Have you made it this far? Haven’t been nodding off, have you? Don’t worry, I’m almost done here. Call it a hunch (or call it hindsight) but when I was standing in the residence of Karenina Montgomery, I felt I was near the end too.
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As much as I hated to admit it, seeing Rice bloom before me as an apparition (whether from whatever’s beyond this world or from my subconscious) was making me lose my nerve. Maybe he (or I) knew something about this case I didn’t. I took the picture of the bull crane from my pocket and looked it over. Seeing that strange thing again reminded me of the girl in the tartan comforter, who gave me the Regent lead in the first place.
Speaking truthfully, before getting those Finnish telegrams in the mail—and stumbling on the corpse of my old professor in his library stacks hovel—I had not had many cases as a private detective. I could count them on my left hand. I will, because there were five.
With the Bible in my coat pocket, I ambled up College Court, looking for the address McDaniels gave me. I always got thrown off by the rows of houses in how similar they looked. I still felt uneasy about meeting some former students along the way; I was ripe for skewering that night, between the professor’s death and the myriad of oddities pertaining to this case.
The first question you might have about a memoir from Sonic Youth frontwoman/bass guitarist Kim Gordon is: “What is she gonna say about ex-husband Thurston Moore?” Gordon anticipated this. Fittingly, “Girl in a Band” starts in media res, with a chapter called “The End.”
Unless my eyes deceive me (and my ears, and [just for the heck of it] my tongue as well), it’s springtime! And what a lovely time!
College Court was not at the top of my go-to destinations list. I had a lot of enemies there. Or maybe I hoped I had a lot of enemies there. The line gets sort of blurry.
With winter still doing all its wily winter things, you might be thinking of a way to expedite its termination and usher in a lovely spring season. Or you might be thinking of a way to skip it entirely. Sadly, as time travel is not possible yet (since all the trials centered on hitching monkeys to tachyons have ended in disaster thus far), you may be looking for some other way to make time pass more quickly.
Getting food is a tricky enterprise for a private eye. A fine line must be maintained between being a customer and being a regular, especially when you go to places you don’t want to be a regular. But you just can’t help it.
There was something unreal about seeing Julianna Barwick do her sound check in Der Rathskeller Friday night. She didn’t do any “check one, check two” routine, no onomatopoeias were uttered. Instead, she held notes into the microphone, like angelic offerings. Using the console in front of her, she piled vocal on vocal and with some sort of switch, set the sounds into a loop.
Groundhog Day has come and gone, and whether you were cheering for Punxsutawney Phil or Jimmy the Groundhog (or, everyone’s favorite outlier, Balzac Billy a.k.a. Not-actually-a-groundhog-but-a-Canadian-in-a-groundhog-suit), the world has moved on more or less. Because there’s not a lot you can do to celebrate Groundhog Day besides checking Twitter or watching “Groundhog Day.”
Something terrible had happened after my first spot of luck in a long while. I, Terry Olivier—English TA, private eye and erstwhile golden boy—had gotten my first case in over a year. From a series of telegrams from a Finnish company, no less. But nonelethess, I had a case: to find the increasingly mysterious Tenny Bros.
When I was walking by the merchandise table in the Barrymore Theatre, set up for Nick Lowe’s Quality Holiday Revue tour, I noticed an item that was (in every sense) jarring. Pinned to a board was a T-shirt advertising the event, with cartoon headshots of Lowe and his backing band, Los Straitjackets. But there was another face beaming out in peach and pastel, which was the reason I paused: Ian McLagan, who died suddenly Dec. 3.
Jorge Luis Borges was a lot of things: writer, poet, librarian, Argentinean, blind. But I bet you didn’t know he was a compiler.
Flogging Molly are (almost inexplicably) a cornerstone band for me. They were a common bond between many of my friends in high school, central to nearly any playlist we had while driving through Minnetonka, Minnesota. We headbanged to “Requiem for a Dying Song.” We blared “Rebels of the Sacred Heart.” It’s kind of strange, looking back as a college senior, but the memories stick.
Nick Lowe is versatile. They nicknamed him “The Basher” for his production aesthetic. He all but gave Stiff Records a signature sound. His credits in the studio include Elvis Costello (with and without The Attractions), The Damned, The Pretenders, Graham Parker & The Rumour, Wreckless Eric and John Hiatt. He’s on good terms with Johnny Cash’s family. He was a member of seminal pub rock group Brinsley Schwarz. He’s done pure pop and Sinatra-style swing albums alike. He’s had hits both in his native England and across the pond here. He’s worshipped by Alex Turner and Jeff Tweedy. And now, he’s doing a holiday tour.
The first house party I had dipped into had been a bust. No clues, no oranges even. But I had to suck it up and muscle ahead. I had a few other parties to go to that night, to look for clues toward the Tenny Bros.
Capes: Should they be worn? What the hell kind of introductory question is that, you might ask? Let me explain.
Professor Emeritus Graham B.D. Rice had been my advisor initially, which is why he was none too pleased that I decided to become a private eye. He was sore, too, because he had staked his legacy on me; I had been his last endeavor before retirement, his last justification. The last deft serve of tenure. My savior. Without him, I would’ve descended into the low ranks of folly. Or, ascended into mythology as the Wandering Scholar. But I digress.
This, my friends, is a story of disappointment.