the gorgeous and creepy Winter’s Bone.

Shady Grove – Shrimp Boat

From a 2005 album from the mostly 80s/early-90s Chicago band Shrimp Boat. This is another album I have no idea how it came to me, but I’ve been listening to it a lot …

Written by ENB

August 18, 2011 at 11:00 am

no moss

with one comment

the secret

don’t worry, nobody has the
beautiful lady, not really, and
nobody has the strange and
hidden power, nobody is exceptional or wonderful or
magic, they only seem to be.
it’s all a trick, an in, a con,
don’t buy it, don’t believe it. the world is packed with
billions of people whose lives
and deaths are useless and
when one of these jumps up
and the light of history shines
upon them, forget it, it’s not what it seems, it’s just
another act to fool the fools again.

there are no strong men, there
are no beautiful women.
at least, you can die knowing
and you will have
the only possible

— Charles Bukowski

Greetings from our nation’s capitol. I was here just a few weeks back – first for a wonderful Liberty Fund conference on Hayek, then to work from an office and visit friends and quake with terror at the Thundersnow!. I went back to my parent’s house in Cincinnati for a few days, and then just narrowly missed Chicago’s Great Blizzard, arriving there the Friday after the storm to find my friends, of course, building an igloo. I stayed in Chicago for nine days, and upon returning once again to Cincinnati I figured, “Why stop?” So last week I threw together the framework for a NorthSouthEastWest, 1.5-month bout of itinerantism. Nomadism. Vagabondness. Call it what you will (just not “transient train hopping;” that phrase has gotten me in trouble before during a Teach for America job interview). I hitched a ride with some family down to Washington, D.C. for a few days. I’ll be Amtrak-ing from here down to New Orleans, then hitting up Los Angeles and possibly other cities in California, followed by Chicago and Panama City Beach, Florida. All of these locations have been chosen because of proximity to friends, with the exception of New Orleans, where I have just long wanted to go and never been. In some places, I may be working on some Exciting! Things! with friends. In others, I may just sunbathe. And work, of course. I’m lucky to have a job I can perform from wherever.

So, that’s happening. I have been twittering my rules for nomadism, which have so far included:

Step 1 // Buy a bigger suitcase.
Step 2 // Buy a fancy DSLR camera
Step 2.5 // Learn to use fancy DSLR camera…
Step 3 // Come up with pretentious name for travels. I like saying this is my ‘Bukowski phase’
Step 4 // Hitch a ride with a cowboy. Otherwise known as my Uncle Bruce. http://ygrog.com/gyf6vwbj
Step 5 // Love affair (duh)
Step 6 // Good friends with futon, tofu stir-fry, Lambic. And a sun-porch.

I assume there will be more. Along with pictures of skylines. I’ve already been taking a lot of pictures of skylines. And I promise a travel-worthy March mix soon…

But really, what I want to do in this post is link to this and this. Two pieces by Ann Friedman, about her own recent travels.

See, I have also driven cross-country from West to East. Twice. Once to New York, once to Washington. I made both of these trips, which I remember as pretty unremarkable (which is to say I don’t remember much about them at all), with other people. I have gone West when I’m seeking greatness, and East when I’m feeling resignation. West is possibility, East is inevitability. West is risky, East is safe. It’s not that I’ve been unhappy on the East Coast. I have found great friends and professional success there, too. But going West always seems to mean moving toward something new and wonderful. I realize this is just a narrative I’ve imposed on the series of choices I’ve made, but it also feels true in some objective sense.

Well. We’ll see.

Extremely Dangerous Tree

It's all sorts of dangerous out here.

Written by ENB

February 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Big in ’11

with 7 comments

Pantone announced recently that the Color of the Year for 2011 is “honeysuckle.” Last time I checked – which was at about age 9, the last time I lived in a house with a honeysuckle bush in the backyard — those suckers were yellow. But Pantone’s honeysuckle is a pinkish color. No, “pinkish” is wrong; it’s just pink. Plain old pink. I am not sure who decided to call it “honeysuckle.” And what the heck is a “color of the year” mean, anyway?

But that is the funny thing about late December and early January: Suddenly, everybody is trying to define the upcoming year, to shade the contours with their own particular whims and wishes, to be the first ones to CALL IT aha! 2010 is the year of the overall. Pie will be big in 2011. We’ll all be “exergaming” and “piloxing” to stay fit! And drinking macha tea while decorating our houses with bamboo! “Trendcasting,” the market researchers like to call it. And the media? Oh, boy, we eat it up.

I am smart enough to know it’s mostly a racket. But I also frivolous enough to enjoy it anyway. And since my friends are obviously way smarter and hipper and prescient than your average trendcaster (seriously, I don’t know why I hate this word so much, but I do), I thought I’d ask some folks I know what they think is going to be Big in 2011. Their predictions, in varying degrees of seriousness, recorded faithfully below:

“Well, one off the top of my head is that we’re going to see a lot of mediocre video/movies.  With cameras like the 7D making it really easy and cheap to get a ‘quality’ image there are going to be a lot of people making work that looks great (in a very uninteresting way) and gets a lot of praise, whether it actually deserves it or not  (see here: http://bit.ly/fyKSjE).” – Gina Telaroli, independent filmmaker // Brooklyn

“Obviously the trend in 2011 will be that everything will be on iPad. And when I say everything, I don’t just mean books and movies and magazines. I mean food, clothing, laundry, washer and dryer repair service.. Press a button for dinner. Download an app for starched shirts. If this sounds insane, or like a misunderstanding of what tablet technology can actually do, you obviously haven’t been to a digital strategy meeting in the last 6 months, where ‘make an iPad app’ has become to 2010 what ‘you need to Tweet a lot and get on Facebook’ was to 2008.” – Peter Suderman, associate editor, Reason magazine // Washington, D.C.

“Classic cocktails will jump the shark officially and we’ll see a Sazerac on the menu at T.G.I. Friday’s made with Jack Daniels and peppermint schnapps. The cool drinking kids will make their own bitters and learn how to cure their own olives for martinis. Mead is in a good place to make a comeback with all the renewed interest in hard liquor. We’ll see more fashion that makes women look ugly, more things like look like they came off an 80’s hobo. Like this schlumpy top or these shoes that look like they fell off an orphan in the 1800s. For crafts, first it was knitting, now canning, next is needlepoint and embroidery. And, I still stand by scones. The next bakery treat. Although, I really wish it was cannelles. I love those things.” – Cat Meyers, cannelle lover, orphan hater and cocktail enthusiast // Columbus, Ohio [Ed. note: What is a cannelle? Also, we should use the word ‘schlumpy’ more often]

“I’ve been pushing punch for a few years but I’m sticking with my prediction– punches will be the drink of the new year! Whiskey punches, particularly. Punches are easy, inexpensive, fun and absolutely delicious. Plus a big vintage glass bowl will class up any party. I also think unique bitters will be more become mainstream. Angostura and Peychaud bitters are already standard but I think more bars will start using flavors like grapefruit, celery and chocolate and more bartenders will start making their own bitters, since they are an easy and inexpensive way to add depth and flavor. Oh, and fennecs are the new black.” – Courtney Knapp, punch maven // Los Angeles

“Although Pantone claims this disgusting shade of pink is the new hotness for 2011, I think all eyes are going to be on peach. Peach and shades of a pale dirty dusty rose. Nude, even, too. Long Chloe Sevigny-like braids (think Big Love) are going to be the ticket, with possibly super deep side sweeps (i think i may have read the latter on refinery 29). Based on American Apparel’s shift towards preppy- I think we’re headed in that direction majorly as well. With hints of industrial-inspired “plain” garb.

Food wise, bacon will continue to be an ever-lasting fad and cupcakes are unfortunately here to stay. I think this lardcore movement will gain more momentum in brooklyn (or at least i hope so!!!) And i think duck is the new pork. Oh, and bone marrow is going to be HUGE!!!” – Brooke Green, Fame & Frippery // Brooklyn

“Taxidermy. Honestly, I see it everywhere, from art to fixtures and it’s becoming more and more mainstream. People are doing crocheted taxidermy, there are now two shops in San Francisco. This brings me to the my next movement: Victorianism is back. I’m not sure how it’s going to manifest, but the idea of death and beauty — I just see it making a comeback.” – Rachel Steinberg, blogger, PR Consultant and aspiring vegan taxidermist // San Francisco

As for me? Well, I’ve been pushing macarons (are the new cupcakes) and pantsuits (are the new overalls) for a while now. And I agree with most of the above folks’ predictions: punch and peach and bone marrow (ugh) and taxidermy (scones, however, WILL NEVER BE THE NEW DESERT, Ms. Meyers). Vertical farming is the new rooftop farming. “Blood” is the new “bells” is the new “wolf.” A friend who works at a perfumery tells me we’ll see more natural/botanical perfumes. A friend who works as a shoe merchandiser tells me we’re going to see lots of “nautical/preppy shoes” this spring, and wedge-heeled boots this fall. Curated, subscription-based email lists are the new blogs (so are ‘zines). The Hairpin (love, p.s.) is the new Jezebel. People will learn the word “Phytotherapy.” Westerns will continue their neo-renaissance. Borderline is the new bipolar. “Yipster” is the new “folkstr.” Amaranth will be the hot grain. And I promise I’m gonna stop this inanity right now.

Happy 2011, y’all.

P.S. Now it’s your turn …

Written by ENB

January 10, 2011 at 8:23 pm