Monthly Archives: November 2008

Pay Me to Write the Definitive Wrens Book

It’s hard to love a band that moves so slowly. All the Wrens have real jobs. One has a wife and kids. They are in their 40’s and are no longer hungry to become the biggest band in the world.

When their last album came out, I made an event out of it. I was a college freshman. I listened to it in my car, by myself, while staring at nothing, loving it. Soon, there will have been as much time passed between Meadowlands and ??? as between Secaucus and Meadowlands.

If I were a big Of Montreal fan, I’d get a new album to enjoy every other month. As it stands, I’d bet we’re going to have to wait another 2-4 years for the next Wrens album.

Sometimes I think I should be the one to write the book about The Wrens. Ideally, the genre will be “band biography meets in-depth song-by-song analysis meets gushy teenage girl homage meets Hunter S. Capote.”

Here is the first chapter. A taste of what I’m capable of. And if anyone wants to pay me, like the 33 1/3 series, I’ll write the rest.

Chapter One: Beginnings

A band of prodigious sunscorched suburban trash-minstrels, the Wrens are from New Jersey.

One time, they got fired for playing the Pixies’ “Debaser” to a crowd of old people. Isn’t that funny? Do you think Charles would like hanging out with me?

Gabe Wrens

Gabe Wrens

Gabe Wrens

Gabe Wrens :)

At one point, Greg turned to Kevin. “You know this is going to be big, don’t you?” Greg regarded Kevin warily, as if saying it out loud might uncork the sinewy talented brew that was bubbling beneath the surface.

Sometimes The Meadowlands is my favorite album. Sometimes it’s Secaucus. It’s never Silver, but some of the songs on Silver are among my favorites.

I wish the Wrens would put out all their b-sides like they promised to do.

According to Wrens.com, “The wrens issue first full length, Silver (1994), to surprising and wonderful critical acclaim.” And yet Pitchfork said this: “The band has no shortage of ideas here, but trying all of them at once bogged down these otherwise fine performances.” Who is right? You be the judge!

Little did this young riptide of ethereal talent realize, their lo-fi big-city aural dreams were about to make rock history…

End of Chapter One

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secretly giddy intellectual property

Lily started a blog.

Anjali started a blog.

I changed Jeannie’s blog link to a more active one.

A short short of mine is arriving at Johnny America some time soon.

Aimee Bender reads a “Fruit and Words” at Google. This is not one of my favorite stories in Willful Creatures, but it’s cool to hear her read and I like some of the things she says during the Q&A. A couple of months ago, I tore through this book and read Flammable Skirt immediately after. I recommend them both.

Uncollected Remixes, For Your Convenience

I like the life that web content can take on. Occasionally people get a hold of one of my remixes through various searches or words-of-mouth or links and love/hate them in equal measure. Most recently in remix news, Tom’s friend included one of my songs in a fashion show. I like thinking of sexy people on runways being sexy to my songs.

I haven’t done any remixes since my old laptop broke in early 2008. My new laptop is a Mac and isn’t compatible with the software. (I am unwilling to try and make the best of it with GarageBand.) My old laptop could be fixed or we could get a new computer, but until then, no new songs.

However, before it broke, I did five new songs and posted them on this site. I like them all about as much as I like anything on my last album, and decided to re-post them, all together, along with their component tracks. Three are easy downloads, two require a quick stop at MySpace, all are free, all are personally endorsed by Barack Obama, Abe Lincoln, and Winston Churchill.

Gabe Durham – Playground

Bjork – The Triumph of a Heart
Madonna – This Used to Be My Playground
Spoon – I Turn My Camera On
Parvati Khan – Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja
M.I.A. – Jimmy
Of Montreal – Jimmy
One Measure Featuring Some Obscure Daft Punk Song

Gabe Durham – Spirit of Shackleton

Glen Phillips – The Spirit of Shackleton
David Garza – Say Baby
Margot and the Nuclear So & Sos – A Sea Shanty of Sorts
Cake – I Bombed Korea
The Mountain Goats – Song For Lonely Giants
Rilo Kiley – Silver Lining
TV on the Radio – I Was A Lover
They Might Be Giants – She’s An Angel
Wednesday Night Worship – Holy is the Lord

Gabe DurhamMind’s Made Up / Morning Bell / 15 Step

Radiohead – 15 Step, Morning Bell (Kid A), Morning Bell (Amnesiac), MK 1
Once Soundtrack – When Your Mind’s Made Up
The Frames – When Your Mind’s Made Up
Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out (live)
Sufjan Stevens – All Good Naysayers, Year of Our Lord, Come On! Feel the Illinoise!
Simon and Garfunkel – Cloudy
Biodome 5 – Voice Like a Shotgun

Gabe DurhamYoko in Idaho (this one redirects to MySpace)

Josh Ritter – Idaho
Beatles – Sun King
John Lennon – Oh Yoko
Ella Fitzgerald – I Get A Kick Out of You
Ben Folds – Golden Slumbers
Traveling Wilburys – Margarita
Arcade Fire – Neighborhood #2
Sufjan Stevens – You Are the Rake

Gabe Durham – Fan in the Stands (also redirects to MySpace)

Outkast – Morris Brown
David Gray – Lead Me Upstairs
The Proclaimers – I Met You
The Decemberists – The Crane Wife 2, The Crane Wife 3
Goldspot – It’s Getting Old
Klaxons – Gravity’s Rainbow
Bruce Springsteen – Perfect Disguise
The Wrens – Happy
Beck – Think I’m In Love
The Waifs – The Waitress
+ a Wilco drum roll

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A million people can blog it but I can blog it worse.

I voted Friday.

I chose the candidate who is marginally more popular in America and exponentially more popular abroad. The one whose death would not suddenly thrust the presidency into enormously incompetent hands. The one less inclined to be at war. The one with the cleaner campaign record. The one with an even temperament, who manages to keep himself from scowling. The one who doesn’t use the word eloquent as an insult. The one who will restore checks and balances to the federal government.

I also chose the one who broke his promise to stick to public financing.

I’m hopeful, nervous, all that. I’ll be glad for it to be over.

I’d also like for Nader to get his 5%. It would be good for democracy. It would make him less ignorable.

Liz showed me a YouTube video where celebs say “don’t vote,” then they say “vote.” It may have done some good. It came off as pretty smug. I hope Sasha Cohen watches it, sees how bad his contribution was, then dramatically sets a 100-pack of Borat staches ablaze in his backyard. This video is funnier.

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