Julian Cope Has a Novel

“I demand of the reader to the point where they don’t know what’s real and what’s not real.”

Interesting article/interview in The Quietus with Julian Cope (otherwise known as the Arch Drude). Seems he’s written a novel, titled (and subtitled) 131—A Time-Shifting Gnostic Hooligan Road Novel.

Cope and interviewer amongst the standing stones of Avebury

From the publisher’s web page: “When drugged-up Time Traveller and ’80s musical burnout Rock Section and his fellow English hooligans get kidnapped during Italia ’90, there are ruinous implications. But now Rock has returned to Sardinia one final time to settle some scores and uncover the truth. He believes only Dutch cult leader Judge Barry Hertzog, still incarcerated on the island for the crime, can provide the answers. But through prescription drugs, the persistence of his driver Anna and a quest for the hidden ancient doorways strewn around Sardinia’s only highway, the 131, Rock will discover that a greater truth awaits him.”

Cope is someone who’s music I find always interesting, and I would think his fiction will be too.

Mekons Documentary

The Mekons are one of my favorite bands. They’ve transformed themselves over the years, passed through personnel changes and reincarnations. I’ve only managed to catch them live once, many years ago in Austin. Various members live in the U.S. and England. They don’t get together, record, or tour often. But there is a new documentary about them coming out. Which I’m hoping soon comes to a theater nearby.

Rich Needs To Become A Famous Solo Artist; Let’s Help Him Out

manchild
Manchild Rich Malley.

Old friend Rich Malley, drummer for a multitude of Austin bands, Kamikaze Refrigerators, Scratch Acid, Happy Family, The Horsies, has recorded a new album, as ManChildATX. It’s called My Mouse Finger Is Insured for $10M and is sure to provide long-lasting entertainment.

He’s running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for pressing, packaging, and promoting. Those are three important Ps.

This is his second album. The first was digital-only, Kickass Tunes for Jamming Out, and is exactly what the title says. And how many things these days can have such honest labeling? He’s funny and he’s serious. He’s funrious. And that’s just one of the reasons to support his music. You can order Kickass Tunes here, and his Kickstarter page for My Mouse Finger is here.

Being a drummer, Rich has spent most of his career sitting at the back of the stage, with nothing to look at but the posteriors of his band-mates. It takes some chutzpah to push that drum kit aside and move to the front. Let’s help him stay there.

Short Post About Being Away And Coming Home

wexler-littleitalyBeing true to the spirit of this blog, I should just say, I’m back, with, at most, a photographic accompaniment, and let the reader infer that I must have been somewhere. Instead, I’ll amble along for a few more words, perhaps even an entire paragraph. (And, are there partial paragraphs, isn’t any group of words followed by a line break considered to be a paragraph? But I digress.)

I went to New York and read a section of my roughly-completed short novel, The Silverberg Business, at the New York Review of Science Fiction reading series on March 11, and the next night I appeared on WBAI’s Hour of the Wolf radio program, with host and elocutionist Jim Freund. That bit of fun was in the 1–3am time-slot (not my favorite time to be awake). I read a classic Wexlerian story, “Tales of the Golden Legend,” available on my website here.

The NYRSF event was with Chandler Klang Smith, author of Goldenland Past Dark, which I’m looking forward to reading. She read from a cool-sounding novel-in-progress. It was a fun time, attended by a good-sized group that included old friends and a lot of strangers.

My reading was on the third anniversary of Jack Hardy’s death, so on the show the next night Jim played a couple of his songs and Jack of Hearts,a tribute song by Tim Robinson. The Hour of the Wolf show is archived and stream-able for two weeks from the date of the show (March 13).

Aside from reading, I ate. That shouldn’t be surprising. Ate brilliantly-spicy stuff at a newish place called Hot Kitchen, and also Xi’an Famous Food, and others.

I walked a lot. I bought bagels to take home. I saw friends. I didn’t see one friend because I went to the wrong place and didn’t have his phone number, didn’t even know if he had a phone (I blame that on being exhausted by staying up late for the radio show.).

I also found out after it happened, that my friend Mike Laureanno came in from Providence to perform at the same time as my reading. There’s a video of it here.

And came home.

(note: I selected writing as one of the tags for this post because whenever I use that tag I get multiple likes by people who appear magically and probably don’t read the post or have any idea who I am.)

Guitar Trio (that isn’t always a trio)

I’ve only recently heard the music of Rhys Chatham, particularly his one-chord orchestra “Guitar Trio.” It’s an incredibly mesmerizing and satisfying piece. He performs it with varying ensembles. In 2007, he played different cities with different line-ups, with the results released as a 3-CD set, Guitar Trio Is My Life!. Here are a couple of versions of “Guitar Trio” from YouTube.

Big Boys Reissue

There’s a great piece on the NPR website about a reissue of one of the Big Boys’ records (article + video interview with surviving founding members Tim Kerr and Chris Gates). From March. Which is when I meant to post something about. People often overlook the March-like quality of July.

I don’t know if there was anything on the radio. NPR does stand for National Public Radio, not website with video. But that’s okay. It’s not like I ever heard their music on the radio.

Available from Light in the Attic Records.

I’ve written about the Big Boys before. And maybe I will again.

Monday Song Link

Here’s a great song by the Minutemen about being the Minutemen (and about life, art, writing, performing). It’s an acoustic version, so to get the full impact of Mike Watt’s bass you’ll have to buy the CD (or one of those downloadable digital formats). ”The typewriter’s on but my head is empty and to really find me I’ve got to look inside me.” is a situation I’m familiar with (metaphorically or course—I haven’t actually used a typewriter in a very very long time).

And here’s a site called Corndogs, with some Minutemen information, other videos, and concert downloads. Mike Watt’s website is linked on the right.

Steven R. Smith

New Steven R. Smith project, called Ulaan Markhor. Available from Soft Abuse website or direct from Smith. And another from late 2011 called Old Skete.

His incarnations (Hala Strana, Ulaan Khol, etc.) have inspired my writing for years. There’s a great interview here by Michael Begg, on a website called The Quietus.

From the interview, something also true for writing fiction (for me anyway).

Do deserts generally appeal to you?

SRS: I haven’t traveled to any other desert region, other than out here in California, so it’s hard to say. I’m certainly drawn to the idea of the desert. It’s sort of like when you are on the phone or back in school and not really paying attention and you find yourself doodling on a pad of paper – what comes out? For me it’s always this sort of sketch of a barren, horizon line landscape, and these sort of wrecked structures or cities, just like on the album covers. It’s what comes out and I don’t really question it much. My guess is that this music is coming from the same place as the doodling on the pad of paper. It’s not intentional, but if you’re playing honestly and without preconceived ideas then what comes out is sort of what’s humming down deep in there all the time. I guess for me it’s this sort of barren vista.