Tuesday, August 7, 2012

the world is weird


Tell us about that time you lived in the toolshed with the old Mexican man with the nightmares, Billy Bob.

Billy Bob Thornton with Kinky Friedman, Cave Full of Ghosts: The Billy Bob Tapes
Grinderswitch, Macon Tracks and Pullin' Together
Henry Kaiser, It's a Wonderful Life (via the UBUWeb Avant Garde Project archive)
Donald Erb, Donald Erb I (also form UBUWeb's AGP)
Peter Novelli, Peter Novelli
Otis Taylor, Otis Taylor's Contraband
MC5, Kick Out the Jams
Melvins, The Maggot

On Macon Tracks, second-tier southern rock band Grinderswitch sounds like Paul Stanley of KISS fronting Creedence Clearwater Revival. They are better than that on Pullin' Together, but just let the image of Paul Stanley fronting CCR set in your mind a little. Picture a state fair or minor outdoor festival, scraggly long haired rhythm section wondering what their lead singer is doing with that face paint and the really tall boots.  I'd've never heard of Grinderswitch were they not mentioned in the Billy Bob Thornton book, which I would've never started reading had it not popped up on the the library's Overdrive eBook site. I'm glad it did. It's the best sort of book. It's like if John Fante's Arturo Bandini were real and had made it big and that bigness only further shored the barriers against harnessing success. In the chapter detailing the nature of his OCD and phobias, he offers the following about why he is not afraid of Komodo dragons per se, but that he doesn't want them to exist.
"Now I'm all for saving animals but Komodo dragons are dinosaurs and have no business here."

I endorse the Billy Bob Thornton book with the same enthusiasm that Nicolas Cage's character in Wild at Heart does his snakeskin jacket. Put it on your syllabus, or let me teach a class where I can put it on mine.

Speaking of endorsement, I did a podcast conversation with The Cargo Culte about my own book. I'm beyond flattered; I've been following their site for years thinking myself as somewhat of a fellow mystic traveller and now I get to ride up front in the Illuminati truck. Get it in your talking box machine via this link.

Now if I could only conduct my life in such a manner so that my minor works are archived on UBUWeb. They have the best stuff. I watched part of Orson Welles' first surrealist movie on there and am delving into the Avant Garde Project recordings. Composer Walter Cianusci wrote a piece for me, Email Sonata for Alex V. Cook, or realized an idea I put out on FLUXLIST, a Fluxus oriented email list  It was something like this:
Set the email alert sounds on your computer, or use the default sounds.
Send yourself emails.
The resulting alert sounds are the song.
Not too bad, and it is up on UBUWeb on Walter's page. It sounds like a slowed down version of this Henry Kaiser album I'm listening to. Did you know that Henry Kaiser is also a renowned cold-water research diver?  He is the focus of Herzog's Encounters at the End of the World. It is worth seeing just because the world is weird down there under the ice. The world is weird everywhere, which is what I think I'm saying in the podcast and in the book and in general. Look how weird it all is! It's right there, being weird, waiting for you to look at it.

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