Thursday, April 27, 2017



These 70s, 80s and 90s bands that decide to reunite are always a tricky proposition.  I haven’t found any consistency among them - some are bitter disappointments, some are unspectacularly OK, a very few manage to exceed expectations and justify their reconstitution.

Slowdive, luckily, falls into this latter category.  I was happy with the Swervedriver comeback a few years ago, even if it was a little on the mellow side, but this album is just an end-to-end knockout.  It seems to favor the early days of the band more than anything with its gorgeous guitar and feedback washes, but it still manages to sneak in some of Souvlkai’s skewed poppiness and a little bit of Pygmalion’s abstract ambience.  Plus, Rachel sings more than she did on the band’s last recordings of the 90s, which is always a plus.  Neil is fine and all, but the combination of the two is unbeatable.

Other bands of note with Slowdive connections include Monster Movie and Halstead’s Black Hearted Brother (Stars Are Our Home is one fine record).  I like about ½ of the first Mojave 3 album, but lost interest after that.  Way too laid back, and not in an interesting way.

I think the reunion ball is now squarely in Catherine Wheel’s court.



Tuesday, April 25, 2017




This small act of naming
the baby born dead

This pointless hatred that I refuse to let go of,
frozen in the early July heat,
solidified along the river’s edge in the days
where the flood begins to recede, spoken
of quietly in the company of lovers, in
rooms without windows where the cameras
film ordinary atrocities, the rapes, the beheadings,
the brutal beatings that pass for commerce in
these first tentative days of the golden age,
and when I’m too tired to write something that
feels like an ending, I find the right pill in
the medicine cabinet, I speak the right name
into the mouthpiece, and all pain is
washed away.

All sorrow is burnt into
the powdery residue of fear.

The name is forgotten,
but the story leaves a stain.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

this mortal light

But he gets it wrong.  Says the

poems are supposed to mean

something, are supposed to have

weight and depth, when all they

really are is another form of

bleeding.  The fist you fear isn’t

the fist of God.  The names of

your children sound hollow when

you speak them out loud, like the

bones of birds, like bottomless

wells.  Jump in.  Look upwards,

back to where you began.  Let

the prayer come naturally.


Very cool sculpture, but my oldest just got his college acceptance letters, so money's not flowing as freely as it was, and $179 is kind of steep for whimsical yet non-functional art.  Cuz, let's face it, if I decided to hang my coat on the thing (or even a hat), I'd probably get yelled at.......


So it’s been, what, eight months of painting?  I think I have 6 finished canvases to show for it, maybe 7.  I finish one, it sits around for a few weeks, I start seeing all the flaws with it, BOOM!  it gets a coat of gesso and we’re back to square one.  

This new one is about 99% finished, just a few small parts to adjust, I think it’ll be a keeper.  2X3 feet, a little bigger than the ones I’ve been doing, I’m starting to see how the jump could be made to larger canvases, if that’s what I had in mind.  Which I don’t think I do.



What's the worst that could happen?  Someone sets fire to her?  Would anyone really give a shit?

I found a nude picture of her on the internet:


Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. — The University of California at Berkeley students who invited Ann Coulter to speak on campus are threatening to sue the university if it doesn't find a proper time and venue for the conservative pundit to speak next week.
Harmeet Dhillon, who represents the Berkeley College Republicans, said in letters sent Friday to UC Berkeley's Interim Vice Chancellor Stephen Sutton and chief attorney Christopher Patti that if Coulter is not allowed to give a speech on campus on April 27 she will file a lawsuit in federal court because the university is violating the students' constitutional right to free speech.
"It is a sad day indeed when the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, is morphing before our eyes into the cemetery of free speech on college campuses," wrote Dhillon, a committeewoman to the Republican National Convention for California and former vice chairwoman of the California Republican Party.
Berkeley officials on Tuesday informed the Berkeley College Republicans and the nonpartisan BridgeUSA, which organized the Coulter event, that it was being cancelled due to security concerns.
The cancellation comes after a series of violent clashes this year on campus and in downtown Berkeley between far-right and far-left protesters who come armed with pepper spray, Molotov cocktails, brass knuckles and soda cans filled with concrete.
Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks said that police have "very specific intelligence regarding threats that could pose a grave danger to the speaker," her audience and protesters if the event goes ahead next Thursday.
Officials offered an afternoon event on May 2, when they can offer an "appropriate, protectable venue" but Coulter rejected it, saying she is not available that day. She also tweeted, "THERE ARE NO CLASSES AT BERKELEY THE WEEK OF MAY 2." The period is known as Dead Week, when students are studying for final exams.
Dhillon said the university offered eight possible venues for the event students had planned to take place between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. but then abruptly cancelled the event.
Patti said in a letter to Dhillon that university police and officials have determined neither the group's free speech nor the safety of the university's 36,000 students can be safeguarded on April 27.
Coulter has vowed to speak at Berkeley on that date.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


I know the 2 guys are embarrassed about their receding hairlines, but why is Palin wearing the White House shower curtain?



There are different agencies in the building I work in.  Mine is one of the more laid back groups, but there are others who I would dread working for.  This sign is a perfect example why.  Where I work, if there are objections to someone's odor/personality/general aura, then the person who HAS the problem gets moved to a new work area.  Usually, this person gets pissed because of the move, but it seems like the best idea to me.

If I worked for this particular agency, I would drench my clothing in Old Spice or Brut or Patchouli every morning, just to be a raging dick.  When you're told to watch out because your choice of clothing detergent might cause problems, it's time to assume that the system is broken.

I grew up among heavy smokers, thought I had a bad head cold for the first seventeen years of my life.  Finally got to a smoke-free environment and suddenly I could smell things again, and I wasn't perpetually congested, and my nose wasn't running 24/7. 

So I have limited sympathy for others who whine about perfumes and detergents.


Still a good time to be had by all:

Image result for geode gif


Coming from a long line of alcoholics and party animals, I've chosen to take the road less travelled and not drink.  Basically, alcohol dulls the overwhelming bitter rage that's so necessary to my chosen profession of OBSCURE MIDDLE-AGED ANGRY POET.

Still, me and Dawn like to visit the swanky grocery store in the next town over and look at all of their exotic foods and kitchen utensils from time to time, and we love checking out their hand-crafted ale & micro-brewery section while we're there.

Remember all the folks who (rightfully) argued that by using colorful packaging and cartoonish characters like Joe Camel that cigarette manufacturers were trying to lure young children into the world of smoking?  Where are these clowns now?  I love the artwork that the small breweries use but, dammit, how are young kids not being targeted by this colorful zaniness?

Still, I gotta respect ARROGANT BASTARD ALE, and any company that uses Steadman for its artwork.

Friday, April 21, 2017






Another excellent band that slipped through the cracks.  Is this their only album?  Who knows.  Definitely worth seeking out, though. File under "noise rock", "shoegaze", "post punk".

from PopMatters:

Strike a Match is a moody and heavily-textured record, but Autodrone seem to ease their way into its intricacies. The title track, which opens the record, suggests an album of ‘80s revivalist rock that is just harsh enough to avoid being called new wave. But then the next track, “Final Days”, dips its toe in the album’s mood as Katie Kennedy’s vocals rise up and overtake the fuzzy guitars. It’s still pretty straightforward, but there are some holes in the verses, some interplay between Kennedy and the guitars that works better than the opener. After that, once you hit the droning noise pulsing of “100,000 Years of Revenge”, you are fully entrenched in this compelling album. From there the band steps back from trying to sound like a rock, and sound like a band that knows their own sound. The ebb and flow of echoed chords on “Sometime”. The droning of “Moth of July” punctuated by haunting shouts buried deep in the track. The arena-sized but eerily dark “With Arms Raised”. These are the eccentricities that make Strike a Match a compelling listen. The deeper you get into the record, the more Autodrone reveal themselves to be a band with quite a bit of range. And while this album gives the wrong first impression, the second impression is one that will leave a distinct mark.

(7 out of 10 stars)

From Ned Raggett at AllMusic:

Shoegaze as a constant form still provides the thrills of its origin points, but admittedly too many bands avoid the sheer bite and anger of a lot of its earliest practitioners -- groups like early Lush, Bleach, the Charlottes, and of course My Bloody Valentine itself. New York's Autodrone, while not consciously drawing from many of those bands, finds its own strong voice on its full-length debut, cranking up not only the guitars but the sharp vocal sentiments and style of Angel Lorelei. She cuts through the mix rather than blissing out in it, and as a result adds a strong smack to the overall sound. Songs such as the near-strident "Final Days" and "Sometime" have a presence that probably hits even more strongly live, but on disc still sounds brutal enough. Guitarist Justin Alisauskas, while working from familiar templates, makes his own mark on songs like "100000 Years of Revenge," all tremolo abuse and howling mania, and the huge slow burn of "Moth of July," the closest the album gets to full-on modern psych doom. Things begin wonderfully with "Strike a Match," a classic shoegaze number but with a chunky undertow, while the singer keeps things a little more direct and focused -- lost in the mix but seeking a way out, if you like -- while near the end "Of Home" almost feels like a movie-credit closer, a way to bow out on a high note. In a nice twist on everything, "With Arms Raised" takes a distinctly different, far warmer, and more immediately exultant feeling -- less a chance to rage loud as it is to kick up one's heels and have a ball, even with the singing remaining laden with just enough sting.

(4 out of 5 stars)

Thursday, April 20, 2017




My aunt gave me a set of the original trilogy about 35 years ago for xmas, I think the year after she gave me my first copy of THE HOBBIT, and to this day Earthsea and Middle Earth are still the 2 high water marks against which all other fantasy is judged and found to be wanting.  Except for Harry Potter, maybe.

Tolkien obviously nailed the whole epic adventure, but I think Le Guin succeeded by keeping her stories more grounded in the human.  Tolkien painted with broad strokes, Le Guin is a master of nuance and fine detail.

I’ve read a lot of her other work, both adult and young adult stuff. but nothing has ever resonated with me as deeply as the Earthsea work.  TEHANU was disappointing when I first read it, but I was a dumbass.  It’s an Earthsea novel, sure, but the magic of the first 3 books is largely missing, replaced by the everyday.  After about four reads, I finally started to see the power of it all. 

The internet was a big help with Le Guin, as I wasn’t really aware of how deeply she wove the Taoist and Anarchist ideas into her stories until I started reading interviews with and biographical sketches about her.  Tolkien was always so (over)discussed, that I knew without a doubt where he was coming from, but Le Guin’s impetus was always shrouded in mystery.  Luckily, I had my head fully out of my ass when I read TALES FROM EARTHSEA and THE OTHER WIND and was able to get a handle on them pretty quickly. 

Tolkien obviously created a more fully and minutely realized universe and history, but Le Guin was better, I think, at creating a more complex “now”.  Composing her world of hundreds of islands instead of one large land mass was an excellent idea that allowed for an incredible amount of diversity.  Thirty five years later, I’m on my second copies of the first four books, and they still continue to amaze. 

It totally sucks, however, that the Sci-Fi channel fucked up that movie so bad.  Where the hell is Peter Jackson when you need him?





By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A nonprofit watchdog expanded a lawsuit accusing Donald Trump of violating the Constitution by letting his hotels and restaurants accept payments from foreign governments.

The amended complaint filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan adds a restaurant trade group, whose members include nationally known chefs Tom Colicchio and Alice Waters, and a hotel events booker in Washington, D.C. as plaintiffs.

It is intended to address concern over whether the watchdog, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, was itself harmed by Trump and had standing to sue at all.

Trump is expected to respond by April 21, and had said the original lawsuit filed on Jan. 23 had no merit.

Spokesmen for the U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.

The amended complaint said Trump violates the Constitution's "emoluments" clause, which bars him from accepting various gifts from foreign governments without congressional approval, by maintaining ownership over his business empire despite ceding day-to-day control to his sons, Eric and Donald Jr.

It said members of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United Inc, which represents more than 200 restaurants and nearly 25,000 workers, have improperly lost business, wages and tips to Trump's competing businesses.

Jill Phaneuf, the other new plaintiff, works for a hospitality company that books events in hotels near Washington's "Embassy Row," which house foreign diplomats, and claimed that Trump is costing her commissions.

The complaint said such plaintiffs are injured when foreign governments try to "curry favor" with Trump by favoring his businesses.

It said this has even occurred since Trump took office, when China granted him trademark rights after he pledged to honor the "One China" policy of his White House predecessors.

"When asked why defendant changed his position on the One China policy, and whether he had gotten something in exchange from China, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer answered: 'The President always gets something,'" the complaint said. (

U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams, an appointee of former Democratic President Barack Obama, oversees the litigation.

The lawsuit seeks to "uphold one of the most basic aspects of the rule of law: no one, including the president, is above the law," Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California at Irvine's law school and one of the plaintiffs' lawyers, said in a statement.

The case is Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington et al v. Trump, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 17-00458.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Or is that Major Douchebag?

Bill O’Reilly: Fox News Ouster ‘Tremendously Disheartening,’ Based on ‘Unfounded Claims’

Bill O’Reilly has blamed his ouster from Fox News on “completely unfounded claims” that have been leveled against him.

The embattled news anchor and longtime pillar of Fox News was dropped Wednesday by the network he helped build amid a steady stream of allegations that he engaged in sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior toward women over the years.

“Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television,” O’Reilly said. “It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.”

On Tuesday, O’Reilly attorney Marc Kasowitz said the star anchor was the subject of a “smear campaign” fueled by far-left advocacy groups that were after him for political and financial gain. Kasowitz said he would be presenting “irrefutable evidence” that such a campaign was coordinated. He did not return a call seeking comment on Wednesday.