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New podcast w/Timothy Goodman, Cave exploration, & more
Last Saturday I watched 20,000 Days On Earth, the 2014 doc about Nick Cave. I don’t know Cave’s work, except for a song he did for the soundtrack of Wim Wenders’ Until The End Of The World (plus there’s that live performance from Wings of Desire, but I don’t recall anything about that song), but similar to the way I once read Stephen King’s On Writing without having read anything else by King, I was intrigued by the trailer & decided to give it a shot.
It’s a fictionalized version of that day in Cave’s life, his 20,000th, with segments of him being interviewed, meeting & recording with his music partner Warren Ellis (the other one) and other Bad Seeds, helping his archivists go through photos, having pizza with his kids, and driving & having conversations with Ray Winstone, Blixa Bargeld, and Kylie Minogue. It all gets intercut with voiceovers and footage from his life & career, and it culminates in a performance of Jubilee Street, and I tear up each time I watch this clip
The movie’s about creativity & collaboration, and it left me hypercharged to make a project I’ve mentioned here before but won’t bore you with now. I’m afraid it’s a bad idea or a waste of time, but as Cave tells us near the movie’s end:
“All of our days are numbered. We cannot afford to be idle. To act on a bad idea is better than not to act at all, because the worth of the idea never becomes apparent until you do it.”
I’m staying in a hotel room in Weehawken, NJ this week, spending each day in NYC for pharma-meetings, spending each night streaming Cave’s Push The Sky Away and reading Hope, Faith, and Carnage, the book of interviews between Cave & Séan O’Hagan. I should be doing something else with my time, like going to industry receptions, or seeing friends, or prepping for Sunday’s podcast, or drawing, but the days leave me burned out, tired from all the talking, all the walking from midtown hotel to hotel, all the waiting in lobbies to see & be seen.
At the end of each day, I ride the ferry across the river, look back at the Manhattan skyline, and think of how glorious it’ll be the next morning when I watch the sun rise behind it, but first the night.
I’m a few hundred days short of 20,000. I don’t take any of them for granted.
This week, I posted Episode 531 of The Virtual Memories Show, featuring artist (& SO much more) Timothy Goodman! We talk about his gorgeous new graphic memoir: I ALWAYS THINK IT’S FOREVER: A Love Story Set in Paris As Told By An Unreliable But Earnest Narrator (Simon Element), and get into how his murals and online posts coalesced into a memoir, the nature of attachment disorder and heartbreak, Timothy’s penchant for social experiment, what drove him to spend a year in Paris in 2019, and why he used a variety of mediums to tell a single story (& in the process tell a much bigger story). We also talk about his artistic history & influences, the drive to fill every inch of the canvas, using art for social good, the musicality of his art & art-making process, how he graduated from house painting to design to art, and his Excalibur moment of discovering the Sharpie. Plus we discuss toxic masculinity & therapy, the difference between traveling the world and depaysement, our favorite NBA teams, and more. Give it a listen! And go read I Always Think It’s Forever!
Last week, I posted Episode 530 of The Virtual Memories Show, featuring Christopher Bollen as he return to the show to celebrate his thrilling new crime novel, THE LOST AMERICANS (Harper). We talk about his childhood obsession with ancient Egypt and how it led him to set the novel in Cairo, what’s gotten easier & tougher after 5 novels, what it was like to write this one while under lockdown, and why he dived into politics and the global arms trade this time around. We also get into our respective (and multiplying) midlife crises, the tarot reader who told him he’d only write 9 books (!), the reading education he got from judging the PEN Faulkner awards. our shared postcard fetish, and plenty more. Give it a listen! And go read The Lost Americans! (And go listen to our 2015 conversation!)
Links & Such
It’s like New York Review of Books did a Virtual Memories Special Issue! Frances Wilson writes about Kafka’s Diaries, recently translated by Ross Benjamin; Anna Della Subin writes about the anatomy of God (as it were); Phillip Lopate writes about Lucy Sante’s new book; Anahid Nersessian writes about a pair of poetry collections; Darryl Pinckney reviews the novels & essays of Tsitsi Dangarembga; and okay this is a stretch but James Fenton (who I met when recording with Darryl) writes about English Garden Eccentrics.
This piece on Andrew Tate is harrowing, although I admit it’s kinda funny that Brooklyn liberal parents are discovering their sons are getting into this stuff.
As someone who mails out a postcard every day, I found this profile of the reviled-but-it-turns-out-effective Postmaster General pretty interesting.
Grazie Sophia Christie writes about plastic surgery, Instagram Face, and class divides. As an aside, I’ll note that I recently reread the harrowing blow-by-blow nose-job chapter of Pynchon’s V.
Go read AO Scott’s exit self-interview from the NYT movie reviewer role (he’s moving over to the Book Review). I met him once, at a screening for You Were Never Really Here (prepping for my first talk w/Jonathan Ames). Scott was a little late, and they held up the screening until he arrived. Yes, I pitched him on recording sometime. No, he never responded.
Lengthy piece bashing AI art/writing, if that fits your priors.
I haven’t been to a movie theater in many years (long before This Whole Situation), but I might make an except to see the remastered version of Stop Making Sense.
V. - by Thomas Pynchon
Best Minds: How Allen Ginsberg Made Revolutionary Poetry from Madness - by Stevan M. Weine
Faith, Hope, and Carnage - Nick Cave and Séan O’Hagan
I managed to finish another set of 8 headshots of authors I read in 2022.: Ira Nadel, Andreas Kilcher, Judith Butler, Andrew Jamieson, Alexandra Lange, Brian Doherty, John Berger, and Ruth Scurr (notes about it over here). You should go to the Flickr album of most of the art I’ve made & find something you like.
Sound Body, Fractured Mind
I got in all 3 days of my weights & yoga cycle, Friday-Sunday. I brought a yoga mat with me to the hotel so I can do my morning routine, but I got such a bad night’s sleep on Sunday that I couldn’t get through more than 15 minutes of my full yoga workout, so I gave up. I’ll restart once I’m home from this trip.
Until Next Week
Thanks for reading this far! I’ll be back next with a new podcast, great links, some art, & maybe a little profundity or something.
I’m transforming, I’m vibrating, look at me now,