KID SHIRT

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

CHROME: "MEET YOU IN THE SUBWAY"

ERIC CLAPTON CAN FUCK OFF

Simon warned me that I was playing w/ fire by telling Eric Clapton to fuck off.

He seemed to imply that EC was a bit of a badass, that he'd shot the sheriff, but had left the deputy alive as a warning to others not to fuck with him...wh/ makes you wonder what state he left the deputy in. Kneecaps smashed? Broken jaw? "E.C. Was Here" carved on his chest w/ a Bowie knife. (Is that, like, a knife with a feather-cut...?)

I thought Si was just being paranoid. I ain't scared of The Clap.

Tho, perhaps, I ought to rephrase that.

Ol' Slothhand, we call him in Yeovil.

But this morning my desktop PC kept bluescreenin' on me. I thought it was dead, fo' sure. I had a sudden paranoid flash: Simon, was right - this is the work of The Clap. I shouldn't have fucked with The Clap.

I'd been hearing crazy internet rumours about the LaylaClapCunT Virus, a tidy-bearded .exe that downloads itself into yr operating-system and creates havoc. Apparently, it's the internet equivalent of a Price-Waterhouse audit - it slows your apps dn to a crawl as it asks for evidence that you have sufficiently documented all your projects. Have you carried out risk assessments, held wash-up meetings? Where are all your minutes and diary-notes? All the while, it uses your PC's own audio-chip to play a really slooooow 8bit chip-tune version of "Cocaine". Yep, shoulda listened to Simon: now I had The Clap.

It's every right-thinking person's worst nightmare. Sending an email or saving a file can take months, as layers and layers of red-tape pile up on top of each other. The minutes draaaag out into weeks as a smartly-dressed Porn Librarian who never gets her kit off asks if you've watched the fire-hazard video or if you're familiar with your own mission-statement. It's the most boring virus ever.

Still, as you can see, everything's okay again. I went onto the internet in the library and found a forum that specialised in such things. Apparently, I hadn't been listening to enough Doobie Brothers' albums. I soon remedied that and purged the dull-as-dishwater Clapton Virus from my computer quicker that you can say "Cream reunion gig at The Albert Hall".

Still, I'm a bit alarmed at reports of that new GingerBakersAirforcE Virus that's currently creating havoc in the States. Apparently, it plays a drum solo that goes on for weeks...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Jayson Densman!

You're a fucking dude and you totally kick ass, man.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

KId Kid Kid Shirt on great form today, lyrically:

"See me shiverin', shiverin'/thru your Mayan Eye."

And:

"Gonna pick me some flowers/make a Toilet Cake".

IT'S TIME FOR THE GURU

My pal Circle has got a new job:



I wasn't sure how happy he'd be at having his phone no. and email plastered over the i/net, so if you have any religious questions or existential dilemmas you need resolving then I'm happy to pass them onto The Rev.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

FOR FALK ROGNER

BELGIUM, I LOVE YOU


Friday, March 27, 2009

MO ALI/WESTERN

Yo!: Big Shout-Out to Brit writer Mo Ali, whose most work appears in Western, the latest comic-book antho from AccentUK.



I keep stumbling into him (oops - sorry, Mo!), here and there, on the fringes of the Bizarro, Alt.Lit n comix scenes. Mo keeps turning up all over the place - at "Bust..." and there's a cool piece here on DHR's Dream People site.

He also makes badges and, er, aprons.

Go, Mo, go!

OFFICE PACKARDO

Hai! Just in from Damon Packard:



I love this. It's a tribute to 'Beat' Kitano, whose production company is called "Office Kitano". By a really weird coincidence I said to my wife a few weeks ago that if I ever had a nano-film company (to promote my nano-8mm 'films' lol) I'd call it "Office Shirt" or "Office Kek" or something similar. I'm kinda scared that another human being not only had the same idea, but had actually acted on it.

The YouTube mail saying this clip had been posted arrived literally minutes after D. Bauler had mentioned him in an email. Weird coincidences always seem to follow in Damon's wake.

ARMY OF LOVERS: CRUCIFIED

Ha! It's friday tea-time, mes amis, so let's have a bit of a laugh.

Here's Hercules & Love Affair...whoops, sorry, I meant Army of Lovers, awash here in a sea of sequin'd Swedish camp.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

SLOOW JOB FESTIVAL

Just a gentle reminder that the SLOOWJOB Fest. is this coming saturday @ Netwerk - Centrum voor Hedendaagse Kunst - at Houtkaai, B-9300 Aalst, Belgium. And what a bloody cracking line-up it is too.

BULLIES BEWARE!

Hello, chums! Those pesky internet bullies have been up to no good again!

Apparently, they've just added Guru Josh to that spiteful Spotify playlist that they've set up in my name. Grrrrr: that really is a step too far. It'll be Paul Weller next...oh, drat! I mean, oooops...errrr, it's not Paul Weller that I really, really can't stand, but...uh, Paul Kantner. Yes, that's right: Paul Kantner - what a dick! I, er, really can't stand his music. No, I can't. It's really awful, especially those albums he made with Grace Slick after The Airplane split.

Anyway, those cowardly bullies are all about to get their cum'uppance...'cos my dad's found out - but I didn't tell on you, honest! I'm not a grass! He hacked my Dissensus account and found all those nasty messages from the other kids calling me a beardy ol' hippy tree-hugger - so he's paying for me to have judo lessons and he's just bought me a Whitesnake tour t-shirt too. Says I need to toughen up a bit, see?

As for slaggin' off Alison Goldfrapp...well, that's so-five-years-ago. So put that in your pipe and smoke it! I hated her before you did; and now that you johnny-cum-latelies all hate her too, I'm going to show you all whats-what by, er, declaring my undying love for her. "I love Goldfrapp!" See!

Ha! I'm crazy like that, me!

You'll regret this when Goldfrapp agrees to be my bride. I've just texted her, asking if she'll put on her false horse-hair bottom specially for me. Ha! I bet she will!

And then I'll marry her and become her producer and her manager and she'll record an album called "Goldfrapp Performs Songs in a Baltimore Club Style".

Just you wait and see!

Losers!

BULLY BEEF

I have been the victim of internet bullying.

I've read about such things, of course; but never thought it would ever happen to me. A bunch of complete cun...er, sorry, I meant, Big Kids from Year 6 have banded together using various social messaging sites such as Twitter in an attempt to make my life miserable. It's like The Masters of Evil, if they were 10 yr olds.

This cabal of junior bully-boys have created a Spotify playlist called Keksfaves or Kekslist or something similar and are filling it up with tracks by The Smiths, Morrissey and Van Morrison.

Except there are only two Smiths tracks on Spotify. This is because The Smiffs are so completely shite that even Spotify won't host them. So put that in yer pipe and smoke it, you...you big cowards! I'll - I'll get my imaginary friend onto you!

And - and that Morrissey's a big ponce - my mum told me. And Dad said he was a big girl's blouse.

Yesterday, a bunch of these spiteful lads cornered me behind the bike-sheds and said they were going to add songs by The Housemartins and The Jam to 'my' playlist. "What do you think of that then, four-eyes!?" they said and laughed. Then Saxon Roach fired his pea-shooter at me. He used dry split-peas and it hurt like buggery.

I said I'd sit in the middle-school library and consider my response. Ha! That told them, eh, readers!?

Anyway...apparently, they've opened this play-list up so that anyone with a Spotify account can add stuff to it - bloody rascals! Luckily they don't know that I can't stand My Bloody Valentine, Nick Cave, The Monochrome Set, The Specials, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, etc...! *Snigger*

Luckily, you chaps are far too sensible and nice to join in that sort of behaviour.

See you down the bottom of the football-pitch at lunchtime!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

HISTORIAENS PRESS: TIME OF THE DRAGON AND OTHER EARLY WORKS

Another beautiful publication from our friends at Historiaens Press, this time featuring early work by Finnish artist-musician and super-cool Lal Lal Lal label-guy Roope Eronen.



"Time of the Dragon (and Other Early Works)" is packed full o'twisted portraituuure, monster pics and short fantasy-strips in pencil, pen, inks, paints and, well, you name it - some dating back to the mid-90s when the UK was still soaked in Lad.Rock Culture (shame on us!). It's extremely lovely stuff and you should grab a copy asap.

Here at Kid Shirt HQ, we dig Historiaens and think they're the most-est for digging back thru the archives of some of Europes dinkiest and funnest creators to bring us their fogotten secret histories. It's like a series of snapshots taken inside th'craniuuuum of th'grouuup-mind.

If you wanna sniff out a copy, make contact w/ the Historiaens crew through Benjamin Franklin's MySpace.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

DISCHARGE CHAPBOOK #1

The Discharge kollectiv have just created their first extrusion from the digital domain into the physical world in the form of an old-fashioned chapbook. Well, sorta. It's been collated in a mobile .pdf form that can be printed off and distributed by Discharge's individual members as they see fit. "It's The Papernet, innit?" as Warren Ellis would say.

Here's a preview courtesy of Ruela:

Photobucket

A bit more info: "This is the first Discharge chapbook...edited & assembled by CJ Duffy and features the art and/or writing of the following sub-set of Discharge contributors: Cocaine JesusDoriandra SmithmurmuristsJase DanielsStickleback2JuniorLazareKek-wRuelaMatina L. StamatakisRobert ChryslerAaron Held. "Be Serpentine The Hyde" is the first in a series of chapbooks. Each will be edited by a different member of the Discharge team. The second chapbook will be edited and devised by Doriandra Smith."

DJ MÜßTA KIRAHVI MEGAAMIX

A fresh new mix by our old pal DJ MÜßTA KIRAHVI:

"Twistin' The Whole Thing Away – The Megamix"
** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
THE SUN GOD "Scene 1–Take 2"/SNOWMEN "Lahti By Night"
DIVINE "Twistin' The Night Away"
CABARET VOLTAIRE "(Shakedown) The Whole Thing"
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN "Cover Me (Dub)"
AQUANAUTS "Frustrated"
MR SELFISH "Mr Selfish (Poly-T Pulinat Pois Edit)"
LIME "I Don't Wanna Lose You"
SHOCK "Angel Face"
BLEEP "A Byte of AMC"
AQUA REGIA "Directory Enquiries"
KOMPLEKSI "Gothic Robots"
NEW ORDER "Dub-Vulture"
T.E.T. "Disco Drunkard"
UNIT BLACK FLIGHT "Masking (Franz Falckenhaus Remix)
DIVINE "A Divine Good Time"
SHITCLUSTER "Doop 3"/?[ERIKOISDANCE 3] "Bonus Beast"
ERIKOISMIES "CDR Track 1"

Downloadable from here.

MONSTER TRUCK

Oh, BTW: "Shaky Kane's Monster Truck" is awesome. I can testify, hand-on-heart, to its brilliance.

You really should buy a copy.

FLAMENCO HIP-HOP




Flamenco Hip-Hop vid.mash courtesy of Canyon Cody aka Habana Joe @ Granada Doaba/Gnawledge.

LE CARNAVAL DES VAUTOURS





"Shag Voiture!"

TWITTER.LIT

As suspected, Twitter has been seized and alt.appropriated by new sub-underground post-literati.

Jason Gusmann from Fictional Mixtape has blog-jumped and is now serialising his latest novel "Richie" exclusively via his phone.

Twitter's reductive format naturally lends itself to Nano-Zen Haiku-like poem-strings and spooky compacted post-lit pronouncements. I'm gonna suggest to the rest of the Discharge posse that we create a clustered Twitterfeed stream sucking in content from the main site and peppering it w/ in-the-field audio-snatches, spoken-word shout-outs and found-photography n vid-cips.

The Future is ours!

Friday, March 20, 2009

YOUR BIG ARTIST SHAKY KANE

Your Big Artist Shaky Kane climbs out from under my carpet and dusts himself off. I haven't seen him since that terrible incident outside Waterstones, Exeter. "Phew," he says, sniffing. His exotic, otherworldly allergies are giving him gip again. "When was the last time you vacuumed that rug?" He checks his Kirby Kronometer. "Damn thing's stopped again. What year is this?"

I tell him I don't know. He nods and smiles like it's no big deal. An ice-cream van goes past outside and we both reach for our cameras. Neither of us have one.

He tells me an amusing factoid:

"The Ice-cream man round my way is called Neils on Wheels, can you imagine the thought process that went into coming up with that one? This is all true, of course."

He nods and smiles benignly, a halo of Kirby Krackle forming around his head as he extrudes a series of antennae-like sensors. He laughs: "HA HA HA! Yes, it is funny! And the reality is even funnier - and stranger - than the short version I just told you."

I tell Shaky there is a bloke who has a cafe in the back of his car - it's a small vehicle, like a slightly stretched SmartCar - with a coffee-machine squeezed into the back-seat. He drives round Exeter and the surrounding area, pulling up on the pavement and selling cups of java from the passenger-seat to startled estate-agents. Shaky nods as I tell him this, his body flickering like an old silent movie as he jumps back and forth thru time and space, fighting The War On Complacency in a million different realms simultaneously. This is why he is England's Greatest Living Pop-Artist tm.

More on this later.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

BAMN



By Any Means Necessary: "Outlaw Manifestos and Ephemera 1965-1970"

MEGALITHOMANIA





"Touch the stones." - LOL!

Yeah - g'wan! - touch the fucking stones, I dare you - townies...

Monday, March 16, 2009

AN INTERVIEW WITH ME

...and following on from my interview w/ the American writer John Moore Williams (below) about his contributions to the "Avant Garde for the New Millenium" antho is, er, an interview with me by John Moore Williams about mine.

I like being interviewed lol.

Cheers, John!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

SONIC SANCTUARY ALL-DAYER

Best o'British to my pal Cloudboy, who's playing the Sonic Sanctuary All-Dayer today.



I've just had me, er, balls stapled and they're the size of space-hoppers right now...unable to move beyond snail-shuffle speed, so no Ice Bird Spiral set, I'm afraid; instead CB will be doing a live moshjam w/ Joey Chainsaw.

It's a great line-up; wish I was going.

I should be there; you should be there.

It goes on all day (the clue's in the title, bub!), so it's not too late, oh no: jump in your cars, your autogyros and your one-man mini-subs and get over there pronto!

What're you waiting for, o ye thrill-starved ones!

YELLOW PERIL

Quote of the day comes from Mr. Bradley Sands: "Worst thing you can do to a Green Lantern is piss on his head."

Friday, March 13, 2009

INTERVIEW WITH JOHN MOORE WILLIAMS

Writer/Editor Forrest Armstrong came up with a very interesting and super-cool way to help promote "Avant Garde for the New Millennium" and that was to pair the anthology's writers off and get them to interview each other about their pieces in the book, as well as life n art n writing in general.

Forrest and I have talked long and hard in the past about making connections between people, and getting dissparate sub-networks of artists, writers, musicians, etc to collaborate or make contact w/ each other; it's one of our things. It's kinda logical: it means creating new audiences for one another's work, providing mutual support and advice, makin' friends...

So, engaging in this process was a no-brainer for me, and so it came to pass that I interviewed American writer and super-poet John Moore Williams. And it was an experience that I very much enjoyed. John's an uber-smart guy; very funny and great on-line company. Thanks, John!

Some of the other interview-pairings are posted here on Forrest's site. Please go'n read.

Oh, and I have to say a special thanks to the remarkable D. Grin/D W Green for his incredibly kind n flattering words about my own story "The Reformation" when D was actually supposed to be talking about himself. Cheers, man.

My own contributor's copy of "Avant Garde for the New Millenium" just turned up w/ a signed dedication from Forrest that I confess left me with a lump in my throat. Aww, youse guys...



The anthology is NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE over on Amazon. Or buy direct from Raw Dog Screaming Press. There is go excuse for not buying this!!! If you do not buy it, we will come for you and your family in little lime-green, one-man saucer-pods with flashing lights underneath them and make lots of noise late at night in your backyard. Consider that a promise!!!

Okay, so let the innerview begin...


First, could you introduce yrself for those folks out there who don't know you or what it is that you do...

JMW: Introduce myself … hmm. Never sure what to say here. Guess I’ll start with the basics: My name is John Moore Williams and I’m the author of two chapbooks, both released this year: I discover i is an android, which was released by Trainwreck Press (Ditch, poetry’s imprint out of Canada), and writ10, which is available free from Jukka-Pekka Kirvenen’s VUGG Books. I write - well, I’ll just encourage you to go read my work.

I have an extremely hard time explaining just what it is that I do, and really respect John Ashberry’s view that to explain one’s work is to disrespect it. I won’t claim to be anywhere near as good as Mr. Ashberry, but I do think that my work articulates what it is that I’m doing far better than I could ever hope to. I will say that I write primarily out of dissatisfaction with the majority of what the ‘literary’ world has produced, and that my main influences are Aase Berg, William S. Burroughs, Kathy Acker and Georges Bataille. That’s not to say that there isn’t a wealth of wonderful work being produced in all sorts of currents; it’s just that I’d rather write things that just aren’t like what others write.

A fairly common, and much appreciated, response to my work is the comment that is very visceral. And I’d say I’m pretty chuffed at that. If it is of any use to anyone at all, I live in the Bay Area of California, but have found so far that the majority of sympathetic listeners to what I’ve rattled out happen to hail from the eastern U.S. and Canada. Oh, yes - and Europe.

I'm always interested in how writers, musicians, etc see themselves, rather than how critics interpret them...so, this kinda flows out from the previous question, but what sort of writer/poet/prosetist do *you* think you are? - how do you see yourself in the scheme of things -do you think you've got a specific flavour or mission statement that comes with your work...?

JMW: Ha-ha. Looks like I won’t be getting out of doing a little explaining. I think I’ve learned to think of myself and my work without much reference to what others are producing, or what history has come before me. That’s due both to an injunction from Brent Cunningham not to take myself too seriously, or to assume that anyone will ever want to place me within a particular set, and my own perception that I don’t really belong, in many ways, in the current streams of poetics.

Though a lifelong fan of poetry, I didn’t really commit myself to it until my last year in college, when I took a course in the poetics of translation with the Canadian poet Lisa Robertson. The idea of the course was not to really ‘translate’ other’s works in the traditional sense of the term, but to translate in the sense that we all translate our experience of life: to take what is given and transmute it into new work. And whether I’m writing a distorted translation of Aase Berg’s work, attempting to preserve rhythm and phrasing but to completely alter the diction and thematic; or rewriting Peter Pan from the perspective of what are essentially street punks, or simply working single poems out of pseudo-anagrammatic derangements line by line, so that each new line is a translation of the one above it (examples not simply drawn out of the hat: all present techniques of current – the first two examples – or past work – the latter describing the method I used to write I discover i is an android), I think of all of my work as translations.

However, while the technique and subject matter of all my works differs – form always informing content – my abiding concerns are that my work remain polysemous and visceral. Polysemy is my foremost interest when it comes to language: I’m obsessed with the sometimes hidden, sometimes fallacious (from the etymological perspective) but often intuitively meaty connections between different sememes. Essentially I’m not satisfied with language as it is; I have this feeling that I’ve had as long as I can remember that language can be forced to express new ideas, and I’ve tried as much as possible to highlight that perceived capability. I also try to keep my work visceral out of a perception that too little contemporary work truly is. Trolling the online journals, I’d venture it’s kinda rare to find a work about sex that isn’t highly metaphorical … I’d rather just get down there and dig amidst all those sticky fluids, and see if I can find any words floating about in there.

To close this bit, I’d like to reference my four favorite quotes from readers about my work:
1. “It’s like steampunk erotica with a Viking helmet on.”
2. “It’s tantra for wild boars.”
3. “It’s like a sexy version of Jabberwocky”
4. “ … think of this book as your introduction to the Romanticism of the future.” (this last about my book “I discover i is an android”)

Tell us a bit about the genesis of your piece(s) . Can you remember anything about actually writing them - any particular thoughts, vibes or peripheral stuff going on at the time that might have fed into them....?

JMW: While I do have a number of what I’d call “incidental” pieces, I tend to have pretty good recall as to the origins of particular pieces. Due to the larger project that both the pieces in the anthology spring out of, I very clearly remember their origins. Both come from an ongoing project with the brilliant Matina L. Stamatakis. About a year ago or so Matina and I had been talking doing a collaboration, and it was the first piece, “Zoom In,” that finally galvanized us both to start the project. “Zoom In” began as a simple alphabetic piece: I wanted to find 26 metaphors for love – and, typical of my oeuvre, they tended to revolve around the physical side thereof – so I wrote 26 lines, each beginning with a letter of the alphabet. I worked from a to z and found the work interesting, but somehow lacking … basically just a tad straightforward. So I worked on some parenthicals — a sort of parallel narrative that both elaborated on and diverged from the original piece — then integrated them into the original piece. So, in a way, it’s my personal aleph-bet of the relationship between physicality and love.

The second piece spawned from a line in one of those incidental poems I mentioned: “Our eyes meet over the slaughter.” A bit of talking the line over with Matina made me realize that it played quite well into my fascination with the zombie in all its myriad forms, from the Voudoun spectre to the pop-culture film icon to the philosophical thought-experiment. However, I was having a hard time elaborating on my ideas, so I let my anagrammatic machine (the one discovered and used in the writing of “I discover … “ (god with a little g forgive me for alluding to my book yet again)) take over and write the piece for me.

All this talk of machinery reminds me of another of my big influences: Christian Bok. He once suggested that the poet of the future might be lauded more for his or her creation of a machine or program itself capable of producing poems. And though I anticipate no lauds for it – nor feel I deserve them – the anagrammatic engine I mentioned above is my machine: It does the work for me when I cannot. And generally, I’m quite pleased with its results.

Some vague impressionistic thoughts on your pieces. I had a weird flash of Samuel Delaney at one point, particularly on "Zoom In" – though he's not someone I personally particularly associate with poetry. I haven't read anything of his for years, but some of his late 60s/early 70s stuff has a weird poetic feel to it and your work had a similar post-urban resonance to it, I thought. I was getting that strange deserted/abandoned city recast-as-a-human body thing that he used to do (and Zelazny sometimes had that feel too....) I like the way you've tangled up imagery from an post-urban landscape with that of the human body and then wrapped it up in emotional/psychological terms too. The three things seem to blur in and out of each other, so there's a sort of weird psychogeography at play - so the concrete-external, the human-physical and the bodiless-emotional states all come into play, like transitions between solid matter, liquid and gas...

You also do good endings too! I like the way that "Zoom In" finally comes to rest, as if it's depleted its own energy, but also the language and the imagery softens, and also that final feeling of desiccation, of the prose (and maybe also the writer and the subject-matter) shrivellng or drying up...as if the piece has auto-depleted itself. on "Our Eyes Meet Over the Slaughter" the language and imagery goes from a sort of increasingly super-heated liquid state to a juddering halt, like a sea-plane (or a bird) landing on water - for a moment, you think it's not going to be able to stop, but it does. And there's a sense of a gentle continuing motion that carries on briefly *after* the piece has ended...like an after-taste of momentum, even though you've stopped writing (if that makes sense LOL)...

Both pieces have a sense of sexual energy too, maybe...and there's a sense of them both being sated or used-up at the end, but in different ways in the two pieces...again, I don’t know if that makes sense - it's just how the changes of rhythm and energy strike me - again, I'm probably just projecting onto the pieces...

JMW: Well, I’d say that your perceptions – self-deprecations aside – are quite accurate, and I’m certainly flattered by some of the allusions. I adore Delaney’s approach to fiction, his perception that fantasy and sci-fi can be incredibly powerful tools for the exploration of concepts incredibly close to home. That ‘post-urban resonance’ you speak of is an idea dear to my heart: I believe that our relationships to our cities, our technologies, and our bodies are probably the most important, and will be the most central, concerns of human thought as we progress.

An exploration of those intense and highly tense relationships is, to my mind, pivotal: without properly exploring those relationships, our antagonistic relationship to all three of these realities will be, in the end, our undoing. And beyond the potentially catastrophic results of that ignorance, it is the ignorance itself which terrifies and fascinates me. All these things – our bodies, our technologies, our cities – are as close to us as our own thoughts, and are patterned after the biochemical processes and networks that are fundamental to our existence. For these things, which are so intimate in their reflections of ourselves, to be so alien to us is, quite simply, abhorrent to me. I can’t say that my work will ever help resolve these tensions, but it is immersed in them. The concepts are, to my mind, inseparable, and that’s exactly why you perceive those things merging so seamlessly in “zoom in”.

Otherwise, I’ll let your perceptions stand on their own.

I was interested in your own interest in Polysemy...and I was curious where you thought this might come from - what do you think has drawn you towards an interest in language's potential for multiple meanings? Are you interested in ambiguity primarily, or is it the 'hidden-ness' of meanings that intrigues you - the pleasure of teasing out new or unexpected layers of meaning? Was it something that initially intrigued you as a reader of other people's work, or did it develop as you began to write yourself...?

JMW: To be honest, I can’t say where my interest in polysemy began. If I were to imaginatively reconstruct the process, though, I’d say this: When I was very young, just starting to write, I was fascinated by that anachronistic idea – the very underpinning of both Biblical and fantastic literatures – that language had some intrinsic relation to reality; that manipulation of language could result in profound changes in the so-called ‘real.’ In a sense I think that power still is very much a reality ... I mean, there’s no denying that language profoundly affects our perceptions of reality – one need look no further than the word ‘queer’ to see that a word can be loaded with whole, often profoundly opposed, worldviews … and be equally powerful for either side of the coin.

Over time, though, that belief withered as I realized that no number of reams of moody teenage-angst poetics would ever take me out of this world, or help me find any sort of transcendence.

Then, as one does, I came across Saussure and the most intense part of my belief in language died away completely. But it wasn’t a difficult or painful death: Instead, it helped me realize that language, like most other systems of thought, was a sort of a web, a web in which each word was a node or interstice of many lines meeting and intertwining, and that each of those interstices depended entirely on the whole structure of the web. A word couldn’t mean anything intrinsically because it was simply a part of a set of relationships, and that sort of structure rapidly become incredibly more interesting, and more full of depth, than any intrinsic relation to reality ever could be.

As I said above, I realize that language is still incredibly powerful, but it’s in its relationship to sociopolitical realities rather any conceptual objective reality.

Interesting you mentioning Matina and Jukka-Pekka Kirvenen - both extremely talented and cool people, imo...I was curious - in "Our Eyes Meet Over The Slaughter" what is it that was slaughtered...? Is that something you're comfortable in talking about - or would you prefer to leave it open to the reader's interpretation...? (The zombie as metaphor is one I'm constantly using myself, pretty much on a weekly basis - it resonates on all sorts of cultural/social levels.)

JMW: I adore Matina, both as a poet and as an online friend. And Jukka-Pekka … to call him talented is a bit of an understatement. I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of my work than when I heard he liked my ‘writ10’.

I would certainly prefer to allow readers to read what they may in that slaughter. I will say that I often think of humans social relationships having a gustatory, consumptive element – and that the image of two lovers swallowing each other in a sort of recursive, Ouroboroean circle is no stranger to my thoughts.

I'm very interested in the idea of automation in fiction (and art, etc), particularly in the Surrealist sense of the word, so your comments about using an 'engine' intrigued me a great deal. Are you okay talking about your anagrammatic engine - and how this functions or folds in with your writing process? Is it something you use to dig your way out of a creative impasse - like, for example, Eno's Oblique Strategies cards - or is it more of a generative tool, that you then use to create or rearrange source-material, that you then manually edit until you get a result that's pleasing to your own aesthetics? There's some wonderful rhythms, particularly in "Our Eyes Meet Over The Slaughter" - they seem far too organic to be fully automated, or is that just an illusion? I love this particularly beautiful sequence (the way it tumbles and flows, vowels tripping and tipping over each other...)...apologies for removing it from the longer flow/context that it’s embedded it (and for losing the word position-placement - Blogger just wasn't having it), but I love the words...

“the hectored keel names you a taut seizure,

an aubade, an echo log, I a voice you wrote”



JMW: Here’s the text of a little statement of poetics which revolves around the engine:

"associative anagrammatics, or the poem as tarot spread

"the compositional method … is what I have come to call associative anagrammatics, a method I analogize with the layout and reading of a tarot spread.

"in each poem the title functions as the initial layout, in which the epistemological tools of the subsequent “reading” are established and defined. the poem thence unfolds as a series of readings of the fundamental datum provided by the title.

"progressing into the poem, the writing process splits the fundamental datum into its constituents parts, parsing the whole phrase down first into words, then into the individual letters – just as the tarot reader splits the total spread first into the individual cards, and then into the disparate images that compose each card’s total composition.

"thus, each line stands as a rereading, rewriting, redaction of the title itself, and its attempts to make some new and fresh meaning of the originary statement parallel the epistemological efforts we all make upon encountering some new media or stimulus. they recapitulate the semiotic tension between a thing and its name, and, much like the tarot, end up being more of a map, or an act, of meaning-making, than any static statement in and of themselves."

To more directly answer your question: it’s both generative means and oblique strategy. Your suggestion that some passages of my work seem “far too organic to be fully automated,” goes to the heart of my interest in the process. It’s a merger of these two concepts – the organic and the automated – and was thus the (here I go again) ideal method of composition for the android book. There’s no parsing out what the “machine” did and what “I” did – or, I suppose there is, but it would take a great deal of detailed backtracking to determine what the engine gave me and what my organic mind produced out of it. In a sense it’s no different than any compositional technique which produces a rough draft which is then edited … except I try to do both in one pass, producing a final product which is (hopefully) as polished as it is spontaneous.


Your thoughts on how the physical world around us is a 'projection', an externalisation or extension of our own biological and psychological processes resonates very strongly with me - the idea that we've created this world "in our own image" is one of the themes that I was playing with in my own story, so I'm pleased to see some overlap there with my own views of the world.

JMW: I don’t necessarily think of the external world as a projection or externalization of our own natures—rather that there is less distinction than we like to think between “our own image” and that of the external. What I mean to say is that one is a reflection of the other, and, if anything, it is the external that precedes the images that we have projected … and that those images we’ve projected appear in the manner that they do not because of some conscious act of artifice on our part, but simply because all things proceed from an underlying pattern.

It’s like galaxies: the majority of galaxies in the universe appear to conform to essentially the same pattern, the very spiral pattern to which our own Milky Way conforms. I guess I am, in essence, a scientific positivist, a believer in the as-yet unarticulated Grand Unified Field Theory. It’s simply that all things – from language to galaxies to human bodies and cities – are shaped in accordance with a single set of simple and elegant rules.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

SWINEVILLE (SLIGHT RETURN)

There's a rather wonderful n cool review of Ice Bird Spiral's old "Swineville" tour-CD-r over here on the Terrascope site (a one-stop shop for all things wyrd, wunnerful & psychosoupic!) by the legendary Phil McMullen of Ptolemaic Terrascope infamy.

Phil is a dude of near-infinite proportions.

Thanks, man! - from the bottom of our ripped-from-the-ribcages-by-a-Mayan-priestess (but-still-pumpin') hearts.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Kek (Kuk, Keku) means darkness. He was the god of the darkness of Chaos, the darkness before Time began. He was the god of obscurity, hidden in the darkness. The Egyptians saw the night-time, the time without the light of the sun, as a reflection of this chaotic darkness.

"The characteristics of the third paid of gods, Keku and Kauket, are easier to determine, and it is tolerably certain that these deities represent the male and female powers of the darkness which was supposed to cover over the primeval abyss of water; they have been compared by Dr. Brugsch with the Erebos of the Greeks."

-- The Gods of the Egyptians, E. A. Wallis Budge

"As a god of the night, Kek was also related to the day - he was called the "bringer-in of the light". This seems to mean that he was responsible for the time of night that came just before sunrise. The god of the hours before day dawned over the land of Egypt. This was the twilight which gave birth to the sun."

ICE BIRD SPIRAL FOOTAGE #1

A brief clip of Ice Bird Spiral in action at Kraak Fest on saturday, shot from the audience - by Edgar - it starts off sideways, by the looks of it lol...then, well I'm not entirely sure what's happening there, but I think it's that short section where Henry Unth became severely spooked to find he had just materialised inside a human body that was wearing braces...lol...



And there's a pretty astute review of the show here by someone who wasn't even there lol...(thanks, Loki!)...tho maybe he was, but we weren't. That sounds about right. I like that idea that we have an Ice Bird Spiral tour-bus or car that travels slower than the Earth's rotation so that we are perpetually travelling East. Again, this sounds scarily plausible.

"The terrible Orphee Debacle." LOL!

Hopefully, someone's sending over some Pro photos at some point, so I might finally get some idea of what the fuck actually happened.

I would like to read some more reviews written by people who weren't actually there.

Monday, March 09, 2009

KRAAK ROAD-TRIP

I had soooooooo much fun in Belgium. It should be illegal to have this much fun.

Actually, it probably is.



First, tho, I must thank the fine folks from Kraak, Recyclart and FARO for their warmth and hospitality: Tommy, Steve, Niels, Dave, Nina, Kurt and some others whose names I didn't catch (sorry!): you are lovely, lovely people, all of you. Thanks for making our stay so special.

The area of Brussels that we hung out in was kinda like Stokes Croft in Bristol (but not quite) in that there was very obviously a thriving arts-based community; the area was ungentrified and, well, just full of stuff...

It was almost too much to take in...
























Steve kindly met us at the station and took us into town; telling us a great anecdote about how one of the Kraak guys had gone out to collect Henry Flynt from the airport, but had picked up a random stranger by accident. He had seen a dude with a guitar-case, asked "Are you Henry?" and the guy had said "Yes", so he bundled him into his car and drove him into town, leaving a bemused Mr. Flynt back in the lobby. Seems the dude was an American Blues musician who was coincidentally also called Henry lol.

Steve also told us a wonderful story involving Kenji Haino and a pair of black underpants which I'd better not repeat here. Of course, being Kenji Haino, they would have to be black underpants lol...









Cloudboy and I spent the evening checking out the area, crate-diggin' and sniffin' around old book-stores...trotting round what looked like the North African quarter, just digging being in my skin. That limbo time of indeterminate twilight - where a city falls into a trance-state somewhere between light and dark - that's my favourite time to be alive.

I ate the best portion of chips I've ever had in my life.

I'd had some vague plan to catch a Congolese/African band/club-nite; but the travelling and traipsing round had taken its toll and we crashed out early...

In the morning: more crate-diggin' and traipsing. Checked out a massive shop full of second-hand records and bande dessinée dating back to the mid-70s; old Druillet reprints (most of which I already have in original back-ishes of Metal Hurlant); Jacques Tardi, Moebius, Jodorowsky, blahblahblah. Bande dessinée is a big fuck-off to all the people that think graphic novels started with "Watchmen" and "Dark Knight Returns"...they've been doing this shit on the continent for decades. I remember going to a newstand in Paris in '80 and it being literally plastered w/ adult 'comics' of every shape and hue.





More chips and tea. Afterwards, we headed back to FARO and dumped off our gear. I'm annoyed at myself for missing Valerio Cosi, but after lunch things started getting a bit hectic as the adrenaline kicked in and a billion different things demanded our attention...I also wanted to see Köhn and, luckily, I managed to catch the end-ish part of his set, walking in on a creamy wall of gtr-driven droneslide - casading loops of soupy-sounding noise; a waterfall of mushroom n squash-flavoured soup; a shoegazer's wetdream...then he started manipulating his banks of synths (I saw the Sequential Circuits logo in there somewhere, in amongst the pads and FX-pedals and a laptop...) to create a slow-pumpin' chug of sequenced synthpads that sounded like mid-period Klaus Shultze, or Ashra circa "New Age of The Earth" becalmed on a boating-lake watching model tug-boats go past in the rain.

Then he started tweaking his knobs n keys n making some gloriously farty-sounding noises. Well, there's no point in owning synths n vintage kit if you can't make 'em go squuuurrrrrk, is there...?

Lovely whooooshy, (T-)dreamy stuff; wish I'd seen the whole set.



Sitting around waiting to sound-check I got the chance to hang out and chat at length w/ ex-Henry Cow geezer Geoff Leigh (who I mentioned on this blog a few days ago). Geoff's led a fascinating life; and he's a complete gentleman and a dude; very warm, generous and funny. He let loose with some fantastic anecdotes about squatting in Rotterdam (in fact, generally talking about how am/zing Holland was in the 70's n 80's), how he augments his saxes n flutes w/ loopers, Koas-pads, etc, and some scandalous wild-man of Improv tales about Phil Minton and other assorted characters...

Then Free-Jazz legend Burton Greene wandered in, complaining that his trusty Roland D-50 of 20 years vintage had packed up on him, so Cloudboy and I made some vague attempts to help him fix it, and Mic loaned him his mini-screwdriver to check the internal power-unit. We encouraged him to clean off some gunk n swarf that had accrued inside it only for him to yelp "Goddamn!!" as he got an electric shock. The fucking thing was still plugged into the mains!

Shit, man, we nearly electrocuted Burton Greene! How uncool is that lol.



Geoff Leigh played a lovely set; jammed w/ himself on flute as loooooooong loops of flute built up and overlapped w/ each other. Flutertronics, innit. Then he switched to Tibetan bowls and gongs, before dropping a loop of hand-drums and singing freeform over the top of this musical soup. Kinda Fourth/Fifth World type thing. Next up, he introduced an array of bird-calls and duck-whistles to build a blurry-soundin' aviary of faux-birdsong, his mics picking up ambient audience leakage, so that random laughs and crowd-phrases mixed in with the music, with someone saying "that's some crazy shit..." floating past in the mix every minute or so...afterwards, he said: "I'm glad there were some technical hitches at the start; it gave me a chance to clown around a bit..."



Then Alan Silva walked into the kitchen!



("Hey! Who you lookin' at, motherfucker?")

Closely followed by the Funeral Folk posse (yaaaay!) hunting for goat cadavers.



Then - unsurprisingly - things start getting a bit strange.



Our soundcheck was a bit of a visual smear; like someone had rubbed a greasy thumb across The Reality Film.



I'm sitting backstage, picking at olives, listening to Vomir (a French Harsh Noise band) play. It sounds like the end of the world; someone suggests it sounds like an enormous contact-mic'd wardrobe being dragged across raw concrete and played through a 10-story Marshall stack. The girls behind the kitchen counter laugh at the preposterousness of it all. Burton Greene pulls a face.

Vomir have released stuff on At War With False Noise. There's an interview here, on Brad's site. I liked the idea that - like Metal fans fixating on the idea of True Black Metal, etc - there was a auto-critical distinction between True Noise and False Noise lol.

Ken Butler blows in at some point; he's a really nice guy; really friendly and interested in what we're doing - says hello and chats every time I bump into him during the fest. We briefly watched him set up and were pleased to note that his musical equipement included a spade lol. Top bloke.




More olives and grapes and small talk; checking equipment needlessly; waiting to play. Ken's talking to Geoff about Fred Frith, who they both know. Later, Ken's talking to Burton and Alan about Fluxus and the 60s NY Free Jazz scene and ESP-Disks and stuff; and this isn't dry Wire-speak article-talk, but real people talking about shit that's still alive n breathing in their head, that's still valid and influencial and filtering back down to us thru them...Burton gets animated, bitches about the Mafioso who ran the music biz in the 60s, about never getting paid, getting ripped-off and stuff, but here he is, still doing his shit, still getting electrocuted lol...

We listen to Ken Butler from the kitchen while he plays some treach Funk/Jazz shit using randomly sampled objects. People whoooop and holler in the audience. It's sounds like he's playing a bass-line on an elastic-band or a ruler. He does this funny, clunky drumming routine. When he comes off stage, he grins and says "Did you hear those drums?" I nod, yeah. "Well, I mic'd up my skull and was..." *mimes rapping on his head with knuckles* I think he said he played the bass-line on his tongue or something lol.




I get changed into my stage-gear. I can't get to the toilet, so go outside on the patio to change. I take off my trousers only to realise that Henry Flynt is sat opposite me, eating his dinner at a bench (Geoff is sat with him).

He puts down his knife and fork to look at me and I realise that I have just dropped my trousers to Henry Flynt.

He laughs and says: "I'm guessing that you are changing into some sort of costume. But I really like the idea that you might be a random stranger who just came in off the street because he decided to change his clothes."

"Geezer," says Geoff.

We hit the stage. 30 seconds into our performance and my garb functions as antipated; like a child's dream-catcher, my clothes call down and trap the mist-soul of Henry Unth, an Apparitionist scam-artist from an imaginary 1930/70/80's parallel mythuniverse. Unth, I decide, is the 9th member of Ice Bird Spiral whose vague spectral presence has been making itself known to me over recent weeks. Finally, he has emerged from my back-brain and made himself known to me. After this sudden revelation, things go pretty smoothly and he rides my body like a loa for the rest of the set; evaporating like vapour the second we finish. It's like some crazy trance-seance-shit.

I smoke the best cigarette I've ever smoked. Cloudboy talks to El-G.

Inside, I talk to Alan Silva for what seems like ages; he's holding forth on music and politics and philosophy and life. He says "motherfucker" at least once every sentence. At one point he says "motherfucker" three times in 5 seconds.

I look at him and think: "Fuck, this guy's played with Sun Ra." Fucking Sun Ra, man...

Sometimes, it's just, y'know...

He says: "You cats, you're like a motherfucking musical cancer or something. I listened to you play...and I'm in the john..." *mimes agonised expression while trying to pee* "...and I'm thinking you cats, you all play so motherfucking loud." He cackles like a crazy alley-cat and shows his teeth, "...but I'm glad you're out there playing, doing what you do. See, there's no boxes. I don't believe in boxes...it's like, classical and jazz and noise and ambiuuuunt..." He say 'ambient' like it's some medical condition or a species of nematode. "It's like they're just these boxes that someone made up, but I come here to play and I don't see no boxes no more. I just see music." Taps his head. "I just hear music. That's all there is left: the music. I don't believe in boxes."

That's when it hits me: what I've been hearing all day is folklore - stories and tales and info being passed back and forth: Geoff telling Ken Butler about the time he saw Hendrix; critiquing Noel Redding's bass-playing - "He liked a drop of whisky, did Noel Redding; would drink it like water..." *mimes a bass-riff* "That's why Hendrix liked playing with him, he could stretch out over that...dummm-dumm-dumma-dum-dumm whisky-bass thing..."

I catch a bit of El-G's set.



I run around a bit, gabbling. I talk to Geoff for 40 minutes outside: more folklore, more stories about when he lived in Bristol in the late 70s - same time as me! - how he and his mates nearly got the Bristol Music Co-Op banded from their own venue; mental stuff; crazy times. He tells me about one of his pre-Henry Cow bands - Crazy Mabel.

Fabulous, fabulous folklore.

We catch Alan and Burton play. It's inspirational.

Burton comes alive at the keys; he plays this thing on the piano - huge swathes of space between chords. It's like creepy 12-tone shit; not Jazz, but something colder than Berg; there's nothing mellow about this, every note, every finger exactly where it should be. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Alan joins in on an old digital synth/sampler, tracking Burton's path, following him like a mishapen, slinky shadow, neither of them looking at each other. It's like telpathy or something, almost uncanny.

Alan switches to an enormous double-bass, twitches and twists his wiry frame around his instrument, pawing and plucking at it; it's almost funky; it's almost...I dunno...





There's a weird silence hanging over the hall; I'm almost scared to breath in case I disturb something, make it go wrong somehow. They stand up and rap to the audience; talk politics, give the crowd a pep-talk. They play some more and then leave. It was remarkable.

I talk to Burton backstage, ask him where it came from, that piano playing of his. He tells me he "digs the Romantics, the classical Romantics - Beethoven, Bach...it doesn't get any better than that shit..." then shrugs like it's no big deal. He talks about his mother playing that shit when he was a kid in the 30s and 40s on a wind-up gramophone, how it sounded to him, how it felt...how it still feels.

More folklore, more stories.

Cloudboy and I go record shopping at 12:30 at night. They're selling near-mint Stockhausen albums for 40E - stuff I've seen for £100+ in London, but scratched to shit - but I rein myself in and buy some cassettes on Dreamtime Tape Sounds instead. Lieven isn't manning the stall. "Dude's gone awol," someone says, helpfully.

I hook up with Edgar Wappenhalter, Hellvete, Bart Sloow and assorted Funeral Folkers at Recyclart to catch Ame Son. They play some songs they wrote in the late 60s with Daevid Allen. They are brilliant, so we get drunk and sing along to them and dance.



I bump into John from Crammed Records, who lives in Bristol sometimes. He DJs at The Cube, helps with Venn Fest. He tells me Chiz is getting Group Inerane to play Bristol as part of a Sublime Frequencies tour.

We drink more. The bar shuts. About 30 of us wind our way thru the streets following a girl called Annie who will somehow randomly/magically lead us to another bar to drink in. There are Australians and Americans, Brits and Belgians. A weird mixture of bands, artists and organisers with Annie acting as the pied piper. We are shouting and singing and talking like crazy men. We find a bar and stay there.



Hellvete talks about Vibracathedral Orchestra; Bart about Werner Hertzog. Everything is so cool. I love these guys. We drink until we fall off our stools.



I had the best time ever.

MESS WITH TEXAS 3



Mess with Texas 3 is on Saturday, March 21st in Austin, Texas at Waterloo Park. It's Free and open to the public; all ages welcome. The line-up's pretty damn cool:

The Black Lips, The Circle Jerks, Kid Sister, Thermals, Akron Family, Cursive, Lucero, King Khan & the Shrines, Monotonix, Soft Pack, Jason Lytle from Granddaddy, the Bronx, Vetiver, Japanther, Trash Talk, B.O.B, Busdriver, Vivian Girls, Crystal Antlers, Abe Vigoda, Death Set, Cut Off Your Hands, Sleepy Sun, Red Cortez + more...

More info here.

Friday, March 06, 2009

I am in a Yoof Hostel in Brussels; they are playing Fleetwood Mac over the Tannoy.

We have just been shopping for records; everyone is being very nice to us.

Belgian chips are the best in the world.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

RIP PHILIP JOSE FARMER









God bless PJF. He's gone to Wold Newton.