Arkansas Times Recommends is a weekly series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we’ve been enjoying this week.
Edgar Froese, founder of the band Tangerine Dream, died on Tuesday, though it wasn’t until today that the news really spread. Froese accomplished a lot of incredible and implausible things in his life — this is a man who both studied with Salvador Dali and recorded the soundtrack to Grand Theft Auto V. He helped invent and legitimize Krautrock, electronic music and New Age; scored films by Fassbender, William Friedkin, Ridley Scott and Michael Mann; and was the only consistent member of a genuinely innovative band for several decades. They once dedicated an album “to those obliged to space,” which I’ve always found beautiful. His son Jerome is the one who released a statement about his death. He wrote, “Dear friends & colleagues, the Captain has left the ship.” — Will Stephenson
My wife sometimes gets irritated with me for this, but my car radio stays on exactly three stations: 89.1 KUAR, 90.5 KLRE, and 88.3 KABF. Simplify your life and do the same. On KUAR, my must-listen is “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me,” which airs at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and will catch you up on the week’s news with a smirk. Sundays are a KLRE day, and I get my Renaissance music fix with “Millenium of Music,” which airs at 2 p.m. And don’t miss “Backroads” on KABF, because Amy Garland plays the best country music that you’ll ever find on the radio. You can listen live to any of these on that new-fangled world wide web, but to me it sounds best on the old transistor set with the tin foil on the antenna. — Michael Roberts
I recommend the very unsettling film I watched last night called “The Noah.” Shot in 1968, not screened until 1975, written and directed by a guy who never made another movie, but it’s one of the better post-apocalyptic flicks I’ve ever seen. A brilliant, creepy, sorta absurdist piece about loneliness and the descent into madness. — David Koon
One day in the fall of 2013 I was browsing issuu.com and came across the inaugural issue of a publication called Forage. It had a strangely familiar cover. An eerily familiar cover. An unnervingly familiar cover. Then I realized it was because, design-wise, it was a near replica of a (then) recent issue of the Oxford American. Being a devoted fan of the OA, but mostly angered for Tom Martin’s design sanctity, I tweeted that shit. I thought of that today and for you I recommend two things: 1. Designers, don’t. Just don’t. 2. Readers and designers, subscribe or pick up a copy of the Oxford American and send them a note saying the following: “Thanks for always being a beautiful, original thing.” — Bryan Moats
I’ve been drowning in newsy duties all week, so I will recommend this beautiful poem I read a few months ago: “God’s Grandeur,” by Gerard Manley Hopkins, the classically repressed and depressed Victorian.
Don’t let the title put you off. Even if you’re a filthy atheist, the heart of it works — maybe even more so than it does for the believers. If I could convey this sort of thing without sounding like an idiot, I might even try to say something about how the depth of feeling contained in a poem like this overrules whatever vagaries of expression individuals jealously harbor concerning God, nature or other such debased words. Having one’s sin washed away by Christ is a little tough for me to swallow, personally, but I can get behind the following sentiment, especially at the end of a Friday afternoon in the middle of a legislative session:
THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
— Benji Hardy