Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Blog Love Omega Glee Even More Available Now!

Blog Love Omega Glee, my dystopian comedic novel, is now officially available for the Nook.  Unofficially, it's been available for the Nook for a couple of years now (a reader just had to download the .epub version of the novel to a computer and load it onto the Nook from there--the Nook actually was the ebook format I tested the coding of the novel on and how I read it myself), but this is the first time it's been officially listed on the Barnes & Noble website.  It has popped up because I finally managed to code the novel to the complete satisfaction of Smashwords, and they put it in their premium catalog, making the novel available at numerous ebook retailers.  So, the novel's probably available lots of places where people buy ebooks.  I don't know them all though since I seldom read ebooks myself (yes, that's ironic, but since the library's free and I don't need to plug in a paperback, I usually roll with print still--the ebooks I do read are ones like B.L.O.G., which are only available in that format or unavailable from the library and an ebook is the most affordable format).

The publishing journey for this novel has been an interesting one.  I first serialized it on this website, then I collected it as an ebook and published it on a pay what you want direct download model.  Since I noticed that many ebook readers (humans, not Kindles or whatnot) seemed most comfortable downloading books from Amazon and other ebook retailers to their ebook readers (Kindles and whatnot, not humans) rather than directly from an author via the Web, I adapted the coding to have the book published in those venues.  Despite the .epub coding being fine, this process was almost always a pain since it seems most retailers assume self-publishers are idiots.  Thus, they seem to set their systems up for people who upload Word files for conversion.  If you upload a full-fledged .epub (which is not hard; it's basically a fancy set of webpages), then one has to fiddle a bit with the coding so the text displays correctly in that retailer's format.

Frankly, from the sample I saw on BN.Com, B.L.O.G. could look better (the blank line spaces between paragraphs seem to have disappeared), but Smashwords did the conversion for BN and the rest of the known ebook retailer universe, so don't blame me (you can blame me for the Kindle version, since I did that, but from what I've seen, it looks right, as does the direct from Smashwords version I created).  If you're a Nook reader, you're probably still better off just downloading the pay what you want .epub and adding it to your Nook.  However, I'm happy that the novel is now even more available than ever.  Maybe someday it will even be available in print, but, with more and more bookstores closing each year, that's probably a pipe dream.

Monday, July 22, 2013

One Last Angry Housewife For The Road

The final track of Galgenhumor is fairly quiet when compared with the rest.  The Angry Housewives had apparently calmed down a bit.  It does have a nice drum beat though.  Some hip-hopper should loop it and rap over it.  The good news is that I'm all out of Angry Housewives tracks to upload.  The bad news is that I just digitized some Anal Spikemobile tracks today.  Hmm . . . we'll see.

Friday, July 19, 2013

There's Nothing Wrong With Your Speakers . . .

. . . it's supposed to sound like that. Yes, it's the penultimate track from Galgenhumor by the Angry Housewives, and, as usual, it's really strange, like The Monkees on acid or something.  Wait!  The Monkees were on acid, weren't they, at some point?  Better make that like some monkeys on acid.  Enjoy?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Music Of The Future Now

Someday, music will get weirder.  Young people will embrace it because it speaks to them and it irritates their elders.  Maybe someday it'll sound like this thing, a track by the Angry Housewives from Galgenhumor in 1990, remixed for the future today.  It's got a good beat, and you can dance to it.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Some Sort Of Chant

I have no idea what we're chanting here in this next Angry Housewives track, but I can assure you that no animals were sacrificed during the recording.  After that, it looks like we liked the rocket countdown sound effect well enough to use it again and mix it with some classic rock and roll.  Believe or not, this track is lots more normal sounding than the next couple.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sirens And Gunshots

This track sees (hears?) the Angry Housewives dig deeper into the sound effects record for some sirens and gunshots. You also get to hear me say "Thanks, man" a couple of times and Dave ask me a question.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mi Casa Es Su Casa

This next track of Galgenhumor shows the Angry Housewives getting into reggae and rocket countdowns.  The rocket countdown, of course, comes from the trusty library sound effect record.  I'm not sure where the reggae comes from, but we match it with some rusty Spanish by chanting "Mi casa es su casa", which translates to "My house is your house", fitting for a housewife band.  This track also features some backwards singing from me, and somebody playing harmonica, probably me (I'm impressed that whoever it was could play harmonica and another instrument at the same time as I doubt we had one of those harmonica stands Bob Dylan is fond of and we didn't do multitracking from what I recall).  As usual, this is a strange piece of music.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 12, 2013

What Is That Sound?

On this track, the Angry Housewives get a groove going only to be interrupted by . . . well, I'm not sure what that sound is.  Maybe an engine backfiring?  Someone farting?  Someone flapping his lips really quickly?  A deck of cards being shuffled loudly?  With the Housewives, one can never tell, and I don't remember.  Other than that, it's the usual noisy guitar and beating on pots and pans.  And just like you probably, I have no idea what the hell we're screaming either.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Seviwesuoh Yrgna

On this track, the Angry Housewives sound a bit different, almost like we're playing classic rock backwards.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Perry Farrell?

I talked with Dave recently, and he says that Galgenhumor actually did have a cassette insert.  For some reason Dave doesn't remember (I didn't even remember the album had artwork), Perry Farrell was on the cover.  We both liked Jane's Addiction, but it's still odd we would put a picture of Farrell on the cover (maybe we thought he looked like an angry housewife--he did a lot back then).  I doubt we made many copies of the tape.  We probably just gave some to friends, and maybe I tried selling a couple at Madhatter Music, a cool record store that sold local band stuff on consignment, in Bowling Green, Ohio USA.  Maybe we sent a copy to Farrell in hopes of getting signed to a record label, and he was on the cover to flatter him, but I doubt we were ever that delusional about the appeal of this crazy music.  We just had fun playing it.  Posting these tracks on the blog probably gives them their widest exposure ever; distributing music is a lot easier in the era of the Internet.  Of course, since pretty much every musician does that, it's just as hard to get listeners as it probably was back then; still, for that aspect, I prefer now to then.  Anyway, this next track continues the "Oh, close the door please" motif from the last couple of tracks with its repetition of "Thank you".  Dave used to take the raw recordings home and mess with them on a synthesizer or something.  Other than the electric guitar, which I usually played, he handled the fancy musical equipment.  I played things like the horn on this track, which was useful since we got a little cowpunk in the middle (the Dave Bell in the image, however, is not the same Dave here; Dave did not go on to have a country music career, though it no doubt would have been an interesting one if he did).  I was a big fan of Walt Kelly's Pogo, so that's likely why I say "Pogo" here.  Based on the end, it sounds like we were revving up to try our hands at a rock and roll classic; of course, we had to add a jackhammer to it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

More Galgenhumor

This second bit of Galgenhumor finds the Angry Housewives utilizing a sound effects record Dave got from the library (I think; I don't remember every detail from 1990).  On this track, you can hear seals and ping pong.  Dave's playing drums (pots and pans mainly) and I'm playing guitar, my old Gremlin, which was my first guitar and not very good, but then I wasn't a very good guitarist so that was all right.  When we were in Yeast?, we formed another duo called Anal Spikemobile in which I played the same guitar (for Yeast?, I played a better one) for a similar noisy aesthetic.  I have no idea what Dave is singing, but I'm just making some sounds.  If I remember correctly, most of these "songs" were written on the spot, though I might have used some riffs that I had been playing around with but hadn't used in a proper song yet.  As we evolved into The Lenin Spoonful, we would write lyrics exquisite corpse style by passing around a notebook.  At this point, I don't think we even bothered with writing lyrics.  Everything was improv, and thus the songs tended to be very short.  In addition to the songs becoming more songlike, another reason we changed the name of the band was that we thought there was already a band called the Angry Housewives (you can see them in the image, which is from a local newspaper).  Years later, we'd figure out that it was just a production of a play (which I've never seen, but would love to--it sounds fun).  By that point, our band was long gone, as we had moved on to adult life and thought we had better things to do than spend a few hours  beating on household objects and recording the result (maybe we were wrong--it was fun and probably made for good therapy).  Anyhow, here's some more Angry Housewives.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Return Of The Angry Housewives

I've been going through a box of old cassettes and listening to them one last time.  Most of them I haven't listened to in a decade or longer, so I figured it was time to stop carrying them around.  I shed most of my cassettes about a decade ago, trying to find good homes for them, and that was a hard task, but I succeeded.  Despite the cassette making an ironic hipster comeback, even fewer people seem to really want old cassettes today.  So some I've passed on, but a number of others have, sadly, ended up in the trash.  However, I was too fond of some material on the cassettes to confine it to oblivion.

Such was the case with the Angry Housewives.  It was a band that my pal Dave Bell and I had where we beat on pots and pans and whatever was on hand.  Later, our pal Damon Mahon joined, and we evolved into the Lenin Spoonful and, ultimately, Yeast?  Mainly, the Housewives were a bedroom recording project.  I think some of our recordings were even made on my old Sears boombox, though others might have been done on Dave's 4-track.  The Housewives definitely fall into the category of music more fun to play than listen to, but some of you out there, the more experimental music minded, might enjoy these tracks.  I like them in moderation myself.  Below is a track from a cassette called Galgenhumor, which features just Dave and myself.  The cassette had no insert, so I have no idea what the titles of the songs were or even if they had titles.  When I digitized the tracks, I couldn't always tell when a song ended, so there are probably a few on this MP3.  And, since there was no insert for the cassette, I just used the cover of a later cassette for the image.  I think we only made two records, so this was the first.  The next time you have guests who won't leave, just put some Angry Housewives on.  I bet they'll leave soon.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Underground Literary Alliance Video!

Crazy Carl Robinson alerted me to the reappearance of an old Underground Literary Alliance video, shot by our pal Pat King in Philadelphia in 2005.  In it, you can see a bit of me reading from The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus and hear me reenact a pickup line some dude tried on me once (it didn't work--I don't know that it could ever work on anyone--but it was a very funny and memorable line).

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"America, Land Of Freedom"

My poem "America, Land Of Freedom" has been published in the new issue of Inscape. You can find it here (7 MB PDF) or in print on the campus of Ursuline College.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Citation Alert!

I always enjoy coming across scholarly articles that cite some work I've done.  The latest one I've run across is by Viviana Gaballo from the University of Macerata in Italy.  Her article "Language And Culture In Minor Media Text Types:  A Diachronic, Intralinguistic Analysis From Fanzines To Webzines" is published in the book Contrastive Media Analysis.  She cites my dissertation, which covered similar territory.  I'm happy that work I did in 2001 or so can still be useful to scholars across the world in 2012!