Sunday, September 20, 2020

New Recording!: "Gordon Ward Interchange"

I always liked this song because it's fun to play.   It was one of the first songs I wrote on guitar.   It was probably written 30 years ago now.   It first appeared on a little solo cassette I did called Wright, then it appeared on the Crisco Disco casssette by Yeast?, which was also pretty much a solo record.  I wrote it while I was in The Escaped Fetal Pigs, but I don't think we ever played it much if at all.  Yeast? the band seldom played it if at all.   And then it kind of disappeared except when I'd break it out on my own.   This might be the first time a recording of it ever had drums on it (even if one of the "drums" is just me slapping my thighs).  It probably is better with just vocals and guitar, but I enjoyed fleshing out this version into a bit of a noisefest.  The song's just about thinking about a lost love. The weirdest line in it is based on a closed movie theater whose marquee kept losing letters until finally it was down to "e", "ich", and "ing".   There actually is a Gordon Ward Interchange near the Ohio and Pennsylvania border where I-80 and the old State Route 60 meet (now called some other route number).   I have no idea why it's named for Ward.  From what I remember, he was some sort of television anchor.  Maybe it's named for a different Gordon Ward entirely, but it works to bring up the idea of crossroads (this way to New York City; this way to San Francisco; this way to Pittsburgh; this way to, um, Sharon, Pennsylvania USA?) and making choices, most of them apparently bad, since the speaker (singer since it's a song) apparently is feeling regretful.

One thing you won't regret is reading my latest novel (unless you pee your pants in public from laughing too hard)!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Video For "The Cult Of Pogo And Porky Pine"!

Here's the video I made for the new recording of "The Cult Of Pogo And Porky Pine". We had a lot of fun making it. Thanks to Walt Kelly for the all the great comics!

For more fun, please read my latest novel!

Sunday, September 6, 2020

New Recording!: "The Cult Of Pogo And Porky Pine"

This is one of the first songs that I ever wrote once I learned how to play guitar. It was fleshed out by my buddies in The Escaped Fetal Pigs:  Mark Justice on guitar, Jim Grant on bass, and Simon Luke on drums.  It might be the earliest of my songs that I still play regularly, mainly just to have a primarily Pigs song in my setlist.   I never really played this one with other bands like I did with "Candle" and "Hatebomb".  It was written almost 30 years ago now in October 1990.  The only song older in my current set is a cover of a Billy Bragg song (my last remaining cover song in fact).  I really liked Walt Kelly's classic comic strip Pogo, so this was a tribute to him, imagining a kind of crazed cult that treated Pogo like it was The Bible.

Hey!  I can think of worse religions!

It is a simple song but always fun to play.  You can check out a Pigs version here and here and here and even one we played switching instruments here (in fact, the last song we ever played).  It might be the song we have the most videos up of, I guess.

For this version, I played everything.  It's fun to play with just guitar and vocals live, but since I can do multitrack recording at home, why not add some rhythm tracks, background vocals, and oddball noises?

If all goes well, next week I'll post a video for it.

If you like this kind of silliness, then please check out my first novel, The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus!

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Old Songs, New Recordings, Plus Videos

I usually post new songs and old videos here, but a new project will be a bit different.  I plan on rerecording some old songs since I generally play them better than I did 10, 20, and, yikes!, 30 years ago.  Along with the new recordings, it will be fun to make music videos for them and pretend it's 1983 (you know, the heyday of MTV, Friday Night Videos, Night Tracks, and all the real rock and rollers hating on videos).  I did a test run on a song I didn't write and had a lot of fun doing it.  Look for the new recordings and videos of old songs here in coming weeks, months, and years.

If you need something to tide you over in the meantime, then please check out my last big project, the ULA anthology!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Idea That Voters Should Select Candidates In Primary Elections Seems to Be Growing

A few months ago I wrote about how I thought it was obnoxious that the county party where I live endorsed candidates in the primary ahead of the election.  It was a blatant attempt by party bosses to favor certain candidates over others.  It looks like some others have now also objected to this practice as Our Revolution has launched some activism along these lines.  Presumably, this is because their candidates tend to be of the progressive and grassroots type who gets usually victimized by this process.  I'm not sure how common this practice is, but it definitely needs to be discarded.  Once again, voters should be picking the candidates for the general election, not party bosses.  If enough people object to this practice, it will go away.  Unfortunately, most people don't seem to care about much these days, so it will definitely be an uphill battle.  It is one of many sensible election reforms that should be made.  It's not quite to the ridiculousness of having a partisan referee an election, but it's pretty close.  By the way, the Ohio Democratic Party never did get back to me about why they were endorsing candidates ahead of a primary election.  Sigh . . . I guess they were too busy preparing to lose another general election.  Just saying, maybe they wouldn't have such a horrible losing streak if they just let voters decide the primaries.

Our "democracy" is pretty laughable these days, but that's also pretty depressing.  If you want an all around more pleasant humorous experience, then please read my latest novel.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

The Print Version Of Edna's Employment Agency

I finally got a copy of the print version of Edna's Employment AgencyAmazon did a nice job!  The novel was designed as an ebook, so the print version is a bit of an afterthought (nothing against print, which I like just fine).  It looks great though!  They basically print the pdf version of the book with a few formatting modifications.  The oddest one is that they take pages of the pdf that aren't full pages and center them instead of keeping them at the top of the page.  That's a bit strange, but I found it didn't bother me once I started reading.  And I enjoyed reading the book as well.  In fact, it made me laugh out loud numerous times.  It was pleasant to read it as a reader and not as a writer revising it or whatnot.  It's a very funny book.  It's definitely the best book I've read this year (though of course, I haven't read all the other hundred thousand books that have come out, and I might be a bit biased having written the thing as well).  But I write the kind of books that I want to read.  I like to laugh and I like thoughtprovoking works, and this novel fits those descriptions.  I am very happy with it.  It is nice to have a print version this handsome as well rather than just a printout of the pdf paperclipped together.  It's mainly there though for those who prefer to read in print (and they are of course welcome to just print out the pdf if that's cheaper/easier).  It is nice to have it available, however.  

Sunday, August 9, 2020

drinkdrankdrunk: "Peel" by Mark Justice

Jim sat around, eating an orange.  He thought softly of an oil lamp burning, the thin smoke discoloring some greasy wood mantle while slowly licking his fingers, his short, sticky fingers.  That sour sensation of the taste of skin and orange delighted him, and he continued licking until his tongue was numb.  The numbness was good, and while Jim thought of spice and tea and rum somewhere warm and wet, he sucked his index finger to a red throb.

The throb on his tongue gave him the taste for another orange.  He rolled back from his cross-legged way and felt for the net of oranges.  Deftly, he grabbed a rather large one and rolled back to his sitting.  That was good, to be sitting, he thought, and with his finger still throbbing, cut into the orange. 

Jim slowly peeled a small section back, and was caught in a rapture of the smell and juicy mist.  He grabbed some salt, sprinkled some on the peel, and ate it.  The bitter and salt crashed in his mouth until he moaned.  He began to cut again with his white plastic serrated-edged knife, with a quick draw, there was a clean cut, and a sharp jab of pain in the throbbing finger.

Excited by the sensation, Jim quickly pulled the orange peel.  The mist spurted, with a tinge of blood, onto his face.  Jim smeared the sticky red all over his face then licked his fingers, carefully sucking the cut index.  His mouth leaped in excitement at the taste, a flash of cold to his stomach, heart quicken in his chest, the taste, the salt taste!

Jim dropped the orange and licked at his finger.  The open wound, drawn vertically, was slowly pouring the great taste away.  He began to play with the wound, fascinated at this mouth on his finger, mimicking words to music in his head, a song that had just been played by the instrument on the floor.

There was a pain, real sharp and stingy, the more Jim pulled the flaps of skin open.  What a sensation!  This wasn’t tea or sand or oil lamps; this was orange!

There was a sudden tear in the skin, down his finger to the second knuckle.  The blood began to wash down his hand and arm and collect between his legs. 

Jim gleefully smiled, brought the knife up to his finger and dug down along the cut, drawing it into his palm.  Slowly he rolled back the edges of his skin-peel, the gap widening each time his tongue caressed it.  The hot salt and juicy flesh bubbled in Jim’s brain. 

He couldn’t stop at the hand, good night, no!  There was so much more to unravel.  The knife slowly dug its way down his arm, stopping at the soft inbend just opposite the elbow.

The glorious red blood flowed evenly down both halves of Jim’s split skin.  He began dragging his finger along the flap, in galloping triplets.  It began to curl into itself and roll back.  That pain was unbearable, and Jim managed a smile.  He worked the gallop all along the freshly cut furrow until one side was rolled.  With a yellow smile, he began to pull. 

The tearing sounds of the separating flesh were pleasing, and the squirting of the blood all so delightfully for Jim.  He continued tugging, and stopped as he held in his left hand the skin of his right, which was a glittering red, and Jim sucked air for the intensity.  Looking at the still dripping skin, he picked up the knife, and contemplated his left arm…

Jim sat, happily, as he looked at the pile of hide at his knee. His red arms glistened, but not as bright as his legs, or his stomach, or his chest. 

The breath in his chest was slow and deliberate, so he could observe the new blood flows with every inhale. What sharp, piercing ecstasy! 

Jim thought for just a moment, and while looking at his flesh, picked up the salt. 


Mark Justice is the author of Gauge Black:  Hell's Revenge.  Check it out for more pulpy goodness!  That one's a Western.  Obviously, this Website does not recommend self-cannibalism, but it does recommend reading more Mark Justice.  I am pleased to run on his work on drinkdrankdrunk!