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Showing posts from July, 2013

Oh My Golly! The Pixies, The Weeklings, and a site called Salon

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"Yo soy playero pero no hay playa / Oh my golly! / Bien perdida la surfer rosa / Oh my golly!" For the last week I've been humming the Pixies' 'Oh My Golly!' to myself. Never mind the X-rated translation. Why? Literary website The Weeklings published my essay Echoes From The Planet Of Sound a couple of weeks ago, and I can't stop buzzing. The essay is one of my most personal projects, a recollection of a seminal Pixies concert at Crystal Palace Bowl, and the various repercussions it's had throughout my life. It's an attempt at a different kind of music journalism, one that embraces the subjective and the personal rather than the objective. But my excitement didn't stop there. Shortly after its publication on The Weeklings , Echoes... was picked up by Salon . Yes, that Salon . The sprawling, hugely popular arts and culture behemoth. Okay, so they renamed it. And yes, for reasons known only to them they renamed it The Pixies Blew My Mi

Words and Music

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As a writer, you're always asked where you get your ideas from. The question has become such a cliche that it's incredible how often we're still asked - but people want to know. They really want to know. Usually there isn't a simple answer. Stories often spring out of nowhere, or string themselves together from ten or twenty different sources. An anecdote you heard, a book you read, a person you saw at the train station. That really strong cup of coffee you downed that morning. In the case of my story 'Not The End Of The World' (recently published in The Portland Review ), the answer is far simpler than that. For once there's a definite starting point for the words on the page, a source from which the rest flowed. It wasn't a book, or an experience. It wasn't even a person. It was 'We Used To Wait', from Arcade Fire's album The Suburbs . To cite a single song as the inspiration for a 5000 word story sounds simplistic, but in thi