Mark Z. Danielewski and Biffy Clyro talk in circles at the Bootleg tonight
A few years ago, I trolled around Hollywood with Mark Z. Danielewski, author of the postmodern haunted-house novel "House of Leaves," just before the publication of his novel "Only Revolutions." The former took the supernatural dread of H.P. Lovecraft and ran it through a David Foster Wallace footnote wringer; the latter made a Kerouac-ian teenage couple's road trip epic into a Rubik's Cube of a prose-poem that jumps through time, geography and the actual pages of the printed novel (to read it, you've got to rotate the thing many, many times).
It all sounds heady, but the Scottish hard rock trio Biffy Clyro liked "Only Revolutions" enough to make a concept album out it. The band's album of the same name is an unexpected melding of Muse-worthy riffage and lyrics that mull on some of the book's central themes -- the volatility and delirium of young love, the possibility and horror of the American West and the idea that language and slang can make an identity as much as express one.
The two are in for a very unusual dual-performance at the Bootleg Theater tonight. Danielewski (who is regarded as a rock star in his own right to brainy post-goth grad-schoolers) will read from the book and discuss its influence with Biffy Clyro, which will follow that up with a concert drawing heavily from the record. And who knows? Maybe someone will notice that the Bootleg is sporting a weird new hallway in the back...
-- August Brown
Photo: Mark Z. Danielewski. Credit: Los Angeles Times