Crabwalk linked week before last to an excerpt from Joe Pernice’s novella about the Smiths’ Meat is Murder. The narrator is a Boston teenager who loves the album. How the book has slipped by me until now I can’t know, particularly since a quick Google search reveals that, of course, TMFTML and the Largehearted Boy were all over it months ago. Anyhow, here are a few paragraphs from the Pernice book:
MTV was already in full swing by ’85, but my family didn’t have cable TV. I’d seen it a couple times at my cousin’s house and was transfixed…. But my old man said there was no way in hell he was going to pay good money to watch bad television and that was the end of that. So I pined away in my room at night with a purple black light on the job, listening to The Smiths and blowing tidy pillars of cigarette smoke into the back yard. I did my best to draw pictures of Allison, but I hadâ€”and still haveâ€”zero artistic ability.
Some nights in bed I’d fire up a transistor radio (manufactured in the shape of Popeye’s head) in hopes of hearing â€˜How Soon is Now’ and thus feeling vaguely connected to the outside world. Radio was only a few synapses away from brain dead, but they kept the poor vegetable on life support for years. Once in a great while, a station on the North Shore called Y95 would play my favorite song or â€˜Hand in Glove’, or something by the Cure or New Order.
The problem was Y95’s transmitter was so weakâ€”powered by a monkey pedaling a miniature bicycleâ€”that its broadcast was always going in and out. It was as frustrating as anything I can remember. I’d micro tune like a madman, trying to catch a clear sounding verse or chorus before the song ended.
The book is one of the 33 1/3 publications. 33 1/3 is “a series of short books about critically acclaimed and much-loved albums of the last 40 years.”
No doubt you read last week that Yann Martel’s Life of Pi is being adapted for the screen. If you’ve been wondering when Brick Lane will be optioned, you’ll be interested in this news from Sunday’s UK Times:
News is likely to follow shortly on a film version of Monica Ali’s Brick Lane, her agent Nick Harris tells me; the chosen ‘creative team’ will have to demonstrate that they ‘really understand what the characters are all about’ and have a vision of how the novel can be ‘faithfully translated onto the screen’. Several of the UK’s leading production companies are said to have put their names in the ring. How many? ‘About a dozen.’ Just about all of them, then? ‘Yes, I suppose it probably is.’
Publishers Lunch is reporting that the Woody Allen memoir fishing expedition is just about over. Allen reportedly is backpedaling now, saying he didn’t have much interest in the project in the first place.