Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays and all. Last night the wife and I dressed up pretty, drank really good bourbon in front of a Christmas tree and chatted with doctors. It was quite merry.

Later we went to Scarecrow and nabbed what was left of their X-mas themed film collection. Over the course of tomorrow we will enjoy:





Plus SCROOGE'S ROCK N ROLL CHRISTMAS from 1983 starring Jack Elam as Scrooge and featuring musical performances from Paul Revere and the Raiders, Three Dog Night, and Mike Love (of the "Beach Boys").

Feel free to call for exact screening times.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Jessica Simpson: Class Act.

"We appreciate the time and energy Ms. Simpson put into this event and respect the high standards she has for herself and that of the Kennedy Center Honors," said George Stevens Jr., show producer.
Despite a minor white wine hangover (the worst kind) I'm in exceptional humor today, and for no particular reason. It's 8:00am right now ... how long until my good mood crashes and decays? I still have to catch the 358 downtown, that oughta do it.

Til then, I wanna make you dig this:

"Take Me For A Little While" by The Mirettes

I've had it stuck on repeat for the past half hour ... I first heard and loved the Vanilla Fudge version, which I believe was copped off the original Edie Sands recording and replicates the slow burn yearning at the heart of the song, but this raved-up take is irresistible. Thanks, Funky 16 Corners ... once again, your programming is impeccable.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

More YouTube wanderings ... my favorite director, Doris Wishman is the subject of an upcoming film, although the website appears to be a dead end, so don't go looking for it ... apparently just like Michael Bowen's long-awaited biography of the grand dame of sexploitation cinema, this tribute will also be a stillborn fantasy.

I love Doris and you should too.

The Tornadoes

The Outlaws

The World's Worst Records

There is perverse pleasure to be had in sampling the tasteless, inept, and bizarre, and it was with this fact in mind that Rhino Records unleashed The Rhino Brothers Present the World's Worst Records!, a compilation of abrasive novelty songs, demented outsider artists, and clumsy comedy. With liner notes by Dr. Demento and Rhino mainstays Barnes & Barnes and Wild Man Fischer on board, there's not much doubt as to the tone of the collection. The set list is skewed strongly toward silly, self-consciously dumb parody tunes that range from amusing (Ogden Edsl's wacky child-abuse singalong "Kinko the Clown") to obvious and unfunny ("I Wanna Be Your Dog" sung by some bad Three Stooges imitators). Should the "World's Worst Records" include songs like these that were specifically designed for such a list? For those who think not, there's the psychobilly classic "Paralyzed," a formless, atonal jumble of guitar, drum, and bugle from the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, a genuine eccentric who actually turned this wild, incredibly alive record into a hit for a short while in 1968. The highlight of the set is the brilliantly dumb "Surfin' Tragedy," recorded in 1963 by the Breakers; this priceless hybrid of surf pop and the "teen tragedy" tradition sets a romantic tale of death on the waves to a ham-fisted Beach Boys-style ballad, complete with a mournful French horn hook. Gloria Balsam's proudly off-key "Fluffy" is sure to clear the room at your next family reunion, and with the original single long out of print, its appearance is valuable (to a select few). Also welcome are classic novelties from the wrestling-obsessed Novas and the taste-impaired Jimmy Cross, though their numbers are easily available on several other compilations. Toward the end of the 20th century, the interest in records that ignore or reject the popular standards of what constitutes "good" music grew into a recognizable cult (writer Irwin Chusid explored the new genre with Songs in the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music). Blame it on the age of irony, or a desperate attempt to find unique sounds in an increasingly homogenous world, but there are those who find pleasure in the accidental, the broken, and the incorrect. The Rhino Brothers Present the World's Worst Records! anticipated this trend several years in advance, proposing that "bad" was infinitely better than "boring," though their overdependence on prefab wackiness lessens the importance of the package. FRED BELDIN

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Black Flag 4-ever.

Raw demos. "Anger and coffee feeding me."
I love teenage girls. And not the way you're thinking of, pervert. I mean true love.

Bob Seger - Key Arena, February 22, 2007

Who's game? Let me know quick, there's a limit of six tickets per purchaser. A mere $65 apiece to see the shadow of a great, great man.

Or just start digging the records. Seger history is a lot more satisfying than contemporary Seger. I'd suggest beginning with Mongrel, as it's relatively easy to find and doesn't come with as much psychedelic baggage as the also-excellent Ramblin' Gamblin' Man ... Mongrel includes my favorite Seger track, "Lucifer," a righteous slab of white-hot white funk that throws the finger up to those who would dare question our hero's integrity. The whole record is heavy, plus there are a few flashes of the contemplative singer-songwriter style Seger would hit big with in later years (a style that eventually destroyed his rocknroll credentials, unfortunately, hitting its nadir with "Like A Rock," a song that sounded like a truck commercial even before it became a truck commercial).

Still waiting for Endless Jim to mix up the latest SLA tapes ... they're sure to be a glorious tribute, but in the meantime you can find an MP3 from the original session on the Ghetto site if you haven't dug it yet.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy Birthday to my wife, Lori (that's her on the right). Now that we're both in our 40s, everything's gonna be a lot easier. I love you.

Anyone gonna be in Seattle on Christmas? We're having our now-annual Xmas Open House, so anyone with nowhere to go (or someplace they'd like to avoid) contact us for directions to our apartment ... anytime between 9:00am and 9:00pm we'll be serving liquor and food and spinning great records. Stop by for an eye-opener before going to Grandma's place or drown your sorrows after a long, boring family fight. We'll be here for you.

And what the hell ... most of the people who read this already have seen it, so here's the link to the official End Times site. A work in progress, yes, but the essential pieces are finally in place. After the first of the year we'll be available for personal appearances. We have a great many things to tell you ...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Home of the Whammer Deal

Out here in Seattle there's a great series of homemade TV commercials for this particular appliance store ... King is the old fella on the right and he's a complete genius. Bunny is his wife, but apparently she doesn't make personal appearances. If you're looking for a dishwasher, I suggest you patronize their establishment.

I don't often discuss Rosie O'Donnell in this forum (for various reasons) but today I feel like punching her in the face, so I must bring it up. I like making fun of Chinese people as much as the next guy ... ching chong, ching chong, see, I think it's hilarious, I have no problem with her minor little gag. But that half-hearted non-apology is infuriating after her headline-grabbing tantrum over (I'm not gonna mention these people by name anymore, it makes me feel like a tool)'s utterly unintentional gay slur, which, it should be mentioned, no one else in the world found offensive in the least. I know getting angry about what goes on in the world of morning television seems short-sighted, but this kind of hypocrisy is rampant in the country today, everyone so locked in their own little cultural pocket but utterly ignorant of all the other marginal groups around them. Gay, Christian, Negro, mod, rocker, postcard collector, falconer, flautist, speedfreak ... everybody assumes the bag they're in is the only one that needs protection. This is why I hate everyone and I think it's time that all us misanthropes of the world unite and form an organization to stand up for our right not to be irritated by the rest of you fucking morons out there.

And while we're discussing the "news," I wanna state that I think it's okay to stuff kids in body socks too.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fifteen years of rocknroll boiled down to one database entry.

I still wanna know what joker told this guy that Kirk Reedy was in the Clutters. Very funny, wiseguy.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

And it's about time, too.
Dreams of fist fights
With strangers in new cities
Where I'm welcomed with a single exception
One young tough hombre needs to test me
So I am openly mocked
Everyone else tries to ignore it, embarassed
But my ears get red
And I respond with unwanted sarcasm
Or is that exactly what he wants?
Gradually the conflict escalates
To tipped beer cups and thrown ashtrays
Anything to provoke my first fist
And it inevitably breaks
He's strong
But I'm angry and in the right
So we're separated quickly
Which was his plan all along
And then it resumes, again and again
Until finally I've proven myself
Or something
I tense at his presence until he says
"Hey, man"
And I must be all right now
For he's given me a gift
A fantastic, preposterous gift
It's an enormous inflatable something
Like a latex carnival ride
In pink and blue and orange
With a slide, a staircase and pinwheels
We all pass joints and look at it

Monday, December 11, 2006

By the way, an aside to "Anonymous" ... I am anxious to discover what that mysterious, sinister file is that you directed me to in your comment to my Friday morning post, but naturally I'm too paranoid to open such a thing from a Man With No Name such as yourself. These are harsh times. But I'm pretty sure I know who you are ... no one would know that I worked at 500 Madison Street in Chicago except for one man, the guy with the accordian and peg-leg who regaled me with Bobby Vinton songs as I walked into the building every morning. Is you him? Email me.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

After three full days of not seeing my wife thanks to a series of very important fact-finding missions we finally reconnected and spent a glorious Sunday ignoring the clock, skipping showers and lounging half-naked (I won't reveal which half) on the couch watching Season Six of The Sopranos in its entirety.

I awoke hungover and angry on Saturday, spent the day stalking from room to room punching the air and wondering what the hell my problem was. That night all my bad mojo was exorcised through a long-overdue End Times session in which we all played together rather than just at the same time ... as soon as the tapes incubate they'll be made publicly available. While it's true that this band might be the gayest thing I've ever done (a piano no less ... about fifteen years ago Soren pondered adding a keyboard to Apollo Nine and a bunch of us beat him with pillowcases full of oranges until he realized we were right and thanked us), I can guarantee that if we're a fag we're one of those mighty Tom of Finland queers, a volunteer fireman with a Harley who can singlehandedly build a deck on your house over the course of a weekend, the kind of gay that makes beautiful women swoon and think, "Good Lord, what a waste." After all, I'm not in the Midwest anymore, where everything was sweat and blood and gasoline ... out here if you cut someone they ooze a weird milky white sap, the wound heals instantly and they just smile a passive-aggressive smile and say, "No worries." Luckily I found some kids who know how to navigate this slippery landscape, and if Seattle audiences are ready to accept top hats and children's choirs for their entertainment dollar, then clearly nothing is verboten.
Louise Huebner is the Official Witch of Los Angeles. It's a very true fact.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Friday, December 08, 2006

So last night I finally summoned the strength to leave the comfort of my home and check out The Bug Nasties, something I've been threatening/promising to do for over a year since first getting to know Brother James and Vic during the Damned Damned Damned debacle. They were awful good, tight as a fist and loose where it counts, not bad for four guys even older than I am. I had a great time and really must remind myself to leave the house more often. Opening was a band that the kids are gonna love, Shorthand For Epic. Big 21st Century hooks that normally would irritate me, but luckily the bandmembers are all ugly as sin (the four-eyed guitarist's beard/bandanna combination alone is enough to crack a hundred backstage coke mirrors) so I really dug it. Nice work.

Tonight I'm going to see Mr. Harvey Danger perform the Nelson Sings Nelson show ... best known as the pen behind big hits like "Lump," "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "Another One Rides The Bus," tonight Harvey's going to be appearing as his "Sean Nelson" character (the hapless indie-rock sad-sack first introduced through a series of satirical Stranger articles and kept alive on improv comedy stages around the city), regaling the audience with a selection of songs by the late, great Ricky Nelson. I say it's about time ... I've been a Ricky Nelson fan since childhood, and most hipsters are unaware of his contributions to rock and roll. "Hello Mary Lou," "Travelin' Man" and "Poor Little Fool" are all top-notch pop songs backed by session players stolen from Elvis recordings, and Nelson's eventual shift to a more countrified sound paved the way for artists like Gram Parsons, the Eagles, Beachwood Sparks and Garth Brooks. I applaud Harvey's keen insight and can't wait to hear what he does with "Garden Party."

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Another virtual reprint of my Crime article. Naturally, no victory of mine is complete without the shadow of my bitter past darkening the corners, so there's Magick Markers and Wolf Eyes flack up there too, but whatever. Thanks, Encoule!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

ok. from now on i go see EVERY easy action gig. brannon is clearly still a genius.

black flag. best lineup, much as i prefer dez's voice, this is where it's at.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Deming on Altman on AMG

When I first started hanging around with Mark Deming, he was loathe to discuss his experiences in the film industry. Now you can't shut him up. What happened to that skinny kid who freaked out at band practice when he showed up and found us all huddled around the TV set watching Gorp? Oh, that's right, he stopped drinking and developed a sense of humor about himself. Or did he? I guess I'll find out when he reads this post ...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I've been looking for this record for years, so thanks to WFMU for finally making it available. Download it immediately. Why didn't these guys have their own series? I guess it's none of my business.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Padma Sari

THIS is the Next Sound, kid. Add a keyboard hook and a trio of teenage girls singing about soda pop and you got yourself a hit record. I can make these cats stars.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Jerk It Outt

Jerk It Out

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


A bald-faced copy of Terminator mixed with bizarre Oriental legends and squirming sexual violence, this Indonesian oddity scores high for insane action and impressive chutzpah. After the prologue fills us in on the story of the evil Queen and the possession of Tania ("I'm not a lady, I'm an anthropologist!") is complete, the rest of Lady Terminator is pure plagiarism, right down to reproducing some of Terminator's scenes and dialogue. It's a rip-off on the cheap, as well, with certain sequences being used twice in order to bulk up running time. Luckily, the whole mess is just weird enough to work, blending Eastern and Western influences together into something far greater than its original intent. Make no mistake; this is nothing more than a cynical cash-in packed with as much nudity, explosions and blood squibs as possible, but fans of outlaw cinema will be thrilled by the sick surrealism on screen and the outrageous chicanery at work behind the scenes. FRED BELDIN
First official The End Times pin-up. Take heed, this is a rough draft, but the plan is to have us in 16 Magazine by the summer of 2007, so there's no time to lose. Maybe next time Kate won't be such a lens hog. Oh my god, I am so fucking FAT!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Not safe for work (unless you work at home) ... Bubble Gum Dreams, my favorite new fetish.

Thanks to my wife "Laurie" for allowing my birthday dreams to come true ... essentially two straight days of prolific boozing, appetizers and hors d' eurves for ever meal, plus unlimited access to the television set for a private holocaust of slasher action and AMOS AND ANDY reruns. I kissed the square world goodbye and made my pad the only culturally/spiritually pure spot in North America for 48 hours. I mean, we already do all right, Lori and me, we're pretty righteous in our day-to-day but once in a while you really gotta toss off the shackles of The Man and fuck it up Lansing style ... Manhattans before noon, gluten-free cake and an endless supply of crackers, cheese, cold cuts, coffee and cashews, with an emergency supply of cranberry juice for when you need a quick system flush.

This is how I marked my latest year, one I have no problem celebrating (as opposed to eulogizing, which I'm more familiar with). Thanks to everyone who came by to humor me, particularly those who supplied me with over-abundant gifts of stimulant. My man Tyson made it possible (no, more like mandatory) for me to watch THE LAST SLUMBER PARTY over and over again in search of elusive clues, and not only did Kate cop important supplies like Red Bull, ginger ale, toilet paper and vermouth for me, she also laid a couple sacks of orange candy on me as well (if you know what I mean). Kate brought her friend Pete along, and he seems like a fine, upstanding young man ... I'm so embarrassed now, but I was drunk when he came in and I thought for sure she introduced him as "Peach," so all fucking afternoon I'm calling this cat "Peach," you know? I mean, I figured it was some kinda nickname like "Champ" or "Tex." Well, either he didn't notice or he's just that cool of a customer ... anyhow, his name is Pete, not "Peach," so don't make the same mistake I did if you meet him.

What? No, I didn't see Meg there, either. Well, she was super drunk the night before at Kate's house, so I can only assume she was too hungover to make it. Yeah, I know.

There's more photos of my friends having the time of their lives here.

Friday, November 17, 2006

It's A Wonderful Movie

Just received a missive from my role model The Steve, who has alerted his fans that tonight at 8:00pm EST he'll be performing as part of a dramatic reading of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE on Last Chance College radio WLNZ ... dig it on the internet if you aren't in Lansing (and these days, who is?).

Drummer for lounge acts, Top 40 cover bands and alt-country wannabees ... Elvis impersonator ... dark and mysterious radio presence ... audio engineer and instructor ... father and husband ... unrepentant raconteur ... is there anything The Steve can't do?
Okay, the Electric Six (nee Wild Bunch) have long been one of my least favorite Detroit bands ... never thought "Gay Bar" was funny, boring as hell live, the guy's voice annoys me to no end, and all this despite the fact that the revolving door lineup now includes two of the few people in Detroit that I actually like (Nash is a goddamn saint and while I haven't talked to Mike since he changed his name to "Percussion," he's top shelf humanity as well).

But I fear that I'll never be able to get this brilliant song out of my head ... thanks a lot, assholes. Now I have to reevaluate everything I thought I knew. Why couldn't you stick with lousy Queen covers? Jesus.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Adopt a habit which is ideologically unsound to your "friends." Indulge often.

Enroll in a state university immediately after finishing high school, no matter what your instincts tell you.

Choose one of two sides and cling to it doggedly.

Invest your money in the latest top-of-the-line technological products. They will never be bettered.

People love to be imitated.

Set fires when you're lonely.

Confuse hedonism with revolution. Drink fast.

When adversity approaches, excuse yourself and find the nearest restroom.
Mingering Mike
It is safe to say that I am relatively fucking relieved to retrieve all of the lost files on my porn machine ... thanks to everyone who offered advice. I still don't know what happened, nor can I even explain how I recovered what appeared to be gone forever. To me the computer is like a car -- I can operate it well enough and I have a vague understanding of the science behind its existence, but if something goes wrong I am utterly baffled at how to fix it. I am not ashamed of this ignorance, it is simply a fact, and I trust that God has blessed me with other areas of expertise to make up for this shortcoming (although I have yet to discover what they are).

I am currently in the market for a sun lamp to help ease my seasonal depression, which has resurfaced with great vigor over the past month. The cocktail of medications (prescribed or otherwise) that I gulp down daily go a long way toward getting me out the door and into what some call "life," but after one of the most positive, constructive and gregarious summers I've had in ten years, the creep is back along with the flooding rains and grey winds, so I can't discount the effect of mere weather on my fragile psyche. It really is a drag living in the world's richest, most powerful country, isn't it?

In other, probably not completely unrelated news, I've resigned as film editor of Resonance. Too many bumped stories, not enough freedom to justify my unpaid work, and just a general schism between the aesthetics of the magazine and my own. Call it mid-life crisis if you like, but I don't have enough time left to write about what other people do unless I'm getting paid to do it (we all have to do things we don't care about if we want to stay indoors and eat -- most of us, anyway). Don't take this as a rejection of Resonance, I'm still going to write articles for them and I'll be doing what I can to keep the film section together until they find someone to take my place, I just can't accept the responsibility of "film editor" anymore ... I have to start focusing my energies on projects that will bring fame, riches or personal satisfaction (I'm most interested in that last thing).

So if anyone wants the gig, let me or Monko know ... there's a lot of free DVDs in it for you.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Attention 21st Century types ... last night for some still-undetermined reason, my computer was wiped clean of all files. Like everything, suddenly, no warning, back to factory-standard default. Lori and I ran a virus scan and we saw that the computer was scanning all my old files, so they're still in there, we just have no idea how to get to them. Any ideas from people in the know would be appreciated. And in the meantime, if I emailed you any files over the past 6-12 months that you're still holding on to (songs, photos, articles, reviews, stories, whatever) please don't delete them ... I may need to recover them from you in the near future.

Thank you.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I haven't said so yet, but thanks Terri. You don't find paintings like this in your mailbox every day (wouldn't that be great?), and it now rests in a prominent position in our home (above the radiator). I love the expression on the Hobo Clown's face ... he isn't even looking at the book he's holding for the French Clown, he's plotting some kind of mischief to pull while the other guy is distracted. I don't even think he's a real clown ... he's probably a con man hiding out from the police, and let's face it, what better cover than the circus? Traveling from one backwoods hick town to the next in disguise AND delighting children along the way? Hopefully he'll learn a lesson about friendship by the third act.

Speaking of which, thanks again ... I'm writing you a letter.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Real quick-like, my Crime article MURDER BY GUITAR is up on what I believe to be a semi-official band website. Read it if you haven't already.

El Smasho on MySpace.

I have no idea where the fuck this came from, but I'm gonna blame Tim until someone tells me different. For my money "Duncan" is the track to beat here. Get a load of all that hair ...

I think I know who's behind these Apollo Nine and Pop Tarts pages, though. "Tonight" might be the loveliest song ever written about post-adolescence, but don't miss "Gossip" for that fucked-up guitar solo.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

RIP Larissa Strickland, guitarist for the mighty Laughing Hyenas, from an overdose of Xanax. The Hyenas were THE band of the late 1980s, no one could touch them for on stage intensity ... first time I saw them was at Bookies in Detroit, the bar was mostly empty but as soon as they went on, sliding into that sinister "Stain" riff and flipping playing cards into the air, I suddenly knew what it was like to see the Stooges back in 1969. It was that heavy, and the Hyenas never disappointed me live over nearly a hundred gigs I attended in basements and bars all over Michigan. I didn't know Larissa well, but the few times I hung out with her she was always sweet to me and it's sad to know that she never completely kicked her bad habits.

Dig my review of Merry Go Round (their first album).

Dig Deming's review of Life of Crime (their best album).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Potter on Potter.

I've been ignoring my MySpace account (I forgot all about it, actually), checked today for the first time in weeks and discovered a friendster request from Toofless Tom Potter. Checking out his page, I came across a link to the previous interview, in which he describes the End Times as "current." This is perhaps the nicest thing Tom has ever said about one of my bands, which makes this a very special day for me.

In further news, my birthday plans have officially been expanded to include the Goodnight Loving gig at the Funhouse November 19th. My new favorite band.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About The Grand Funk Railroad

Thanks to Ramrod for hipping me to this ... our DSL came back on today after almost a week of wretched service from Speakeasy so I finally got the chance to download this remarkable LP. Hell yeah to WFMU and Killertree. I remember when I worked briefly at a record store in St. Clair Shores, this very LP was on the wall for a while for $30 or some outrageous sum, and if I actually had a thirty dollar bill to my name I woulda bought it too.

Kate and I played a ramshackle open mic the other night and wowed an eight-year-old girl. We're on our way.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Okay, it's official, I know what I want to do for my birthday. November 20th, 2006 at the Sunset Tavern, all the way from Sweden, WITCHCRAFT will make a very special performance of righteous bloodshot raunch, Sabbath-damaged stomp and all. Who dares to share this experience with me?

AMG sez ...

Friday, October 27, 2006

anyone looking for a mail-order bride?

I am Nataly. To talk about my personal qualities I`l try to look at
myself from aside. So I`m a feminine, charming, romantic and sweet
girl. Yet as a person I am open-minded, easy-going, kind-hearted. From
the very beginning I try to behave naturally. I dislike lie and
hypocrisy. Kindness and decency are the qualities that are very
important for me and that`s why I value them in myself. I love my
parents very much as they have given much to me and I am grateful to
I have some questions for you if you want to get to know me closer:
1/ Are you interested in serious relations with Russian woman?
2/ Are you planning to visit Russia?
3/ Would you like to correspond or to talk by phone?
4/ Why are you interested in Russian lady?
5/ Have you ever been to Russia?
6/ What is important for you in relations and am I right for you?
I will be waiting for your reply to
(email address deleted to protect this girl's privacy - ed.)
Hope you will tell me about yourself,
kisses from Russia,
Well, I finally did it. Lori and I got cellphones last weekend, so now I'm just like the rest of you assholes, more connected to the grid than ever before. All I need now is a tattoo, some piercings and a cock-reduction operation and I'll be the average American man.

Oops, hold on, I gotta take this ...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Writing for this Seattle guidebook has got me contemplating my relationship to the city after three and a half years ... being a corn-fed midwestern dame myself, never been nowhere else except Florida (which don't count), coming to Seattle was an exotic experience. I had never been to the Left Coast when Lori moved here, and my first extended visit was a solo cross-country car trip that expanded my world in a major way. Since relocation, I've enjoyed the rainy winters, the steep streets, the ubiquitous homeless, the way riders thank the bus drivers while disembarking. I like the still-not-quite-big city vibe that lingers despite cultural, technological and economic achievements no one ever expected from a former rough-and-tumble port town full of drunken sailors, prostitutes and gold rushers. There's as much art as Chicago, as much rock as Detroit, as much employment as Lansing, as many cops as Flint, and as much weed as Ann Arbor. Plus my wife, of course, which was all I needed to commit myself to "the next Minneapolis." Things get more comfortable here every year, and aside from the people I've learned to love along the way, I haven't spent much time thinking about why I like it so much. And now some jokers from New York City are paying me to. I'm easily the luckiest man in the world.

This wild, amoral film is one of the most cynical cinematic hoaxes ever pulled on the public, and was, unbelievably, a success. Snuff debuted on screens in 1976 after several weeks of pre-release publicity which suggested that the film's carnage was genuine, real live murders caught on camera in South America, "where life is cheap!" Outraged citizens, staunch feminists and even law enforcement officials descended upon theaters that dared to show the picture, but vigorous protests and ongoing investigations only ensured sell-out crowds who had to see for themselves. What the movie-goer got was a barely-released 1971 exploitation film (originally known as Slaughter) made by the prolific grindhouse team of Michael and Roberta Findlay. The forgotten footage was dusted off by producer Allan Shackleton and a brief new conclusion was filmed that depicted the "director" of the previous 75 minutes murdering and disemboweling a female cast member. Snuff was presented without credits of any kind to further aid the suggestion that the film was indeed a criminal enterprise, though even the casual viewer will see through the scam. The gore effects of the climax are particularly juicy, but no more convincing than the average splatter opus, and the sequence is professionally edited in a manner that is inconsistent with its claims. What causes genuine discomfort is simply what Snuff is trying to achieve, convincing the audience that everything they've just witnessed is real and that there is pleasure to be gained from that belief. It's a truly ugly notion, though one that gore film buffs might want to ponder for themselves, so for them Snuff is a must-see. Disregarding the bizarre machinations of the Monarch Releasing Corporation, the original Findlay footage will entertain sleaze addicts who are already familiar with the strange, sick style of the husband-wife team. Their film (which was indeed lensed in Argentina) is chock full of hard drugs, brutal sex, casual blasphemy, and even some suggestive cow milking. The action is punctuated with transparently fake, yet still gory murders and a raw psych-rock soundtrack that pulsates with fuzz organ, inept guitar riffing and bongos. A seriously warped sense of time and post-dubbed dialogue adds an awkward surrealism, and the budget is so low that when the story calls for a scene in a police station, the Findlays just put a desk in the middle of a driveway and carry on as if nothing was amiss. While those with tender hearts should never even get near it, Snuff is compelling degenerate cinema that holds genuine historical interest for its role in helping to spread the urban legend of "snuff films," the existence of which has never been verified and remains in debate. A videotape release is now out of print, so this infamous atrocity remains obscure, but not extinct. ~ Fred Beldin, All Movie Guide

UPDATE 10-10-2006: Snuff is currently available on DVD and not difficult to find. Like you were gonna go look for it. Coward.

For a far more thoughtful piece on Snuff, click here.

Fringe Underground's History of Snuff

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The mean rooster.

This is my wife.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

So what is it with Seattle and drag queens?

I got excited this morning to learn that one of my favorite films, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (click the review button to learn just how much I love it) is to be shown at the Egyptian Theatre October 21st as a midnight movie. Not only that, but Tura Satana herself is going to be making an appearance in celebration of the film's 40th anniversary. A chance to see it on the big screen and be in the presence of one of cinema's most charismatic, intoxicating leading ladies? I was thrilled, until I realized that the event is part of Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. I have no problem watching this film amongst an audience of queens and dykes ... this is Seattle after all, whenever you go to the grocery store you're surrounded by leather daddies, so homophobes don't last long in this city, and besides, the fact that gay film buffs are putting on the show is even more proof that homosexuals have better taste than breeders.

But why must we have one more "outrageous" transsexual as emcee? Some fella what names himself "Peaches Christ" (no link, you can Google him) is hosting the gig, and like Dina Martina, Gaysha Starr, Ursula Android, Jackie Hell and any number of dolled-up wannabee stand-up comics before him, he'll be strutting the boards spouting dirty jokes about supermodels, preaching to the choir about conservative politicos and cracking wise about drugs and loose sex. Yawn, I say. Far be it for me to ruin everybody's fun, but I say yawn.

Cool down, trannies ... I'm as bicurious as the next guy, I love all of Divine's movies (except Lust in the Dust, that one just tried too hard), I've always had fun at Dina Martina's X-Mas shows and one of the first times I got drunk with my future wife I ended up in a dress and there are pictures to prove it. But here in Seattle the drag queen is ubiquitous, and to this jaded heart, boring.

Then again, Tura's gonna be there. Who wants to get tickets with me?

Interview with Tura Satana

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Next up, check out a weird lip-sync clip of the Amboy Dukes on some square TV show circa 1969 or so. Nugent is so high. And those poor go-go girls, doing their best to gyrate during the feedback freak-out solos, each of them just trying to make a buck and get discovered ... there's a million stories on You Tube. Who will ever have time to listen to them all?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

Just for the hell of it ... a righteous blaze through the old Johnny Kidd & the Pirates hit channeled through an obscenely arousing collision of Motorhead and Girlschool. If you like that song, dig up this record for the ULTIMATE take on "Please Don't Touch" plus the hottest versions of overworked chestnuts like "Shakin' All Over" and "Milk Cow Blues" you'll ever hear. The Pirates proved they didn't have anything to prove long ago ... they are unsung in this country but you can thank those cats for shaping the sound of British rocknroll, influencing the influences that so many have aped lo these past forty years. And if you don't believe me, fuck it, go ask Deming, he'll tell you the same and probably has a book that he can cite as proof.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

Willie Nelson has the man on his back again.

OK, here's the new law, everybody ... any man as righteous as Willie Fuckin Nelson who can get to the age of seventy-whatever without serving serious time should get the good ol' boy pass. He oughta have some sorta official state license to allow misdemeanors, that's all I'm saying.

But if they do try to stick it to Willie, maybe they can hire this guy to take his place. Who wouldn't take a bullet for Willie? I wouldn't. But there's gotta be someone who would, and that's the man I want to talk to. I can make you rich, dude.
I'm posting this potentially-controversial image simply because I'm in a very good mood today and rare occasions should always be remembered. I don't think there's any better illustration of how I feel than this, except to add a pair of middle fingers and a hale and hearty FTW to pretty much everybody, and you know who you are. By tomorrow the ironic shots of starving African children, atom bombs and "Reagan as Hitler" will be back and we can continue as if nothing unusual transpired.

Been listening to the Larry Dirty seven-inch a lot lately ... one of the purest rocknroll records I've ever heard. This one's worth paying a few bucks for if you can find it.

I can't remember, will Blogger kick you offline if you post pornography or what? Fuck it, since I don't know for sure, here's a picture of a redheaded chimp.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Lori and I had a fine housewarming blast last night, so thanks to everyone who made the scene. I got lit and stayed up late and played boss records and spent a hazy hangover morning watching THE DEMON LOVER and communicating with my far-out old lady. It's all I've ever wanted.

I nabbed a new gig writing Seattle tourist info for a New York publisher planning to expand their stable of "edgy" city guides. About a month's worth of work, so I may fade slightly into the mist for the next few weeks, and leave only the whiff of mystery in my stead. As the prophet says, "Fear not, and follow your own leader."

Friday, September 15, 2006

Last night another fruitful End Times session, marred only by our own mortality, hacking coughs, blurred vision and taste for indulgence. At left see Kate, spiritual leader and spokesmodel for the band, half girl and half woman in all the wrong ways, but a brave warrior for the rational faith movement. I first met Kate Chapman in Northern Michigan circa 1985 or so ... my family owned property in the woods thanks to a planned community called "Sugar Springs," a glorified golf course that portioned off lots of wilderness and built nice paved roads for convenience. Up that way was a large Amish population, and one local family had a roadside stand where they sold fresh eggs, butter, milk and baked goods to "the English" (as they called their non-Amish neighbors). My mother and stepfather became friendly with the Chapman family, a large brood of six boys and two girls, so we spent a fair amount of time at their farm. Being a sullen teen with an obsession for rocknroll and no interest in agrarian life, I'd usually spend these visits sitting in the family van and searching in vain for hep radio stations to occupy my fevered boredom. One little girl, being naturally curious and lacking regular access to the world of electricity, would always find an excuse to steal away from her chores to linger near the open window where I sat, never accepting my invitation into the vehicle but always hungry to hear more of that swinging beat, no matter what I played, and in those days pickings were slim ... April Wine, Bad Company, Journey, maybe REO Speedwagon if I was lucky, but little Kate Chapman was transfixed by it all.

I haven't been back to Sugar Springs in nearly 20 years, and my parents sold the property some time ago, but they've remained friendly with that Amish family and my mother exchanges cordial letters on a frequent basis with Kate's mom. So when we learned that Kate's Rumspringa was to be spent taking classes at Seattle Community College, my wife and I opened our home to her and became her official chaperones during this great worldly adventure. Little did I know that this shy Amish girl would prove so charismatic a performer, so naturally pure and unspoiled by the elements of modern life, so ready to give fresh, clean voice to a song of hope that the rest of us need so badly. Kate is currently undecided about how long this experience of living among the "English" will last for her -- perhaps she'll return quickly to the simple peace of her life on the farm, perhaps she'll find the pleasures of the world worth the scars they leave on the soul -- but til then I hope everyone gets to hear her sing.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

I remember what I was doing five years ago today ... I had just arrived in Seattle for a visit with future fiancee Lori, freshly discharged from my lousy copywriting job in Chicago and ripe for reconciliation. I made my first trip to Scarecrow, the world's greatest video store and scored a handful of high quality trash, including Snuff, Invasion of the Girl Snatchers and Sex Psycho (which AMG is too timid to include in their database). Lori had to work that Monday, leaving me with her VCR, a bag and a bottle, so I had the ultimate morning planned, until some stupid with a flare gun burned the place to the ground. My mother and stepfather were in the air that day, leading to several tense phone calls before finding them safe and sound in Minneapolis (true to form, my mother was more upset about the lack of hotel rooms than any potential apocalypse). After some six hours of obsessive NPR & CNN consumption, I was spent and finally decided to go ahead with my original plans, which were to get wrecked and indulge in the lowest form of American art ... while I must admit it was difficult to enjoy the sleazy aesthetic terrorism of my man Michael Findlay with so much real-life mayhem afoot, I did my best to muddle through, lest I allow yet another bunch of religious extremists to dictate my fragile, dwindling days.

Oh, by the way, no matter how many speeches blather on about freedom and sacrifice and freedom and true heroes and freedom and etcetera, the terrorists are winning. America has yet to look at itself with any kind of honesty since the tragedy everyone's talking about today, so we're doomed to expect more and more murder to be visited upon our shores. How d'ya like me now? Bring it on. Built Ford tough. Pathetic.

Friday, September 01, 2006

For the love of AC/DC.

In my day, it was the AC/DC kids who did the stabbing. Usually the victims were wearing those flap shirts or talking about Duran Duran import singles. Time changes everything.

Monday, August 28, 2006

As it turns out, my life was spared and the plane landed safely, twice. Michigan was five long days of drinks, drugs and ... Detroit? Fuck it, that's good enough. I don't have the time to alliterate for free.

Mike and Stephanie's wedding celebration was a blast in Lansing, thanks to a fine soft rock soundtrack curated by Diamond, a full bar and a gaggle of folks I hadn't seen in coon's ages. No camera this time, so I can't regale you with unflattering snaps, but suffice to say there was an equal mix of bad behavior and tender reminiscence, so the event was quite satisfying.

I also spent quality time with Suzi, a stand-up dame and mother of two better known for her work with Crotch. We drank extremely good rum while her insane genius children ran wild and her stoic, long-suffering husband Mitch casually absorbed the mayhem. Two things I learned from this experience, kids hate to be stung by bees and you have to be careful when you give them Pixie Stix, because that stuff is like bleach if you get it in the eyes.

A few hours of sleep under my belt and it was time to head for Detroit's Analog Giant to lay down hasty tracks for another hotly-contested Seger Liberation Army release. Thomas "Jackson" Potter played ringmaster, Nick Dirty handled beats and Mike Walker and Diamond took turns on bass. I played some of the worst guitar of my life, but thanks to Jim's magic touch my slob-handed riffing ended up sounding "eccentric" rather than "shitty." That's what I keep telling myself, anyhow. In future years impressionable kids will be studying my surreal take on Bob Seger's "Down Home" riff, trying in vain to capture that mangled, broken-finger style I so effortlessly pulled out of my ass with the aid of bourbon, coffee, vicodin, ritalin and some other stuff I'd rather not discuss. Diamond's Telecaster was covered in blood when I finished my licks, a testament to how hard I rock even in the most primitive of circumstances. Tommy's vocals were as strong as anything he's ever done, Mark Deming drove four hours to lay down some rousing backups, and I'm sure that the end result will please anyone who enjoyed the original SLA material. Hopefully Big Neck Rex will have the CD out in time to piggyback on Old Man Seger's comeback LP and tour.

As much fun as I had, I was ready to kiss the fucking ground when I got back to Seattle. Since then I've been trying to catch up at the temp gig, applying for a couple "real" jobs that I don't want, banging my head against a wall with Resonance and working on End Times material ... I finished another new song this weekend, a gentle, doomy folk musick meditation on the apocalypse. You stupid kids are all gonna love it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

Please be advised that this new portrait replaces any and all publicity photos previously distributed by the management. Dr. Frederic Killingsworth will issue quarterly press statements regarding the progress of the Finite Spirit Foundation and will take no further questions from the media. Thank you.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thanks a lot, humanity. I blame each and every one of you for this.

Terrorism exists because everyone is stuck stubbornly in their own little reality, buying into some big lie be it religion, capitalism, hedonism, rocknroll or "the nuclear family." It's all the same, just different ways to distract our over-functioning brains while we eat, sleep and mate our way through a lifespan. But you morons just can't accept that none of this matters, you have to invade each other's territories, blaspheme each other's gods, steal each other's natural resources and blow up airplanes whenever no one is paying enough attention to you. You all make me sick, down to the last man, woman and child.

So now I gotta fly in a goddamn airplane next week (which I already hate) with this hanging over my head (well, if the Northwestern staff doesn't go on strike first, but that's a whole other rant). Even if nothing blows up air travel is going to triple in obnoxiousness over the next few months. All because I want to go visit old friends and there's no real alternative to flying if one wants to travel. Will some fucking genius figure out how to make trains run on time, or invent some kind of electric car so people can stay connected with each other AND NOT HAVE TO RELY ON FUEL THAT REQUIRES US TO FUCK WITH OTHER CULTURES THAT DON'T WANT TO GET FUCKED WITH? Jesus.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Joyner gives it to us straight.

The Peacock Throne resumes transmission from Europe, where Scott #2 is on an important fact-finding mission for an underground conservative think-tank. Everything is written in code, so if you don't get it, it's because you're not supposed to.

By the way, I looked into the future, and in thirty-five years this guy will be pope. But by then that position will be largely ceremonial and won't wield much power.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Freddy Fender discusses his cancer with bravery and dignity. "I cannot complain that I haven't lived long enough, but I'd like to live longer." Now THAT'S a man.

I've been a Fender fan for many years and recall the awe I felt watching him perform with the Texas Tornadoes about a decade or so ago. Crammed into a tight tuxedo, that wild Larry Fine hair flying and Pancho Villa moustache taking over half his face, well into middle age but still able to effortlessly drive women into a frenzy with his romantic balladeering. I won't lie, I was there to see Doug Sahm that night (I brought my beat-up copy of Mendocino for an autograph, waited by the stage door for an hour but struck out, only managing to wave the LP at the Tornadoes' limo as it pulled away forever), but Freddy Fender stole that show, and all the swooning Mexican housewives in the audience would agree with me.

I wish Mr. Fender a long, comfortable convelescence as he goes proudly into that good night. Tell Doug I said hello.

Freddy Fender Official Website

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Can we just step back for a second and reread the caption to this picture? "People in Miami's Little Havana celebrate the news of Castro's illness."

I know he's well-hated, probably deserves to be (most of us do) but just how disconnected from our own humanity are we gonna get? I'm sick of all of you.

Monday, July 31, 2006

No one asked me about it, but I had a near-brush with national news on Friday afternoon. This bold hate crime occurred one block away from the Westward Seafoods office where I work. Luckily my natural inclination towards laziness led me to split half an hour before my usual quitting time of 4:00pm, which is exactly when the would-be massacre took place. The whole area was shut down tight by police, and while I wouldn't have been in any immediate danger if I had left work on time, I would have been stuck downtown indefintely surrounded by frightened, confused crowds and nervous cops with guns drawn. Once again, being a slacker has saved me from a potentially inconvenient situation. As the great Merle Haggard says, I take a lot of pride in what I am.


The End Times had another chaotic, wine-drunk practice session Sunday afternoon, this time with a girl piano player who had never heard the songs before. There's potential aplenty in all this confusion, but it's gonna take a while for me to cook it down into a smokable form. Still, I'm pleased with my new songs, Kate is picking up the words fast, and even if he can't play the damn thing yet, Tyson owns and operates a lap steel guitar and he's working out the kinks with great patience and dedication. I'm endlessly thankful for their continued interest in helping to spread my message of paranoia, despair and true love. With any luck we'll be making shambolic live appearances before small groups of uninterested people before the apocalypse takes us all by surprise.

Friday, July 28, 2006


I've heard the stories, but never actually stole a gander at the BLACK PANTHER COLORING BOOK. Wow.

Thanks to Sharpeworld.
Here's one high I haven't tried yet ... but I'm square, baby, I don't even know where to buy mothballs.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


My man Ken Knott gets remembered fondly for his work with VIOLENT APATHY on A few years before my time ... I'm more of a JUST SAY NO man myself, but to each his own.

Actually, perusing tub thumper Randy Huisken's JSN memory bank proved even more fruitful than I expected ... dig his page celebrating Lansing's long lost CROTCH, featuring my former muse Suzi "Boobs" Miller. Download "Flattered To Be Battered" and prepare to drop your fucking jaw.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mark Deming spiels about the Minutemen documentary WE JAM ECONO on AMG.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The four dark winds of time collide and then the earth implodes, just as it was predicted before time even existed. There is no one to blame, not even God.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The wife and I moved into a new apartment without great incident last weekend, and despite having less space than the old joint, we're fitting in fine. Far from the maddening crowds of tweaked-out streetkids and oblivious fratfolk that swarm the University District, the Greenlake neighborhood is downright serene, a bit yuppified (a bit? a lot) but we don't care. We're mere blocks from the lake, a ten-minute walk to the library and there are some great bars nearby. Come on by and say hello some time (you'll have to figure out our address first - good luck with that).

Sounds like there might be some more SLA noise coming in future months. More news as plans are confirmed ...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Does anybody remember Deming?

I didn't get any of this cake. Some genius gave me an unlimited bar tab (booze-wise, I had to buy my own Newports), so I was too drunk to actually eat anything like cake, which is very unlike me. Way to go, Einstein.

Mark and Gwen got married onstage at the Temple Club in Lansing, Michigan on May 27, 2006 at approximately 7:00pm or so.

Who expected Deming's old Hollywood pals to show up? Here's Joe Piscopo and Howie Mandell, living the high life!

Here are the Demings.

Me and The Steve, each wearing an awesome shirt.

Get that thing away from me.

Apparently, this is the only photo anyone took of the house band, The Strange Brotherhood of Mark Lansing. From what I remember, it's pretty accurate.

Food was provided by Best Steak House. Here's chef/mastermind Andy and his lovely Kelly.