Sunday, November 22, 2020

Alternative Incite Reviews Edna's Employment Agency!

  

My old ULA comrade Joe Smith is doing a new zine called Alternative Incite.  He's up to #2, and I have enjoyed both issues so far.  In #2, he reviews my latest novel, Edna's Employment Agency.  Given that reviews for independently-published novels are hard to find these days--hey, even reviews for mainstream corporate literature are somewhat hard to find these days, so you can imagine what trying to get a DIY novel reviews is like--that is greatly appreciated.  I would have been happy even with a bad review (hey, at least someone read it!), but fortunately Joe liked it.  He wrote:

"Do you know what the world needs?  More people like Wred Fright.  Talk about someone who follows the creative impulse, I think Wred has given his free reign over his life.  Wred is the author of four novels--Blog Love Omega Glee, Frequently Asked Questions [A]bout Being Dead, The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus, and Edna's Employment Agency.  He also has a blog, which he posts to on a regular basis, and he always seems to have other writing or zine-related irons in the fire (see the listing for The Slush Pile below to see what I mean).  In short, Wred is a DIY-publishing dynamo who deserves some of your time and attention.

Should you decide to do that, I recommend you start with Edna's Employment Agency.  I was told (and not necessarily by Wred) that the book is "laugh-out-loud funny" and, because I'm a bitter, cynical fuck, I didn't believe it.  I should never have doubted him.  Wred had me laughing out loud by page 3.

I must confess, I haven't gotten all the way through the book, so I can't give it a thorough review at this time.  (Sorry, Wred).  To that end, I'll borrow the following text from the book's introduction to give you some idea of what you're in for:  'If you like television shows such as The Office and Parks And Recreation, then you likely will enjoy this novel of workplace humor.'

For the record, I did not like those shows (or I didn't watch them), but that didn't stop me from enjoying the pages I did read.  Regardless of your thoughts on The Office and Parks [A]nd Recreation, I think you'll like it too, assuming you like to laugh and you don't mind some foul-mouthed dialog.  Check this book out.  You'll be glad you did."

Thanks, Joe!  

In addition to possessing good taste in novels, ahem!, Alternative Incite also hipped me to some other good stuff in the reviews.  I already ordered a zine that sounded interesting, one which I hadn't heard about before.  It's good to see that there are zines still out there worth reading, and Alternative Incite is one of them!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

"Hatebomb" Video!

 
I had fun making this video.  I kept to the song storyline of two retail store managers who take their rivalry too far and acted out scenes from the lyrics mainly, though I threw in some musical clips as well in the middle.  It's appropriate that this month contains Black Friday as I can easily imagine this song being set in some November as each store tries to outdo the other.  

For more silly fun, please read my latest novel:  Edna's Employment Agency!

Monday, November 9, 2020

New Recording!: "Hatebomb"

This song is a fun early one. The Escaped Fetal Pigs played it, and then I brought it back for Team Fright. It's based on my old K-Mart store manager going on spying expeditions at the nearby Fisher's Big Wheel store. The song imagines two retail store managers taking their rivalry into warfare. Thankfully, such carnage remains in the imaginary realm, but my old store manager sure would get fired up. He took his job seriously. The low stakes corporate espionage used to make me chuckle though. Old Big Wheel finally went out of business, but my old K-Mart didn't celebrate for too, too long before WalMart killed them off. Maybe today WalMart and Target store managers engage in these sorts of hijinks. For the new recording, I enjoyed adding some chanty background vocals while letting the drums just go crazy and the guitar carry the song forward. This was a lot of fun to revisit.

Read my latest novel for more workplace humor!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

What To Do With Old Zines?

 

I once amassed 32 boxes or more of comic books by seldom getting rid of one.  Fortunately, before I had to move them and probably get a hernia in the process, I decided to shed them and over the years whittled the collection down to 1 box.  Eventually, even that 1 box will finally go.  

With zines, I never quite let things accumulate to that level.  Over the years, I've gotten rid of most of the zines I've read soon after reading them.  I've given them away to friends, traded them with other zinesters, left them at coffeehouses and record stores, and often given them away to libraries, both academic and anarchist.  Some of the libraries were great (Bowling Green State University's Popular Culture Library who seems to still have my donations) while others were not (Kent State University's Special Collections who seemed to lose the zines immediately after I donated them).  Regardless, I still had a big box of zines that I had saved.  After one last backbreaking move, I decided it was time to shed them as well.  As much as I would like to find them a good home by donation, I didn't want to risk the crapshoot anymore as libraries go under (the anarchist ones) or change policies (the academic ones), nor did I want to pay a bunch of money in postage shipping the donation, so I decided to try selling them before I did the easiest thing and just threw them in the recycling bin.

To my surprise, the zines sold.  There must be some serious zine collectors out there, which is cool because the zines do feature some good reading.  And, once someone has paid money, he or she tends to value the possession more.  However, strange a psychological quirk that is, it does seem to exist for many people.  Currently, I have up a couple of Stephen Perkins's publications, which are about zines and are from the early 1990s.  I imagine this stuff is fairly rare.  The box is empty now, though I am still rereading my way through a stack of Zine Worlds.  I've been rereading the zines as I shed them, which has been quite fun.  This led to the ULA anthology project I did earlier this year (those zines should see the auction block in 2025 after enough time has passed from the anthology that it is clear I do not need them any more).  

On a related note, I was happy to see that Zine World founder Doug Holland has resurfaced, though his resurfacing has a sad cause (the death of his wife).  Maybe now, we'll finally see the long-awaited Pathetic Life anthology.

The Zine Worlds are dense reading, so I don't expect them to be sold until next year at the earliest.  They are rather rare, so I expect they will sell.  Of course, rarity does not always equate to valuation.  No one else may care.  In which case, there is always the recycling bin.  But that would make me a bit sad.

I might have gathered some more zines by then or more might have turned up that I stashed somewhere in some other boxes with other stuff, in which case they will be headed out the door one way or another as well.  Eventually, I imagine the only zines left in the house will be file copies of my own zines.

But if I move again, I might want to shed them also.

One thing I won't shed is my latest novel!

Monday, October 26, 2020

"Candle" Video!

 
I had fun making this little video!  I hope that you have fun watching it (you know, in a moody and depressing way)!   It is definitely fitting to have a gothy video up during the Halloween season though!

If you prefer a laugh instead, then please read my latest novel!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

New Recording!: "Candle"

This song is one of the earliest I ever wrote.  It probably stems from 1991 or so.  My pals in The Escaped Fetal Pigs helped me to flesh it out, though I have played it with many of my other groups.  My pals Pogeybait liked it so much they based another song around the music.  It's based on a newspaper article I read about an elderly couple's murder-suicide.  The wife was apparently suffering from Alzheimer's, and the husband couldn't stand to see her suffer any longer, so he ended things.  Given the heavy subject matter, the song can get a bit melodramatic.  Since the Pigs were primarily a humorous band, the drummer used to do a lap around the venue during the intro to see if he could make it back in time for his drum part.  That helped to undercut the fact that we were turning into a poppy goth band for the next two minutes.  Since this recording is solo, I just made the drums kind of crazy.  For the weird instrument, I'm blowing on a bottle like I'm in a dollar store jug band (i.e., they can't afford a jug).  If anybody wants to hear the song in full melodrama, I have a version with just guitar and vocals from this session.  I do prefer this version though.  The song is still fun to play though after all these years.

If you need some cheering up after this somewhat depressing tune, then please read my latest novel!  It's a comedy!

Sunday, October 11, 2020

New Song!: "Starter Spouse"

This song stemmed from a realization that most of my heroes have long since passed or proved not as heroic as I once thought them to be, leaving me if I still wanted a hero to be that hero.  In other words, for example, if I wanted music that I liked, then I had to make that music.  No one was going to make it for me anymore.  It's all part of a great chain.  Someone inspired me.  Now it's my turn to be the inspiration.  I may not succeed in inspiring anyone, but it's my turn to try anyway and pass on to the next generation what I can.  The lyrics are below.  It's the same deal as always.  If you like a song, then feel free to cover it if you're in a band or whatnot.  I love to hear covers of my songs, so please let me know about your version.  If you start making money, then send me a check/we can work out a deal.  Similarly, if you want to use a song for your Youtube video or whatnot, then just let me know.  It's usually fine by me unless it's a commercial product or whatnot (and then it's likely fine as well--I just want my cut).  Find out first though.  Write me at wredfright ATATAT yahoo DOTT com.

You have to be your own hero
Because no one's going to save you.
In fact, no one's there at all.

Do you remember your old heroes?
How you used to look up to them?
Now, when you're looking, you're looking down.

It's your time now
To show them how

And whatever became of them?
They're all depressed, disappointments, or dead.
Just take a look around.

And as for your starter spouse,
You had fun setting up house,
But now it's time to tear it down.

And they still want you to follow their path,
And that just makes you laugh.
You say, "No thanks, I'll find my own way around."

Because you were a starter spouse too.
And now you're finished with that,
But you're not finished at all.

Written September 2020
Recorded September 2020


Want more Wred Fright music?  Order the Yeast? 7" here!