Morrissey Fan Fiction (or What’s Left of It)

Months ago I proclaimed with all the fanfare my social media network affords that I WOULD BE WRITING MORRISSEY FAN FICTION. And, to my credit, I wrote and even designed cover art for said piece. But I never felt like it was good enough. It lacked substance. Then I took out the fictitious and Morrissey parts and it became a memoir of my university days that I considered shopping as a work of non-fiction. Then I was overly self-conscious, thought it was too personal, and wanted to bury it. Until the other day: when working on “my novel” I exploded that thing that began as a Morrissey fan fiction and re-worked most of it into my opus, leaving only this piece of shrapnel: Flash Fiction (3).

Part inspired by the 90’s era SAAB automobile of Dears bass player Roberto Arquilla — who when asked about the 1989 900s 16 valve (no turbo), affectionately called it a “money pit.” He has since parted ways with the beast. Yet I always admired the shape of that car, though it was perpetually falling apart and smelled of cigarettes. Those were the days, my friend.

The Mozzer illustration is by Joe Ollmann, whose books you should read. In a frenzied enthusiasm about writing my first fan fiction I asked him to render a picture of Morrissey, which he almost immediately sent back to me attached to a self-deprecating email, which I appreciated as much as the drawing itself.

Enjoy this nugget, Flash Fiction (3), or what’s become of my Morrissey Fan Fiction

Coming Soon: Morrissey Fan Fiction

Inspired partly by the faux-nnouncement that Morrissey would be retiring from show biz in two years (a statement he later said was “wishful thinking” on the media’s part), I decided to write a piece of fan fiction. I’ve never written anything (with any kind of seriousness) like this before. And I’m sure veteran writers of fan fiction would likely scoff at my only scraping the surface of how deep a “fan” can go. What I’m writing is more “The Wrong Boy” than some sort of made up day-in-the-life of Mozzer. That’s not my style.

While it’s not yet finished, I’ve been obsessed with writing this story. It is dark yet romantic, and at times threatens to cross the line separating YA and A fiction. But that’s how I roll: I like to dive into something without knowing too much about it. Artistically, it’s often the only way to keep your mind free, and your muses unburdened by influence or unwritten rules. What is popular, what “sells,” these preoccupations pepper the mind in evil, counter-productive ways.

So I write without prejudice, and expect to be critiqued with full prejudice, because that’s how I’ve come to understand the Western World. We are natural-born haters, because it would be impossible to like and to agree with everything. Opinion drives us, it defines us, and the internet has given each of our opinions an equal voice.

Anyway, this is not about that. This is about the next short story that I’m pushing through. This is the “hype” post, with the story itself coming soon. This piece is a little therapeutic to me since it’s slightly personal, but a story I’ve been trying to tell since my teenaged years. I was just always too close to tell it. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

Recently, Murray and I produced a documentary about The Dears (we’ll talk more about that later). We had to dig through boxes and bins of archival material: analog photos and photocopied press kits, 3.5″ diskettes and cut-and-paste artwork. In this digging, I was forced to look through my “personal archives” as well. Maybe you don’t keep these things, but I have bundles of letters from my family, friends, ex-boyfriends and crushes. I have writing journals and diaries from my high school and university days — memories, stories, feelings I know I’ve long forgotten but that are well documented.

A person changes so much as they grow — every experience, the big and the small, moulds us whether we like it or not. Our opinions harden and soften, we are shape-shifters, never the same, never looking back…

So in many ways, this story I’m writing is a reflection of that. It is completely fiction, and has been totally fun to write. And I got my pal Joe Ollmann to “bang out” some cover art for me. I’m excited to let you read it! It’ll be on my Scribd shelf soon!

I Am Hated for Loving

Song of the day, of the week, of my life. Could be the theme song for The Dears. If a band could have a theme song that was not one of their own songs.

Here’s to having too many feelings, and wanting to share them with you. Heaven forbid.

Pinned Together, Falling Apart

I just read my bandmate’s latest eponymous* instalment of the BENVIE MEMO. In it, he draws comparison between certain moments of The Dears’ No Cities Left to the forthcoming Degeneration Street. He, Benvie, links through to this track from NCL, which I just now finished listening to (you should too, at least before reading on):

Listening to this track was enlightening (revisiting our catalogue is always a stirring reminder of my own history) in that I could recall how our first albums were (and in a way, remain) pretty far out there. I was invogourated by the idea that Degeneration Street is a total return to this: with a twisted message of love, it stomps on the hopes and dreams of the now-commodified vision of indie rock, the vulgar portrait of Dorian Gray today’s music “scenesters” refuse to look at. Yeah, you know who you are.

But I see the change coming. I see the worn-down edges of society. You are ready for something new, for something real, for that thing that reminds you who you are and why you continue.**

* I can use big words too.
** Fuck, I love Morrissey.

Pilgrimage Details Announced

This morning I’m making oatmeal for breakfast. I make it the old fashioned way, by boiling oats until they’re cooked. Not with the flavoured instant packets that I grew up on. I have to call it porridge for my daughter to eat it, because that’s what they’re serving up in Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Everything has to be branded for kids these days.

And by “breakfast” I mean “first breakfast” because I’m about to go meet some friends for brunch/second breakfast. Then going to check out the Puces Pop Xmas Sale, where I’m hoping to find some kind of silkscreened 2010 calendar.

There’s been a lot of music floating around the house, and next week Murray and I are taking a trip to Los Angeles. Maybe you’ve noticed my “pilgrimage” twitter posts, well, that’s kind of a joke. Kind of. Part of the trip was timed with going to see Morrissey, which is actually happening, which I’m a little giddy about. Can you tell?

As you may know, I play in a band, so going to see other bands’ shows is kind of like work for me. The venue/club/bar environment is like an office party. Or like a really long coffee break. And the obligatory alcoholism, made mandatory by boredom, gets tired after 30. I’m actually turning into the old joke we made about The Dears being a bunch of brandy-sipping, philosophy-reading, candlelit-bathing snobs. That’s what parenthood does to a person. Bottom line is: you can’t make porridge and watch The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show if you’re hungover. Well, I guess you can…but according to my particular set of values, Hangover+Parenthood=Degenerate Street.

All guilt issues aside, I’m stoked about going to LA. Maybe we’ll go to The Grove and look for celebrities, go swimming in the freezing ocean while Americans correctly observe: “They must be Canadian,” and definitely hang out here.

Go Fuck Yourself…but I Love You!

Such a classic situation. No editorializing comments necessary.

MORRISSEY EJECTS HAMBURGER FROM GIG
Morrissey had a fan thrown out of a gig in Hamburg on Tuesday after
the audience member shouted an insult at him.

The incident happened after Morrissey suggested that people from
Hamburg should be called ‘Hamburgists’, rather than ‘Hamburgers’, so
to break their association with the popular meat delivery system the
fiercely vegetarian singer hates so much. Weak joke supplied, he then
played ‘I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris’.

After finishing the song, Moz announced to the audience: “So, somebody
shouted and told me to go and fuck myself”. He then identified the man
who had thrown the insult and asked him to explain himself. The man
managed to say: “You made a joke about us and I…” before the singer
launched into a tirade against him and had him thrown out by security.

As he was pulled out of the venue, the man shouted: “But I love
you…” to which Morrissey responded: “Well, love me outside”.

And because I love you, I have managed to piece the whole thing
together via the medium of YouTube. Happy Friday:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_bU4hJz_0I
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBXOc8LAMb0
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrZyJfqLHzA

– courtesy of http://www.unlimitedmedia.co.uk

Morrissey vs. BBQ

This I can respect: Morrissey exhausted by the smell of BBQ. I mean, this would never occur to most people, but the air you breathe during a show is important. It can make you faint, high, nauseous, or leave you breathless. The Dears nicknamed one venue “the chicken wing joint” because that’s what everything smelled like…onstage and off. Perez calls Morrissey a diva, but really, that’s like the kettle calling the pot black.

Our News Hits The News

Just want to send out an enormous thank you to everyone. Yes: I’m putting a general, positive vibe out there, in response to the great support from everyone out there. All of your emails and encouragement via Facebook and Myspace are motivating. Can’t wait to get back out there again. As Murray said, this past year has been hard. The band falling apart was tough, but Murray and I have been there before, in that same exact situation with End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story. And putting out that (our first) album, was the beginning of a new era for us personally and also for Canadian music.

With indie rock in a vestigial fade-out (I read even perennial UK indie rockers Kaiser Chiefs proclaiming the genre “boring”…Mr. Wilson, I wholeheartedly agree), the climate is shifting, and Missiles is definitely part of that shift. It is not indie rock, so I don’t feel so bad that Pitchfork has ignored our press releases completely. It’s a diss, but they’ve been reluctant supporters from the beginning. I’d rather be pushed to the outside: I’m used to it.

I also love – and without sarcasm – that NME.com ran the story quoting this very blog. It is a bit of an obvious move on their part to link us to Morrissey, but whatever, that’s what they do, and I respect the Moz greatly so I don’t mind. In all of this, I stand by my quote: “We hope everyone would like [Missiles], journalist or not, but we understand that there are many haters out there so it’s out of our control.” Because the haters really are out there: hating with gusto! Remember in grade school when that bully would push you around, only for you to realise later that actually they had a crazy crush on you? That’s what I think is really going on there…

So thank you to everyone, lovers and haters. See you all very soon.

Moving Right Along…

In a recent interview on XFM, Morrissey spoke of his new album, saying: “Journalists won’t like it but real people will” And you know I feel the same way…not about his album but about The Dears’ album. I suppose Morrissey has ample reason to have a fatalistic attitude toward the media, though I always assume that an extremely dark sense of humour is layered over everything he says in public. But what do I know? I’m just assuming.

We (The Dears) have been pretty busy planning our release, that we hope at least some journalists will like. We hope everyone would like it, journalist or not, but we understand that there are many haters out there so it’s out of our control. I guess after you’ve released over a dozen records (like Morrissey) you just give up trying to please everyone. I definitely feel a little more hardened with each release. Album number four is comparatively early on in our career, so the optimism and hope are still there. I just can’t help it.

We moved into a proper rehearsal space this week. We’d been jamming in our basement, two or three people at a time and finally when we had a rehearsal with five people it became brutally apparent that we needed a space. The wheels are in motion. We’re coming back.

Morrissey vs. NME (again)

Are you serious? This is breaking headline news: Morrissey vs. NME (again).


ARRRRGH!

This is so mentally frustrating for two, brain-bursting reasons:

1) Since when has the NME been known for printing the straight up facts? They are the kings/queens of spinning stories, of misappropriating quotes, of taking things out of context and generally being sensationalist. I don’t know a single artist who comes away after reading a feature about themselves in NME without feeling misrepresented. It happened to Murray a few years back, and Win Butler explains how he also fell victim to NME’s wiles. I guess NME are trying to make the stories catching or interesting to readers but really at whose expense? It’s like the artist is expected to shut up and be grateful for the press.

2) So a deeper examination of the story leads to Morrissey expressing what is a little obvious to an outsider, which is what I like to call a “polite xenophobia” that almost every human is guilty of having felt at one moment or another. And as usual, some public figures get chastised in the media for being a real person with real honest thoughts, which can result in something like this: Morrissey to Sue NME Over Story. So the spicy quote is (apparently):

“Although I don’t have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England the more the British identity disappears. So the price is enormous. If you travel to Germany, it’s still absolutely Germany. If you travel to Sweden, it still has a Swedish identity. But travel to England and you have no idea where you are”

Dear NME: Have you been to Quebec lately (Pop Montreal doesn’t count)? Have you heard about Bill 101, which since the late 70’s has sought to empower a forced French identity and culture on anyone who wants to live here? Check out the latest, hotly debated Reasonable Accommodation provision going down in Canada, too. What’s the difference between this debate and what Morrissey is suggesting? The wolrd is evolving, the global village asserting itself and homogenising. Canada’s cultural identity and patriotism is already pretty flimsy…I mean the nation is only like 300 years old. Beavers, igloos (which, incidentally, the majority of the population does NOT live in) and maple syrup are basically all we have so we should just hold on to that for as long as possible.

In any event, NME must be loving this, and so too (secretly) must Morrissey’s publicists. Any press is good press, right?