Thursday, June 19, 2008


More documentaries, apparently, always.

NEW YORK DOLL was pretty incredible, but I'm not sure if I'd want to watch it again. But I didn't know much about the New York Dolls, and it was interesting to kind of see a biopic in less than 1:30, though alas, there's a tragedy like there seemingly always is in every good documentary.

WESLEY WILLIS: THE DADDY OF ROCK 'N ROLL was a weird and gritty experience. Like I LIKE KILLING FLIES, the camera work was a bit jarring and lo-fi. I got over it pretty quickly. I didn't realize Wesley passed away in 2003, so that was news right before I saw this. There are some hilarious parts, like some recording sessions, and Wesley at Kinko's writing lyrics like "Suck a cheetah's dick with a bottle of Heinz ketchup." At one point, when they were playing some of his music in the background, Jess was out on the porch and said, "What the hell is that?" upon hearing, "Never kill an apeeee...!" It gives you the inherent Wesley Willis experience, and it's only about an hour long, so it's definitely worth seeing.

Blowing me away recently, though, was HOW TO DRAW A BUNNY. I didn't know anything about Ray Johnson before I saw it, and in a way I'm glad I didn't. The dude was undoubtedly a brilliant and committed artist, and the filmmakers do an amazing job splicing interviews with actual collages and artwork. Some is mind-blowingly bizarre and beautiful. I won't ruin the premise and the why's of the film, but I'm probably going to buy it soon. There's a commentary and some other stuff. But it was a project of love for the filmmakers, so it seems, and the life of Ray Johnson is inspiring, but in some ways hard to wrap your mind around, which is some of the point I think.


In the poetry department, I just got my contributor copies of Faultline. Not really to my surprise, I'm in another journal with friend and former VCU MFAer Jonathan Rice, who's been winning contest after contest for his poems. After reading much of the poetry, I'm kind of surprised they ended up taking my two poems. Most of the work seems highly experimental, and my poems are anything but.

But there's some interesting work in there, some nice-looking full color artwork (there's so much artwork in journals these days that I wouldn't mind hanging on my wall). On the cover and interspersed within the pages are cool little minimalist cartoons.

I'm pretty thrilled they took some work, as I always am with journals who are willing to spare the ink. It would've been nice to see Blake's piece, but he had a bit of an interesting and I suppose slightly annoying debacle with them. I think we're going to be in the next Lake Effect, though, so that's cool.


I also traded manuscripts with another friend and former VCU MFAer, Anna Journey. She's been a finalist in a few contests for her manuscript, and I wouldn't be surprised if any day now she's bringing the good news.

It was nice to see work we've both seen of each other's in workshop. I remember the first day we all turned in these awful poems, but they all were representative of our up and coming obsessions and thematics. Per a recent post, I think all of us (the 6 who came in together) wrote the poems we wanted to, and even if we weren't thrilled about the work all of us were writing, we were all supportive and tried to be helpful. Again, I'm very lucky, and I think we all were.

She pointed out some obvious things that previously I was stupidly tenacious about, but I think the kick in the ass spawned the drive into overhaul city. I completely rearranged my manuscript, put it back into three sections, cut some poems, and I think it's the best it's ever been. Here's to hopeful screeners and judges in the rest of 2008.


The new GIRL TALK record dropped today. Apparently Greg Gillis stole the name from one of the best Full House episodes. If you're in the know, you know. If not, then shame on you.

The record's dirty and full of hip hop and pop mash-up goodness. I think this is the record that's going to stop me from being a tight ass about, mostly, current pop music. After already a few listens (and I'll be the first to admit this kind of music isn't my first choice), I don't know why it took me so long to get into this shit. Plus there's a lot of melodic tracks from The Police, Tom Petty, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Carole King, The Beach Boys, Temple of the Dog, and about a minute through "Let me See You," some choice moments from perhaps my favorite song of all time, Fleetwood Mac's "Gypsy." All of it amidst older, current, and sometimes vulgar, culled hip hop lyrics.

It's going to be a great summer record. And it's fun as hell. I'm sorry it's taken me this long. I don't know if I'm apologizing to myself. I think I may be.


And fucking finally, Sean got two VIP tickets for THE NATIONAL on Sunday @ Richmond's Natioanal Theater. I live less than 3 miles from this place. In the words of Ari Gold: BOOM!

Last time I saw them was in Carrboro with Goss on October 21st, 2005. It's been a long time. I wish they'd play "Guest Room," but I'm not sure that's going to happen.

VIP, though? You serious, Clark?

Next destination: Psychesville.