Sunday, June 12, 2005

Your Mom Would Drink Until She Was No Longer Speaking

My latest music obsession is Neutral Milk Hotel. I heard "King of Carrot Flowers" for the first time a few weeks ago and it took root in my brain almost immediately. I didn't realize how much I liked it though until Saturday, when it came on loud and I listened more closely to the lyrics...I highly doubt I could say anything that hasn't already been said about this crazy genius, but the whimsy and surrealness (not sure that's even a word) of the music and the lyrics just blew me away.

Being the internet nyerd that I am, immediately went online and did some google research of the band and its reclusive lead singer, Jeff Mangum. Neutral Milk Hotel is one of those bands that I've always meant to check out but never got around to, and I was only vaguely aware that they are from Athens and that after making a classic record they have sort of disappeared into thin air, giving them an almost legendary reputation.

So I came across this interview with Jeff Mangum that Pitchfork published in 2002, four years after "in the Aeroplane Over the Sea" came out. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised after listening to the music, but I was struck by what an insightful read it is. Mangum has some really interesting things to say about songwriting and the creative process in general, and it was, in fact, something he said in the article that prompted me to start this blog. (This is my third blogging attempt -- the other ones obviously didn't make it.) Here's a quote I found particularly interesting:

"I think the biggest obstacle for people with their creativity is that they feel they have to sit down and create this finished, polished product. Especially nowadays, it's so easy to have a library of two thousand CDs, books and records. So many things. We're used to having all of these finished works of art in our life that seem to arise out of nothing. I think that so much of the creative process is a fragmentary one, and then it's about just allowing your intuition to put it together for you. It's funny how you create something and you think you're going in a million different directions, and then the thing you end up with is the thing that you wanted to create your whole life, but you're just as surprised by it as anybody else."

Truer words were never spoken. I think I feel it even more acutely because I've always been drawn to creative types, and I've been known to beat myself up for not stepping up to the plate with my own writing and just putting stuff out there.

So here it is.

And about the title.

1) I have, of late, been hanging out with a motley crew. Satisfied75 has been calling us the "fun hoggs," but you could call us the Deadbeat Club.
2) I am a person that gets obsessed with songs and listens to them over and over. This is highly annoying to other people so I try to keep it to myself, but you can still ask anyone who's been close to me at any point, and they can probably give you the names of a few of these songs. The Deadbeat Club by the B-52s is an early example, although there were definitely a few gems from the 80s that I could add to the list. (This is actually something I intend to do for another blog post...a sort of a chronological journey through my life via music. Not that you really give a shit, but on the other hand you are reading my blog.)
3) I'm being all ironical and whatnot. We're not Deadbeats. None of us.


At 11:56 PM, Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

Dood, I'm glad you crossed the nyerd chasm and set up this blog. Also, really interesting post. I love that record and am about to read that article. nyerd.

At 12:30 AM, Blogger Martin McFriend said...

Kudos on the blog start. You have so much potential. So much pure energy. It's just magic. Deliver the beauty of the magic from your soul to the place in your heart where only fools dare to tread and the walking hurts their feet so they fly like doves and feel each other up a lot. Talk about effervescent. Like a mind sling. A crutch for your soul. Mu Ha Ha ha ha! So, are you still drinking tomorrow night/


At 7:48 AM, Blogger Moe Busy said...

I think one of the songs is by the Pixies, here comes your man...

At 8:18 AM, Blogger sasefina said...

Moe, good call. That is a fine early example.

At 10:30 PM, Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

this was a fine post


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