Recently I happened to see U2 perform their new song and was surprised to find that it totally knocked me out, moved me to tears.
And this isn’t why I like the song, but it totally floors me that this incredibly mainstream band who’s been at it for more than a few decades has managed to write such a killer melody and offer a surprisingly youthful perspective while still sounding so authentically them.
“[On comedian Elaine May] She doesn’t like to be interviewed. She doesn’t like publicity. She doesn’t like all that stuff. I remember The New York Times wanted to interview her. She says, “I’ll do this, but you have to let me interview myself!” So she wrote an interview where she did the questions and she did the answers. And she wrote, “What’s most important to you as an actress?” And she says, “Good grooming.” And it was hilarious, because she’s the last person in the world who cares about good grooming. When I worked with her on our play, every day she wore the same thing: a sailor’s peacoat. And she was so concentrated on what she was talking about that when she would smoke, the cigarette in her mouth would grow a very long ash and then as she would talk the ashes would fall off on her jacket. But she was so concentrated on what she was thinking and saying that she paid no attention to the ashes on her clothing. So when she said in the interview “Good grooming,” I thought, “Boy, that’s funny.” She doesn’t care anything about that. The actors used to go out for lunch and they’d say, “Elaine, come on, let’s go to lunch. You want to go out to lunch with us?” And she’d say, “Bring me a Ding Dong or a Yodel.” It was always some dinky little lunch. A little cheap cake. Not even a nice dessert—just something you’d buy at the candy store. “Bring me a soda, a Dr. Pepper.” She just didn’t care about the things most people care about.”—Paul Dooley, We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy.
“Go to the fucking yard sale, buy a fucking guitar, start a band with your fucking friends, get in the garage and fucking SUCK, and work on it til you fucking make great music and become the biggest band in the world. And when you become the biggest band in the world, you’ll be like, “Goddamn, wasn’t the garage fun?””—Dave Grohl, WTF with Marc Maron Podcast.
“With “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Street Fighting Man” I’d discovered a new sound I could get out of an acoustic guitar. That grinding, dirty sound came out of these crummy little motels where the only thing you had to record with was this new invention called the cassette recorder. And it didn’t disturb anybody. Suddenly you had a very mini studio. Playing an acoustic, you’d overload the Philips cassette player to the point of distortion so that when it played back it was effectively an electric guitar. You were using the cassette player as a pickup and an amplifier at the same time. You were forcing acoustic guitars through a cassette player, and what came out the other end was electric as hell. An electric guitar will jump live in your hands. It’s like holding on to an electric eel. An acoustic guitar is very dry and you have to play it a different way. But if you can get that different sound electrified, you get this amazing tone and this amazing sound. I’ve always loved the acoustic guitar, loved playing it, and I thought, if I can just power this up a bit without going to electric, I’ll have a unique sound. It’s got a little tingle on the top. It’s unexplainable, but it’s something that fascinated me at the time.”—Keith Richards, Life.
Welcome to FUTURE PARADISE, a dystopic multiverse where our scrappy hero must valiantly surf through dimensions on an epic journey to rescue the meaning of true love and friendship from the clutches of the Spiritual Void. Enjoy!
"What they don’t understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when you’re eleven, you’re also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don’t. You open your eyes and everything’s just like yesterday, only it’s today. And you don’t feel eleven at all. You feel like you’re still ten. and you are—underneath the year that makes you eleven.
Like some days you might say something stupid, and that’s the part of you that’s still ten. Or maybe some days you might need to sit on your mama’s lap because you’re scared, and that’s the part of you that’s five. And maybe one day when you’re all grown up maybe you will need to cry like if you’re three, and that’s okay. That’s what I tell Mama when she’s sad and needs to cry. Maybe she’s feeling three.
Because the way you grow old is kind of like an onion or like the rings inside a tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year inside the next one. That’s how being eleven years old is.”
"We’re a violent people, Cal. Does it seem strange to you that I include myself? Maybe it’s true that we are all descended from the restless, the nervous, the criminals, the arguers and brawlers, but also the brave and independent and generous. If our ancestors had not been that, they would have stayed in their home plots in the other world and starved over the squeezed-out soil.
…That’s why I include myself. We all have that heritage, no matter what old land our fathers left. All colors and blends of Americans have somewhat the same tendencies. It’s a breed—selected out by accident. And so we’re overbrave and overfearful—we’re kind and cruel as children. We’re overfriendly and at the same time frightened by strangers. We boast and are impressed. We’re oversentimental and realistic. We are mundane and materialistic—and do you know of any other nation that acts for ideals? We eat too much. We have no taste, no sense of proportion. We throw our energy about like waste. In the old lands, they say of us that we go from barbarism to decadence without an intervening culture. Can it be that our critics have not the key or the language of our culture? That’s what we are, Cal—all of us. You aren’t very different.”
Paul Zollo: You described yourself when working on the Graceland album, sitting in a room and tossing a ball against a wall while working. What effect, if any, does that physical activity have on your mental activity?
Paul Simon: I think it’s very calming. It’s like a Zen exercise, really. It’s a very pleasant feeling if you like playing ball. The act of throwing a ball and catching a ball is so natural…and calming that your mind kind of wanders. And that’s really what you want to happen. You want your mind to wander, and to pick up words and phrases and fool around with them and drop them.
As soon as your mind knows that it’s on and it’s supposed to produce, either it doesn’t or it produces things that are very predictable. And that’s why I say I’m not interested in writing something that I thought about. I’m interested in discovering where my mind wants to go, or what object it wants to pick up.