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Work Like a Soul Inspired

o, and with a jeté en tournant our little column is back at the mill. The very brilliant Harvey Silverglate and I have published a memorandum of history and law on the fiduciary duty; my friend Joseph Asch (of Dartmouth, then Yale Law, then Bain—so clever) is authoring what appears to be a comprehensive guide to righting the S.S. Dartmvthensis. His pro bono spirit has not left him. Jacob Baron, who elected to leave Hanover a year early, is off to London for a graduate degree, and will be in from time to time; and we should have the pleasure of some introductions of new writers in weeks to come.

I myself have been weighed with work—personal, professional, and extracurricular. Some of it will pique our readers’ interests, and that bit will be revealed in time.

In the meantime, in between time, ain’t we got fun? This economic wretchedness (the entirety of which, I happily brag, has been bled out of my portfolio by a well-timed investment in Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, the mad-cap French conglomerate with a Finnish truffle hound’s nose for combustible Middle Eastern cash) has brought me to a series of Depression-era music. Some of the American Songbook’s finest pages are dog-eared from the low 1930s, when the hotel dance bands of the twenties added sad whinnies from cupped cornets and long minor drags from fiddles. There is a healthy catalog of escapism, of brooding, of longing—all terrific music still finding favor with modern performers.

Of the changing complexion of Depression-era bands, more anon. For now, let’s have a piece from Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields: “Pick Yourself Up,” from the 1936 film Swing Time. Here are Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, worrying not one whit about their 401(k)s.


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