The Writer’s Disease

What does it mean to be diseased with an infection of the page? 

The Writer’s Disease can be defined as the deep need to dismantle a piece of art to figure out how it works. Mechanics and musicians do it. Think about the last song you listened to: 

“Maps” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs reminds me of my old Mitsubishi Montero driving the back roads of Keene, Keene Valley on my way home to Lake Placid during a college break. 

Danny Elfman’s Batman instrumental follows Maps as I weave through the Cascade Lakes in the back of my mind. “I’m Batman” plays on repeat. 

When I hear Radiohead’s “Planet Telex” from their second album The Bends I see the World War 1 trenches in the French countryside as the chunnell bullet train speeds past them on the way to Brussels, Belgium. Summer of 2002: The train travels from London to Paris under the English Channel. The opening piano, Thom Yorke’s champagne drunk opening, streaks along with the train that moves at 200 hundred miles per hour. I would travel from London to Brussels in two hours. 

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In Ghent, Belgium where they were celebrating the Gentse Feesten, I’m visiting a friend I met at the public beach where I worked in Lake Placid, NY. The entire city is split into three sections:
Purgatory–where they hand out Jupiler beer. Hell–where Krampus-like creatures blow fire and there are kiosks distributing chocolate shots, some of which are spiked with ecstasy. And Heaven, where giant jumbotrons rest on five-hundred-year-old cathedrals featuring live performances from Paul Oakenfold, and a bunch of DJs I don’t remember.

What affect does music have on you? Can a music track bring you back to another place? Do you have a writing playlist? Here’s mine on Spotify right now: it includes the Inception soundtrack, Phillip Glass, Daft Punk, Gui Borrato, M83, Boards of Canada, Murder by Death. You know happy stuff.

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