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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

One Fast Move Or I'm Gone: Music From Kerouac's Big Sur/Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard

Jay Farrar of Sun Volt and Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie were asked to provide original songs for the film One Fast Move Or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur, a documentary about Jack Kerouac and his 1962 autobiographical novel Big Sur. The book is based on several visits Kerouac made to a cabin in Big Sur, California, seeking time alone to deal with the stress of his fame and with his alcoholism. Farrar and Gibbard had never met before but enjoyed working together on the songs they created for the film and shared a mutual interest in Kerouac's work (Gibbard had even stayed in the same cabin Kerouac writes about in Big Sur when he was composing songs for Death Cab For Cutie's album Narrow Stairs). They decided to keep the collaboration going and expand it into an album-length project, One Fast Move Or I'm Gone: Music From Kerouac's Big Sur, released last month. Farrar did the lion's share of the writing, taking the lyrics for all of the songs directly from Kerouac's novel. He also derived several songs (Low Life Kingdom, Sea Engines, The Void) from the poem "Sea: Sounds of the Pacific Ocean at Big Sur," which was included at the end of the book.


  1. There used to be an organization in the Bay Area that had a contest for songwriters who created music based on literature. The winners would be featured on a CD! I'll pass along the info when I can find them. Love your blog.

  2. Thanks Jewelle! I'd love to know more about that contest.

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