Exit Music, Enter Early


This past spring, I finished a book called Exit Music. It's about the band, Radiohead, and it tells their story starting from when they all met in school and concludes with the release and tours for the album, O.K. Computer. (Later revisions of the book, currently four, pick it up from there and continue their story. The first version is what I have.) It was a fun read, and I enjoyed learning about a band that I've liked for many years. I basically knew nothing about them before this book other than their music.

I've had this book for a while and finally got around to reading it. It took me longer than it should have, but I don't give myself a lot of time to read, either. Besides, I do it for the enjoyment and not to compete. I fit it into my life and prioritize my time based on its importance to me. Lots I want to do and accomplish. Time is limited. Stupid time.

Before I had finished Exit Music, I had already decided that I wanted to read a book called Early Mourning. Now, I am very familiar with this book, and yet, I've never actually read it as a book cover to cover. I had read it over and over in snippets and even as whole chapters. I wrote lyrics to this story and therefore spent a lot of time pouring over it, trying to capture an aspect of or a summation of what each chapter boiled down to, to me.

If for some reason you don't know, the book, Early Mourning, is the companion piece and driver behind its soundtrack by Diads, which is a band formed and executed by the author of Early Mourning, Tim Kress, and myself. The soundtrack is fittingly named, Early Mourning, a soundtrack to the novel by the same name.

Anyway, I've been reading the book about ten - twenty minutes at a time on mornings I work as I sip my coffee before I head out the door. (This has become my book reading time, by the way. I like starting my morning like this.) It's been a lot of fun reading so far, even though I am familiar with it. It's been 6 years since the book and soundtrack came out so some things get forgotten. I look forward to the surprises Tim didn't tell me about. He was kind to leave me some for when I did get around to reading the book. I'm glad I waited this long. I feel more removed, like a spectator.

Off and on since last summer, I've also been listening to the catalog of music I've released. This obviously includes the soundtrack. I noticed that I would get Radiohead songs stuck in my head when I was reading Exit Music. I've been having a similar experience with Early Mourning and its soundtrack. And really, that was the point of having a book and an album compliment each other, to be a simpatico experience. I don't know how many people actually followed through on that. I'm pretty convinced that the book overshadowed the soundtrack by a mile, but the book is really great, and I can't hate on quality.

Still, with nineteen tracks on the soundtrack, I seriously doubt most people didn't just ignore the soundtrack. There's a variety of music on there, it's quite different than our debut, Make You Dirty, and I'd be surprised if there wasn't at least one song that someone liked, if the time was taken to give it a chance. Yet, Diads is a style that isn't for everyone, I guess, and my voice isn't either, regardless of any catchy melodies it may produce. Also, it's probably easy to assume that if one hasn't liked anything I've done in the past, it's probably not worth checking out anything new I've done. People are busy, and the time spent listening to an album once in the background is burdensome. Even the smallest amount of support or acknowledgement given to someone drains the soul of the giver. I certainly don't think anyone has to actually like what I do. But, people are what they say and do. If you want to ignore what I say and do, then why should I care about what you say and do?

But, whatever.

I recommend Exit Music to Radiohead fans. The version I read, at least. I recommend Early Mourning to everyone. Maybe not children. That might not be appropriate. BUT, if you have kids, get them The Wurly Burly Boy Has A Boring Day. That is also by Tim Kress (words and illustrations) and is excellent.

Find out more about these books at the author's site!

Early Mourning is a hero's journey about a man going through perils and loss only to rise above and triumph. The world and realities he is introduced to become more and more surreal and foreign to anything he's ever known. A natural, intellectual, science driven form of magic literally opens doors to these worlds and drives the story. Great characters. Great story. Intelligent read. You won't look at the world the same way.

The Wurly Burly Boy Has A Boring Day is a children's book about a child trying to find ways to relieve his boredom. What he doesn't realize is his day was actually spent doing a lot of wonderful things. Intricate, vivid, and unique illustrations accompany the story throughout, adding greatly to the experience of this book.



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