Friday, September 17, 2010

Richard F. Yates (aka the Supreme Bunny Warlord) has just published a collection of his poetry called NIGHT NOISES. To acquire a copy of your very own, simply visit and order one!

Here's a link:


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Update from the FRONT!!!

Update from the FRONT!

Well, "Update from the back" anyway, or the side. Yeah, let's call it the side, or side-lines, even. Ok, here we go: "UPDATE FROM THE SIDE-LINES!!!" I've been doing this internet radio thing for three years now. I've played thousands of songs by thousands of bands. I've gotten nasty, critical emails, and I've gotten really cool comments and compliments, even a few "thanks for playing our shit" messages. And still, the music scene here in my town is even more dire than it was when I started. Our one local music store has closed up shop, leaving Wal-Mart, Target, and Fred Meyer as the only places where someone can actually go and physically browse for new music. Sure, we have pawn shops and thrift stores all over the place, but those venues are slap-dash at best. And, even stranger, we don't even seem to have that many kids playing IN BANDS anymore. The GUITAR-HERO craze has died down, and few of the fanatics have kept at it.

But I'm still going. I still make mixed CDs for people. I'm still checking blogs and buying records and making podcasts and "playing out." I DJ weddings and school dances and company picnics and backyard parties, on rare occasions I get into a bar or dance club, but it seems to me that all anybody wants to hear anymore is stuff they already know. Where is the sense of adventure? Where is that curiosity for new sounds, new experiences? I keep hoping that something like disco or new wave will make a comeback and kids will flock to dance clubs again, but I'm not seeing it happen. (There is some MINOR cause for hope in the sense that my girls, who are 17 and almost 13, both like electronic music. The older one enjoys things that her friends listen to like Owl City and Metro Station, and I've seen her, when I've DJed at teen events, dance to disco inflected pop music along the lines of Lady GaGa and Ke$ha, which is great, but it doesn't seem to reflect any kind of GENERAL TREND in the youth markets. And my younger daughter is an absolute anomaly for her age, enjoying crazy stuff like Wondawolf, Caspa, and Mochipet, along with the classic new wave, techno, punk, and 80s club music that her Dad likes to listen to. Again, she doesn't reflect the total population, and may be the only kid in the state of Washington under the age of 15 who likes both Crystal Castles and The Accused, so no trend there, either. But they still give me SOME hope.)

I've been struggling for the last three decades with the idea that, someday, the world will wake up and start to like GOOD, FUN, COOL, INTERESTING music, but to my sorrow and pain, that hasn't happened yet. When techno hit big, it was five years after the fact, and performers like MADONNA and DARUDE made the charts, not fucking awesome shit like ACEN or RADIOACTIVE GOLDFISH or SOLAR ENEMY. WTF? Punk hits, and it's BLINK-182 selling a million copies, not the REZILLOS or GROOVIE GHOULIES. At one point, I started to think that the problem was with ME, that I was just so odd and weird that I couldn't tell bad music from good, but then I realized, while I was preparing a lecture on punk rock that I gave to the Rock and Roll History class at Portland State University, that people, in general, just don't get it. We now STUDY the STOOGES and TELEVISION and THE DAMNED and BLACK FLAG in colleges, because they were so awesome and great, but who the FUCK, especially around here, listened to anything like those bands when they were new? A handful of people, at best, because people just don't get it. They have to be shown. They have to be MADE to believe. People have to be led by the hand and have their noses rubbed in it, before they realize when something is worthwhile, and even then most of them are still lost.

And that's all because, for most people, music is background. They know songs from movies, or from WEDDINGS (ugh), or from their drive to work. They passively encounter what is sent in their direction and they accept it. Most people don't go LOOKING for something new (for ANYTHING new), because they don't need to, it will be pushed on them and they'll take it.

Not me. I dig. I dig under rocks and in caves and in attics and old suitcases. I listen to demos. I go to (CHEAP) shows. I TRY things. I don't like everything I hear, and I CERTAINLY have a preference for things the SOUND LIKE things I already like, but I'm willing to try almost anything. (And I'm certainly willing to admit that I am a junky, a SOUND junky, and that I have a problem. Addiction can be a nasty thing, even when it's not drugs or alcohol.)

So, where does that leave us??? I don't really know. The internet has become my largest source of new music, which is good in the sense that I now have ACCESS to millions of things that I wouldn't have ever heard, but it has, in a very real sense, DESTROYED that sense of UNITY that used to come with the establishment of a music SCENE. There are SO MANY CHOICES now, so much available, that there doesn't really seem to be any way to consolidate things. And, if things aren't consolidate, given a name, grouped, classified, then people don't know how to handle them. It's weird to me. My favorite stuff is always the hardest to classify: "It's based on an old jazz sample, but the drums are fast, like jungle techno, except during the breakdown where it gets all slow and nasty and crunky like, with wobbly bass and science fiction noises. You know that sound, don't you?" Usually, they don't.

I work. I have a family. I write. I can't afford to dedicate myself to music on a full time basis, but that doesn't mean I don't still love it. Every WEEK I find new, interesting, sometimes fucking unbelievable music floating around out there. Sometimes I FORCE those teenaged kids at those school dances and parks-and-rec functions to listen to things that I KNOW they won't enjoy, just on the odd hope that ONE OR TWO of them will connect with the experience and realize that there is more to the music world than top 40 radio and movie soundtracks. I live in a culturally impoverished area. I know that, but for some reason, I still keep trying to light my matches in the midst of the windstorm of indifference. Someday, I keep hoping, either the gale will die down, or I'll catch the attention of enough people to set up a wind-block, and we'll get a fire started right here, in this overgrown logging town, that might keep burning even after I'm gone.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm moving my thoughts to a new venue!

Still going to try blogging for awhile, but I've started a new blog that's more in keeping with my current mindframe. Check it here: ELECTRONIC FOG

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Little Ghost

"Little Ghost" 6 in. x 4 in. oil pastel, water color, and pencil on paper (postcard).
One of my postcards. I ended up taping this to the cover of one of my writing journals.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Status report.

Greetings again,

I have just re-read my previous posts and found them, almost entirely, unacceptable. Spelling errors and typos abound. The tone is overly precious and under-whelming. But, if I edit, or even remove them entirely, I will be no better than the monsters in the Ministry of Truth, altering the past to make it conform with our current ideas. I want to be an entirely DIFFERENT kind of monster.

So, what have I been up to? For one thing, I've just today posted a Halloween-esque radio program (in three parts) at the Etherwave Radio Show podcast page which should thrill and chill you (if you're into that sort of thing.) And I spent a large chunk of this weekend going through my poems for a collection I'm putting together called Night Noises. Hopefully, I'll get that finished sometime soon. And I also just completed tests of some equipment (an old USB microphone that the kids got with one of their karaoke video games) to see if it would work to record some poetry readings for a new podcast of all spoken word and sound poetry that I'm guessing I need to put together (before the idea of it drives me completely bonkers.) I've been listening to Ubu Web and PennSound podcasts for the last few years, and it all seems so easy... I've just got to play along, too!!!

That's what I've been up to, for better or worse.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Reconnecting with Electronic Media

It's been a long time since I posted anything here. Six months or so. But, I haven't been inactive in that time, I've just been other-focused. I'm a bizzy fella by nature.

Since my last post, I've resumed my passion for art in a big way. In the past I've done a number of things with zines and collages, and for a number of years I was quite active in the postal art scene. (You might remember the M.A.R.S. Project, which ended up including over a hundred different contributors' works and had three out-door showings. Fun stuff.)

But, lately, my main interests have been poetry and these oil pastel-watercolor things I've been doing. (I don't know whether to call them drawings or paintings, because I do both in most of them. I've posted a few poorly taken photographs (I'm not very good at taking photos) on my MySpace page that you can look at if you want. (I also keep a record of my recent publications there, so if you want to read some of my published poetry, there'd be the place to go to see who is silly enough to give my stuff room.) But, as soon as I get some paper towels, I'm going to start scanning the pictures (some of them, anyway) and posting them here.

So, this is just a heads-up. I'm coming back this way. (Seems to be the way the world's leaning, and just like riding a motorbike, if you don't lean with, you fall off!) I'll be back super soon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gone in a Flash

Over the last couple of years, along with my other poetry and short fiction, I have also been experimenting with a sort of visual poetry. I use images taken primarily from magazine and newspaper advertisements and make very small collages, usually on little 3 x 5 cards, that (hopefully) examine the way marketing uses visuals and words to push and pull at our emotions more often than they appeal to our intellect. With collages like this one I hope to, in some small way, expose and even subvert the power of the advertising image while creating something nifty I can mail to someone I've never actually met in person. (I'm a firm believer in the "postal-art" movement as popularized by weirdos like Ray Johnson.)

You can tell me if you think it's successful or not.