Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Riding With Mary

On the dashboard rides a figurine
A powerless sweet forgotten thing
So the next time you see a statue of Mary
Remember my sister was in a car

I've been listening to the seminal Los Angeles punk/roots band X's 3rd album, and first for a major label, Under The Big Black Sun. The opening cut, The Hungry Wolf, is the quintessential X tune, hard Billy Zoom riff, crushing DJ Bonebrake drums, John Doe's soulful tremelo-y tenor, Exene's dramatic reading of her part, all combined in a driving punk allegory of the wolf relationship.
The album displays a continuation of X's exploration of the human condition, with Motel Room In My Bed:

So I can't sleep staring at my sheets
Or crying on my sheets
Or bleeding on the same

Or Because I Do:

I am drunk over you 
I am the married kind 
The kind that said I do 
Forever searching for someone new
But the real theme here is the death of Exene's sister Mary, a year earlier, in a car crash.  Riding With Mary, Come Back To Me and the title track are literal meditations on her death, while their interpretation of Leadbelly's Dancing With Tears In My Eyes is the change-up heart of the album.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Teenage Fanclub

Kings of Power Pop, Glasgow's own Teenage Fanclub:

I was at this show in 94, with Yo La Tengo opening:

Double D

After my twelve novel Anthony Powell marathon I decided to ease back into American literature. I read Richard Price's Lush Life, which after watching HBO's The Wire over the summer really jumped off the page.

Now I'm ensconced in White Noise, Don Delillo's 1985 masterpiece. A remarkable and funny novel that I can't believe I haven't read until now. Passages keep singing in my head:
Is garbage so private? Does it glow at the core with personal heat, with signs of one's deepest nature, clues to secret yearnings, humiliating flaws? What habits, fetishes, addictions, inclinations? What solitary acts, behavioral ruts? I found crayon drawings of a figure with full breasts and male genitals. There was a long piece of twine that contained a series of knots and loops. It seemed at first a random construction. Looking more closely I thought I detected a complex relationship between the size of the loops, the degree of the knots (single or double) and the intervals between knots with loops and freestanding knots. Some kind of occult geometry or symbolic festoon of obsessions. I found a banana skin with a tampon inside. Was this the dark underside of consumer consciousness? I came across a horrible clotted mass of hair, soap, ear swabs, crushed roaches, flip-top rings, sterile pads smeared with pus and bacon fat, strands of frayed dental floss, fragments of ballpoint refills, toothpicks still displaying bits of impaled food. There was a pair of shredded undershorts with lipstick markings, perhaps a memento of the Grayview Motel.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I neglected my shooting and blogging last week, due to illness. Like all of New York, I was afflicted.

someone clean to chew on a wife that no one likes he called and they said all of new york is a tow-away zone he paid sixty dollars on 12th street today and now all my money's gone you don't have to answer me you don't have to call me back your phones off the hook, but you're not you hate my older sister and burglarize her home your dirty invitation waits run over on my street i don't care who you don't like you don't have to answer me you don't have to answer me you don't have to call me back your phones off the hook, but you're not