Kovacs

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX5khYGqjPY&feature=fvst]

“if the famous innovators of the early days of television were the French New Wave, Ernie Kovacs would be Godard. In that no one followed him. Milton Berle and Henny Youngman and Steve Allen all created television that we now watch. Ernie Kovacs created television that no one could ever follow. There was no successor. Channel Thirteen replayed his entire archive for one brief, beautiful moment in the seventies. My mother sat me down to watch, as though it were school.”

Jonathan Lethem

100% Fiction

The brain can’t have sex — you have to use a different organ. Take it from me: I’m a PhD in biology! But listen. “I’m done.” I know it isn’t Internet Season. The snow in California is qualitatively different — which is to say, “different” –than East Coast or even Mid-Western snow that sticks to your glasses and ignites a spark in the jug of coffee you’re hauling around in your gut. (Within a sweater, inside your jacket; college times.) But it’s never going to be Internet Season if I keep waiting for it.

There’s nothing cooler than being a security guard at the Whitney. Dream job, right? But maybe at a certain point it’s time to move on. The Rauchenbergs will only keep writhing in Psylocibic ecstacy for a decade or so before they finally flatten and hang dead, right? Of course there have been new acquisitions. The Neo Rauches look so fresh their reds seem painted in blood. And as a security guard I have unusual freedoms: I can tape postcards to the mirrors in the bathrooms. I’m allowed to edit the artworks’ wall text. I can design my own uniform. I’m more like a “security guard in residence.” But the thought recurs, with newly alarming frequency: Cheese wedges on a platter in the drowning ship’s cafeteria?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMSFX1Vb3xQ]

But it’s all cheese-colored parachutes, my friend, and they don’t stop moving. I know this. There’s no reason why teaching InDesign shortcuts to at-risk Shar Peis or pouring soy-milk foam into at-risk triple macchiatos is going to be better than being a security guard at the Whitney. Money is money, and so is time. But what about… I’m not sure what the intervening factor would be. Probably ego. Mine has more than a few Velcro pockets brimmin w/ the old, weird trinkets (: marijuana from 1995, a tiny perfect wooden sphere, the artist Tom Friedman‘s Hammacher-Schlemmer Best Nose-Hair Trimmer, an unread copy of John Fante’s Ask the Dust...)

I might try to rejigger my role within the museum — I could relinquish my guarding duties and just work on the wall-text and bathroom postcards full-time. But but but but. That’s more than likely the answer. The challenges would be recharged and I’d have time, probably, to really make that wall-text sing. But today it’s a lot more fun to imagine laying my billy-club and taser and oversized plastic cool-guy glasses on the Membership desk with firm, respectful authority, and stride stridently into the Upper East Side of my life, totally fearless and nude, zero prospects, zero confidence, the air between the buildings filled with absolute columns of pure windchimes. Right???

And then immediately regret it for the rest of my life. I’d return to the museum a month later and the security guards are all cool and new. They’re smoking some sort of health-food opiate that increases abdominal toning and sexual stamina. I stand there for ten minutes, watching them copulate hotly inside of a new Tim Hawkinson body-machine. I’m holding my supplies for the day in a plastic bag: greasy old New Yorker, mealy apple,  first-generation iPhone I bought off a cyber-hobo outside the subway. I am doomed.

Lemme know your thoughts when you have a sec.

Friday: WFMU in SF!

Live Remote from San Francisco Gallery 16’s “100 Records”
Friday, May 7th, 3pm – 6pm
on
Put the Needle On the Record with Billy Jam
Musician/ artist/ curator Sonny Smith (of Sonny & The Sunsets who performed on WFMU during SXSW) currently has a unique exhibit at San Francisco’s Gallery 16. Entitled “100 Records” it features the cover art for one hundred seven inch records by 100 bands/artists that never existed. Actually the band names & song titles (200 in all for Side A & B) were all dreamt up by Smith who then commissioned a hundred artists to create corresponding cover art for these fictional bands’ singles. Smith then, with other musicians, set about making the music to go along with these imaginary 45s. He then built a jukebox (also on the display in the gallery) to playback these songs. This coming Friday WFMU will set up its remote broadcast unit smack in the middle of the “100 Records” exhibit when Smith will be among the many guests on the air. Also scheduled to stop by are Gallery 16’s Griff Williams, Live Human, DnZ, Z-Man, B-Cause, and more to be announced. Gallery 16 is located at the corner of Bryant & Third Streets in downtown San Francisco and is open to the public. This WFMU broadcast of “Put The Needle On The Record” with Billy Jam happens at local San Francisco time noon to 3pm, which is 3pm to 6pm Jersey City time, on Friday May 7th.

the girls at dawn

I’ve been stressed out at work and found a lo-fi all-girl indie band composed of three attractive 20-year-olds and felt super creepy looking at their photos and marginally less creepy listening to their music on this blog before. [link]

And now:

http://www.myspace.com/thegirlsatdawn

SORRY EVERYBODY!! It looks this happens about once a summer. Check this space soon for my fan fiction about the stubbled art-handling half-drunk square-jawed t-shirted (!?) guys I imagine them dating/singing about.

3/16/10

JESS: In last night’s dream someone talked about how a typeset page is rigidly ordered and composed, but still sometimes contains the smeariest formal derangements available to art.

CLEM: Same as a rectangular canvas. This is all so obvious. This is 100-level. You think better when you’re awake. “Intellectual” dreams are rarely worth relating to the waking.

JESS: Thank you. I learn so much from you. Every day. Maybe we could write an entry-level textbook about “thinking” sometime. Together, like the Krugmans. From a laptop in a bed in St. Croix

CLEM: Emily Gould quotes Sam Lipsyte in Vice on being a young writer before the Internet was what it is: “there was no real record of when you were a dumb, scared, angry baby who didn’t know how to write yet.” I like that. You totally are a dumb, scared, angry baby who

JESS: I’m not that angry. I’m too comfortable to be angry.

CLEM: You sometimes get angry about how comfortable you are. I want someone to murder part of you. Then you’ll be scared, and you’ll give some of yourself up, and you’ll start helping other people.

JESS: I dislike talking about the world in abstract psychological terms. What the hell is a “part of myself”? My leg? What does it mean to “give up a part of myself”? What does it mean to be “scared” about “opening up”? If I say I’m “vulnerable”—vulnerable to what? Lyme disease? I know these aren’t meaningless expressions. I wouldn’t prefer an Orwellian law that required everyone to only talk about themselves in nutritional terms. Still. I’m not afraid of opening up. I’m just selfish and comfortable and unshowered.

CLEM: Have you thought about therapy?

JESS: Have you thought about ESL training?

CLEM: Have you—-Hey, my boss just showed up. Gonna get back to work.

JESS: OK, love you

CLEM: Love you too.

JESS: Bye

Black Francis, alive and well

I finally came into possession of an old guitar someone had given me at a nightclub in San Francisco awhile back; Eric Drew Feldman had been holding it for me there on Haight Street.  He convinced me that it looked cool (it was black) and had been given in the spirit of benevolence.  Every time I picked it up a nice chord came out and so I lovingly cleaned it with red wine in the dressing room the following night and began to write.  I told the tour manager that we would drive in my Cadillac directly to a recording studio in Los Angeles (and could he book one, oh, and a rhythm section, too?) from the gig in San Luis Obispo which would put us at the studio at about 4am.  It all happened according to plan and we cut the initial tracks there in the wee hours over a few days, and then moved on to an equally haunted studio in London and Eric Drew Feldman joined us there and we finished the record in St. John’s Wood.  Like I said the studio was haunted and I wrote many a couplet by candlelight in the studio accommodation, slept very little, and only felt the need to get the fuck out of there fast on the last night.  The spirits had not ever bothered me, other than low drama moral support, but I was informed that they had heard enough and it was time to move on; plus I had a gig in Ireland.

When I was a boy the plant we boys called a fern was code for vagina, and to this day I love fern plants.  In my heart the vagina is almost everything, and almost everything else could be summed up in what cock and seed have to offer; and everything else?  The love of the father, dead or alive, the pain of too much pleasure, till death do us part, the voice of another song man from the other side, with or without God, Teri and the Possibilities, where ever you may be, the smell of sex in the air, seduced, slain, on my knees in prayer, sucking at the only thing that matters, my own personal Meret Oppenheim, I am Man Ray and I want you and to be all the way inside you, the cameras whirring as we put some elbow grease into the scene, the audience watching us in the dark.

Black Francis
January 2010, Central Oregon

(via the internet)