Monday, April 30, 2012

Sensate Focus – Sensate Focus 10 8.1


                First things first: this is Mark Fell. Nice try trying to fool people but it’s not going to work. I recognize those sounds anywhere. The sheer fact that Mark Fell has such a uniform approach to sound design makes it impossible for it to be anyone else. I figure after Mark Fell’s entire career he decided this might be something of an aberration. Mark Fell’s spent a career flirting with dance. Now he’s finally decided to consummate that desire. We’re rewarded with two stunningly active tracks. Literally everything that SND and Mark Fell’s career has avoided doing is here. This is dance.

                ‘X’ is probably my favorite. I like the multi-section feel of it. This is probably the more straightforward track. Parts of this remind me of SND’s ‘Tender Love’ without the shackles of minimalism. Mark Fell really lets everything go with this one: so many keyboard flourishes, a rather fast pace (not quite the hyper-speeds he’s been exploring lately, but still quite fine nonetheless). Every little section comes together so well. ‘Y’ maintains the dance flavor of the EP as well. On this track, the sounds wobble to and fro, almost there but not quite. The beats feel extremely strong to me. Mark even gets a little playful with the repetition of the word ‘Love’ on the track. 

                I’m happy to hear Mark Fell having so much fun with a project. Normally he goes for a more rigid sound. Thus, hearing him mess around with what he grew up with (loud, sweaty dance music) is a great joy.

Blunt/Sonnet by Ben Roylance and Gabby Gabby


                Blunts and sonnets go together quite nicely. Modern day poets don’t touch the stuff. Heck, most modern poets are vegan; they don’t even touch dairy products. So this sort of brings me back to an earlier time, a more decadent time in poetry, where poets were disgusting human beings. I’m talking shooting their wives, hating people, stealing money from drunks. You name it. They did it. Part of me misses those times. However if they were that way I wouldn’t host them in my lovely deluxe apartment with wife and kids. 

                This starts out quite nicely. ‘My identity is what I throw away’. I say online is where your identity is. Everybody’s identity is online. Let me go even further. It is far more likely your online identity is more real than your IRL identity. See this poem. It discusses Google searches (another form of identity) and Macbooks (I don’t own one but again that’s another personal choice). Gabby and Ben even talk about technology like people. Androids are compared to human beings. And which one are we closer to? 

                I like the new approach. For the first few lines I’m getting shouted at, told about Black Flags, society and politics. Society and politics are lazy. That’s why they are interesting. Not sure if I agree about shopping malls. Shopping malls have fed me before through the ‘free sample’ racket they run. See food on a toothpick. I eat it. I’m hungry. I have $1 in my pocket.

                Beach times come up. I love the Beach Boys though not as much as my friends. Animals hang out in malls, having a wild time. Feel happy about the garbage men. When I was young I wanted to make a short-lived series about garbage men fighting evil demons over the night shift. Not sure why I never followed up on that idea. It probably had to do with it being terrible. Save the sharks. I know people who have eaten shark fin soup though. 

                Don’t eat people. They support it. I reject it. Cannibalism is wrong. Gabby knows this as she says ‘maybe just one tit’. My hope is a tit would taste like ‘Snowballs’ those delicious trashy treats. If that happened I would definitely become a cannibal. Happy to hear Gabby’s gone to upstate New York and swam in the beautiful lakes. Tank tops seem expensive. I love the internet too. I live in the internet more than I do IRL. Maybe that’s unhealthy. But there are no car crashes on the internet so maybe it’s safer. 

                Giraffes come up a lot in these poems. I’m glad I’m not the only one obsessed with the creature. The internet is a huge piece of meat. The internet is the ultimate sausage party. It’s sort of similar to alt lit in that sense. 19 year olds have kids all the time. Why they tattoo the names of their kids on their shoulder baffles me. Do people forget their children’s names that easily? Zoos and aquariums make me sad. They charge too much to see poor animals confined in cages. I’d never pay money to visit an animal prison.

                Humble is a great thing to be. I’m too humble. Actually I think I’m the most humble person on the entire internet. Try to out-humble me and I’ll probably let you do it. I’m that humble. Shame about what they say about sharks. Sharks just want to have fun. And they’re all like ‘Humans are terrifying but have smaller mouths’. Good thing I have a tiny mouth. Butterflies in the stomach kill themselves. They grow up from caterpillars into beautiful butterflies. People worry too much so they never get to see the stomach butterflies. Occasionally stomach butterflies fly south to procreate in Mexico before they die. Just like the jocks from high school go there for one last glimpse of cool before the world stands up and says ‘No’ to them. 

                Asses are different from one another. Capitalism is all about being an ass. I like the exploration of ‘Post Emotions’. Think all emotions should have ‘posts’ after them once we’ve gotten over ourselves. Guess you can only use them after you’re out of school. Gabby wrote the ‘butthole’ part. I can feel it in my slothy bones. The friend needs to get better headphones. People seem particular about what music they encounter. I am. I yell ‘shots shots shots shots’ outside of dorm rooms for fun. 

                The internet is the portal to our souls. Slow internet simply reinforces this point. When things take a while to load that’s why we feel so much pain. I want to move to South Korea sometimes because they have super-fast internet connections over there. I’m jealous. We tweet at each other to feel alive on the internet. 

                Nobody asks me for nudes because I’m a sloth. Gabby’s speaks about her college experience, carrots, nudes, Neil Young, etc. Hope Neil Young didn’t ask her for nudes. Neil Young is such a creeper. I have no idea who makes money off of their talents. Sometimes it seems what people excel at is completely different from what people want to do with their lives. I’m experiencing that feeling right now. Wonder if I’ll ever be paid for what I love. 

                I laughed at ‘What’s that chemical that turns your skin blue? Bright Eyes?’ That part is amazing. Planets seem to collide a lot in the poem. Kind of like YouTube has parodies of itself up on itself for further introspection. Can a technology have a negative self-image or is the technology for making technology feel bad about it not there yet? 

                This is a really good collection. Ben and Gabby kill it with this collection. Hope they keep on putting out amazing quality funny-depressed stuff. 

Voodoo House by J.D.A Winslow


                J.D.A Winslow is a mysterious Scotsman. I don’t know where he’ll be next. Most alt lit fans approve of his voice. I know if I ever need somebody to do a ‘book on tape’ J.D.A. Winslow is there, with his deep voice. People love the way he says random English words. At times his voice becomes so intoxicating that we forget he writes too.

                ‘Voodoo House’ is a dark chapbook put out in Tumblr form. He wakes up unsure of what has gone on. I worry. It is a voodoo house he’s living in so anything could happen. Poor Emily she got ‘harmonica-ed’ to death. That’s the worst. Day nine Mr. Winslow, of ‘Family Matters’ fame, wakes up. He uses the TV and IPOD to drown out the silence. But since this is a voodoo house the silence is quite loud, nearly unbearable. 

                Some friend comes up to Mr. Winslow. Her skin is glowing. Guess people are really pale up in Scotland. Perhaps some sunlight might fix the problem. Clouded eyes only add to her extreme misfortune. He wants to turn off the lights. Guess that might help save energy, since her glow helps him see in the dark. Without the light he appears to look like a cowboy. Not sure how voodoo is related to cowboys, at least not in Scotland. She becomes water lifting him up. 

                He gets used to this weirdness. A tall woman with a white dress stares into his closet. He should probably clean his closet. Good thing he went back to sleep after seeing here. Doing nothing is usually the best response in that sort of situation. I wonder why there were so many hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are pretty alt though so it’s probably okay. 

                Lots of spirits haunt the artist. Perhaps he should get a real, non-artist kind of job. Artists usually get visited by spirits. Spirits generally find office workers to be quite boring. Offices are really haunted. Though I remember working in a haunted office once. Paperclips, instant coffee, and pens would disappear without warning. Occasionally computer screens would flicker on and off. Chairs moved without people in them. Those spirits were pretty lame though. 

                Voodoo house I hope charged him little to live there. Haunted houses have lower rents due to the paranormal activity. I can’t imagine what kind of spirits even live in Scotland. There are probably some seriously twisted spirits there, boozing it up pretty hard. I know there’s a Goth culture up there. I wonder whether or not they are responsible for voodoo house. Or perhaps we’ll never know.

Pop Serial 3: Prepare Yourself




                Welcome to day two of the celebration of Pop Serial 3. Come in and stay a while. I’m going over a British dude’s work, famous twitter resident, some other British dude, a man named Shaun Gannon who enjoys the good knife every now and then, a member of the ‘Ohio’ gang, and finally a highly regarded AWP party goer.  

                Omar De Col engages in his ‘visual art’. These are greater than macros, they make you feel. The first image comments on the famous micro-blogging site ‘Twitter’. I agree Omar. Usually I see most of my recommended follows are also sloths. Not all sloths are created equal. Some of them suck. I have no idea who Ryan Gosling is but this advice could be used for anybody. A lonely (boy?) with a sparkler mentions his wish. I hope that’s not Omar. Relationships are beautiful, wonderful things. Don’t get amnesia. Didn’t anybody see that movie ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ aka ‘the most Emo movie ever’? I dig the fourth image. I smile whenever I see it. For the final image I am not into Sci-Fi (hope ‘The X-Files’ doesn’t count as Sci-Fi). 

                ‘Progress’ is damned bleak. I haven’t seen any Poncho Peligroso work for a while, excluding his famous twitter. Man, this is a dark poem. Wonder whether or not Poncho is an atheist. I feel after reading this poem that I really have no idea whatsoever. Upset about that diamond. Guess the diamond will make it rough. Hope I’m dead by the time any of this happens. I also enjoyed the dead image. It’s a smart, smart poem. Poncho has been quiet but I hope he returns to write once again. 

                Crispin Best is an English dude. He sounds really English. Some say he’s the ‘Flarf master’ of the UK. I don’t know if this is true. I do know he likes a lot of things on Facebook. Hopefully he likes me. For the first poem he mocks the name of keyboards. Not sure what the second poem is about. That problem could probably be taken care of by Crispin learning French. My favorite is the business dog. I like Crispin’s use of idiotic business jargon like ‘incentivizing’. Business jargon is one of the scariest/funniest things to me. 

                Shaun Gannon really digs knives. I don’t want to bump into a dark alleyway with Shaun Gannon, not after reading this poem. ‘Knife Show’ deals with all kinds of knives on sale. They are expensive. Despite their obvious use for violence, the announcer (or salesperson) appears completely unaware of anything they’re saying. The salesperson warns about hurting people but otherwise the idea of their violent intent is neatly scrubbed clean. For the wedding gifts it gets very dark. But nobody notices. They are just selling things. Sales and emotions don’t mix. 

                Madison Langston writes about ‘Natural Lighting’. I am glad Ellen has windows in her home/apartment. We never find out whether or not Ellen lives in an apartment or in some sort of ‘low-rise/bi-level/’Splanch’ kind of house. This makes the story so mysterious to me. I really want to know where exactly Ellen lives. I know everything else about her like her dreams of Germany or Chris Brown. The stream of consciousness vibe of the piece is interesting to me. Her ability to switch around to so many different thoughts in a short period of time is brought to her by the internet. The internet allows billions of people to kill off seconds, minutes, hours and even days in extreme cases. Unfortunately Ellen’s boyfriend doesn’t seem to understand. Ellen thinks about masturbating since she’s already on the internet already but she gets too distracted by more pressing issues. 

                ‘Cozumel’ is a part of Mexico. It’s where Timothy Willis Sanders two characters vacation. Their vacation sucks. Matt gets sunburned and doesn’t get laid. Vik gets sick from food or something. Apparently Matt notices every single thing that goes on around him. He notices the color of buildings, the TV blaring in English nearby, even the potato wedges his girlfriend eats. I’m not sure why they decided to go to Mexico on vacation. Mexico isn’t very alt. It seems everybody travels to Mexico on vacation. Hopefully next year Matt and Vik go to a more alt place to travel, like New Caledonia to see giant crabs overturn trash cans and devour tin cans. Part of me feels Matt has a really nice camera. Nokia 5160 sounds like an expensive camera. 

                Join us tomorrow for more excitement and merriment. I am happy to be a part of this great challenge, to cover the largest offering I’ve ever covered.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ryan Power – I Don’t Want to Die 8.7


                Ryan Power knows how to skew pop. ‘I Don’t Want to Die’ is nearly destined to become one of those super-weird, obscure pop gems. Outsider pop writers like Safety Scissors, Nathan Michel and R. Stevie Moore come to mind. Like Safety Scissors, the pieces feel nearly modular, pieced together haphazardly into full-blown songs. Nathan Michel’s influence is in the oftentimes sugary, child-like enthusiasm of some of these pieces. And R. Stevie Moore’s influence comes through in the bizarre lyrics and outright silliness of some of the songs. 

                There’s a lot going on in these twelve tracks. Oftentimes Ryan tries to make a relatively straightforward song such as ‘Lovecraft’ which is about as normal as things get, sounding about as close to pop as possible. ‘Mondo Rush’ is a Nintendo soundtrack gone very right. The song almost stumbles on itself by constantly shifting tempos and sounds. ‘Imago XXX’ surprises the listener by starting out perfectly normally before descending into a strange sing along chorus. By far my favorite is the surreal piece ‘You Wanna Seltzer’. Ryan cuts up a Steely Dan track from the mid-70s and sprinkles extraordinarily bizarre, silly lyrics over it. Also it helps that despite its heavy weirdness; it is probably the catchiest piece on here. The sexual creepiness makes it even better.

                ‘I Don’t Want to Die’ is an extremely playful, morbid album. The constant references to death sound almost funny in an overly tragic way. Rarely have I heard such a strange approach to pop. It is even rarer that it succeeds.

Pop Serial 3: Prepare Yourself


                Pop Serial 3 is an event. It is more than some ‘Oh cool, here’s some literary magazine we threw together’. No, Stephen Tully Dierks’ now-famous (alt lit famous anyway) Pop Serial is something to be savored, something to look forward to, like SXSW or the Cannes Film Festival. Yep, it is that gosh-darn important. Succulent Stephen Tully Dierks, with his infinite sex and single-ness, puts this together about once a year. It is always beloved. People go crazy for it, scream his name during alt lit sex, it is that big. And it’s been dripping down over the past few days and weeks onto the internet. Each drip of prose drives the ladies and gentlemen of the internet mad with desire. 

                Since this is the introductory post, let me explain why this will be a week-long celebration. Silly Stephen leaked these poems out little by little. I don’t know why he did it this way. As a result, I have no choice but to break up the coverage into several sections. Besides even if he hadn’t done such a thing this might have been an unreasonably sized post succumbing to the ‘too long, didn’t read’ syndrome. Mr. Dierks had already agreed to this method via the legally binding ‘Forumspring’ question. Enjoy!  

                Luna Miguel starts of the magazine in style. You may better know her as the cover to Megan Boyle’s best-selling book ‘Selected unpublished blog posts of a Mexican Panda Express employee’. Her first poem deals with disease invoked by poetry. Since the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918 killed all those people, I’m scared of her poem. It’s beautiful but it may kill me. She informs us to watch porn. To Luna, porn is better than poetry. I’m tempted to say poetry is porn that all art is pornography, but I’m not sure how she’d feel about it. 

                Richard Chiem is amazing. He’s getting older, wiser, and better. I read him on a fairly regular basis as he has a good output of work. This is a strange piece. I like Chloe. I wish I didn’t already know a Chloe and have a history with a person named Chloe. That made the piece a little more difficult to read. Glad Richard focuses on a party. Parties can be such weirdly isolating experiences sometimes. Like, if you’re not a beautiful, attractive person, they can be downright scary. And in Richard party everyone is beautiful. I hope one day I am beautiful on the outside. Not sure when that day will come. Guess I’ll have to settle with that shitty ‘I’m beautiful on the inside’ malarkey. 

                Andrew James Weatherhead contributes ‘A Private View of Butt City’. There are many beautiful cities forever immortalized in songs. ‘Paradise City’, ‘Suffragette City’ and ‘Bear City’ are just a few of those unforgettable cities. Those cities live on in our memories. We tend to remember the positive and filter out the negative. ‘Butt City’ is when we look out the window and see nothing. When we see a parking lot, that’s Butt City we see. Butt City is everywhere. There is a distinct place known as Butt City, but it exists only on Myspace. 

                Liam Bjartrún Adams is my friend on the internet. I haven’t met him IRL so I can’t say I agree with his first poem. The mixture of the profane and profound is quite beautiful. Every sentence seems to turn on a dime, going from fuck loads of cocaine to suffocating on the love of the universe (these could both be the same things). ‘Every Miniature Flue’ takes a different approach, of dealing with Liam’s past, a past filled with milk drinking, before he became allergic to that bone-strengthening liquid. He also discusses his path down the road of love, but I’m more interested in the milk.    
                Ana Carrete thinks big thoughts. Some of these thoughts are dangerous. You ever seen a feta cheese suicide? Those things truly stink. Is suicide something to joke about? This is alt lit. The answer is yes. I like ‘where’ quite a bit. Ana says her secrets float around cyberspace. See, that’s why I’m anonymous. My secrets are IRL, not on the internet. By night I’m a blogger but by day I’m just an average Joe Sloth. ‘All I Do’ reminds me of Facebook picture viewing, of going through old friends pictures, to see a more idealized version of me. Wonder if anybody’s going to take up Ana’s suggestion to be her teapot and pour themselves all over her. Feel that may be ‘suggestive’ of Ana’s desire to become an anthropomorphic tea cup. Or it could be code for ‘sex’. And sunglasses keep falling on my head and that means my eyes won’t be turning red. Crying’s not for me. 

                Prepare yourself for tomorrow’s installment of excellence. This online party has just begun, or ‘Pangur Ban Party’ as some would put it.

Is Alt Lit Official?


                Today an amazing thing occurred: alt lit arrived on Wikipedia. No one expected this to happen, not at all on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Usually alt lit people are lucky if they can manage a Facebook update or two. Sunday is probably the least ‘alt lit’ out of all the days. Perhaps this is the thing that will make alt lit become a movement, rather than an abbreviation.

                Alt lit needs this attention. People in alt lit have been doing this for literally years, decades in the cases of Noah Cicero. For so long they’ve yearned, not for money, because writers don’t make money. Rather they’ve wanted to have a place that acknowledges them. I try to provide a supportive zone for alt lit. Alt Lit Gossip is pretty heavy into the day to day lives of the famous and alt. HTML Giant remains the first place people go to write arguments that include footnotes.

                Why did this take so long? Alt lit has been around for a while. There have been reality TV programs based off of alt lit. You thought Steve Roggenbuck’s videos were for fun? Nope those are Steve’s day to day life. People really should watch them. I think a few of my friends have had their lives forever changed by those videos. I know Roggenbuck’s videos make me cry due to their exquisite beauty. 

                I like the Wikipedia page for alt lit. It states most of the writers remain unpublished. They are mostly self-published. Alt lit is getting more attention too. Muumuu House exists as an ‘incubator’ for a lot of alt lit. You simply give Tao Lin an egg of an idea and he waits until it hatches as a chick of an idea. Then it grows into a chicken of an idea. Eventually it mates with another idea, a rooster of an idea until a new idea family is formed. 

                Dennis Cooper (who has a Wikipedia page right here) talks about what’s been going on in alt lit. He mentions alt lit writers on a regular basis, from Zachary German to recently Steve Roggenbuck. Clearly these are writers who deserve the attention or at least possess something of interest to a guy who dedicated his whole life to writing. 

                Besides these boosters, there’s an entire alt lit ecosystem of boost. Boost support is needed for alt lit. A few detractors would say ‘Hey, it is simply writers reading other writers’. I don’t see how that is dramatically different from say, a certain café culture. With the internet writers can pretty much support one another emotionally without any expense. I don’t see the need to constantly pigeonhole alt lit as ‘fucking worthless’ or ‘totally fucking worthless’. I’m not saying all alt lit is equal, there are good and bad examples of it. I simply tend to focus on what I like rather than needlessly bashing someone who is creating work and giving it away for free. To be that is the definition of cruelty. And I’m a kind sloth. 

                Alt lit review sites definitely spend a lot of time going through the positive and the negative. While I don’t give numeral scores for what I read/review, I think most people are able to determine what I’m more or less passionate about. Other sites are a little more obvious in their like or dislike, such as ‘Banango Lit’ or ‘I am alt lit’. For the record, I adore ‘I am alt lit’ and whoever runs that is doing a truly stellar job. 

                Tonight is going to be the alt lit Wikipedia page’s toughest night. There are plenty of people who have perfectly reasonable and unreasonable motivations for wanting it to go away. I feel it should stay. At this point it has begun to increase enough in popularity. People outside of alt lit might want to know something about the tight-knit writing groups that exist within alt lit. 

                I’m quite fond of the alt lit page. I also enjoy its focus on anonymity. Anonymity is the best thing one can have on the internet. Glad my anonymous presence at this point exceeds the influence of my IRL presence. That’s the power of alt lit.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cousins - The Palm At The End Of The Mind 8.3


                Cousins make some foot-stopping stuff. Now this blindsided me. I put this on and was blown away right from the first track. There’s a lot of energy behind these nine tracks. If indie rock needed an ideal sound Cousins would be it. Sonically it has enough punch, possesses enough of a sense of humor, and is downright catchy. Everything on here is pitch-perfect. Even the little flourishes, random little instruments thrown in, are wonderfully done, such as the piano on the opener ‘Jules’. 

                ‘Jules’ is a great opener. Other tracks are much more in the stomping vein, such as ‘Khyber’ which is pure joy. There’s a garage rock vibe to these songs, a celebration of simplicity. Most of these tracks are delightfully simple. Strong percussion, straightforward vocals, and a western twang to the guitars make up the majority. In fact, only one song even possesses a noticeable electronic influence (a synthesizer) on the song ‘Defense’. The rest possess an effortless garage stomp most bands would kill for. Yet what Cousins does is a little different from most garage rock bands. Most garage rock bands take their cues from the 60s. Cousins is clearly influenced by 70s rock. 

                 The closer ‘Die’ uses the singer’s drunken voice to full effect. On here they take a life-affirming role. While the whole album is great, this is by far the best on the whole set. I think it is specifically designed to get stuck in your brain. 

                Everything on ‘The Palm at the End of the Mind’ is immediately enjoyable. This isn’t a grower, this is instantly enjoyable. Multiple listens do nothing but confirm that fact.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Interview with Stephen Tully Dierks


                Sure the title is misleading. You might be under the assumption that I interviewed Stephen Tully Dierks. This is incorrect. I lack the necessary ‘pull’ to interview Stephen Tully Dierks. Mr. Dierks is busy preparing for the final release from his critically acclaimed series ‘Pop Serial – Three Crackles and a Pop’. Rather I want to go over an interview he had with Banango Lit. Banango Lit has far more experience in interview type fare. Perhaps at a later point in time Stephen and I may sit down for a friendly interview.

                Justin Carter asks about Pop Serial. Stephen explains its ‘origin story’. How one day Stephen came back from work to see an abandoned Tumblr on his front steps. Not wanting it to freeze to death he brought it inside. With the help of Tao Lin and Brandon Scott Gorrell he nursed it back to health. Tao Lin helped bring writers into the magazine. Brandon Scott Gorrell had that whole ‘three names thing’ going on that Stephen’s into. Gradually the Tumblr regain strength and contacted others looking for poetry and short story submissions. For the only way a Tumblr truly grows is by eating healthy and nutritious content. 

                Banango takes a moment to talk about how hip as heck it is. Justin’s all like ‘Oh cool, let me just plug myself in an interview about somebody else’. I admit, Banango has some serious ‘bull testicles’. It doesn’t hurt that they had a particularly good selection of writers for their first release. Hopefully they’ll continue that quality. Eventually Justin asks the million dollar question (just kidding, there’s no money in alt lit) about the lack of submissions.

                It’s true. You can’t submit to Pop Serial. Stephen solicits you. That sounds cruel at first. Upon closer inspection it’s downright decent. Rejections from literary magazines are notorious for their cold, distant nature. Editors of said literary magazines suffer from depression since they lack control over their baby. Stephen doesn’t worry about that. By picking what he’s interested in Dierks avoids any disappointment on his part and the potential submitter’s part, for the submitter doesn’t exist. 

                 They talk about how Pop Serial is a ‘curated art exhibit’. I concur. With 30 writers, Pop Serial ends up having a rather diverse range. It feels less like an ‘odds and ends’ collection and more like a coherent community. Part of that has to do with Stephen’s involvement with the writers. Stephen works hard at Gchatting and Facebooking with these writers. I feel his pain. It can be hard work to communicate with so many wonderful people. 

                Drinking a cup of room temperature tap water the two continue. Stephen discusses his decision to release the poems one by one. He says it attracts more attention to the writers. I agree. That’s why next week I shall cover Pop Serial in an extraordinarily unique fashion. Prepare yourselves. It is going to be great. Each piece shall receive its due. 

                My favorite part is Stephen’s explanation of how he got into alt lit. It happened by accident, in a Google search gone wrong. I’d say ‘gone right’ since alt lit has him as one of its own. Justin seems to believe Pop Serial is a gateway drug for more intense alt lit experiences. I agree. Before I read alt lit I was just an alt shit. Nobody guided me. There’s a question about alt lit’s sudden popularity (perhaps making it less alt). No one can answer that question. Popularity happens randomly thanks to various writers blogging hard each and every day. I’m talking about Alt Lit Gossip. I’m talking about Steve Roggenbuck. Those are the alt lit makers. 

                I enjoyed this interview. Justin had good questions for Stephen. Consider this a ‘trailer’ for the ‘enormous’ amount of coverage of Pop Serial 3 coming your way next week.

SIAN VS. VALIUM VS. ANXIETY by Sian Rathore


                Sian Rathore is on a blog roll specifically my blog roll. Over the past several weeks (years in blog years) she’s been adding to her impressive repertoire. I remember when she worked as a MetaZen editor. She still does that. Her role has grown in the alt lit community, from a charmingly quirky English name to something more meaningful. Not that her name should be understated, it is a fine name that I wish I had. One of her relatives has been trolling Steve Roggenbuck of late but Steve Roggenbuck is the original alt lit troll (see ‘Bebe Zeva Facebook thread’ for further evidence).

                This story is all about anxiety. I don’t know about depression. Depression affects me somewhat. Anxiety though, I know it well. Sian appears to take valium for her anxiety. I take nothing for mine. Her poem makes me wonder about anxiety. How does it feel about me? When anxiety comes into my life, does it miss me? According to Sian’s story it misses her. Maybe our anxiety gets anxiousness when it is away from us. You know I could be taking this whole anxiety thing the wrong way. Instead of trying to simply sleep away the anxiety I could try talking to it. I could understand what makes anxiety tick and how to use its power more effectively. Most of my writing comes out of anxiety so I’m already partly there. 

                Her story is sad. She has no more booze. In the nightmarish hell-scape that is sharing a house, her house mates seem to dislike her. Sian even says she deserves it. To me, I feel Sian doesn’t deserve it. She seems like a pretty good housemate. Most of the time she appears to either drink or write things on the internet. That’s pretty off-hands to me. They ought to be thankful to have such a highly reviewed writer among them. Bet the rest of Sian’s roommates aren’t into alt lit. They probably eat upholstery or whatever college kids do nowadays. College got way weirder after I left. With all those laptops in classrooms, costing too much money, it was only a matter of time before students began eating upholstery from couches in the student lounge. 

                Anxiety prevents her from sleeping. That’s something I can’t stand for, I love sleep. Nobody should ever try to ruin my sleep besides actual, paid work. Otherwise no, please don’t interrupt. Guess I understand a little bit why Sian dislikes anxiety so much. Maybe she should ignore it or stop writing about it in her Tumblr. I assume anxiety has a Tumblr account and does some re-blogs or something. Hope Sian’s anxiety re-blogs this review. That’d be wonderful.

Bring about the New World Order by Steve Roggenbuck


                It’s been minutes since I last blogged about Steve Roggenbuck. Steve Roggenbuck I think has clones of himself running around this great country of ours. There’s no way one guy is doing all these wonderful things. Probably the original Steve Roggenbuck is somewhere in rural Michigan orchestrating the greatest army of clones ever to descend on alt lit. That is, second greatest, after all those Tao Lin clones. Wonder which clone I met. I’m figuring it was Steve Roggenbuck #666 for he was truly satanic. Perhaps it is all one Steve Roggenbuck, just Facebook-ing his little heart out. I find that considerably more difficult to believe. 

                Clones are a big part of the Illuminati. Steve Roggenbuck clones could fit into that whole grand scheme of things. Besides Steve Roggenbuck clones would all be vegan anyway, helping to preserve Mother Earth. Not sure if I’ll ever know for certain if there are multiple Steve Roggenbucks. Maybe I just need to admit to myself that it is simply unknowable. I mean, heck on a Holland horn blower, I even met the bro. How can not I know?

                A random cutout from the hit movie series ‘The Lord of the Rings’ implores Steve to bring the new world order. In the new world order ‘Entertainment Tonight’ is replaced by ‘Alt Lit Gossip’. Yeah the new world order will be big into alt lit. San Francisco appears immediately afterwards. The Illuminati live in San Francisco due to that city’s strong mystical power and infinite quantities of mind-altering substances, like books. He shows a map of some of the darkest subcultures in America. Glad Baltimore is on the map. Baltimore doesn’t care though. Baltimore is big into being indifferent about its fate as a city. That’s why it is so alt. 

                Twi-Moms come up a whole lot in the video. I know Steve’s single but Twi-Moms? Steve can do better than Twi-Moms. All sorts of Twi-Moms exist, Juggalo Twi-Moms, Pan-Sexual Twi-Moms, Post-Twi Twi Moms, etc. I am amazed at the wide variety of mothers who are into the crappy Twilight series. 

                ‘Episode 1’ comes up in the video. Steve shows the ‘666’ in the pod racer. Clearly that terrible movie foretold of the Satanic Hipster Triangle. George Lucas might not have known it at the time but he changed the world forever with that movie, for the weirder. Without even passably mediocre movies to watch, thousands of young children across the nation turned to alt lit. Thank you George Lucas for sucking a Kangaroo’s dick.  

                Steve Roggenbuck is the kindest and most Satanic alt lit writer out there. Hope he’s one of a kind.

Hervé Moire - Mirage de Loire 7.4


                Mirage de Loire is a living, breathing sonic artifact. Created out of field recordings, it is slowly brought to life through many digital manipulations. It is a delicate piece. Every tiny speck of sound can be heard, from the drips of water to the slight creaking from the boats. At times it reminds me of Thomas Koner’s “Une Topographie Sonore: Col De Vence” in terms of its absolute dedication to its craft. The editing he does on this piece is strongly reminiscent of Thomas’s excellent hour-long piece. Weirdly Mirage de Loire’s piece feels even more lifelike in a way since the piece veers more towards the field recording end than outright all-encompassing drone. 

                Right in the very beginning there appears to be very little in the way of editing. The sounds of nature are very prevalent as a minor drone is coated over it. Eventually ringing bowls come in along with the sound of dripping water. The drone moves higher in pitch as we hear the sounds of insects. About halfway through the piece the drone sounds like steam rising up from some unknown source. It’s a calming sound. For the final coda Hervé uses a warm drone. As the piece comes closer to an end it sounds vaguely like Shuttle 358’s work. This may be the perfect way of ending our time in this environment as nature is stripped away, leaving only the digital imprints. 

                Hervé Moire does a good job in creating a sense of mood. Mirage de Loire is a contemplative ride through a quiet sonic environment.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mira Gonzalez


                Today some internet-famous guy said ‘Mira’s poems are consistently very good’. I realized I was not a friend of Mira Gonzalez on Facebook. Adding her was easy. Part of me felt bad because I remember her edited Twitter account on Muumuu House and thinking to myself ‘This is a good twitter account. It is funny’. I’m sure Blake Butler would approve of her Twitter account. It’s one of those thinking man’s twitter accounts. First you laugh. But once you’ve finished laughing you think about how smart Mira’s tweets really are. 

                I am entering uncharted territory. I have never reviewed somebody’s tweets before. I need to get on my twitter game before I lose at twitter. Her Grandmother wishes to be chill. Anybody who lives in that hip, relevant part of California, in the land of James Ferraro, is pretty much chill by association. Glad her Grandmother provided her with such good twitter material. ‘Eating’ and ‘Sleeping’ are burdens. Usually I pick one to do a day. Some days I eat. Others I sleep. I always blog though. Even in my dreams I’m blogging. My blogging dreams usually get really sweet amounts of ‘re-tweets’ and ‘re-blogs’. Here’s probably my favorite tweet out of the bunch:

                “pulled 3 baby pacifiers out of my jacket pocket in class. don't know who they belong to. guy next to me seems confused”

                The randomness of the tweet is funny. I like the confusion others experience around her. Random is always good. My whole existence is basically accidental. I probably shouldn’t exist. Sometimes I wonder what I really contribute to the world. I feel good that I exist though. I am proud of my pointless, goofy, inside joke of an online presence. Hopefully Mira feels the same way about her online presence. With tweets that reference realistic pictures of burnt toast I think she does. She also tweets about sloth masturbation. Here’s the tweet:

                “imagine a severely depressed sloth becoming frustrated and crying while trying to masturbate because his hand is moving too slowly” 

                Mira probably doesn’t know how that works. Sloths don’t get depressed. When we are happy we move slowly. If a sloth is sad he tends to run. Sloths never run. Sloths find masturbation to be a human construct. ‘Work’ is the closest human term for ‘masturbation’ in sloth culture. It’s weird. Not sure if I can really explain sloth culture to a non-sloth human being, especially one in California. 

                A few tweets mention homeless people. Wonder why Mira lives around so many homeless people. Is Mira homeless? Does she tweet from various cafes and other free Wi-Fi locales? I think she lives in an actual home because she states people urinate quite frequently on her house. Perhaps she shouldn’t live in a giant fire hydrant or tree. That would solve a lot of the urination problems.

                 Besides all this hip twitter stuff she maintains a Tumblr presence. Her Tumblr collects poems she writes due to her exploding head syndrome, a rare disease that affects one’s head, causing it to explode without warning. Most of the posts seem to fit into a stream of consciousness format not dissimilar from her tweeting. Check it out right here. I am jealous that she went to Coachella. Next year I’m going to do a bunch of Kickstarters to go to music festivals. People I hope will pay me for things like blogs posts about them, tweets about them, poems about them, and hand-drawn pictures of their likeness. 

                I like Mira’s web presence. It seems to work as a unified whole. Upset that I didn’t cover her earlier. Sometimes life moves too fast for a sloth. Muumuu House did a good thing by editing her twitter account. Hope she doesn’t stop. Glad she accepted my Facebook friendship. Want to be Mira’s friend on Facebook forever and ever.

Tuesdays Suck Ustream


                What a random Ustream. We got to see a particularly rosy cheeked Stephen Tully Dierks stare at us in granular form. The cheeks were bright red with love and alcohol but mostly alcohol. I knew it. Ustream and Dierks are like Christmas and Santa Claus. His face looked all pixelated. 

                Ana C.’s piece got read first. He read from his publication ‘Pop Serial 3’. I wonder why he doesn’t just release all the poems now. He could have done that instead of simply dicking around on the internet. No worries though I enjoy her writing. Stephen read this intoxicated, fully intoxicated. I wonder how Stephen drinks his dinner out of a paper sack. I think he did a good job reading considering his high level of ‘poetic alcoholism’.

                Crispin Best got some claps. I like Crispin’s poems. There’s going to be a greater exploration of Crispin’s work in some later posts. I’m saving them. Most of them have a happy touch to them. His poems touch the heart. If Disney ever got into Flarf they might sound a little like these poems. 

                Stephen worked hard trying to get Spencer Madsen and Elaine Sun’s voice. It felt dramatic. Unfortunately Stephen did not read it. What he encountered was a sort of ‘flaccid speaking voice.’ I like Stephen’s reading voice. But unfortunately he failed to capture the magic of either reader. Instead he stared blankly at the computer screen and felt fucked. We egged him on to no avail.

                Pancho Espinosa received Twitter attention. That occurs when some bro reads a series of tweets. This is a thing now. I don’t know when this became a thing. Stephen grew into the twitter feed. He performed a ‘mind melt’ with Pancho. Mind melts happen when two become one. It is kind of like sex only it isn’t. Suddenly Stephen became animated. We watched him read tweets from Pancho’s account. For a minute we listened to the ingredients of the ‘Tully Bomb’. I can’t explain what that is. All I know is it is truly unhealthy. Then he returned to read more tweets while alcohol streamed through his body like the tapped Rockies. 

                A French Bro came up. He wrote a book called ‘Suicide’ which got published. Once the book was published he killed himself. That seems bleak. Stephen didn’t read the ‘Suicide’ book. He said ‘Suicide’ made him want to kill himself because it sucked. Not sure what French bros really accomplish in their writing. I found parts of the poem to be ‘ironic’ like ‘I prefer living to dying’ re: he killed himself later. 

                I got read. Nobody ever reads my stuff. I feel really good about this poem. Hopefully it will be published somewhere. Walter Mackey’s piece followed. He really enjoys Goth girls. It gets really, really explicit. Part of me wondered if it would get more ridiculous. It did. This is one of the sickest, most twisted poems I’ve seen for a little while. ‘I want to fuck the Goth girl’ is a warped poem. 

                Maggie Lee created a beautiful twitter account. Stephen Tully Dierks read it as best as he could. By then he was quite drunk. His face shone like Mars in the evening sun. I really enjoyed Stephen’s great impersonation of Maggie’s voice. We explained Ellio’s pizza to Stephen. Apparently Stephen is such a foodie that he makes all pizzas from scratch. 

                Sad Cave was a Meme from long ago. Stephen joined this Meme. He read it to us. I know the real story behind this story. The story is about his summer camp experience. ‘Sad Cave’ deals with Stephen’s loss of innocence and virginity in a giant sex pile. When you have sex in a pile you can have sex anytime. 

                We hit up a random Myspace page. Go here. This is the most amazing Myspace profile I’ve ever seen. Not only is it stupid but in broken English. I never thought anyone could make something this perfect. Everything in it rules. How Stephen read these ‘poems’ without cracking up amazed me. I cracked up at every single line. 

                Ben Brooks’ work nearly ended the reading. By now Stephen’s energy reached the lowest of lows, even with all that Four Loko and booze. Of course as this piece is going to be in ‘Pop Serial 3’ I won’t go into heavy detail. Let’s just say there’s going to be a lot of Narwhals in it. That’s all I can do. 

                Then a boost of energy came from afar. Nobody knew where it came from but there it was. Stephen read it with the appropriate energy. Marshall Mallicoat is a good poet. I’m really happy his work has been included. Glad his work deals with Florida as well. Though again, as this will be in Pop Serial 3 so there will be something more ‘in depth’ by next week *spoiler alert*

                Stephen left suddenly. He had Four Lokos to drink and dreams to dream. Hope STD lives his dreams every day.