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