Thursday, September 29, 2016


Image result for manic pop thrill petrol emotionMANIC POP THRILL kicks ass.  It's like a zillion bees on cheap speed crammed into an electric guitar.  Except for where it slows down to some pretty sugary sweet pop.

And then BABBLE gets even better.  More variety, energy displaced in a wider variety of ways, periodic bouts of dark moodiness, dance rock, defiant anger......  Probably their best album.

A handful of singles during this period, too, and all of them pretty tasty.

Not sure what happened after that.  Too many guys writing the songs individually, it seems to me.  I have no problem with albums that lack cohesiveness, but END OF THE MILLENNIUM PSYCHOSIS BLUES and CHEMICRAZY just seem to thrash about and meander and ultimately flounder under the weight of their own uncertainty.  If the songs were all topnotch exercises in whatever style the band was attempting, that would help, but a lot of this stuff is pretty faceless.  FIREPROOF sounded kind of tired to me, which is a possibility as the band slogged around endlessly, but could never rise above their cult status.  That's gotta wear you down.Image result for babble that  petrol emotion

TPE is one of those bands where people like to say "Man, if they were around today, they'd be HUGE", but they wouldn't.  They were out of step with their times, definitely, and they had a US label for a few albums that didn't seem overly interested in pushing them, and so eventually they just ran out of steam without ever gaining more than a tiny toehold with record buyers.

Pick up those first two records, tho.  The latest CD reissues have bonus tracks, but the original albums themselves are the truest testaments to how passionate and vital this band was.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


The real deal.  CURSE OF THE MEKONS was probably equally as strong.  Good times......

Image result for mekons rock & roll album cover

the days all bled dry: a theory

you in the frozen
sunlight, dreaming of pilate, of
wide open spaces

dreaming of dylan, his
tongue nailed to a bible, his
hands on fire, and this had to
have been ’64 or ‘65

both of us starving at a
leaf-covered table in some
november back yard

both of us golden and one of us
stoned, and i was trying to
tell you i loved you

needed you to understand you
were my one true goddess
in the age of despair

Monday, September 26, 2016



A print on canvas from the 99¢ Store at the insanely oversized mall in Syracuse.   Don't let the store name mislead you, tho.  Apparently, the prices of stuff there all just END in .99¢.  The smaller version of this was $7.99, the big one about 5$ more.  Artist obviously had a lot of cadmium green & bismuth yellow to play with.

Sunday, September 25, 2016


Again, praise be to Dionysus for the CD age and all these groovy deluxe editions and box sets.  I'm not a huge fan of Lush, but it was nice to see them get a box set a while ago. 

Image result for swervedriver mezcal headSwervedriver got the 2 cd JUGGERNAUT RIDES a few years back, but damn do they deserve more.  They kicked ass 15 ways to Sunday, and they have a shitload of non-album and non-cd music floating around out there.  Plus, MEZCAL HEAD is the musical equivalent of a ton of bricks landing on your head.  If that's good.  OK, maybe I just mean it was HEAVY AS FUCK.  And it was.  It and RAISE both got reissued with bonus tracks, but a lot of that was already available on JUGGERNAUT.  There's a lot more work to do.
Image result for a storm in heaven verve

I see the first 2 Verve albums just got the deluxe treatment, so that's cool.  A STORM IN HEAVEN is their best, back when they just rode grooves and tripped out blissfully.  The bonus music is mostly their early singles which, despite a lot of that stuff being available on NO COME DOWN, is still pretty damn excellent.  The debut mini-album isn't included in this set, but you can grab that cheap at all the usual places.  And you should.  Now.  While we're waiting.

Image result for catherine wheel ferment

Catherine Wheel also need some serious reissuing and boxsetting.  CATS & DOGS was a good non-album song collection but, like Swervedriver, it just scratched the surface.  I think the 30TH CENTURY MAN mini-album is long out of print and now officially in hard-to-find-at-a-reasonable-price status.  And FERMENT and CHROME could both use a little sound tweaking.  Man do they sound good cranked up to 13 or so......  
Image result for catherine wheel chrome

ADAM & EVE also kicked ass, in a wide screen panoramic kinda way.  HAPPY DAYS sucked, with the exception of about 3 songs, and WISHVILLE was pretty lame, but the non-album stuff and the 3 1/2 aforementioned albums are more than enough greatness to warrant some reissues.....

I am seriously confused as to why these record label dipshits don't consult with
                                                                            me on this stuff.


A few older pieces that first appeared in THREE CANDLES...

beneath the violent weight

in the afternoon
we speak softly of the
queen of open wounds

we walk from the house
to the river
and you name the flowers
we find along the way

you look past lorca's bones
to the beauty of his soul
and ask why i can't
do the same

i have heard this before
this bitter desperation
but never beneath
the beautiful weight of a
late june sky

i have listened to you
long enough to learn to
doubt myself

long enough to believe in
the holiness of
the burning house
and there is between us
a wall that neither one
will admit

fear is the
next step after sorrow
and beyond that
there is only desert

it's here
that we will finally
look at each other and
not be blind

* * *

first snow in the season of rust

think about
these ideas that you
can never see

about the darker shades
of november twilight
and the way the ground begins
to freeze beneath the

and think about stillness

about the weight of it

about quang duc
in his shroud of fire

his body reduced to ashes
but his heart left intact

the war dragging on and
then the next one beginning
and then the next

a poet i've never met
found dead behind the wheel
of a borrowed car

everything important
left unsaid

* * *

to be given the gift of helplessness

it is a small thing
to tear
the child in two

it is the
absence of laughter
or the open hand sharply
across the
unsuspecting face

it is so easy and
the wars
are all far away

imagine a lit cigarette

a stove burner

minor atrocities that will
never make it beyond
page three
and i am tired
of drowning in anger
and i am tired of feeling

it is a strange thing
to be sitting in a room
with a woman who undresses
as she tells you how her
mother's boyfriend raped her
when she was

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Not sure how I even found this.  5 very interesting poems from a young woman's series of poems (written about 10 years ago, by the looks of it) called the John Sweet Series.  Unsettling.

wreckage:  a later interpretation

or she's eighteen and
her wrists are healing

the hills rise up on
every side of this town and
i get a letter from a man who tells me
that the indians have their casinos

that all debts have been repaid

and i drive slowly into the city
with a handful of poems
and a belief in empty spaces

i offer columbine as one choice
and cobain as the other and
no one speaks

no one stops me when i
get up to leave
and when she's twenty one
she no longer dreams about the
god of starving dogs

when she's twenty three
she could be anyone

it happens as simply as war

a man approaches you with a gun
and you live or you die

you learn to build houses
from the bones of priests

you're buried in the
frozen soil like a dog

like so much garbage

and the days move on effortlessly


I sold this one to an awesome dude out in California a few years back.  Last I heard, his daughter had purloined it for her own wall.  If I gave it a title, it escapes me....

Friday, September 23, 2016




Abstract digital art, some very powerful stuff.  Some hints of O'Keeffe here and there, some other instances of Name-the-Influence, but it's all quite excellent work.

the negative future

patron saint of
sunlight on chrome, you understand

a better bible for
darker times

spent our days getting high down by
the river while our parents went blind

while mortgages were paid and
daughters raped and i kept telling you
i loved you but
all you did was laugh

all you do is hold out the
hearts of lesser gods like
semi-precious stones

tell me to consider the hundred
million miles of desert
between value and worth

maybe get lucky and
find myself there

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Okay, Sniff 'n' the Tears were an amazingly mediocre band, sure, but Driver's Seat will always be a desert island tune for me.  Just dripping with mystery & melancholy.  Fucking amazing.  And when you factor in what an incredible painter the band's leader (Paul Roberts) is, bonus points are given.  Photo-realism TO THE EXTREME.  His website is