March 20, 2017

I Believe in You

Posted by Dr. Frank at 05:39 PM

March 18, 2017

Mortdecai

As you can see below, I am reading the Mortdecai books. Stupendous writing. Why was I not informed of this before? It's a "slow read" but not for the usual reasons: it's slow because I keep having to pause to read clumps of sentences out loud to the cat, G. K. Chesterton (who seems to appreciate them too, if only in his own way.) Gorgeous. Kind of wish I could be K. Bonfiglioli, except for the already being dead part. I'm sure he eventually figured out how to pronounce his own name, so that's alright.

The book was a gift from someone who said the narrator reminded her of me, which I suppose I ought to take as a slander, or at least as an admonishment and goad to do better; but as it happens, I don't.

(I haven't seen the recent film and my understanding is that's all to the good.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at 02:54 PM

Education in the Liberal Arts

When you guys see stuff like this, do you think back to your college years and imagine how your professors might have fared under the current zero tolerance "shout 'em down" atmosphere that apparently prevails at universities these days? I always think of Alain Renoir, the most interesting man I ever knew, and the best teacher, and also a man who told jokes that would launch a thousand black bloc pepper spray firebombs and buzzfeed excommunication-from-humanity listicle-encyclicals and twitter witch-hunts today. What would he have done? I don't know, it's impossible to imagine a guy like that anywhere near a university nowadays. It's a weird thought experiment.

Glad I'm not a professor (as, believe it or not, I once planned to be.) Or a student. Or a proper person, really. It's a funny old world, innit?

Posted by Dr. Frank at 02:47 AM

March 16, 2017

Notebook

Bed is the only place for protracted telephoning. It is also excellently suited to reading, sleeping and listening to canaries. It is not at all a good place for sex: sex should take place in armchairs, or in bathrooms, or on lawns which have been brushed but not too recently mown, or on sandy beaches if you happen to have been circumcised. If you are too tired to have intercourse except in bed you are probably too tired anyway and should be husbanding your strength. Women are the great advocates of sex in bed because they have bad figures to hide (usually) and cold feet to warm (always.) Boys are different, of course. But you probably knew that. I must try not to be didactic.
-- Kyril Bonfiglioli, Don't Point that Thing at Me
Posted by Dr. Frank at 07:44 PM

March 15, 2017

You Guys Know about This, Right?

IMG_4500.550.jpg

That "sneak peek" thing is out of date (I actually took this photo at the Gilman "Lookouting" show in January where we had these handbills in advance of the shows' announcement.) Still, it's a show. More shows listed here.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 07:44 PM

March 14, 2017

CUNT

micheleguitar.550.jpg

Michele is playing Marisa's guitar.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 01:19 PM

The Case of the Purloined Chiswick Catalog

There was a time when I had managed to collect almost the entire Chiswick Records catalog, leaving out duplicates and re-presses, with only a few missing items. I would say about half of this collection remains in my possession. I sold a couple of the big-ticket items when I was especially broke (which I regret) but most of them managed to migrate away mysteriously, of their own accord it almost seems.

Unlike missing Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, and UFO, Ramones and Robyn Hitchcock, whose absences can be blamed on this or that girl rage-confiscating them over the years, there isn’t a crazy ex-girlfriend I’m aware of who could be plausibly counted as a Chiswick fan. For instance, would any conceivable girlfriend steal Sniff ’n’ the Tears? Would anyone? Kind of a puzzle.

I have managed to restore the LZ, the TL, the BS and the Ramones over the past few years; haven’t got around to trying the UFO and Robyn Hitchcock (who feels more “natively CD” than the others, so I haven’t tried to address the vinyl gap there.. yet.)

Replenishing the Chiswick catalog would be hugely expensive now and quite a hassle, and it probably won’t happen. It doesn’t matter too much really. It was just a stupid thing I did, once upon a time. Kind of miss some of them, though.

Ain’t insomnia grand?

(Cross-posted on Medium.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at 01:06 PM

March 11, 2017

Michele and Marisa got their arms done

micheletat.400.jpg

marisatat400.jpg

Posted by Dr. Frank at 02:23 PM

March 08, 2017

On with the Show, Good Health to You

MTXPRB500.jpg

Show update... the (only) new thing at the moment, as you can see, is that we're doing one of the club shows at this year's Punk Rock Bowling fest in Las Vegas. Maybe more to come, we'll see. Cool and crazy to be playing with Channel 3. I listened relentlessly to their Posh Boy 12" and album when I was a teenager and played them on the radio all the time on KALX, though I never got the chance to see them live. Anyway, tickets go on sale on March 11 (1 PM PST.)

I've been trying to organize my thoughts around the theoretical track list of a fantasy next MTX album and I'm considering playing mostly new songs in the solo sets at the Joel birthday show at the Bottom of the Hill on April 1. If you're going to be there and would like to hear anything in particular, though, drop me a line and let me know.

Sat. April 1: Dr. Frank solo/acoustic, with the Avengers, Pansy Division, the Plus Ones. Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., San Francisco CA. This is Joel Reader's birthday, and as far as I'm aware I'm going to do two short acoustic sets amidst the electric bands. Tickets here. Facebook event page here.

Thurs. April 6: MTX, Teenage Bottlerocket, Nobodys, Happyness. Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. San Francisco, CA. Tickets here.

Fri. April 7: MTX, Teenage Bottlerocket, Nobodys. Soda Bar, San Diego, CA. Tickets here.

Sat. April 8: MTX, Teenage Bottlerocket, Nobodys, Planet Manboy. Pub Rock Live, Scottsdale, AZ. Tickets here. Facebook event page here.

Sun. April 9th: MTX, Teenage Bottlerocket, Nobodys. The Roxy, West Hollywood, CA. Tickets here.

Sat. May 27: Punk Rock Bowling presents: MTX, Ch 3, Lucky Eejits. The Beauty Bar. 517 Fremont Street, Las Vegas NV. $17. 21+.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 08:21 PM

February 28, 2017

It's a book. It's an album. It's a... BALBUM! (KDATA News)

MTX-KDA-cover-smaller200.jpg

Except that starting today (Feb. 28, '17) King Dork Approximately the Album is available in general digital release. That means the sound files are officially decoupled from the book for those who want them decoupled, and are available to download on Amazon, iTunes, spotify, Pandora, Youtube, etc.

The best way to buy the album, though, is still to get it with the book because doing it that way gets you exactly the same digital files, plus you get a free book. And the best way to do that is to get it from Sounds Radical, because it comes in a sweet custom box with a cool print of Frank Kozik's original cover design, signed by me; plus the other extras that sometimes get offered and thrown in when you order and get on the super special mailing list. This edition of the book also contains the lyrics. You people like lyrics, don't you? Sure you do. The album without the book isn't quite the full "balbum", keep that in mind. They go together.

To commemorate this occasion, Sounds Rad is offering a free "MTX 800" amp head enamel pin for all MTX orders thru 3/6. Also, each order that includes a KDA album download gets the pin free, "in perpetuity", according to Chris Thacker. Perpetuity, that's a long time.

But of course in this day and age, an album isn't seen as "real" unless you can easily get it for free, so spotify and youtube to your hearts' content if you must. Play it in the background without listening too carefully like the value-less vanity it is. (Nb.: I've just learned that there was a goof and tracks 8 and 9 on the digital release are mislabelled/swapped. The titles are in the right sequence but the files themselves are swapped. Sorry about that. There isn't an easy way to fix it, but I'm working on it. The one you get when you download from the link in the book is correct.)

In other balbum news, the vinyl LP version is due to come out later this year, probably in June if all goes according to plan. There will be a gatefold cover, which we have designed so that the subsequent KDA 7" will integrate with the package, whether you buy them separately or together. Hard to explain but very cool (at least, that's the plan!) Oh, you don't know about the 7"? This is two, possibly three, new King Dork-related songs that will come out a bit after the LP, whenever we can manage to get it together, so stay tuned for info on that.

Finally, a plea from me to you. For some reason, our digital distributor (the Orchard) cannot manage to arrange for our product descriptions to appear on any platform. We enter them. They just never show up. (They had ONE JOB...) So it would be a help if you all, or even one of you, would include a description in a review, on Amazon and iTunes so people who aren't already in the club have some chance of understanding what it is. I could do it, but when I've tried it in the past they figure out that I'm an interested party and delete "review." They’ll sell it, sure. They just don’t want anyone to know what it is, apparently.

(For what it's worth, here's the official product description that no one will ever otherwise see:

The Mr. T Experience, known to fans as "MTX", has been a punk pop thorn in the side of the San Francisco Bay Area music scene for thirty years now. Typically regarded as among the founders of "East Bay Pop Punk" and led by singer-songwriter Dr. Frank (dubbed "the Cole Porter of punk" by one or two writers over the years) the band has released around a dozen albums and eps on Green Day launchpad Lookout Records throughout its heyday the 90s. Under his real name, Dr. Frank (Portman) has also published three young adult novels, including the bestselling cult favorite King Dork and its recent sequel King Dork Approximately.

MTX returns with their eleventh full length studio album, titled King Dork Approximately the Album and released in connection with the paperback version of Portman's YA novel of the same name, the sequel to his 2006 bestseller, King Dork. The album consists of songs “written by" the novel’s rock’n’roll obsessed narrator and "interpreted and performed” by Dr. Frank’s very real band.


But doing it in your own words would obviously be better. Thanks in advance, I knew I could count on you.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:42 PM

My Texas

SA.500.jpg

Thanks to everyone who came out the shows in Houston and San Antonio over the weekend.

As with most of the cities we've been visiting here and there over the past couple of years, these were both places we haven't been in well over a decade. The main difference I notice between then and now is that despite the fact that our previous shows occurred in the "hey day" of east bay pop punk when we were all at our collective putative apex, people seem to care more now, and there are more of them. Of course, a lot of these are in fact the same people, who had been there pre-2004 at age fifteen or whatever and were returning now as their adult selves (several with their kids... the next generation, as it were.)

We last played in Houston on the Yesterday Rules tour in 2004. (At the tried and true Fitzgerald's. I was amazed the building was still standing even back then, and still more amazed to learn it's still around now.) Unless I'm mistaken the last time we played in San Antonio was on one of our very first tours, in '88 or '89, and it was a memorable show. The way I remember it, most of the audience was made up of Mexican skinheads (a thing I hadn't realized existed.) It started out pretty well, actually, and I had talked to some of them beforehand and they were friendly. Many of them had these very beautiful crucifix tattoos on their backs that they were showing me, kind of joyfully (or so I imagined.) They liked that I was Catholic. They slapped me on the back and did the cool guy handshake thing that I've never been able to do convincingly. However, as with many "tough guy" types there was this kind of unnerving undercurrent to the technically innocuous interaction, the sense that things could really get weird and scary very quickly if you happened to say the wrong thing or make the wrong move. (You've seen that scene in the movie Goodfellas, where Joe Pesci baits Ray Liotta about saying he's funny... it's that kind of thing.)

And in fact, that is exactly what happened.

Continue reading "My Texas"
Posted by Dr. Frank at 01:09 AM

February 27, 2017

MTX TNG #mtxforever

mtxtng.jpg

Posted by Dr. Frank at 10:21 PM

February 23, 2017

Notebook

"You read the magazines?" I said.

"So do I," Sally Reine informed me. "My old man gets heaps of them from the States. I like the detective-story ones, where the characters aren't allowed to swear, and the Chicago gangster cries, 'Good gracious!' It's nice to see the tough racketeer become a pathological case at one sweep of an editor's blue pencil..."

-- John Dickson Carr, Castle Skull
Posted by Dr. Frank at 10:02 PM

February 14, 2017

#mtxforever

mtxvalentines550.jpg

Posted by Dr. Frank at 05:23 PM

February 03, 2017

Dave

Dave4E.400.jpg

Dave from the Four Eyes!

Posted by Dr. Frank at 09:08 PM

Tix for MTX/TBR/Nobodys in CA/AZ April go on sale Fri. 2/3 10 AM (which is now)

mtxtbrsqu.500.jpg

Here's the current show list again, updated with buy links for tickets.

Thurs. Feb. 9: Books & Brews II. Dr. Frank solo/acoustic, with Kepi, and DJ Sid Presley. "Daly City’s Department of Library and Recreation Services presents Books & Brews II, the Beers of Bavaria." Cafe Doelger, 101 Lake Merced Blvd, Daly City, California 94015. 6PM-9PM. $25, incl. beer. Non-drinkers free. Tickets here. Facebook event page here

Fri. Feb. 24: MTX, with Screeching Weasel, 30 Foot Fall, Nobodys. White Oak Music Hall. 2915 N. Main St., Houston, TX 77099. Tickets here Facebook event page here.

Sat. Feb. 25: Remember the Punks presents: MTX, Nobodys, Turnaways, Capitalist Kids. The Korova. 107 E. Martin St., San Antonio, TX. Tickets here. Facebook event page here.

Sat. April 1: Dr. Frank solo/acoustic, with the Avengers, Pansy Division, the Plus Ones. Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., San Francisco CA. This is Joel Reader's birthday, and as far as I'm aware I'm going to do two short acoustic sets amidst the electric bands. Tickets here. Facebook event page here.

Thurs. April 6: MTX, Teenage Bottlerocket, Nobodys, Happyness. Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. San Francisco, CA. Tickets here.

Fri. April 7: MTX, Teenage Bottlerocket, Nobodys. Soda Bar, San Diego, CA. Tickets here.

Sat. April 8: MTX, Teenage Bottlerocket, Nobodys, Planet Manboy. Pub Rock Live, Scottsdale, AZ. Tickets here. Facebook event page here.

Sun. April 9th: MTX, Teenage Bottlerocket, Nobodys. The Roxy, West Hollywood, CA. Tickets here.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:00 PM

She All Right

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:28 PM

February 02, 2017

Who Needs Happiness... ?

16298366_1806849686241634_3018366132179662303_n.jpg

So these Valentine cards were created as extras to go along with Sounds Radical's limited edition Love Is Dead shirt/hoodie. The shirts and hoodies are, I understand, pretty much all sold out. But if you want the cards, you can still get them with any order, through Feb. 14. (There are four. They're funny and cool.) Head over to the Sounds Rad store and order something!

Update: Here's what's left on the Love Is Dead product as of now:

Hoodies: Sm - 2; M - 1; L - 2; XL - 2; XXL - 2
T-Shirts: Sm - 4; M - 2; L - 1; XL - 3; XXL - 1

Get 'em while they last.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 10:28 PM

February 01, 2017

Beat on the Bratwurst

drfrankkepibeer.jpg

This is the next thing coming up: me, Kepi, DJ Sid Presley, beer, and German food on Thurs. 2/9, 6PM at Cafe Doelger, 101 Lake Merced Blvd, Daly City, California 94015. $25, free for non-drinkers, all ages welcome.

Also, this is real:

Westlake_Park_Marquee.550.jpg

(Other shows here.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:08 PM

January 31, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day

MTXVD1500.jpg

Free with limited edition Love Is Dead shirt or hoodie order from Sounds Rad. Get 'em while you can.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 10:05 PM