Monthly Archives: July 2008

Links Are Fun Sometimes When You Really Really Think About It

Melissa Rae’s new album, These Chords That Break, is finished. I haven’t heard most of it yet, but the selections she put on her Myspace sound great. “Blackbirds on the Wire” is my favorite.

Anjali Khosla has two new poems up here and one illustrated poem here.

Mike Young wrote a story I like.

Emily Renaud has a new poem up here.

I also like the three short shorts that share the Hobart issue with me:

The Hook
Brian Foley

You, Too
A. Papatya Bucak

Little Bit Orphaned
J.M. Patrick

New Story: Colossal Crimson Crop

I have a story, “Colossal Crimson Crop,” in the August online edition of Hobart, edited by two good writers: Claudia Smith and Aaron Burch.

The issue also features stories by A. Papatya Bucak, Brian Foley and J.M. Patrick, and an interview with Cathy Day.

The 20% longer version of the story is included in my chapbook, The Complete Genealogy of Everyone, Ever. The chapbook is available for $3 + shipping. If you’re up to it, read both and tell me which you like better.

Experimentalfulness, Music, Print Publishing vs. Online, Coffee and The Complete Genealogy of Everyone, Ever

Jason Behrends interviewed me at his excellent blog, What to Wear During an Orange Alert.

Though our relationship has been purely electronic, I’ve found him to be a great guy with who is as into the arts (all of them) as anyone I know. You should add Orange Alert to your blog reader.

The other part of the video episode

of the radio show is featured over here.

It’s got squinting and singing.

Max Vernon

Max Vernon is a NYC musician who emailed me, press release style. He wrote a great pop song called “When Your Body Breaks.” Catchy, great production. And he’s 20. He also recently dipped into the important genre, Covers in Which the Sex of the Singer Changes the Song’s Meaning, with “I Kissed a Girl.”

His words: “Oh and by the way, since you’re accepting invented statistics i think it’s important for you to know, that my last demo sold 54,000 copies in a roughly three weeks and then Rihanna was like Bitch, what!?” That’s a pretty good one, though I’m hazy on which parts were invented.

All the Self-Googling Literary Young Men

This was a happy find. Thanks, Molly!


“The Crack and Strains! by Gabe Durham is a plainspoken, magical realism story in a domestic setting. The unnamed narrator plays records of pop music for Truman, who has never heard anything of this kind before. While Truman likes the songs, he gets upset at their endings when they just fade out. He explains that where he comes from, a revered musician will play a song until she’s so exhausted, she goes unconscious. The narrator plays an 80-minute electronica song for Truman, who enjoys it until he finds out that the synth and bass is just coming from a computer. So disgusted by this notion, Truman uses his mind to “eject” the narrator’s pinky finger, causing the digit to fly out of the window. Truman apologizes profusely to the narrator, so much so that he eventually goes unconscious.

This story seems to break every rule of good writing: we don’t know the relationship between the two characters, we don’t know where the story is taking place, and we don’t even know what species or planet Truman is from. Yet the piece is engaging from beginning to end. Because we hear Truman talk before we see him using his power, it’s easily assumed that he’s from a different country, which makes his use of finger-ejecting mind power quite the surprise. The narrator chalks Truman’s reaction up to simple “culture shock”, and since he ultimately forgives Truman, the story seems like a satire on how to properly deal with people (or aliens) from other cultures.”

Read the story here.

Or own it today, along with five others.

The Weight

Here’s a country album I got in the mail a week or so ago:

That’s a fantastic cover. My first  impression was that this was a case of the ironic title (especially considering that they’re based in NYC), but this is a surprisingly straightforward country record. Some of it is good, too. The Weight is at it’s best when lead singer Joseph Plunket doesn’t lean too hard on his twang. When he lets a little rasp into his voice, like in “Closer Than A Friend” or especially “Had It Made,” things get exciting. The latter track sounds as much like “Being There”-era Wilco as much as it does contemporary country. When I picture The Weight’s live act, I see every single man on that picture playing at once. I hope I’m right: I’ve never heard a dozen slide guitars play at once.

The Weight MySpace

Liz’s friend Stewart Copeland sent us a DVD of Season One his show, All the Young Dudes. You can watch/download it for free at his site, gohomefatboy. (I’m directing you to the home page because it’s got a classy picture of Liz and her friend Lex.)

The series is pretty solid from the start and just gets better and better as it goes, ending with a bang. Lots of nice little character nuances and some good recurring jokes. (“And she’s like, ‘Bitch, I don’t know your life.'”) The Durgam family says: Bring on Season Two.

You be the the bayonette / I’ll be the rope

My sister sent me a copy of the new Lovely Sparrows record. It’s great. More studio than the EP: more instruments, fuller drums, cleaner sound. Plenty of weird good elements in the background. Right now my favorite is “Wraith,” the opener, but we’ll see.

Three songs from the album are available for free (as always) at Daytrotter. I like this band. I’d like them to get big.

Comic Strip #11 – Gather Round Minus Children

Friends, meet Thomas Bush. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a living nightmare: a world where Darnell and Gabe don’t exist.

Turns out I’m funniest when I rip off other people’s ideas.