Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Whipper Pistol
The Thousandaire
Feets Donfailmi
Mystery Feet
Marcy Mustard
Vajj Poontang
Childhood Issues
Betty Makeyrbed
Taker Sleazy
Pippy Tubestocking
Salt Petra
Butter Chainyermind
Derby Rich
Dirty Roller
Mercy No Mas
Surly Witch
Porsche Monkey
Hammer Smash Face
Stella Regions
PH Balance
Best Ass 2010 (good for two years!)

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Last night Erin and I ventured back to PH to celebrate the holidays with my family. My younger brother, Jacob, was released from the klink at midnight the night before and I was anxious to see the chap. It had been over six months since we last spoke and the 15 minutes we spent on the phone earlier in the day was full of yucks & crack-em-ups.

If I could regale you, dear reader, with every outright hillllaaaaarious jail story Jacob told, I would. There's just no possible way to remember all of them. Sweet christ, the man could base an entire career as a stand-up with the material. One of my favorite bits:
"The toilets could flush anything. We flushed an orange, then a blanket, then a pair of jeans, and then a bible. The bible was the only intact book we could fine in the entire jail to try flushing."
Tip of the iceberg right there. He'd trade photos of Kate Beckinsale for cigarettes and coffee (the latter of which, if procured illegally, would be put into a piece of toilet paper and "parachuted" with a glass of water). He also showed me how to do a "jail hug" (don't ask!). Cripes, we were laughing for hours. When we parted, he told me, "Don't worry. It'll be a while before I go back." In honor of the fellow, I offer a track from our old band below.

MP3 MURR TWISTAL - "Dance Of The Universal Peace"
[Note: Jacob doesn't actually play on this track. He did live tho'. Haha.]

Friday, December 26, 2008


He was like, "What are you into?" And she was like, "Oh, you know, bondage and shit like that."
He was like, "No shit. I'm into watersports." She was like, "No shit. I had no idea you were such a sexual creature."
He was like, "Yeah, pretty sexual. Just the way I was raised I guess." She said, "Huh. When did your ma stop breastfeeding you?"
He said, "What's that got to do with anything?" She said, "I don't know. Just curious."
He said, "I don't have a weird breast thing if that's what you're getting at." She said, "Nah, that's not what I'm getting at. I just wondered if you were into milkmaids, that's all."
He said, "Shit, why didn't you just come out and ask?" She was like, "I always get nervous when the milkmaid thing comes up. It seems like every guy I've dated is into milkmaids."
He said, "Huh. Well, what else are you into?"
Candy condoms.
Handjob booths.
Rubber rooms.
The future looks brilliant.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Sweet christ, it's a brutal bitch out there. I mean, for fuck's sake, it's 6°F out. Strangely, it hasn't stopped anyone from coming into the shop, even reggae doods. [Is there a correlation there?? Probably not! Who cares?!] Anyway, Aaron's birthday party was last night (and it was my ma's birthday proper) and Robert's going away party was the night before. Lots of playing records, laffin' and sipping maté, late late dog walks (this is not a metaphor). Really, it's been so busy that I haven't had much time to process any of it. Such is the nature of a U.S. December, I s'pose.

Something that stuck out recently, from H.R. (Bad Brains):
"I would think the more important principles to remember are to stay away from trouble, stay away from troublemakers, violence, violent-minded people, and to remember the I-and-I concept: to love oneself, to love others. It's so important to balance out oneself, to take time out with your loved ones and remember the consciousness of the universal love for the proper understanding. It is still in the philosophy stage. It sounds good to talk about it, but doing it requires a bit more time, so I would say to eat good food, exercise, and when playing one's instrument, between 30 minutes to an hour every day."
Lately I've felt some back-and-forth between contentment and feeling like a violent-minded troublemaker. It feels like something's going to bust. Bust for the better, to be sure, but.... Alright. Time to head into some serious feeling-well-below-zero weather. It's the kind of stuff that'll make a dog's ears fall off.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Let's talk about the OC fire.
Let's talk about ape radar.
Let's talk about heads floating in jars.
Let's talk about drug metaphors.
Let's talk about AARP.
Let's talk about warm white wine.
Let's talk about the disappearing ring.
Let's talk about the shape our shadows are beginning to take.
Let's talk about something that's constantly bleeding.
Let's talk about the monk's hotshit new prayer.
Let's talk about a white spider in a sugar bowl.
Let's talk about CSI phantasms.
Let's talk about the cop's archery cabal.
Let's talk about Funnoween.
Let's talk about the community garden muse.
Let's talk about the train conductor's secret foyer.
Let's talk about a lite lunch on Pickles Beach.
Let's talk about fish polish.
Let's talk about Juan's Thanksgiving case study.
Let's talk about some sick, sick deathrace.
Let's talk about the draft dodger diet.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


It's quite a feeling. It sounds gross. If you haven't done it then you can't really talk. You're in a Las Vegas hotel, you and a famous telepath are sharing a hot tub filled with champagne. It doesn't matter how many cigars you accidentally drop into the froth, you keep drinking and light another.

48 hours later, you're in the desert watching your best friend being skinned alive. The telepath shoots you a text:
Whassup. Picking
up bad vibes but
ur far away. Lay
the scoop down
on a brotha
Vultures circle. "This is payment," you think. Caught up in the rapture of the telepath's glitz, you quit writing the New England Scene Report column for a famous punk zine without giving notice, sold your roommate's bike, and wrote "Happy Hallowe'en" on the mirror before leaving. In the distance still, The Enforcers were edging closer.

to be continued

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Fellini's best lawyer film,
Dustin Hoffman lighting a j-bone

to his client, he says:

"Shit, man
I don't know what's going to happen to you


it's fucking payday
and I am in
such a great
fucking mood."

The client brightens,
and in that case,
wants to get blazed too.

says Hoffman.
"That's hardly a good idea
for someone in your spot.
Who do you think you are --

Willie Nelson?"
The client thinks.

"Tell you what,
I'll let you drive
my new wheels
around the block
a couple times.

But don't you ever hang
up on me like you like
you did the other day.

Do you hear
me, mister?"

Friday, December 12, 2008


"Dear Danny,

ran into your cuckold wife. I had no idea she likes older men -- what a gas. She sounds like a lot of fun. That's good. They're probably so pleased to lose their cocks inside that grapefruit-colored pussy. You got a weeping willow growing around your heart. A fern around that beet red/beef red sausage sauce-spitting dick muscle.

"It's asshole paradise inside your Lamborghini. He's the son of the worst sailor -- an impotent sailor! He only got married because his mother liked pussy-men that could dance. This is beautiful, pal. This storm.

"Couldn't stop thinking about New Year's Eve. Her legs were beautiful -- so beautiful that all the old gay guys practically went straight, kept buying her drinks and pointing at her legs."

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie made their Ann Arbor debut last week and it was murder. They showed around 3pm, we hung out for a hot minute, ate dinner and split to the venue. Windy did a really intense piece about 20 minutes in length, Halolos played a tight little set, and TKAPB was a dark, bassed-out monster (but, you know, with a pretty voice cutting through it all). The new jams were insane, especially the last song during which the majority of the small crowd literally howled over top to great effect. Maybe it's that I get so amped up at rock shows because I attend them pretty infrequently these days, but it was really exciting to watch them. There was danger, catharsis. It only now occurs to me that I watched the entire show from behind the PA. Hm. Anyway, the whole shebang was over with by 1am but we stayed up until 4 or 5am drinking Sparks (just kidding).

Wow. Listening to the Rolling Stones now. Some album called Now! and these cats can really cook. Like, the tube amp is all heated up and they're cooking eggs on top of that fucker. Someone go to the store and grab some Canadian bacon. Bust out a $20 cuz I wanna' make an anti-capitalist statement.

LISTENING The Rolling Stones - Now!

Sunday, December 07, 2008


First off, can we whip off an official cease-and-desist letter to The Apples In Stereo? They're like Dr. Frankenstein's anti-Flipper (figure that one out). If they continue to write complete bullshit like "Can You Feel It?" -- and appear on television playing the song where I can accidentally see them(!!) -- then they shouldn't be making music. In one review, the song in question is described as "a sugary sweet blast of power-pop goodness." Hello -- where's that fucking barf bucket at!? ANYWAY...

We were shaking shaking shaking tail feathers, baby, when I brought my left brow down onto the edge of Erin's vodka tonic glass. It was just after midnight and the Ann Arbor Soul Club's two-year-anniversary party was sold out. Up until that point, I had been stationed at the merch table and was anxious to dance. Within minutes of stepping onto the dancefloor, I was holding my eye and cussing. There's no bruise but three days have gone by and it still effin' hurts so bad. Nonetheless, Soul Club was unreal. A little over 230 people were at last year's anniversary and 2008 saw that number double. Crazy. Great great jams all night too -- Mr. Fine Wine came back and killed it and Robert & Brad played something like the-greatest-hits-I barely-know. Erin and Aaron worked a catering gig beforehand and both showed up looking great (although Erin was far, far more attractive).

Before heading to Soul Club, Mike and I slugged whiskey for an hour and talked about life. A letter on Minus Times stationary arrived in the mail that day and news was good. When I came home and saw the letter sitting in the mail, I was so genuinely excited about the contents that I yelled at Chacho (well, to Chacho -- Erin wasn't home). Fuck, man. It makes me want to listen to Amon Düül II.

I am listening to Amon Düül II.

LISTENING Amon Düül II - Phallus Dei

Friday, December 05, 2008


"Kill the butler! He has really weird ideas about family & children, doctors & hygiene, among many other topics unsuitable for the missus," said the house negro. "As a result, myself and the guests of the house are all becoming uncomfortable!"

Madame raised her hand to silence the servant. She then removed her shoes and balanced on the balls of her feet, tipping just slightly toward the three female gymnasts standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a stationary pose near the middle of the dining hall. Trio, as they were referred to, wore matching white jogging shorts, differentiated only by the color of the piping. The middle gymnast wore shorts with blue piping, the left gymnast wore green piping, and the right wore black. Trio stared into Madame's eyes for a moment, then each into the eyes of the other, from right to middle, middle to left.

Trio took each other hand-in-hand as an ornate throne of silver rose up several feet from an opening in the floor. Perched high atop a slender column, the throne lay in recline. The back of the chair was abnormal in its extended height and the seat was of normal length. From the seat, a short footrest was held out by seven metal bars.

The middle gymnast walked to the foot of the throne. From the opening, two tentacles exited and lifted her into the seat where she lay back. The two other gymnasts advanced toward the throne, stopping just before the middle gymnast's sneakers touched their sternum. They hiked their shorts slightly, revealing the edge of their asses, and the sweat glistened on their thighs.

With a quick jerk, they removed her sneakers and slowly rolled the socks from her feet. Now bare, her toes wriggled wildly as an intense wind picked up from the south of the hall. The crowd at the north wall felt the brunt of the wind's chill, toupées blown off and replaced with icy crystals.

Still balancing on the balls of her feet, Madame turned toward the throne and howled into the gale as the tentacles slinked back into the opening. In perfect unison, the two gymnasts commenced sucking the first toe of each of the gymnast's feet. She moaned and pushed both hands into her jogging shorts. The two moved to her next two toes, the gymnast pressing harder onto her clitoris while their tongues massaged the soft flesh between the toes.

Starting almost imperceptibly beneath Madame's wail, a fire engine siren rose from a soft whir to a horrible alarm as light began to pouring through cracks in the north wall made by an ax.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


My stomach's doing flips but that's what you pay for eating peppers for breakfast! A couple years ago, the ex of a friend stopped by his apartment to pick up her mail and found the leftovers of his dinner sitting on the table: half-finished 40oz., a bowl of peppers. Ramen burritos, Cup-o-noodles, gin & Sun Chips. Someone oughtta' pen the Bachelor Cookbook. Hm. I'm sure it's been done. Esquire might've even covered it (btw, it looks like 2009 will be there year I subscribe).

How did I forget to mention that the Mr. Wiltoncroft book is done?!? It was supposed to come out just over a year ago but there were numerous delays with artwork, the introduction, blah blah blah. At any rate, it's finished and looks beautiful. Hopefully, and perhaps once the new issue of Minus Times is out, there'll be a little celebration. Beyond printing the "pocket reader", Mike was instrumental in the process of creating the final product and I almost couldn't be happier with it. Hunter Kennedy did the fantastic introduction and John Zeichman painted the cover. Soon the public will know the brilliance of Brent Van Daley!

Now, where are those Tums at?

LISTENING Stars of The Lid - The Tired Sounds Of...

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Driving back from Port Huron with a chopping block in tow, I explained to Mike that a certain terrible band (that shall go unnamed) ruined any discussion of "popping cherries" for at least a couple generations. The realization was not dissimilar to hearing of a close friend's death*. He pulled over so I could pour a Gatorade on the curb.

Maybe it's the weather but, for some reason, I'm reminded of Jesse. After work one night, he & I walked down State St. to his co-op and purchased 50-cent beers from an ancient Coke machine. I listened to him play a Coldplay song on piano for a girl who wouldn't leave the room until someone played something she knew. Instead of leaving, she stayed and sang along and I took off. I howled into the icy gale: "Is a little jazz too much to ask for?!"

* Add "in fourth grade" to the end of that sentence where necessary.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Barry fastened his rubber mask and winked at The Doctor. It seemed as if his hair was perming itself; each wet curl tightened and dripped a single droplet onto his sash.

"Where's my hat? Where's my effin' top hat?!" From a porthole in the wall, a tentacle appeared and handed him his cain, another his rifle. "Now where's that hat?"

His bride, a casualty of early beauty and her parents' economic advantage, stepped from the affluent hills of Michigan and into the basement. The gold lame` of her dress sparkled under the chandelier, nearly blinding The Doctor.

"Here is your hat, sire."

"You really boggle the brain, Trixie." Barry turned to Robbie and gave him the thumbs up. Robbie stopped stirring the jerk sauce and shut off the hotplate.

"Hey, mon! Are you tinking what I'm tinking?" Robbie shook his bag of arrowheads three times over the pot. "Presto, mon!!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Despite being on a Tuesday (yow -- a week from today!), I'm beginning to get good vibes about the upcoming To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie show. Windy jumped on board which is great great great. The flyer below is unfinished although only slightly; Mike is going to put the finishing touches on it and print it on an off-white cardstock.

Mi Ami is for sure coming in February and I've tapped Brad Hales to DJ the show. Can't wait!

LISTENING Rhys Chatham - An Angel Moves Too Fast To See

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Last night was a completely strange bust(?) of a gig. The "(?)" is there only because I guess it was a success on some terms. It just wasn't my success. I reserved the night at Elks Lodge for Dark Matter but decided to cancel for a number of reasons: 1.) The Bang was celebrating their 7-year-anniversary the same night, 2.) Arborvitae was hosting Crunksgiving the same night, 3.) a neighbor was hosting a get together too, and 4.) Aaron, Robert and I DJed our friend Jasmine's birthday party at Elks the night before. So, bad night for DM but I didn't actually cancel the night. At Jasmine's party, the Elks members were really pumped about making DM a "mixer" and invited a serious number of their pals.

Having done no promotion, I rushed to put something together and snagged Nate (DJ Ornate) to DJ since he always seems to be down for playing records and has a good rapport with the Elks. It was a tough crowd. Thank goodness Nate killed it because I was striking out hard. Holy smokes. Perhaps you heard that classic Bill Cosby quote: "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone." Before Nate arrived, it was two hours of doing my set and trying to remember that quote, hoping at least part of the crowd would eventually be wooed by, fuck, I dunno, my El Chicano 45 (glad I chose not to play the "Eleanor Rigby" side!). In the end, I think I pleased the jazz contingent (1-5 people).

The night got me thinking about that whole "privileged DJ" thing I wrote about here. I've needed something to knock me on my ass, to push me a little further and deeper, or at least get me thinking about what I'm doing.

Anyway, Erin and I did make it to Crunksgiving for a spell. Arborvitae has the familial vibe down pat. Erin was pretty blown away by her first Crunksgiving so she went back for a couple hours after dropping me off at Elks Lodge. She came back just after midnight and we had a great time dancing with everyone while Nate slayed. She was absolutely beautiful dancing around. I felt terrible that she was going to get less than two hours of sleep before work today.

Friday, November 21, 2008


"What's the absolute worst you been down on your luck?"

Scoots lit a match and dropped it in his shot glass. Terry leaned into the carpeted wall and thought hard. Scoots pulled a stogie from the inner pocket of his coat and held it sharply between his teeth. In one movement, he threw the shot back, lit the cigar off the flaming shot, and downed the worm. Terry moved from the wall.

"At a kegger, I ate nineteen Cadbury Eggs and drank this kinda' corn tastin' bever --" Terry cut himself off when Scoots winced and opened his mouth.

"No one ever knock a tooth out of your head? Never woke up in an alley covered in blood? Got caught naked at a party and couldn't get your clothes back?" Scoots sighed in disgust. He sleeved the nicotine and sweat from his brow, coughed the match into his hand and chucked it at the turd.

It was a bad club full of bad people. Japanese businessmen. Escaped convicts still in their orange uniforms. A girl in a sunflower print one-piece bathing suit. Scoots wanted another tequila but thought he might say something about the girl's breasts.


In the basement, Arto stopped swinging his pickax. The Doctor had arrived with a guest. Arto reminded himself, "Don't worry -- he's colorblind. He couldn't tell you if you were bleeding."

"Welcome to Assland, biiiitch," said The Doctor. He removed a syringe of beer-colored fluid from his smock and sprayed it into Arto's face. The Doctor owned the club, having inherited the deed and liquor license from a distant pill-popping cousin who died after leaving half a tuna sandwich on a Foreman Grill while high.

"What... was that?" Arto wiped some of the fluid off his face and smelled his hand.

"It's the piss of an architect -- it'll make you brilliant."

Thursday, November 20, 2008


This has been the best ascent into winter in recent years. Autumn stretched out in a surprisingly mild way and now there's light snowfall almost every day. Hardly oppressive, there's this cozy, soothing thing happening. I'm really trying to fall back in love with Michigan and the weather seems like a good place to start since it's often the first thing one can hate on in this state.

Realizing that I've spent a bit too much of time outside of the void, I picked up Growing's most recent album, All The Way, and FUCK -- it's really fucking good. My god, have I never written about the void here? Or Growing?! They're pretty close to the aural equivalent of a Brakhage film. Being exposed to either will propel me into the void: the tunnel of majestic light(!), the column of fractured color(!!), the entrance to the soul(!!!). I'm talking about GLEAMING THE EFFIN' CUBE here!

A few months back, I was on a heavy Growing kick, not really listening to anything else. I recoiled only after their last full-length, Vision Swim, tasted like a bit of an undercooked bummer. One track was righteous but the rest of the album didn't compare to anything they'd done before. Or since! Geezus, like I said, All The Way is unreal.

Moving on, it's great having a girlfriend that can hold a discussion on black metal. And maybe strange, too. But good-strange, y'know.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Erin and I are a couple of hours away from embarking on a trip to Dearborn to visit Thomas and Windy. They're about to head off for Brainwaves Festival which I had half a mind to go to following the release of Lee for the chance to hang with one of my closest pals on a minor vacation. All's well, I s'pose, as there's plenty to do for the next two weeks and much to prepare for afterward. One of the bands playing Brainwaves, To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie, is coming to Ann Arbor next month and some Lee stuff needs finalizing yet. Mi Ami is coming in February and I couldn't be more pumped about that.

Alright, time's up, back to business.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


There really isn't anything like the sound of a snare taking a beating. The undeniable spak! of one is drifting through Arborvitae's floorboards and it makes me hungry. The falling snow makes me hungrier. If the winter band practice isn't a Michigan rite of passage for many young men, I don't know what is: freezing your ass off in a basement, trying not to slip in a parking lot while carrying an amp, still wearing a scarf when you do play live. It's total teenage brilliance -- ain't nothing in the world all that bad when you're playing. Not the cold, not people hating your band, not high school. O, the feeling of playing in a band, how I miss thee.

Anyway, Mike printed copies of the Mr. Wiltoncroft book and it's pretty beautiful. Some minor changes have to be made to the cover but I got so excited reading through it again. As well as art by yours truly, a new Wiltoncroft story is set to appear in the next issue of Minus Times (rumored to be a 72-page tome this around).

Man, I'd love to close shop and go for a walk in this weather. I dunno, it seems winter is growing into my favorite season. It's a relief, really, to be looking at the most grueling part of the year with anticipatory eyes. Hopefully that means my nascent cynicism is abating.

Friday, November 14, 2008


"A fox will not shit in the back seat of your bitch's jeep!" He bled and bled out of that noose bruise long after we cut him down. A bird flew into a bowl of Jello.

"You know what they say: it's like eating an orange in a blizzard." We dipped candles in the nude like Adam and Eve. You have no idea what my candle-dipping kit has seen.

"C'mon, trim your pussy hairs at the party -- I want to hear you say something dirty to a doctor or general." Tonight, the walls have beers.

"Take off that ketchup moustache and that big train conductor's hat -- I have a job for you, Warrior." Warrior's leotard was sewn from spiderwebs, his ax molded from a beautiful kind of golden-y metal. Like a supermetal.

Killed in a baseball diamond, his sash was never found. Tracy, his sister, cried tears on hamburger patties at "Big House", Akron's notorious party house. Every tear returned intact was worth a 50 cent donation to the Beautiful Nurse/Private Dick organization.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Somewhere on the web, a writer* reduced Dr. Delay's "wizard rock" mix, REM Sleep, to a clever move by a desperate DJ. The story goes that the DJ market is so saturated that one would have to pick a somewhat untapped genre (psych, in this case) to establish him/herself in the greater disc jockey landscape. While this might be true, I can't help but think of factors at play other than market saturation that would motivate DJs to widen their scope a bit more.

For one, hasn't that DJ Octagon album aged pretty badly? "Half Shark Half Alligator Half Man" sounded great in that one skate video my pals and I used to watch but it only makes me think of 1996 and Black Elvis/Lost In Space (which only makes me think of 1999). Plus, Wolf Eyes trumped Kool Keith with "Half Animal, Half Insane" for strange-math titles.

Secondly, hasn't a lot of electronic music aged really badly? Oof -- try picturing the "tech/house/jungle room" in any record store circa 1994 without dry-heaving or feeling sad. If you're a DJ, you might consider exploring other genres too.

Moving on, keep an eye out for my new mix, Black Flag Couldn't Beat-Match Either. It's the follow-up to Well, Link Wray Totally Couldn't Beat-Match.

* ::cough:: Yeah, and I'm one too.

Friday, November 07, 2008


The final school bell for the year sounds off and scads of students exit the school at once, pushing, shoving and tumbling over one another. Tobe and Gunnar retreat to the teacher lounge-and-locker room where Mary Kate is seated in a folding chair against a wall and mixing drinks in a thermos for three other teachers also seated. A table is in the center of the room with a potted plant placed in the center.
MARY KATE: You guys want a nip?
Tobe looks at the thermos sideways.
TOBE: No thanks. (To Gunnar) Let's go to the mall in our workout clothes and get some Orange Juliuses.

GUNNAR: Let's milk each other dry and bathe in that milk so we stay young for all of eternity.

TOBE: Let's get that deal wrapped up and off to the board members before the end of the work day. Chinese? I'm buying!
Mary Kate stops stirring and the teachers look to Tobe and Gunnar. She gives a 'thumbs up' to Tobe and Gunnar and then to the other teachers and resumes stirring.
MARY KATE: Now we're talking, guys!!
Tobe sits on a couch adjacent to the table, removes his moccasins, and wipes sleep from his eyes.
GUNNAR: How about Italian? Last time they served me dog food, but it's a risk I'm willing to take for some really good ravioli!
Tobe jumps to attention and leans toward the teachers with an index finger extended, then swivels to Gunnar while still pointing.
TOBE: Oh, but daddy loves his chink! And they serve beer now -- bring it to you in a fry basket.

GUNNAR: Haha. Is that "Bring your own beer to the St. Ting's Friday Fish Fry!" thing still going on?

TOBE: Yeah, everyone brings their own beer and dumps it into a vat and then we all get 40 sips!
Mary Kate distributes the cocktails to her co-workers, stands and walks to a full-length mirror hanging on the wall, and begins putting her hair up in ribbons.
MARY KATE: Now I'm happy. Let's get our shanks on!

GUNNAR: You got it, tootsie!
Gunnar puts on a coat. Tobe accepts a lit joint from one of the teachers, takes a drag, passes the joint to Gunnar, and stares at a potted plant on the table. A card placed in the soil reads: "Don't get the end of the year blooz! - Principal Wily"
TOBE: Lacey and I smoked a joint on top of that old brew tank.

MARY KATE: (accusingly) Lacey owes me three bones.

TOBE: We started referring to it as "Cancun" 'cause we sat there for all of spring break. We had a hell of a time. God damn....

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Color me surprised.

Erin scanned stations at the gym while I constantly refreshed google with a glass of rye in one hand and my phone in the other (texting like a mad, rye-drinking asshole!). After Erin got home, the votes came in, and when we heard fireworks, we yelled "FUCK YEAH!!" in tandem. Then I took the dog out.

The screams could be heard from blocks and blocks away. Brian called to say Liberty St. was full of people. Hoots, hollers, drums, and car horns became louder (and LOUDER) as we got closer to downtown. Chacho and I booked to Main St. to catch the procession and ran into friends in front of a cafe. Erin called me after I texted her about the crowd and I told her to come down as a bunch of people moved inside to catch his speech.

Erin watched the first half on her computer, and rode quickly downtown and right in through the front door of the cafe to catch the second half. Chacho barked along with the cheering crowd, and Erin & I kissed just outside the doors afterward. On the way home, we talked about all sorts of things; surprises, hope, history, Jesse Jackson (man, how does he feel?), and so on and so forth.

Back at home, I thought of Tim Russert and Stan Brakhage. And how strange it is to be a part of this generation -- as it must have been to have been a part of past generations, moving backward, twenty years or so at a time -- all these "last generations."

I feel more confident about this world, more so than I did four years ago to the day, waking up to an incredibly grey, excruciatingly dreary day. November 5th, literally, looks to be beautiful, sunny and 69.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Woof -- hours away from the final count and I'm getting cold sweats thinking about Nihilists For Sarah Palin, a wildly destructive group hoping to create a veritable Burning-Man-On-Earth revolution. Their influence may not be overtly palpable but the rumblings of a scorched earth are there: Mad Max-style dune buggies, oil drum symphonies, desert sex, and many sand goggles.

The idea is that things could get waaaay worse, so fuck it, let's take it all the way to the end, burn it all and see what freaks are left. These effin' über-glum, election bummerisms have got to go, along with all the other emotions. Oh, and society.

At the forefront of this ideology is not simple nihilism, but Mrs. Palin. Because it could get worse: she could become president. Were it to happen, I welcome the Nihilist plague with open arms, a Wolf Eyes cassette, and a pair of Scott 83X Desert Goggles.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Who says it can't be done!? 2008/2009 NYE COSTUME EXTRAVAGANZA! You heard it here first and you'll be hearing about it until the 2009/2010 NYE Midnight Thanksgiving! And that's a fucking fact!

Moving on, Erin and I went to Cedar Point yesterday (her tenth visit, my fourth). We were about to buy tickets at $49 ea. when a woman approached us and sold her season pass and a ticket for $10 (it was the second-to-last day of the season). Then I found $20 on the first ride we got in line for. Hilarious. Hmm... what else can be said? The Top Thrill Dragster melted my face off, the Magnum still kills, and the people-watching was almost as good as the bratwurst(!!).

The night before was the H-ween, of course. I dressed as a pervert, complete with dandruff, stuff on my mouth, a bulge in my pants, and a maxi-pad stained with dried chocolate and red lipstick that I sniffed at with great frequency. Erin went as a kind of tourist mom with fannypack, "gunt", and lipstick-smeared teeth -- yikes. We couldn't have been less sexy. Photos to come!

LISTENING Jorge Ben - Força Bruta

Friday, October 31, 2008


"There's a barber outside." She turned to Samson and motioned to the door.

"What does he want?" asked Samson.

"I don't know!" Sarah threw herself to the floor.

Samson took his boy around the bend. "Michigan was a swamp," he said, "and all these crumbling houses are the new woods. Soon, nature will have been here longer than humans."

a barber took up residency in my dump of a garage
gone for 32 days, i returned to find my house occupied
the sorry dirt that makes up my neighborhood
the neo-swamp of michigan, houses the new trees rising up from the murk
a lad on the beach

Sunday, October 26, 2008


So, all that worrying about Dark Matter was for naught: it sold out beyond capacity by 1am. Erin arrived just after 10pm to work the door, expecting a couple slow hours of mingling and occasionally taking $3 from the evening's patrons. Instead, she was swamped from 10:30pm until I took over at 1am, at which point all I could do was turn people away. Total shocker. Anyway, Robert and Aaron did sets together, trading off one-to-one I believe, while Raj and I did solo sets. The four of us were pretty on -- there was a cohesive vibe throughout the night but I regret not pulling out much, if any, surf/kraut/weird shit. Alas, there will be another Dark Matter.

It occurred to me only hours after two friends asked if they could get into DM for free that the door charge was a meager fuckin' three bucks and that -- TEN YEARS AGO -- I was charging $3 at my bands' shows. I don't exactly know what's fair but I feel like a bit of a chump. Then I remember: I can't be mad, we're in a recession. ::cough::

Anyway, the Benoit 7"s should be here any minute...

LISTENING Minutemen - Double Nickels on the Dime

Friday, October 24, 2008


1.) In the mirror, she saw a ouija board reflected. In her room, there was nothing. She turned from the mirror, raised and opened her arms:

"This is my world. And I want that board."

2.) Ciandra inhaled the hot smell emanating from the parking lot grit. Her boyfriend turned to her:

"I have no idea what my parents are up to now. Or why they bought all that wicker furniture back in the day. ...And I was never able to rock the '80s station the way we did at the resale shop in the 1980s."

3.) They rested near the sawdust heap. He touched her calf and they fell deeply in love, holding each other on the plastic rocks.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


The week preceding last month's Dark Matter saw me feeling fried and freaking the fuck out. Egad -- I think a week was shaved off my life the day of. Dark Matter No. 2 is Friday and I'm considerably more relaxed if only because, between three DJs and one VJ, over 300 people have been invited. If 50 come and bring one friend, it'll be a success. Ahh... 100 people = sweet success!! Cripes -- 100 people -- what the fuck was I worried about?!

To be honest, I'm a mess of raw nerves these days. Methinks much of it comes from increased activity -- never have I had so much on my plate and never have I had so much self doubt. It's a vicious cycle, I'll tell you what. On top of everything already going on, ideas are constantly coming: new projects, plans, collaborations, blogs(!?), etc. Meanwhile, at night I lay in bed and think about starting a band. Hilarious.

LISTENING Mark Stewart and the Maffia - Mark Stewart + Maffia (Upside)

Friday, October 17, 2008


"Lucifer came to me
a great horned owl
at the witching hour
a candle of incense
a floating pizza."

"But like the young
lady in the garden
we all know about,


I could not pick
that Italian apple."

He removed my chastity belt, put a silent copy of Phantom of the Opera on the monitor, and CSNY on the Bose.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


In the last two weeks, I've read the equivalent of 3 or so books. For the most part, I'm revisiting: Film at Wit's End by Brakhage, Deathtripping: The Extreme Underground (formerly Deathtripping: The Cinema of Transgression -- this is a recently released, revised, domestic edition) by Jack Sargeant, Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azzerad, and Confusion Is Next by Alec Foege. Our Band... and Confusion... weren't read from start to finish as I was drawing lines from one book to the other, reading portions of the latter two to bolster the former.

I'm a little obsessive by nature but often a lot obsessive, fixating on all sorts of shit (and often it's Satanism, I'm afraid! ::cough::). Right now the focus is heavy on late 1970s/early 1980s New York City. There's a grit, a vibe, an energy to the creative output that's endlessly interesting -- a period of time that could never be recreated due to economic and political factors amongst others. I'm talking music, film, venues, etc. It's the shit that really blew my mind when I was younger. Perhaps nothing made me look forward to becoming an adult more than Richard Kern's Hardcore videos (eh... for better or for worse). Anyway, the focus may shift to West Coast hardcore soon enough -- I can't get enough of Black Flag's In My Head which, honestly, I find more enjoyable than Damaged (heresy!).

Monday, October 13, 2008


There is no bus
to take us there.

Not to that strange house
unfinished walls

the wooden floorboards

Your skateboarding friend
his nose falling off

You cried your heart out
yourself to sleep

You fell in the field
rubbed the fever
from your brow.

It was summer
We just left the dance
I took polaroids
you and that hat.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Marco was a prophet. He was a channel of wisdom located some strange place beyond human comprehension. In his hands, a lice comb became a divination tool. I can say now that I was the least surprised member of my family when he began dating my sister.

In our town, he was holier than Moses or the Ark, and my sister stole pumpkins from the church. Together, they were sexy but highly volatile, like a nazi war criminal and a slave owner caught in a game of Lazer Tag. She would called him "penis breath" and he never got the reference.

Riding in the back of a pickup truck out in the boonies, the three of us got drunk on Black Velvet. "We should shoot a horror movie out here!" Marco called to our driver, an out of work T.V. camera man. Later, the driver would become my bookie.

A year after the night in the pickup, we had a finished film: The Witches Corner. It played in three cities and made $800. On the eve of the last showing, Marco and the bookie sat in front of the theater's screen and played some sick, sick blues. I wish you could have heard them on the stage, howling at that old moon. "I'm a king bee...I'm buzzing around your hive."

Later, I began betting on all horses with "Slim" in their name. When I finally lost a race, and it wasn't a big race or a big pot, the bookie forced me to eat my height in Slim Jims.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Dang -- John Hill's Six Moons Of Jupiter album effin' stinks! For a spell, I would literally throw dollar bills at every Finders Keepers release offered. The hit rate was incredibly high and at least one record quickly became one of my very favorite albums of all time. Asking to deliver on that promise is a bit much so perhaps I shouldn't be so taken aback by this half-bakery!

Dark Matter was this past Friday and I probably couldn't be more pleased with the turnout. It was maybe the second-most packed soirée I've been witness to at the Elks Lodge and there were lots of good vibes and compliments floating around the joint. Raj guest DJ'ed again as did our pal Max, Brian ran the avant garde projections, and Erin worked the door. It wasn't as edgy as I'd originally intended (where was the incense?! where was the krautrock set?!? just kidding. okay, not really.) but methinks each successive DM will move back toward, and refine, my original ideas.

Strangely enough, Dark Matter is also going to be a coffee. Actually, it is. A roaster run by some friends picked up the name and tapped me to design the labels for that and some other blends and I couldn't refuse! Erin created the Dark Matter blend it's so fucking good it's almost painful. A talented gal, that one.

Cripes, this is turning into a busy year. I just finished watching 40 experimental short films for a certain film festival (not Hott Lava) and have 40 more to dive into post-haste. It's great work if you can get it, no doubt.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Between myself and my good pal Jim Lechocki at Southern Records in Chicago, film has always been the primary topic of discussion. Whilst talking about the Ann Arbor Film Festival today, we entered into a challenge similar to that of one I made to a few other pals back in April in that participants have one month to complete a short film with a few specified limitations. One of the three guys I posed the challenge to, Brian Hunter, accepted and made a film ["untitled"]. Another, Travis Bursik, accepted, reneged, and then completed a short after the end date ["trux"]. Another didn't even bother to start one and I made "Ess House" which I described as a "voyeuristic sexual fantasy steeped in a salvia dream looking more like an extract from a surrealist Mexican soap opera." You can watch it here:

Monday, September 15, 2008


The test pressings of Benoit Pioulard's Lee 7" arrived yesterday and, holy smokes, does it sound top notch. Tested for quality on a Technics home player and a fancy pants audiophile turntable, it will not disappoint (and if it does, you are an asshole). Lee Hazlewood's manager and Hazlewood's widow(!!) heard "Sundown Sundown" and found it to be quite lovely. We're still reeling from that one.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Although we'll be without electricity for the next five days (DTE's the effin' worst), our new place is the whip. While waiting for the lights to come on, I DJed a private party and Eve in Kerrytown, both of which went quite well. A lot of great records have come into my life lately as well as a new turntable. Lots of other opportunities are cropping up but it's still a bit early to start talking about.

Monday, September 01, 2008


1.) A River Cried A Clown
2.) Seventeen Beers ...and Nick!
3.) Terror at Alfredo Palace
4.) Visions of Rhubarb
5.) The Frozen Car

Friday, August 29, 2008


Whilst tanning at lunch,
"He" took my place in high school
and then dropped out
to work on a Camaro
and now gets
more pussy
than I.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


The small hairs of my German companion's bush were visible at the edge of her bikini bottoms, her camel toe a hot distraction from my work. Anxious to remove my stiffness from site, I rented a Speedo (not the cheapest option, to my surprise) and took to the surf. I was reminded of snorkeling in Malta some years back. Under the influence of Horus' Eye, a mermaid served me a gin & tonic from a mirage. She exited through labias of heat waves, an angry pirate waiting for us on the other side.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Watching Deep Red at the moment and it's absolutely killer. Missing many scenes, yes. The worst wide-to-fullscreen transfer, definitely. The leading man isn't half bad but totally unconvincing during a laughable scene in which he goes off on an anti-feminist tangent. [Speaking of feminism, was Hillary Clinton's DNC speech the first feminist speech at a national convention? Dang.] Anyway, I hesitate to say it's better than Suspiria because at some point I went from being an Argento fan to being a Goblin fan and haven't watched an Argento film in years (also, I almost puked whilst watching Suspiria). That said, the soundtrack is so excellent that I hate myself for not picking it up on vinyl when I had the chance. Anyway, here's the creepiest fucking scene:

Friday, August 15, 2008


So, I fell flat on my face as Skate Laws last night, literally and figuratively. Some confusion over amplification and then a mixing goof made the vocals perfectly audible and the music a wee bit quiet. People seemed to enjoy it well enough although my favorite comment was, "It was interesting! I'll have to see it a few more times to decide what I really think." Ha -- me too.

It was an inspiring night nonetheless. Different from any other show across the board, and coupled with a free jazz band I saw in a basement a month ago, this has to be the best era of A2 house shows I've seen (of course, Mini-Systems was long gone by the time I moved here). There's talent, brilliance and modesty in place of the pretension, preciousness and ego I observed from some gross, carpeted corner of a student house a few years ago. It feels like Erin and I are tapping into the particularly smart and artistic crowd that we've been pining for.

Also inspiring: The John Baker Tapes. So much fun and so exactly what I've wanted to hear of late. I just gotta' start dicking around with cider bottles and pitch at the new place. Also a gemstone: Bacchanal by Gabor Szabo. Perhaps musically as good as Dreams, it also has a gorgeous cover. Unlike Dreams, Bacchanal's sleeve hints at a 12" Brakhage still. Gorgeous.

Monday, August 11, 2008


A couple months ago, Robert Wells and I agreed to DJ the Heavy Manners in August in place of Chuck (not Slick) and Brett. Robert later reneged so I tapped Aaron Lindell to take his place and enlisted our pal Raj as pinch hitter. It was our first time playing the Elks Lodge and, if anyone has heard me talk about just how great and strange the venue is, one might have expected my excitement over playing there. It started off slow but steady at 10pm and gradually the Elks filled. By 12:45am, the place was starting to get packed and newcomers kept up until around 1:50am. Raj closed the night pretty mightily and Aaron and I got to dance with our ladies. When we finished around 3am, the bartender came by with our tab and asked when we were coming back to do the Elks again. He handed me their calendar and I marked off three days during the next three months. Aaron remarked that this should be my thing since he has eve and Robert has the soul club. That sounded great to me since I had just been complaining to Aaron that I wanted my own night and I get to have it at the Elks. Amazing. Wonderful. It's going to be called Dark Matter.

Skate Laws' second performance was this past Wednesday in Ypsilanti. Save for Laserbeams of Boredom (a.k.a. Craig -- drums and guitar, he plays both at the same time, totally wicked) and Patrick Elkins, the events and bands preceding my set reminded me why I stopped playing shows for a while. Holy shit. I opened with a little a'capella Brenda Lee and went right into "White Columns", read a story, kicked my shoe off, made some cigar jokes, got sweaty, and did the splits. John Nelson of New Grenada was there and as soon as Erin said I should get a band behind me, he piped up that he and some people wanted to start a thrash band. I agreed to do it. The best part is: I don't have to show up to practice! They'll write songs, tape 'em and upload the suckers, then I'll write the words and we'll meet up to play shows. Anyway, Mike snapped the photo to the right. When I got home that night, Laurel asked me to play a show at Arborvitae this coming Wednesday and I agreed.

Another few weeks before we move to the new spot but I can't wait.

Monday, August 04, 2008


It's been a relatively slow summer for Ann Arbor so it's quite surprising when, say, 260 or so people show up for the Ann Arbor Soul Club like they did this past Friday. Expecting it to be a slow night, I got there late and was greeted by a long line out the door. Surprisingly, the evening was sans movie stars. Up next: a Skate Laws show and a night of DJing at the Elks Lodge. Both are well anticipated by this ol' boy.

Speaking of anticipation, we're moving into the new place come the first of September. It occurred to me that I won't have proper means to record once we're in the new spot so I'm devising some new ways of working. The change of pace and ethic should prove fruitful tho', and maybe I will self-release some music as suggested by Travis. It would be a while before that tho' -- Erin and I are readying the Roj work for mastering and production and the Benoit test pressings should arrive shortly.

Speaking of Travis, in a couple weeks, the gent is marrying the lovely Ms. Cara and I've the honor of serving as best man. As a result, I've been tripping down memory lane, paying special attention to a particularly enjoyable period of time a few years ago. He and I were living a few blocks apart, both single for the most part, often stopping by at one or the other's place with a bottle of wine (or vodka) and whatever new album we were being haunted by. Along with the other fellows of the Garland Street Mens Society, we made a lot of good food, threw some get togethers, watched a lot of movies of varying quality, and recorded quite a bit. All in all, one of the more productive and enjoyable periods of my life.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Our stay in the basement following Erin's return from Europe has been less than pleasing. However cheap the digs are, the space is plagued by water damage, mold, and all other things unsuitable for proper living. Thanks to our pal Louis, Erin and I secured a top-notch domicile on Jefferson St. in Ann Arbor. We'll be living a floor below the lad in what might be the most aesthetically pleasing residence I've seen in Ann Arbor or Ypsi (and for the space, the price cannot be beat). We met with the landlords Saturday night, a laid-back older Greek couple who made us eat almost an entire watermelon during the hour we spent with them. It'll be a full floor of a beautiful house to ourselves and I'm anxious as all get out to get in.

Post-watermelon, Erin had to race to the Yellow Barn (formerly the Art Barn) to model in the monthly Bizarre Dance fashion show. It was art-y to the point of hilarity at times but sans pretension for the most part and completely unpredictable. I crushed out hard on Erin who looked gorgeous in a dress by Epidemick Clothing. She danced a little and spoke about Hott Lava & Maya Deren to great response. Somethin' else.

Meanwhile, the Benoit Pioulard 7" is in the bag. The masters, deposit, and paperwork have been mailed in and we're expecting physical copies in just under two months. Roj's 7" is up next.

Now located in (the bad part of) California (and I don't mean L.A.!), Lloyd passed along some porn. This guy totally knows me. It's a 1976 musical porno take on Alice in Wonderland. Here's the trailer:

Monday, July 21, 2008


Shadow Art Fair was this past Saturday. Woefully unprepared to play a set of "serious" compositions at Corner Brewery, I spent the morning mixing Skate Laws material sans vocals (thankfully, only a few of the songs actually have lyrics so practicing wasn't exactly essential). That Erin would miss the show was a total bummer; her inner-teenager has a major soft spot for SL.

The Fair did gangbusters and a good crowd had gathered during Laurel & Halolos' set. A nervous pang struck me hard when they finished so I plugged my mic in and started immediately -- there will be no second thoughts about doing a conceptual hardcore band. And despite SL being a conceptual hardcore band, I got into a cathartic spot pretty quickly and sweated my hairline off.

"Man Would Not Exist" and "White Columns" jammed particularly hard but that may be because they're the last songs I did and a little rougher. I'm thinking the future will see more SL shows with some a capella shit and poetry mixed in. Oh yeah -- methinks there will be photos and video to come.

Hott Lava went great, by the way. It was more than a bit hot in the house but everybody seemed to enjoy themselves, no one puked all over our toilet, and Windy's performance was thick intensity.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Tomorrow will see the third edition of Erin and I's little cinema club, Hott Lava. It's our first "HL" in a year after canceling two in a row (following the successful Sexx Lava, that would be the Halloween edition called The Devil's Lava and the anthropological Hott Humans). This one might as well be called Hott Love if everyone didn't cringe at a love-themed night, loosely themed as it may be, although Erin would love the T. Rex reference. We've got a heavy feeling that this one will go beyond capacity but plans for a larger, more ambitious Hott Lava are in the works -- pardon me if I keep mum on those plans at the moment. The wonderful Ms. Windy Weber will be joining us for a live scoring of Sergei Eisenstein's Romance Sentimentale (this performance follows a recent jam in Portland with our inaugural performer, the brilliant Benoit Pioulard). Windy's increasing presence in our lives has been a very positive one. Totally killer human being. Also excellent about tomorrow's Hott Lava is the return of Travis Galloway and John Zeichman, represented in both art and film. True gentlemen if ever there were. After this, I gotta' get my ass in gear for my first live performance in some time. If you read this before the 19th, catch me at the Shadow Art Fair. i'm DJing elsewhere in Ypsi following the performance.

So, I finally got over my hardcore thing while abroad and dove into most things guitar: Gabor Szabo (esp. Dreams), John Fahey (The Yellow Princess), and Sandy Bull. Although Earth's latest, The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull, has been on near-constant rotation of late, Fucked Up's "Year Of The Pig" is threatening to bring the HC back into my life. It was so fucking killer on 12" last year, Matador had to sign them and re-release the fucking thing in the original 12" format and three alternate versions on three different 7"s. Like the Earth, it sounds so much better loud. When customers ask what band it is, I can only reply "it's Fucked Up," and they're like, "yeah, I know but...."

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


The Grammar Boys - "The Gentle Rattling of Teacups"
Cheerio Pascal - "Windsocks of the Mind"
Laserlips - "Mardi Gras Switcheroo"
Risky Risqué Riskee - "Dance-a-Ham"
Bernie - "Hooker Heels (She Made Me Wear)"
Little Corndog - "Beach Car"
Mel - "Leonard Pt. 6 Theme"
Camp Clickety-Snare - "Do It on a Frugal Budget"
The Hat Girl - "Goodbye Diet"
Monique Livermore - "Strange Pantry (Bonus Beats)"
Rev. Marco Polo - "You Can Have My Drippins"
Wet Burrito - "U2 Jam"
Fancy Sally & The Smart Bunch - "Thou Wert a Beest"
Kisses in the Mist - "Jewess (Hey Bonnie)"
The Marsh-Rays - "My Wife Calls Me Swampfoot"
Lana From Georgia - "Is Birkenstocks Mad?"
Los Hamburguesa - "Pistolwhipped in Cairo"
Los Cubos - "Sherlock 'Robin Hood' Holmes"
The Changers - "Rubber Belt"
Gas Mask Sam - "Give the Jockey His Rubles"
Grosbeck & Walther - "In Bed (Pretend We're Siblings)"

Friday, June 27, 2008


"I want to feel fire the way Danzig or Satan feel fire. What power does one gain for each soul he takes?" The doctor needles through his slacks, eventually pulling a large brass ring with an emerald stone from his pocket. "I wish I could shoot some sort of ray from this. Or a light signal."

He sets the ring on the table in front of him. The cafeteria is strangely slow: just a few wet nurses, orderlies, Greeks, 'and other perverts' were ambling about. The rabbi picks up the ring and drops it into an elixir that smells of an attic and smokes upon immersion.

"I don't know what happened to your ring," said the rabbi. "I don't even know what this stuff is."

"It smells like an attic," said the doctor.

"I think it smells like an onion," said the rabbi.

"Then why aren't you crying, priest?"

The rabbi grimaces and leans in, his hand raising to meet the doctor's right ear. He snaps his fingers and the ring appears in his hand. The doctor digs an index finger into his ear like he's looking for another ring.

"How'd you do that?! It defies all law!"

"Fuck law: this was some effin' magic."

[ALTERNATIVE ENDING: "Fuck law: this was some effin' magic." The rabbi snaps his fingers and leans back in his chair all like whuzzzuuup.]

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


moving moaning boxes from one floor to the other
who do you blame for making me a pervert first?
was it when my father shouted, "get me to the whore on time!"

the scars of long island, the peach forest.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


white funk
in its purest form
will you let me jingle
the bells
on your
wither blister burn and peel

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


forest van gogh, originally uploaded by The Revamp Tramp.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Unlike my own teenage years in every possible way, they tossed Heineken bottles down the hill in front of la basilique, lit joint after sidewinding joint, played the same four chords all night all night, and gave no shits. Before this, there was a wildness in pissing off a cliff hundreds of feet above the Mediterranean.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Licking her lips at every Burberry-wearing European honeyboy that passed her outside the bar, she thanked heaven she skirted a drunk driving charge and came to Holland. It meant knocking over an athletic shoe emporium and losing her sister's baby for a couple hours, but she thought she might crack the fashion world by knitting hats out of shoelaces. So far, the best thing to happen since her arrival was being told by a cop that she "has a nice scent." She remembered a high school graduation openhouse in which a friend drunk on whiskey & V8 bent her arm the wrong way over his knee. Pausing mid-bend he said, "It smells like hot dogs -- big time!" It was no surprise to hear that he became a cop after high school. Or was it that he got arrested? Either way, now she had a mighty hankering for some hot lil' smokies.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Anxious for a walk, the dog woke him at 2AM. The ghost of her laptop was present, looming heavy in the room. Having swallowed the last of the evening's gin, he rose and pulled a pair of trousers from the mass next to the bed. Four hits of acid wrapped in a Hot Dog Beetle receipt fell to the floor. After purchasing the acid from his brother four months ago, they were saved for a special occasion and eventually forgotten. He tried to remember the first time he dropped acid but was unable. This lack of recollection negated a shared experience with many of his peers; how many parties would he attend, sitting through anecdote after anecdote, before he created one of his own?

Then he wondered how many of his peers were lying about their first time. And if they'd even had a first time. How would he know? If worse came to worse, he could talk about tonight. The trip:

the dog threw up on the sidewalk
it was a Pagan Holiday
it was a thriving moustache river

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


He was a Ghetto Mister with a fancy pimpstick. One couldn't help but notice how his shoes shined. He could have a doctorate in one phone call. And widows loved him. "A widow will make you breakfast in her husband's robe," he told a group of kids.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


What a sight it must have been for my neighbors back on Garland Street: eyes rolled back in my skull, heaving hot dogs and Doritos at the base of my mailbox while my ex yells at me to come inside and brush my teeth because it's 3AM and we both have to work the next day. "Just bring me a pillow!" I holler and someone does. The story doesn't quite end there but I couldn't say what happened since the next thing I remember was waking up around noon. It was a gorgeous Spring day outside, I was in my boxers, and the bedsheets never felt cleaner. How I undressed myself and got in bed I don't know, but I felt surprisingly great.

So goes my first blackout! Later that day, my stomach boiled from the heat but the morning after still has a place as one of the most beautiful waking experiences of my life. It wasn't deserved after a night of such abuse: I later learned that I laid out a friend by socking him in the jaw on the way home from the bar. I also pissed on people's lawns, climbed buildings I didn't own, woke random friends up to party (all declined), and danced while my pals placed orange road construction barrels at the front doors of an entire neighborhood of houses. This only comes to mind because I've been completely sober for 11 or so days and every morning has been rrrrrough stuff.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Update! HC still reigns but not without its foibles: thanks to the internet (and Punk Not Profit in particular), Void's unreleased Touch & Go album, Potion For Bad Dreams, was pretty easy to track down. Unfortunately, after a couple listens, Potion has been relegated back to obscurity; Potion For A Not-So-Great Album is more like it (nyuk nyuk). However, a proper rip of the Condensed Flesh boot more than made up for it. Corey D. hooked me up with the Wrangler Brutes cassette which I was pleased to find ISN'T the lo-fi live tape I believed their debut to be. It should prove a nice addition to the double-cassette HC mix I'm preparing for the trip abroad (180 minutes of the fuckin' truth!).

Although not far from the hardcore/punk family tree, Black Eyes and Mi Ami have been pulling me out of the 1980s and back to earth. So few bands/musicians grab me out of the gate with their lyrics and Black Eyes was able to do so despite singing in a near-unintelligible bark & yelp (look no further than "A Pack Of Wolves" for a totally ON condemnation of boy stupidity). At the moment tho', I'm preparing for a recording session tomorrow by avoiding music almost completely today as an experiment to keep any influence that might creep into the songs as lean as possible.

By the way, is it possible to call for an embargo on the use of "bro" and "bros"? I'm all for the de- and re-contextualization of words, but can't we find something better? Something, I dunno, not so easy!? C'mon, let's expand the cultural lexicon.

Damn, I gotta' give it up to super-positive Polish jazz violinists that studied with Don Cherry. Here's hoping all that smiling and great energy rubbed off.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Dag! Someone remind me not to partake of the free nacho platter at the next film festival after party. From a dream -- actually, a nightmare -- in which Interpol were playing a live cover of The Smith's "This Charming Man," I awoke with what was quite possibly my worst case of indigestion yet. Were I not buckled over in pain, consciousness would've been a blessing. Of course, I fell back asleep and the dream started all over. When I woke once more, again buckled over in pain, I thought, "This is my world?" And not a Tums in the house.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Sometime during my freshman year of high school, Matt, the first friend I made that year and future bandmate, pulled out a copy of Suicidal Records legendary comp, Welcome To Venice. Save for the "Institutionalized" video on MTV, Welcome was truly unlike anything I'd been exposed to. The cover looked dangerous as fuck: technically, it's a brilliant painting but slightly twisted, the title a gross joke on Venice, California's reputation for gang violence.

The music was dangerous too. It was hardcore and thrash but the solos had a very distinct flavor that wasn't quite either. Later, my sister's roommate, Spring, offered to sell me a cassette of "silly ol' skate rock" which I misheard as "Sicilian skate rock". The guitar solo in the intro sounded incredibly familiar: "There must be a Sicily, California right next to Venice," I thought.

So, my penchant for hardcore persists. Infatuation? Perhaps, but I'm really enjoying myself. I've taken to burning copies of the first Skate Laws recordings onto 3" CDs before leaving the house and plan to take some along for the trip to France -> Ireland -> Germany -> Malta. Is there a Maltese hardcore scene? A quick search yields great results: Extreme Maltese Metal Festival!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


What goes on? Three weeks ago, everything was fair game! All genres had equal footing and, god damn, almost everything sounded great. Then I made a joke about how Vampire Weekend showed up, the world went crazy, and I lost my appetite for music altogether.

It turns out it wasn't a joke -- it happened! About two weeks after the VW album dropped, my musical world dwindled from a diverse playground to a meager (but choice!) stack of hardcore cassettes. My average listening experience has been widdled down to 16 minutes -- the same length as Agnostic Front's 1984 magnum opus, Victim In Pain! It's a peculiar world...

wait! this shit's even better...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I was left standing there, dick in hand. You said: "I'm sorry, but are your buns winking at me?" There was that sweet shit and then there was my blueballs. In those little shorts, I lost it by the waterside.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


On February 6, a tenant of Forest Arms Apartments set what grew into a five alarm fire, resulting in at least 100 people without a home. Among the casualties was Brad Hales' record store, Peoples Records, which wasn't touched by the fire but drowned by the thousands-and-thousands of gallons of water pumped into the building.

Brad sent out a message on Friday, the 22nd, saying he would finally be allowed into Forest Arms on Saturday to salvage what remained and needed help. Around 4pm on the 23rd, Aaron and I split for Detroit in our nastiest duds.

Despite an entire youth spent exploring abandoned houses and burnt out buildings, Forest Arms, and especially Peoples, was nothing like I expected. The effects of the blaze were still fresh: pieces of the building were falling on workers outside, all windows had been boarded up, and water was in EVERYTHING. Still, it didn't occur to me that we'd be working in complete darkness until I walked into the store.

Shortly before we left, I watched a photo slideshow of Peoples' history. Just before the fire, the store was at its best, looking like the warmest, most beautiful spot in the world with immaculate handpainted 45 boxes, records everywhere, and Brad's endlessly positive vibes. Now, it looked like the musty, unoccupied Detroit basement room Brad moved into several years ago.

Along with about ten other fellows, Aaron and I helped to gut Peoples among standing water, black debris, and lots of smells. Half the stock, maybe less, was so damaged it had to be thrown into stacks for later trashing. When we gave up for lack of daylight around 6 or 7pm, we'd almost emptied one of the two main rooms of the store and stacked several thousand soggy or frozen LPs against two walls. Aaron and I followed Brad back to his house where we loaded into his basement everything that had been excavated from the store.

Brad remained incredibly positive throughout the day. Earlier, holding a particularly pathetic water-logged copy of Pharoah Sanders 1977 album Love Will Find A Way, he said "That's ten less copies of this record in the world." When the other workers slagged the album, Brad laughed and said, "Oh, I really like it!" Holding up another sopping record, he said, "Isn't life funny? When this happened, that's all I could think: life is funny."

In other news, my current favorite record label has a myspace page.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


The weekend was looking hectic. That is, to put it lightly. At 1pm, the day after Valentine's, Erin and I were standing in a Kalamazoo courthouse awaiting the short and incredibly sweet ceremony that would wed one of my oldest and closest friends, Jessica, to her man of the last several years. Immediately following the ceremony, we booked back to the married couple's house and imbibed for a few hours with their very nice (and often outright hilarious) families and friends before heading back to Ann Arbor for what would be a sleepless few days.

Back at the house, Brian was hosting a get-together raucous enough to contend with a party made up of four times the attendees. I half-participated in the good times while ripping countless CDs to Erin's laptop as she did some final packing. By 4am, we were the last ones standing and a bit haggard from the events. We snuck in about an hour or two of light sleep alternated with lovemaking, ran some errands after 9am, and left for the airport around 11am. The rest of the details I'll cherish for myself, thanks.

Afterward, I snuck in an hour of sleep and a cup of yogurt before DJing a prohibition-themed 6-hour party with Aaron. The crowd was primarily writers in their late-20s and early-30s, mostly into late-50s and early-60s rock & roll, sipping on Manhattans and gin martinis. A small group spent the last half hour of the night listening to someone's iPod in another space upstairs, which ACL may have taken as more of a "fuck you" than I. We DJed the Monday afterward too. That it was snowing sideways didn't affect the turnout all that much.

It's strange to come home to an empty bed. There is less beauty in this life without Erin. Still, we've been managing, even having fun, writing and chatting online every day. It's more bearable than we expected but I'm dying to see her. Paris seems like it would be nice too. (Sarcasm! - ed.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Erin's departure is about four short days away. We've been revisiting old haunts and going out a lot, reacquainting ourselves with our beginnings, albeit minus the criminal whiskey intake. It's been a dense week of seeing movies, eating out, visiting museums, and taking long drives into rural Michigan. Strangely, I've found myself reminiscing positively about Ypsilanti. It can be said without too hesitation that living in Ypsilanti was the pits until Erin & I started dating. It felt as though I was constantly fighting for air among the people I lived with, whether it was one person or more. [Brendan would be excluded from that last statement as it was enjoyable when just he and I were roommates.] When she and I got together, the world I anxiously dreamed of in my younger days was a reality.
The basement is looking pretty great and moving into it doesn't seem too crazy. It's a relatively large room and the bed, couch, and computers can most likely all fit in there. I'll split rent with the person that moves into the room Erin & I share and pay off my part long before I take off for France myself. To sweeten the pot for the others living in the house, I'll remove the chore system and clean the house every week myself.
In and of itself, change can be evolutionary or revolutionary and I've got a hunger for the former. The latter tends not to stick anyway. Let's hope the next several months yields dividends.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Detroit may be of a beautiful decay but the breaks are rough: Brad Hales' record shop was destroyed days ago when another tenant of the same building chose to barricade and torch his room rather than comply with an eviction. Although People's Records wasn't directly affected by the blaze, it's on the bottom of the building and five departments hosed the place down. The water was about four feet deep when Brad was finally allowed in. About 100 tenants are now homeless and Brad's opening shop in his basement.

Speaking of basements, I just reached my saturation point cleaning ours. The upstairs "living room" Erin and I rent will be sublet (subletted?) to a friend when she leaves for France. A few hours of moving boxes from that room and into an increasingly congested area has me a little overwhelmed. I was considering moving into the basement and subletting our current bedroom in an attempt to save money but have to mull it over a bit more. Discovering the source of a rusty stain creeping across the floor was a little disappointing: the drip that spawned it took a detour through a couple boxes of comic books. Hopefully they can be salvaged and sold for Paris rendezvous money. Selling most of my possessions would be ideal and would help to make a move less encumbered by crap that much more a reality. Still, Erin and I own most of the furniture in the house and will eventually have to do something about that. Then again, by the time we return from Paris, it'll all be trash, I'm sure.

God damn, Ann Arbor. You're killing me.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


The final episode of Twin Peaks debuted the night before the last day of 5th grade. Is it telling that the scene I remember most is of Audrey Horne cuffing herself to the barred door of a bank vault? Hmm.... Paging Dr. Freud! Now we're onto something! Jimmy Scott's strange voice haunted me for years. If I ever found a singer with such prowess, I'd never go near a microphone again.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I rang in the new year shooting Alligator Gar with a crossbow on a yacht outside of New Orleans with a dildo salesman named Chevy Chase ("We share a name but have never met." Fascinating.). We listened to Herb Alpert, drank awful butt whiskey, and talked about our high school friends. Eventually, I passed out in the ladies' room of the Cat Box after a stirring duet rendition of "Shadow Of Your Smile". By February, I was caught in a game of Lazer Tag with a slave owner. In March, I passed the coiffeur exam in Rinaldo, B.C.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


"No! It's not fair that he-- that he... married that spider lady, with the bondage stuff...."

"Hey, do you even party?!"

"The assailant touched his dirty Kid Rock grubbfinger to Ms. Isabelle-Delarue's 'kitty-spot', police said."

"--and and I was like: BING! Can I get a WHAT WHAT?!! Haha--AND MAKE IT OILY!"

"He was a Green Beret. His friends thought he looked like Little Richard."

"He ate a chicken nugget. And then the other guy ate a chicken nugget. And then they looked at me like I was a rat. Like I was lower than dirt."

"The snake rubs snakesnot on his recent kill."

"Because of his camel spider, the children of the neighborhood teased Dr. Sonderbar, called him a retard and a witch, and tried to burn him on a fire of seasoned oak."


"Nope. There has never been a more advanced fish shovel. So make it as oily as you can."


Now, I've thought about this for some time and trust it to be the very truth: I would rather nibble the remains of an apple core protruding from a prostitute's pussy than listen to the entirety of Vampire Weekend's debut. They make me hate pop music and New York City as an idea. I like to think my cynicism is not a brand devoid of hope, but this old world is in a terrible condition and these criminals get me scrambling for a bottle of the strong stuff and an Arvo Pärt disc every time.

Geezus... in the span of writing that last paragraph, two people asked my opinion on Vampire Weekend. What goes on?

Monday, January 28, 2008


I ran into one of the Dabenport fellows the other day. The first thing he said: "So, are you putting out the new Dabenport album?" Hm... the subject came up a couple times with other members but it slipped to the back of my mind. Last I'd heard, kinda'-fancy-at-the-time local label Audiopants offered to put it out and went so far as to list them on the roster of their out-dated website ("we will be back winter 2006"). So, I'm intrigued although I don't want to spread myself too thin what with many projects looming on the horizon. Putting together their first album was a weird task. To save money, each part of the physical CD -- cover, cover printing, CD duplication, and insert printing -- was done by a different company and I assembled each disc myself. It came together pretty well and working with John Porcellino was a dream come true. It just occurred to me that I haven't yet put it on iTunes. Haha.

Early last night, ENB and I attended a Scotch tasting hosted by a fellow we buy smoked salmon from. He supplied not only a great number of wildly delicious fish appetizers but also 20 or so bottles of fine Scotch. I sampled about 7 of the Scotches, most of which were truly unruly. I regret not writing down any names but I can't imagine a time when I'll have an extra $60 lying around to pick up a bottle. ACL stopped in for a hot minute and split around the time the (::cough::) alternative a capella group started in on a Puddle Of Mudd song. If you ask me, the bagpipers stole the show.

ENB bought me a subscription to Open City for x-mas. Those books provide a lot of revisits and pleasure. With that and the Brent Van Daley book finally coming together, the writing bug bit me and some ideas are coming together for a story about the "coke mines of France".

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Raven feathers and their feces, often referred to as "corn nuts," can be boiled into a dirty broth unsuitable for drinking.

Ravens will eat almost anything. I even saw a raven eat another raven. I can imagine a raven would eat the toes of a child, the filthy creature.

With a rapid staccato pecking, ravens can remove the eyeballs of a dog in a matter of moments. A moment can be almost any length of time but what is a moment to a raven? I imagine it must be very short, almost nothing.

About ten inches larger than a crow, ravens are an average of 27 inches in length, about the same size of some non-flying common house cats and a large knife my stepfather used to wield before my sisters and I at night during times both sober and drunk. Often referred to as the "lindbergh baby of the bird world" because they are so often kidnapped and held for ransom then found in the woods with bludgeoned skulls, ravens are coincidentally the same length as Charles A. Lindbergh III, son of famous aviator Charles A. Lindbergh II.

Often confused as the same bird, crows and ravens are in reality quite different. While growing up, crow's are often treated better, receiving decadent gifts from their parents like leather penny
loafers, and fur coats and flashy jackets as opposed to the denim jean vests ravens are often seen in.

Ravens can be seen all over the globe in areas like arctic islands and north african deserts. They can be found in England, Mexico, Turkey, and sometimes flying around the ceiling of Wal-mart. And one time in my friends house. He was frightened, called me over, and I brought my broom and a squirt gun filled with vinegar.

There are eight species of raven, including the Common raven, the Australian raven, the Forest raven, the Thick-billed raven, the White-necked raven, the VW raven, the Coney Dog raven, and the Sammy Davis Jr. raven named after the popular nightclub singer, Sammy Davis Jr, who was known to vigorously rub a raven wing against his scalp before gigs.

In his book entitled The Bad News Bears, Edgar Allen Poe made multiple references to a rapping raven that played at a club called The Chamber Door. Of course, this was a work of fiction and no such club existed.

Japanese emperors have exalted the raven as a creature of beauty and strength. Excerpted here for you, a 14th century Japanese prayer:
"Oh, raven.
You are so beautiful.
You have such pretty hair.
And your eyes your eyes are
pretty too. Very pretty. You are my pretty,
pretty girl and I want to kiss you all over."

Ravens have amazing eyesight for having only one good eye. Yes, it's true: all ravens are blind in one eye but have extra great hearing in one hear. They can see through almost anything surface or material except for lead, hence the nickname "The Superman of Birds." What a fun fact.

A typical raven weighs less than your average slice of pizza. This was evidenced when at least five, perhaps six ravens, fought over a slice of pizza I threw at them on an unnamed waterfront in the continental United States. It brought delite to my heart to see these creatures wrestle with and ultimately fail to carry away and consume the slice.

Friday, January 25, 2008


1.) Though we were warned, I still didn't expect the soreness in my forearm the following day after KH and CL acquired and installed an antique dartboard. We're trying to accustom ourselves to a few hours of throwing a week (although I'm still trying to shake a semi-irrational fear of sharp objects flying head-level). CL told a real cringer of a story about a friend that suffered a "William Burroughs" instead of a "William Tell" in a dart match -- a "Joan Vollmer", I s'pose. Anyway, last night, after getting my ass murdered in the first game, I technically won the second. I say "technically" because I still would have won if the others players hadn't crapped out right before the last round, which they did.

2.) The first night of Bloom with ACL and I running the t-tables had a fair turnout and I couldn't shake what lucky, privileged fellows we are. We DJ finer restaurants on odd nights, play outright strange music, get paid in cash and drink for free. It's fucking insane. Totally insane. This strikes me as so sad to say, but if I had a [working] car and my own set of tables to play out, I'd pursue this crazy fucking gig even harder. If someone's looking to become a benefactor, I'm willing to make them the best possible mixtapes for the rest of my life.

3.) Although "Xangô" was the track that broke my brain on Baden Powell, "Berimbau" is equally beautiful. It's stark and very solitary feeling, something you'd play to yourself, alone at home. It was late one night a couple years ago when Luiz Bonfá's "Manhã de Carnaval" came on the radio. The woman's voice still sounds like a trumpet, powerful and brassy, and it'll never leave me. The film soundtrack it came from, Black Orpheus, is a bit of a difficult listen -- the fidelity is surprisingly low, there's a lot of background noise from the film -- but it's an incredibly rewarding album. In terms of structure and variation of themes, it's perfect. I'm beginning to believe that the best albums are thematic and repetitious in nature. If a piece is strong enough, the variations can serve as the studying and revisiting of the original. The depth gained will be a great reward.