Thursday, April 28, 2005

Hasil "The Haze" Adkins R.I.P. Posted by Hello

Bad month for Good Music.

It is with a great sadness that I report the death of one of rock and rolls largely unsung heroes, HASIL ADKINS. Hasil was making tapes in his bedroom throughout the 50's and 60's, eventually making some "proper" recordings. He was one of the prime originators of what has become an underground craze; the one-man band. The story goes that when he first heard Hank Williams on the radio as a teen he thought old Hank was playing all the instruments himself, and singing at the same time. This encouraged Hasil to figure out how to do it, and boy did he ever. He developed a raw, humorous, and often scary rockabilly style heavily influenced by Jerry Lee Lewis. Hasil gained a lot of exposure when the Cramps covered his song "She Said", which became a concert staple for the band. He had been enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the last decade, still living in his "hunchin' shack" in some West Virginia swamp. Apparently Mr. Adkins was on the porch of said shack petting his dogs when some deranged, teenage redneck in a monster truck pulled up and rammed him. This caused him to fly some distance which caused enough injury to land him in the hospital. From what I have been able to determine he passed away in his sleep after a few days. Supposedly this little scumbag went and rammed somebody else directly after this. He deserves some kind of nasty torture. No motive is known. This comes almost a month after Billy "Bass Wolf" of Japanese garage-rock band Guitar Wolf passed away in his mid-thirties and supposedly of natural causes. The world of primitive rock and roll/garage/punk/what-have-you has lost two of it's greatest contributors.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The bare necessities! Posted by Hello

Monday, April 25, 2005


This town never ceases to amaze me, and it's not generally in a pleasant manner. The Fringe Media movie/music thingamabob was last night and the turnout was even worse than the last one. O.K., it was on a Sunday night. O.K., it was raining a bit. O.K., it did feature a movie that has been shown in town a few times already. O.K., Nomeansno was playing the same night. O.K., it did feature a rather pointless, short opening film, and a relatively unknown(but pretty good) band. That doesn't explain or forgive the fact that LOTS of people said they were going to be there and didn't show. What's it going to take to get people to try something different?

This town has a reputation for having lame crowds/audiences and deservedly so. A lot of bands and other "creative" types skip Dallas for this very reason. Besides being one of the most conservative places in the country, Dallas is also one of the most superficial, status-obsessed bergs this side of L.A. If Austin weren't so crowded with young folks, and uber-hipsters I would have moved there years ago. I need a vacation, NOW! I need to remind myself that there is life out there. So as not to be a complete bummer, here's a cool link to a page about optical illusions:

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

This album helped restore my faith in humanity. This other thing was never in my nose! Posted by Hello

Convenient Hitler moustaches and extreme generosity!

I had a great experience recently that was one of those that renews your faith in an increasingly dissapointing human race. As I was perusing, as I am prone to do I saw a "thread", I guess you would call it, titled "Do you like the Rolling Stones?". As I do I decided to see what all the fuss was and I'm very glad I did. A gentleman known only as Soundog had started this "thread" with the goal of distributing, at no charge to those interested, a mystery prize that he described as "vintage-ish" relating to the Stones. His only request was a short statement (preferably of 75 words or less) elaborating on the subject. He gave examples such as "They turned me on to Bo Diddley.", and something about the coolest mellotron sound of all time amongst others. He got a variety of good responses with differing levels of effort put into them. After a half-dozen or so of these he declared all to be winners and requested that the particpants "PM", or "private message" him with their mailing address. I'll have to admit that as I am not used to such selfless generosity, especially from total strangers , I was at first wondering what, if any scams, or repercussions could result from this. I threw caution to the wind and in a couple of days I was graced with a 2-cd set of live, early(good) Rolling Stones. I was, how you say, stoked! I just want to express my gratitude for the kindness of Soundog, and also say that it was nothing short of inspirational. As an interesting side-note, the cds smelled like brown sugar, though the song of the same name was not on them.

In totally unrelated news I noticed that this weird, little attachment that we have at work that goes to the vacuum cleaner would make a great Hitler moustache in a pinch. I would have tried it out, but I'm trying to get away from putting filthy things in my nose.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Culprit as a younger fool. Posted by Hello

My own worst enemy!

I have been my own worst enemy at times in the past. This is no longer the case. This is not to say I don't sometimes engage in self-defeating behavior. With my last post I have engaged in something that I consider to be one of my pet peeves when others are involved: I've become a bit of what I refer to as a COAT-TAIL RIDER. You know these people. You may even BE one of these people. They are often the "hangers on" that are always on the scene with a band or some other group that is actually accomplishing or producing something. The defining characteristic of this type is the constant reference to this nebulous "We" when referring to the activities of said group. For example, "We're going down to Austin for a show with The Meaningless Molecules. They love us down there!". Now I don't believe I am as guilty as most in this case as I was 50% of the intial inception of this production company, for lack of a better word, . But I will admit that Justin Powers deserves most of the credit for putting on consistently fine events. I simply help out by providing artwork, promotional materials, support, and a fool to brainstorm with. If I ever let this happen again in relation to any other group or activity of which I am not truly a part of please shoot me!

Monday, April 11, 2005

"New Archetypes"(modified detail) -Scott Krakowski 1996 Posted by Hello

Fringe Media

Fringe media is by definition(at least the type I'm referring to):

Fringe- A marginal, peripheral, or secondary part: “They like to hang out on the geographical fringes, the seedy outposts” (James Atlas).
Those members of a group or political party holding extreme views: the lunatic fringe.

Media- A means of mass communication, such as newpapers, magazines, radio, or television.
media (used with a sing. or pl. verb) The group of journalists and others who constitute the communications industry and profession.
A surrounding environment in which something functions and thrives.
The substance in which a specific organism lives and thrives.
A culture medium.
A specific kind of artistic technique or means of expression as determined by the materials used or the creative methods involved: the medium of lithography.
The materials used in a specific artistic technique: oils as a medium.

So to cobble together my own definition I may say that Fringe media is the expression or communication of culture by those with extreme, sometimes seedy views. Back in 2000 my friend Justin and I started doing events under the name Fringe Media. It was generic, yet specific. By specific I mean that it referred to culture that is widely marginalized. It wasn't meant to say "Whoah, look at us! We're SOO out there!", it was merely stating a fact. It took many years of immersion in what I considered to be essential pop culture to realize that in general any type of expression that is pure, raw, full strength as opposed to watered down, quirky, passionate, wildly original, controversial, or just a bit left of center is forced to the fringes. I didn't ask for the kinds of art, and entertainment I and others of my ilk enjoy to be deemed "underground", "punk", "independent", or "avant-garde". It's there and will be there to an ever-increasing degree primarily because of the "dumbing down of America". If you don't believe that this is being done as part of some larger, sinister agenda then you haven't dug very deeply below the surface. For a concrete, black and white example for the disbelievers just compare an older,English-language dictionary to a more modern one. The definitions not only get shorter, and therefore more simplistic but they also seem to promote a type of "neo-conservatism". Here's an article that sums it up extremely well:

The reason for my tangent is the new Film and music series we are doing at The RedBlood Club in Deep Ellum, here in Dallas. Every other Sunday evening from about 7 to 10:30 we will show one short film, a feature film, and have a band play afterwards. The films are often of unusually high quality and are always independently produced. Bands will vary in style but will most often be local folks. Last night we showed local films The Portal, and A four course meal, which were followed up by an acoustic performance of The Bobby Weaver band. Come out to support truly independent culture.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Sometimes originality is over-rated. Posted by Hello


This is about the Most Valuable Pathetic Assholes I've either encountered or heard about lately. They are "valuable" in that they tell us which direction NOT to go in. First off there's a clip that I think is on EBaums's World but since I hate that site here's a link that has it (scroll down to "self-involved much":

It's a 911 phone call from a woman in line at some fast-food place trying to get the cops to do something about her order that has been made wrong 3 times. Now I agree, these guys screw up a lot of orders, BUT when does it start to make sense to you to involve the police. This soccer mom needs to dipped in the deep-fryer one limb at a time until she comes to. Now on to the warm up rant...

I found these two twerps through Gordon's site as well. I think I understand people that are into body modification, I jokingly call them Future Primitives after the name of an old skateboarding video. They feel an overwhelming desire to set themselves apart from the pack. The "underground music", dyed hair and wacky clothes weren't doing it. Tatoos sufficed for a bit, but then everybody got them, often with full sleeves/facial tattoos, etc. What do we do now?
I know, I'll have earlobes like my 90 year-old granny, get a nasty brand seared into my flesh and if I'm really desperate some kind of implants like little beads or horns under my skin. I've seen even more extreme projections of this way of thinking but this one seems the most ridiculous to me. These fuckers cut off their ring fingers rather than get wedding rings:

Call me conservative. Call me "old-fashioned", boring, closed-minded or what you will but all I can muster is a big "WHO CARES?!!". I'll bet these "fringe-dwellers" are still religious about watching Desperate Housewives or some such drivel. Read the article if you want the particulars. This BMEzine seems to be a haven for the body-mod. folks. Let me reiterate, NOBODY CARES!

My new enemies, the cheerleaders of THE DALLAS MARATHON, and I met last Sunday morning after they woke me at 7 a.m. from a wonderful rest. To make what I would love to make a long story, short, I went down to see what all the fuss was, after hearing various "Woo!"'s, "Woo-Hoo!"'s and "You can do it!"'s for about an hour with a pillow over my head and my girlfriend starting to get irritated as well. I went up to the loudest and most distinctly voiced twentyish, sorority type and said "Where do YOU live? I live right back there and I've been listening to you scream for about an hour now, etc. etc." I gave her the "my only day to sleep in" thing, and asked her if this was for charity (which would have made me a smidgen more sympathetic). She said it was just a race and gave me a sheepish, "sorry..". I then went up to one of the cops blocking traffic for three blocks and asked him if their permit included all-the-noise-they-could-make as well. He said "They have a permit, that's all I know." And to cap it all off as I slithered back into my hole looking like I just crawled out of one, I actually wondered whether I was an asshole for doing this. Well, the answer is an emphatic NO! Pandering to neurotic joggers, and middle-aged goobers (Though I might fit that description) that have to prove that they can "Do It!" is not justification for using tax-payer money to have cops re-direct traffic. Not to mention the gall and poor planning of the "organizers" of the event who decided to have their noisy, watergirls right in the middle of a residential block rather than in many of the less populated areas nearby. Thankfully my girlfriend, Kara has bigger balls than everyone else in this neighborhood. When we left a few hours later and they were still at it she yelled, "GIVE IT A REST, YOU FUCKING CATTLE!!", which was heard for miles around. And another thing, "You kids stay the hell outta my yard!!"...

Friday, April 01, 2005

This is my happening and it FREAKS me out!! Posted by Hello

Actually went to a show!

In what I hope is a sign of things to come Kara and I went out to see live music on Wednesday night. We even got so caught up in the freshness of the whole thing that we went and had a beer at The Lakewood Landing afterword. A friend of ours named Aaron(sp?) lives at a former church that has been converted to a residence and studio with a few others. It's a really nice space with an informal, but in no way approaching disgusting, feel. Unlike so many other similar ventures it was clean, and though there was a keg, people were polite and only reasonably rowdy even responding to a request for silence during a very quiet segment of one performance.

The line up was as follows: Wanz Dover's Wild Bull Electronic Experiment, Yells at Eels(Mutant Jazz Family), and an improvisational duo whose name escapes me. Wanz's performance was well-done and intriguing but ultimately not my cup of tea. While I enjoyed the more experimental bits, I was turned off by the segments with typical dance/techno beats. From what I could see he was operating a p.c., mixers of various types, sample pads of some kind, and other electronic thingamajiggys. I've seen his main band The Falcon Project once, and I really liked them. Yells at Eels is comprised of Stefan on drums , Aaron(sp?) on elecric bass, and their father whose name escapes me on trumpet. I guess I need to carry a note pad around with me if I'm going to be writing about these excursions. If I had to easily describe their sound I would say free-jazz, with a prog-rock influence sprinkled with bursts of noise that have a punk energy to them.

Does that sound as silly as I think it does? Well, let me assure you that there is nothing silly about their music as they are all accomplished musicians and not only that, they sound great. I do have to say that Stefan is one of the best drummers I have seen in quite a while. He and his brother bring a slightly subversive element to the group as they have been around the punk/metal scene for years with their own two-piece hardcore band Acolyte. I'd probably be spewing a load of crap if I tried to descibe it any more than that since I'm more of an authority on the traditionally structured side of music, or pretty much anything that is generally comprised of guitars, drums, and/or keyboards, vocals, etc. I hesitate to call this pop, rock, blues, country, what-have-you.

I regret not seeing more than half the first song by ???????????????? , but Kara and I were getting restless and it takes a special mindset to listen to more free-form music than we did in one sitting. They were a two piece of Asian descent. (Why this is important I don't know. I think it helps you visualize the whole thing, and besides that I like that sentence.) She played the Cello, and he the drums, both in an unconventional manner. Most of the time I watched he had some various cymbals and drum sticks on top of the floor tom and was doing his best to make screeching sounds, cut through the head, or slice a finger off. And then he would let go with a blast of more traditional percussion that made me want to stick around to see what happened but that was it for us. I look forward to more shows at The Sanctuary Studio.