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Moby's reflections on his mom (I believe) had been the reason Play had been created.  Cut up about her death, he eventually caves whilst working on the music and it seems to have been cathartic for him. He is aware that he is not grieving as he should, because of his conflicted feelings about her and how he grew up; 'I wasn't grieving my loss'(p.391).  Eventually, he does grieve for her - not himself and changes from bratty techno up-his-own-ass wondernerd to human being in one fail swoop.
Last of Moby )
The autobiography ends with the launching of his mega album to date, namely Play.  I don't think he should have ended the biography there - he should have expanded the reasoning behind Play, the idea of licencing and marketing those tracks, which, in turn became a critical success.  I specifically remember The Sky Is Broken on my favourite X-File episode ever - "all things" written and directed by Gillian Anderson herself.

Score - a cagey 4 out of 5 stars.  If Moby had edited some of the small incidental yakkety yak,using a certain amount of reflection instead and ended the bio by riding the crest of the Play wave,  then I would have definitely awarded it the full five stars.

I do think it is worth reading and I think it will remain on my bookshelf a fair while.
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'I loved my Mom.  She was the smartest and funniest and most interesting people I'd ever known.  But growing up with her had never been normal.  My first memory in life was flying with her to San Francisco in 1968.  My father was dead, I was almost three years old and my mom had just become a hippie [...] I discovered that I had another mom: absent mom, a twenty-four-year-old aspiring hippie.  It was the Summer of Love and she had let her blonde, preppy shoulder-length hair grow long and wild' (p.367).

'Growing up I never knew what I would get, my smart-and-funny-mom or my sullen-and-vitriolic mom' (p.369).

Moby: Porcelain
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I rejoin Moby at the last quarter of his autobiography and he is suffering from (musical) performance anxiety.  Everything he does feels wrong (probably autosuggested from his 1995 album that has almost the same title); 'for some reason everything I'd recorded so far sounded terrible and unusable' and an admission that both recreationally and mentally, things were becoming unstuck; 'I was drinking almost nightly and experiencing constant panic attacks - (Back) in 1984 when I was a philosophy major at UConn, (the panic attacks) were debilitating, so I dropped out amd moved home [...] I drank and the panic persisted. I took Valium and it persisted.  I drove my moped around Darien listening to Echo and the Bunnymen cassettes and it persisted' (p.311).

At this point, you can't help but feel that Moby is lining up for a big crash across every aspect of his life.

More of Moby )
However, insights are starting to emerge and it becomes plain as to the ingrained reasons behind the depths of his despair.  I must admit, this book has picked up in leaps and bounds.  Still think it needs editing, but at least I feel drawn into his life and want to read it now.

Finale tomorrow.
changeling67: (Default)

Moby has hit the big time and seemingly untouched by the degeneration that is happening around him.  He has acquired his 'perfect punk-rock girl' i.e. a vegan-Doc Marten-wearing, mosh-pit surfing, pink-haired supporting, all-round pulchritudinous babe. Which on paper seems the absolute perfect soul mate, but in reality, is not hot on laughs or shared anecdotes (or, it seems even conversation). When a reclusive nerd meets someone who speaks even less and is more curt than he is, things become a bit of a problem. Abrupt to the point of being rude, she seemingly doesn't want to even hold his hand, though quickie airplane sex seems to be on the cards.

Poor Moby, invested much too much in this relationship and the writing is pretty much on the wall; 'I was starting all our conversations with the word "so" again: "So... how was work?" " you want to have spaghetti tonight?" "So... would you do me a favour and kill me in my sleep so I can be spared the pain of waking up in this terrible relationship?"'

Moby - I feel your pain.
More of Moby )

To give Moby his due, he does have a knack with words and has a deadpan delivery that has made me laugh out loud several times.  For instance the conversation with his dog Walnut, enticing it to play with a fellow pit bull; 'Walnut stared up at me, as if to say, "Really? Do I want to play with the giant psychopathic pit bull that eats glass for breakfast?  Best-case scenario, I get cold and muddy and the pit bull ignores me.  Worst-case scenario, I get slowly eaten by that monster' (p.236).  Love it - a very human-canine interaction here, more warmth with the dog than with the monosyllabic snotty Sarah.

I think he is at his most eloquent, whilst composing a track.  Conflicted about Sarah, he describes his musical arrangement and the prose just falls out of him.  This gives me more hope for the rest of the biography and I do take yesterday's critique back a bit.

Quote of the Day
He begins drinking after eight years of sobriety; 'We were in a windowless dive bar [...] with thick cigarette smoke in the air and an alphabet of hepatitis in the toilets' (p.259).

Approaching the last quarter of the book - now on page 300.
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When I listened to the arrangements I thought about God moving over the face of the waters, when the earth was new, before there was land and before anything was alive.  The spirit of God, full of prescience and omniscience, seeing the emptiness and expanse of the new world, aware of all that's there and all that's to follow.  The life that will come, and the death that will end with each life.  The trillions of creatures who will come out of this ocean, all wanting to live as long and as well as possible, each resisting death until the end.  All of the life and death and longing and heartbreak and hope [...] I listened to the music, put my head on the plywood table, and cried' (p.257).

Moby - Porcelain
changeling67: (Default)

Dear Moby, dear, dear, dearest Moby.  This biography is not holding my attention.  I am half way through and am considering giving up.  I am trying, though other, more interesting books are enticing me to read beneath their covers.

He bemoans his lot in the UK, where as he is about to hit the big time, he is forced to shack up at a manky Brit B&B where the shower is 50p per 10 minutes of water. He is interviewd by Kiss FM and is seemingly stony and monosyllabic; 'I wanted to tell him, "I'm jet-lagged and staying in a charnel house that should have been levelled in World War II"' (p.155).

Amusing n' est ce pas?  Ah...I remember the days of badly-maintained guest houses in the arse end of nowhere too - but with a certain amount of nostalgia, it must be said.  Bearing in mind he slept in an abandoned factory and barely washed for so long - what was his problem?  However, he does set up the vibe of rave/acid house in its infancy, 'The show was in an old, venerable theatre, but it felt like a rave.  The air smelled like Vicks and the crowd were waving glow sticks and blowing airhorns and whistles' (p.156).
More of Moby )

His musings on Britain - ' I had grown up seeing two different Englands on TV.  There was the bucolic England with witty university students floating on slow boats alongside waterborne flower petals on gentle rivers and sunny ponds.  Then there was this England, the rainy, cold England that was the background for any movie about defeated people waiting to die in public housing estates'. A Joy Division fan, he contemplates how different it would have been if Ian Curtis had ben 'born in Palo Alto (he'd) probably be managing a chain of oraganic coffee shops and married to a yoga teacher' (p.158-9).

See, Moby? That IS what I like about you - the chaining together of random ideas, of interesting (if a bit stereotypical) contrasts.  I don't mind well-placed humour or insightful thoughts - it's too much of the inane, real-time yaking that's boring me rigid.  If you want my opinion, you could have shortened it a lot bit and the whole book would have been immensely more readable and far more enjoyable.

Maybe, I have a chequered opinion on this, as a music fan and as a person who ordinarily liked his essays (anyone who has picked up his CDs has been treated to Moby's penned outlook on life).  I am not a former raver girl.  So, I have come to the conclusion that, unless you were an acid-house/raver warehouse participator, infused with various nineties narcotics, holding glo sticks aloft, then this biography is going to sink lower than an underbaked veggie souffle.

I'll stick with it for now, but Mobes....mate - you need to edit this :-/
changeling67: (Default)

Reading this biography is cool, but I think Moby gets a bit bogged down in trivia and some of this has made me skim quite a lot bit. Can get a little boring in places - anecdotes that will not really inspire unless you are a hard-core rapping/hiphop/acid house fan from the nineties, where a lot of the names would eaier be exciting or would trigger nostalgia (although Flea from Red Hot Chillis, Run DMC and Madonna also make an appearance).  None of which is really happening for me, though I did like the music he mentioned - which I loaded earlier today (Good ol' Adamski - I was twenty two when that came out).

Things are picking up pace for Moby, but he feels that his relationship with Janet is at an end.  She is devastated, he feels bad, but knows it is the right choice; 'I was single.  Shouldn't that involve sex and love and bad dates and holding hands on trips to Coney Island?' (p.92).  Syndetic listing, uncovering an innocence, a young person's percieved reality to what the dating scene was like.  Sweet, in a way - basically, he was eschewing his Christian no-sex-before-marriage ideology, in ordered to get laid.
Spoilerette )

Moby keeps in touch with Janet and he meets her new boyfriend; 'After we broke up, (she) had moved away from my world of hip hop and house music - and the furthest she could get away from club kids taking drugs with rappers was a tiny cafe for folk musicians, where they served cappuccinos and closed at eleven pm' (p.123).  I love this coupling of ideas. Binaries that conjour up different worlds.

Quote of the Day
Moby lands in London, where the shock of the new hits him - bustle of the traffic with its alien number plates, quaint and knackered Tudor houses etc., but ends up in a not-so-pretty part of town;  'It was a sad gray house on a sad gray road in a defeated part of London.  The sort of place where British directors made grim movies about the working-class hopelessness: 'Shut up, Violet, I can't get my job back, the mine's closed"' (p.153).

Channelling Danny Boyle per chance? Or seen one too many Pete Postlethwaite movie?
changeling67: (Default)

I was thinking where he grew up and his stint as a squatter in the abandoned Connecticut factory, with gunshots, drug dealers and junkies as a background track and fully got the sense of 'life in the raw'.  Somehow though, I felt I wanted to shield him, bless his heart.  No wonder he felt like a little alien - water-swillin', vegan-promoting, God-fearing lad, that he was. One of his dosed-up flat mates was so looped and agressive, he had bought two cans of gasoline and was going to dowse the guys and set fire to them in the night, but he himself had fell asleep.

I have got to the point where Moby is DJing at a 'swingers' club and It aint for the faint-hearted either.; 'The DJ was playing an old disco single while a few chubby swingers dressed in bondage gear danced under some spinning red police lights and a lone Radio Shack strobe light' (p.51).

I'm Here For A Touch Of Class )

Things are looking up, though - bar a regrettable and 'intimate' incident with a huge cockroach.  More on Sunday.
changeling67: (Default)

Right now, I am settling down for a comfy read. This will possibly be my last random book, cutting it short as I really do have to get back to study.  I will be reading extensively on Jung/Freud this summer and if I really want to crack my major dissertation, I need to know the theories inside out BEFORE I figure out the angle/books of the diss.

As I have already said, I quite like Moby.  His music first came to my attention in 1999 when his album Play flooded the market.  When his autobiography Porcelain came out last month, I thought I would give it a whirl. I have also watched some of a documentry that spans his early career, specifically his life in the abandoned factory in Connecticut. The soundtrack to his life there is interesting enough: gunshots, amplified gospel and loud car music 'Public Enemy.  Or EPMD. Or Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock.  Every fifteen minutes, a car would drive by playing 'Fight the Power' or 'It Takes Two' at toaster-oven-rattling levels' (p.9).
Spoilery )
changeling67: (Default)


Jun. 10th, 2016 05:34 pm
changeling67: (Default)

I have recently purchased the newly-released Moby memoir Porcelain.  Will comment on it when I have read it.
changeling67: (Default)

Well what can I say? I am a little surprised at Moby, but I suppose if you have a book to plug, then it probably ISN'T that surprising.  I rather liked Moby - he does still seem a principled-enough chap, some would say nausiatingly so (isn't he vegan/Born Again Christian/blah blah blah?).  I liked his experimental sampling and all-round techno good guy stance.  However, he seems not so much 'We Are All Made of Stars'; more like 'We Are All Made Of Hash & Unicorns & Mushrooms & Sex.'  Thankfully, he has cleaned up his act but I do like his following quote re his meteoric rise;

"It’s like being a snowball rolling down a mountain. The snowball might have started kind of pure, but by the end, it’s filled with dead squirrels and sticks and rocks and wellies and garbage. You’ve got this snowball at the end, but to what extent does it relate to or resemble that original snowball?"

In the photo above, he looks like my fellow college kinsman John Bell - LOL maybe I should tell him (he might just smile at the 'Sex& Drugs & Tech & No')
Moby the Dick )


Jun. 13th, 2015 05:49 pm
changeling67: (Default)

Writing inspiration.
changeling67: (Default)

Hmmm, I see the credits of Groove Armada et al. Can't help but think there is a 'Moby' influence here. I suppose he won't mind, as I think he sampled just about every decent riff going.

Run On

Mar. 3rd, 2014 09:30 am
changeling67: (Default)

Moby - Run On )

Higher Love

Jan. 8th, 2014 09:10 am
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A Higher Love )

For a friend, awaiting results :-) xxx
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May. 19th, 2013 03:24 pm
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Five days left to go, went to mow a meadow.  Five man, four man, three man, two man, one man and his dog....


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