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Aug 13, 06 10:44 AM

Methods.

electrostar.jpg

I've been trying to write more songs for a session in September; time is limited, obviously, and I don't have the sheaf of culled phrases from months of journals that I usually use as a lyrical source. So I've been reading books with a pen in hand, underlining interesting and/or rhythmic words, and then writing them down the next day--over several columns on several sheets of paper, to put them in an order other than that in which they appeared in the books--and then when I go to the guitar and the drum machine I use those words to plug into the lyrics.

I did John Strausbaugh's Black Like You (a history of blackface and minstrelsy), Murakami's Underground (about the Tokyo subway gas attack in 1996, a creepy thing to be reading about this week) and I'm now doing Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera. It's amazing how just a handful of words can suggest the worlds of these books; the Bowery stages of 1890, panicked commuters in regimented Asian society, dignified, elderly lovers in lush, surreal Carribbean locales.

Posted by Mike at August 13, 2006 10:44 AM