June 27, 2016
Nice Shirt, William S. Preston, Esq.
Artist Evan Dorkin managed to slip quite a few "shout outs" to unlikely bands into this and other comics. (This was found on Instagram but I remember it well because it made me feel like a big shot at the time.) Thanks, Evan.
June 26, 2016
It won't stop
From Thoughts on the Sociology of Brexit by Will Davies:
What was so clever about the language of the Leave campaign was that it spoke directly to this feeling of inadequacy and embarrassment, then promised to eradicate it. The promise had nothing to do with economics or policy, but everything to do with the psychological allure of autonomy and self-respect. Farrage’s political strategy was to take seriously communities who’d otherwise been taken for granted for much of the past 50 years.
This doesn’t necessarily have to translate into nationalistic pride or racism (although might well do), but does at the very least mean no longer being laughed at. Those that have ever laughed at ‘chavs’ (such as the millionaire stars of Little Britain) have something to answer for right now, as Rhian E. Jones’ Clampdown argued. The willingness of Nigel Farrage to weather the scornful laughter of metropolitan liberals (for instance through his periodic appearances on Have I Got News For You) could equally have made him look brave in the eyes of many potential Leave voters. I can’t help feeling that every smug, liberal, snobbish barb that Ian Hislop threw his way on that increasingly hateful programme was ensuring that revenge would be all the greater, once it arrived. The giggling, from which Boris Johnson also benefited handsomely, needs to stop.
June 24, 2016
Q: Hey Frank I was just listening to revenge is sweet (my personal favorite from your catalog) and I've always noticed the guitar on that album is a bit crunchier and distinctly different from any of your other work. Were you going for something specific? Was that a certain pedal or what did you do to achieve that sound?
A: As I recall the main guitars used on that record were the Epiphone Coronet and a 50s era Les Paul (borrowed) with soap bar pickups. The amp was a Marshall 800 in a big room but heavily baffled and blanketed.; what your'e hearing is a result of the single coil pickups and old wood, Kevin Army's vintage pre-amps (can't remember their name atm), quadruple tracked and then really severely compressed with the whole mix. As for what I was going for I wanted it to sound "big" but because we ran out of budget and time and had to scramble to complete the vox II wasn't able to do much more than the basic tracks so it wound up a lot more "minimal" than planned, which is why I consider it "unfinished" but that probably adds to the fact that the rhythm guitar is so central to the sound.
June 22, 2016
Guitar News News
As I've mentioned before, my old, ailing Les Paul Jr. has been in the rehabilitation process for some time now, but it seems that now the end is in sight. The latest is that we're leaving it strung for a stretch to make sure the bridge/anchor reinforcement and repair is going to hold. After that she should be good to go. I think the last time I played it on stage was in Europe 2001 (and it was pretty much a mess then, in every way.) It's been a long time. I'm ready.
June 06, 2016
So, I only ever meant to keep this "up" temporarily, and I figure pretty much everyone who would want it already has it, but just in case here's a heads up that this will be going away soon so now is your chance if you're in the category of people who don't have it who may want it:
You can get a digital version of this here if you want one.
I put it together as a CDR to sell on a solo acoustic tour of Europe that I did with Kepi in the Fall of 2012. We had a bunch of printed "covers" and would make ten to fifteen discs on Stefan's laptop in the car on the way to each gig. We probably unloaded around a hundred of them in all. Its purpose was to be a souvenir item for people who went to those particular shows, a purpose which was served, and then pretty much to disappear and fade away thereafter, which it pretty much did. However, I do get regular requests to make it available, which is what I'm doing now.
They're all live solo acoustic songs from a variety of sources, basically whatever I could lay my hands on in the few days before flying to Italy. The quality varies (so this is fair warning of that) but that's life, and they are what they are, and it is to be honest pretty much what I sound like live solo acoustic, mostly.
Doing this only via bandcamp, and I'm not sure how long I'll keep it up before I take it down, so get it while it lasts.
Songs: I Just Wanna Do It with You / She Turned Out to Be Crazy / I Don't Need You Now / Danny Partridge / Sorry for Freaking Out on the Phone Last Night / King Dork / How'd the Date End? / I Wanna Ramone You / Jill / Goody Goody Gumdrops / Knock Knock (Please Let Me In) / Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend / I Wrote a Book about Rock and Roll / You Today / Cingular Wireless (Worse than Hitler)
June 05, 2016
Never been experienced
May 30, 2016
Wanna See My Necronomicon
Liz Suburbia drew this great picture of Andromeda Klein:
May 25, 2016
April 30, 2016
Not a lot of people know that, apparently
This turned up on twitter and I dutifully reposted it (insofar as my duty, sad as it may be, requires vague, ineffectual attempts to amplify each and every mention of myself and my works, no matter how trivial.) A surprising number of people seem to have been surprised by it. Well, I hardly ever watch anything all the way to the end either, to be honest, which is an argument, I suppose, for putting your best stuff at the beginning and letting the rest trail off to a conclusory preface.
Jane the Insane Dog Lady
April 28, 2016
Thought for the Day
"They want penance, for themselves as for others, but deprived of religion and knowing no means of describing or imposing it, have re-imagined the sacrament in a crude, child-like, and rather vicious form."
--Something said by the smartest person I know, on the current flavor of identity politics.
April 26, 2016
Scape of the Sound
So... this may well be one of those nutty ideas that won't come to anything, but I was listening to some rough mixes today and thought it could be cool to incorporate some audio of people reading little bits from the books into the sequence (like short bits in between songs, that sort of thing.) Anyway, it could be worth a shot, so if anyone has a favorite line or so from either of the King Dork books, drop me a line with a recording attached. Phone recording would work just fine. Kids or young-sounding voices would probably be extra specially good. Only do it if you feel like it, and if you don't, don't. firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 21, 2016
My Three Songs
A swell gal named Valerie posted this on the facebook thing today:
My favorite thing about Facebook, is that occasionally Dr. Frank posts status updates that are just MTX lyrics and it's the best and it totally makes my day. Also!! It's 3:30 and I'm wide awake... so it's the perfect time to ask this question: What's your favorite Mr. T Experience song? Discuss! 💚The comments were very nice and kind and I'm linking so the future Dr. Frank can go back and cheer himself up next time he's feeling sorry for himself. Cheer up, buddy.
April 14, 2016
Practicing My Guitar Parts
Took the little piece of duct tape off the laptop camera hole to take the photo, but it was only quick.
(Pre-order my book/album.)
April 13, 2016
Here Is a Show I Am Doing
Sat. 5/14, 8PM, Uptown, 128 Telegraph, Oakland w/Zack Bateman and the Coal Minds, The Wastedeads, and Toxic Shock Syndrome.
April 12, 2016
I Don't Remember them All, but I Do Remember this One
Mikey Erg posted this on his Instagram because this week's Chris Gerhard Show has a prom theme and this is what he went to instead of his own prom. I believe I stated home for Love Boat/Fantasy Island on "mine."
April 09, 2016
Don't Know and Don't Care about the "Rock Hall" but I Do Like What Mike Nesmith Says Here
Here's Mike Nesmith on a Facebook post, working his way towards explaining why he doesn't feel he has or can have a useful or interesting opinion on whether or not the Monkees or anyone else should be in the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame." Like it says, I couldn't care less about the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" but I was struck by this conceit of "people sitting in the center of their own hurricane." I think it's quite insightful, and true:
When The Beatles were recording Sgt. Peppers, Phyllis and I spent a few days with John and Cynthia at their home, and one in the studio with “the boys." That’s where those pictures of John and I come from – the “Day in the Life” session.
The minute I had the wherewithal –cachet and money – I raced to London and looked up John.
During the ‘60s it seemed to me London was the center of the World and The Beatles were the center of London and the Sgt Pepper session was the center of The Beatles.
It was an extraordinary time, I thought, and I wanted to get as close as I could to the heart of it.
But like a hurricane the center was not stormy or tumultuous. It was exciting, but it was calm, and to an extent peaceful. The confidence of the art permeated the atmosphere. Serene – and really, really fun.
Then I discovered the reason for this.
During that time in one of our longer, more reflective, talks I realized that John was not aware of who The Beatles were. Of course he could not be. He was clueless in this regard. He had never seen or experienced them. In the strange paradox of fame, none of The Beatles ever saw The Beatles the way we did. Certainly not the way I did. I loved them beyond my ability to express it.
As the years passed and I met more and more exceptional people sitting in the center of their own hurricane I saw they all shared this same sensibility. None of them could actually know the force of their own work.
With no intention of comparison of work, I am in something of the same position with The Monkees. It was one of my private hurricanes – long gone and calm now, leaving me with great memories and artifacts – but with a critical element hidden to me in a most profound way.
Indeed. I don’t even know what the element is.
April 08, 2016
They were lying around next to the board at the Static Room where I did vox last night, and it seemed... auspicious.
April 07, 2016
Is that a Fret or a Promise?
Hard to imagine a more dim-witted piece of criticism than this, as a (perhaps surprising) 100% of Stranger commenters avow. I don't care too much about that (though it's fun when snark like "hey there's this thing called the internet you can look stuff up on grandpa" comes from someone who doesn't know what "beguiled" means, and who couldn''t be bothered to use the wacky new google to familiarize himself with his own subject, who happens to be the rather famous Calvin Trillin nobody who reads the New Yorker ever heard of.)
What I'm concerned about is the assertion that the word "fret" is archaic and forbidden as a rhyming word. It doesn't seem so to me, though admittedly I'm pretty archaic myself. Not to mention the fact that it describes an activity to which I devote a considerable amount of my energy, sometimes all of it. I hate to see it go. Then again, I'm the guy who put the word "tresses" in a pop song, over my producer's objections on just those grounds, so I was out of it a long time ago.
UPDATE: this guy returns, saying "sorry not sorry" for missing the irony while demonstrating that he isn't all that clear on what irony is, but linking to the famously non-ironic Alanis Morissette song. (Now that's ironic.) Comments are once again funny and re-assuring. He still doesn't get it. I love the poorly educated.