Sunday, November 01, 2009


Not writing as much as I would like, but then that's always been the case. First, I've started contributing reviews and such to Dagger magazine - my first few can be found here - they're the ones what has my name at the end of them.

Also, I'm working out my atrophied creative muscles by enlisting in this year's National Novel Writing Month - not so much a competition as a dance marathon with verbs. I'll be uploading my, um, "novel" as I go here. Check back frequently; just don't expect it to be very good.

Monday, July 27, 2009


More of my various contributions to sundry twitmemes or whatever the hell they're called...

"Two or Three Things I Left At Her House"
"The Ringtones of Madame de..."
"Le Shower D'Or"
"Wise Phlegm"
"The Man Who Fell Over in His Driveway"
"Last Year at Marion Barry's"

A: Knock knock. B: Who's there? A: (silence) B: All is lost.

A priest, a cowgirl and a penguin walk into a bar. They do not move.*

00010: 1100010!
100001: 0000000111?
00010: 1!

Toil for Tots (the #1 outsourcer for the world's sweatshops)
The National Overendowment for the Tarts
Ah'm Nasty International (renowned worldwide for releasing those trapped in the closet)
The Shasta McNasty House
The Glory-Hole-in-the-Wall Gang
Doctors Without Boundaries
The Take-A-Fist Foundation

"I've got the rights to 'The Miracle of Morgan's Creek' and I've got the Octomom under contract. You do the math."

"They called him the Nureyev of clog dancing, and this is his tragic story..."

"Four words: 'Steven Seagal IS Pagliacci.'"

"It's 'Day of the Locust' meets 'Night of the Lepus.'"

Whole Feuds
Kay Jewhaters
That Hick Ory's Farm
Victoria's Rickets
Hot Toe-Pick
Race Traitor Joe's
Ratty Ol' Shack
T.G.I.Fried Possum's


"You know how to whistle, don't you? Here, use this whistle."

"Round up the same fellows we pull in at times like this. You know, the real supicious ones."


"Baby, you're the England Dan to my John Ford Coley."
"That's close enough for professional croquet."
"You ain't just humming the theme from 'Exodus' there, partner."
"You ain't no Gordie Howe, girlfriend."
"Aw, tell it to the phrenologist!"
"Don't serve that watery flan to ME, mister!"
"I'm Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, bitch!"
"That's my dybbuk!"
"Tickle that Serb, Agnes!"

* How many times have I recycled this one? A lot. I may have had only half-a-dozen or so inspired ideas in my life, but damned if I'm letting go of any of them.

** For some reason, this one failed to catch on.

*** I guess some of those are more "#redneckretail" than "#hillbillyretail." So sue me. My Southern relatives are.

**** See **.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Never one to let a good gag go to waste, much less a dozen or so mediocre ones, I am herewith re-posting the #truecanadafacts I composed on Twitter this afternoon (in honor of Canada Day), interspersed with a couple of old gags on the subject from an article I wrote a long time ago. And later, I'm going to use them as inter-set filler on my radio show! So they're disposable and recyclable! If they were only funny, it'd be perfect!

  • Canadian interrogators have been suspected of subjecting enemy combatants to the horrors of snowboarding.

  • Recently released census data confirms that Canadians are the nationality most likely to use the expression "oh, geez."

  • Canadian pornography is widely recognized as the most apologetic in the Northern Hemisphere.

  • Toronto's CN Tower is the third-largest man-made structure in the world no one gives a shit about.

  • Despite its name, "Canadian bacon" is actually a mineral.

  • Canada has been available in color since 1971.

  • Though popularly known as "Prime Minister," the official title of Canada's govermental leader is "Mr. Dressup."

  • Chief exports: paper, rebar, mild embarrassment, resignation, Loverboy.

  • The province of Alberta mysteriously disappeared in 1987, though no one noticed until this past March.

  • Canada has more "Gordon"s per capita than any country in the industrialized world.

  • To confuse and bewilder interlopers, many "Canadians" have been known to lapse without warning into a bizarre and incomprehensible patois known in some circles as "French."

  • The official facial expression of Canada is the bemused smirk.

  • Effective January 1, 2012, the Canadian national anthem will revert from "O Canada" to "something by April Wine."

  • Their inhabitants emit a noxious liquid when threatened (Winnipeg only).

  • Even they don't understand curling.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Back in 2003, I was rather an angry fellow. My personal life had unceremoniously cratered, I was deeply frustrated about the cul-de-sac my creative efforts had wound up in, and I probably had a couple of really painful zits on my back that kept rubbing up against my shirt. It was in that state that, in a fit of concentrated pique, I started (and briefly maintained) a blog whose sole purpose and function was to mock and irritate a rather pompous individual who frequented one of the message boards I regularly visited. I don't look upon the effort with any particular pride - not that the guy didn't deserve a little tweaking, but I'm a little shocked at how vicious the whole thing reads today - but I will say that my contempt for the fellow did result in a rather amusing burst of creativity. See, in the first entry on said blog (wherein the "author" pretentiously detailed his myriad "achievements"), I linked the phrase "my award-winning book" to a two-page site I hashed together in about half an hour, utilizing some rudimentary Dreamweaver skills, and posted online via GeoCities. The only reason I'm posting its content here is that, with the imminent death of Yahoo!'s free-website-hosting project, it'll soon be gone and I don't want to deprive myself or my fans (for which, read also "myself") of the few chuckles I was able to whip up in the twenty minutes or so it took me to come up with it (and, unlike the blog - which you'll notice I'm not linking to - it's not more mean than funny). Plus, it's content, and that fools me yet again into thinking that I'm keeping this blog a vibrant and ongoing proposition and that I'm not leagues more pathetic than anybody I've ever sneered at. (And I realize now that the Ventures did record a few songs with vocals, so that kind of ruins one of the jokes below, but fuggit.)

"Randomly Handing Out Statuettes Since 1997."

page 1:

Winners of the Maxwell H. Zendorkingham Award for Basic Competency in the Field of Music and/or Media Journalism, Book Division

572. Farley Juxt, Jr., The Gene Rayburn Story, Part 3: Young, Gifted and _______

573. Paul Dvorak, Jim Nabors - He's Dead, Right?

574. Nick Harcourt, New Mexico is Now! - The Taos Free Jazz Scene

575. Dicks Mole, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Etc.: An Inquiry into Values As Seen Through the Ears of a Modern American Genius "Rock Critic" Reflecting on His Times As Only He Can

576. Bat Narwhal, ed., How to Tackle the TV Guide Crossword Puzzle in Under Six Days!

577. Damon Errantstain, Heterosexuals in Hollywood: I Found One!

588. Pete Maws, Sherman, Goldsboro, Gentry: The Great Bobbies of Early 70s Rock

589. Georgio Pillock, The Ventures: The Annotated Lyrics

590. Moloch O'Herlihy, The Complete Guide to Pro-Life Death Metal

591. Gabriel Melgar, Jr., I'm With the Parking Attendant: True Stories of Clueless Groupiedom

592. Anne Hedonya, Helvetica: Font of the Damned

593. Jojo Krumbumb, Here's Your Friggin' Book, Mr. Publisher. Happy Now?

page 2:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Maxwell H. Zendorkingham Award?

The Maxwell H. Zendorkingham Award was established in 1995 by Maxwell H. Zendorkingham, a philanthropist and Swiss cheese plugger in order to pay tribute to the hard-working men and women around the world who harvest parsley to garnish the dishes of restaurant patrons worldwide. Unfortunately, due to a clerical error (carried out by a clumsy priest who dabbled in inventory management), the expected shipment of 30 award statuettes accidentally turned out to be 30,000. Happily, owing to his generosity of spirit and The Award Hut's iron-clad "No Returns" policy, Zendorkingham decided to expand the award to honor notables in many different walks of life.

Such as?

Excellence in Millipede Neutering, Aptitude in Skipping Yet Somehow Not Coming Off Gay, Best Individuals Named Doug Shaftesbury in or Around Fort Wayne, Indiana, Most Cheerful Rental Car Agent, Basic Competency in the Field of Music and/or Media Journalism (Book Division), Least Whiny Female Yodeler, Individual Most Inured to Being "The Ugly One" in a Boy Band, Outstanding Achievement in Gyno-Ventriloquism, and Basic Competency in the Field of Music and/or Media Journalism (Handbill/Post-It Note Division).

How does one qualify for a Maxwell H. Zendorkingham Award?

Through a lengthy and torturous nomination/ratification process, including the testimony of at least five non-relatives as to your skill in the relevant category, your non-Jewishness, and your ability to uphold the level of excellence and the attendant responsibilities of your specific craft for four to six years after receiving the award. Or you can send $3.95 and two Proofs of Purchase from a box of Wheat Chex to Free Awards Thing, PO Box 5868, Skirmish Lake, MI (zip code withheld by request).

Are you standing on my foot?

Oh, is that your foot? Terribly sorry. Here, have a Maxwell H. Zendorkingham Award.

Why does the Maxwell H. Zendorkingham Award look exactly the same as the Peter N. Khakky Award for Ability to Make Exact Change From a Fifty?

It's not. Tommy soldered on a rosette or something. It's there. Unless it fell off.

Monday, June 22, 2009


A couple of links and an embed or two while I crack my knuckles and attempt to resume regular narrowcasting:

Jonathan Franzen reads and discusses two classic "casuals" from the New Yorker archives, "Love Trouble is My Business" by Veronica Geng and "Coyote v. Acme" by Ian Frazier here, a podcast that makes me feel anew as if my limp efforts in their respective directions are like trying to read Proust while strapped to a rocket sled with the corpse of Mr. Reagan harnessed to my back like a proto-neo-conservative parachute.

ABC is presently engaged in an odd variation on the time-honored tradition of Summer Burn-Off Theater, in which the low-rated show whose unaired episodes they're filling the dead, dancing-and/or-dating-show-deprived weeks of June, July and August with hasn't been cancelled yet. The show in question is Better Off Ted, which I watched for the first time today via's new and evidently improved online viewer. And once past the groansome show title, the omnipresent wacky-sitcom music-cues (the hey-morons!-this-is-where-you're-supposed-to-laugh imposition that has increasingly replaced the laugh track for single-camera network sitcoms) and my ambivalence towards its titular hero (who has grown on me already over the course of the three episodes I've seen so far, but I have to ask in light of both this and How I Met Your Mother, what is it with sitcoms with stellar supporting casts and bland-unto-irritating protagonists named Ted?), it turns out to be pretty damned hilarious in the vein of Victor Fresco's previous TV excursion, Andy Richter Controls the Universe. So I encourage you to throw your support behind BOT before it goes the way of that other worthy effort, and once you've exhausted your laughter, you can use the beta player to mourn the passing of the smug comedy geek's shorthand for lame, soulless laugh-hackery. But dry your eyes, fellow yuk-snobs; we'll always have Dane Cook.

The following is very low-quality and not otherwise particularly substantive, but kinda interesting-unto-surreal all the same: watch, if you dare, as one-half of Monty Python (and their female foil, Carol Cleveland) shares a stage (and, in one case, a lap) with one of the oddest assortments of mid-seventies celebrities you're ever likely to see, from a 1976 installment of The Mike Douglas Show. (Full disclosure: this posting is mainly here to win the coveted title of Most Blog Posts Featuring Bizarre Talk Show Appearances by David Soul, sponsored by Which One Was Starsky Again? magazine.)

They don't make talk shows like that anymore, I'll tell you what. In fact, I'm increasingly convinced that they shouldn't make talk shows at all anymore, at least not the bits where the host actually talks to people. Other than the occasions when David Letterman has a guest that either interests, irritates or slightly frightens him, what passes for conversation on these shows is mostly just so much canned airtime. Oh, you get some decent, ephemeral amusement with reasonable frequency, but man, what I'd give for one of these guys to engage their guests for real, get into scraps or scuffles that can't be explained away as publicity stunts, rip the skins off at least some of their guests and let us take a good, hard look at the machinery underneath. Or just get them the hell out of their comfort zones, publicists and pre-interviews be damned. How much more interesting would, I dunno, Shia LeBoeuf be if he were questioned about his personal traumas while being waterboarded? Yeah, you're right, probably not that much more interesting. Failing that, then, why can't we just enlist Robert Smigel's right arm and simply unleash a nightly torrent of anthropormorphized abuse on all and sundry? Don't even give the fuckers a chance to answer. Wouldn't you rather see a vulgar, cigar-chomping puppet mutt like this poking up behind a desk night after night? I know I would...

Monday, June 15, 2009


The silly brilliance (silliance, if you will) of Peter Serafinowicz and Robert Popper never fails to tickle me in those hard-to-reach places. Look Around You ranks with the first series of I'm Alan Partridge and the whole of The Day Today as one of the landmarks of recent British comedy - their combination of the meticulous and the ridiculous vaults them into the top rank of parodists (and I will stand tall in defense of LAY's unfairly maligned second series). Check it out (it's been running on [adult swim] for the last few months and it's readily available on YouTube). I bring 'em up because they've been adding to their legend online lately with their website on their brand-flagellatingly-new religion, Tarvuism (a taster for a forthcoming TV series) and the premiere radio station of the afterlife. Gut-busters both; enjoy.

And here's their "Birds of Britain" film, similar to but almost wholly different from the one from the final episode of LAY. Silly bee.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


7:30 PM - Hell is for Texans and Certain Oklahomans (1937). Ill-fated attempt to make a star out of Rex Knipper, "the Singeing Cowboy." Knipper plays George "Wild Bill" Hochfliesch, a Sheriff enlisted to clean up the lawless town of Cordwood. Keeping a promise he made to his wife on her father's deathbed, he vows to do the job without killing anybody. Instead, he shoots with undeadly accuracy and burns the ends of his enemies' eyebrows and facial hair instead, making them so crazy from the smell that they leave town. Bart Herckmann directs with his usual flair, keeping the camera pointed at whoever is speaking at the moment three out of five times. (78m, b/w)

8:50 PM - Short Film: Hollywood's Golden Goiters! (7m, b/w)

9 PM - Freak-Off! (1968). Exploitation master Rod Cowper (Deathsponge '70, Schwinn Sadists) sent Damiel Flelm (The Dampening) to San Francisco to research, write and direct the definitive cinematic exposé on the then-burgeoning "peace and love" generation. Despite being 47, slightly deaf and cursed with inadequate handwriting, Flelm delivered the goods as only he could. Wide-eyed innocent Joanie Edswiller (Gertie Whettnap) heads across country in search of her runaway sister and quickly finds herself right at the intersection of Hake and Ashburger, where she falls in with a band of pet-smoking, antacid-eating youngsters whose motto is "tune up, turn over and drop it." An ASPCA letter-writing campaign and a protracted lawsuit from Tums kept this film out of circulation for years, but it remains a worthy artifact, with strong-smelling performances from G. David Schine Jr., Huntz Hall III, and, as the charasmatic "Dr. Drug Supplier," Christine Jorgensen, not to mention its shockingly accurate depiction of the horrors of cat-smoking. The haunting theme song ("Psycho Deli [Meat Platter of the Mind]") is by the Banana Split Infinitives. (97m, color)

10:40 PM - Documentary Short: Cold Remedies of the Incans (16m, color)

11 PM - The Glorious Event (1953). Seventy different full-scale sets spanning six continents, a shooting schedule topping 36 months, a screenplay co-written by John Steinbeck, Eugene O'Neill and Evelyn Waugh, and the largest international cast assembled in motion pictures to that time came together to produce this four-hour CinemaScope epic about Len Paltrow (Eddie Bracken), inventor of the dickey. (235m, color)

2:55 AM - Profiles in Celluloid - Myrna Loy: Christ, What a Whore (35m)

3:30 AM - We're Discussing Movies Over Here with Bendix Cratt (a PDMC original). This week, Cratt discusses the art of film with director L.N. McKittrick (Flaming Chiropodists, A Gilded Cyst, Cats Have Strokes Too). As McKittrick died six years ago, he does both parts. We didn't think anything of it until afterwards. (60m; last show of the series)

Friday, June 05, 2009


(first in a series of musings too bloated for Twitter but not substantive enough for a paragraph)

The template for every biography I've read over the last few years: troubled youth/flash of genius/success/excess/alienation/alcoholism/bloating/attempted cleanup-slash-renaissance/relapse/lonely, pathetic death. Either I need to switch genres or find a better class of role models.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

33 1/3 WON'T DO:

In an attempt to defibrillate this blog back to life and open myself up to the kind of public humiliation that is the hallmark of any failed writer, I herewith present my rejected proposal for Continuum Books' 33 1/3 series of books on notable rock elpees (or ceedees or empeethrees or whatever you want to call them these days). All two fans of my writing will note the projected contributions of two of my favorite nom de roche-auteur multiple personalities, and a prize to be determined will be forwarded to the reader who comes up with the most accurate tally of good reasons why it was merde-canned, rounded down to the nearest hundred.

This Nation’s Saving Grace, by William Ham
The Persecution and Self-Negation of Nik Rainey, Semi-Hemi-Demi-Professional Rock Critic as Performed by the Members of the Fall Circa 1985 Under the Direction of Mark E. Smith

What really went on there?
We only have this excerpt…
- “Cruisers Creek,” the Fall

From the introduction by editor McChesney Duntz:

“Nik Rainey has disappeared. For most of you, that fact won’t mean a great deal. But for me, a well-respected cultural critic and mentor to literally eight of the nascent pen-pushers in the verdant if heavily-mined field of music criticism, this news has struck me like a medicine ball of grief to the solar plexus of my very being. For it was I who, in my position as Reviews, Margins and Kerning Editor of the late, lamented bi-weekly The Shredded Cone (formerly Blown Tweeter until we discovered that we shared that name with a quarterly journal devoted to budgerigar porn), plucked Rainey out of the cul-de-sac of obscurity following the receipt of an over-the-transom packet of vital, scabrous submissions demonstrating, in admittedly raw form, a passion for the music unseen since the heyday of that one gentleman whose name eludes me for the moment…

…But from passion too often comes estrangement (and from that restraining orders, though that’s a story for another day, presumably one following the expiration of the statute of limitations). Rainey’s work became more infrequent and less coherent, though his exegesis on Andrew Ridgeley (“Does God Walk Among Us, or Merely Behind and to the Left of Us?,” The Plainsville Shopper, July, 2003) remains a minor classic. Finally, he stopped contributing pieces altogether and retreated to a cramped studio apartment in the small Northwest fishing village and methedrine clearing station of Port Winestain, Washington (town motto: “Well, We Tried”). As his mentor, I spoke with him frequently on the phone (my calls invariably greeted with a languid, drawn-out sigh of pleasure and the joyous salutation “Oh, it’s you again”), and gradually came to realize that Rainey was depressed, disillusioned and utterly estranged from the object of the only true desire he ever had – music itself. His conversation came to mirror the downward trajectory of his writing, becoming more halting and less articulate (and given to deep and frequent belching, something rarely utilized in his prose), ultimately ceasing entirely in July, 2006. Wet with concern, I caught the first AirJitney to the coast and tracked down the sanctum of his exile, only to be greeted by the saddest, most stomach-churning sight since the ill-advised sauna I took with Jann Wenner in ’87. Rainey had methodically destroyed his entire collection of rare promos, the priceless memorabilia from a thousand label-sponsored junkets, and every review, interview and free-form haiku he had ever committed to paper. Well… almost. One piece remained. There, soaking up the last of the memory of his wizened old Apple IIC computer, was a single, almost-finished WordPerfect document, an epic screed regarding what he called “the only record I can still listen to with anything resembling enjoyment,” the tenth album by Manchester, England’s long-running post-punk combo The Fall, This Nation’s Saving Grace. Admittedly, I was unfamiliar with this album and, indeed, the band itself (my personal tastes of late running to Perez Prado, Andre Kostelanetz and Phillip Michael Thomas), but, in his mysterious absence, I felt it my duty to rescue what may well be his final message to the world, clean it up a touch for public consumption, and retain the ensuing residuals in the event that he should someday return.

The results have been stringently edited and annotated where necessary by yours truly (me) in the manner of all great “lost” documents. (As it was written on a computer, it sadly lacked some of the qualities of most such documents, a failing I took the liberty of rectifying by printing it out, crumpling several pages, subjecting several more to smoke and/or water damage and losing a few key passages by writing phone numbers or notes to myself on the other side of them and tearing the corners off to put in my wallet, the same wallet which I then arranged to have stolen by an acquaintance of mine, thus approximating its rough authenticity. I fervently believe that is what Nik would have wanted, had he thought about it.)"

Not much to add to that… other than the fact that McChesney Duntz is as delusional as he is arrogant, has his facts wrong 50% of the time and is matched in his misreadings of rock history only by his misapprehensions of personal history. My approach to This Nation’s Saving Grace, perhaps the greatest of the many, many albums released under the Fall banner, can be best synopsized as “Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung meets Pale Fire.” You know the drill: young(ish), doomed talent leaves behind unfinished opus; older, fading talent acquires opus and imposes his own agenda upon it. Writing through the character of Nik Rainey (whose biography is a somewhat exaggerated version of my own), I intend to delve deep into the sustained brilliance of the album, its anomalous place in both the pop world of its moment (proposed chapter title: “1985 – It Was the Best of Times, Oh No It Fucking Wasn’t”) and the career of the Fall itself (never before nor since had they produced an album that balanced accessibility and eccentricity so adroitly), and the utter slipperiness of the work in question. This last is key to the structure and design of this book. I am using the differing takes of two fictional rock critics as my vehicle because a) the Fall are commonly thought of as a “critics’ band,” favored above all by that most fervent species of arch-fan, and b) because no two Fall fans can seem to agree on what, exactly, Mark E. Smith is on about most of the time. Cryptic allusions are strewn around their songs like discarded fag-ends (Google, for example, the term “Thule Group” from this album’s “Gut of the Quantifier” and half-a-dozen eye-popping possibilities jump out!), the English language is twisted, muttered and muffled, and the whole enterprise is overlaid with what could be called “sarcastic surrealism” – and yet, somehow, the best of it makes perfect sense. Trying to articulate what it means and why it means so much to certain of us, well, therein lies the challenge.

Like the protagonist of this story, TNSG arrived in my life during a particularly rough patch of my adolescence, served as that clichéd-but-still-powerful beacon of musical and creative inspiration, made me hear and see things differently. As the years passed (and lord, have they passed), it came clear that it represented the same thing in the continuum of the Fall’s recorded output as it did the moment of my life that it first came to my attention – that delicious moment when raw, shambling materials began to coalesce into something skilled and powerful, when suddenly one is able to walk it like you talk it with a purposeful stride; a moment which becomes all the more important once you realize that it’s bound not to last. Favored bands, like people, are built for decline. The Fall went from this apex to a slicker, simpler sound, made a couple of swipes at commercial success, then began lurching wildly in all manner of willfully perverse directions, still capable of brilliance but often lapsing into a comic/pathetic caricature of its younger, better self. And sadly, I (and, by extension, Nik Rainey) can relate all too well. McChesney Duntz would too, if he dismounted his quasi-intellectual high horse long enough to take a long, hard look at the landscape.

All of which sounds a mite depressing, I admit. Which is why it behooves me to emphasize that (as I hope the italicized fragment above demonstrates) the main adjective I want this book to be is funny. A satirical probe of the rock critics’ (plural) mind, the silliness that goes hand in hand with the joys and epiphanies of loving music, and the self-effacing chuckles that any right-thinking music writer must feel when he looks back at some of his wilder swings and misses. Every inflated moment of pretension in the tale is there to be deflated with a well-placed pinprick. This is what the Fall do best when they’re firing on all cylinders as they do here, and this is what I hope to approximate and pay tribute to in the writing of this book.

The structure: sixteen chapters, one for each of the eleven tracks on the original U.K. release, in order, and five more (corresponding to the contemporaneous single and EP tracks that have been appended to the currently-available CD) interspersed throughout. As TNSG is as well-structured as any album in the Fall’s catalogue (complete with opening and closing theme), the progression and internal musical/lyrical content of the songs correspond to the progression and gradual disintegration of the “author” (and the constant annotations and interpolations by the “editor” throughout wind up telling its own story). Briefly and sketchily: “Mansion” (intro); “Bombast” (statement of intent – the author rails against his foes and lessers); “Barmy” (the author as teenage eccentric); “Petty (Thief) Lout” (interlude #1 – portrait of the author as a half-hearted suburban delinquent); “What You Need” (the author reflects on his ambitions); “Couldn’t Get Ahead” (interlude #2 – frustrations); “Spoilt Victorian Child” (a journey through the dystopian wonderland of mid-80s British pop fandom); “L.A.” (the first taste of success, with all the excess that implies); “Cruisers Creek” (interlude #3 – the worst party ever attended); “Gut of the Quantifier” (the first strains of disillusionment); “Vixen” (interlude #4 – female trouble); “My New House” (domesticity briefly achieved); “Rollin’ Dany” (interlude #5 – losing the plot, the author as [damaged] man about [the wrong] town); “Paint Work” (collapse – dream/hallucination sequence); “I Am Damo Suzuki” (the ultimate personality crisis); “To Nkroachment: Yarbles” (the end[?] of the story, the author resigning himself to his fate, which remains in question, since, as in Pale Fire, the last line remains unwritten).

There’s more, of course (and at 25-35,000 words, there damn well better be), but I’m coming dangerously close to my 2,000-word limit here, so I’ll cut this short. I think this book would fit in well with some of the more fictionally-oriented volumes in the 33 1/3 series (Joe Pernice’s and John Darnielle’s come to mind), but with a structure and a tone unique to the project. I have been gathering up background materials for some time to add depth to these examinations, and am even starting to put out feelers for access to the then-members of the band, including (fingers crossed) Mark E. Smith himself (and if you’re at all familiar with Dave Simpson’s book The Fallen, you can imagine what a daunting task all that can be). I would certainly be willing to do whatever it takes to get the word out about the book (readings, interviews, tireless self-promotion in any available venue, skywriting) should the opportunity arise. And if you’re somehow intrigued and want to hear more, I’d be happy to rabbit on at length about it.