allaroundshannon said: What book has had the longest lasting effect on you? Positive or otherwise. Ps: you're a treasure, thanks for tumbling. (Tumblring?)
Hmm. Probably Play It As It Lays, for longest-lasting, i.e., I read it in high school and it still knocks me out. But I’d wager that Elsa Morante’s Aracoeli, which I just read two years ago, will still be rippling away as many years from now as my first reading of Play It As It Lays is from here, and Merce Rodoreda’s A Broken Mirror, too.
zerografix said: Are there any songs you've written that (essentially they would be perfect) but just hit so close to home that you've put them away? When I first got into tMG my brother told me Golden Boy Peanuts was something you didn't play live because of the origins of it. Is that true and are there any other songs like that?
This is kind of fascinating - it’s like a game of telephone. I don’t play “Golden Boy” because it sort of just doesn’t really fit into the set, usually - it feels like, you know, like let’s say we’re all sitting around sharing stories about times we were in really bad shape, and there’s funny parts to the stories but they’ve also got some real dark depths, we’re really having the sort of conversation that makes you feel like conversation is an essential human activity maybe higher than the arts or science or whatever…and then one guy says “Hey, did you guys see that quiz Jane shared on Facebook, ‘Which Famous Nihilist or Member of One Direction Are You?’” and everybody’s like dude, yes, hilarious, kinda not now, also you’re talking about Facebook in conversation.
That’s “Golden Boy.” “Golden Boy” in the live set is the guy talking about Facebook instead of participating in the conversation. I dig “Golden Boy” on the compilation it was issued on and on the comp-of-comps it was reissued on, but it generally doesn’t belong in the live set. I think I last played it in…2012? Not that long ago. Same basic deal with most of the “funny” songs, for me playing live is trying to build a house in real time. No funny angles on the doors, I want everybody inside the house by the time I’m done so we can all get scared in the dark together.
Songs that actually reach me emotionally, those are all fair game, sometimes I try to hold ‘em back a little so they won’t lose their sting for me because those kinds of songs work best when they feel freshest to me.
hellawolves said: if you had to choose one of your songs to represent all of your music which song would it be?
I don’t think I could really do that, I don’t think of my stuff that way - I hope I have several tendencies and impulses that are disparate and different enough that they can’t be encapsulated or represented by any one of the songs.
The other answer I can think of here is “whatever the newest one is,” because wherever I’m at right now is always what I feel is most representative of the journey from wherever it was I started — songs I made up for myself when I was a kid — to where I presently am. I always feel my newest song most deeply, when they’re new they always feel like they’re not just better but leagues better than anything that preceded them. So today’s answer would be a hot-jazz number I wrote this morning in collaboration with my son while out on our daily walk. It’s called “Tomato in the Grass.” Although honestly I hope if I get asked this again in twenty years, I’ll say “I used to think it was my newest song, always, until I wrote ‘Tomato in the Grass,’ but ‘Tomato in the Grass’ pretty much summed it all up, way back in 2014.’”
silby said: Do you have plans to provide some of your notebooks and effects to an archive or library someday, or conversely do you have a specially-rigged safe that will incinerate its contents at the hour of your death?
Which Hellraiser movies are worth watching?
Having watched all nine Hellraiser movies (yes, nine) in an epic feat of procrastination, JWZ provides a helpful summary of which ones have held up, and which ones were never very good in the first place (top pick: Hellseeker, which I’d never heard of)
it’s when the pickings get leanest that the true acolytes shine brightest