Monday, July 30, 2007

My First Interview: Five Questions from Grant Miller

Grant Miller vs. Grant Miller: who do you prefer?


Believe it or not, as a child I used to interview myself constantly, because that's the kind of narcissist I am. Or, maybe it was all those hours with no one to talk to. But seriously, I had things to say.

These days, I no longer have to bounce my musings off the walls like a formerly crazy person, as I have been graced with the interest of Grant Miller Media! I think I guilted him into it. Regardless, finally my deep thoughts will be circulating the internet like another banal Paris Lohan Ritchie rumor for whatever the cumulative jailtime actually is.

The Interview

GM: We're both Led Zeppelin fans. If you were Robert Plant would you use a tube of toothpaste, a wadded up sock or the customary wad of paper to highlight your package?

KFC: That admission makes me feel so close to you, Grant. As for the frontman, an ironic term for a guy who wants to be your backdoor man, not sure he needs any embellishment. When I attended the screening of the Royal Albert Hall concert film, shamelessly wriggling about in my seat like a submissive pup, while gushing about how HOT he was at 22, mi amigo, Billy, turned and said "You just want to crawl up in his lap, DON'T YOU?" Well... So, maybe he could tie one of those protective red Kabbalah strings around it, but beyond that it would just be gilding the lily.

amigo Billy

GM: If you wrote a song about Alex Chilton, would you title it "Alex Chilton?"

KFC: Almost. You see, I went down to the crossroads recently, and now I have a pact to keep. So I think I'd call it "Alex Chitlins." He'd like that; he's southern.

GM: If Grant Miller Media reignited its blogwar with The Company Bitch, whose side would you chose?

KFC: Hmm, that's a tough one, Grant. You know, as much as I revere GMM, I really do love that Bitch. It's all so he said/she said - don't really want to get caught in the middle. I think I'd choose Unremitting Mike's side. Or maybe Mimi Smartypants. I'm a lover not a fighter.

GM: You represent a band in Los Angeles. What the most rock and roll thing you've seen them do?

KFC: Those guys are nerds. Good-looking nerds, but nerds all the same. Let's see... karaoke at Smogcutters, which I understand is staffed by Thai trannies. That strikes me as somewhat Glam, though the GLs aren't that, either. Nathan almost took a gig with the BeeGees. There's nothing rock-n-roll about them. Clark produced a few of the Dandy Warhols albums, but just how "rock-n-roll" are they, really? It's tough, because the whole genre might just be a thing of the past. Still, our primary drummer, The Rev. Derek Brown, is pretty dope (I only use such terms when I'm doing band stuff). He's going on the road with Earlimart soon - they are cool, but still pretty el sensitivo. Then again, Robert Plant was in love with Joni Mitchell, so you know... But back to Derek, there's a Harley in the picture and he had this ZZ Top beard he was sporting for awhile, because he was still playing with The Eels, so he definitely increases our R&R cachet. Recently he shaved it way down, and now he just looks really rugged-handsome. Come to think of it, they all wear beards. I renamed them The Hairy Listeners for my own amusement. Actually, Billy's probably more Rock&Roll, 'cuz he hangs with zombies and Jodorowsky and stuff, but he's not in the band. But seriously, I love those guys and they are really talented, but as far as acting out goes, they truly disappoint.

GM: Why should people read your blog?

KFC: It's probably best that they don't, it only encourages me.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Calling All Cars

The Los Angeles based band I represent is preparing to write their third album and shoot an accompanying documentary film, and we have quite a wonderful but simple concept. We need the assistance of other musicians and people of taste to complete a national search for talent.

We are looking for approximately ten musicians of any age (maybe even a preference for older folk) and genre who are extremely talented, possibly with a unique or eccentric aspect to their music, who have given up on trying to "make it" in favor of a more normal life. We want "coulda/shoulda beens," not "has beens," with whom we can write and record a song in their town or city, while documenting it on film, and telling their personal story.

Can you think of someone exceptional you have encountered in the last decade plus, someone who really should have been recognized nationally, or attained a "musician's musician" status, someone you can't believe didn't make it? If you are willing to share their name and/or contact info, we would be most obliged.

Maybe you can link me to other recording professionals, small radio stations, club owners, artists in your area or society whose tastes are discriminating and would be willing to help find these people?

I think this can be a really beautiful project.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

“Three things

cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”


Monday, July 23, 2007

The Sick Rose

O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

- William Blake

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Wit is Dead: Requiem for a Blogger

Caveat & Disclaimer - my thoughts on the following, while calm, are muddy, inchoate, incomplete. But, I am sober as a judge. I imagine I will return to this subject in the days to come:

I had been wondering at the abrupt end of posts at The Wit of the Staircase, which was surprising, as the authoress generally apprises her readers of trips and other absences. Then today, stopping by Gazpachot, I learned the tragic news that Theresa Duncan had killed herself last week, an apparent overdose of pills washed down with alcohol. The stories have remarked on her last post, but I have been more interested in this quotation she put up the day before:

"Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss
Of blankets...."

~Rupert Brooke, The Great Lover

and the day before that, 7/8:

"A child in the dark, gripped with fear, comforts himself by singing under his breath. He walks and halts to his song. Lost, he takes shelter, or orients himself with his little song as best he can. The song is like a rough sketch of a calming and stabilizing, calm and stable, center in the heart of chaos. Perhaps the child skips as he sings, hastens or slows his pace. But the song itself is already a skip: it jumps from chaos to the beginnings of order in chaos and is in danger of breaking apart at any moment..."

--Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus

Still, nothing in the overall tone of her writings (on 7/9 came the title, "Wit and the Warrior Heart"), choices, musings, suggested a deflation of spirit. Her intermittent yet characteristic whimsy and blitheness were present. That, and she was scheduled to travel in the upcoming weeks... Had she intended a permanent departure just two days prior, and meant this as an ironic post, I imagine she would have made this one a perverse last, artful as she was. So what happened?

To add to the loss, on Tuesday, July 17th, her longtime companion and world-reknowned artist, Jeremy Blake, seems to have left a note, along with his clothing and shoes on the shoreline at Rockaway Park. His body has not been recovered.

Why do people go naked in the water to die? Is it a return to the natal state in utero?

Whatever you felt about the opinions of Theresa Duncan, posted here on June 1st, 2007, her seeming paranoia and "conspiracy theory" bent (interestingly, the papers are whitewashed of any mention of the harassment Wit claims she and her longtime lover suffered.*), I found her an extremely intelligent, artful, bold and beautiful woman. I did not always agree with her manner, and was often uncertain of her point of view (which is in no way meant to denigrate it, rather as an expression of my own ignorance and anlage opinions), I held her in very high esteem.

The loss of Jeremy Blake to the culture of art is a grave one. As quoted in the New York Times today, "Roberta Smith, writing in The Times about a 2005 exhibition by Mr. Blake in New York, said that his work had “given the stream-of-consciousness narrative, so long a part of modern literature, a time-based visual equivalent” and that he was moving past predecessors like Ed Ruscha, William Eggleston and Raymond Pettibon into new artistic territory."

This couple, darlings of the art world and, by all accounts, very much bonded and in love, and graced with so much talent, intelligence, activity, seem to have had everything to live for. No doubt, suicide is possible even at such great heights, but seems an antidote to life administered more rarely. What happened?

Madame Wit will be sorely missed. Very few people have such an abundance of cultural learning right at their fingertips and, I imagine, their lips. It is a pleasure to read the musings of someone with such a thoughtful, tense and synthetic mind. I am always enamored of people this curious about life, and was regularly inspired. To Gazpachot, I am of a like mind:

" many, I was stuck on her ability to make you yearn for a world as vibrant and original as hers - A secret Lunar Society, a great home in Venice, a well turned phrase, a great picture choice, a coveted item, a sapphic celebrity crush**, a flare for stylish elitism. Honestly, her sometimes haughty voice, like most haughty voices, seemed put on, and often made me wonder what (kind of pain) she was trying to cover up. Anyhow, I'll miss her passionate assertions and I hope she's found some peace."

Jeremy Blake, Century 21, 2004

God Bless the both of you, your families, friends, and all you have inspired. God bless anyone who might have thought to or tried to harm you, even if it is you yourselves, most of all. If they exist, they need blessing all the more. You will be missed.

ADDENDUM (7/30): Their friend, Glenn O'Brien, has posted on Theresa's blog, The Wit of the Staircase today.

(* Her theories about the death of Jean Seberg, who she feels was pushed to suicide are interesting to note:

The declassified "Cointelpro" FBI document requesting permission to smear the actress and Black Panther activist Jean Seberg. J. Edgar Hoover sent letters to the Los Angeles press claiming that Seberg's pregnancy was the result of an affair with a Black Panther. Seberg, who was married to playwright Romain Gary, subsequently miscarried due to the stress of the scandal. She and Gary buried their child in a glass coffin to prove that the dead child was Gary's, and to show the public that they had been lied to. Seberg suffered mental health problems for years afterward, and eventually succeeded in commiting suicide after many attempts. Seberg was gorgeous, one of kind. She can be seen in "Breathless" "Bonjour Tristesse" and Otto Preminger's "Joan of Arc."

**he is most assuredly referring to her obsession with Kate Moss.)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Going to California

I have to say, if I haven't before, that I understand people who dislike Led Zeppelin about as much as people who don't like dogs (exclusion clause for those of you who were bitten as children; that I get).

Tonight I'll be here:

At The Egyptian Theater

Wednesday, July 18 – 7:30 PM
West Coast Premiere! Long-Lost 1970 Led Zeppelin Concert!
LED ZEPPELIN LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL, 1970, Contemporary, 108 min.

Peter Whitehead shot this rarity in color when the band performed at London's Royal Albert Hall in January 1970 - just after the release of Led Zeppelin's second album, and it's the finest example of the band's early days at full-throttle. No flashy camera-tricks - just pure Zeppelin. "Whole Lotta Love", "Communication Breakdown", "I Can't Quit You Baby" and a 15-minute version of "Dazed and Confused"! The film has never been screened theatrically in Los Angeles. This will be a great night for Zeppelin fans! With the Egyptian's 60 foot widescreen - and the 60-surround speakers pumping out 30,000 watts - prepare for a Whole Lotta Zep!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I can't stop

listening to Thirteen by Big Star, written in 1972.

The lyrics reflect the age they describe, simple, unschooled, which makes it even more sweet and heartachy. The tune is for all time.

Rolling Stone magazine:

"Chilton wrote this acoustic ballad about two kids in love with rock & roll, featuring the deathless couplet, "Won't you tell your dad to get off my back/Tell him what we said about 'Paint It Black.' " It's simple musically; as Chilton said, "I was still learning to play and stuff." It never came out as a single or got any radio play, but "Thirteen" is one of rock's most beautiful celebrations of adolescence."

Won't you let me walk you home from school
Won't you let me meet you at the pool
Maybe Friday I can
get tickets for the dance
and I'll take you
Won't you tell your dad, "Get off my back"
Tell him what we said 'bout 'Paint It Black'
Rock 'n Roll is here to stay
Come inside where it's okay
And I'll shake you.
Won't you tell me what you're thinking of
Would you be an outlaw for my love
If it's so, well, let me know
If it's "no", well, I can go
I won't make you

I searched high and low for an mp3 or video of the original recording, but came up empty-handed, until I happened across this blog, which I linked above to the song title. Do yourself a favor and get your hands on a copy of the album (pictured above). I did find a recent acoustic version of Thirteen with Alex Chilton on You Tube, but was disappointed. I feel it lacks luster. So here is a very barebones and heartfelt version by Elliott Smith. The footage contains recognizable spots in south-east Portland.

I also found a young man with a remarkably good voice, who seems to reside in Iowa - Nick Lind. It's worth a listen if you're a fan of the song.

But ain't nothing else like the original.

Sweet dreams.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.

- Aesop

The Leader of the Band

The things you don't know about the bandmates until they tell you... This is the lead singer of the band I manage, back in '99 when he was at the helm of Lowcraft, back in Portland. Could they be bigger 80s Anglophiles? Just shows you how much Portland and the Oregon coast have in common with the British Isles. Of course, having a tea-timing director doesn't hurt. We might be working with this guy again, soon. I sure hope so, he's really talented.

Anyway, Nathan and the music could not look and sound more different these days. I also love the traces of that great old English thriller, Don't Look Now, which you should endeavor to watch if you've not already.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Two Typos of Note So Far Today

Baba Ram Sass
Laundry Deterrent

And one I found online soon after:

"Quote the Raven nevermore..."

(I agree, that use of that phrase was hacking Poe's knees.)

Where I am now

Lately I am very uninspired to write. No words are coming my way. I think I've mentioned that sometimes this happens to me when there's too much to say. Often, that's when it is best to be silent and let music speak for me. Love to you all.

(does Ray Lamontagne follow Baba Ram Dass?)

and have you heard him cover Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy"?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hot Steaming Dose of Cellulose

I always wondered why the food in Beijing tasted so bland.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Speed of Sound

A simple observation about music:

I do not find that listening to Skynard as I drive on the freeway helps me to observe posted speed limits.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Why I've been away so long...

tree huggin', and stuff.

7 bands. 10 dollars. And a whole lotta love.

(but I'm very tired. wish me luck.)