Sunday, April 11, 2010

william gibson. my affection for this mans writing has run hot and cold from book to book over the years but i am consistently astonished by the man himself. i heard him say once, at a book reading, that he considered illegal copying of his work as an 'organic tax on his celebrity'. simple and brilliant. here is some more simple brilliance i read at his blog thanks to a boingboing tweet:

Q Creator's block. If ever: how long, when/why it happened; or how was it avoided, palliated?
A "Creator's block" sounds like something afflicting a divinity, but writer's block is my default setting. Its opposite is miraculous. The process of learning to write fiction, for me, was one of learning to almost continually be doing it *through* the block, in spite of the block, the block becoming the accustomed place from which to work. Our traditional cultural models of creativity tend to involve the wrong sort of heroism, for me. "It sprang whole and perfect from my brow" as opposed to "I saw it mispelled, in mauve Krylon, on the side of a dumpster, and it haunted me". I was much encouraged, when I began to write, by Manny Farber's idea of "termite art".

30 comments:

j.e. said...

EA,

Out of all of William Gibson's books, which you most recommend?

-ea. said...

for a number of reasons i would suggest 'neuromancer' is at the top of the required reading list. if that one works for you, 'cyberpunk', then you can just keep going chronologically through his stuff.

j.e. said...

Much appreciated, sir. I'll look into his books as soon as I finish Jonathan Safran Foer's 'Eating Animals', about the present day food industry and what we presently call "farming." I'd recommend it and his other two novels if you haven't read them.

Goats said...

Totally unrelated, but check out this french bistro spot. Eric, seems like it may be up your alley.

http://midtownlunch.com/los-angeles/2010/04/15/3-week-old-ratata-transports-you-from-westwood-to-france-for-under-10/#more-38

Suzana Cristina Lourenço said...
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skullneck said...

Hey Eric,

How do you approach vocals in terms of writing, subject matter and melody?

Also how did you find your singing voice? For instance if I tried to sing a song I naturally sing higher but I much rather sing lower. Is that something you practice or just stick to the natural voice.

matt volpe said...

Happy Birthday EA!!!

Best, Matt

matt volpe said...

Eric, about the topic at hand, William Gibson- I had read an interesting thing about the man. I read that before he helped form the whole cyberpunk movement, he used to listen to his walkman (yes i said walkman - to those reading this that are under 25, this preceded the ipod, ipad,iphone hee hee) while on bus trips staring out the window. What he came to realize was that the music he listened to altered the reality of what he was looking at through the window- thereby learning that whatever you observe while listening to a piece of music can affect perceptibility in your mind depending on the type/vibe of the music. In simpler terms- never underestimate the power of music in film or TV. Your whole perception can be swayed with music accompanying a visual very easily. Magically so. And that is one of the things that (I've heard) influenced Gibson to create the cyberpunk movement. Pretty amazing. There is total truth to that- as I experience it everyday in my line of work, making trailers. Music is the KEY to making something visually emotional, etc. Hence, of course, music videos. It's just so cool though that Gibson realized this way back in the early days before it became the subject of a class at NYU film school. Best, Matt

Daniel Jones said...

Matt,
Very interesting you say that, because I have always noticed that whenever I go traveling. I recall heading out west on a tour bus and seeing the desert for the first time while listening to Help Wanted as a matter of fact when it first came out. It really helped me see the earth in a beautiful way even though it was dry. Avery's music became a connection to the desert for me. So it goes to show (just like you said) that the music can alter the reality of things, which in my case, my perception of a dry land was ironically beautiful with lush greenery due to the music. it really put me in a beautiful world that I want to some day come back to...but what I also find interesting is when I create music I imagine visuals in my mind that accompany the music, so I guess it works both ways as long as you have a past perception to help make that visual in your mind. It kind of reminds me of a blind person having dreams. They only have visual dreams if they were able to see before, but if they were born blind then there is no image to even see...I'm pretty sure that's correct, if not correct me

Daniel Jones said...
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Daniel Jones said...

And what the hell is a "walkman"
:)

Michael said...

Matt,

Here is a great example of the music controlling the visual.

Different "Disturbing" Strokes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr-e3qGQ884

E, Started Nueromancer. Finishing up another book, first. Thanks for the tip.

r&k
M

matt volpe said...

Daniel- yeah man you got it right, it's pretty amazing isn't it? the power of music over visuals, that is. cool.

oh and I've never heard of such a thing as the "walkman" either!

Best, Matt

matt volpe said...

Mike--- Ahhhh!!!! THAT WAS AWESOME I used to have nightmares about Conrad Bain when I was a kid... ewww... that was crazy... thanks for sharing! Hope you are well. MV

-ea. said...

daniel jones/matt volpe- the relationship between driving and music was one that i always thought was born of being from la. a city where you live your life in your car. i have always done a drive to decide how i feel about a mix and i have often driven through the desert with instrumentals in order to write lyrics.

-ea. said...

skullneck- my answer is a little complicated. first let me start by saying that my voice is, at best, a limited instrument for me. therefore i am often just working with that limitation.

that being said, all the male vocalists ive ever really liked to listen to sing in the lower registers.

i also think that you can generally get away with more dramatic or intellectually interesting lyrics if you are understated in the delivery. i think its a balance that works both ways, sing simplicity and speak complexity.

of course all of this is generally speaking. there are always examples of just the opposite.

Daniel Jones said...

Eric,
That is very interesting, is that how you conceived the lyrics for Chewing Gum EP? the reason I ask is Man's Ruin is basically instrumental...oh and another thing, speaking of LA, I'm considering traveling there this summer. I have never been and in fact live on the opposite side of the country. I was curious to know if you had any recommendations for what to see or do in LA, I might even consider driving along the pacific coast highway, not sure, but I am planning on moving out there in two years, so I thought I would check it out first to get a feel for it...I will probably spend two weeks out there so I need to cram in a lot of places to see in that amount of time...I thought I would ask someone who has lived there all their life to know what is worth seeing my first time out there.

jose said...

Hi Eric,

With what just happed with xiola.org today (4-5-10), I keep thinking of your words...

"thats it. with equal parts regret and relief, the janes addiction experiment is at an end."

What a shame Jane´s has become "The Man".

-ea. said...

jose- what happened at xiola.org? im not going to the site because i was going to do a live q&a, theye were collecting questions, and i didnt want to see the questions beforehand so that i could answer with spontaneity.

Clyde said...

Hi Eric,

Longtime fan and lurker...I saw you with JA back in 1991 at Madison Square Garden and since I've never had the opportunity to do so before...thanks for some great memories.

I am a LONG time poster at xiola...to set the record straight sans any drama, Sonny who runs the site asked JA management for tickets to the May 5th show they just did and was offered a few but once people associated with the band found out the ticket holders would be coming from xiola.org the offer was rescinded. Disappointing stuff considering as brutally honest (and sometimes cruel) as people are there its helped keep the legend alive for over a decade and plays host to a strong community of die hard fans. Sorry in advance if you look at any of this as gossip, but I felt the need to speak up...thanks again,
Clyde aka Essence Smith

Michael said...
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jose said...

Hi Eric sorry for the late response but Clyde clear that up.

Hope for the best for you and your music.

Saludos,
Jose

Mike Vavrek said...

I got into Herman Hesse as a result of you. Not to mention Durrell. So, thanx. I learned how to play bass by listening to you and playing along. The power of a hypnotic melody!! Ever go into Gabriel Garcia Marquez? Or Rushdie? THanx for you being you Eric, Much respect.

NiceBull said...

On the subject of Xiola.org, I wonder what the problem is that was referred to in a post here? Seems like any other current multimedia blog to me.

One thing did strike me as I watched a clip of some new live material- sadly, Jane's has no more mystery or intrigue. Jane's is an idea now, instead of a force. There is a void of push and pull, and of build up and destroy. Too much feels obvious, and nothing seems to be unknown. Strange, strange, indeed.

Jim Jones said...

Hey Eric what happened to the interview between you and the owner of xiola.org. We've been waiting to hear what you have to say regarding your exit from Janes. From the way it seems now its not gonna happen. I really hate being teased and then let down. Can you give some interviews to the press soon since Sonny boy has dropped the ball?
Thanks,
Jim

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Sparkles said...
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Sparkles said...
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Sparkles said...
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yimyam said...

You are over rated. You did a bunch of things that made Jane's sound less like herself and more like a stupid industrial metal shit band. Downtuning to ridiculous notes so Perry had trouble singing the songs, bringing in a fuckstick like T. Reznor to make it loopy and industrial. No, you had it in your mind to transform Jane's into something she was not. You were the odd man in the band. Got to give you credit for one thing, you had sense enough to leave before you totalled the group completely. Now u can go off to TR and suck him off.