Tumblr does a fantastic job of pinpointing key influencers. Just look at the curated Books Spotlight, Writer’s Spotlight or browse Tumblr Book News to see what’s trending. A lot of great authors use Tumblr successfully. Some of my favorites include Emma Straub, Heidi Julavits, and Chuck Palahniuk. It’s also a good idea to follow literary sites like The Millions and The Rumpus along with sites that started on Tumblr like Last Night’s Reading and Slaughterhouse 90210. Feel free to check out the Doubleday Books Tumblr, too. (via Tumblr for Writers 101 | Book Country Blog)
I always considered Spider-Man the Buster Keaton of superheroes. Now, I have proof.
Antisocial (a poem)
I spent the weekend away from sitcom gif sets
linked political outrage
wit circumcised and hashtagged
and photos of meals presented under a haze of fake time
and the world did not move on without me
on the contrary
I moved on without the world
I stumbled across an old note of mine on Facebook. (Remember those?) A friend tasked me with listing “20 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it.” I thought it’d be good for giggles to repost it here.
There are a lot missing, but I tried to stick to the albums that affected me most, not longest. Heavy rotation does not always equal heavy influence.
Anyway, here they are:
Pac-Man Fever - Buckner & Garcia
As a wee lad, I remember hearing songs about video games I’d never seen or played and thinking, “There’s so much more to the world than I know.” To this day, I have still never seen the arcade game Mouse Trap.
Grease soundtrack - Various Artists
My sister played this all the time. I had no idea it was disco. It planted the seed in me for a decades-long crush on Olivia Newton-John, which led me to the Xanadu soundtrack, which led me to E.L.O., so it all worked out.
Thriller - Michael Jackson
The first album I ever bought with my own money, earned from a paper route. It was also the first album I heard that didn’t have one bad song on it.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles
Listened to this on my Sony Walkman every morning my sophomore year of high school as I unwillingly carpooled with a bunch of preps with whom I had nothing in common to a private school I hated.
Kick - INXS
This is the band that finally swayed me from a belligerent devotion to Golden Oldies to alternative music and, eventually, punk. Michael Hutchence became my idol and this band is the reason I became a musician, a profession at which I failed horribly.
Life’s Rich Pageant - R.E.M.
My favorite album by what I believe, to this day, is the best band in the world. This collection of songs taught me you could make art about stuff other than love.
Surfer Rosa - Pixies
How can dissonant chords and unusual time signatures create such indelibly listenable music? Black Francis and his cohorts created musical alchemy. This disc made me expect more from every other artist I heard.
Lincoln - They Might Be Giants
Only my close friends understood my affinity for this band. Everyone else thought it sounded like children’s music. The dazzlingly clever songs challenged me to be a better writer.
Energy - Operation Ivy
My college roommate introduced me to real punk music. This collection stuck hard in my craw. I knew of social injustice before. I never knew others felt the same combination of anger towards it and hope to overcome it.
Touch The Sun EP - Inquisition
Discovered these guys while going to college in Richmond. This EP mixed the rawness of punk music with the undeniably catchy melodies I loved from other genres. And since I didn’t know them personally, I didn’t come to resent them like I did all the other punks in town for not immediately accepting me as one of their own.
Go Go Harlem Baby - Flat Duo Jets
Fast and loose recording from two guys who you’d probably avoid if you saw them on the street. Despite being incredibly talented, they taught me attitude trumps ability anytime.
Blonder And Blonder - The Muffs
Finally, my love of Golden Oldies and punk music were married in Kim Shattuck’s songwriting, which blends the basic building blocks from the style of the ’50s and ’60s and the unadulterated rage of fringe bands from the ’70s and ’80s. And she’s my guitar hero.
Bacdafucup - Onyx
A guy I worked with introduced me to gansta rap with this album. I found it comically offensive to the point of genius. Seriously. Since hearing it, I believe nothing is off limits. I also live by the mantra: Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke.
Bloodletting - Concrete Blonde
The drummer in one of my bands loved this album. I gave it a whirl and totally fell for the brooding angst and mildly ’80s production. It was the first album to break my single-minded devotion to punk music. We ended up covering two songs from it.
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
This is the most beautiful disaster ever. Proves that truly great songwriting can overcome bad production and, on a few tracks, the bad production makes them even better.
Kind Of Blue - Miles Davis
I asked a jazz geek friend for the most seminal jazz album he could think of. He recommended this. It was on heavy rotation while I lived in Seattle, drinking for two years. Hey, at least I didn’t get into heroin… much.
OK Computer - Radiohead
This album evolves over time, like a living thing. Plus, this is the last album Radiohead did before they jettisoned the idea of making music people would actually want to listen to.
Too Far To Care - Old 97s
The only things I got out of my first marriage was a sense of necessary humility and this album. Good honky-tonk sorrow with an alt-rock lilt. Not a bad song in the bunch. Served as a gateway to old school country.
Cure For Pain - Morphine
I used to hate this band. Then, during what was the most beautiful summer of my life, a friend played it for me and everything changed. I now no longer dismiss any album or artist right away. This group of love songs to heroin are best experienced in a dimly lit room with a bottle of wine and someone you do bad things with.
Rouge On Pockmarked Cheeks - Brazzaville
Every time I hear this, it’s a new album. Even though it has countless international influences, the best listen I had was doing something very American — driving solo through the desert on old Route 66.
I made the comic above for a blog I wrote years ago.
Two years after Scott McClellan left his position as Bush’s press secretary, he said he felt the administration made mistakes when it came to the war and leading the country. Of course, he was selling a book at the time.
More recently, Glenn Beck said he made mistakes while at Fox News. Kudos for the confession, but points removed for the timing.
McClellan was in a position of power in the government. Beck was in a position of power in the media. Financially, both gained a lot. Just as with McClellan, now you see Beck’s true colors.
This is not a case of history repeating itself. Something cannot repeat if it never goes away. These are just two instances many years apart that highlight a truth about politics and the media.
Plain and simple: Hate is a business model and fear is its marketing department.
Dear designers of the Tumblrverse:
You have failed me.
You have failed because not one of you has created posters for any of the movies mentioned in Three Amigos. Need I point out just how awesome some of the titles are?
- Shootin’ For Love
- Those Darn Amigos
- Little Neddy Grab Your Gun
- Amigos! Amigos! Amigos!
- Little Neddy Goes To War
Little Neddy Goes To War. I mean holy fuck, that one alone deserves a team of you folks working in 24-hour shifts.
Get on it, people. I want mock-ups in one week.