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This one is for [livejournal.com profile] scarlettgirl and [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne.

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I blame the Colbert Report.

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Only Morrissey understands me. ;-)

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It's a Kinks kinda morning.

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Belle & Sebastian make everything better.

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I've had this St. Vincent song stuck in my head since the Chicks Dig Time Lords event last Sunday.

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Musician Alex Chilton passed away yesterday. He was known as the lead singer of The Box Tops and their hit "The Letter" in the 1960s when he was only in his teens. For aging hipsters like myself, he's best known for being the main creative force (after Chris Bell left) of the extremely influential band Big Star in the early 70s. They were unknown at the time, but influenced bands like R.E.M., The Replacements (they did a tribute song called "Alex Chilton"), and Matthew Sweet. Most people know their song "In the Street" after it became the theme song to That 70's Show.
Thoughts about Alex and my life... )
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I'm having a nice weekend. The girls are sleeping in this morning. They need it. Caitlin has a cold that made her on and off barfy all week, and [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne is still recovering from her eye Shingles. As you might guess, I didn't get a lot accomplished last week. I revised a short story, but that's about it.

Friday night I went to a show at The House Cafe in town with my friends Sarah and David. The Headlights headlined with a couple of local bands. There are times I forget how much I love getting out to see a concert. It was a night of fun, loud power pop that really recharged me.

In the middle of the Headlights set, my brain finally made some important connections for a short story idea that I've been goofing with for the last few weeks. I had to run to the front of the house mid-song to find paper and pencil to get down my notes.

I can't speak for other writers, but it amazes how important it is for my writing to get exposure to other art forms. Some of my best stuff comes to me while I'm watching a documentary, listening to music, or walking through a museum.

Does this happen to the rest of you?

St. Vincent

Jun. 7th, 2009 08:47 am
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I'm going to the Pattern is Movement/St. Vincent concert tonight at the Metro with my friends Sarah and David. I'm pretty excited about this show. They saw St. Vincent last year, and Sarah says that it was the best show that she has ever seen.

Here's a St. Vincent video from her first album:
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We spend a lot of time in the SF bubble talking about death. That’s not surprising since we’re a morbid bunch of bastards. We especially like to talk about industry death: the end of short stories, the end of magazines, the end of books, and the end of bookstores. We look at new technology with fear and shake our fists at change.

A lot of this is an overreaction to evolution, but some of it is quite legitimate. It’s hard not see parallels with a certain warm corpse: the music industry.

Today, the owner of DeKalb’s Record Rev announced he was closing his business.

Record Rev is a completely unexceptional music store. They carry some new and used CDs and a decent vinyl selection. The prices are average. There’s an indie section, but the selection is nothing to get excited about. The store has been next to the Northern Illinois University campus since I was born.

Here’s the problem: it’s the last record store in DeKalb, Illinois. Not just the last independent store, the last record store of any kind. When I first visited DeKalb a decade ago, there were at least 5 record stores in the campus area. Now, the only places selling CDs will be the box stores.

And almost nobody cares. In my lifetime, I went from vinyl to cassette to CD. There was a point that I bought at least a CD per week. Now I’m no different from all of the kids on campus. When I buy a CD, it’s only to rip it and throw the music onto my iPod. The fact that I buy any CDs makes me a novelty.

Things changed. I miss going to record stores and the thrill of discovery when I found a particular album. I miss it right up to the point that I realize that my friend David just gave me his old iPod loaded with 5000 songs. I’m sitting in a coffeehouse with a music library bigger than my college album collection. That’s phenomenal.

I’m sorry to see the end of an era, but I can’t think of a good reason to fight that change.

Which brings us back to publishing. Will technology kill the paper book? Will we all own Kindle 5s and talk about the closing of the last bookstores in a few years time?

I just don’t know.
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Today is the first birthday I've had since I was 19 that I'm not disappointed in myself. It had been my yearly tradition to reflect back on my wasted year and my nonexistent writing career. Not this year. I wrote a novel. It may suck and probably will never be published, but I did it.

Lynne is off for the next couple of days doing a digital preservation workshop (I blame all of you fancy-pants authors who are too good for typewriters *g*). So we ended up having a low-key celebration yesterday with our friends Sarah and David. Lynne and I finally manged to get out to see Quantum of Solace. The reviews were fairly accurate. It was a very good Bond film buggered up by bad editing during the action scenes.

The cold hurt us, so we decided to stay in for the rest of the evening. We consumed some stuffed pizzas, and I got the gift of new music (Jenny Lewis- Acid Tongue, Belle and Sebastian- The BBC Sessions, and Sufjan Stevens- Songs for Christmas). The coolest gift, though, was a cross stitch from Sarah. Somehow she managed to do one of Roj Blake's head from the opening credits of Blake's 7. It is one of the coolest things that I've ever scene.

Right before we consumed my birthday pie, Caitlin had her big monthly seizure. It sucked, but at least it waited until she was home with us.
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We had a good time last night at the Xiu Xiu concert, but it was an odd scene at the House. It’s usually the club for the aging hipster set, but there were quite a few kids drinking and being somewhat obnoxious. Xiu Xiu’s music is fragile and emotional with moments of silence in between songs. The drunks filled those quiet moments with heckling and loud hook-up conversations mere feet away from the band. I came awfully close to losing it.

Other than that, the opening acts were not my cup of tea. We ended up having to go to Walgreen’s to buy earplugs midway through the first opening act. I just don’t enjoy my ears ringing the next day as much as I used to.

Today is an exciting day for Caitlin. Her school program does trips out into the community every Friday in order to teach the kids some independent life skills. The first trip is to the glamorous Wal-Mart in town. We sent Caitlin with some money to buy more Star Wars Galactic Heroes figures. That made a happy little girl.

While Cait’s shopping, [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne and I are writing on side-by-side laptops. The romance never ends. :)
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Here's a quick blog post before the remnants of Gustav dump on us...

Caitlin is still thriving at the new school. The team keeps telling me how impressed they are with Caitlin's intelligence. We're all on the same page about what she can do. This comes as a huge relief. Caitlin's progress depends on having an excellent team, and it looks like that's exactly what we have.

With the Cait doing so well, I've actually resisted staying with her and hovering. This means that I'm fully back into the writing swing of things. I made some nice progress with my revisions on my novel this week. I just hit a scene that needs a major overhaul, but I'm pleased with how I'm planning on fixing it.

In the afternoons, I'm still chugging along with the Doctor Who writing while watching the girl. The Mad Norwegian seems pleased at my progress. It's a little tricky finding enough time along with all of her therapy, but I seem to be managing it.

[livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne is still buried in her writing.

In other news, I'm going to see Xiu Xiu at the House tonight with Sarah and David. It's always nice when a good band comes to our little town. I also got some Doctor Who swag in the mail. This makes a happy Michael.

Happy Day

Aug. 8th, 2008 04:35 pm
michaeldthomas: (Barcelona!)
I am very happy today.

1- [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne's home!

2- Caitlin had good therapies. Her reading is really coming along. Who knew that she could read the word whiskers?

3- I love my Molly kitten. She's a hoot.

4- I am almost at the halfway point with the novel revisions. It's slow going, but at least there's progress. I still don't hate my novel.

5- I kicked out a lot of Fluid Links's writing this week. It's always a happy thing when I produce more work than expected.

6- I'm going to be in a music video tomorrow for my friend David's band, Oh, Alchemy.

7- We have plans with [livejournal.com profile] torresroman and spouse tonight, and with [livejournal.com profile] bifemmefatale and family on Sunday.

8- The Cubs won again. The team is still rolling.

Just finished reading- Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
Currently reading- Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

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