Laws of Gravity Ruined My Life

Laws of Gravity is a 1992 American crime drama film

This movie ruined me. The grittiness, the realism, the chaos, the insanity, Brooklyn in the ’90’s, my first introduction to Edie Falco before she was Edie Falco, the vacant streets, the gun play and horrific presentation of violence, and who could forget the beauty of each shot by cinematographer Jean de Segonzac. Nick Gomez became my obsession and has remained one ever since.When I turned to writing, everything began and ended with Laws. It’s the movie I turn to when I get stuck on a scene or plot point or voice. Everything I need to get by when it comes to writing can be found in Laws.

He has done only a few films since, working mostly in TV. [A small claim to fame I like to think back on is when I found out my father (a location sound mixer in Baltimore) worked with Nick on an episode of the TV series Homicide.] After Laws, Nick directed an equally arresting film New Jersey Drive, which I also highly recommend.

I am not sure if you can watch this on DVD, but in researching Laws I came across Nick’s website where he kindly streams many of his TV work and full films.

Watch Laws of Gravity for free here.

DESCRIPTION | Jimmy and Johnny are two Brooklyn street toughs who never made it into workaday society. Danger is the hit that gets them out of bed. Jimmy owes a loan shark money and Johnny is wanted by the police. Things go further out of control when their old friend Frankie arrives in a stolen car with a trunkload of guns for sale.

Edie Falco on Laws of Gravity:

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“ONLY IN THE DARK” | RIP Jason Molina

Jason Molina is gone.

I was introduced to Jason Molina’s music a few years ago by a dear friend, Tod Goldberg, who shares a freakishly like-minded musical brain. He recommended I start with the album “Trials and Errors” —> a live album that was somewhat of a departure for Jason Molina at the time, moving from a stripped-down alt-country sound, to an electric, mordant blues. Needless to say, this album destroyed me, his fragile angelic voice coursing with a breathtaking and beautiful sadness. I was hooked. Jason Molina music is capable of leveling any listener down to their studs with just one song. His lyrics accompanied by a forlorn and often moaning guitar often accomplishes greatness.

[I can’t bring myself to root through the garbage of demons and devils present in Molina’s life, but if you want all the low-lights, complete with a gut-wrenching letter Molina wrote to his fans in 2012, thanking them for contributing money to a fund set up by his record company and family to cover his medical bills, then check out Spinner’s article. I swear it will hurt your heart.]

Jason Molina was one of the last hard-living, dirt road traveling, love lost true bluesmen around and the saddest part of all is that in death Molina’s popularity will soar, something that only just escaped him in life.

David Haglund described in his Slate article how Molina’s “songs are frequently dark and personal, delivered in a quavery voice that seemed to catch something of his own fragility. Several of them have been making the rounds . . .  as word has gotten out about Molina’s passing.” In particular, “Nashville Moon” —>

I’ve been on that road and it was darkness end to end
And I just headed for the dark again
How far am I from living my whole life
Only in the dark
Only in the dark

For those of you only just making the acquaintance of Jason Molina, I’ve gone ahead and done you a solid —-> below is a playlist I made called Jason Molina, et al. which consists of everything Jason Molina ever produced [that I could find on Spotify], arranged chronologically according to release dates.

You’re welcome.

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Atomic Book’s 2012 Best Sellers | Fiction

1. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
2. And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman
3. So Say The Waiters by Justin Sirois
4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
5. Wildwood by Colin Meloy / Carson Ellis
6. 50 Shades Of Grey by EL James
7. Chrysalids by John Wyndham
8. Wittgenstein’s Mistress by David Markson
9. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
10. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
11. Hologram For The King by Dave Eggers
12. Zone One by Colson Whitehead
13. It Chooses You by Miranda July
14. Mockinjay by Suzanne Collins
15. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
16. Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
17. A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
18. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
19. Who Could That Be At This Hour by Lemony Snicket
20. Zombie: A Novel by J.R. Angelella

Happy 2012, My ZOMBIEs.

– JRA

Posted in #GotZombie, #Undeadheads, J-Rans, JRA Events, Le Magic, Soho Press, Team Zombie, Zombie | Leave a comment

Mr. (Largehearted) Boy & My #ZOMBIE Playlist

“A music blog featuring daily free and legal music downloads as well as news from the worlds of music, literature, and pop culture.”

On July 5, we, Mr. Boy (as I affectionately refer to him when in conversation with myself) and I, collectively celebrated a universal independence as he published the soundtrack to my novel in his voracious read Book Notes series where “authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.” The Book Notes feature is not only a musical treat for any fan of literature, but also explores the cross-section of arts where the audible impacts the visual.

My Book Notes entry was flamboyantly titled: J.R. Angelella’s Soundtrack to ZOMBIE; Or How to Hear the Necroinfectious Pandemic without Ever Really Listening.

In his introduction to my playlist, Mr. Boy (quite kindly and over-overwhelmingly) compliments my novel, comparing ZOMBIE to one of my favorite living writers that I don’t actually know.

“J. R. Angelella’s novel ZOMBIE is an impressive debut that has earned the author comparisons with Chuck Palahniuk.”

I’m sure plenty of readers can/will/have veto(ed) such a seemingly blasphemous comparison, but I could not love Largehearted Boy any more for it.

When I found out that I had been asked to contribute to Book Notes, I utterly nerded out as I have been a Mr. Boy fan for oh so long. To prove said point, herein lies the email exchange with my Soho Press publicist:

Publicist: Hey Ross, Largehearted Boy would like to feature you for an imaginary soundtrack feature. What do you think? It’s a perfect spot for you and ZOMBIE.

Me: Are you kidding me? Seriously? Um, yeah, I know who the effe Largehearted Boy is!!!!!! And, by the way, I have been writing THAT essay my entire life. Just give me a due date.  🙂

I wish I could take back the smiley face, but the rest I stand behind, largeheartedly. (Bad pun intended!) Mr. Boy’s Book Notes series is as close to “Behind the Music” as this Angelella fictioneer will ever get.

The writing of ZOMBIE was an intense therapy. I wrote through Hell with the act of writing and listening to music acting as a bizarre escape from the stress and sadness of the real world where my Roman Furies (those wicked deities of vengeance!) upended my life. My actual therapist even bought a copy of ZOMBIE; asked me to sign it; and after reading my silly, tongue-in-cheek sentiment [like “braaaaaiiiiinnnns!” or “Don’t Fear the Limp Dick!“] he said:

“I feel like I’ve been in the delivery room for the past 12 months.”

These 14 tracks (plus the hidden track “Paragraph Nights” by my kickass cousin’s band DRGN KING whose album of the same name will soon be available through Bar None Records) give a healthy and honest snapshot of my ZOMBIE world and, in my opinion, are a fine collection of dark, redemptive undead, zombie rock.

READ and LISTEN:  J.R. Angelella’s Largehearted Boy Book Notes Playlist for #ZOMBIE.

Hope & Warmth.

– JRA

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Do You Know This Man With The Villainous Mustache?

ZOMBIE looks good with a mustache like that.
[Picture courtesy of She Said Untprintable Things]

One month ago the Underground New York Public Library, a visual library of NYC commuters reading books on subways, posted this picture of the coolest man in America, reading my novel ZOMBIE.

If you know this most mustached man (or the victim he is planning to tie to the subway tracks), let him know he is famous and that I want to interview him about all things ZOMBIE and mustache.

Warmth & Hope.

– JRA

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