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Currently showing posts tagged Old Records Never Die

  • This Book Will Change Your Life - Searching for John Hughes by the Jason Diamond.

    We could tell you how much we once loved John Hughes in the same way we loved Jim Carroll. That we watched The Breakfast Club in much the same way we read The Basketball Diaries. That it felt alive, electric, funny and sad. That it unpacked some kind of truth for us. That it was knowing and had its own distinct voice. But even then, unlike The Basketball Diaries, which was a singular blow to the heart and head, John Hughes also brought us Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, Some Kind of Wonderful, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Home Alone, movies we went on dates to and watched in basements, and illustrated a time in our life that somehow John Hughes recognized, understood and captured on screen. So we could do all that. Or, we could tell you how Jason Diamond has created a story that is heartbreaking and charming and full of longing - for place, family, direction, happiness, stability, love and so much more - with his memoir Searching for John Hughes. That even when it travels into territory so far removed from our own, both the abuse and rootlesness he has fought against, and moved past, as well as his dogged efforts to become a journalist and make a living as a writer, the book spoke to us. Because any writer who is Jewish and knows New York and Chicago and John Hughes and drinks and loses people, however they may become lost, is telling stories we know too, and apparently just cannot get enough of. Somehow though, even that's not exactly what we want to say. What we want to say, is something more ineffable, something about life, and the writer's desire to transcribe that, as well as aging, and loss. We are also thinking about Old Records Never Die by the Eric Spitznagel, a book we consumed just a year ago this time. It is also a book about searching, about going on a journey, and trying to understand our youth so we can not only make make sense of our present, but create it whole. We can choose to be on a journey or not. We can choose to try to make sense of who we are and how we've gotten here or ignore it. We can try to become our best selves professionally and personally or we can coast. As soon as we decide we are on a path, however, that we want to understand it, and intend to move forward, than we have no choice, but to be in it, breathing it and living it. And when we are writers we have to write about it. Like Spitznagel, Diamond has decided to write about his journey and invite you into it, and in doing so he just might change your life. If not, he will certainly cause you to pause and to ask yourself, is this my best life, and if the answer is no, am I least trying to make it so, something we believe John Hughes would appreciate, and Jim Carroll as well, storytellers both, who pushed and pushed, until they could do so no more.

  • This Book Will Change Your Life - Old Records Never Die by the Eric Spitznagel.

    We've been thinking about how loaded it feels to have spent the last several days consuming Old Records Never Die by the Eric Spitznagel, his new memoir about the search for his long lost record collection. Spitznagel is a funny fucking dude, and it seems impossible not to comment on that before recognizing just how touching his new joint is, as it explores how we grow apart from friends and siblings, even as we build families of our own, and make new friends, lose parents, especially fathers apparently, and try to figure out whether we have lost something along the way - our coolness, our curiosity, our desire to take chances, and our ability to sleep with anyone we want, assuming anyone wants, or wanted, to sleep with us in the first place. It's so much about being stuck, or thinking we're stuck, not knowing, and barely remembering the facts of our youth, much less if and how we got stuck in the first place. But that's just the book. Not to minimize why we're here. Because it is a book so Spitznagel - fast and funny, a journey jammed full of insights and Hornbyesque glory - that we do need to ask ourselves if Spitznagel should be repurposed as an adjective - the name, not the person, though maybe its both - and not merely a sexual position banned in any number of states and localities. It's just that what we have been ruminating on, if not actually been stuck on ourselves, is how in a time of tragedy and confusion, seeing old friends, reveling in music and nostalgia, laughing and crying, are all crucial for coping, not to mention keeping our shit together. Old Records Never Die is all of that, and if not sure to change your life at a time when life itself is more than enough, it is certainly sure to cause you pause, and make you want to hug those closest to you, reach for your closest ABBA album and dance until you can breathe again.