July 26, 2016
Summer Holiday & Me
July 21, 2016
I Wrote an Album about a Book about Rock and Roll
This is by way of a progress report on King Dork Approximately the Album.
The recording for the KDATA is almost completely done. It's coming out great, I think, best stuff we've ever done in many ways. Its exceeding my expectations anyhow. We've certainly had a great time recording it. The line up is me, Bobby J., Ted Angel, and Jaz Brown, plus guests. Ted engineered the bulk of it at Hypnotone in Sacramento, but three of the songs were recorded with Denny Muller at the Static Room in Jingle Town, Oakland. I'm giving Sam Hellerman production credit, but there wasn't really a producer per se, beyond me humming my dumb ideas and everyone else chiming in. (And curse you auto-correct for trying to make me type "Kellerman" there. I hate you more than life itself.) The drums sound great.
I often get asked how "punk" it is going to be. My guess is that it probably won't be "punk" enough for people to whom it occurs to ask that question, but since you ask, I'm going to have Ted turn up the "punk" knob in the mix just in case. Twelve good songs, none of which sound the same as any of the others, done as well as we could do them. For free with the book, which is a pretty good deal if you're into the music ($9.99 is the list price) even if you already have the hardcover. There's an appendix in the new edition with the lyrics of the album and the cover matches the album artwork; they are meant to complement each other. Think of the book as the equivalent of the record jacket of old, with the record itself being non-physical, plus there's a free novel crammed in there as well. (We're working on a plan for a possibly expanded vinyl edition later on, but more about that as and if it develops.)
Also got lots of cool fun stuff in the works so stay tuned for another update to see if any of it comes to pass.
You can pre-order here if you like.
Some people count Big Black Bugs Bleed Blue Blood and ...and the Women Who Love Them as full length albums rather than eps because of the CD comps, but if you don't count them (and if you count Road to Ruin) King Dork Approximately the Album will be the eleventh MTX album. Yesterday Rules was released in 2004, so it will be the first in twelve years. Ye gods.
(And though I have no idea specifically how, when, or if it will come about, I mostly have the twelfth one written too, though that's a post for another time. The theoretical track list for it keeps changing and I've been on a mysterious songwriting streak lately.)
Basically, I feel like a pretend rock star once again. It's good to be back.
Things Wikipedia Taught Me
The peace sign is suddenly a lot more interesting once you learn that its designer intended it to depict "an individual in despair, with hands palm outstretched outwards and downwards in the manner of Goya's peasant before the firing squad."
July 20, 2016
July 19, 2016
Carrie, film, 1976:
Swell Poster from Our Friends at Windmill Library, Las Vegas, NV
July 17, 2016
This could get long
One of the many theoretical irons I have in the theoretical fire these days is an idea that dates back to a few years ago when I came across all my old lyrics notebooks that I'd stopped using when I switched to typing everything in to a vast array of confusing text files.
They included this:
As I explained/claimed at the time, writing that on the composition book cover was done with at least a bit of irony; nevertheless it really was the book I carried around to scribble in ca. '94-95, and it does indeed contain the lyrics to the Love Is Dead songs, as well as some of the Revenge songs. It also contains, among many misfires and quite a bit of embarrassing nonsense, quite a few actual songs from that era in various stages of completion, most of which I've forgotten about completely. The LID recording sessions were absolutely concise and yielded no out-takes at all, but here, in a sense, were some "virtual" out-takes from a period of material that a lot of people seem to be quite interested in.
So, I thought to myself, if the time ever comes to re-issue that album, it would be kind of fun and interesting to try to re-construct some of these songs and record them for an expanded version in lieu of the traditional bonus material that is usually included in projects like that. I'm thinking, an ep of six songs or so, something like that. Especially since we don't actually have any of that traditional material.
Well it is easier to say than to do, like most things, and the idea is still kicking around undone as of yet. But it could happen.
And the reason for writing this post is that in trying to take stock and do an inventory of the contenders and I happened across a slew of other such tunes in a place I hadn't yet looked, including surefire hits like "I'm in Love (with Your Pants)" and "Librarian Fatale." This could get long. Still aiming for an eps worth only, if it happens, but there's more to choose from than I thought.
(And just by way of an update on that old post, "You Have Won Second Prize in a Beauty Contest" turned out to be un-reconstructible as found, and I basically wrote a totally new song with the title. I want to put that on a future record, but it's not a contender for this idea. "She's a Snowman," though, is probably in.)
July 08, 2016
Here's the kickstarter for that Creem Magazine documentary you may have been hearing about.
Believe it or not, this photo appeared in the September 1988 issue of Creem magazine:
Rod Stewart was on the cover.
June 30, 2016
Two Minute Itch
Almost forgot how good this is:
Yes, you squashed cabbage leaf. You disgrace to the noble architecture of these columns! You incarnate insult to the English language! I could pass you off as, er, the Queen of Sheba.
From Freddie deBoer:
...Meanwhile, the grubby masses, lacking access to the kind of private liberal arts colleges where one learns these Byzantine codes, now can add political and moral poverty to their economic and social poverty. This is the next great project of the American elite: building a political system that ensures the winners in winner-take-all enjoy not just the fruits of material gain, but the certainty that their elevated station is deserved thanks to their elevated moral standing.I think you can probably learn a version of it from reading Gawker and Slate, taking buzzfeed quizzes, and watching MTV, but it won't be quite good enough to pass as a duchess at an embassy ball.
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