i must remember that listening to POE’s haunted may not be the best idea while at work. i know most of the words to most of the songs, and as she’s one of my favorite artists, i love singing along. not something i think my co-workers would appreciate.
anyway. i’m boppin’ along, all happy and stuff, then “five and a half minute hallway” starts playing and i’m reminded that this album is, weirdly, connected to mark danielewski’s house of leaves. if you’ve never read house, you are a sad, sad human being and can only save yourself by obtaining a copy and reading it, then passing it along. also, it’s not weird that the book and the album are connected at all, considering they’re brother and sister.
house of leaves is a story of a guy who finds a manuscript about a documentary of a house that’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. yes, it’s a mouthful, but that’s really what it’s about. it’s also a super creepy book, so realistic that you forget that the navidson record (the documentary) doesn’t actually exist. POE’s haunted is a concept album, and it’s more about dealing with the death of her father than a scary house. but listening to it is sort of like listening to dark side of the moon and watching the wizard of oz.
house scared the poo out of me. i was living in a tiny basement apartment at the time, and it wasn’t terribly well-lit. i remember, more than once, waking up in the middle of the night thinking the walls were moving and closing in on me (if you’ve been keeping up with vanishing, that’s where the idea for day 60 came from. seriously. no panic attack, but those walls were definitely moving.) haunted was an album that i listened to at least weekly for about the first 9 months that i had it.
despite my love for the siblings danielewski, i have a few problems with them. mainly mark. i have to wonder how he manages to fit through doorways, because i swear, his ego must be huge. see, house is also a very oddly written book. you think the plot is all highfalutin’? the layout is even more so. but, i managed to overlook it and soldiered through to the end. then i went out and picked up a copy of his second book, only revolutions. when a book comes with a publisher’s suggestion for how to read it, you’re in for some trouble. and now, according to his wikipedia entry, he’s working on a new project that will comprise of 27 volumes. 27. really. i’m not shitting you. sometimes i think that critics loved house because it was so different, and difficult to understand, and they’d never seen anything like it before, so they figure, well, he must be brilliant! (note to self: write something so incredibly odd and unbelievable that everyone will think i’m brilliant.) so this feeds the monster and he just gets more and more wrapped up in the way the book will be laid out rather than the content, and buries his story in a whole lot of prose that makes very little sense, and voila! critical darling!
POE…POE, i wish, would put out another album. sadly, she hasn’t seen the
fame i feel she deserves. her lyrics are far better than most of the shite you’ll hear on mainstream radio today. i don’t know if she’s hung up her musician’s mantle, or what, but haunted was released in, oh, 2000? long overdue for a follow up. her wiki entry says that her legal battles (which lasted a decade) are finally over and she will be releasing new material soon. i just hope she doesn’t go the way of her brother and release something so bizarre that people are left scratching their heads and then don’t buy it.