November 30, 2005
Word today that the Independent Spirit Awards have nominated Gregg Araki for Best Director for MSkin. Kick ass. Hopefully this will boost awareness of the film. I was hoping for Joe or Brady or someone else in the cast to get nominations, too, but it looks like the competition was tough.
More news on all the other nominations can be found in this Hollywood Reporter article.
November 28, 2005
Quickly, before I forget: this Thursday, December 1st, I'll be giving a reading at Washington University in St. Louis. Click here for info if you live anywhere near and might be interested. To be honest, I'm a little shaky about this. It'll be the first time I'm reading, publicly anyway, from We Disappear. I'm still unsure what section or scene to read.
I've finally moved all my belongings from my Boston home to our "winter retreat" on Cape Cod. This St. Louis trip will be a quick 2-day break before I head into the very last month (I hope. I think.) of writing on the book.
If any St. Louisians can recommend a cool CD shop or good place for lunch, please do....
November 23, 2005
As previously mentioned, the DVD for Mysterious Skin has been out for a few weeks now. If some of you have an all-region player, though, you might want to check out the UK edition (Region 2) of the disc. There are quite a few minutes of extras that aren't on the US, including long interviews with Gregg, Brady and Joe, and me, as well as a London Film Festival discussion we did.
Until next time, here's a photo of Rascal, the cat we're caring for during our winter on Cape Cod. Although I sort of hate this holiday: Happy Thanksgiving.
November 19, 2005
This entry is to honor Mark Beyer, one of my favorite graphic artists. When I was in college I was obsessed with his book AGONY. I photocopied some of the images from the book and taped them to my Kansas University dorm room door. Much later he published DEAD STORIES. If you aren't familiar with Beyer, his art is primitive and angular and nightmarish and extremely weird, and his stories are brutal little narratives, usually of a paranoid pair named Amy and Jordan. Suicidal depression! Misanthropy! The existential misery of city life! And all of it hilarious. When I lived in NYC, the New York Press would often publish his strips, and last year Pantheon collected a bunch of these in a gorgeous hardbound book, AMY AND JORDAN. For the past couple of years we've been emailing, and he's a great guy. My dream is to someday collaborate with him.
November 14, 2005
10 Loud Guitar Songs
Monday. Working on the novel. Frustration! Frustration! Then maybe a few lines that seem (sort of) successful. And frustration again! But the end is clearly in sight.
It's one of those days where, after an hour or so of screwy, occluded thinking and thwarted attempts to clarify a messy chapter, I wind up putting the headphones on (careful not to disturb Michael in the next room) for a while. Sometimes the volume sort of shakes things up, clarifies things, and then I can return to the writing. Sometimes.
A list: a random ten of my favorite "loud guitar songs."
Bailter Space, "Get Lost," from ROBOT WORLD. I saw this band live once, at the Mercury Lounge in NYC. I stood directly in front of the stage. On the first song, the singer/guitarist cut his hand on his guitar, spattering orangy blood in my face. I fainted, and missed the entire concert. Anyway... I think they're one of the most underrated and criminally ignored bands ever... this is the loudest song from their freakiest album.
My Bloody Valentine, "To Here Knows When," from LOVELESS. Duh.
Slowdive, "Catch the Breeze" (especially the final couple of minutes), from JUST FOR A DAY. (Confession: during the majority of 1991-1992, my haircut was just like the dudes' in the photo below.)
...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, "Baudelaire," from SOURCE TAGS & CODES. I didn't like their last album as much, but this one is amazing. When Mysterious Skin was at the Sundance festival this past winter, they played there, and Brady Corbet and I got to see them.
Mogwai, "Ratts of the Capital," from HAPPY SONGS FOR HAPPY PEOPLE (I love how it keeps building and building, sparkly sounding, adding layer upon layer of guitar, and then at about 4:19 it kind of spills over and breaks into a leaner, sparer guitar sound).
The Mars Volta, "Son et Lumiere" / "Intertiatic ESP," from DE-LOUSED IN THE COMATORIUM. Loud, loud, loud. And yes, in case you're curious, I'm still in love with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, the world's most perfect human.
Van Halen, "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love," from VAN HALEN. Okay, so it doesn't fit with the rest of these, and it doesn't seem like something I'd like. But it's great, with an amazing guitar riff at the beginning, and it reminds me of when I was fourteen and queasily turned on my the sight of a shirtless David Lee Roth doing a backbend on the LP's back cover. Should I be embarrassed by this?? (Note: I'm obsessed with contortionists. Anyone who shares this fascination should go to the Limbermen site immediately.)
Low, "Prisoner," from the FINALLY... cd-ep or THE CURTAIN HITS THE CAST vinyl lp. Really slow and repetitive, but it's sooo great LOUD, and weirdly inspiring. Such a great, desperate lyric. "I am not a prisoner / but I'm in prison..."
Swervedriver, "Duel," from MEZCAL HEAD. This song sounds like it has 27 guitarists playing on it.
Flying Saucer Attack, "Rainstorm Blues," from FURTHER. Someday when I make a horror film I'm going to include this as music over the opening or closing credits.
Any suggestions you might have for further clearing the mind, please send 'em along.
November 03, 2005
Nine Products I Love
I usually eat healthy foods, but...
(1) Inside-out Junior Mints. Oh good god. Too bad they're "limited edition."
(2) Yoplait vanilla custard style yogurt. The texture is sublime. They used to make a creme caramel flavor, which was even better, but I think they discontinued that. Now if they'd only do rhubarb yogurt, like you can get in the UK, I'd be elated.
(3) Trader Joe's Soy & Flaxseed tortilla chips.
(4) HP Sauce. Lovely. Puts me back in the UK every time I taste it.
(5) Special K Red Berries. I love cereal and this is currently my favorite.
(6) Bombay Sapphire (plus, this photo looks cool with the colors of this website).
(8) Starbucks Java Chip ice cream. Sorry, Starbucks haters... this shit is aMAzing.
(9) Becherovka. Not sure what's up with the photo below, but its trippiness sort of matches the product. It's a weird Czech alcohol that Michael and I discovered when we went to Prague in '03. Alone it's vaguely mediciney, but when mixed it's amazing in a masochistic way. And I really like the scent.
November 01, 2005
Capote... and the Mysterious Skin DVD
Just saw CAPOTE. Brilliant. I'm one of the world's hugest Truman Capote fans, and it's so great to see such a great film about him. (Below: Catherine Keener and Philip Seymour Hoffman in CAPOTE; and Truman himself, by Irving Penn, 1965.)
I'm probably going to join the thousands of others who are doing the same thing right now and re-re-re-read IN COLD BLOOD.
Thanks to everyone for the support re: my French television trauma. Other than that, my trip was completely terrific. I'm still planning to post photos from my ten days there; however, for some odd reason, my digital camera isn't allowing me to transfer the pictures to my PowerBook. I'll be on the phone with Nikon before the end of the week and hopefully it'll all get figured out.
If you search hard enough at this site--a database of photos of writers--you'll find more French publicity shots from Montparnasse Cemetery. In some of 'em, you can see my favorite Threadless t-shirt.
Tonight was Halloween... for personal reasons, not a great day for me anymore, as anyone who's read past entries would know, but I think I got through this one without too much pain. (Thank god there weren't trick-or-treaters out here at the Cape place.) And I got work done on the book, smoothing a couple of pestery glitches, so that felt good.
Oh: I forgot to mention that the Mysterious Skin DVD has finally been released. So for those of you who didn't live in one of the cities where the film initially played... now you can get it in stores or rent it from Netflix. I think the dastardly Blockbuster is even carrying it, unedited!
For reasons far too complicated to discuss right now, the DVD doesn't have all the extras that the press releases initially promised. So you won't be seeing the interviews with me, Gregg, Brady, and Joe from the Tribeca Film Festival after all. So much for my 15 minutes of fame....
Here are a few new CDs I like:
[Broken Social Scene, "Broken Social Scene"; Ladytron, "Witching Hour"; Jay-Jay Johanson, "Rush"; and Bed, "New Lines" (these last two were bought in Paris, since they'll no doubt take months, if ever, to appear here).]