A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates by Blake Bailey (Picador, 2004)
The Bailey came out this past year or so, but I would recommend first reading Yates’ easiest-to-find novel, Revolutionary Road, before it goes out of print again. Eros, pathos, flop sweat, it’s all there; a man outside and inside his own time. Highs and lows as a writer, but at his best it does not get better; more of a grown man than Salinger and less of a prick than Updike: the comic and horrible desperation of the 1950s middle class white guy. I can’t get enough! The biography is filled with his drinking, mother, teaching, TB, women, self-defeat, madness, work, beard-growing and sadness.
Alex Nielson & Richard Youngs Electric Lotus LP (vhf, 2004)
Two guys make glue-sniffing rock and roll cast in the crucible of the entire recorded history of time and act really nonchalant about it.
Giant Skyflower Band show at the Hemlock
Closing out the show under swirling lights, Jason stumped out deep crazy timpani, Glenn sawed away at melodies and chords like a old-timy German cobbler channeling Dave Kusworth and Shayde “Mushmouth” Sartin slunk out basslines like a somnambulant Greg Lake. It was a night to remember. They’ve got a cd on Soft Abuse called Blood of the Sunworm, and name notwithstanding, it is effen rad.
The Evolution of a Cro-magnon by John Joseph (Punk House, 2007)
Finally. But don’t take my word for it, Adam Yauch has this to say:“So if you want to remember what NYC was like in the ’70s and ’80s, if you are interested in selling fake acid at Madison Square Garden, or dressing up like Santa Claus in a wheelchair to hustle money for the Hari Krishnas…put a read on this.” Also available in…audio book form, AH! Now, anyone who is anyone knows that this year John Bloodclot is also coming out with his own nutrition and fitness guide. Here is what he had to say in his press release: “I’m sick of people, who are either ignorant of the facts, or even worse, have hidden agendas, dissing vegetarians because we care about animals and the environment. What do you want to live in a barren wasteland dick wad?” Amen.
Joshua Burkett Where’s My Hat(Time-Lag, 2008)
The album long awaited by those who played holes into Gold Cosmos so many years ago is finally here. Joshua Burkett is known for co-owning Mystery Train—the best record store in Western Massachusetts—and for being a bit of a mystery train himself. Though a master musical craftsman, he rarely plays live and takes years to release records. Where’s My Hat starts with a bold electric bagpipe somewhere between an emergency siren and a diseased fog. Josh’s guitar braids mental rugs and smoothes down the rough edges. Though I think of Simon Finn at his gentlest, or Pip Proud or Skip Spence, it is not like anything else. And if you think there is you are wrong. There are efforts that wish they were this but they are not. You can hear the difference. Attempts at peace and a knawing ill-ease permeate the record, but it is above all a work of intricate idiosyncratic beauty.
Moving to San Francisco
I can’t believe this place. Lousy with people with the right ideas, jamming, playing good records and eating salmon tacos on the edge of green cliffs over the ocean.
“Soporific, glazed” (sez ‘The Wire’) Texas psych, part of the Imaginational Anthem tour
10:50 MAIN HALL
TAV FALCO & THE UNAPPROACHABLE PANTHER BURNS
Charlie Feathers, Alex Chilton, Rural Burnside and more…The truly legendary ‘Dorian Gray of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ from Memphis–admired by rock n roll luminaries like Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce, The Cramps and The Black Keys–in his first L.A. appearance in a decade!
Japanese doom/rock/blissout superpower trio in performance ahead of the Halloween release of their devastating new album-length collaboration with dronekings Sunn0)))
Saturday October 21
4:00-on FOURTH FLOOR
SCHOOLHOUSE DROP-INS: “Visit the geodesic tent as the 9 Sundown Schoolhouse residents present projects to partake in, forums for engagement, acts of interaction, thoughts for collective inquiry and general happenings.”
Stomping West Coast high-energy rock attack unit who blew us away at loast year’s ArthurFest.
5:10 MAIN HALL
galactic dance-dub heroism from local ensemble
5:30 FIFTH FLOOR
mercurial, provocative, prolific folk-rock dude in a solo turn
6:10 MAIN HALL
righteous word jazz elders
6:25 FIFTH FLOOR
noize proj from Comets on Fire’s echoplexist/drummer Noel Von Harmonson and guitarist Ben Chasny
7:10 MAIN HALL
always imaginative keyboardist/music man–best known for co-writing work with Beastie Boys
7:10 FIFTH FLOOR
MIA DOI TODD
L.A. singer/instrumentalist on guitar, vocals and harmonium
8:05 FIFTH FLOOR
Folk singer-songwriter, a real child of the ‘60s canyon scene, introduced at Big Sur Folk Festival in 1967 by Joni Mitchell –She wrote “Windy” and so much more–now returning to live performance at age 62!–she lived the ’60s and she remembers it
8:10 MAIN HALL
SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE
apocalyptic free-mind guitar & voice from Ben Chasny
8:55 FIFTH FLOOR
MICHAEL HURLEY & JOSEPHINE FOSTER
Hurley is a legendary mellow bard with a hint of wry
Josephine – you gotta hear this woman sing! “She’s a genius” – Joanna Newsom
9:10 MAIN HALL
long-awaited return of Mira Bilotte’s NYC-based unclassifiable folk band, new album out next month; this perf will feature Dirty Three drummer Jim White!
10:10 MAIN HALL
return of Bay Area metal trance/mind expander duo who laid peacewaste at this spring’s ArthurBall
11-piece Arkestra still going deep, now led by the great Marshall Allen
~12:30am MAIN HALL
NUMERO GROUP DANCE PARTY
“Misplaced soul/funk hits” dance party DJed by the 20th-century pop archaelogists of THE NUMERO GROUP label from Chicago… They’ll be spinning throughout the day, with special sets before and following the Sun Ra Arkestra….
Sunday, Oct 22
4:40pm in the Main Hall
John Szymanski, David Shettler and Marty Morris –rawk n roll from Deeetroit on the Alive label
5:30pm on the Fifth Floor
local cosmic California country rock
5:30pm in the Main Hall
THE NICE BOYS
grade-AAA glam rock from Birdman recording artists
6:15pm on the Fifth Floor
THE COLOSSAL YES
Comets on Fire’s Utrillo’s brilliant piano pop proj
6:20pm in the Main Hall
THE SHARP EASE
Paloma Parfrey-led liberation rockers featured in current issue of Arthur
7:05pm on the Fifth Floor
CHUCK DUKOWSKI SEXTET
L.A.’s own… featuring Ms. Lora Norton – Vocals, Mr. Chuck Dukowski – Bass (Black Flag), Mr. Lynn Johnston on Horns, Mr. Milo Gonzalez – Guitar, Mr. Tony Tornay – Drums (Fatso Jetson)
7:10pm in the Main Hall
ARCHIE BRONSON OUTFIT
sharply shaped rock music from new English four-piece
7:55pm on the Fifth Floor
all-female experimental/noise combo
8:05pm in the Main Hall
extremely rare solo set from the TV on the Radio singer-guitarist–he’s flying in from the Darfur benefit show in Philadelphia
8:55pm on the Fifth Floor
solo electric guitar hotwork set from prog-metal-avant maestro Mick Barr
9:15pm in the Main Hall
THE FIERY FURNACES
justly acclaimed thrill-a-minute brother-and-sister-led clever combo, gifted with pop sense, improvisational chops and conceptual ambition
10:45pm in the Main Hall
COMETS ON FIRE
Quite possibly Earth’s greatest living rock ‘n’ roll band–see present issue of Arthur for more details