Our Muse Miranda July on Coming Back to Sundance


“she wants to bang all of them”

Look what my UM 9 Muse-tracking Google Alert dragged in today, from Yahoo Answers:

My daughter is OBSESSED with this band called ‘ Blink 182…? ‘. Is this bad? I don’t know if this is an unhealthy obsession. Her obsessiveness includes the 100 posters on her wall of these guys ( Yes I counted ). She owns all of the albums, or whatever and she has every song of theirs on her iPod including the live versions I think. All of her shirts say ‘Blink 182′ on them she even wrote it on all of her shoes. EVERYTHING she owns says it pretty much, even her underwear.

Is this unhealthy?

I also hear her over talking on the phone that she wants to “bang” all of them.

Unhealthy? Nah. Your daughter’s got the right idea. Obsession, Blink-182, what could possibly go wrong?

Actually, come to think of it, we are looking for an intern…


Patti Smith giving you Virgina Woolf

My friend Svend recently asked me who the 10th Muse would be, if we had one. I’m not sure, but Virginia Woolf would be a contender.

On the anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s suicide, our beloved Patti “waves” to her.

Patti Smith recently told Amy Goodman that she thinks of herself as a performer, not as a musician. Any questions?


This Much She Knows: Keeping In Touch With Sandra Bernhard

Seeing Sandra Bernhard’s movie Without You I’m Nothing was one of the major milestones of my aesthetic coming of age. To quote the movie, I felt like Columbus Crossing the Atlantic, I had found the new world. People could talk that smart? Behave that outrageously? Whaaaa? It’s a film I have watched more times than I could count. You can watch a great clip from it on the Uranium Madhouse 9 Muses Page.

It’s a great movie considered by itself, but it also made me aware of so many icons and cultural currents that I had had little awareness of prior to that: the world of the Factory, Nina Simone, Patti Smith, Sylvester, Laura Nyro, and many others.

While I always enjoy Sandra, I haven’t liked what I have seen of her since then to the same degree. She will always have a place in my heart, though, for Without You I’m Nothing. And she is someone I always enjoy coming across. In this interview in the Guardian, she doesn’t disappoint.

Posing for Playboy was a feminist statement. I wanted to say it’s OK to be comfortable in your own skin and that you don’t have to be obsessed with your body.

When I was growing up, the idea of fame ran in tandem with being a great performer – people loving you and celebrating you because you made them feel good and you took them places they couldn’t take themselves. The reality TV culture we live in now celebrates fame without anything to back it up: people on reality shows don’t inspire. They’re just there to laugh at and mock. It’s destructive.

And the money quote:

The ability to connect to my creative source is one of my biggest achievements.

Check out the whole piece.

To quote one of your muses, Sandra, you make us feel…mighty real.


Gena Rowlands at home

One of our Muses reading a script for The Spiral Road

Nuff said.


one for the front page

On this page of quotable quotes from Uranium Madhouse Official Muse Antonin Artaud, I came across this one:

There is in every madman a misunderstood genius whose idea, shining in his head, frightened people, and for whom delirium was the only solution to the strangulation that life had prepared for him.

It may or not be true, but as a provocation it’s choice. I think it will be joining the quotes from Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Cervantes and Aristotle on the UM front page.


too nice for punk rock

I saw one of Uranium Madhouse’s 9 Muses, Blink-182, for New Year’s Eve 1999/2000 in San Diego. A concert by the (at that time) biggest punk band in the world seemed like a great way to ring in the new millenium. And it was a great time.

Five years later, Blink-182 had broken up. It was a familiar story: familiarity had bred contempt, even between these guys, one of whom had climbed a streetlight to impress the other when they first met, and then broken both of his wrists getting down.

Then, after band member Travis Barker nearly died in a plane crash, they found their way back together, and began to play. And lo and behold, their new album is expected out this year.

They found, though, that they had to relearn how to collaborate creatively. They had broken up because they couldn’t get along, but when they got back together, they had another problem. According to bassist and vocalist Mark Hoppus:

“When we got back together everything was so fresh and new, it was like we were all trying to protect a precious flame. We were so respectful of one another that we were all walking on eggshells – it was all too nice.

“But we realised we needed to be a proper band before we started recording. Now we’re comfortable enough in our friendship again not only to support each other, but to say things like, ‘Hey, that idea is cool, but what about if we did it this way?’

“We can do that now without being like someone’s going to have their feelings crushed. It was important for us to turn that corner.”

That’s a line that all creative collaborators have to walk, and Uranium Madhouse will be no exception. We have to be able to be honest with each other, AND we have to be able to be respectful. In the thick of the process, things can get hairy, but it’s important that we remember that we can always have candor AND civility. A deficit of either is a direct threat to the company.


Thomas Bernhard tells you how he really feels

One of Uranium Madhouse’s 9 Muses is Thomas Bernhard, the Austrian novelist and playwright about whom I wrote my dissertation at Stanford. There is a quote on that page from Bernhard’s novel Gargoyles. If that quote made you curious, this blog is all Bernhard all the time. All the entries are quotes from Bernhard. Here’s there most recent one, Bernhard on families:

There are no families anymore, only live-in arrangements, rail and postal workers credit unions, travel associations, limited philosophy partnerships, literature societies, smoked-meat societies, turnip cooperatives’ societies, burlap bag associations, legal societies, weed-killing societies, societies for the praise and adoration of God: spare parts heaped on top of each other in some giant spare-part warehouse: a huge pile of sh-t for a world.
from On the Mountain: Rescue Attempt, Nonsense

Any questions?