No matter what I'll be doing in terms of full-time work next year, I will have another book out. After five years of work, When We Were the Kids finally arrives, even if it's via self-publishing. The hard thing is letting this story be unleashed to the world. I'm not embarrassed by what I've written; I'm more like a protective parent who doesn't want his child to get beat up on the playground within an hour of going to school. What's very hard about writing a fictional story is that I have a hard time knowing when something is truly "done." Storytelling and editing collide and you become addicted to tweaking. I'm convinced that if it weren't for deadlines, most books would never be published. I have intentionally only showed snippets of the book to a couple of people. I don't want too many proverbial cooks in the kitchen, but I appreciate honest feedback. And I want the kind of feedback that doesn't tear me limb from limb under
The night before Victory and I went down to Houston for Thanksgiving, I finally finished watching The Wire . Yes, the show that's required viewing if you want to be a white person in the know. I can now join the many folks who find it to be one of the best TV shows of all time . . . because I agree with them. Solid show from top to bottom and all that good stuff. What I found most compelling was the final season, where a portion is shown at The Baltimore Sun . With buyouts coming and a pressure to deliver a different kind of content in print, there is plenty of drama. And even though I've never worked for a daily paper, I found so much of what was depicted to be spot-on, especially given my layoff last month. In particular, there's plenty of inspiration in what series creator David Simon did when he himself took a buyout at The Sun . By then, his first book had been turned into a TV series ( Homicide ) and he made the transition into making The Corner miniseries and The
This week's edition is with Robbie D Love from the Red 100s. And I saw My Jerusalem on Friday night. Show reviews and blogging resumes next week. This is the first time in 11 years that I get to enjoy Thanksgiving without the pressure of zooming back into the swing of things.
Knowing my habits, because of the Twenty book, CD, and documentary, it doesn't come as a shock that I've decided to circle back to Pearl Jam albums I've neglected. Namely, their albums after Matt Cameron joined the band. Plus, I hadn't listened to Ten since, oh, 1993. It's not that I think the band lost the plot. Rather, I blame Creed and Nickelback. Up until now, my thoughts on Pearl Jam post-Dave Abbruzzese were, "Pearl Jam got weird." Meaning, less of rip-roaring drums and guitars and more atonal experiments. This is a rather unfair sentiment, especially because of some powerful songs on Yield . I get this all now, and I'm enjoying albums like Yield and Pearl Jam . I can safely say I won't be praising Creed's My Own Prison or Nickelback's Silver Side Up any time in the near future. For me, and many other people who got into grunge as adolescence kicked in, those bands typified what major labels wanted Pearl Jam to be when Pearl J
Seems like all the really great pre-Thanksgiving shows are tonight, So I'm having to make a Sophie's Choice. Instead of seeing [DARYL] re-unify (my Q&A on this can be found here ), I'm seeing My Jerusalem play (I interviewed their frontman here ).
Yet another round of show reviews and articles. Saturday night, it was Five Finger Death Punch (review here ). Last night, it was the Misfits (review here ). Plus, as yet another preview of the Jayhawks' show tomorrow night (which I'll be covering), My First Show is with Mark Olson (read it all here ). No rest for the wicked here. Just having fun and staying active.
I don't have a bucket list. But when a situation arises where I'd be foolish to not follow through on, I usually go for it. Well, a friend of mine got a pass for me to see Stephen King speak at the Majestic last night. And I went and it was everything I thought it would be. Promoting his latest book, 11/22/63 -- a fantasy novel about a man traveling back in time with a hope to prevent JFK's assassination -- it was pretty amazing to see King speak on the same street that JFK was shot. In only 45 minutes, he talked about plenty of stuff. Here are some of the highlights: -Based on all his research (especially following this thought, "Follow the gun") he's convinced Oswald acted alone. -The idea for the book came to him in 1971. -Seeing video of fervent extremists from the sixties reminds him of Tea Party members of today. -An interesting what-if: had Oswald's wife agreed to reconcile with him the night before, would he have not assassinated JFK? -He a
Still churning out a lot of stuff for the Observer . In this week's print edition, I did a story on the Jayhawks. And in the past few days, I covered the Touché Amoré show and the Youth Lagoon show . And this week's edition of My First Show involves a lot of laughing. I had the pleasure to interview Mike from All That Remains and we didn't talk a lot about metal. We talked more about John Mayer.
I've been a very busy beaver as of late with DC9 stuff. First I covered the Youth Brigade show last Thursday, then it was We Were Promised Jetpacks' show on Saturday, and then it was Joe Lally's show last night. And I'm covering at least two shows this week. I'm definitely not taking my full-time job's layoff lying down.
When I heard We Were Promised Jetpacks were coming back to the DFW area, I was very excited. I wanted to cover their show by interviewing one of the members beforehand. Turns out, I talked with guitarist Michael Palmer, a lymphoma survivor and my story became a very, very personal matter, beyond what I thought of their new album. This is a story that I hope gives other survivors inspiration. And of course, another story of someone saying, "Fuck Cancer." Read the whole thing here .
My First Show is with Michael Palmer from We Were Promised Jetpacks this week. You can read it here and stay tuned for my feature on the band later in the week. I also covered the Explosions in the Sky show over the weekend. It was great -- with what I could see of it. Here's my review .