Archive for January, 2009

31
Jan
09

V-v-v-v-video

I’m sitting here in the library really doing lots of nothing besides listening to my itunes roll on. I’ve decided just now to share some more songs i’ve been fiending on. I know, i know, i said i wouldn’t do it again because it slows down the site, but i don’t care and you surely don’t care. You’re probably not even reading this, you louse! scittlyscattlyratatattly!

I know you are but what am I? by Mogwai, a beautiful song that haunts my heart whenever i walk the streets in a daze full of loverhymes that i’ve forgotten. Really, this song just sticks to me in ways it’s hard for me to explain. The piano’s just so perfect and it builds so slowly into something enormous. That drone to the keys, and then it almost stops, but not quite, and you feel yourself moving though your eyes are closed and you’re lying down in bed and the clock read 435am and you can’t remember where the lost time went but you know it’s all right because you’re here now, where you were always meant to be, the only place you should be, and that’s about all you can ask for.

Salka by Sigur Ros, another song that just haunts me, haunts everything, ghosting into the cracks between your memories. Though, i suppose everything Sigur Ros is like the ghosts that fill my room and sit in the corners when i’m not looking. And you never look less they become real like they were always meant to be. Christ, i’m getting carried away with my sentences here. What i wanted to say: this is a beautiful song and Jonsi’s voice will kill me.

Bonetrees and a Broken Heart by Jaguar Love, a live video. Johnny Whitney’s a god, though the sound quality’s a bit lacking. Still, i think you’ll get it. A love song from a decade I never lived in is how i’d describe this. And Johnny, oh Johnny, the man’s unstoppable as far as i’m concerned. Just look at him groove. I’d pay probably too much money to see this live and meet Mr Whitney again.

Together we will Live Forever by Clint Mansell, from The Fountain soundtrack. So much beauty here, and not the haunting kind, but the tangible kind. The kind you see on a leaf falling from a tree or a snowflake descending to earth. If you feel nothing when you listen to this song it’s because you’ve no heart and never had one to begin with. It’s beautiful and there’s a deep sadness in these keys, but there’s something more, too. A glimmer, a flicker of light emanating. A bloom, it resurrects you, brings you somewhere you never thought you could go.

My Lady’s House by Iron & Wine, Sam Beam can do no wrong. I thought i’d throw some songs with words in them for you folk. That doesn’t mean you can skip the wordless wonders above, but at least here you can feed on the syllables. A touching song that i quite like. Elegant, that’s how i’d describe it, i think. Yeah, a good way to put it.

Leaves in the River by Seawolf, a nice little song. Though it’s about wandering around drunk, it always reminds me of being a child again and I think that’s why i love it. There’s something so innocent and great about this song. Enjoy it.

The Underdog by Spoon, i know this song was everywhere a year ago, but it popped in my head this morning and has been sitting there quite pleasantly for a few hours. Plus, i thought I’d leave you all with something a bit more upbeat, maybe get your toes tapping and your fingers snapping.

Yeah, that’s a wrap. Hope you enjoyed that. I know I did.

Advertisements
31
Jan
09

A Day in the Life of a Seashell

I went to an Of Montreal concert the other night. It was pretty awesome. The lead singer, Kevin Barnes, was a mover and groover, dancing steps and plucking strings, singing and flailing every which way. The crowd went all wild and delirious with the sweat and the beer and the costumes and the sounds. The guitarist had angel wings, but a fallen angel, like a hellion rather than a seraphim. A pigman walked on stage followed by a tiger in a suit. The pig wiped stage blood all over me but it was cool because i needed it. They jangled about on stage while Barnes kept rocking and jocking to the beats he was making. The crowd flew wild searching for some space between feet and arms and legs to step some danceable steps. The elbows and the hands everywhere, the sweat and the fake blood covering me. The bouncer was some beast of a man like a bull or a minotaur and he kept pushing me around because i’m tiny and far too sexy for my own good. I didn’t bother with him though, just let him push because you don’t rile up monsters, especially greek ones. Some ninjas came on stage and writhed around like they didn’t have bones, like every limb was a snake. One of them who was unmistakably a girl felt me up and i got another push from the monster. Barnes boggled all over like a skeleton on fire and began undressing which made all the women go tizzy wizzy in ways you can’t imagine. The smell of pheromones was everywhere and the knees all weak and wibble wobbled. He ducked off stage and the pig and tiger returned. Some girl next to me grabbed the pig’s crotch, and i mean grabbed it, clutched at it like it was the grail, way deep and hard up on him. The tiger gyrated behind him and now i’m watching some animal orgy right in front of me. The singer returns in nothing but his skivvies but covered head to toe in shaving cream. He rubbed it all over my friend’s face but she loved it.¬† I watched her knees melt away, swooning and creamed on beside me [that’s a strange way to put that but it made me laugh]. The ninjas are back and the stage is busting in ten directions with frenzied steps and gyrating hips. The crowd’s erupting and the sweat’s everywhere and the steps that we dance are unstoppable. The keyboard player handed me the setlist and they walked off.

They played for about two hours, maybe longer, and then Barnes came out of nowhere, his make-up running, his clothes partially on again. Someone snapped a photo; he hugged me and we loved him because he was god for a night.

We bumbled back to our homes, drunk with ringing ears and my heart beats in blastbeats. I arrive at my apartment and my roommates are drunk and leaving to get drunker. It’s midnight or something and i’m tired but i leave with them anyway. There’s someone else with them that i don’t know but she has a pretty smile and she laughs at all the right times. We walk to the bar they desire but it’s closed because it’s Wednesday and the sun died hours ago. We end up somewhere else, but we lost a roommate and the girl she brought. Me and my other roommate try to make contact but it’s fruitless so we start drinking. Out of nowhere they’re dancing with us, they give an explanation but the music was too loud and i didn’t really care because i ran into some other girls that i knew and it was one of their birthdays. I get hungry and decide to leave and get a kebab. One of my roommates comes with and so does the girl that i think i should’ve met by now but haven’t. I get the kebab and we wander our way home and no one seemed to care what happened to our other roommate except me but i didn’t do anything about it because these two girls seemed to have heads on their shoulders.

Back at the apartment i make the girl a bed on our couch and we listen to some Neil Young for reasons I can’t remember because I’m not much of a fan but i have a lot of his albums. The three of us talk a bit and my roommates so drunk she keeps dropping peanut M&Ms and then following them as they roll away. The girl, who’s name finally comes out seems wasted, too, and sleepy. I go to the bathroom, she’s not in the room anymore so i decide to go to bed. Say goodnight to the roommate and go to my room where i find her laying in my bed passed out.

I change out of my day clothes that are still damp with sweat and stageblood. I climb over her and decide to sleep . She mumbles to me then and we ended up talking for a long time. We talked about the things two strangers talk about, which is to say we talked maybe too personally for our own good.

All of that’s very kicked from my head at the minute but i wanted to get it all down before I forgot it completely. It was a very interesting night in my life. I still can’t really make heads or tails, but I’m pretty sure it actually all did happen.

Anyway, I’ve a story coming out in Colored Chalk today, but it’s not on the website yet. I guess it’s something like six am where you guys are so it’s pretty understandable. I’ll link it when it comes up. Probably after the weekend. I think i got accepted into an anthology called New Voices for Horror:Volume 2, but I’m not sure. I’ve been in contact with the editor. I guess the only reason I’m not sure is he didn’t send me one of those official acceptance e-mails. I think it comes out next month. I’ll link that, too. It’s not online, though, it’s a printed and bound book. Maybe a few of you can buy it, yeah? I’m kidding.

What else…I’ve been listening to a lot of Built to Spill recently. Mostly just their album, Perfect from now On. They’re a legit band. You’ll hear a lot of Modest Mouse in them, which is probably why i like it. of course, it’s more you hear Built to Spill in Modest Mouse because, well, chronology is a factor when it comes to these things. But, yeah, a lot of wandering guitars. It’s good to walk to and just get lost in your head.

Live video there from one of my favorite songs by them. Mostly it’s just the best video I could find of them for this song, which is unfortunate. Not a bad video, but not perfect.

Too, I’ve kind of gotten into Antony and the Johnsons or whatever their name is. Interesting stuff, anyway. This song here is enjoyable.

I just realised that the video i linked there is the song over some anime clip. Whatever, just listen. It’s perty.

All from me, methinks. Said a lot without saying much, as i tend to do. Have a legit weekend, folks.

26
Jan
09

Today

I added a blogroll here to the site. On the right you will now find links to a few other aspiring writers.

Also, feeling a bit down in the mouth today. Gonna buy some juice, eat a steak, and watch Friends.

Today turned strange.

26
Jan
09

One Night in Cork

Literally only one night. But I went and saw nothing that I meant to see. The Blarney Stone’s a quick ride away but we never made it there. Poor weather and such. Anyway, I suppose I’ll get into it.

Left in the wee wee hours of the morn. The bus left at eight in the am and arrived somewhere around two, I think. That could be very wrong, memory’s a bit frigglefraggled. Anyway, me and Lauren had too much fun on the bus. Loads of absurdity and jokery and, I don’t even know, plain retardity, no doubt. I can’t remember if I mention people’s name on here or if I’ve done it. I made some rule about it in my head a long time ago, but that rule, along with so many others, disappeared. Anyway, Lauren, met her around the beginning of this term. She’s pretty legit. But, yeah, she’s ins ome other program for study abroad and I’ve been spending time with those folk.

Anyway, Cork, arrive there and it’s not at all how I expected it. Very industrial looking and kind of dreary. Though, that could’ve just been the clouds castrating the sunlight and making the world look drab and dull. We got a bit of food to bite upon and wandered a bit around. Then, we started in drinking quite early. And that’s what we did for the rest of the night, just drank and drank and killed and got some members lost and some items lost and some items found and some photos snapped and some jolly times for all the lads and lasses and and and and and and. We ended up at some bar that had a live band playing covers. We kind of took over the place by tossing all our coats and schtuff on the front of the stage and then fiending on the dancefloor the way only a group of drunk amerikans can. A good time was had by all, except, well, those cats that were refused entrance. Bummer dudes.

The hostel bed was, I swear, made of concrete and wood. All sorts of noises from people going bunk in the night kept waking me up, too. Anyhoodle, Sunday morning we did not very much. Got a bite at a McDonald’s–the first time i’ve been there in Europe–and hung around till the noon bus was set to leave. But, yeah, didn’t make it to Blarney because it rained and rained and and and and and.

Back on the bus, I was so tired and fruitlooped that I just kind of dazed out for the four hour journey.

Recap of Cork: Ate a lot of candy, drank a lot of beer, danced a lot of steps, ducked the rain, and sat on buses.

A successful weekend, but I don’t think I’ll ever return to Cork. Not a very eventful city and easy to skip over, I think.

Some good news, I can hear out of my left ear again. Yeah, it’s pretty cool. No big deal or anything. Also, I’ve five stories lined up for sending out to publications because I’ve been fiending on some words. Lots of homework to catch up on, though. I’ll keep you silly little reading children up and up on the doings and movings and groovings. Might go to Of Montreal this Wednesday if I can finally remember to buy a ticket. Actually, I’ll do that now.

Um, leaving you with Tom Waits because he keeps us safe.

23
Jan
09

Word Vomit

That’s what I call things like this. I think I’m just going to dump some thoughts out here. All the little things that’ve been wandering across my skull, in and out of my ears, well, one ear anyway. Let’s start there.

I’ve not been able to hear out of my left ear for almost a week. Some blight upon my soul no doubt. It’s an infection of some ghastly type wherein fluids have flooded the poor eardrum. So, still waiting for these antibiotics to take affect and make me undeaf on the left. The right ear, he’s doing quite fine it seems.

My e-mail address isn’t working right now either. Quite annoying as I know that I’ve an important e-mail coming today. Not that I usually get many important e-mails, or e-mails of any type for that matter, but I’m positive one came today in regards to some class changes I made. Really need to see that.

We’ve officially a new president in amerika. Something to be proud of, I suppose. Europe thinks so, anyway. I’m not convinced yet, but that has more to do with my complete mistrust of the government and all who take part in it than it does with the newly appointed president. I watched the inauguration, never done that before, and it scared me, to be quite honest. Something about all those people chanting and cheering and clapping sent chills down my spine. Also, the whole ceremony seemed so stupid. I didn’t much care for Obama’s speech either. Lots of blowing smoke, if you get me. And the supposed poem that the poet lady read, good god, it sounded like a list a ten year old would make. Nothing poetic or artful about it. There was one thing that made it all worth it though, when they announced Obama they said, Barack H. Obama, which seemed just oh so silly in the best of ways. Remember kids, our president has a scary middle name not to be uttered in public lest a riot ensues. Fantastic stuff there. But really, the rest of it, all the hype and hooplah, besides just being frightening, reeked ingenuous.

Man, I think there was a lot I wanted to say here, but I fear I’m already losing steam.

Oh, Steve Erickson, forgot to mention. He’s an author, maybe one of the best living writers. I’ve only read two of his books, but they blew me away. Read both of them in two sittings. They have this beauty that haunts you and shifts the way the world spins, if only for a second. He’ll leave you breathless and near tears and you’ll be screaming in your head for more and more and more after you finish that last line that somehow, someway, fit everything that happened just so succinctly and perfectly that you’ll never want to speak or think again less it taint that memory, those words, that feeling you felt so fleetingly. Yeah, getting carried away. The point is, buy him and do it now. He mixes surrealism, a crumbling world, love, and the human soul just so right. I think he’s written seven books. I’ve read Rubicon Beach and Days Between Stations, which, I believe, are his first two books. But, yeah, do it.

Another book I read recently was just so much fun that I feel like sharing. The Sacred Book of the Werewolf by Victor Pelevin takes a bit of Zen buddhism, a few parts love story, throws in werewolves, mixes, then pours two cups of funny in, lets it sit, and pours it ontop of modern day Russia. Really, just so much fun. And as you should know, anything werewolves is an easy sell for me. I’ll watch it, I’ll read it, but few times have I been this satisfied with the outcome. Fantastic.

I’m getting published on the thirty-first of the month at Colored Chalk. Pretty proud about it as it’s a real all star line-up. Last time I got published with my hero, Stephen Graham Jones, which I’ll probably never get over. This month there are a few more ‘name’ authors as well as a few no-names like me. Colored Chalk is a young magazine but it’s picking up in all the right ways. Very excited to be a part of it, though I’m a bit late coming to it all. I’ll post a link up when it becomes available. The issue, I mean.

And that brings me to my writing. I’m gonna work on actually sending my stuff out. And to more places than just Colored Chalk, try to get in all over. I’m waiting to hear back from a vampire anthology coming out in the spring, but other than that, I’ve just these stories lying around. My stories, I was thinking about them last night. They’re all kind of similar despite how dissimilar they are. They all have very closed settings–usually just one room, maybe a whole house–most of them have no more than two characters, and they all tread the same water. That meaning, they’re about identity, or rather, the loss of identity, the crumbling of memories and erasure of the past: they’re about loss and love and a crippling weight, but, ideally, there’s a bit of redemption in them. Despite the world slipping between their fingers, they find something else, maybe just a hand or a leaf to hold onto and keep their feet moving.

But, yeah, not sure why it all works out that way. Probably just the nature of me and how I feel about memories. I think about them all the time. I mean, memories are reconstructions; they’re just stories we tell ourselves about what happened before. And they inform every action we make because, though they may not be real or accurate, they are all of us. Quantum Physicists say, all time is now, and I think that’s true. The past is just a construct and we can manipulate it to our will, to the way we want to continue our lives. The future’s yet to happen but it’s informed by our reconstructed past. That meaning, the way we view our past will influence and determine the way we live our future. The present, well, the present is where all of this collides. Where our memories, our biology, our emotions, our thoughts, our futures all come together and supernova into action. It’s all very strange and I still think I’ll never get over how bizarre it is to be alive.

On a completely different note. Sunday, I think it was, I woke up feeling utterly fantastic for no reason whatsoever. I walked outside, couldn’t hear out of my left ear, but smiled with the wind on my face. Every step reminded me how great it is to be alive. You know, just how awesome it feels to see the sunshine and the hustle and bustle of a busy street.

That seems sufficient for now. I’m going to Cork tomorrow, so I may have some photos to share next week. I’ll try to stay more regular on here as it seems a few of you read this. Though, actually, I was wondering about that. I have a lot of hits on this site, but I wonder how many of you actually read any of it. I mean, I know I click on links just because and never intend to read what’s on there. Especially if it’s a weblog. I’ve never read one, so why should you? Well, I’ll keep writing on here anyway.

Adios, space cowboy.

13
Jan
09

Friends and the Love of Jaguars

I’m back into step with things, fiending away my time in the library and in between book covers. It really feels good to be back here in Ireland.

Anyway, just wanted to mention a few things that you might i find interesting. One fo them is the television show Friends. I know i’m almost a decade late on this show, but i hadn’t seen it till i got here in Dublin some months ago. And, really, this is a great show. It still surprises me how funny i find it. All the characters, with the exception of Monica–she’s dull–are just delightful. The two characters i hated the most before seeing the show, Chandler and Ross–nothing against the characters, mind, i just hated the way they, as people, look–turned out to be my favorites. More so skinny Chandler than fat Chandler, but Ross, he’s always prime. Or at least the funniest things happen to him. Anyway, this i a great show with a good sense of humor. It was the tale end of that era of sitcom, but i think it’s one of the shows that did it best. We’ve since moved onto better things with our sitcoms [see Scrubs, The Office, Arrested Development, It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia], but there’s a reason why Friends lasted so long and was so loved. Ross and Rachel, though no Jim and Pam or even JD and Eliot, are still quite memorable. Plus Jennifer Aniston is a babe of all babes.

Something else here, Jaguar Love – Take me to the Sea: the first album from Johnny Whitney and Cody Votolato [Blood Brothers] new band. The album’s been growing on me with each new listen. It’s no Blood Brothers or even Neon Blonde, but it moves them, especially Johnny Whitney, into a lasting place. The album’s more put together and cohesive than Johnny Whitney’s Neon Blonde schizophrenic piece Chandeliers in the Savannah, but still brings a bit of that frenetic nature and experimentation to some of it’s tracks. Also, it’s toned down from the Blood Brothers and moved into a more pop-esque area, which, i think, is where they were slowly moving. I’ll always miss the Blood Brothers, but i dig Jaguar Love and am satisfied with it’s results. Some really great tracks on the album.

I think that’s about it for now. Had a fairly good weekend in Dublin. Caught Steven Soderbergh’s Che [Part I] as well as Love and Honour, a Japanese period piece. Both quite enjoyable. Pretty excited to see the second part of Che next month. But, yeah, feeling good here. Hope things are well wherever you’re reading this from.

As a post script, i’m not sure what these categories i made are really for. I seem to be putting things haphazardly in one or the other as they’re both quite non-descript.

08
Jan
09

Three Films Everyone Should See

I’m back in Ireland now. The plane rides were miserable, as they tend to be. I don’t mind airports, but planes, good lord, like hell in the sky. My first flight was supposed to leave at two pm on Friday, the second, so i arrived just after noon. Well, flight gets delayed to 330, not too bad, but then it gets delayed until 530. Such a miserably long time waiting for a plane that was delayed and possibly schedulaed to be delayed even later. Well, i leave Minneapolis at around six pm on a plane with a young indian girl who would not stop screaming. And i mean screaming, not crying, but high pitched shrill screams that cut through your soul. Honestly, flights with children are a good enough reason to never want them.

Arrive in Newark fifteen minutes before my connecting flight to Ireland is supposed to leave, so i make a mad dash to the terminal only to find that this flight, too, has been delayed. Only about an hour, though. On the plane, an overnight flight, i’m sitting next to a nice young lady who’ll be studying in Ireland this semester. I forgot her name and forgot to get her number, though. Anyway, watched Toy Story on the plane, which i hadn’t seen since i was a wee one. So good. Flight continues on, super tired, can’t sleep, no crying babies, though.

In Ireland i had to wait in the obscenely long and slow line to get through the Garda, which was really annoying as i’ve an immigration card and should be able to waltz right through as i’ve done every other time. But no, i must wait since i’m not a citizen of the EU, that ghastly economic union that makes good people wait in bad line. Anyway, i eventually get through and step out into the Irish air.

I immediately felt better here. The depression that had been following me in amerika disappeared. Ireland, it’s a good place. I’m not sure what it is about here, but it feels like home–like¬† home i’ve not had all these years i’ve been wandering about. Maybe it’s just that Ireland has a soul, a spirit. Amerika is a lost land without feeling. Soulless.

The good times were not to be had, though, as i’d three essay due in, well, four days and no internet the first day. So, yeah, been underground writing and researching, but i’m done now and able to breathe easy. My program has fourteen new kids, too. We’ll see how i like them, but they seem like good people, if nothing else. And usually, that’s all you can ask for–all that’s worth asking for.

But, yeah, three films you should see. They all came out recently or are about to come out wherever ye be.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by David Fincher: That’s right, David Fincher–the man behind Seven, Fight Club, and Zodiac–directed this. From the sinister Seven to the mayhem of Fight Club, Fincher’s a master of technical filmmaking and injecting the world with a darkness all his own. Here, though, he creates something beyond what he’s previously attempted. And i don’t just mean the shift in tone from darkness to a story of beauty, but i mean the way in which he captures Benjamin’s world on screen. Some of these shots are just perfect. The pacing was perfect, too. A long movie–nearly three hours–but it doesn’t feel like it. Really, one of the most beautiful looking films i’ve seen in a while. At times funny, heartbreaking, and exciting. Can’t remember the last time i saw so many crying eyes. Check it out.

Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle: Yep, more surprising things, Danny Boyle–Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Sunshine–brings something quite different here. I really think Boyle’s one of the most talented current directors, and here he truly shines above everything he’s done before. Even more so than Sunshine, which i thought was as perfect as science fiction could get. Nothing sci-fi here, just a beautiful story about a poor young indian man in love. Really, a truly heartwarming film that deserves all the praise it’s receiving. I felt so good after seeing this movie, i mean, this is what they talk about when they say feel good movie. Must see.

The Wrestler by Darren Aronofsky: I know, another jawdropping moment when you realise who Aronofsky–Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain–is. Maybe the most surprising of these three surprising films by these amazing directors. Aronofsky really blows it out of the water by taking so much back. The unimagineable beauty of The Fountain is absent, the starkness of Pi sits elsewhere, and the heartbreaking intensity of Requiem is nowhere in sight. here, we have a very accurate portrayal of a man far past his prime who knows only one thing. We see his small ups, his constant downs and disappointments, and we’re there for him. The talk about Mickey Rourke here isn’t just hype. He is this movie. He breathes it every second he’s on screen. Marisa Tomei adds a nice touch here, and remains a very hot old lady. Might be worth it for some of you just to see her about as naked as you can get without being naked. But really, this film will not disappoint.

I don’t usually watch the Oscars, but if these three films don’t sweep, then there’s no justice in the world. Hard for me to pick one for film of the year, but i think i’ll go with Benjamin Button. Fincher really grabs something here, and propels himself from one of the great directors of our time to a true artist.