Sunday, August 1, 2010

"After I Threw the Ball At Thomas Hernandez and Before It Killed Him": A story based on "Jesus Christ" by Brand New, suggested by writer Adam Gallari

After I Threw the Ball At Thomas Hernandez and Before It Killed Him




Brand New is a band from Long Island, New York. The reason I never listened to them is because some douchebag I knew in college really liked them, but it turns out they're pretty great, often spooky and finding new ways to bring rage to music aside from angst-metal. I'm kind of bummed that nobody makes happy metal anymore, but that's what the dollar section at record stores are for, I guess. Frontman Jesse Lacey, like J Mascis and that dude from MONO, plays Jazzmaster guitars, which is something you can't really argue with as a tonal weapon. I'm trying really hard to not make a joke about how the band has been around for ten years, thereby making them not-all-that-brand-new, but instead I'll just say that All Music called "Jude Law and a Semester Abroad" a "semi-hit," which is kind of a backhanded thing to say. "Yeah, people almost cared." What a bunch of dicks.

(I feel bad about that last bit. Sloan rocks)

Adam Gallari is a writer from Manhatten, but he's currently in the United Kingdom, growing his hair out and posing by fountains all day. His book We Are Never As Beautiful As We Are Now (published in April 2010 by Ampersand Books) has been described in all sorts of ways, but everyone seems to find a way to mention the words "muscular" and "masculinity" as well as some sideways reference to Richard Ford or Raymond Carver. I can see that, but the real appeal of his stories is that they have a sharp eye that zooms in on the right details of something that might otherwise seem anecdotal, as if the characters, if left alone without Gallari writing through them, would falter and stop halfway through trying to tell their own stories. He doesn't just know how to write things, he knows how to see them and make the reader see them. He also likes baseball a lot, and I can only hope he isn't a Yankees fan (or, even worse, a Cubs fan). His essays and fiction have appeared in The Quarterly Conversation, LIT, The Millions and others. He is currently working on a novel. Also, go Brewers.

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Next week: A story based on "Pyramid" by Andreas Vollenweider, as suggested by musician Ulrich Schnauss.

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