[Photo by Jay Kocyla] The news is out! The doors have opened at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for Phish’s fourth and final night at the venue, and the first Halloween Phishbills have been distributed, meaning that this year’s musical costume is now public knowledge. Without further adieu, tonight’s musical costume will be The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars by David Bowie. WOW! When the doors opened, the Internet exploded. Tonight is going to live out the dreams of many!The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars is David Bowie’s most iconic album. It is a concept album about about a hyper-sexual, egotistical alien rock star. The album features several of Bowie’s most iconic songs from his glam era, with “Suffragette City”, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide”, “Moonage Daydream”, “Ziggy Stardust”, and “Starman” all appearing on the eleven-song record.The album has been one of the most wished-for albums for the band’s musical costume over the years, so fans at the MGM Grand will be pinching themselves to make sure they aren’t dreaming. Phish will finally deliver The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars tonight during the second set of their three-set Halloween show.With this announcement, Phish have brought back their traditional Halloween cover of a classic rock album. After their Wingsuit Halloween in 2013 and the remarkable Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House in 2014, the band will once again re-create a classic album this Halloween. The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars is an incredible album that should make for an extremely awesome night in Phish history! We can’t wait to hear the their take on the album during tonight’s second set! See below for the full track list from The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.Five YearsSoul LoveMoonage DaydreamStarmanIt Ain’t EasyLady StardustStarHang On To YourselfZiggy StardustSuffragette CityRock ‘n’ Roll Suicide.Enjoy!
It would be hard to find a more witty, urbane, and insightful literary guest at Harvard than British writer Ian McEwan, whose novel “Amsterdam” (1998) won the Man Booker Prize, and whose “Atonement” (2001) was made into an Oscar-winning film.McEwan held an audience in thrall at Paine Hall Tuesday during an exploration of realism and its pitfalls in the creative process.McEwan has avoided magical realism in his work, saying, “All my writing life, I have refused to give my characters wings.” But hewing to realism can sometimes trip up a writer who delves, without true expertise perhaps, into the arcana of medicine, astronomy, and even auto mechanics.His lecture, “The Lever: Where Novelists Stand to Move the World,” was the inaugural event in a new series funded by the Rita E. Hauser Forum at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard.The lever, McEwan explained, is one of the six “simple machines” revered by Renaissance science. (The others are the screw, pulley, inclined plane, wedge, and wheel and axle.) But the lever, described by the Greek scientist Archimedes in the third century BCE, seems to have special resonance for writers of modern realism. “Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth,” Archimedes said. And where else is the fact-bound novelist to stand, McEwan said, if not on the Earth?But facts are the rub. They may find their way into novels slightly askew, and readers with special expertise lead hapless writers back to reality. The Harvard lecture, McEwan promised, would be an accounting of “all the mistakes I have ever made in fiction” — including the letters from readers eager to correct him.He read passages from his fiction, evocations of places and people that seemed like dreams borne along on a carpet of facts. McEwan interleaved these selections with the dry, droll, detailed — and occasionally scolding — responses they elicited from expert readers.In “The Comfort of Strangers” (1981), he related, one character gazes out at a summer night sky in Venice and muses about the constellation Orion. After the novel was published, McEwan got a letter from the euphoniously named Felicity Belfield, an amateur astronomer from the Isle of Sark. “If you want to see Orion in the summer,” she wrote, “you must go to New Zealand.” He was chagrined, McEwan said. “I never knew I was turning the heavens around.”Some modernist writers avoid even little mistakes by doing deep research, said McEwan, including James Joyce, who obsessed over tidal charts, train schedules, and “every last detail.”Then again, he added, some mistakes should never be changed. Alfred Lord Tennyson, who had never seen a train before, described his first nighttime ride as “ringing down the grooves of change.” It is musical and symbolically apt but technically wrong. (Trains ride on the top of rails and not in grooves.)Other writers couldn’t care less, said McEwan. He cited a poem that mistakenly located penguins on a South African shoreline. “In my poem,” the poet said, “those penguins are there.”Then there was British writer William Golding, a Nobel laureate who was badgered for decades — often by schoolboys — regarding Piggy’s glasses in his celebrated novel “Lord of the Flies” (1954). If the spectacles corrected for farsightedness, and were therefore concave and spread light, how could they be used to start a fire? That hectoring science question, said McEwan, “was the burden of Golding’s life.”After McEwan wrote “Atonement,” a miffed artillery veteran of World War II wrote to point out that “on the double” was an Americanism, and that British soldiers of his day would have said “at the double.” Other mistakes can be “driven by sheer desire,” said McEwan. In a draft passage of his novel “Saturday” (2005), he had a neurosurgeon use a paintbrush, artistlike, to apply Betadine on a shaven skull. The fanciful image — off-key since you can’t autoclave a paintbrush — earned the novelist a reproving response from the physician-expert he had spent two years observing.Still other mistakes can lead to friendships of a sort, said McEwan. In “Saturday” he described a Mercedes Benz S500 as having a clutch, which it does not. That gaffe prompted a detailed reply from a “motoring journalist,” who characterized a mechanical gearbox as a “crude proletarian device” that would never appear in a car of this stature. A correspondence ensued. In the end, McEwan — then driving a 17-year-old car — knew just what to buy next.Over time, his interchanges with fact-sensitive readers became “a high form of engagement,” he said. The writers might be professional fact checkers, schoolboys, or just scolds, said McEwan, but “they knew the air of reality, the solidity of specification, is among the supreme virtues of the novel.”This contact with readers also reminded him of the human desire to break out of fiction’s collectivization of experience. “When Felicity Belfield writes me,” said McEwan tenderly, “she’s offering to add her own weight to my lever … and help me move the world by means of the high artifice of realism.”