The COVER STORIES Euphictions – Free Fiction


AND SO I FOUND MYSELF, in the early 21st Century, perfectly out of touch with most everything musical.  I realized I’d become that guy who lives in his back catalog, playing the same old songs from the same worn, scratched CDs and not know if they even still made music for him in the Outer Whirled anymore.  I was that guy who watched as his favorite bands either broke up or mellowed into irrelevance.  I was that guy who, if he contemplated adding anything to his collection at all, it was only to fill in empty spaces of that back catalog.

This was not a state of affairs I embraced.  I was not a purist or a snob.  I was not happy.  The issue was that I wasn’t yet 35, and I’d felt music had left me behind.

Until I found that album.

It was not their first album.  It may not have even been their first single for that album that I heard that day.  But in a matter of moments I was hooked on something that sounded familiar yet brought with it energy new and exciting, and proved that that guy was still young enough and perhaps even still a bit relevant.  The single — and then the entire album — dragged me from the doldrums of that guy‘s life, acting as the key to a whole new world of sounds.  The album and its 10 tracks were my gateway drugs back into the intoxicating world of turgid emotions and the “fuck you” aesthetic I’d once so deeply enjoyed.

That album, Interpol’s ANTICS, and eventually her three sister albums, Turn on the Bright Lights, Our Love to Admire, and INTERPOL have not only influenced me artistically, but have changed me as a person, in the way only music can really change how the chemicals bubble and churn in the human mind.

Interpol is a New York band.  And in a city defined by its crowded, illuminated congestion, they manage to find every dark, empty, cavernous expanse therein.  Sometimes these spaces are physical dimesions, other times they’re the emptiness in the lost and lonely, but mostly they are a blurring of both ideas.  Through their surreal lyrics, tender versus bombastic delivery, and echoing guitars, they describe why these distinctions are illusory and their delineation counterfeit on the surface.  Their New York is as much an idea as it is a place on the map.  Their world is a dark dreamland built not of nightmares, but of sadness and yearning.  It’s a world I visit often.

I could not hope to leave you with the same feeling that Interpol has left in me.  Only music can do what I’m proposing.  No, what I have hoped to accomplish with the forthcoming fictions is to share even the slightest miniscule sliver of that magic and new life that was given to me at the beginning of our 21st Century.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether this has been accomplished.  Fictions are dialogues between author and reader, after all, and I’ve had my say from this side of the divide.  I’ve done what I can.  These stories are in your hands now.

–N. Pendleton, 2011


Download: N.Pendleton_COVER_STORIES

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