Courses

Preview: Ol’ Blue Eyes Fantasia Sessions

Set One

Are you a sucker, like us, for songs? Before you become a quivering mass of artificially imposed emotionality, detox now. We have chosen tunes sung by Frank Sinatra, The B-52s and St. Vincent to demonstrate Marcel’s Cure, named after a French writer. We can test it in nearby Indio at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.


From 1954 to 1995, singer Frank Sinatra had a home beside the 17th fairway of Tamarisk Country Club in Rancho Mirage CA. Join us as we hound Frank, undeterred by blue eyes, sound bites and “No comment.”

Frank

You’re much, you’re too much
And just too very very
To ever be, to ever be
In Webster’s dictionary.

How little it matters, how little we know.

Autumn in New York transforms slums into Mayfair.

Oops, there goes a billion kilowatt dam.

The B-52s

Motion in the ocean
His air hose broke
Lots of trouble
Lots of bubble
He was in a jam
S’in a giant clam!

from Rock Lobster (1978)

St. Vincent

My Sophie climbed the roof
To get a better view of the moon, moon
My God, then one wrong stair
Took her down to the depths
But for a minute, what a view
What a view

from Sweetest Fruit (2024)

Marcel

These tunes…offered me their secrets, ogled me, came up to me with affected or vulgar movements, accosted me, caressed me as if I had suddenly become more seductive, more powerful and more rich; I indeed found in these tunes an element of cruelty; because any such thing as a disinterested feeling for beauty, a gleam of intelligence was unknown to them; for them physical pleasures alone existed…But while I was humming softly to myself the notes of this tune, and returning its kiss, the pleasure peculiar to itself which it made me feel became so dear to me that I would have left my father and mother, to follow it through the singular world which it constructed in the invisible…Although such a pleasure as this is not calculated to enhance the value of the person to whom it comes, for it is perceived by him alone…I felt myself more powerful, almost irresistible. It seemed to me that my love was no longer something unattractive, at which people might smile, but had precisely the touching beauty, the seductiveness of this music [ ] suddenly grown intimate.

from Remembrance of Things Past (1913-1927), trans. C. K. Scott Moncrieff (1922-1930)

 
Set Two

West Coast Jazz at Frank’s pad.