Monday, January 31, 2005

My "life" is a little more settled now than in recent days. I spent two weeks working on a book proposal for a publisher who made the mistake of showing reserved interest in a concept Mark Deming and I have been knocking around. I don't think they're gonna bite; it's not exactly up their alley and I can only assume that the proposal I sent was not up to industry standard snuff (it was my first attempt at one, after all, I hardly know what I'm doing). The best we can hope for is a speedy rejection, so we can retool the thing and send it off to someone who might be more inclined to actually publish it.

Anyhow, that consumed me but good for two weeks, and last weekend was spent trying to catch up on other projects. I finished writing my celebration of the great John Carradine, who will turn 99 years old this Saturday (don't bother sending a card, he's dead), so check for that on this weekend. I also spent time on an article I'm writing about ephemeral film (by which I mean gory old drivers' ed films, military propaganda, industrial training films and the like) for the next issue of Resonance and I've interviewed Rick Prelinger of the Prelinger Archives and two fellas who run something called the Found Film Festival. Tonight I begin transcribing and hoping my 45 minutes worth of taped conversations start turning into a story.

It's my mother's birthday today. Like every year, I celebrate this day by respecting her privacy and not calling her or cluttering up her mailbox with gifts.

Monday, January 24, 2005


Sadness is all around me
The road ahead is cheerless
The past seems to be a dream
Which torments my sore heart
Looking at this dreary landscape
I wish I could forget
Love and faithlessness
But my memory is my enemy
And it keeps the past awake
Coachman, don't ride
The horses so hard
I have nowhere to rush
I have no one to love
So don't drive so fast

(from A Treasury of Russian Gypsy Songs)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Hail, Flaster

Out of the fuckin' blue, ol' Scott Flaster (late of the Actionaries and Small Brown Bike, now rocking Chicago in Gasoline Fight) gives us a call last weekend and before we know it, Lori and I are drinking multiples with Stinky and his lovely bride Cara. They were in town for a brief getaway from the Wind to the Rain, and we jawed for hours. It was refreshing to see someone of the old school, although Flaster's beard has grown to intervention level and the sight of his head entirely covered in orange fuzz was disturbing.

We had such a good time with the Flasters that Lori and I decided on a midnight run to the local hot tub place (cleverly monikered "Tubz"). We frolicked for an expensive hour while listening to disc 2 of the Rhino No Thanks! compilation. Nothing like making out with your wife in a hot tub with "Gary Gilmore's Eyes" blaring.

Dig Scott's new record label: Seventh Rule Records

And rock band: Gasoline Fight

Monday, January 17, 2005

Americans are Fuckin' Hilarious.

Download and Behold My Japan

Sunday, January 16, 2005

I daresay this is the coolest website of all time.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


A long-lost former associate (Mike Boyd, ex of Lapeer County Rockers for those in the know) is trying to make it big in Nashville and has been including a few Clutters songs in his repertoire. Yeah, yeah, I know, he's insane, doesn't realize just how much bad luck and bad karma is associated with those numbers. Anyhow, he wants to gain the performance rights for two of these songs I wrote, and publish them under the umbrella of his publishing company, just to make everything official and professional and all.

Anyone know anything at all about how this process works? I trust this guy (and his crazy ol' dad, who appears to be acting as his manager), so it's not a matter of worrying about being ripped off by him, it's every other motherfucker in the music biz that I'm suspicious of. If anyone has any essential advice, please pass it on. These songs sure aren't making me any money right now, so I really have nothing to lose, I just wanna make sure my name stays attached to them all the way down the line.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

"Depression is the only filler for the emptiness." - The Dave Hill

Anyone with whereabouts for the aforementioned sage should contact me pronto. Mr. Hill was for many years my guru, the holy fool who could always put things into perspective. My guess is that he's re-shaved his head, given up and gone back to school, probably the only safe place for him. Either that or he's fallen off one too many roofs and is panhandling somewhere in California, terrifying well-groomed passersby with rants so mad they can only be the truth. Whatever, as long as he's not singing anymore ...

The holiday was a blur, a necessary blur that was indeed relaxing but I didn't catch up on any writing to speak of. As soon as I was back to the temp gig I found myself shaking nervously, mind racing about everything I wasn't going to be able to accomplish after a full day of numbness. I just don't have the energy level I used to ... a natural enough phenom, but I don't seem to have more than 5 or 6 good hours in a day, and I hate having to use them up punching numbers into databases. By the time I get home I can either take care of chores or try to write (and the words don't always come). I'm cutting way back on the intoxicants to facilitate a healthier body and, theoretically, mind, but so far I'm as sluggish and dazed as ever. Nothing is worse than waking up with a hangover when you haven't had a drink in three days.