Friday, December 31, 2010

Missed Linkous


...will I have anything to say about a guy who changed my musical tastes?
Keep checking this blog. I intend to add thoughts.
This one hurt as much as Vic Chestnutt and Mik Miano; Hunter, too, yeah. Geez.
So much left for us to witness without them and this whiskey is...

I want my records back
and that motorcycle gas tank
that I, spraypainted black
the owls have been talking to me
but I'm sworn to secrecy
...and oh HELL...lest my friends think that I don't mourn the passing of Dr. Van Vliet, too, here is something:

I woke up in
a burnt out basement
sleeping with
metal hands
in a spirit ditch

the moon it will rise with such
horse laughter
it's dragging pianos to the ocean
if I had a home
you'd know it'd be
in a slide trombone

I woke up in
a burnt out basement
sleeping with
metal hands
in a spirit ditch

(mum on answerphone interlude)

I woke up in
a burnt out basement
sleeping with
metal hands
in a spirit ditch

...I remember the day I found the album VIVADIXIESUBMARINETRANSMISSIONPLOT in the stacks at Vintage Vinyl...I was with my dear friend, Marcia Pandolfi. We had eaten and had some drinks at the old Cicero's. I saw this case with the colors and the blurred visions and the mashed up title indicative of Beefheart's TROUTMASKREPLICA. Why this association? I don't know.
I used to get drunk and shop.
Fuck you!
I bought my first NEGATIVLAND album on a similar impulse.
I even remember the transaction at the cash register. The VV cat was very excited to tell us that Mark Linkous aka Sparklehorse had recently taken too many sleeping pills while on tour and had fallen out of bed. His legs had lost circulation and he had to finish the tour in a wheelchair.
This astonished Marcia.
It was only interesting to me because of the enthusiasm with which the merchant delivered it. Of course, it spiced my purchase.
Short story fucked: I loved the album. It is a beautifully lyrical collection and it is ornery as HELL...AND lest my friends think I don't miss the passing of Dr. Van Vliet, check this out, too:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Egoist, Isolationist, Harmless?

king sketch of Brett reading Buk
sketch by Chris King


I did.

“I was an August day in Paris, on the Quai d’Orleans by the Seine. Hugo kept congratulating himself that this year he had postponed his departure to Deauville: the weather was fine and Magda quite entertaining. He did not like dining with pretty girls; at his age it was better to keep his pleasures separate. For a lunch like this what he needed was a hard-boiled, cynical old American, such as Magda, who appreciated her food and had good taste in wine. She admired him, but that left him indifferent: he had always been admired for his taste, his wealth, his splendid collection of porcelain, his knowledge of ancient Greek writers, his generosity, and his intelligence. He did not need other people’s admiration, yet Magda amused him. It was better, and more unusual to be amused than loved.
“A weeping young woman had called him that once. The sensual memory of her tears still touched his heart pleasurably: she had been so young and so beautiful. He had been young then, too. Egoist…he might have replied that in this world of mad, brutal men and their stupid victims, the only harmless people were egoists like him. They did not hurt anyone. All the misery suffered by human beings, thought Hugo, is unleased by those who love others more than themselves and want that love to be acknowledged.”
From THE SPECTATOR By Irène Némirovsky

THE GENIUS OF THE CROWD by Charles Bukoski

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

their finest art

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Well, Fuck a Duck

It must really suck to be a Nazi slave, if you're a duck:

...and lots of good, wholesome, patriotic racism here (though, I did appreciate the nod to Dali near the end):

...and who can ever forget DUCKTATORS!!? I like the "Peace Conference" in this one ("have they forgot 'tis love that's right and naught is gained by show of might"):

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jesus, you'll have to wait

Not sure yet if it is a good thing that the wind has scared me inside today on my 47th birthday, but I am panning through odds and ends in the stream that is the internet.
Poem For My 43rd Birthday
by Charles Bukowski
To end up alone
in a tomb of a room
without cigarettes
or wine--
just a lightbulb
and a potbelly,
and glad to have
the room. the morning
they're out there
making money:
judges, carpenters,
plumbers, doctors,
newsboys, policemen,
barbers, carwashers,
dentists, florists,
waitresses, cooks,
and you turn over
to your left side
to get the sun
on your back
and out
of your eyes.
from "All's Normal Here"

Oh! Ain't it the truth. Bukowski knew the importance of claiming time for yourself.
"I don't have time!" they say. Take it! Make it yours!

I stood behind the bar last night with time to think, but not enough time to do much but serve and maximize the income. Stackin' the cheeze.
"Why is this not pleasurable?" I thought. Around the bar and in the dining room, seemingly EVERYONE else was cussing and discussing something as I stood momentarily idle. Listening in, I again realized that I did not want to be included in any of their "conversations". Soon enough, I would be free to have my own inner conversations in my own time.
You know what though? I never did.
I came home to do some administrative work to try to wrestle the St. Louis public from their couches and barstools; their keypads and screens. I escaped for a bit for a brisk walk around the neighborhood and returned to have some drinks with a friend and later hit South Grand for a pint, a couple jiggers and a crazy-good Cuban at the City Diner. A good night. A very good night, all things considered, but I didn't quite free myself. No epiphanies.
Oh, the poor, fucking prima donna! Ha!
Crashed soon after in the safety of my bed and awoke to send the thickening schedule of the future to various heads. When I finish this bit of jibber-jabber, I will claim my time. A book, a nap, and another walk. If nothing else, the wind today will scare the life back into me.
Enough of this existential pseudo-angst.
Time for some time time time....
Look what's coming up in 2011!
All of this at the Schlafly Tap Room:

January 7th:

Tight Pants Syndrome


Hum Drum

January 8th:

The Cruel Cuts

Warm Jets U.S.A.

Paper Dolls

January 14th:

This City of Takers

The Transatlantic

The Otto Modes

January 21st:


The Smiling Thief


January 22nd:

Beth Bombara

Jes Kramer

January 28th:

Black James

Pelvic Girdles

Last to Show, First to Go

January 29th

The UltraViolents


Death of Yeti

Thursday, February 3rd: Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three all night!

February 5th:

Mil Effect

Kuan (pay Bret Nagafuchi)

R6 Implant (members of Fragile Porcelain Mice, Yowie and Sine Nomine) (pay Shawn O’Connor)

March 11th:

NIGHTY NIGHT (from Carbondale)

March 12th:


March 19th:


This City of Takers

April 2nd:
The Transatlantic
Barefoot Jones

April 8th
Zevious (from Philadelphia)

Spelling Bee (Joseph Hess and Mabel Suen from KDHX' WRONG DIVISION)


April 9th:
Prairie Rehab

Corey Saathoff and the Trophy Mule

Trigger 5

April 22nd:

Tory Starbuck Project

Pat Sajak Assassins

April 29th:
Red Squad


Paper Dolls

April 30th:

THE KYLE SOWASHES (Columbus, Ohio)

Black James

May 14th:
Franklin Felix



As I sit and watch and listen to these acts, I wonder if I am in-FUCKING-sane to expect the public to grasp this array. Maybe I would be more successful if there were more scatter-brained, lazy poets with expendable time and cash to come to these shows.
Please tell me I'm wrong...or don't.

Oh, yeah...other folks born on this date:
Rainier Maria Rilke
Crazy Horse
John Cale
Jeff Bridges

Saturday, November 20, 2010


People bitch about Burroughs and Bukowski, saying they don't like their writing...some call them hacks. Blah, blah, blah...
What I appreciate about them most at times is their outsider's take on the world.
They allowed themselves the freedom to think outside of the work-a-day existence.
Burroughs work is all about the struggle to unleash creativity from the powers of control.
For instance:
“words are still the principal instruments of control. Suggestions are words. Persuasions are words. Orders are words. No control machine so far devised can operate without words, and any control machine which attempts to do so relying entirely on external force or entirely on physical control of the mind will soon encounter the limits of control. “ from THE LIMITS OF CONTROL, 1975
“Verbal techniques are now being used to achieve more reliable computer-processed techniques in the direction of opinion control and manipulation, the ‘propoganda war’ it’s called.” THE JOB

“a modern government armed with heavy weapons and prepared for attack could wipe out ninety-five percent of its citizens. But who would do the work, and who would protect them from the soldiers and technicians needed to make and man the weapons?” from THE LIMITS OF CONTROL, 1975
“Americans have a special horror of giving up control, of letting things happen in their own way without interference.” From NAKED LUNCH
“The whole of Western psychology has been sidetracked from the way it should have gone. It should have gone along the lines of Pavlov and the conditioned reflex.” From an interview reprinted in BRAINWASHING: THE FICTIONS OF MIND CONTROL: A STUDY OF NOVELS AND FILMS by David Seed
‎"And what does the money machine eat to shit out? It eats youth, spontaneity, life, beauty and above all it eats creativity. It eats quality and shits out quantity." THE JOB
"America may well be the hope of the world. It is also the source of such emotional plagues as drug hysteria, racism, Bible belt morality, Protestant capitalist ethic, muscular Christianity that have spread everywhere transforming this planet into an annex of Hell." THE JOB
"America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by non-dreamers." THE JOB
‎"What I am here to learn is a new way of thinking. There are no lessons and no teachers. There are no books and no work to be done. I do almost nothing. The first step is to stop doing everything you "have to do"...The new way of thinking has nothing to do with logical thought. It is no oceanic organismal subconscious body thinking. It is precisely delineated from what is not. The new way of thinking is the thinking you would do if you didn’t have to think about any of the things you ordinarily think about if you had no work to do nothing to be afraid of no plans to make. Any exercises to achieve this must themselves be set aside. It’s a way you would think if you didn’t have to think up a way of thinking you don’t have to do. We learn to stop words to see and touch words to move and use words like objects." WSB--THE JOB


Pistol Poem No. 2
by William S. Burroughs
Who Controls The Control Men
Who Controls The Men Control
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Originally published in A William Burroughs Birthday Book, Temple Press LImited, Brighton, 1994. Republished by RealityStudio in August 2010.

Quick Fix
By William S. Burroughs

To put the country simple, earth has a lot of things other folks might the whole planet. And maybe these folks would like a few changes
made. Like more carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere, and room for their way of
life. We've seen this happen before, right in these United States.

Your way of life destroyed the Indian's way of life.
The Indian reservation is extinction.
But I offer this distinction. I'm with the invaders, no use trying to hide
that. And at the same, I disagree with some of the things they are doing.
Oh were not united anymore than you are
Oh we're not united anymore than you are.
Conservative factions is set on nuclear war as a solution to the Indian
Others disagree
Others disagree
I don't claim that my methods are one hundred percent humane, but I do say,
if we can't think of anything quieter, and tidier than that...
We are all not that much better than new earth aches.
There is no place else to go
The theater is closed
There is no place else to go
The theater is closed
Cut word lines
Cut music lines
Smash the control images
Smash the control machine.

Bukowski was a cruder sort. Did not have the academic background that Burroughs did.
He took chances, though, and he certainly understood the importance of freeing ones self from the reins in order to get the important living done...and down.


"Dear Mr. Bukowski:
Why don't you ever write about politics or world affairs?"

"Dear M.K.:
What for? Like, what's new? --- everybody knows the bacon is

our raving takes place quite quietly while we are staring down at the
hairs of a rug --- wondering what the shit went wrong when they blew up the
trolley full of jellybeans with the poster of Popeye the Sailor stuck on the
that's all that matters: the good dream gone, and when that's gone it's
all gone. the rest is horseshit games for the Generals and money-makers,
speaking of which --- I see where another U.S. bomber full of H-bombs fell
out of the sky again --- THIS time into the sea while SUPPOSEDLY protecting
my life. the State Dept. says the H-bombs were "unarmed," whatever that
means. then we continue to read where one of the H-bombs (lost) had split
open and was spreading radioactive shit everywhere while supposedly
protecting me WHILE I hadn't even asked for protection. the difference
between a Democracy and a Dictatorship is that you don't have to waste your
time voting.
getting back to the H-bomb dropout --- a little while back the same
thing happened off the coast of SPAIN. (we are everywhere, protecting me.)
again the bombs get lost --- careless little toys. it took them 3 months ---
if I remember properly --- to find and lift that last bomb out of there. it
may have been 3 weeks but to the people in that coast town it must have
seemed 3 years. that last bomb --- the god damned thing had gotten itself
wedged on the edge of a sandhill far down in the sea. and everytime they
tried to hook the thing, so tenderly, it would shake loose and roll a little
further down the hill. meanwhile, all the poor people in that coast town
were tossing in their beds at night wondering if they'd be blown to hell,
courtesy of the Stars and Stripes. of course, the U.S. State Dept. issued a
state ment saying the H-bomb had no detonation fuse, but meanwhile the rich
had left for other parts and the American sailors and townspeople looked
very nervous. (after all, it the things couldn't blow up what were they
flying them around for? might as well carry 2-ton salamis. fuse means
"spark" or "trigger," and "spark" can come from any where, and "trigger"
means "jolt" or any similar action that will set off the firing mechanism.
NOW the terminology is "unarmed," which sounds safer but is the same thing.)
anyhow, they hooked at the bomb but as the saying goes, the thing seemed to
have a mind of its own. then a few undersea storms came about and our lovely
little bomb rolled further and further down its hill. the sea is very deep,
much deeper than our leadership.
finally, special equipment was designed just to haul bomb-ass and the
thing was pulled from the sea. Palomares. yes, that's where it happened:
Palomares. and you know what they did next? ---
the American Navy had a BAND CONCERT in the town park in celebration of
finding the bomb - if the thing wasn't dangerous they were really cutting
loose. yes, and the sailors played the music together, one big sexual and
spiritual release. whatever happened to the bomb they pulled out of the sea,
I don't know, nobody (except the few) knows, and the band played on. while
1,000 tons of radio- active Spanish topsoil was shipped to Aiken, S.C. in
sealed containers. I'll be the rent is cheap in Aiken, S.C.
so now our bombs are swimming and sinking, chilled and "un- armed"
about Iceland.
so what do you do when you've got the people's minds on something not
so good? easy, you get their minds on something else. they can only think
about one thing at a time. like, all right, head line of Jan. 23, 1968: B-52
anyhow, suddenly, Jan. 24, headline: NORTH KOREANS SEIZE U.S. NAVY
oh boy, patriotism is back! why, those dirty bastards! I thought THAT
war was over! ah ha, I see --- the REDS! Korean puppets!
it says under the A.P. wirephoto, something like this --- the U.S.
intelligence shop Pueblo --- formerly an army cargo ship, now converted into
one of the Navy's secret spy ships equipped with electric monitoring gear
and oceanographic equipment was forced into Wonsan Harbor off the coast of
North Korea.
those dirty Red bastards, always fucking around!
but I DID notice that the lost H-bomb story got shoved into a small
space: "Radiation Detected at B-52 Crash Site; Split Bomb hinted."
we are told that the president was awakened between 2 a.m. and 2:30
a.m. and told of the capture of the Pueblo.
I presume he went back to sleep.
the U.S. says the Pueblo was in international waters; the Koreans say
the shop was in territorial waters. one country is lying, one is not.
then one wonders, what good is a spy ship in international waters? it's
like wearing a raincoat on a sunny day.
the closer you can get on in, the better your instruments pick up.
headline: Jan. 26, 1968: U.S. CALLS UP 14,700 AIR RESERVISTS.
the lost H-bombs off Iceland have completely disappeared from print as
if it had never happened.
Sen. John C. Stennis (D.-Miss.) said Mr. Johnson's decision (the call-
up of Air Reserves_ was "necessary and justified" and added, "I hope he will
not hesitate to mobilize ground reserve components as well."
Senate minority leader, Richard B. Russell (D.-Ga.): "In the last
analysis, this country must get the return of that ship and the men that
were seized. after all, great wars have started from much less serious
incidents than this."
House Speaker John W. McCormack (D.-Mass.): "The American people have
to wake up to the realization that communism is still bent on world
domination. there is too much apathy about it."
I think that if Adolph Hitler were around now he would pretty much
enjoy the present scene.
what's there to say about politics and world affairs? the Berlin
Crisis, the Cuban crisis, spy planes, spy ships, Vietnam, Korea, lost H-
bombs, riots in American cities, starvation in India, purge in Red China?
are there good guys and bad guys? some that always lie, some that never lie?
are there good governments and bad governments? no, there are only bad
governments and worse governments. will there be a flash of light and heat
that rips us apart one night while we are screwing or crapping or reading
the comic strips or pasting blue-chip stamps into a book? instant death is
nothing new, nor is mass instant death new. but we've improved the product;
we've had these centuries of knowledge and culture and discovery to work
with; the libraries are fat and crawling and overcrowded with books; great
paintings sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars; medical science is
transplanting the human heart; you can't tell a madman from a sane one upon
the streets, and suddenly we find our lives, again, in the hands of the
idiots. the bombs may never drop; the bombs might drop. eeney, meeney,
miney, mo-
now if you'll forgive me, dear readers, I'll get back to the whores and
the horses and the booze, while there's time. if these contain death, then,
to me, it seems far less offensive to be responsible for your own death than
the other kind which is brough to you fringed with phrases of Freedom and
Democracy and Humanity and/or any of all that Bullshit.
first post, 12:30. first drink, now. and the whores will always be
around. Clara, Penny, Alice, Jo-
eeny, meeney, miney, mo-
from THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN TOWN & other stories by Charles Bukowski


...and there's this from NOTES OF A DIRTY OLD MAN:

"I don't want to get as holy about being active and involved with mankind as Camus did (see his essays) because basically most of mankind sickens me and the only saving that can be done is a whole new concept of Universal Education-Vibration understanding of happiness, reality and flow, and that's for the little children who ain't murdered yet, but they will be, I'll lay you twenty-five to one, for no new concept will be allowed--it would be too destructive to the power gang. no, I'm no Camus, but, sweetheart, it bothers me to see the Klankheads making hay out of Tragedy.
Gov. Reagan's statement, in part: "The average man, decent law-abiding, God-fearing, is as disturbed and worried as you and I about what happened.
"He, and all of us, are the victims of an attitude that has been growing in our land for nearly a decade---an attitude that says a man can choose the laws he must obey, that he can take the law into his own hands for a cause, that crime does not necessarily mean punishment.
"This attitude has been spurred by demagogic and irresponsible words of so-called leaders in and out of office."

but, God, I can't go on. it's so dreary. the Father-Image with ye old razor strop to whip our ass. now the good governor is going to take away our toys and put us to bed without dinner.
lord, lord. I didn't murder Kennedy, either one of them. or King. or Malcolm X. or the rest. but it's fairly obvious to me that the Left Wing Liberal forces are being picked off one by one--whatever the reason (a suspect who once worked in a health food store and hated Jews)--whatever the reason, the left-wingers are being murdered and put into graves while the right-wingers don't even get grass-stains upon their pantscuffs, and weren't Roosevelt and Truman also shot at? Democrats. how very odd.
that the assassins are sick, I will admit. I'm also told by the God-fearing that I have "sinned" because I was born a human being and once upon a time human beings did something to one Jesus Christ. I neither killed Christ or Kennedy and neither did Gov. Reagan. that makes us even, not one up. I see no reason to love any judicial or spiritual freedoms, small as they may be now. who is bullshitting who? if a man dies in bed while fucking, must the rest of us stop copulating? if one non-citizen is a madman must all citizens be treated as madmen? if somebody killed God, did I want to kill God? if somebody wanted to kill Kennedy did I want to kill Kennedy? what makes the governor, himself, so right and the rest of us so wrong? speech-writers, and not very good ones at that...what they won't tell us is that our madmen, our assassins do spring from out present mode of life, our good old All-American way of living and dying. Christ, that we are all not outwardly raving, that's the miracle! and since we have been rather sombre here, let's end it on the light fantastic, speaking, as we are, about madness."

Saturday, September 25, 2010



Alone but not lonely in a rich, dark room, filled with familiar furniture. Thinking June and July thoughts in the cold of February. Sitting in the almost dark of a quiet neighborhood (birds silent, cars parked) using time to think. Touching the buttons of the stereo like he would the spots on that lover, he used his fingers for effect, trying to bring about an emotion or coax a sound to drip around and seal the thoughts of a moment in music.
Quietly sitting, he tried to move now, silently to get some water or a cigarette, no more noisily than a sleek black cat across carpeted floors, or the hum of a light in warm sedate household. Just wanting everything to be right. Manageable. Listening for a pulse, but not trying too much for fear that the rage and anxiety of the past nights would return.
Barefoot across slowly creaking boards, trying to let the world sleep so that he could recite his feeling onto paper before the top began spinning again, blurring the colors and leaving those dark comfortable moments behind never again to be captured.
Like a comfortable head on a down pillow, like a comfortable limp, soft cock nestled in the warm crevice of her curves. Not penetrating, not invading, just content to be there lengthwise against her. Avoiding the erection and rigidity by lying still, savoring the contact, afraid to move and change the arrangement—afraid to awaken the beasts within them both. Not wanting her to move and instigate arousal and something more complicated and writhing, something requiring more effort, more precision. Not wanting. Sunk into cool sheets, his arms draped around her torso, feeling the outlines of her plump breasts’ skin. His chest hairs tingling upon her back. His cheek sunk in to one pillow next to hers. His nose amidst the sweet but salty aroma that lingered in her long, normally clean, but now sweat-smelling hair and scalp. His breath enveloping the moment as it seeps from his lips and nostrils through the strands and around the nape of her neck, making her dream state unhurried, warm and rich, at least from outward appearances. Moving his head out of its resting place (only barely, but still a risk) to slowly take a cool, refreshing drink from a straw in a glass on a nightstand that would lend itself to the middle-of-the-night thirst of the prone, weary lovers.
The ticking of the clock, unheard. The smell of their sexual oozings in the sheets. A leaf blowing across the sidewalk outside the window, scraping, paper-like as the gentle breeze moves it with the delicacy that a lonely song moves a black convertible on a moonlit, desert highway. Only less directed.
That water upon his lips, past his teeth, onto his tongue to his jowls.
It will all be over soon, the stillness of the night and her attention, so he tries to forget that he is immersed in time as soon as he remembers, but the now apparent clock ticks on. Soon she will shudder awake from an inevitable nightmare because she is not happy. She is not sedate. She is not able to linger, through and through. Her pleasure is flighty and on the surface, not spread out like stubborn butter on hot absorbent toast, but scattered crumpled cash next to a mound of credit-card bills. She is unable to let him sink to her core and envelope him, because she hungers form more, different beds, not those moments of detail that she sleeps through now. He understands, calling his allowance of her wandering—generosity.
So, he feels his mind drift through his past to the faces of former kittens who could purrrrr in recognition of his affection, some longer than others, but would then wriggle free, finicky and unsure of their desire or his. Sometimes all it took was a touch. The CD would skip. And then, the sheets would grow cold with the heat having been removed from him and the water glass would no longer be a reservoir of relief but another liquid temperature drop toward the loneliness that apes death for those who call themselves alive.
So at times like this, when he had shirked those longings for close skin and kind words, for mutual breath in unison, he would await the next encounter and promise himself that he would savor its every second, letting it trickle through leaving only memories of blonde, belly down and gentle curves disappearing into musty, moist pink darkness of delight. Dire, damp, then disappearing. He would take another sip, the last sip, and fall off to sleep with the remnants of her aroma still on his pillow. Lingering. Taunting. Like a song that never lasted long enough to relinquish real truth, its echoes fading to a quiet room, carpeted, warm, lonely, but never sufficient.
Telling himself that it was part of a circle, he wanted it to be wide and expansive. Girls like her tightened it around him like a constricting boa of strangulation.
“Don’t please. DON’T,” he would whisper as if gasping in his dreams, but she was gone.
They were gone. Leaving only those memories, somewhat satisfying, but never forever. Cigarettes and ashes not willing to be lit again.
It wasn’t a crime to play them over. Did he want more, or were they enough? Slowly rolling from horizon to treeless horizon and disappearing into thin air, wispy. Where do they go? Never mind. Here’s another. Look at it. Feel it breeze by. It will soon be no more but a filter in a tray. She will die or form a head like many bad ideas bottle up, butting against one another.
Stop the wind. Pull the sheet over the head, but they will inevitable wake up and sneak out quietly through that door that you couldn’t bear to lock. For if you did, they would settle into their mold; into your mold, an no longer would they be able to seep across your pulsing heart; like piranha on heroine, towards the heart of another.
So, let them slip away. Don’t bat an eye. Leaving cold sheets and hope that another comes along before the cool night overtakes the small amounts of warmth left from the last hot, coastal hint of pleasurable steam. Savor the last flickering flames before the melting wax comes back to drown you, leaving only a smoking wick and the smell of what had bee. Fire, mesmerizing, stupefying fire.
And when you awake from your refreshing and piercing dreams, get up and wash your fucking sheets lest you die in the smell of that last hour. Too languid to go get a cup of coffee and hunger for another cloud.


Brett Lars Underwood

Monday, September 13, 2010

Me, Joe McPhee and a $25 poem

I had a real fine time performing at the Hearding Cats Collective production DAEDALUS CACOPHONUS on Friday evening under an eerie sky in the beautiful, Old Post Office Plaza to the accompaniment of saxophonist Joe McPhee. A friend shot video of it, which you can see here. Laurent Torno III was there with a much better camera than the Canon Powershot that my friend used for this video. I hope to see his footage soon.
See the script below.


Crawl outta your skin and grow wings, Kid
Crawl outta your skin and grow wings

Crawl outta your skin and grow wings, Kid
Crawl outta your skin and grow wings

Crawl outta your skin and grow wings, Kid
Crawl outta your skin and grow wings

Take your wait off
Strap your wings on
Gravity is a crutch!

Gotta get away from you Cretins!
Flying higher and higher

While faceless slaves
feed the beast
grow, slaughter, cook and serve
the feast

sew the walkabout threads
stripped from wheels
spin willy-nilly wobbly heels
shuffle feet
scuttle butt
talking the talk
walking the walk
clod-kickin’ nomads
riddling clichés
in piecemeal-economic class majority of days
knotting and tangling
screaming and steaming
angels falling in teams
coaxing hope from men and children
suffering guilt and schemes

for flavored vodka
to put out the flames.

Faceless in frenzied crowds
not their piglets for a tit
sweet silk web of perks
splinters in their lips

it’s a wooden cow
eating the genius grass of now
madness habit
horses clip-clopping through the sky,
hot on the trail of a giant carrot,
on the end of a string
tied to a stick unseen.
Burning spear becomes the sun.

Pardon me.
crying in reality
steeping in normality
buttheads are bound
to butt heads
that buy shit, bite shits
bytes hit and heights hit
won’t give the satisfaction of
the real tail hit.

You chop down peasant trees
if you can’t get no

You a pissant?
Pissed-off, beaten-down?
Disinegratefully muttering,
“Icarus is sick of us clowns”

and the sin of Pomegranate
Sultans of Homer
Keeping her down
while up top
violent women
with bushels and bushels of rags
and frenetic mongrels dropped
from hot snatches
to scamper about floors of life
‘cause they were lonely.
Heel scream bitch moan

retort cranked to 9

The locked-down boom box blares
soft-rock soma static
statistician death
equation of chaos avoidance.

See its nonsense?

Others anguish?
sitting in the John Wilkes Booth
with the Donner Party

Sorry utters ranting of wishwash blather
of too much peroxide
silicone and the glide
and the kind of salvation
they sell on late-night television.
faces cracked and exploding,
but you tip
a little extra
so the waitress
can shoot it between her toes tonight.

Gotta get high tonight
Outta sight
Set a course for the midnight light
Window-pained souls squeegee a play of rage
turn to stone in its chemical cage
jaws yawning uncertainty
future doom cult in dreads circle spirits
their wagons around teepees

snap and rage
against bludgeoning
the right
clothes tumble in the drier thoughts
fall in sync

Scattered and disconnected,
but all feeling the same heat.

Hey look out
There’s somebody comin’
And there’s nothing you can do about it!!!!

That’s ok
He ain’t got long to go!
So we’ll forgive him.

Something spontaneous
Possibly dangerous
Something precarious
Probably not legal
Something fun
Eventually lethal
But we probably won’t be out
That long.

Ride it on a glide like that
Let it prove its groove
Slow down ancient mellow day
And play it to the moon

And now we hurtle through the stars
The President says we goin’ to Mars!
Just to get away from this rubbish heap!
Flying higher and higher
Until we drown in melted glaciers.
…another failed attempt at escape
from Cretins and their addiction
to the glug glug.

Crawl out of your skin takes time
Crawl out of your skin takes time

Crawl out of your skin takes time
Crawl out of your skin takes time

Crawl outta your skin and grow wings, Kid
Crawl outta your skin and grow wings

Crawl outta your skin and grow wings, Kid
Crawl outta your skin and grow wings

Crawl outta your skin and grow wings, Kid
Crawl outta your skin and grow wings

Brett Lars Underwood, 2010

The chants at beginning and end can be attributed to the late, great Welsh band, Mclusky, and their song ICARUS IS SICK OF US.

Would that I were the performer that they are/were.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

John Sinclair

I have never met the man, but I have spent many "religious" moments at the late, great Bohemian National Home and I know the magic ideology of the forgotten parts of the world...Detroit being one of those places.

Spend some time listening to him:

...are there any words you have for would-be revolutionaries?

"Well, yeah: Figure out what you wanna do and then figure out how to do it...and then get some people who wanna do the same thing and look at it the same way. You just have to do things...there's no formula; there's no template."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Good-bye to August

Beautiful hot day
I miss the sun
I hate the sun
Face lathered in aloe
Post-lunch hot salsa logic
needs a walkabout
stuck inside
with you, my only fan
and your successful breeze.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Who is your Captain?


Pachuco Cadave
r :

When she wears her bolero then she begin t’ dance
All the pachucos start withold’n hands
When she drives her Chevy Sissy’s don’t dare t’ glance
Yellow jackets ‘n red debbles buzzin’ round ‘er hair hive ho
She wears her past like uh present
Take her fancy in the past
Her sedan skims along the floorboard
Her two pipes hummin’ carbon cum
Got her wheel out of uh B-29 Bomber brodey knob amber
Spanish fringe ‘n talcum tazzles FOREVER AMBER
She looks like an old squaw indian
she’s 99 she won’t go down
Avocado green ‘n alfalfa yellow adorn her t’ the ground
Tatooes ‘n tarnished utenzles uh snow white bag full o’ tunes
Drives uh cartune around
Broma’ seltzer blue umbrella keeps her up off the ground
Round red sombreros wrap ‘er high tap horsey shoes
When she unfolds her umbrella pachucos got the blues
Her lovin’ makes me so happy
If I smiled I’d crack m’ chin
Her eyes are so peaceful thinks it’s heaven she been
Her skin is as smooth as the daisies
In the center where the sun shines in
Smiles as sweet as honey
Her teeth as clean as the combs where the bees go in
When she walks flowers surround her
Let their nectar come in to the air around her
She loves her love sticks out like stars
Her lovin’ sticks out like stars

Captain Beefheart from his album
Trout Mask Replica

...and NOW! for something completely different:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Am Getting Out There

I've been busy and lucky lately.

Writing a lot and getting calls to read.
Put these in your memory banks and on your calendars. I'd love to see you, sign a book, talk some shit...and of course, have some drinks.


"Bob's Scratchy Showcase" is gonna be an evening of local writers:
Brett Underwood, Tony Renner, Matt Freeman and special guest
Barely-Free Partial Prisoners
5249 Pattison Ave Saint Louis, MO 63110
Neighborhood: The Hill

7 pm @ AT THE HARTFORD COFFEE COMPANY 3974 Hartford Street, St. Louis, MO 63116 (314) 771-JAVA (5282)
Several poets from the recently released anthology of St. Louis poets FLOOD STAGE will be reading. I am one of those poets!
Read about the book and the local publishing seen here:

...and this is the big one!
Saturday, September 10th
HEARding Cats Collective presents
Daedalus Cacophonus
An outdoor collaborative at the Old Post Office Plaza featuring percussion, dance, and poetry
ST. LOUIS, MO - August 3, 2010 - HEARding Cats Collective, St. Louis' new presenter and producer of "strange and wonderful" arts events has received a generous grant from DowntownNow! to create innovative arts programming at the Old Post Office Plaza (9th St. and Locust). Entitled Daedalus Cacophonus, the event will take place Friday, September 10, 2010 at 6 pm, and feature an evolving percussive landscape led by Artistic Director Rich O'Donnell (SLSO principal percussionist, retired), dancers from Ashleyliane Dance Company, a variety of local poets (Anna Lum, Brett Underwood), and New York jazz saxophonist Joe McPhee. The event is free and open to the public.

In homage to Daedalus, an ancient Greek craftsman so skilled that his sculptures "seemed to move about," HEARding Cats Collective will assemble a team of local professional musicians, poets, and dancers for a mesmerizing 75 minute multimedia cultural journey. The music will inspire dancers and audience alike to move about the Old Post Office Plaza - just like one of Daedalus' creations.

Daedalus Cacophonus will create a free-flowing rhythmic dialogue between musicians, poets, dancers, and audience. The core musical element of the piece is an ensemble of 5 percussionists (O'Donnell, Papa Wright, Craig Williams, Matt Henry, and Thomas Zirkle) belting out world rhythms on bass and hand drums; meanwhile troupes of dancers, dressed statuesque in togas will groove to the beats; other sections will feature quieter duo and solo sections combining poetry with improvised saxophone (McPhee); and later, mallet percussion with splash cymbals and water gongs - making use of the basin at the plaza. The entire performance will be scored (timeline of individual sections broken out by sequential minute cues), so that each member's unique contribution is a coordinated piece of the whole, interwoven with the other performers' sections to create a complete narrative

Like many of the events HEARding Cats already has planned for 2010, Daedalus Cacophonus will draw artistic talent from a variety of age, gender, and ethnic backgrounds. Performers will range in age from 20s to 70s, both male and female, and include Caucasian, African American, and Asian individuals. This diversity of cultural influences and talent pool is the ideal way to highlight St. Louis' role in the regional and national art scenes.

For more info, please visit the links above, or
HEARding Cats Collective was formed in November 2009, and will work to keep St. Louis strange and wonderful...

I hope this finds you well and that you will join us at the Schlafly Tap Room after the show for some rock n' roll! We've got a doozy of a show AND its free!



I, Crime (Hot Rock from Detroit!)

Then!! Stay tuned for details about another reading at Firecracker Press
on Saturday, December 11th!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I saw that in a comment on Facebook just now.
The woman who typed it said she was "typing" on an IPhone whilst in a cab.
She meant to type "thinking music".
I'm going to think about this new word for a bit.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grandmother's Song

One of my favorite celebrities as a kid was Steve Martin. As I was walking around the sweat capitol this morning, this song popped into my head.
Steve introduced the song as such:

You know folks, when I was a kid, I was pretty close to my grandmother and she used to sing a song to me when I was about this high. It always meant something to me and I'd like to do it for you right now because it does have meaning in today's world even . . . all these years, you know those, even during the "hip drug days" you know when everybody was supposed to be so cool and everything had double meanings and this little simple tune would keep coming back to me and I think it kinda guided me through those years and I'd like to do this song for you right now, I think it might have a little meaning for you

Be courteous, kind and forgiving,
Be gentle and peaceful each day,
Be warm and human and grateful,
And have a good thing to say.

Be thoughtful and trustful and childlike,
Be witty and happy and wise,
Be honest and love all your neighbors,
Be obsequious, purple, and clairvoyant.

Be pompous, obese, and eat cactus,
Be dull, and boring, and omnipresent,
Criticize things you don't know about,
Be oblong and have your knees removed.

Be tasteless, rude, and offensive,
Live in a swamp and be three dimensional,
Put a live chicken in your underwear,
Get all excited and go to a yawning festival.

O.K. everybody!

Be courteous, kind and forgiving,
Be gentle and peaceful each day,
Be warm and human and grateful,
And have a good thing to say.

Be thoughtful and trustful and childlike,
(O.K. everybody on this!)
Be witty and happy and wise,
Be honest and love all your neighbors,
Be obsequious, purple, and clairvoyant.
(Let 'em hear you outside!)

Be pompous, obese, and eat cactus,
(Everybody sing!)
Be dull, and boring, and omnipresent,
Criticize things you don't know about,
Be oblong and have your knees removed.

(Ladies only)
Be tasteless, rude, and offensive,
(Now the men)
Live in a swamp and be three dimensional,
Put a live chicken in your underwear,
Go into a closet and suck eggs.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Where you gonna run to?

Had the supreme pleasure of seeing the Black Diamond Heavies at the Schlafly Bottleworks Saturday night and have been thinking a lot about the song SINNERMAN...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Two thoughts as your pussy bitches about the weather

Mr. Bungle:

Henry Miller:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

CHEER-ACCIDENT will. I promise.

Chris Dee is a lovely lad. Besides manning the guitar for local post-punk performance artists The Conformists, he is a super-chill cat and now, he has offered up a gift to the grumpiest (or goofiest) promoter in town---that's me, Shitbag!
That's right, Mr. Dee came at me recently with an offer that had tears running down my legs the second I read it via the email-enhancement program I beckon towards for such good news. He wanted to know if I could book Cheer-Accident!
This was a bit of a last-minute thing, but the date had been set aside for a Tionol that I regret having worked in the past, so I needed to do some pleading with the folks at the World Headquarters of Schlafly Beer. We are a humble sort down at the Schlafly Tap Room and only bite when numerous folks have spit on, cursed at or poked us beyond a point that we cannot fathom. It was an easy deal that we made to O.K. the booking of the Eliot Room with such genius on the same night that others will be fiddling...that's another story.
Let's get to what you need to know: in short CHEER-ACCIDENT is legendary. They are lovely folks who love their hometown of Chicago. Were they to choose a home-base such as Berlin or Rome or London, who knows what would change.
Listen extensively here.
So much history behind the legend.
I'm waiting for new tires on the Honda. Getting ready to see them on Sunday with Sleepytime Gorilla Museum at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago. But first:
Friday, April 16th
9 to Midnight
at the Schlafly Tap Room
2100 Locust Street
St. Louis, MO 63103

Four acts: no charge for admission
Amelie Morgan (solo piano
Spelling Bee
The afore-mentioned and hyperlinked act: The Conformists

Like it or don't, people will be talking about this show for many years to come.
I'm not exactly bleeding words today, so I give to you a bit from their page on their present label, Cuneiform Records:
For over 20 years, Cheer-Accident have been a creative, interesting force in rock music. They constantly strive to surprise their audience and themselves with constant reinvention. Fear Draws Misfortune is their 16th release and arguably their best release and their album which strives the furthest towards a powerful balance between personalized and unique studio techniques and the excitement of a visceral, live, well-honed rock band. Which is saying something. It is a strongly compelling and high-reaching album that uses a wide variety of ideas, styles and studio techniques, resulting in a cohesive and ambitious album of art-rock. The basic band is a trio who between them perform on vocals, keyboards, trumpets guitars, bass and drums, but they are augmented by 15 additional musicians who, each in their own way, bring their own musical gifts to the album. Fear Draws Misfortune reveals a fortuitous intersection between Cuneiform and Cheer-Accident, both of whom have long admired the other and both of whom finally decided to do something about it! This long overdue marriage, which neatly coincides with a timely (and quite lengthy) cover-feature article in December 2008's Signal To Noise magazine, promises to hurl Cheer-Accident into wider recognition.

" I could easily fill a page talking about any given minute of this album, but suffice it to say that if you’ve ever loved Magma’s apocalypticisms, Neu!’s ghosts in the machine, or Beefheart’s Dada boogie—or at least dreamed of watching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir fall down a very long flight of stairs—it might be for you." — Monica Kendrick/Chicago Reader

"...[Cheer-Accident] meld difficult, angular rock with absurdist lunacy in intentionally disturbing ways that are just brilliant." – Alternative Press

"There are few ensembles that can make noise sound both as mysterious and as strangely inviting as Cheer-Accident." – Delusions of Adequacy

I embed this video b/c it features the ever-present babbling crowd as part of the soundtrack. Please enjoy more by clicking on videos here.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


It's mid-morning as
the neighbor lady plops down the steps
huffing and puffing towards the car
gasping for air
arms all akimbo.
Hootin', "Woooo, have mercy. Lawd, Dear God!"
Fannin' herself with the three fingers free
from her oversize bag.
Scuff shoes shufflin' across the pavement now
until one falls off.
Perched on one leg; draped in a muumuu;
she stops to slip it back on
the front of her swollen foot
that won't squeeze in over the heel.
No Cinderalla dreams today.
"Move it, Bitch!" screams the driver.
"We al'ready late!"
But she didn't lose her balance
as bird chirps and the smell of mowed grass
and gasoline
float in on a cool breeze.
The bartender rolls over
and turns up
the radio.
Somebody is angry that the relief
staff won't be enough
for the Fall
He gives it up.
Gets up.
Shuts the window
and realizes
that he stripped naked
before crashing in front
of the fan
last night.
Howdy, Neighbor!
He chuckles.
But no one is around.

Brett Lars Underwood, 2010





Thursday, April 15th 9 P.M. AT THE SCHLAFLY TAP ROOM:
The Skekses
Barely-Free Partial Prisoners
Catholic Guilt

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Patricia Highsmith

I did a lot of lazing about this winter, huddled up under the blankets against the chilliness of my South Side flat (I like it like that...Booo! forced heat!). When I laze about, I listen to all kinds of radio. One sleepy afternoon, this interview caught my attention. In particular, the fact that the subject of this author's new book is Patricia Highsmith, whom I have heard of because of her book STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, or perhaps due to the fact that I've seen the Hitchcock movie based on the book, caught my attention. Check it out. Turns out Ms. Highsmith was quite the player:

So, I grow tired of the radio and move on to other media. I quickly re-read STRANGERS ON A TRAIN and a couple other novels by Highsmith, having found them in abundance at our fabulous downtown library. I watched STRANGERS ON A TRAIN here:

Haven't gotten around to digging up THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, but I noticed today that
THE CRY OF THE OWL just hit the streets here in the States.

Hollywood will forever have a boner for the remake, of course, and guess what!
The French derived a film from her novel way back in 1987:

As you might expect, I like the twisted, pathological characters in her work (and the fact that she was an ex-patriot almost as soon as she was able to arrange to get the fuck out of here.

So, give her a read.
Even Matmos is hip to her:

...of course, not everybody is a fan:

Playlist for Late Night Radio

I used to host a radio show on KDHX.
Just ran across a bunch of old playlists from The No Show on the Ewaves yahoogroup list and thought to look up the show when I subbed a New Year's Eve show for Randall Roberts. Thomas Crone later asked me to write about being at KDHX late at night and I repost that piece here as it appeared on
No big deal, but I thought it was interesting to go back and see the actual playlist.

Having fond memories of the glee and idiocy of playing Criswell and Negativland.

...and FUCK!!! That MC Honky shit was beautiful and hilarious!

Oh, and Christian Marclay, defying the grooves:

It was a lot of fun and a lot of work and I'm glad it is over. Glad, too, that I have a large shoebox full of recordings of some of the shows. It was STUPID!

Late Night Radio | by Brett Underwood

You've all heard the stories:

There are drunken marauders storming the station late at night. They put a gun to the DJ's head and demand Air Supply—any Air Supply—at 45 revolutions per minute. Then the jock spewing through a smirk "Don't ever utter revolution and air supply in the same sentence again, Shitbird. We can conquer the world without breathing!"

Or, the one about the man with a half-shattered mind, alone in a room with a microphone, two turntables and a cassette player, digging through a box of cassette tapes and mumbling into a live microphone about that perfect track, wishing it was on his finger tips, wishing it were on the air, wishing for anything but this moment which yawns with ennui in the ears of some listeners and fascinates others who revel in the absurd—all unaware that a pizza delivery girl enters the room on a skateboard, strips, squats up on an office chair and spins with mad abandon whilst lustfully lapping up music from dusty LPs, her hands turning the records clockwise across her tongue so that she ingests so much E Minor tragedy that she begins to weep. Not long after, the host lays his fingers on that Charley Pride he was searching for and the girl dissolves into dust, tears and all…

Then there's the story you like to tell about how you heard this late-night jock babbling at a bar about some older woman who called claiming she used to talk to Moondog on the bus as they rode through the Lower East Side back in the 70's...or was it the 60's...and something about him having attended the Missouri School for the Blind and it was kind of weird because he, himself, the radio guy, was riding the 13 to the Central West End, reading DeLillo when he heard the woman's voice. She was climbing into the bus with a walker and he watched her and listened to her conversation with the bus driver and she got off at Barnes to work at a gift shop...and no, he didn't introduce himself.

Or, the federal judge crying on the phone to the host because he was rude and hung up on him while he was forlorn and riding around the East Side and just wanted to hear some Tull while he and a transvestite ate jet pops in the back of a limo.

None of it is true though. They are all urban legend or lies! None of that could ever happen on late-night radio to late-night radio hosts. For events such as those to occur, for instance, at KDHX at 1:45 on a Friday morning, the sun would have to implode and Reagan would reincarnate as son of John Denver to save the world from schmaltz. Yes, for such arrangements to be made, that much would be imperative, you innocent clams who yearn to produce such pearls.

No, what happens at KDHX during late-night radio is beyond words. I couldn't describe it even if I remembered any of it. It is as if aliens steal my memory as I exit the building after hosting an episode of The No Show and I am left to float home on a beam of light in a fringe-top horseless carriage.

I mean I have the recordings to prove to myself that I was at the station, the overhauled bakery on Magnolia. That’s me on the recordings. The crumpled playlists are there in my bag and archived on the station’s website.

I recall standing outside the station smoking a quick cig as some kids swerved through an intersection after carjacking a fraught damsel chasing down the street with cell phone to head, blood trickling down her torn hose and left knee. And last summer, I stopped by the station on my bicycle to check my email and found two punk-rock show producers outside talking to the police about the woman who was handcuffed in the backseat of the squad car. She had stopped her truck while one of them was loading records into his and ran towards him screaming, "I can't stand it anymore!" and nothing else.

However, these incidents all happened outside the station.

Most nights when I'm not doing the show and have stopped by to listen to something or do some audio work on the computer in Studio A or B, Bob Reuter, Kevin Lawrence or Seth Wahlman will be there doing the same thing or finishing some correspondence. I have a perfect recollection of those nights…and each Thursday as I enter the studio and Josh Weinstein is riveting the heads of his listeners to the heavens, I am fully aware and embarrassed to be sharing the same call letters.

But my friends claim they have visited me while I was doing the show and left because I wouldn't talk to or even look at them and the phone would ring and I'd quote what sounded like Zorn’s horn and Bukowski mixed together and slam the phone down, cackling and frothing at the mouth while grabbing an LP with my other hand and smashing it across the console. But you can't trust those loons; they feed buffalo chips to starving Sioux and argue over soda products and colors of caulk. I can only hope that they, too, will someday learn what it is like, “to be in the zone.”

I can only share one late-night KDHX story with you and hope that it resembles the story I would tell if I could remember anything about doing my show because it happened before midnight on New Year's Eve a couple years back and so was not yet in my sense of time, late night.

I was covering another host's show, so he could hold one of his underground cheese-curls and sparkling water orgies. The previous host had left in a huff, shrieking something about hippies or long-hairs or something, as I spun into the program with some old Pere Ubu and was having a leisurely go of it, like most veteran hosts do when the phone calls aren't rapid fire and the tracks are long enough to type in a playlist allowing mind and fingers to cue up the next track, PSA or the like. I answered a couple of requests for material which I could not fill. No sweat. I didn't have the material. It was not my show. “Enjoy the bubbly, sweet birdies-of-the-night. I’m a grinning volunteer, bridled only by insouciance and a need for solitude huddled in a small room with my fingers at the controls of the airwaves and a live internet stream fueled by nameless urges and caffeine”, I said to the clock.

Later, I recalled my wish to spend a New Year's Eve on my back atop a hill or mountain, cocooned in a thermal sleeping bag with an awe-inspiring view of the stars and planets. I was spinning records and imagining such a night when I came across "I Am God" from Negativland's 1993 album "Free". It is a reflective, sometimes shocking and humorous audio collage which opens with children singing about the ecumenical movement and features a repeated chant of "I am God. You are God. We are all God." A piece which might incite a response; people being so trigger happy when it comes to their religious beliefs.

I mean, I've heard the stories about radio personalities being shot in the parking lot outside other radio stations and I've heard other producers tell stories about being threatened by nutbag callers. I have only recently been brave enough to watch Play Misty for Me so I fathomed that I might draw some frustrated demon out of the cold, dark night.

Nope. Wrong.

Didn't have a call for the rest of the show.

I had a couple bands and a party to catch afterward, so I was packed up and ready to roll when I podded up the announcement at the end of the show and cleared the way for the next show’s hosts. I shouldered my bag of tricks and walked outside with my attention focused on the upcoming hours.

I was about halfway down Magnolia to Grand when the fireworks and gunfire announced midnight on the South Side. There were a couple kids across the street launching bottle rockets willy-nilly in all directions and I thought for a moment that I might make a likely target, but rounded the montessori on the corner and walked up Grand free of damage. The gunfire sounded automatically, clearly and rapidly, but distantly.

I was home, re-garbed, ready for action, back out the door and by 12:20, I had parked the car halfway between the bars and the house party and was standing in CBGB with an Oatmeal Stout and a Gambrinus-like thirst as a Jan Primus' spirit sang softly in a drunken woman’s ear as he shot me a wink fueled with jiggers of corn. Her squirming disgust was pitiful. Like souls sleeping dreamlessly, like cyborgs on Soma, she was having none of it. There was still a hint of displeasure to show for her pride, though, so I wrestled the spirit away and we shared old memories from having been at play between our respective headphones and four walls.Playlist for Sovereign Glory! on December 31, 2003

Key: Artist:::Title:::Album::: +=Request *=New

BRETT UNDERWOOD:::Subbing for Li'l Edit:::Happy Everything

PERE UBU:::Dark:::St Arkansas
[ Well, maybe not AM radio, but... ]

FROG EYES:::Miasma Gardens:::The Golden River*
[ One of my favorites of '03. You can find them at and ]

MARCELO RADULOVICH:::Telerana:::2 Brains
[ ]


CRISWELL/w/ERIC PETERS:::predictions/Electronic Rhythm:::The Legendary Criswell
Predicts Your Incredible Future/Barry 7's Connectors

BECK:::Round the Bend:::Sea Change

MARCELO RADULOVICH:::Do the Deed:::2 Brains
[ Yes, I like. ]


POLE:::Fohlenfurz:::Pole 3
[ background ]


IMPERCEPT/CRISWELL:::Long Journey for Such a Small
Creature/predictions:::Circuits of Steel: Electronic Music from Pittsburgh for
the 21st Century

MC HONKY:::My Bad Seed:::I Am the Messiah

REALISTIC:::Angel 2000:::Private Moments

unknown:::hidden track (Country Grammar bootleg-mashup):::The Best Bootlegs in
the World Ever

STEVE FISK:::Aviation Oakie:::999 Levels of Undo


MUSLIM GAUZE/CRISWELL:::Turkish Sword Swallower/predictions:::Sufiq EP

DAEDELUS:::Fin:::Rethinking the Weather*

ROBOTOBIBOK:::Sonda Jungle:::Jogging (from New Music from Central & Eastern
Europe Volume 2 on Tamizdat Records
[ jazzy jazziness from Poland's Vytvornia Om Records ]

BROOKLYN FUNK ESSENTIALS:::The Revolution Was Postponed Because of Rain:::Dorado
A Compilation (3)
[ Planet Earth Recordings ]


CHRISTIAN MARCLAY:::His Master's Voice:::Records (1981-1989)

LAS CAJAS DEL RITMO:::Com Com:::music from the documentary Frontier Life (Banda
[ More stuff from Accretions Records ]

CONLON NANCARROW:::Blues for Piano:::Lost Works, Last Works

BECK:::Sing It Again:::Mutations

THE BOREDOMS:::15:::Super Roots 6



APHEX TWIN:::Nannou:::Windowlicker

DAEDALUS:::Bright Stars:::Rethinking the Weather*
[ New on Mush Records, a division of ]

ENNIO MORRICONE:::Waiting:::from "A Gun for Ringo"

MATMOS:::l.a.s.i.k.:::a chance to cut is a chance to cure