The man they called Black Francis sipped his morning coffee, munched on chopped fruit and chuckled at the strange odyssey of this thing called life. In the past, the singer for the Pixies was famous for sounding crazed, possessed or sinister onstage, but at this particular breakfast moment he seemed positively . . . sunny.
“I guess I have this different perspective because we’re in this funny place now,” said the 44-year-old musician. “I have the benefit of age, the clarity of perspective and enjoyable things like success now. We play in venues that are, for the most part, sold out, we stay in nice hotels and we’re applauded nightly for our greatness.”
Francis, whose band starts a three-show stand tonight at the Hollywood Palladium, said that last bit with a self-mocking flourish, but there is something to this notion that the Pixies now play to audiences that arrive at the venue with a mix of reverence and, among younger fans, something akin to archival curiosity.[...]
The director of the Academy Award-winning “Pan’s Labyrinth” and the well-received “Hellboy” films was on hand at midnight last night at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood to autograph copies of his new vampire book “The Strain,” co-written by Chuck Hogan. He stated that he would not leave until “every last geek” was satisfied — and he meant it. I didn’t get to record this bit of video until 3:30 a.m., when he signed his last book.
Seems like a great guy. Here’s a first trailer for the new book:
During a few hours he spent near the Kings Road apartment he once shared with model and actress Padma Lakshmi, Rushdie did not come across as either a distinguished literary figure — Rushdie’s swirling 1981 Booker-winner, “Midnight’s Children,” is arguably the greatest British novel of the last few decades, and he was recently knighted — or a man who’d once had a price on his head. He was more like a good-humored, slightly star-struck visitor to L.A., happy to be back among old haunts.
He also enjoyed being in a place where the paparazzi are distracted by more glamorous figures. “Here, there’s Hollywood,” he said, a balding man with wire glasses and a Cheshire cat grin. “You know, they want Lindsay Lohan — they don’t want me.”
Speaking of Rushdie, he was on the Colbert Report earlier this month:
“Libraries are better than schools. You can’t go to a University and get a diploma. It doesn’t mean a goddamn thing. You’ve got to go to a bookstore and a library and educate yourself. You go to a bookstore and find yourself. The surprises that you find on the shelves are you, represent the things that you need, not that the teachers need…”
I still haven’t posted about my getting to meet him last year at an event in San Berdoo — ASAP. Speaking of Bradbury, Redlands has chosen Fahrenheit 451 as the 2009 choice for their citywide book reading program.
The man who championed protecting natural spaces — especially in what is now Yosemite National Park — was born in Scotland, moved as a boy to Wisconsin and later hiked from Kentucky to south Florida; there, he got sick and headed to California to recuperate. Once he found the wilds of Northern California in 1868, he was smitten. He climbed rocks, cursed the sharp hooves of sheep that tore up wildflowers and even snuck President Teddy Roosevelt away from his handlers and into the backcountry for three nights of camping.
Although, the term writers block is popular, this feeling of blockage and mind blanking is not specific to writing, but of any creative feats. Other examples include, brainstorming for a new business, dancing, musical performances, music composition, painting or photography. I’ve personally experienced this during my photography work, blanking out as I stand in front of a client waiting for me for direction. I call these Creative Blocks, where your mind just comes up empty and you feel lost. It’s purely mental.
Through practice and observation, I’ve gotten pretty good at getting past these blank moments, and this article shares some insights for unlocking your creativity. Throughout the article, I will be using writing as the example, but keep in mind that it is equally applicable to any creative activity.
Scott Timberg at the LA Times has a cool overview of a favorite of mine, James Ellroy, covering the difficulties the writer has had with Hollywood…and vice versa. While LA Confidential did well, at least with the critics, others of Ellroy’s works just haven’t translated.
Only the most die-hard Ellroy fan resented that the film resembled his labyrinthine novel — with its dozens of characters, thick historical context and overlapping subplots — only slightly. It’s considered one of the finest films of the ’90s and one of the greatest film noirs since the genre’s 1950s heyday.
But since then, when it comes to movies, it’s been more crying than laughing for Ellroy fans.
A new film opens a week from today (April 11th), for the first time with a screenplay by Ellroy himself: Street Kings. Very interesting cast: Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans, Common, and The Game.