23 December 2009

a philly gunn

I'm really digging Steve Gunn's latest LP Boreum Palace (Three-Lobed Recordings) right now.

The opening track, has some killer Dobro from Marc Orleans (Sunburned Hand, Juneau, etc).
Mr. Franklin

Gunn & Marc Orleans. Brickbat Books, Philadelphia. 06/05/09

22 December 2009

spoof or no, it made me laugh

Apparently, the Tea Baggers picked up one of them there facsimile machines. Read about what happened next here.

18 December 2009

when johnny donned a stolen shook

This book is fantastic and Wurlitzer is a new favorite.Up next and, apparently long overdue, is Nog.

a few compelling reasons to read The Drop Edge of Yonder:

1. the opening chapters
2. you dig Pat Garret & Billy the Kid
3. "Things are not as they appear. Nor are they otherwise."
4. Pop Matters, Maud, Ain't It Cool
5. you dig Two Lane Blacktop
6. Erik Davis' excellent Bookforum review
7. a Pynchon endorsement of a previous novel turns you on
8. Arthur: Did you write Zebulon for Peckinpah?

RW: Sam was going to direct the first Zebulon script that I had written, but he died. Then Hal Ashby was interested in it and he died. I was going to direct it up in Canada but I couldn’t get it on. I came close. After a while I just dropped it because the whole adventure was beginning to feel cursed.

Arthur: Jim Jarmusch was interested in it too, right?

RW: Right, Jarmusch was going to direct it but after talking about it for a few weeks it became clear that we each had a different point of view of what the script was going to be and we went our separate ways. I was surprised when he lifted some important themes from the script for his film Dead Man. Let’s just say that was an awkward situation. [laughs] At least for me.

Arthur: I’d seen Dead Man before I read Drop Edge but some of the similarities are striking.

RW: Yeah, he took a lot. But I think the book is sufficiently different. And in a way, the good part of it is after a while I felt compelled to write my own version to get away from what had essentially been contaminated. Not just by Jim, but by the whole long journey of the script. I’d done a lot of research in each variation, along with a script on the gold rush that I never got on. So I had all this stuff in me. And after years of reading and inhabiting that world, I became very much at ease with the vernacular. And that always seemed to me to be very important in a so-called historical novel. I didn’t want it to just be a novel about historical information. So all the film stuff provoked me to go underneath, to explore some other layers.

Arthur: I like the idea of a character being stuck between worlds.

RW: The first draft of Drop Edge was more directly about the experience of somebody who woke up dead, so to speak. So in a dharmic sense it was more about a direct experience of the bardo. You never really knew whether this guy was alive or dead. On another level, that’s what being alive is about. Like when you know you’re going to die, really know you’re going to die, you start to feel alive. So on one level I was exploring that. But I felt that the first few drafts were too much of a plunge into that in-between state of mind. I felt like I had to set the table in a more deliberate way. So that’s why I introduced the idea of the character being cursed to float between worlds, not knowing if he was dead or alive. Before it was just being caught between worlds without any explanation and I thought it was too confusing, too alienating. I was trying to seduce the reader into the journey itself, this 19th-century journey. Sometimes I think of Drop Edge as an 18th-century book about the 19th century with 21st century overtones. [laughs]

14 December 2009

From Bold Progressives:

Sen. Joe Lieberman announced Sunday that he will join Republicans in blocking a vote on any real health care reform bill -- including any public option and even the fake "compromise" floated last week.

The Washington Post's Ezra Klein writes, "At this point, Lieberman is just torturing liberals. That is to say, he's willing to directly cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score."

Enough is enough. Can you join 145,000 others in telling Democratic leaders to punish Joe Lieberman by taking his committee chairmanship?
Click here.

Then, please ask others you know to take action.

Lieberman was asked if he'd accept losing his powerful committee chairmanship as a consequence of blocking reform, and he answered, "Oh, God no." Our message to Sen. Harry Reid and other Democratic leaders says:

"Any Democratic senators -- including Joe Lieberman -- who support a Republican attempt to block a vote on health care reform should be stripped of their leadership titles. Americans deserve a clean up-or-down vote on health care reform that includes a public option."

Sign the petition here - we'll deliver it to Senate Democrats.

Then, please ask others you know to take action.

Today, we are releasing a new poll with Howard Dean's Democracy for America that shows wide support for our petition:

• Democratic voters think Senate Democrats should take away Lieberman's chairmanship by 81% to 10%. Independents also support it by 13 points.

• Democratic voters want Senate Democrats to use "reconciliation" by 73% to 13%. This requires just 51 votes to pass reform instead of 60, bypassing Lieberman.

• Voters favor Howard Dean's "We Can Do Both" proposal (a public option PLUS a Medicare buy-in for ages 55-64) by 57% to 32%. Among Independents, it's 56% to 28% (2 to 1).

• 84% of Democratic voters want progressive primary challengers to congressional Democrats who oppose a public option.

• This poll is being reported by many news outlets. Now, we need to back it up with grassroots action.

Can you join 145,000 others in telling Democratic leaders to punish Joe Lieberman?

Thanks for being a bold progressive.

--Adam Green, Stephanie Taylor, Aaron Swartz, Michael Snook, Natasha Patel, and the PCCC team


11 December 2009


"It’s the very near-future, somewhere in the Pacific Northwest—or a neighborhood near you. 27-year-old Della Mylinek has suffered some kind of breakdown after failing to stop the construction of a local Walmart. In an attempt to regain psychological, financial and emotional stability, she’s moved in with her brother and his pregnant wife and taken a job waiting tables at a vegan restaurant. But her anger remains, and one thing leads to another…"

Final chapter of the excellent ZAZEN by Vanessa Veselka is posted over at Arthur today. If you haven't been following along serially, no worries, all the previous chapters are available in PDF.

Check it:

08 December 2009

07 December 2009

gee, haw dude

Are fellow Iditarodians/sore losers actually out to get Lance or is it just weed-induced paranoia?

"I'm going to pee in their little cup, and laugh in their face . . ."


02 December 2009

military madness is killing your country

My current favorite cover:

Military Madness (G. Nash cover) -- Woods

In an upstairs room in Blackpool
By the side of a northern sea
The army had my father
And my mother was having me
Military Madness was killing my country
Solitary Sadness comes over me
After the school was over and I moved
To the other side
I found another country but I never
Lost my pride
Military Madness was killing the country
Solitary sadness creeps over me
And after the wars are over
And the body count is finally filed
I hope that The Man discovers
What’s driving the people wild
Military madness is killing your country
So much sadness, between you and me
War, War, War, War, War, War

From Woods' very excellent Songs of Shame

23 November 2009

thinking about this quite a bit lately:

"do not seek the truth, only cease to cherish opinions" - Seng-ts'an

21 November 2009

Towards The Day Of Liberation
Robert Kelly

It doesnt matter what we see there
(the mouth is full of sense
no taste in listening
no sense to hear
what twists in the shallow water below the tongue)

(and if he says Listen! say
Drink the hearing with
your own ears, a word
is not to hear)

Language? To use language for the sake of communication is like using a forest of ancient trees to make paper towels and cardboard boxes from all those years the wind and crows danced in the up of its slow.

A word is not to hear
and not to say -
what is a word?

The Catechism begins:
Who made you?
Language made me.
Why did It make you?
It made me to confuse the branch with the wind.
Why that?
To hide the root.
Where is the root?
It lies beneath the tongue.
Speak it.
It lies beneath the speech.
Is it a word?
A word is the shadow of a body passing.
Whose body is that?
The shadow's own.

"Stockhausen had, uh, married a rich woman and I thought I'd do exactly the same."

BBC Four's
Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV (In which Sir Iggy Pop, referencing Neu! drummer Klaus Dinger, coins my new favorite term:"Pastoral Psychedelicism")


Part VI

03 November 2009

28 October 2009

From APOD:

Are square A and B the same color? They are. Are too. To verify this, click here to see them connected. The above illusion, called the same color illusion, illustrates that purely human observations in science may be ambiguous or inaccurate. Even such a seemingly direct perception as relative color. Similar illusions exist on the sky, such as the size of the Moon near the horizon, or the apparent shapes of astronomical objects. The advent of automated, reproducible, measuring devices such as CCDs have made science in general and astronomy in particular less prone to, but not free of, human-biased illusions.

such hawks, such hounds

This looks pretty dope:

From the website:

"For every music fan who says rock ’n’ roll ain’t what it used to be; for every pundit who concurs with Hunter S. Thompson’s assessment of the music business as “a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free;” there are an equal number who will say that the business of creating and releasing innovative and satisfying music is as healthy as ever — it’s just done on a smaller scale.

Such Hawks, Such Hounds is a testament to the vitality of rock music. Relying only marginally on nostalgia, it says that at any point in history, the music being made is as worthy of attention as that of times past. It’s an introduction to an underheralded subgenre and a realization of its cinematic possibilities.

Such Hawks tells a story that needs to be told. Since the Alternative Revolution of the early 1990s, there has been a heightened interest in music with roots in the underground, hence such excellent genre studies as Hype!, Scratch and American Hardcore. While a similar celebration of sounds held dear, Such Hawks captures a moment as it is happening.

Such Hawks explores the music and musicians of the American hard rock underground circa 1970-2007, focusing on the psychedelic and ’70s proto-metal-derived styles that have in recent years formed a rich tapestry of unclassifiable sounds."

Get yourself a copy here.

27 October 2009

the word

He had me going from the Ahmadinejad bit:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Don't Ask Don't Tell
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMichael Moore

23 October 2009

Killin' me: Getachew Mekuria & The Ex

"This was the first time Getatchew played with the Ex.
It was also his first time in Europe. We invited him to play with the ICP orcestra, which was a great success, but during the tour he discovered the energy of The Ex and he started to play one song together with them every night. From that experience came the idea to record a cd (Moa Anbessa)." -- Terp Records

If you haven't heard Moa Anbessa yet, you'd be wise to remedy that. here's a taste:

Aynoche Terabu/Shemonmwanaye

There's also a great DVD available that mixes practice footage with live performances from Banlieues Bleues Festival in Paris. Very worth your time and spare ducats.

Here's Getachew w/ the ICP Orchestra:

more Mekuria:

16 October 2009

toppin' your rocket

gotta black hole in my pocket

dizzy with haranguing

* * *

all which isn't singing is mere talking
and all talking's talking to oneself
(whether that oneself be sought or seeking
master or disciple sheep or wolf)

gush to it as diety or devil
-toss in sobs and reasons threats and smiles
name it cruel fair or blessed evil-
it is you (ne i)nobody else

drive dumb mankind dizzy with haranguing
-you are deafened every mother's son-
all is merely talk which isn't singing
and all talking's to oneself alone

but the very song of(as mountains
feel and lovers)singing is silence
- E. E. Cummings

13 October 2009

Chladni plates

Chladni modes of a guitar plate:

The Barthelme Syllabus

Get the story behind the list here.

09 October 2009

Origin of the wedding tree?

Umbilcomdum - Julie Evans

See it up there?

Cool Story Alaska Premiere

Tonight in Los Anchorage: The Alaska premiere of Think Thank's new film "Cool Story."

Keep your ears peeled for los gran torinos' "Deathbird" used on Mark Thompson's part.

Here's the official trailer:

06 October 2009

Juneau athletes will be subjected to mandatory drug testing.

So damn lame.

The question I want answered is: does this include mathletes?

You're the Hasidic Jew who tried to kill me.

As someone who rides a bike to work 6 days a week and has at least 1 weekly encounter that sets me to cussing, I'd like to give a hat tip to the petite brunette in a white sundress, riding a red road bike in the rain for so elegantly articulating some of the finer points my giant flipping finger just never seems to convey.

sick darbuka rhythms

05 October 2009

you've got to be fucking kidding me

Apparently, the Bible is just a bit too liberal for some folks out there and they're looking to re-write it to better suit their (ahem) standards.

Among the many items you will soon find on the cutting room floor: the word "peace." Seriously. Will the expression now be: "Prosperity be with you?"

"Thou shalt not kill" and "Love thy neighbor as thyself" don't really jive with current conservative ideals, what will become of them? And what about that whole deal about rendering unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s? Seems to be pro-taxation, no?

One of the bigger questions I have is where do they find the time to re-write the Bible what with all the cheating on wives, war-mongering, and boy on boy action in airport bathroom stalls?

I still can't tell if this is a hoax or not but if it's true, it looks as though it will shape up to be the antithesis of the only Bible I can dig, the Jefferson Bible.


mad skills

I came really close to spitting coffee everywhere the first time I watched this:

02 October 2009

The surface of the earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean

This is brilliant:

'A Glorious Dawn' - Carl Sagan ft. Stephen Hawking

via the ever dope Arthur Magazine

01 October 2009

Surprise: Former Alaskan Governor's fiction co-authored by Racist/Creationist

Mr. Munger over at Progressive Alaska profiles Lynn Vincent, the piece of trash that co-authored Alaska's infamous quitter's ego trip Going Rogue.

Check it out here.

She definitely seems worthy of the C-bomb.

big ups

I know, I know, you've seen this already on CNN or Daily Kos or The Huffpo but I don't give a shit. This clip deserves to be posted everywhere:

From Grayson diary at Daily Kos:

Last night, I went onto the House floor and did something that the Republicans aren't used to. I told the truth about the Republican health care plan. The plan is simple:

Don't get sick.
If you do get sick...
Die quickly.

My speech has been replayed on CNN, Redstate, Huffington Post, etc, and mainstream media pundits are saying that I'm the Democratic Joe Wilson. Of course, unlike Joe Wilson, I wasn't rude to the President. Unlike Joe Wilson, I didn't break a rule of the House. And unlike Joe Wilson, I actually told the truth. Every single year, over forty-four thousand people in America die because they don't have health insurance. Read this Harvard study. That is the plain truth.

Alan Grayson's diary :: ::

And now the Republicans claim they are going to introduce a resolution "disapproving" of my behavior. (**)

What is this, junior high school? Do they think my feelings are hurt? Just what do these people think health care means? It's not some abstract "issue", we're talking about life and death! And the Republicans, who ran the government in full or in part from 2001-2009, chose to let those 44,000 people die, every single year when they were in power. And George W. Bush, whom the Republicans somehow pretend was not President for the last eight years, just let them die. He even vetoed health care for poor children.

So apologize? I don't think so.

Now, my office is getting slammed with calls. Some people are saying "I will do anything in my power to get you out of office." But many of you are calling and saying "Thank you for speaking the truth, and don't you dare apologize."

The Republicans are serious about getting rid of me, because they are scared. They have already set up a site to attack me. And the reason is simple; they don't want my tough attitude to rub off on other Democrats. And the Democrats aren't sure what to think about this new, I don't know what you call it, truthtelling?

(**) Apparently, they have changed their minds about introducing this resolution.

So, hats off to you Mr Grayson (though I personally would have steered clear of the Holocaust).

30 September 2009

Victory Lap

The mighty George Saunders has a new one up at The New Yorker. Check it.


Here's some really dope Guzheng for ya:

22 September 2009

Soaking socks in Seward with White Magic

White Magic are up here in Alaska for a few days and will be playing shows in Anchorage and Seward.

23 Sep: The Kodiak in Anchorage w/ The Moon Knights
25 Sep: The Seward Music & Arts Festival

The audio in the above video is kinda shitty so here are a few tracks from the Dark Stars ep on Drag City:

White Magic - Poor Harold
White Magic - Winds

Friday night is not to be missed (check out the line-up below) but you should definitely pitch a tent and stick around for a bit because there are some really cool happenings on Saturday and Sunday.

I really dug last years performance from the Illaskan Assassins (AK's dopest BBoy Crew)and look forward to this year's. Check 'em out:

‘09 SMAF Schedule

Friday September 25th

4:30-4:45 Local Dance
5:00-5:45 AK Free Fuel
6:00-6:45 Rogues And Wenches
7:00-8:00 The Smile Ease
8:15-9:15 The Bac’untry Bru’thers All Night dRAGTIME Revue
9:30-10:30 Spenard Satans Old Timey Clubhouse Band
10:45-11:45 Sonny Smith
12:00-1:00 White Magic

Saturday September 26th

12:00-12:45 Seward Kids Circus/Local Dancers
1:00-2:00 Sarahndipity
2:15-3:15 Melanie Trost
3:30-4:15 Gypsy Underground
4:30-5:00 Illaska Assassins
5:15- 6:15 Melissa Mitchell And Spiff
6:30-7:30 Tamba Hadzi!
7:45-8:45 Lu Lu And The Small Band
9:00-10:00 The 11:20s
10:15-11:15 Woodrow
11:30-12:45 Nervis Rex

Sunday September 27th

12:00-12:45 BC Music School Students
1:00-1:30 Anchortown Circus
1:45-2:30 SJF 2009 (The Jazz Set)
2:30-3:30 SJF 2009 (The Jazz Set)
3:45-4:45 Diana Z
5:00-6:00 MP3

detaching the ear

Last night, while searching for new mics and mic amplifiers for my field recording rig, I stumbled upon this cool piece that SF's KQED did on Loren Chasse back in '93:

They also have pretty intersting pieces on Tommy Guerrero and David Choe

16 September 2009

I Need That Record!

This looks like a cool film:

I worked for Mike Dreese for a few years when I was in college. He's a pretty stand-up fella.

now we see eye to eye / that one man's trash is collectable / and every weakness is correctable

Collateral - Dane Mitchell

The piece, 'Collateral', which won the Waikato National Contemporary Art Award, was entered by Berlin-based Dane Mitchell, who won $15,000 for his effort - or lack of.

Mitchell wrote a message to Waikato Museum art gallery staff asking them to collect the discarded wrapping of other entries and tip it on the floor. That was his entry, the Waikato Times reported.

Another entrant, Mark Hayes, said he spent 26 hours "cutting, welding and grinding"' for his Domestic Violence is Not Okay sculpture, but probably should not have bothered.

It's hard for me to take the complaint from Mark Hayes seriously seeing as he named his piece Domestic Violence is Not Okay. What kind of dumbass name is that? I don't care how long he spent welding on his "art"--with a name like that, it's no wonder the pile of wrappings with the witty name/theme won.

15 September 2009

dropping on the mound

WFMU's Beware of the Blog has a great post about Dock Ellis and what is perhaps MLB's only LSD induced no-hitter.

14 September 2009

11 September 2009

didn't it rain in the rain

Ladies and gentlemen, Sister Rosetta Tharpe:

10 September 2009

a record of life

A Record Of Life from Owen Gatley and Luke Jinks on Vimeo.

"A short animation loosely based on the scientific recording of life's great species. And how this has given us clues that piece together, for us to discover the secrets of the evolution and diversity of life on Earth."

31 August 2009

the heart is a facist

photo © Jorg Kruger.

Crocus Behemoth vs Brian Wilson:
Two Pale Boys - Surfer Girl (live video)

Absolutely killer!

29 August 2009

Tonight in Homer

Spenard Satans play the Downeast Saloon in Homer w/ these cats:

Stumblebum Brass Band from Joel Tomar Levin on Vimeo.

26 August 2009

пять от Vania Zouravliov

Autumn Rot




Satan's Stereo

"Russian-born Vania Zouravliov was inspired from an early age by influences as diverse as The Bible, Dante’s Divine Comedy, early Disney animation and North American Indians. Something of a child prodigy in his homeland, he was championed by many influential classical musicians including Ashkenazi, Spivakov and Menuhin. He even had television programs made about him and was introduced to famous communist artists, godfathers of social realism, who told him that his work was from the Devil. "

(Bio taken from Big Active where you can check out more of Zouravliov's work)

25 August 2009

Bob or Andy?

Hell, yeah! Tony Clifton on the Muppets:

(methinks it's Zmuda)

24 August 2009

He says he will tomb with her.

I opt for the Juarez at the Hollo-Chick Haus. It’s a South of the Border Taste Riot. A Hello-Chick is a kind of chicken conglomerate, the size of a football and hollowed out. You can have whatever you want in there, croutons or sweet-and-sour pork or a light salad even. The Juarez is the one filled with sour cream and refried beans and some little sliced black things. I opt for extra sauce packets.

--From A Lack of Order in the Floating Object Room by George Saunders

23 August 2009

they wanted cheap beer and warm hats. they wanted bent nails and pieces of string.

Though known more for playing the stooge opposite that guy Drew Barrymore was/is sleeping with in those nerdist "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercials, John Hodgman occasionally makes a little on the side turning tricks as a resident expert for the likes of This American Life and The Daily Show or working on his written trilogy of complete world knowledge.

Here, Hodgman gives us the history the oft overlooked hobo movement of early twentieth century:

And if you're out of touch enough to have missed it up until now, here's Hodgman's speech from the 2009 Radio & TV Correspondents' Dinner.

17 August 2009

Pure Alaskan Douchebaggery Pt II: Son of Pure Alaskan Douchebaggery

Anchorage Mayor/Closet Jerry Prevo Fellator Dan Sullivan vetoes the recent assembly passed ordinance that would ban discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people in Anchorage.

If you live in Anchorage and aren't already planning on throwing a brick through the window at Sullivan owned McGinley's Pub (a sorry-assed version of a real Irish pub), at least boycott the shit-hole.

Pure Alaskan Douchebaggery

Sadly, these people are actually allowed to vote/reproduce:

Alaska Teabagger Rally in Anchorage 8/10/09 from Dennis Zaki on Vimeo.

Video from Dennis Zaki
Big ups to Progressive Alaska

04 August 2009

god bless Keith Olbermann and all who sail with him

Sure, sure this is probably posted everywhere by now but for further posterity:

Hats off, amigo.

01 August 2009

ex-guv, ex-wife?

Gryphen over at The Immoral Minority dropped several Palin-related bombs today. Check it out.

26 June 2009

All the endless ruins of the past must stay behind, yeah

Re-reading Daniel Chamberlin's Uncle Skullfucker's Band the other day inspired me to dig out my copy of Heads Ain't Ready, a 7" the cats from Oneida dropped last year wherein they cover a couple tunes from the Grateful Dead's 1967 s/t album. Their version of Cream Puff War is proof to my theorem:

(1971>GD) + O = MC5.

Check it:
Cream Puff War--Oneida

And while we're on the subject of Oneida, they're about to let loose Rated O, the second part of their Thank Your Parents trilogy, and it's a triple LP/disc! Fat Bobby explains over at the Jagjaguwar site:

Head on over to check out a few tracks from this beast. It hits the streets 7 July 09.

The Agit Reader has a Pre-Teen Weaponry era interview with Kid Millions that addresses Rated O.

24 June 2009

i ain't gonna give nobody none of my jelly roll

sweet emma barrett:

dope footage. unfortunate cut.

19 June 2009


The Hobo - John Currin (1999)
Oil on canvas

17 June 2009

Ilissus Delta Blues

Video of George Mouflouzelis and son lifted from the late eighties BBC documentary Rembetiko: Music of the Outsiders:

So dope . . .

07 June 2009


Original short by Shane Acker:

To be made into full length and released in September. Looks dope. Here's the official trailer:

06 June 2009

You Can't Fight City Hall Blues

You Can't Fight City Hall Blues - Dr. West's Medicine Show and Jug Band

B-side to "The Eggplant That Ate Chicago" by Dr West's Medicine Show and Jug Band--a pre-Spirit In The Sky Norman Greenbaum outfit that played a sort of psychedelic old-timey music. Greenbaum likened it to "a cross between Captain Beefheart and Spike Jones" but I'm not so sure about that.

This was one of my dad's 45's. I spun the shit out of it when I was a kid. Mostly the novelty tune A-side but the scratches and pops here are undoubtedly the doings of my unsteady 5 year old hands. I came across it for the first time in over 25 years while playing through some stacks of vinyl the other night and thought it was worth sharing.

Man, that a go go records symbol sure has the makings of a killer t-shirt.

*** *** ***

In other late 60's San Francisco psychedelic news, Arthur Magazine recently upped "Uncle Skullfucker's Band," an article from the July 2004 print edition of the magazine in which Daniel Chamberlin gives an account of coming to terms with genuinely digging the Grateful Dead and how to do so without having to fall into the trappings of cliche Deadhead-ism. Mr. D.C. Berman contributes illustrations:

02 June 2009

a handful of snakes

Pekar by R. Crumb

The one and only Harvey Pekar spoke with author Douglas Rushkoff on his WFMU program, The Media Squat, last night.

The audio is here. Is it me or does it sound like Rushkoff put the broadcasting mic next to a speaker phone?

Here's the infamous Letterman appearances they refer to:

26 May 2009

Spotlights ain't nuthin but jive

Brett Eugene Ralph, a man who, in his expatriate Louisvillian days, was one of the biggest reasons I ever got around to reading The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You (one of my favorite books and easily my favorite in the broad "epic poem" field), has just had a book of his poems published. I've read a handful of Brett's poems in the past and they are well worth seeking out. Here's a sample (perhaps familiar to those that were down with the letters S J B and B around the turn of the century) lifted from his page at Sarabande Books:


When I saw Charity dancing
alone in the farmhouse kitchen—
eyes closed, lips parted, held aloft
in one hand half a mango,
a gigantic butcher knife
clutched in the other—I froze
at the screen door as I always do
when I come across someone praying.

All night I had been hitting
on the daughter of a tiny woman
orphaned by Hiroshima.
Grandparents had been lost, and the mother
would soon be dead though no one knew
if it was the blast or the facility
she retired next to in Utah

This was the kind of bitter irony
that made you want to burn the flag—
even if it was against the law, even
on the Fourth of July on property owned
by a Republican state senator.
Which is precisely what would happen
later, after we'd drunk the wine.

Hey, he said in one of those voices
unique to fraternity members
high on nitrous oxide,Anybody want a drink
of hundred-year-old Romanian wine?
Before we could answer, he had produced
from one of the pockets of his wheelchair
wine he meted out, so help me God,
from a Mrs. Butterworth's bottle.

By the time that bottle made its way
around the bonfire, I was drunk
on kimonos wed to atom bombs
and motherless children left to cultivate
an excruciating beauty,
drunk on crippled tipplers
scarcely larger than dolls.

Like the wine my father fashioned
out of blackberries, out of plums,
it was very sweet and very strong
and it wouldn't have taken much to turn
Mrs. Butterworth upside down
until her skirts fell and I'd forgotten
that the cloud above Nagasaki rhymes
with the flag we raised on the moon.

As I watched Charity dance, I rested
my brow against the rusty screen
and that knife and mango might have been
a bottle and a beating heart,
a bomb and a burned up baby doll,
a flag and whatever comes to mind
when you read the word forgiveness.

Closing my eyes, I extended my tongue
and pressed it firm against the pattern:
I tasted yesterday's rain,
the carcasses of moths,
broken glances, tears,
the smoke of not-so-distant fires—
all those desperate gestures
we collect and call the seasons.

-Brett Eugene Ralph

Dope, dope stuff. The book is called Black Sabbatical. Get a copy direct from the publisher here.

Ralph was also a part of the awesomely named Rising Shotgun in the late 90's where he crooned this, the greatest David Allan Coe cover ever set to wax:

Spotlight - Rising Shotgun

21 May 2009


Stevie kills a kit:

What an awkward 6 minutes for that drummer.

20 May 2009

it's just a wafer thin mint, sir

The New York Times recently featured an article about The Story of Stuff -- a 20 minute video by activist/lecturer/bleeding-heart commie Annie Leonard that outlines the long-term effects of our recklessly consumptive culture. Apparently, it's become quite the "sleeper hit" in schools around the nation--no doubt due to it's simple approach and kid friendly animation. That does not, however, mean it's just for kids--everyone should check it out.

The question remains, though: should one buy the DVD offered on the website? It seems a somewhat strange offering when one considers the content, no?

That being said, here's a petroleum-free version for those of you that haven't already seen it:

This paraphrased quote from Victor Lebow has been batting around my head since I first watched the video:

Makes me reconsider just how great a metaphor Mr Creosote is.

19 May 2009

the rules are simple: no glass. no violence.

6:66pm - Lauralee
8:00pm - Sport n Woodies
9:00pm - Deb Wessler
10:00pm - Mike Brown and the Sneakies
11:00pm - Last Frontier
12:00am - Bac 'Cuntry Bruthers All Night Dragtime Review
1:00am - The Simpletones
2:00am - Jeff Kanzler

1:00pm - Gil Rodriguez
2:00pm - Hooty
3:00pm - Trapper Creek String Band
4:20pm - Gangly Moose
5:00pm - Sahrandipty
6:00pm - Turnagain Bornagains
7:00pm - New Cut Road
8:00pm - Carl Hoffman & Northern River
9:00pm - No Compromise
10:00pm - Fiddlehead Red
11:00pm - Girl Haggard
12:00m - Down Home Easy
1:00am - Spenard Satans Old Timey Clubhouse Band
2:00am - Sean Tracy

2:00pm - 10 Angry Whites
3:00pm - Jimmy Jazz
4:00pm - Dirty Uke
5:00pm - Oldenweiser
6:00pm - Scurvies
7:00pm - Da Ak Luv Foundation
8:00pm - Opossum in a Sack
10:00pm - Hog Haeven
11:00pm - Outlaw Angels

15 May 2009

says it all


Soggy Britches?

It's Bike To Work Day and of course our weather takes a turn for the shitty . . .

* * *

Well, if you're looking for something fun to do this evening, dry off and head out to the MTS Gallery:

Opening exhibition Friday, May 15

5 -7 PM

MTS Gallery

3142 Mountain View Drive

Catering by Tap Root Cafe

Music by Reverse/Retro

Participating Artists: Angela Ramirez, Chad Meyer, Craig Updegrove, Don Ricker,
Ed Mighell, Fred Jenkins, Garry Kaulitz, Gretchen Sagan, Hana Clinton,
Jen Joliff, Kala Spaan, Kassi Grunder, Kate McPhereson, Kerby McGhee,
Mark Gould, Metis Riley, Nancy Laurel, Paul Tornow, Rachel Lim, Rachel Nore,
Rhonda Horton, Rod Gonzalez, Shara Dorris.

14 May 2009

required reading?

Holy shit! This looks Shat-tastic:

It's the first ShatnerCon with William Shatner as the guest of honor! But after a failed terrorist attack by Campbellians, a crazy terrorist cult that worships Bruce Campbell, all of the characters ever played by William Shatner are suddenly sucked into our world. Their mission: hunt down and destroy the real William Shatner.

Buy here.


11 May 2009

Life Inc.

Arthur Magazine columnist and host of WFMU's Media Squat, Douglas Rushkoff, is posting excerpts from his upcoming book, Life Inc. over at BoingBoing (where he is guesting) and at his own site dedicated to the book.

From Rushkoff's website:

Life Incorporated: How the World Became a Corporation and How To Take It Back.
Coming from RandomHouse US and UK, Summer 2009Pre-Order Now.

Read Excerpts

This didn’t just happen.

In Life Inc., award-winning writer, documentary filmmaker, and scholar Douglas Rushkoff traces how corporations went from a convenient legal fiction to the dominant fact of contemporary life. Indeed as Rushkoff shows, most Americans have so willingly adopted the values of corporations that they’re no longer even aware of it.

This fascinating journey reveals the roots of our debacle, from the late Middle Ages to today. From the founding of the chartered monopoly to the branding of the self; from the invention of central currency to the privatization of banking; from the birth of the modern, self-interested individual to his exploitation through the false ideal of the single-family home; from the Victorian Great Exhibition to the solipsism of MySpace; the corporation has infiltrated all aspects of our daily lives. Life Inc. exposes why we see our homes as investments rather than places to live, our 401k plans as the ultimate measure of success, and the Internet as just another place to do business.

Most of all, Life Inc. shows how the current financial crisis is actually an opportunity to reverse this 600-year-old trend, and to begin to create, invest and transact directly rather than outsourcing all this activity to institutions that exist solely for their own sakes.

Corporatism didn’t evolve naturally. The landscape on which we are living - the operating system on which we are now running our social software - was invented by people, sold to us as a better way of life, supported by myths, and ultimately allowed to develop into a self-sustaining reality. It is a map that has replaced the territory.

Rushkoff illuminates both how we’ve become disconnected from our world, and how we can reconnect to our towns, to the value we can create, and mostly, to one another. As the speculative economy collapses under its own weight, Life Inc. shows us how to build a real and human-scaled society to take its place.

In Life Inc, Douglas Rushkoff presents the unnerving, unbelievable, but ultimately undeniable proof that our world has been overtaken by an absolutely artificial economy.

He shows how our most fundamental assumptions about money and commerce are actually false ones - artifacts of a 400-year-old plan by a waning aristocracy to maintain control of Western Europe. Although the architects of this corporatism have long since passed on, we still live in a landscape defined by their plans and have internalized their values as our own.

Taking on some of the biggest assumptions of our age, this is a book filled with dangerous ideas and rather unspeakable heresies:
•Money is not a part of nature, to be studied by a science like economics, but an invention with a specific purpose.
•Centralized currency is just one kind of money - one not intended to promote transactions but to promote the accumulation of capital by the wealthy.
•Banking is our society’s biggest industry, and debt is our biggest product.
•Corporations were never intended to promote commerce, but to prevent it.
•The development of chartered corporations and centralized currency caused the plague; the economic devastation ended Europe’s most prosperous centuries, and led to the deaths of half of its population.
•The more money we make, the more debt we have actually created.

Most importantly, Rushkoff shows how this moment of financial crisis is actually an opportunity to reinstate commerce and communities based in creating value for one another, rather than continuing to extract it for the benefit of institutions that no longer exist.

Here's a short film that outlines the basic concept of the book:

09 May 2009

bring north the black swan

Bert Jansch, founder of 60's/70's Scottish folkers Pentangle and inspiration for folks such as Neil Young, Nick Drake, and, quite controversially, Jimmy Page, is touring North America this summer and, amazingly, has Anchorage listed among his stops.

Here's some vid of Bert playing "Black Waterside." Check it out and then go dust off your copy of Led Zeppelin and decide for yourself if Page was "influenced" or if he outright stole the arrangement:

Here's a run-down of his North American Tour schedule:

Fri 26 June Albuquerque, NM The Cooperage Sun 28 June Denver, CO Swallow Hill
Wed 1 July Portland, OR Doug Fir
Thur 2 July Seattle, WA Triple Door
Fri 3 July Vancouver, BC Richards on Richard’s
Sat 4 July Victoria, BC Conservatory of Music
Mon 6 July Anchorage, AK University of Alaska Wendy Williamson Auditorium
Wed 8 July Los Angeles, CA Largo
Fri 10 July Santa Cruz, CA Don Quixote’s
Sun 12 July San Francisco, CA Café Du Nord
Fri 31 July Portland, ME The Space
Mon 3 August Montreal, QC La Sala Rossa
Wed 5 August Toronto, ON Horseshoe TavernFri 7 August Pittsburgh, PA The Warhol
Sat 8 August Columbus, OH Wexner Arts
Mon 10 August Chicago, IL MartyrsWed 12 August Lexington, KY The Dame
Fri 14 August Asheville, NC Diane Wartham Theatre
Sun 16 August Charlottesville, VA The Southern
Wed 19 August Alexandria, VA Birchmere w/ Al Stewart
Thur 20 August New York, NY City Winery
Fri 21 August Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda’s

08 May 2009

dig that guitarron, hombre

I really dig this tune from Denton TX's Baptist Generals --particularly the use of the guitarron here. I'm okay with the fact that the marimba is inaudible as I don't think what homeboy is playing would fit the song all that well.

This track is from their 2003 album No Silver/No Gold--a fine release of mangled lo-fi goodness built around the percussive acoustic guitar playing and haunted vocals of Chris Flemmons (who I believe to be the only full-time General). Flemmons has the ear of a Pollard but where Uncle Bob probably spends his lubricated hours windmilling Townsend and karate kicking among mounds of empty Miller cans, Flemmons, it seems, spends his exorcising demons via four-track in what I imagine to be a basement lit by a single bare bulb.

07 May 2009

del can rab

(Vinyl installation image copped from MMMMound, the oddly specific knock-off of FFFFound that specializes in photos of things that can be piled--guns, drugs, money, rocks, etc)

* * *

Here's the opening track from Charles (ESP-Disk), the latest from Providence, RI's Barnacled:

Title - Barnacled

Check out their 16 Dec 08 live set from WFMU here and a video from the record release show that same night here:

06 May 2009

Bem, Ben Jor.

Though it was expected, I woke up to the unfortunate news that Dan Sullivan clenched the Mayoral run-off yesterday by a fairly hefty margin. My knee-jerk after reading about it and skimming a few pages of comments was to write something snide about the voting tendencies of my neighbors. Instead, I listened to a little Jorge Ben and focused on the positive (singular): at least I wouldn't have to look at his mug on all those campaign posters that littered my bike ride to work.

I'm always bothered by people that stick their image up all over the place (real estate agents most of all). I had a constant urge to sharpie Hitler 'staches on his billboards/campaign signs and had even gone so far as to plan out a route to take by bike in the middle of the night. Can't you see the ol' Adolf's mustache working well with Sullivan's comb-over?

Anyway, most of my frustration was soothed away with a strong cup of coffee and a couple spins of this Jorge Ben Jor tune that I've been feelin' lately. Here it is:

Take It Easy, My Brother Charles - Jorge Ben Jor

Now, if I only understood Portugese . . .

05 May 2009

Well, gee, Bert.

Here's a great cartoon from Mr Fish: