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“You get to strangle puppies and kill young children.” – The Airborne Toxic Event Interview November 8, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Muzak.
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The Airborne Toxic Event

[Originally published in Flux]

Things could have turned out a lot differently for The Airborne Toxic Event’s lead singer Mikel Jollett, if three years ago he hadn’t had the worst week of his life. In a single week, while working on his novel, he found out that his mother had been diagnosed with cancer, his girlfriend dumped him and he was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease which left him with Alopecia areata and Vitiligo.

It was at some point during that week, or in the surrounding weeks, that Mikel turned his attention to songwriting for the first time, putting his career as a music journalist and novelist on hiatus.

“I think it sort of gets played up about what happened that week, as if it was some sort of lightning,” Mikel explains. “It was more like I had been playing a little bit of music, and then I kind of started playing a little bit more music and then I kind of started playing a lot of music. It really wasn’t an overnight kind of thing…

Sweet Cody High November 8, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Cinematics.
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Sweet Valley High

Back in September, it was announced that Diablo Cody, of Juno and Jennifer’s Body fame, will be adapting the Sweet Valley High book series into a film. The prospect is quite intriguing, considering the fact that the last time Sweet Valley High made it on to our screens was in the form of the 90s television series of the same name.

With Cody’s involvement I imagine something a little more self-mocking and snarky will be the end-product. However, judging by what Cody has written in her EW column about the project, it looks like she is desperate to stay true to the world of the books – not that I especially care since I’ve never read one, but I’m sure there are thousands of rabid fiercely protective fans out there.

A few months ago, I sat down with Sweet Valley High creator Francine Pascal. I wanted to write and produce a movie based on the books, but I could never do that without the involvement of the twins’ ”mom.” I’ve gotten somewhat proficient at keeping my s — – together during business meetings, but this time, my heart was pounding against my ribs. I wanted so badly for Francine to see how much I enjoyed her creation and how for me, Elizabeth and Jessica were guides to another universe, a place full of possibility and good hair. Luckily, she listened patiently to my excited babbling, and we found ourselves on the same page. All I have to say is: RADICAL. Wish me luck, people. Sweet Valley High is fantastic, fabulous, a little bit campy, and — dare I say it — cinematic.

I wonder whether Cody will include some of the changes that were instituted for the books’ re-releases last year, some of which are detailed below, extracted from a letter sent by the books’ publishers, Random House Children’s Books.

I guess size 6 isn’t perfect enough for today’s standards? I’m surprised they got away with this change, considering the amount of press devoted to eating disorders these days. And the ‘anonymous blog’ sounds like an unnecessary copycat of Gossip Girl. Oh well, whatever it takes to stay relevant.