I came across a great interview with Steven R. Smith at Foxy Digitalis. I listen to his music a lot while writing. He works mostly solo, using a variety of instruments and project names. He talks about the meanings of the names and why he uses them.
“So by saying, for example, Ulaan Janthina is going to be focusing heavily on keyboards and the rhythms will be generated by my homemade instruments, there’s going to be no guitar–we’re already starting to see what this can be and that’s before writing any music at all–and then because the Janthina name implies the sea and ocean, instruments like organs and electric pianos that are kind of watery…this all helps it take shape.”
“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.
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.
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.
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 Tuneshere, 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.
Being 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.
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.)
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.
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.