Monday, March 28, 2011

Danny McClain

Horrible news: Danny McClain passed away this morning. He was one of the most dynamic drummers of the scene for some time, having played with Darin Gray in
GRAND ULENA, JOHNNY ANGEL (as I had previously forgotten...thank you Dave and all commenters)and in various other projects with the likes of Chris Smentkowski (BRAIN TRANSPLANT) and Dave Stone. GRAND ULENA'S label, FAMILY-VINEYARD, responds here
(Updated 10/19/2011) Toxicology reports show that he died of unfortunate, but natural causes:
Celebrate the magic of these performances...
AND take care of yourselves!


...just saw this online, too:
"The wake is from 4-9 thursday, baumann colonial chapel, 2504 woodson rd, overland mo. 63114, the funeral starts fri at 11 am. at baumann, the "internment" is at fee fee cemetery"

I didn't know Danny very well. I was the old guy going to Grand Ulena shows and bugging him at bars on South Grand about what was happening next. Bought him some beers at my place of work.
Check out the comments to see how much he is missed.
...and here is some video from the memorial held at Floating Laboratories on April 2nd:

Brain Transplant live in Saint Louis, April 2nd, 2011. Performing at the memorial concert for Danny McClain from joseph raglani on Vimeo.

Dave Stone, Kevin Harris & Alberto Patino performing at the Benefit concert for Danny McClain from joseph raglani on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Black Sabbath and Sherwood Schwartz

I've had some odd epiphanies when drinking. Go figure. Ha!
One time when I was at the Empty Bottle in Chicago listening to Rhys Chatham and a bunch of cats on stage doing a multiple guitar riff during his piece GUITAR TRIO, I heard part of a HOUSE OF LARGE SIZES tune. Don't ask me which HOLS piece I thought it was, but it was obvious to me as I stood swaying in the crowd that night.
Last night, while unknowingly celebrating the birthday of Chris Martinez as we drank at the Royale, Marla's iPod played Black Sabbath's "Solitude" from the album MASTER OF REALITY.

I immediately identified its similarity to "The Ballad of Gilligan's Isle" which was, of course, composed by producer Sherwood Schwartz, who did similar work for his other big hit for television
THE BRADY BUNCH. Anyway, I don't read or write or play music, so chime in if you can point out the musical similarities:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Two of my poems will appear in issue 5 of Bad Shoe Press
St. Louis on Tuesday, March 15th:
Here are the deets:
On March 15th (the Ides of March), St. Louis lit mag Bad Shoe will release its 5th issue, hosted by the Archive bookstore at 3215 Cherokee Street.
This is a special issue of the lit mag, which is the only periodical publication for emerging and eminent lady writers and artists in St. Louis. For the first time, the editors are publishing male perspectives on femininity.

Authors/artists in Issue #5:
Jacob Cohen
Tony Renner
Mary Phillips
Kelli Allen
Matthew Freeman
Phil Gounis
Erin Nihiser
Byron Lee
Brett Underwood
Bob Reuter
Aaron P. Ruiz
Christopher Alex Chable
Christine Callahan
Carrie Keasler
Nicky Rainey
Joe Sulier
Erin Wiles

Many of the authors published will be reading excerpts of their work at the release I AM DEFINITELY READING, with Matthew Freeman and the Skekses providing musical entertainment. Doors are at 7, reading starts at 8. The Cherokee Peach will sell snacks, wine, beer, and handmade sodas, and the Archive will also be open for book sales. Bad Shoe Issue 5 will be available at the special release price of $8.

APRIL 15TH: Check out
The Bicycle Review will publish two of my pieces! My first out-of-town recognition outside of the world of zines.

PhotobucketSaturday, March 26th at 7 p.m....
Regional Arts Commission (6128 Delmar Blvd--across from the Pagaent)
Sherman S. Sherman opens the show with some of his songs from
Fred's Variety Group, Good Griefs and Peck of Dirt
Peck of Dirt with Theodore and other shady characters 008
Reading will be:
MATTHEW FREEMAN woke up to find himself a poet as he was a teenager ruined with love. he then took off for alaska, new york, texas, writing and singing all the way. after visiting various institutions he's now in a different one: he's about to graduate from st louis uni...versity with an english degree. his third book, darkness never far, was recently reissued in hardcover. he has also just begun his teaching career.

STEFENE RUSSELL is the former co-editor of Prinsesstarta and 52nd City literary magazines, and is currently the Culture Editor at St. Louis Magazine. She is also a member of Poetry Scores (, an arts collective devoted to translating poetry into other media, and Otis Nebula Literary Syndicate (, a publishing project operated by working writers dedicated to serving living word, sound, and image to which commercial concerns are always subordinate.

BRETT LARS UNDERWOOD is a bartender and a gadabout who writes, promotes and produces happenings and mishaps. He's quicker with the stink eye than verbal reprimands and favors the brushback pitch over preemptive warfare. Once upon a time, he co-published a ‘zine entitled LICK MY SQUAGGLE NOOSE, CLAM TICK. He penned Zen koans for THE RIVERFRONT TIMES and ST. LOUIS MAGAZINE as well as many journals of suburbia.
For several years he produced and hosted KDHX' The No Show and the annual event DAY OF THE DEAD BEATS.
His verse and riddles have been published by 52nd City, Bad Shoe Press (March 15th), The Bicycle Review (April 15th) and included in FLOOD STAGE: An Anthology of Saint Louis Poets.

KEN BROWN wass born in Missouri- left town at nineteen...Returned twenty-one years later after Minnesota, Maine, and Mississippi in a tent, Montana, Morocco- where he lived with a prostitute afflicted with polio. Normandy, Madrid, Grecian Islands- despondent- to upstate New York across the country in a Honda- through Mexico- Vegas- Santa Monica for four years doing laundry for a living then dog-sitting at the Ding Dong... Wound up in
Australia-Perth- the out-bush for nine months- Hell’s Angels blew up land- went broke- made ten thousand dollars on Karma Kards- fell in love for the thirteenth time- engaged-Kicked out of Australia- published in 45 periodicals- wound up back where he started.

The reading at Duff's scheduled for Monday, March 28th got bumped, so boo-hoo. other news, I will read as part of a performance with
Hearding Cats Collective, including poetry from Anna Lum, Stefene Russell,
Treasure Williams and myself...this will be morphed into a program called Kyma, manned by the one-and-only Rich O'Donnell and accompanied by Rich and Zimbabwe NKenya on various Floating Laboratories on Saturday, April 16th.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Let Go; Let Ligeti

I was lucky enough to sit in a room alone as the sun set through the South-facing windows while listening to these gems. I want to go out for a bicycle ride in a bit and have some some poetry at fireside...return to hear them again.

As a side note, I add that Ligeti's son, Lukas Ligeti, will be performing in St. Louis as part of a Hearding Cats Collective show on April 29th.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

$598 hose job and other delights

Revisited the life of a car-less cat this week while the sled was in the shed getting hoses and clamps and thermostats and now it stopped crying and my joints are a little sore, but I didn't get hit by the funnel cloud, 'cause I beat it by 30 minutes on a bicycle and reached into the fridge and grabbed a Catastrophe Ale as the storm passed.
Walked to a train to work and raced across the bar mats and Spoken Nerd stopped in on his way back to Nashville from the World Bird Sanctuary to get a growler of Coffee Stout.
Today, I bled into the carbon-dioxide nightmare after walking through the morning sun. Took a nap all afternoon and then I watched this after an angel left the room.

Yeah, life is good before the Apocalypse and I am gonna do lots of readings get the words in Bad Shoe and The Bicycle Review and that's a fine how do you do for you willy wontcha...
Read a book.

...or if you don't want to...