Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Carpet-pissing, kidnapping, pornographers, & nihilism" (is a phrase I got published. You're Welcome.)

Ack!—a few days late on re-posting this one. It's this new schedule of mine—limbs churning tireless like a hamster on a caffeine drip—but buoyed, always, by the knowledge that I'm doing what I love (designing, film-learning, tofu-cooking—all them essentials of my awkwardly burgeoning Grown-Up-itude). Who needs sleep when you have iCal, says I.

Anyhow, to counterbalance my somewhat manic contentment, here's a few paragraphs of Eye-ly blather on that beloved Slacker extraordinaire, Mr. Geoffrey "The Dude" Lebowski:

“In wayfarer’s worlds out west was a man,
A man I come not to bury, but to praise,
His name was Geoffrey Lebowski call’d, yet
Not called, excepting by his kin.”

Thus begins Adam Bertocci’s “The Two Gentlemen of Lebowski,” a re-working in full Shakespearean verse of the Coen brothers’ 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski—that now infamous tale of carpet-pissing, kidnapping, pornographers, and nihilism, with a few marmots thrown in for good measure. It was the cover of this unlikely book—a be-sunglassed Bard holding a bowling ball the way Hamlet might a skull—that first caught my eye upon entering The Little Lebowski, a small store near Washington Square Park (215 Thompson St., to be exact) entirely dedicated to the vending of all things Dude...

Today's Headphone Fodder:

Okay. Um— Okay. I don't quite think I can even begin quantify my feelings about the existence of this recording. What I can tell you is that, a week or so ago, mixing & mingling at one of many year-starting galas, I fell into a rather serious Bowie Conversation with some young gents—during which I jumped, squealed, danced, gestured vigorously, & at least twice interrupted to remark how awesome it was to nerd out like this—you know, all those charming, spastic Bowiephilisms that guarantee me more mental health referrals than phone numbers. Anyhow, in the course of our discourse, this recording was mentioned, &—after an incredulous squeal & jump & a few much-needed hours of sleep—I finally tracked it down.

This is, no question, one of my favorite songs of all time—note it, quoted, in the first line of my wee tongue-in-cheek Bio (to the right)—& the fact that Bowie liked it enough to cover it— His voice, scratching & cracking over the lyrics— To feel that kind of connection to your heroes— The same Bruce Springsteen song! I— We— Garble— Squeal— Melting.

Honestly, though:

1) Pick an artist whom you idolize to a sickening degree.
2) Pick another artist whom you regard as a sort of nostalgic, not-quite-guilty pleasure (e.g., inextricably associated with driving around in your old car with your mother)—of whom you have no real reason to believe Artist 1 is a fan.
3) Imagine that Artist 1 covers, not just any song by Artist 2, but the song—not some obvious chart topper, but an identity-defining B-side that you love, intensely.

Now, try to contain yourself while writing about it prose English.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

In Which I Rise From the Dead (Or, Well, Hiatus) to Talk About Zombie Lit.

Oh hey there. Not like it's been three months or anything...

I know, Reader, I know—but times are tough: buried beneath mounds of camp directing, now giving way to heaps of schoolwork, I hardly have time to breathe, let alone weave together complex musings on the eminent hotness of Michael Fassbender (the upcoming topic in my ever-accumulating pop-arsenal—get psyched).

Still, there are some chances that are too good to pass up: when The Eye contacted me towards the end of summer with a pitch about the rising popularity of zombie literature, despite being so thoroughly burned by them in the past (oh, Annaliese & her morays...), I snatched at the opportunity to muse about the scribed undead.

The piece was published today, & I'm happy to report that this time around, they were generously faithful to my original copy—only a couple of meaning-altering edits ("years-long" to "year-long," "fake-bloody" to "fake-blood," repeating the word "faux" twice in two sentences, etc.). Moreover, speaking from a place of giddy narcissism, I'm almost happier to report that I've now officially gotten my picture in the paper—& blood-drenched to boot. I expect a call from Hollywood any day now. (Many thanks to Adam Hawthorne & Steve McGowan for taking the photos!)

So, without further ado, here it is: my torn, reanimated hand grasping from out the muck of these past inactive months. Enjoy.

They came in hordes: limping lopsided through Boston’s poshest districts, trailing clothing strips and rubber limbs, snarling peppermint-flavored blood at unsuspecting brunchers—because, well, there are worse ways to spend a Saturday. These hundreds of brave and faux-battered souls were none other than the eager participants in Boston’s seventh annual Zombie March, an occasion for any ex-makeup artist or horror enthusiast to break out some spirit gum and stroll brokenly through the streets. As startling as a mob of faux blood-drenched adults hobbling through Sephora might be, the existence of the march itself should come as no grand shock, if only because, in recent years, zombies have been lurching their way into every aspect of our pop culture with gusto—especially, and perhaps surprisingly, onto the literary scene...

(Here's the downloadable PDF—pages 12 & 13.)

Today's Headphone Fodder:

Okay, this officially sucks, because my musical taste has gone through several full cycles these past mute months, such that the thought of summing it all up with one song is daunting if not impossible. As much as I would like to take the next hour to put together a downloadable ZIP file playlist (à la "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday"), the aforementioned heaps of homework beckon—so, if you'll permit, I'm going to put that task aside & trust you to understand that the following is, true to its name, the music of today & today alone. That said, the track currently gracing these staticking white earbuds is:

Bopping but unconventional, like the best output of this particular glam-pop outfit, this is one of those songs that manages to sum my life up perfectly, in lyric & tone: daylight, I'm so absentminded, nighttime meeting new anxieties... An upbeat ditty dipping its toes just far enough into the profound, it's the perfect song for chowing down film theory, for nagging yourself out of bed to attend 10 AM lectures thereupon—for buoying the hazy, aimless summer drives I'm doomed, for now, to miss.