Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Speedboat & Rattlesnakes - Renata & Lloyd

For me, it was very exciting news when The New York Review of Books reissued Speedboat by author Renata Adler last month.

"Nobody died that year. Nobody prospered. There were no births or marriages. Seventeen reverent satires were written - disrupting a cliche and, presumably, creating a genre. That was a dream, of course, but many of the most important things, I find, are the ones learned in your sleep" 
 Castling - Renata Adler

Speedboat won the Hemingway Award for Best First Novel in 1976.  It's a piece of fiction unlike anything that I had read before. It's a collection of seven disjointed stories that at first don't seem to have any relation to each other yet somehow find a way to fit. For me it's very much like an album you would listen to again and again that somehow ends up telling a complete story in the end. 

This seems very fitting since I was introduced to Speedboat in 1984 through the music of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions and their first album, Rattlesnakes. On this collection the song 'Speedboat' is one of the many outstanding tracks on this album.  Lloyd was in the news recently when it was announced that he will be releasing a new set of music this summer that was crowd funded by his fans. Over the years he has assembled a great body of work that is definitely worth a listen.

"She looks like Eve Marie Saint in On The Waterfront
As she reads Simone de Beauvoir in her american circumstance
Her heart, heart's like crazy paving
Upside down and back to front
She say ooh, it's hard to love
When love was your great disappointment"
Speedboat - Lloyd Cole

I really appreciate the visual storytelling of both works and think that you will too. If you are looking for some enjoyable music or a good summer read (and really isn't it nice to have both) I strongly recommend that you look into Renata Adler and Lloyd Cole. I feel like they are both old friends that I've known for years that are always there for a good story and some fine music as well. Thank you Lloyd and thank you Renata - I'm your fan.

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