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Playing with Rat Bastard at The Stone, stoned and on a date

Some background: I’d smoked about a half joint earlier in the evening that hit me like a fucking ton of bricks. See, I was on my way to see Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall (my first time) and was out with a pretty smokin’ hot girl I’ve been seeing for a few months now. We laughed our way through the utter ridiculous mumbo-jumbo that Zarkana proved to be (still no idea what the fuck it’s about) and immediately got in a cab and headed to John Zorn’s The Stone venue to watch the Squelchers bang out a set. I figured Rat would pick up a few acorns but I had no idea it would utterly blow the lid off a place generally considered to be a ‘high brow’ noise venue. Rat don’t do no ‘high brow’, if you know anything about him. So, fairly still high as all get up and with said date in tow, we ventured in to the set already in progress. Around the 35 min mark, Flying Luttenbachers front man and general rock and roll FREAKAZOID EXTREME, Weasel Walter, handed me his guitar and his pick. I don’t know if he remembered me or recognized me in the darkness but I took it upon myself to rock the fuck out for a few minutes. Then I remembered the only bathroom was BEHIND the ‘band’ and decided to use this guitar-playing thing as a conduit for evacuating my bowels. I also played the guitar through a chair and left slightly before this ended.

We had a really good date, the girl and I.

Video by Sharlyn Evertsz


A tribute to Captain Beefheart

captain beefheart

On Friday, December 17th, any adventurous music listener lost one of the most irreverent, complex personalities modern America had the benefit of experiencing. Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, lost his long battle with multiple sclerosis at the age of 69. Though he died on Friday, he’d been gone for many years now – disappearing from the public realm and choosing to retire from music to focus on his love for painting. Though still alive, we’d enjoyed his presence musically en absentia since his 1982 swan song, Ice Cream for Crow. There had been clamors and requests for a final album after ICFC, but the Captain dutifully declined – partially to maintain his original exit without compromising his conclusion like some athlete that egotistically, adamantly pushes on in the face of declining skills and partly because the Captain was likely becoming a very sick man, even visually so.

The story of Don Van Vliet is easy to pick up from his Wikipedia entry. His birth in Glendale to Midwestern parents, his early artistic protégé folklore, his teenage years listening to old blues records with Frank Zappa and the subsequent early blues-based incarnation of his Magic Band. Slung into the 60s era and asked to become some kind of American answer to The Rolling Stones, his band and personality never fit in that mold. After the first album, Safe As Milk, the Captain forged ahead musically (after a failed 2nd album) and created his masterpiece, Trout Mask Replica, while holed up in a small house with bandmates for 8 months. The process involved was the stuff of legend: intense band meetings where egos were routinely shat upon, re-education sessions, endless rehearsing, very little food or money to the point of near starvation and at the heart of it this totally over-the-top, physically/emotionally threatening personality dictating all facets of everyday life for his band members as a means of focusing on the singular goal of completing his vision of a perfect musical accomplishment. Trout Mask Replica is that and more – a really fantastic document that sounds like it was written, rehearsed and recorded in 8 hours (as CB first claimed) but upon several listens weaves an intricate musical fabric that is nearly impossible to for anyone to entirely comprehend. It’s both dirty and nasty; fractured and elegant. It’s the Bible for musical weirdos the world over. Bad motherfucker shit.

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Dirty Boy! Pink Flamingoes and your private tennis court

john waters thl

We had a definite plan that night. Several very close friends (nearly cult-like in that very specific Miami way of considering anyone outside of your grupito as critical threats, even in social settings), an entire house to ourselves (our friend Rob’s parents were out of town), a pre-set up jam space in the living room through which to release any aural/physical curiosities and enough LSD to make us all rather disjointed. The house was large enough that we could play through the night and hardly hear a peep on the outside if the doors were properly shut. It was a cool Spring night and the promise of a home-brewed freakfest was enough to make the Friday night buzz with anticipation.

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Shall we get our drank on??

don draper drunk

Random thought with very little research or serious consideration applied: Does the state of our national psyche – unemployed, downtrodden, fatalistic, depressed, drugged, stale, reliant on fucking Justin Bieber for any musical excitement, devoid of rich mainstream art or literature, thoroughly engrossed in watching sub-realities to occupy the time of our own reality, distant, zoned-the-fuck-out, tired, hypersensitive yet largely unfazed – allow ever-increasing representations of alcohol (and therefore alcoholism) in television to soothe whatever existential malaise we’re all feeling? Does the fact that Don Draper is (or was) going into a deep downward spiral of alcoholism to the point of blackout-drunk-and-my-entire-weekend-went-by-in-a-blur-where-there-was-one-woman-just-next-to-me-a-minute-ago-but-now-it’s-some-much-grosser-diner-waitress-type situation allow us to feel much better about how shitty our own existence is?

How did we get to this point in an era that was (seemingly) over any representations of characters drinking or smoking and the Disneyfication of our New World Order didn’t allow for any these vices?

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The Star Hustler

jack horkheimer

If you were a child growing up in late 70s/80s Miami (a time when even semi-affordable cable and the otherworldly distractions of piano-playing cats viewed through a computer monitor seemed downright impossible), there’s a very good chance that you got your galactic fix via Jack Horkheimer’s Star Hustler program. Mr. Horkheimer died this last Friday at the age of 72 from a respiratory ailment and leaves behind a bevy of orphaned children that had seasoned their celestial curiosities via Mr. Horkheimer’s weekly show. Wikipedia can break down more of the X’s and O’s, but what it can’t tell you is just how fucking MIAMI that show was in every sense. The twinkling synth sounds of Isao Tomita’s electronic rendition of Claude Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1 probably gave a young Romulo del Castillo a strong toddler chubby. The now-archaic visuals and pornographic fonts were complementary to a Sunday night drive home on Calle Ocho after a quick Velvet Creme stop. I probably knew about 3-4 dorky grade school kids that cut their Asimovian teeth on that program alone.

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Thong th-thong thong thong mishap
a conversation


Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2010 10:25 AM
Subject: Re: factoid

Here’s a little CB GYM folly:

While getting dressed at the gym, I noticed this pretty lace item sitting on a bench. I thought it was a necklace that someone left behind so I went to grab it to bring it downstairs to the lost and found. As I touch it, I realize “this is not a necklace… It’s a big thong- eek!” so I put it down but not quickly enough. The owner of said thong then busts out of the sauna shouting “That’s my thong!” and there was no explanation in the world that could explain just how creepy it was that I was touching it.

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Transubstantiation and Harry Pussy

harry pussy

I remember it was early 2001 and I was heavy into the noise scene at the time. I’d been in this band that had toured quite a bit, received some slight attention and somehow saddled ourselves into the Noise Music Industrial Complex. We had moved to New York City (from Miami) and made some headway during those burgeoning noise scene days by playing various shows at galleries/spaces/clubs, working on grandiose recording projects and making the contacts that allow noise bands to continue to play noise shows in a scene filled with audiences that are in noise bands and maybe the only reason the noise ‘genre’ exists at all. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy where the definitions of ‘fame’ are obtuse and provincial but you feel its gentle caress nonetheless.

Regardless, we’d recently relocated from our hometown after years of post-graduate study work on Thursday nights at Churchill’s. We were pretty jazzed about taking over the world and took ourselves – our art form – fairly seriously. We were in the moment. At first, our performances were admittedly rough around the edges but in New York we began to develop an identity that separated us from other noise acts. During that time, we became distant email friends with the drummer (Adris) of legendary, now-retired noise band, Harry Pussy.

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The Miami Fuck Tree

the giving tree

The Miami Fuck Tree blows in the breeze, swaying back and forth. The Tree is always living, breathing, and expanding. Even though I first heard of the tree at a cheap Lower East Side Indian restaurant in Manhattan, the Tree has – at the very least – existed since Henry Flagler first laid down tracks along Florida’s eastern coast corridor. It may have been some crazy pioneer-Seminole shit. I don’t know. I wasn’t there, okay? Stop pressing me about late 19th-Century Florida freakiness, you salacious pervert.

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Three Things w/ DRK


(Note: This is a weekly column I’m doing on various observations, experiences, rants, and other ephemera. Hope you enjoy it for whatever it’s worth.)

THING ONE – I Hate Leggings, Tights, Whatever:

I don’t know who invented leggings – or “tights” as some women have corrected me – but I fucking hate them. I sometimes ‘get it’ in the winter time living in NYC and all but most of the time I really don’t understand nor care to. It’s the female equivalent of wearing sweat pants except that women appear to convince themselves that they’re not “giving up.” What you call fashion is really pointless accessorizing. It’s boring and you’re knocking out one of the top 3 sexy things about a woman. Look, even if you have some bruised up, varicose-besieged gams, just fucking go with it, ok? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out with women with fashionable leggings on – or maybe even ‘jeggings’ – and am astonished by how they compliment themselves on this. I have never known a guy to compliment a woman on her leggings/tights. Oh actually, I do: gay dudes. Gay dudes LOVE leggings/tights/whatever. Please don’t wear them. I’m practically begging you. Leggings and tights are the “brunch” of the female wardrobe arsenal.

THING TWO – Factoids about Cuban Sisters:

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