Moby On His New Memoir 'Porcelain'

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This program was originally broadcast on May 20, 2016. As this broadcast aired in May, the Facebook Live portion of this broadcast will not be available today.

Musician-DJ Moby is out with a new memoir. He’s with us in the studio.

Moby. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Moby. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Mega-selling DJ, techno rocker, star Moby was there from the beginning of rave and trance. A poor kid from a rich town climbing a ladder of music in New York. Climbing, falling, climbing. Freed by the city. Wrestling with sex and God and booze and the dark glory of 1990s Manhattan. He would finally emerge as a global icon with an ecstatic, joyful, otherworldly sound. This hour On Point, Moby, with us in the studio, and how he got there. -- Tom Ashbrook


Moby, musician, DJ, photographer and animal rights activist. Author of "Porcelain: A Memoir." (@thelittleidiot)

From Tom's Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Moby Looks Back — "His goal in writing the book was, in part, to recall the opportunities that musicians once had to live and work in big cities—which have now become too pricey for them. A few decades ago, “if we wanted to be 20 years old and broke living in a creative environment, we could’ve lived in Berlin, London, San Francisco and New York,” he says. “But now, because of affluence, so many former creative folks have been closed out.”

San Francisco Chronicle: Interview with Moby, author of Porcelain — "When I lived there, it was almost hard for me to distinguish between where my identity ended as an individual and where it began as a New Yorker. The city influenced my worldview, the music I made, my politics, everything. In a very odd way, my narrative in the book almost inversely mirrors the narrative of New York. At the beginning, I’m sort of lighthearted and naive and optimistic, but the city is a burned-out, postapocalyptic, crack-ruined, urban-blighted environment. By the end, the city is becoming much more gentrified, and I’ve become a burned-out, blighted person."

Chicago Tribune: Moby's 'Porcelain' memoir is exceptional and incisive — "As the mid-'90s happened, I got a little bored with how sophisticated dance music was becoming. Dance music had become almost like gentleman's music, more academic. The libidinous chaos of it, the female celebration in a lot of early dance music, that was going away. That made me sad. At the same time, I rediscovered a lot of guitar music. I largely blame Sepultura and Pantera. They were both making amazing records, and I wanted to go in the musical direction that spoke to me more, that I had an emotional connection with. … In hindsight, I should have said to my managers, I'll make a punk record under a pseudonym and make a dance record under my own name. That's what a smart person would've done. But I'm stubbornly proud of that album."

Read an Excerpt of "Porcelain" by Moby

This program aired on December 30, 2016.


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