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Manifest destiny

August 9, 2010

Through this whole project, I’ve faced a few potential tragedies that ended up being mere speed bumps as opposed to full-on car wrecks.

I dropped my digital camera into a cup of tea, but it was working flawlessly again within a few days. My hard drive crashed and had to be replaced, but I didn’t lost a byte of data. I literally got hit by a car, but all I did was bust my ankle. I’m Teflon, at least w/r/t this project.

Even though I’m a determinist, who believes luck is the only force in the universe and there’s no such thing as good and bad, I’ve been fairly lucky, and this seems as good a time as any to count my blessings. The mere circumstances that have allowed me to live comfortably in Athens for half a year without a full-time job are enough to be thankful for.

Yesterday, I was invited to sit in on the weekly Olivia Tremor Control practice, but it was canceled. I’ve been in Athens long enough that said cancellation came as no big surprise, and hopefully I’ll still be able to get to one before I leave here. But to give you an example of how unstoppable I’ve been with this project: even though the practice didn’t happen, I had a dream about it anyway and in my dream came up with a couple paragraphs about it, which I transcribed immediately after waking up:

The ever-affable Bill Doss, whose bushy, bright red mutton chops make him look like a late-‘60s Lennon in Technicolor, is actually the group’s McCartney, most embodying Macca’s grounded pop song ethos (see also: Doss’s much more straightforward project the Sunshine Fix). In terms of physical resemblance, Will Hart is actually a dead ringer for Brian Wilson, but within the Beatles conceit, he’s probably the Olivias’ Lennon, all avant-garde and iconoclasm (see also: Hart’s equally experimental Circulatory System project).

To extend this metaphor further would be a struggle (well, more of a struggle), as each of the band’s remaining core members is too integral to be relegated to Fifth Beatle status. Pete Erchick brings a wealth of music theory background, John Fernandes’s multi-instrumental utility is completely indispensable, and it’s near impossible to find a drummer more skilled or versatile than Eric Harris and even harder to find one who can sing harmonies while banging out a complex jazz pattern.

I’ll surely clean this up before I finish my first draft (it’s a bit mealy-mouthed, and “____ in Technicolor” is an embarrassing cliche, even in the Astral Plane), but this is generally usable, I think. Maybe the key to writing this book is taking more naps.

EDIT: While plenty of the titles of my blog posts come from song titles, Elephant 6 and otherwise, I was not thinking of the Music Tapes’ “Manifest Destiny” when I titled this one. Anyway, here’s Julian Koster playing “Manifest Destiny.”

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