Sunday, July 20, 2008

Talks Good With Words

My dear friend, the renaissance man Geoff Little, thought it might be worthwhile to ask me some questions with a camera rolling, and this is a mere smidgin of at least an hours worth of footage (the first of many more to come). Quite the gift to get me going in this way and to take the time to edit the thing. Thank you, Geoff, for thinking of it and even naming a time and place (that's his wondrous kitchen table) and for giving me something to put up as I try to figure out what I have to say about Beck's Modern Guilt and the Dark Knight film. I hope it at least provides a giggle for those who haven't seen me in person in some time. I do like to prattle.


Brook said...

I like it. too short though. looking forward to more of these (or the rest of the hour).
here's a marketing idea...the first printing of the new book comes with a bonus DVD "In Conversation with the author". how many books come with bonus DVDs? brilliant if you ask me...

jdaviddark said...

i hear you. but i wonder if the plastic is feeling more and more like a waste of time when one can have it just as readily where'er there's internet access. i surprised myself recently as i stood in a record store holding the new portishead, desiring the music, and interestingly unwilling to pay money for the extra material that will only take up more space at home. i downloaded _modern guilt_ from itunes and, to my surprise, i'm not wishing i had the packaging to place next to the packaging i have to go with just about everything beck's done. things have changed.
but yes, the video of me. glad you like it. more to come.

Brook said...


jdaviddark said...

There is that (heresy I mean). As I was waiting for my "In Rainbows" boxed-set deal to arrive via very slow postal, someone spoke dismissively of Radiohead fans being "religiously committed," and I remember thinking, "Well, yeah. I'm commited to what I take to be the culture they're cultivating. Call it religion if you must." Beck and the members of Portishead will get their percentage of my money as I want them to. I'm dealt into (or deal yself into) their shades of the revolution. But the transaction being all digital just feels like a slightly different suit.
BY THE WAY (Brook), I'm using one of your favorite Jon Stewart quotes to open the new book. As far as I can tell, your space on the interweb is the only spot where it was noted.

Brook said...

ha! that's cool. I hope I got it right (I'm pretty sure I did)... it was one of my favorite endings to (I believe) the Daily Show MANY years ago, and having only seen it once, I'm quoting from old memory. but it was pretty straight forward enough and it had me laughing for a while, especially the way he said it.

I was all looking forward to your book, for some reason thinking it was coming out this fall, and then got a little bummed re-reading the TB mail stating March of 2009. still looking forward to it, but that's almost a year! I'm sure the Sarah concert in October will do it's part to tide me over till then. (any chance you'll be along for that ride?)

And as far as the disgust over download digital culture, I'd more seriously say that it depends on the artist and the packaging they are offering. I've downloaded and/or just burned a lot of music myself, but I'd never just download something from a favorite if the "real thing" was available. it just seems to cheapen the experience somehow. The idea of that Radiohead box sounds wonderful (I'm not enough of an uber-fan to pay that much extra for the bonus stuff). there's an almost talismanic experience with a well-packaged slab of music that is just lost on downloads. The imagination kicks in while holding an album in one's hands, and before you've even heard a note of the music inside, the experience has already begun and the mind has taken flight. the best of albums deliver on or exceed the promise of the artwork and all that, often not in the way one might have expected, and that element of suprise(?) can get you giddy. I can't tell you how often I've been just flipping through the stacks at the local (now nearly extinct) record store and picked up an album that I'd never heard of, that was getting no airplay that I knew of, just because it "looked interesting". some of my favorite albums have come to me that way. Music can't "look interesting" anymore in a download music world. what will the grandkids flip through when they talk about their parent's music collection? will their parents even have a music collection to flip through and discover, or will it have been accidentally deleted long ago? I suppose you recognize all this already to a point. I'm still suprised you got the new Beck that way though. And I'm guessing you're looking forward to seeing your book actually in your hands, especially in someone elses hands, and not just read on a computer screen or palm pilot (or whatever the hell the kids are "reading" on these days). the object seems obviously and intrinsically important in a way that is apparantly lost on the download culture.

I say all this, and yet the other side of my mouth has to admit that I've been going through my stacks the past few years and getting rid of a lot of the "bulk", burning a few songs I like from CDs that don't satisfy on the whole and then excommunicating them from my collection. but you'll never see me burning a copy of Over the Rhine's GDBD to my computer and tossing the original. somehow, in a very big way, it just wouldn't be the same that way. the thought alone makes me ill...And even though I have Bob Dylan's Freewheelin' on CD, I'll never get rid of my dad's vinyl copy. not because the vinyl is worth any money (it's most definitely not), but because it's my dad's copy, from when he was young (before Dylan "got crazy with all that rock and roll") and somehow that seems incredibly important to me.

I'm out of breath (thank God)...but I'll just add (confess) something I'm sure you'll get a kick out of... I'm currently listening to the Japanese-import version of Beck's One Foot in the Grave, for the first time...:-)

hope you're doing well..

Angela Hart said...

My love of both Shindler's List and Christmas Vacation is my version of "cracking the pavement of the status quo." I wish you would have said, in the moment of my movie commentary, "how very apocalyptic of you." I'm sure THAT I would have remembered!!

Matt Grimes said...

Hi David,

Several months ago I spoke with McLaren over the phone. We talked briefly about some of the stuff he was trying to push with Everything Must Change, and he suggested that I reach out to you. Unfortunately, couldn't find your email so this will have to suffice.

Since then several other folks at Vandy have mentioned your name to me in reference to a grassroots effort that a couple friends and I are pushing. Would love to chat with you about that, if you have a second.

In general, however, I’d just be excited to make the connection with you.

jdaviddark said...

I'm failing in my attempts to find an e-mail address with which to reach you. Could you write me via david dot dark at vanderbilt dot edu?
Admittedly, I did not yet have the term "apocalyptic." as I prefer to employ it, in my verbal arsenal when you so effortlessly wowed the room. It could be that I kept my feeling of "Gosh, I'm impressed," to myself even then. It seems to me that you crack that tired pavement just about anytime you open your mouth.
What would you do without me and my long-suffering Beck recommendation? I do esteem him so.