My incredibly dope publisher is giving away free books

September 30, 2009 at 11:47 pm (Uncategorized)

This is pretty fuckin’ rad.  Just found out about it this morning.  For the WHOLE month of October, anytime you place an order from their e-store, you get a free book with it.  Straight up.  If that’s not ill I don’t know what is.

Let me remind you that if you’ve been wanting Asphalt Flowerhead, now’s a great time to get it!

They’ve also got books from my boy Jase Daniels, and Tom Bradley, Prakash Kona, Justin Aerni, Hugh Fox, lots more… They’re all seriously good! I know a lot of people have been digging the Crossing Chaos vibe so please throw down and get in on it when the circumstances are so nice like this.

Love you.

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If it dissolves on the tongue

September 28, 2009 at 9:35 am (Uncategorized)

don’t swallow it.  I just put up a myspace for my hip hop, under the name Gasoline Monk – scope it out here.  I’ve been making beats for a long time, and music in general even longer, but in 2009 I tucked myself away in the basement of a closed-down bakery and didn’t really do anything but write raps and make beats on other people’s computers for an EP called Basement Music.  Now I’ve got software on my own computer and I’m going even crazier with them – you can hear three of these new beats up there as well.  Enjoy, and please hit me with your thoughts. 

Lately I’ve really been digging the cinema of Cameron Pierce.  He made two little shorts and they’re both fucking rad – everything this kid does is sharp or else it’s not done by him.  The first is a trailer for his novel, Shark Hunting in Paradise Garden, but it’s so funny you forget it’s got anything to do with selling anything.  Titled “Jesus Loves Flying Sharks“.  And then he’s got a video set to the Velvet Underground’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties” that’s a pixelated trip.  I really love Cameron’s work, his poetry makes me jealous every time, so obviously when he turns to something else it’s gonna be good too.  Check those out, they’re worth at least 7 minutes of smiles.

Someone else I’ve been digging very much – just happened upon her in the latest issue of Pinstripe Fedora – is this poet named Kristen Orser.  And I just wanted to throw out a heads up, because anyone reading this will also really like her work, and let y’all know you can read a couple chapbooks of hers for free: one at Scantily Clad and one at Blossombones.  Both great and sure to help you out when everything’s seeming blank and dull.

Those are just a couple people I’d been wanting to shout out to.  Love their work and wanna lift it up. 

Keep it real from Boston to Portland and all the other places.

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Introduce Myself

September 21, 2009 at 4:31 am (Uncategorized)

Been a while since I said anything.  So I decided to get one of these things to pressure myself to say things more often.

I live in Portland now which is a trip.  Great city, tons of art going on, but amazing how many twenty-something-year-old hipsters move here to be homeless.  But it’s fun, I’m in a house with four other artists, including fellow bizarro writers Cameron Pierce and Jeff Burk.  We’re working nonstop and sleeping very strange hours.  Also, none of us has gotten a mattress yet.  My room is:  two suitcases full of clothes (my friend warns me I gotta take them out of there or the suitcase-funk will invade them… not yet), six stacks of books along the walls, sleeping bag and pillow in corner.  “Daylight” and “Darkness” is still taped to the walls from the house party/performance we threw, which involved me getting way too drunk and trying to make beats and read at the same time.  It ended with me dancing for two minutes to Jeru the Damaja’s “Come Clean” and everyone thought the performance was still going on.  I was like “Yo, you can dance too, or you can leave, but don’t just fucking sit there.”

I’m addicted to Pete Rock lately.  It’s great when you find a good producer because it turns out he made the beats for a thousand people you already know plus a thousand others so really you just inherited a whole scene of people, masterminded by one dude tapping his  fingers on a drum machine. See also: DJ Premier, Danger Mouse, and the dude that made all those insane beats for Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde then got addicted to crack and vanished into a cardboard box for the last 15 years. 

I’ve been making beats a lot myself, recently.  This summer I made a hip hop CD where I rapped too, under the name Gasoline Monk.  Someday those files will exist online.  But this is for a new CD, and it’s really fun because it’s the first time I’ve tried to make music purely out of samples.  I’m trying all sorts of shit.  So far I’ve made music with lots of Motown, especially The Whispers and The Whatnots, but I’ve tried Debussy too and that was fun as hell, and I’ve tried The Mars Volta and Desmond Dekker and all of it produces really interesting stuff.  Because I didn’t write any of the music; I’m using shreds of all these melodies that probably wouldn’t have ever come from my brain; but when you rearrange them, really see them as just shreds of something that you can put together in anyway, disregarding the original form, it ends up being 100% you and it’s weird.  Because it’s you made out of the debris of someone else.  Someday all this shit will exist online.

Writing, writing… I guess I do that too.  Nah, actually I’ve been wicked busy in that department.  Since Asphalt came out I’ve written the rough drafts of two books: Motion Inside a Photograph and Warm Milk.  I’m now taking Motion down off the shelves to dive back into it and it’s fucking awesome, because I haven’t done that kind of work on a book since Asphalt and I forgot how much a novel goes through to get where it goes, and how much you change with it as it changes into its refined form.  For me it usually starts with confusion, or maybe some hurt place that’s also confusion because you’re confused about how you could’ve gotten so hurt, and you shoot for it once and miss but hit some places and try to figure out why the places you hit were significant, and then do it again, and again, and again until instead of being confused about something you understand it so well you’re sick of talking about it.  Like with Asphalt Flowerhead, I was confused about how people get so deep into relationships with drugs that the drugs are walking away as the winner.  I was also interested in other, more positive kinds of relationships with drugs, and curious about my own relationship with drugs.  Once the book was finished I was sick of the subject, it feels like one of those things I can’t get anything more out of by thinking about it, and I understand what I suppose I set out to understand.  So I killed one gray area of my brain with that book but my brain’s full of those spots, I’ve got much more of ’em than I’ve got clear spots.  Which means much more books left to write to achieve sanity.

I gotta get a mattress.  My back is killing me today.  For the month of July I slept in the basement of a closed-down bakery, writing all the raps for the Gasoline Monk CD (which you will see someday!  I’m incredibly lazy in some ways, basically the only two missions I ever have when I wake up are 1) do some writing or make some beats or do something that’ll make me feel like I actually do things, and 2) get my chi in check. Dunno what that means but you feel me).  During that time I slept on an air mattress and it was the shit.

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