- I started William Burroughs’ Cities of the Red Night this week. As with all of Burroughs’ work, the novel will scare you with its sheer power. Power of ideas, power of language, power of subconscious. It follows two parallel stories. One in present day — late 70′s? — about an investigator looking into the death of a families son. Turns out he’s a victim of the disease of the novel, which Burroughs calls “the disease of man”. Some say he predicted AIDS before it was discovered, as the virus in the novel is transmitted by sexual contact. The other story-arc follows a group of pirates in the 1700′s searching for the communal utopia of famed and real pirate Captain James Mission. The truth of this community of “liberty” has been argued over by historians since the 1800′s.
Apparently Burroughs himself was a private investigator before becoming a writer at the tender age of 35 (he was also an exterminator, which was his favorite job). How do I know? I found a couple really interesting interviews a year apart in his home of Lawrence, Kansas. Here’s the 1984 interview:
- I spent most of my night sipping on brandy and crafting a new song for my next EP. I wanna say “like a watchmaker”, but really it’s probably more like a meat butcher in reverse. If that makes any sense. With this track I started with a sort of Pink Floyd-ian dueling guitar, floaty arrangement and built from there. Normally, with this Industrial/Electro shit I make, it’s the opposite: craft a beat first, slip in melody/notation second. I’m happy with it for the most part. Although the middle bit could be tweaked a little. So far I know the order of the tracks, generally. I’ll need to create some sort of short, fast, insane beat between the new one and the last (number 5?) in the rotation; probably more than 120 bpm’s — maybe even 140? — of wacked out insanity. Surprisingly I don’t have a track like this yet. Maybe this EP will be more of a mid-range creeper.
Warren Ellis was nice enough to include me on his latest “4AM” music podcast. The selection is other-worldly, ambient, perhaps for the faint of sleep. Here’s the link: