Friday, January 23, 2015

Dot Dot Dot Question Mark

"I'll  go do a victory lap and come back."

Tri-County Mall. A place named due to its general location -- an intersection of Hamilton, Butler and Warren Counties in the deep southwestern part of Ohio. Just like any mall, Tri-County Mall was thee place when I was a kid and now, like many other malls, is struggling to survive. It's not a 'zombie mall' This area has plenty of those, but with a vast majority of the stores at Tri-County Mall closed, the anchor department stores there are keeping the place afloat. Barely afloat

I was there for 1.1 reasons. Reason number one: The Time/Warner Cable (TWC) DVR box we had went out. I suppose recording new episodes of Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia, American Horror Story Freekshow and... Well, I can't remember the third show that the DVR was recording but regardless, it wasn't simple enough to just delete the shows. The system did what the system knows best, it crashed. Without a call to TWC-HQ I took the initiative, and exchanged the DVR and thus sacrificing the few shows that were waiting to be viewed. The exchange went surprisingly well.

Reason .1 was I needed a hat but not just any hat. I needed one with a good brim on it to help keep the Migraine Machine or The Sun (for you newer fans) from shing into mein eyes. I discovered that a store called Lids was one of the few stores still in operation. I asked to be fitted with a baseball cap. A fitted cap at 7 3/4 sized. I never had a fitted cap. baseball or otherwise, and even though they were out of the solid-black caps I decided to get a lil' bit of color in my life: I chose a RED cap... And yes, I asked for him to embroider the cap with the Thwart symbol using the badge on the sleeve of my jacket as example.

"A ellipses [...] with an exclamation point [ ! ]" I asked.

"Oh, that dot-dot-dot-Question mark?" the attendant asked.

So I realized, as I was told, it would take five minutes to complete, I took a brief walk and browsed the CDs at a FYE and was absolutely taken back seeing a double LP by Patti Smith that had the price tag of $44.95 on it, but settled for Thin Lizzys Jailbreak for Julie.

Much to my surprise, the hat turned out great. Realizing I didn't specify a thread color or font style and size, coupled with the workers un-ability to recognize the difference between a question-mark and exclamation point, there was a slight-- well, MORE than just slight chance -- that it would be wrong, but... Alas, everything worked out fine!

"What's this dot-dot-point thing mean?" asked the Lids employee as I told him no bag was necessary cause I was gonna wear the had out (he bagged the hat anyhow.)

"Well, it sez more than Ya think it does." I said before pausing a bit, then promptly exiting.

Learn more about The Baseball Cap here:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Fuse! Survives the Culling

 In the winter of 2007-ish*, in anticipation of the arrival of my first [and only] daughter... I'm not sure why--- was it a natural 'nesting' instinct or some form of sonic-depression or something else-- to make room for the immnent arrival of fatherhood and family life. I needed to organize and minimalize the over-all space available, so I packed EVERY compact-disc away in boxes. I'm not sure of the official count, but it had to be well over 1,000 units. It took maybe six boxes in-all that ended up still getting in the way. The boxes of CDs became nomadic--in a sense-- and were moved from point to point around the house in search of a spot they and my family could both agree that wasn't in the way. This is much harder than you think.

 I kept buying CDs despite the boxing deal, but soon enough the un-boxed CDs were stacking up... Getting in the way... Something had to be done. I was looking for a final solution that didn't involve a trash-can.

In 2013, just after modern civilization was cheated by the whole 'astral alignment' of the great rift (or whatever the kids called it) we, the human race, were, like, totally taken by the 'Myan Apocalypse' and the ending of the Eqyptian calendars-- and all of that associated jazz that both entailed... I wondered then, as I do now (still), if that one guy-- who was so certain that something good was going to happen on December 23rd as the alignment peaked, that he was going to leap from an elevated location in a desert somewhere (I can't remember the specifics, but it was sorta like that Pink Floyd video of the Native American leaping off a cliff and transforming into a fucking eagle) and... Well, he didn't say what would happen... He just counted on NOT dying...  Being sparred death... Sometimes, I wonder about how all-that worked-out for him...

By 2013, before long, those boxes of CDs needed to be delt with as well as the LP's, 7"s and cassettes. In all, approx. 2,400-3,00 units became a hassle... In some ways, I felt smothered by the total accumulated, mostly boxed-up permanent-collection, because of its unorganized state, Thanks to IKEA and Shake It Records, the job took me a bit, but finally my music-culling led to a manageable amount of units and space-saving options... I got over my sonic-depression, and/or nesting, and my unexplainable re-emerging hunger for sound led to a total sonic-revolution of one... I re-discovered, and I'm still re-discovering, bands and releases from my surviving boxes of CDs thats re-listened to, judged and promoted to a spot in my NEW permanent collection or it finds a new home somewhere else... Like the 'Used CD' section at Shake It.

The Fishermans Wife (In The Red Recordings INR-104, 2003) by THE FUSE! is the most recent re-added unit to my all-new, all [un]different permanent collection. It's earned its spot. Within the rather cryptic-as-fuck Spanish liner notes dated with dates from the mid-sixties accompanying a partial Myan calendar, a band member list hiding the bands identities and... (This is where it gets weird) also containing a lone belles-lettres style liner note dated in 2010-- years after the band broke up and this CD was released.

One of my personal quirks about purchasing music, and older quirk that still raises out of the water... Still... Is that if I am in the vicinity of music purchasing, the label that the release is on plays a larger factor to me when it comes down to considering a release for purchase. Past labels I followed (i.e. just a few) include Dischord, Revelation, SST, Hospial Records, Deadbeat, Icognito, Troubleman Unlimited and the label The Fishermans Wife appears on In The Red. I'm pretty sure, although there is about a 46% chance that I'm flat-out wrong, The Fishermans Wife was a CD that I would have probably bought blindly**. The bands name, interesting song titles and lastly, the label it was on, pointed me in a direction that I felt like I should dig it and, in fact I do!

I didn't show the attention that this CD clearly [initially] deserved... Bringing to mind a clever mix of Sonics style RNR mixed with The Drags partially and closer in description to John Wilkes Booze (Apache Dropout), Hot Snakes, Trail of Dead and a synthesizer-less Le Shok, The Fuse! are hitting all the right buttons... Now...

Wrapping things up, it may not look as if I tried to write just a few sentences of his one, but I did. Once again, I failed. Miserably failed. The Fishermans Wife earns its spot in my collection, but will it in yours?

Here is a Interview from the L.A. RECORD of The Fuse! dated 2007.

A You-tube song-video

*approx. date
** a.k.a. '

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Accidental Artist aka Mike Spent

In a strike of pure happenstance, I ran across a facebook post from Mike Spent that he claimed was a mistake...'Mistake Art'. None-the-less, it grabbed my interest... I asked Mike to explain exactly how the art came to be.

"Ok what you are viewing is an N-2b extreme cold weather flight jack jet worn by the various branches of the armed forces today I took a digital photograph of it against the exterior of my current residence and cropped it and rendered it in my iPad photos app unknown forces took it from me and created an impressionist version of the jacket. It almost appears to be an oil painting, and has garnered attention in the art world and blogosphere. Thus, I am the accidental artist know as Mike Spent"

A search for 'Glitch Art' revealed that there is a movement attatched with Glitch Art... Surprising enough. It all goes back to Space Monkey John Glenn!

Learn more about Glitch Art:

Check out Abstract Dictation: