May 27th, 2007

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Fellow group-bloggers

We'd be highly remiss if we didn't direct your attention to our illustrious predecessors and pioneers in the Group Blog Nation.

Check out the wonderful No Fear of the Future:

Featuring these fine writers:

Zoran Živković
Jess Nevins
Alexis Glynn Latner
Stephen Dedman
Chris Nakashima-Brown
Jayme Lynn Blaschke

Then bop over to Eat Our Brains:

Here, the writers each assume control of a different day:

Monday: Morgan J. Locke
Tuesday: Madeleine E. Robins
Wednesday: Maureen F. McHugh
Thursday: Bradley Denton
Friday: Steven Gould
Saturday: Caroline Spector
Sunday: Rory Harper
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Andy Partridge

It's always fascinating to see the various stages a creator goes through on the path to a finished work.

Visual artists can show us their sketchbooks. Ed Emshwiller would often make home movies depicting the progress of a painting. Today, the artist known as Coop has done something similar, with his "Timelapse Painting Slideshow."

In the pre-computer days, of course, typed or handwritten manuscripts with authorial annotations offered intriguing insights into the composition process.

And with musicians, one can hear various demos and alternate versions of songs, getting a sense of choices made and discarded.

Perhaps no modern pop composer has opened up his closet more than Andy Partridge of XTC.

He's released nine volumes of FUZZY WARBLES, representing his studio noodling that never made it to any finished album. And as you might expect from one of the finest pop tunesmiths currently around, these outtakes are often brilliant.

Visit this comprehensive site to learn more.

And further displaying Partridge's good taste: the whole series is named after a phrase from A CLOCKWORK ORANGE!

Viva Las...

My man Chuck Liddell, the subject of my article, got TKOed last night, thereby likely killing the article and blowing an eight thousand dollar hole in my finances. But otherwise I had a good time in Vegas. I learned that David Spade is exactly like he appears to be, a kid who got pantsed a lot in junior high, and that Adam Sandler, astonishingly, is pretty funny when he’s not working at it. I lost 38 bucks playing slots, won 300 playing blackjack, and quit while I was ahead. I wish I’d known how the fight would turn out—I would have tried to go for eight K.

It was pretty electric at the fight. Loud as a rock concert, an incredible slurry of sound that kept building and building until the end, which stunned the crowd to a mutter. I was bummed and proceded to get fairly wrecked. I never showed it, actually, but it was tad more than fairly. Majorly wrecked. I was pissed off. You see, when I pitched the idea to Playboy, I wanted to write a piece on Rampage Jackson, Liddell’s opponent. I thought he had the style to beat Liddell. The editor suggested strongly that I do the piece on Liddell instead. He's more famous, he said. He's the UFC poster boy. As I hung out with Liddell, I was seduced by his confidence and the fact that he was such a nice guy. But last night I had a baaaaaad feeling. The moral of this story? Editors don’t know squat about Mixed Martial Arts. Fuck what they say and follow your instincts. Until they wave ten grand in your face and say Chuck Liddell.

I drank vodka martinis and a couple of shots of something sweetish. Now I’m going to bed.