Friday, December 28, 2007

Radio Shows from XMas Eve + The Impending New Year's Eve

The independent community Radio Station I Dj at does not archive radio shows on it's website, so I'm compelled to keep some things for posterity at least before Loyola boots WLUW from the premises at any time they see fit to make way for educational programming.

Below are links to download recordings of my guest spot on The Destination Unknown Radio Show as well as Two Slaps Radio from last week (the evening of December 24th). The playlists can be found

Destination Unknown Xmas Eve Part 1

Destination Unknown Xmas Eve Part 2

Two Slaps Xmas Eve Part 1

Two Slaps Xmas Eve Part 2

You can also download the radio shows that I recorded ahead of time for New Year's Eve. I compiled these with Adobe Audition having gone 3 days without sleeping. While it is only 4 hours of content, it took me over 8 hours to produce, downloading/uploading stuff as I saw fit and taking a ridiculous amount of time to render several hours without very much virtual memory. You can hear my cognition progressively decay on these files, with a broken karaoke mic no less. There's also the luxury of me smoking a cigarette on air since I didn't record this at the radio station, so it's not in a public place that I'm smoking, but I guess it is most certainly in a public way. It's a good way to wring in Chicago's new smoking ban, which I am frankly more annoyed about than the CTA's alleged lack of funding or the Iraq war. The playlists are here.

Two Slaps New Year's Eve Part 1

Two Slaps New Year's Eve Part 2

Delirious Insomniac New Year's Eve Part 1

Delirious Insomniac New Year's Eve Part 2

Other than that, I have been drinking Lucid's brand of Absinthe, which is what has been referred to as "Absinthe finally legal after 95 years" schpiel if you haven't heard already, that I have been reading about. It has very little thujon at all, and therefore, lacks the necessary lustre of the real thing. Take heed.

Meanwhile, I have been listening to this Live Recording of Tiny Tim from 1968 all night, and he never dissappoints.

In Other News, rumor has it that Clayton Counts has killed himself. Whether that is the case or not, and hopefully the latter, he has left selections from his double Lp sequel to the controversial Beachles album for us to peck at.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

All My Clothes Are Uncomfortable: The World of Little Fyodor

I heard about Little Fyodor on the internet a few years ago. From there, I ended up becoming familiar with Boyd Rice, not the other way around, oddly enough being that I have been told that I make noise music. Boyd Rice put out Boyd Rice Presents: The Very Best Of Little Fyodor's Greatest Hits! via DISCRIMINATE AUDIO, and in its liner notes there is a rather inspiring interview between the two of them which is available on both of their respective websites, and so below. I played Little Fyodor's music on WZRD, as his entire discography can be found there, whenever I was a guest DJ and became as familiar with his music as I can. At some point, I performed live on WZRD and just so happened to be interviewed by someone that knew Little Fyodor, who let me in on the fact that Little Fyodor comes to Chicago every Christmas and has played on WZRD numerous times.

After that I contacted him and we exchanged pleasantries, played eachother's music on our respective radio spots, mine being clandestine, sneaking into WZRD whenever I can and staying there all night, while his was a 10+ year long run on KGNU with his show called "Under The FloorBoards", then we exchanged CD's. So I asked him if he would like to play a show that I can put together. This was easy because at the time I was booking every Thursday at the now defunct Bar Vertigo. Not only did I book a show there for him, but also the following Saturday at Elastic Arts. Unfortunately, there was so much snow last year that there were no flights coming out of Little Fyodor's hometown, Denver. The shows went well and were highly stimulating for all concerned despite the missing centerpiece. This year I hope for better results on December 21st at The Mutiny.

Little Fyodor - Dance of The Salted Slug

Whenever I see really good albums in the used section at a record store or at places like Amazon.com, it always makes think about the world's rampant injustice or something equally melodramatic, that people don't appreciate these things as much as I do. At present time, Boyd Rice Presents: The Very Best Of Little Fyodor's Greatest Hits! is going on Amazon for $3.12 used. I've made a compilation that not only contains 4 tracks (and cleaner recordings of them are actually on the GH album ) from that album, but also stuff that didn't make it on there; some of which I enjoy just as much if not more than what's on the aforementioned compendium. Plus, there's a track from Babushka, his other half, who has performed and been featured with him since the mid 80's.

Little Fyodor and Babushka

She is influenced by "Granny of The Beverly Hillbillies, The Wicked Witch of the West, Nina Hagen and bitchy women everywhere!!" (according to Their Myspace Page) and has done an "Naughty XXX-Mas" CD (with Little Fyodor and The Inactivists). She also was on the Live Album with Little Fyodor in NY during The Church of The Subgenius' XX-Day Celebration. There's also a couple of tracks by Walls of Genius, a band that Little Fyodor was in as he was just beginning to gather any solo efforts, putting stuff out on an underground cassette network of some sort. There's a prototype of what later became a Little Fyodor song, Sister Schizo, and a song that made me laugh my ass off the first time I heard it. I was so inspired by it that I asked Little Fyodor if I can do an interpretation of it with him live.

Below, the featured songs are from the CD-Rs available from his site exclusively, and due to the over-used nature of my CD-R's there is some fuzz going on here and there, especially on the tracks from the XX-Day CD. A Couple of the tracks that do happen to be on the Greatest Hits CD are from before they were remastered. The volume levels are inconsistent from song to song, and you can fix that with either iTunes or Pyro. That being said, I hope you are entertained by it regardless, especially if it moves you enough to buy some damn shit from one of the original DIY'ers. There's other stuff to download on Little Fyodor's Website and Myspace page, too, if your pallette abides.

Little Fyodor on Ebay

This Comp exists to not only help illuminate the broad array of music he's partaken in, but also to be a teaser. The mix was the result of an urge I had to put together a diverse slab of songs that focus on a certain aspect of Little Fyodor's music I particularly appreciate. While these are mp3's, and they are ripped from unscratched CD-r's, they either have been played so much that they simply don't rip well, or my lens is faulty, on top of it being compressed. So if you like this stuff, it would be in your best interest to pick up an original copy. If anyone wishes for me to take the songs down, I will gladly do it, although if you look at my views, you'll know that this isn't exactly an international download chop shop or anything; it doesn't even come up in search engines. Consider this a mix tape between friends, which will not be active for long.

Cover Art taken from a vinyl LP painting by Babushka


01: You Will Die
02: All My Clothes Are Uncomfortable
03: You Give Me Hard-On
04: I Believe In God
05: Useless Shit
06: Doomed
07: A Reaction To The Election
08: Sister Schizo
09: I Am Insane
10: Watching The Squirrels
11: I'm So Glad
12: Those Three Little Words
13: Oh Horny Night

I feel that his bio and the liner notes below would do him better justice than I, but I should just say that I am pretty damn enthusiastic about his music, if that isn't already evident.

Little Fyodor has been spreading his unique brand of avant-pop madness throughout the world musical underground for over twenty years, creating twisted, satirical songs which - beneath a crass and maniacal outer shell - express a deep empathy with those who most acutely experience the frustrations and alienation of modern life's "insect existence." Fyodor's songwriting, aesthetics and outlandish performances somehow manage to be simultaneously sad, angry and hilarious, and in doing so, appeal to the silent majority of disillusioned weirdos of the world, whom he adeptly addresses with a theatrical, daresay Vaudevillian flair, that is a brand all his own.

In the many years he's been pursuing his uncompromisingly eccentric artistic vision, Little Fyodor has released countless cassettes, several vinyl LPs and singles, a video, and a handful of CDs; the finest moments from all of which have finally been distilled down into one, definitive release presented by DISCRIMINATE AUDIO, Boyd Rice Presents: The Very Best Of Little Fyodor's Greatest Hits!. This "best of" disc spans not only Little Fyodor's career, but also the full spectrum of instrumentational possibility, featuring tracks which utilize everything from the traditional "rock" ensemble, to saxophones, synthesizers, samplers, drum machines, toy instruments, and beyond.

Little Fyodor started his underground musical career as the Assistant Head Moron of Walls Of Genius, who have been called "funnier than hell weirdos" in the 1996 book Unknown Legends Of Rock 'N' Roll. He has since hooked up with his lovely assistant Babushka, who has lent her support in an act of mercy reflective of her Olde World upbringing, forming a guitar and keyboard performance juggernaut backed by a powerhouse punk band of crazed hipsters! Little Fyodor is also a radio deejay and has been hosting a show on KGNU, Boulder & Denver called Under The Floorboards since 1982 featuring experimental and idiosyncratic sounds of the underground.

Interview with Boyd Rice from the liner notes of The Very Best of Little Fyodor's Greatest Hits:

Liner Notes:

In my time I've seen Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop, David Bowie and various members of the Rat Pack, but by far the most charismatic performer I've ever laid eyes on, has got to be a man who goes by the stage-name of Little Fyodor (pronounced Fee-A-Door, like Dostoevsky). On the surface, he would appear to be the antithesis of what you'd expect of a Pop Star; and he is - deliberately so. He has consciously inverted the rock n' roll paradigm, and in so doing created a kind of bizarro-world version of the rock idiom.

That said, Fyodor's music is perhaps truer to the spirit of rock n' roll than anything produced by the sort of ersatz bad boys who feign defiance in Mtv music videos. Little Fyodor is a genuine outsider, a pop anti-hero who both laments and celebrates his alienation. His songs are well-crafted pop psychodramas that usher the listener into a funzone in which giddy glee and paranoia blur effortlessly into one another.

By way of introduction, we here reprint an interview I conducted with Fyodor roughly a decade ago. Welcome to the world of Little Fyodor...
-- Boyd Rice, 2005

Little Fyodor performing live with Boyd Rice

Boyd: So how long have you been doing the Little Fyodor stuff?

Fyodor: Solo since about 1985. Before that I was in sort of a band called Walls Of Genus, though Little Fyodor was born in late '81. That's when I first started writing all these songs out of the desperate depression I was in.

Boyd: But you didn't have the name Little Fyodor at that point?

Fyodor: Not quite; that came later. That was originally a friend's idea as a joke. But I thought it was cool, because he knew I was reading [Fyodor] Dostoevsky at the time.

Boyd: So having this Little Fyodor character helped you exorcise all these things?

Fyodor: Yeah, it gave me a purpose in life, to express all the shit that was going on inside me. All I wanted to talk to people about was how depressed I was, but I thought, "I don't want to bum everyone out by talking about that." So I wrote these funny songs about it instead. Now I can entertain people with how depressed I am, instead of bumming them out.

Boyd: Yeah, it seems a real kind of psychodrama. It seems like a channel for focusing and expressing these feelings that probably go through most people's minds, but they don't really have any outlet for it. It just bubbles back there and festers.

Fyodor: Then they become mass murders and things like that. I think 'most everyone's got this stuff going on in them to one degree or another… I just wanted to examine all this shit rather than kind of try to brush it aside or repress it, or… I 'm not sure how people deal with it. It kind of slowly goes away as you become middle-aged, but I didn't want to wait that long, at the time, I guess. You know, you're young and impatient… Before I started doing songs, I was trying to be a writer, but being a writer's so much more difficult. I'd walk around in my room trying to think of something to write - that didn't help much. I'd come up with all these great ideas for novels and stuff, but I'd never get around to writing them. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of Nathaniel West - whose real name was Nathan Weinstein - and write short novels of nasty satire, on how fucked up everything really was. His style of writing is what I'd call minimalism. It's almost like his style of writing and The Ramones' style of writing songs - those are combined influences. All these short snappy satires that are just so black in their nature, so negative - at looking at the underside of human life that most people want to brush aside - and yet they're so hilarious in the way they deal with it. So in that sense West's work was very therapeutic for me when I was depressed, because I could just laugh at all this stuff. So I feel I'm kind of on a mission to give that back to all the other insects out there.

Little Fyodor - I Want An Ugly Girl

Boyd: There aren't many people who succeed at doing stuff that is really funny - it entertains you and you can laugh at it - and yet it has that weird, dark undertone, or sometimes sort of mean-spiritedness.

Fyodor: Hardly anyone wants to be both funny and sincere nowadays. You're either sincere and deep - and you take a serous tone - or you're comical, but not sincere… most people who try to do both are really just making fun of poor schleps who're anti-social and stuff. What I'm doing is satire, but I'm not really making fun of poor schleps - I'm empathizing with poor schleps because I'm kind of a poor schlep myself. But on the other hand, I wanted to raise it above the dreariness of schlep-existence and bring it to another level. So if I'm making fun of anything, it's just human existence; we're a race full of schleps.
It's kind of funny when you think about it, but when your experience is schlepness, it's more painful. What I do is kind of the opposite of the ancient Greeks. I heard that Nietzsche admired the Greeks for expressing life as tragic, but the plight of the individual as comic. I'm sort of the other way around. I guess it's mainly because I can't take seriously crooners expressing how sad they are. To me it's just kind of hilarious - but on the other hand, pain is real, too. I'm just trying to express both at the same time. I think there's no contradiction there, and I've always found myself disgusted with the notion that you have to take a serious tone to express serious feelings. I disagree with that totally.

Boyd: People seem to pick-up on either the funny side of what you do, or the sad side. A lot of people don't see both sides of your expression.

Fyodor: I think that's just because they're not used to it. They're trained to think it's one or the other. I think the people who see more of the serious side, are people who have heard the recordings, but haven't seen me live. Sometimes I get reactions like; someone once saw me live and thought I was so silly I'd make Joe 'King' Carrasco look like a depressive intellectual - but then, in Options, this reviewer wrote, "This guy bums me out. This guy just hates the world. He thinks everything sucks, and his band obviously agrees."

Boyd: It all seems stuff that's your real feelings, but an exaggeration of them at times.

Fyodor: I like to use the word 'caricature.'

Boyd: I was going to say 'caricature,' but I didn't know if that would be good…

Fyodor: In a way it's like stick figures. People say to me, "Boy, are you really like this?" And it's kind of like, you only have to feel something for five seconds and you can write a song out of it.

Boyd: It's like an exaggeration, and at the same time, it's all very real. I'm sure that stuff has gone through a lot of peoples' minds, but they might prefer to turn on the TV and make it go away.

Fyodor: By exaggerating it and by making it humorous, you can deal with things a lot more intensely than you can when you're being realistic or somber, because you can get more at the root of it all. The humor kind of sugar-coats it in a way, and the exaggeration kind of blows it up, so you see it like a big picture. Like, "Nobody Wants to Play With Me" - I wrote that actually as a result of working the graveyard shift at the Hotel Boulderado, and seeing all these people… I was new to town so I didn't know anyone, and here I was the front desk clerk with a goddamn tie and stuff, and feeling very neurotic, and all these people were like drinking and partying all around me. So I wrote a song about someone whose whole life was like that, from point A to point Z.

Boyd: I think most people think your stuff is either funny, or stimulating... I focus on stuff like that because I hear it and think, "God, that's exactly right!"

Fyodor: People are so into falling into molds; they like to mold themselves just so they know what they are. I was never able to do that for myself, and that's why I had these mixed feelings and paradoxes and dilemmas going on within myself. I've never been able to mold myself as easily as some people do. I don't know; that might sound smug or something… and actually, here's why it's not smug: because a lot of the time I would have wanted to. I've had a lot of people - when I told them I wanted to be a hippie or things like that - go, "I thought you were an individualist." And I'd say, "Yeah, but that was by accident!" Doing Little Fyodor is what really helped me become comfortable with being an individualist. Until then, I was always trying to fit in somehow, but always failing.

Boyd: And it's even worse - you're even more of an outcast - when you try to fit in someplace where you're obviously not meant to fit in.

Fyodor: It seems like that was everywhere. Especially after progressive rock started becoming commercial - that was the last time I fit into anything; when I was in high school, and an ELP freak. And then all those bands like The Strawbs and ELP started singing all these really sappy love songs, and I thought it sucked, but all my friends were like, "Oh, this is great! This is great!", and I was like, "What's wrong with you?" That's when I really started going into the ozone, because I lost the one thing that had anchored me: my progressive rock, and all my friends that were into progressive rock. I started seeing through it. Then I started getting into '60s rock, but then I started seeing through that, when I was tripping at a Grateful Dead concert and everyone else was getting into the cosmic experience of the Grateful Dead, and I got into the cosmic experience of realizing that everyone's excited just because they want to be excited. That's what I'm seeing: here's a crowd, here's a band. It's just a coincidence that they're both here.

Boyd: A lot of the stuff you do has an abstract edge to it, but in a lot of ways it's classic rock, the way the guitar and keyboards interact; so it's hard to pin-down your influences.

Fyodor: That confuses people, because they don't know whether to call it avant-garde or rock, because it's sort of neither. My main influences were really late '70s punk, The Ramones, The Buzzcocks, The Sex Pistols, and all the stuff where you just strum the hell out of the guitar and bleed out all your feelings. On the other hand it's not just normal - when I tell people I was influenced by The Ramones, a lot of times they don't see any relation at all. Plus I have a more open-minded attitude as to what music could or should be. It doesn't have to be all one thing - a lot of times it takes on other influences - it can be more abstract. It's not like I think if you don't have a bass and drums, you're not allowed on a stage. I just do whatever works. I picked up a guitar as a kid and put it down when I was listening to progressive rock, because I thought I could never play all those leads and stuff like that. Then after The Ramones, I thought, "Well, maybe all I need to do is play chords? I love to play like that."

There is a little bit of that pure musician in me that loves strumming a guitar; it's kind of like throwing a Frisbee or something. But it's not the point of what I'm doing; I wouldn't be doing this except that I've got these ideas I want to express, and strumming on the guitar is one way to do it. When I heard The Ramones, that put a big smile on my face; but I'd given up on being a hippie, so I wasn't really going to try being a punk, because they were all taking fashion real seriously and all I wanted was to put on was a t-shirt and jeans, and not comb my hair. So I didn't really fit in with the punks either, even though I liked a lot of their music. That's when I realized I was on my own. But that's when I started writing some songs, kind of influenced by The Ramones. The first one was "Useless Shit." It was right after college; I was a flop with girls, I had a shitty job, and I was hanging out with these friends, who I kind of liked, but I couldn't really communicate with. Then I got into avant-garde music, and then into Walls of Genius.

We were kind of an experimental band, but we bucked a lot of rules for experimental bands, because we did cheesy '60s songs, too. We did anything and everything, and that was a lot of fun; I was the Assistant Head Moron. At our live shows, Ed Fowler, one of the guitarists, decked us out in these outlandish clothes he found in thrift stores. They told me to go out first because they thought I was really funny, the way I sang and stuff. And suddenly, once again, I realized I'd found my place in life: onstage. I just got into wearing those clothes. It was the first style in my life that I ever enjoyed. Eventually that broke up. Little Fyodor is a much more focused thing. Occasionally my depravity showed through in Walls of Genius; the other guys were a little scared of that. I think they wanted to be a little more of a light-hearted, cheesy kind of thing. One of them only got serious when it came to left-wing politics. He did songs like, "Fuck You Ronald Regan," which I always felt a little uncomfortable with. Not that I liked Ronald Regan, but it just seemed so cliché to say, "Fuck You Ronald Regan."

Boyd: So many of my friends in San Francisco were into that, and I'd always think, "These people are kind of smart, and so talented, and it seems like a waste of their talent to do something that you could have on a bumper-sticker. Why bother to tell someone something they already know?" It's like, "What, everybody loves Ronald Regan? You're like wising-them-up to the fact that he may be a goof or something?"

Fyodor: Well it was basically sloganeering. I went along with it, but it wasn't how I'd really have expressed myself. I want everything to be connected to what's going on inside me, so if I sing, "The world's doomed," it's because I'm doomed. I try to make the connection. I think one of the biggest problems in politics is everybody thinking, "I'm right and you're fucked up." I try to show that in some of my songs, but I never want to preach to people, because people will listen to whatever they're going to listen to. They're going to hear what they want to hear and they'll tune out every thing don't, so there's really no point. I'm not interested in it anyway. Though if I could encourage people to think for themselves…

Boyd: That's something people will either do, or they won't do.

Fyodor: That's probably true - it's kind of an impossible dream for me, anyway. I like to write songs that invite people in by giving them something to relate to, and then put it in a context in which what they're relating to is something they would have seen in other people; like this is them, not me. So I try to create that cognitive dissonance, so that people have to see in themselves what they don't want to see; or see in other people things that they don't like, that are in them. So on the other hand, if people just think it's all a big goof, well aesthetically I prefer that to being taken overly seriously. Although I know on the other hand… I know that only when people start writing about what a genius I am, that's the only time I'll ever get popular - like The Talking Heads and all that kind of crap. That always pissed me off, when people would come up in my face and go, "Don't you realize what a genius David Byrne is?" That always used to piss me off so much, just because his lyrics never made any sense.

Boyd: Maybe if you started writing lyrics people didn't quite understand, they'd think, "This guy must be really smart, because he knows what this means, and I can't quite catch on."

Fyodor: I just can't bring myself to do that. Not for moral reasons - I just don't know how. This is the only thing I know how to do, really, is writing these songs that are results of dilemmas that I'm going through, and yet at the same time, seeing the absurdity of it all. I'm just now finishing songs that I wrote years ago, when I was really depressed. It's like, "I'm going into the studio next week, I guess I'd better finish up that song." I started "The Blackness" ten years ago; I started finishing it a couple years ago, when I was driving into the mountains and thinking about how I was polluting the mountains in order to appreciate them. That's when I started writing the lines of, "I know the arguments are good and long, about how all that I do is wrong." On the other hand, I know that you just have to not give a shit, or the best thing you can do environmentally is to kill yourself. When I pointed that out to someone, they said that if that's true, then what you want to do is take as many people with you first…

Boyd: That's really deep ecology - six feet under!

Fyodor: The richer, the better, of course. The rich use more resources… So you could go to some disco and try and kill as many rich people as you can at one time…

Boyd: Yeah, that's what David Berkowitz wanted to do. He was going to do it the very night they caught him. Darn the luck, huh?

Fyodor: Well, the world is filled with would-have-beens…


People in The Vicinity of Chicago can see Little Fyodor and Babushka perform on the 21st for no cover (donations encouraged):

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Here is an excerpt from some noise that I made. I'm still working on it...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Windy City Soul

I just caught wind of Eric Lab Rat's review of the Two Slaps Radio One Year Anniversary Party that we put together at Darkroom on November 4th (A Sunday) from his blog. I was waiting to do one myself, but I think he sums it up pretty well...

The other show was Windy City Soul at the Darkroom, a celebration of Two Slaps Radio's first anniversary. We were billing the show as a "sophisticated soul party" and despite the technical problems that made the first hour hellish for me, Arvo, and the sound guy, the show was everything it was supposed to be by the time real people showed up. Harlet Star played a set of Def Poetry Style hip hop, with a heavy jazz-soul fusion base and a little chick who could blow Aretha Franklin's ass out with her singing voice. It reminded me of one of those children's sports movies, Rookie of the Year or The Mighty Ducks or some shit where there was always some kid who was incredibly, superhumanly powerful but had no control ...
...her voice was so strong that sometimes it got away from her, but overall it was a good thing. The Revelettes came out between bands to do a throwback go-go dance set, replete with big hair, short skirts, tall boots, and costume changes that brought out more short skirts and tall boots.
I'd never taken into account how slick the atmosphere of the Darkroom was because I'd mostly just been there for hipster shit, but it was really smooth. The last band up was JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, a soul band with an iconoclastic lead singer who channeled James Brown into call-and-response songs about how the Chicago Transit Authority s fucking us over.

Photo by Eric Lab Rat

I would just like to add that JC Brooks and The Uptown Sound played some great upbeat soul music that didn't sound derivative, but also didn't present any new takes that would ruin the effect either. They were some of the best at crowd interaction and between song banter I've seen, and I usually shy away from that. While there was a concern that since they were playing last that people would be leaving, People stayed and danced in solid abundance, and the scene was free from jaded nonchalance etc.

The Revelettes amplified the fun zone so much more for all concerned. It was such a great atmosphere with the overall red hue of the Darkroom to have them dancing to their choreographed interpretations of Blondie and The Shangri-Las etc. Plus, it gave me the excuse to play a good amount of girl group stuff, which was a nice chance happening, because I was spinning Northern Soul for about 3 hours while people were trickling in and Eric was driving back home to rectify some of our technical problems and to pick up his hookah, which also added brilliantly to the atmosphere of the night. At a rare time when the both of us had a free moment, we were just chilling at a booth in the corner with an entourage of people mostly clad in suits or other such formal wear puffing on the hookah. You can't buy that kind of synchronicity. It was one of the best Sunday night shows I've taken part in throwing for a while, and I'm sure there will be more where that came from in the near future.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Turn Me On Dead Man

I found this curious tape at WZRD and recorded it for further exploration, despite my lack of interest in Christmas music even if it is satirical. But who knows, maybe I could find a harmonious voice. I have been constantly hearing about some kind of "World's Largest Carol" being organized in Chicago in an attempt to make it into the Guiness Book of World Records. Christmas or its non-Christian equivalent is okay as a holiday, but the advertising and just plain out onslaught of consumerist exploitation annoys the hell out of me, not to mention the fact that people are taking steps to make the image of Santa Claus thinner so that it is not a bad influence on children. Let's just go ahead and say that Jesus wore a plush Nike jumpsuit up there on that crucifix so as not to promote exhibitionism!

There's not a political rant coming on. I'll just say that the manner in which Christmas is presented is annoying just like the way that people wearing their ethnicity or their sexual orientation or fringe group like a chip on their shoulder is annoying. The fact that I am about to start hearing Here Comes Santa Claus (albeit a thinner one) every time I walk into a grocery store, or even step outside, is something I'm not looking forward to, and it has nothing to do with my opinions about religion. I guess I could either say that I'd like to see this holiday season be more privatized, or that my religion (if I had a tangible one) have more advertising space. So I'm gonna play the second side of this tape on the radio a bit in the coming weeks, and I shouldn't be accused of being intolerant to Christmas in doing so; just the events that surround it.

Now for the subject at hand...

Mammoth Records was an independent label that was picked up by Atlantic shortly before this release came out. Disney now owns it and they put out stuff like Squirrel Nut Zippersthrough it. I find it odd that the label was picked up on the free market by Disney for almost 40 times their initial investment after being dropped by Atlantic in 1997. There were some somewhat household names on the roster like Big Head Todd and The Monsters, Machines of Loving Grace, and The Melvins, among others, but it hardly screams "Disney!". Then again, Disney did sign Insane Clown Posse, although scrapping their album 6 hours after release, which is a much farther cry from appropriate for children, or tasteful for that matter, than this recording. And maybe Disney owns some Porno ring that I don't know about too.

Side one is The 12 days of Christmas as performed by the Mammoth Yuletide "Singers": Jill Tomlinson, John Wroten, Chris Sawin, Amy Barefoot, Josh Wittman, Dan Gill, Liz Sloan, Sean Ford, John Roper, Christophe Choquart, Kristen Meyer, Stuart Nichols, Jay Gress, Sean Maxson, Karen Booth, Steve Balcom, Lane Wurster, Juliette Dickey, Jay Faires, Chris Eselgroth, Betsy Wonnell, and Paul Laughter, with piano by Mark Lewis. Below the listing of singers it says This Recording Must Be Played Loud (but use the earplugs), and the other side (ENO EDIS) has the words Turn Me On Dead Man spelled backwards. Side two is just side one, The Twelve Days of Christmas played backwards, and it's strange how quickly one can recognize it. It's still cathcy backwards. Here's a list of more
Satires of the song

plus bonuses:

Tiny Tim - Santa Claus Has Got The Aids This Year

("AIDS" was candy bar at some point in time)

(thanks to Clayton Counts)


Sparks - Thank God It's
Not Christmas

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

She Is Not Dead, But Sleepeth

Joyce Jameson - He Is Not Dead But Sleepeth

At the moment, I've been listening to the above song on repeat for close to 12 hours in my various little pet projects and appropriately stubborn reluctance to sleep. I recorded it from a DVD of the movie, The Comedy of Terrors.
This is the best summary I've found, although it is from a website dedicated to Basil Rathbone, who plays the Shakespearian Mr. Black, the land lord. Mr. Black threatens eviction to local Undertaker, Mr. Trumbull (Vincent Price, whom I did not find a fansite for at this time, oddly), a drunkard who has been getting on by killing people and charging their families to bury them, even dumping the dead out of their casket when mourners are not looking so that he can use said casket for the next burial.

Peter Lorre (who plays The Raven wonderfully in another Edgar Allan Poe spoof) is Trumbull's ogre-like half-wit assistant, Gillie who has the hots for Trumbull's wife Amaryllis, a tone-deaf opera singer and subject of her husband's vitriolic sarcasm throughout, played by Joyce Jameson.

Mr. Black ends up being the next lucky victim, although he's prone to catalepsy, and can seem to be dead for several hours. After being falsely pronounced dead a few times, he finally ends up in a casket long enough to make it to a funeral, and that's where the above song comes from. Amaryllis sings He Is Not Dead But Sleepeth, with her oppressive voice, breaking flower pots and disturbing Rhubarb The Cat as a prelude to a damn funny eulogy laced with black humor by the bumbling Mr. Hinckley (Boris Karloff!). "... {the departed} whom the pious and unyielding fates have chosen to pluck from the very prime of his existence and place into the bleak sarcophagus of eternity..." The soundtrack is by Les Baxter!

Boris Karloff and Joyce Jameson

In the recording, we hear some sobbing in the background, Vincent Price playing the organ and answering Peter Lorre with a nonchalant "I wish her vocal chords would snap" when Lorre, visibly panting and enamored with Trumbull's wife, says "I wish she would have picked another song" at a convenient break in the song. Plus there's a startled Mr. Hinckley, awakened and mumbling from a nap, a comment from Rhubarb when Amaryllis is doing her loud finale/shreaking to the point of breaking glasses bit for a second time. For some reason, there is an inherent distortion in the recording that I couldn't avoid, and chose not to repair, but I'm enjoying it nonetheless, and if you want a copy to record yourself, you can download or rent The Comedy Of Terrors for $3.99.

As for the origin of the song, The Skeptical Review compares two biblical writings and tries to make sense of inconsistencies which can be summarized in this paragraph about Jairus's 12 year old daughter who died and was brought back to life by Jesus as found in Mark ch.5, vs.22-24 & 35-43 and Luke 8:52):

"She is not dead but sleepeth.": A sermon preached at Westminster Abbey, on Sunday, December 9, 1849, being the Sunday after the death of Her Majesty Queen Adelaide

They came to Jairus's house and entered. They saw the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. Jesus said to the crowd as he stood in the doorway, "Why make ye this ado, and weep? The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth." As Jesus walked into the room, he said to others, "Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth." Some, who had seen the child, said that she was dead. Jesus desiring that all should leave called out so that all can hear, "Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth." And the people laughed him to scorn, because they knew that the child was dead. After the crowd was removed, they went to where the child lay. Jesus took the child by the hand and said, "Talitha cumi," which is, being interpreted, "Damsel, I say unto thee, arise" or "Maid, arise." Then her spirit came again and she arose right away.

The site WHERE ARE THE DEAD? uses this quote and many more to argue the perspective of life after death even in biblical times.

"She is not dead but sleepeth", a bed or a cradle, is a "denial of death" used on tombstones.

At the moment, I cannot find any lyrics or musical history for this song, despite a couple hours of effort and a bit of distraction, but I have found some interesting funeral services that, to me, would sound kind of cultish if taken out of context. "Cor.15:56: The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law" sounds downright Satanic!


Speak on Scriptures such as those listed below. Impress on your audience the reality of the resurrection. The Christian faith is founded on the fact that Jesus (Yeshua) died for our sins and rose from the grave! And that all who believe on him will also rise from their graves and live for all time! These are absolute facts. Preach them!
They 'all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.(Luke 8:49-56)
Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. (John 11:1-44)
I am the resurrection and the life. he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev.21:1-4)
The Apostle Paul writes further in:
1 Cor.15:
51: Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52: In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53: For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54: So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55: O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56: The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law 57: But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Joyce Jameson, Date of Birth : 26 September 1932, Chicago, Illinois, USA - Date of Death : 16 January 1987, Burbank, California, USA. (suicide) was a classic example of the professional "dumb blonde" with a diametrically opposite off-screen personality. Entering films as a chorus member in the 1951 version of Showboat, Jameson honed her musical comedy talents in several satirical revues staged by her onetime husband Billy Barnes. Intelligent, sensitive, and extremely well read, Jameson nonetheless found herself perpetually cast as an airhead or golddigger. In films, she was seen in such roles as a Marilyn Monroe wannabe in The Apartment (1960) and a call-girl who runs screaming from her room when she thinks Jack Lemmon is about to paint her body in Good Neighbor Sam (1963). One of her more unorthodox film assignments was as the vulgar, unfaithful wife of Peter Lorre in Roger Corman's Tales of Terror (1963), in which she and her paramour Vincent Price are walled up in Lorre's wine cellar. One year later, she was reteamed with Lorre and Price in the raucous A Comedy of Terrors (1963), where she was more typically cast as a nitwit. Her later films include The Outlaw Josie Wales (1976) and Hardbodies (1981). Joyce Jameson was a fixture of 1950s and 1960s TV, playing a variety of buxom "straight women" for such comedians as Steve Allen, Red Skelton and Danny Kaye. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

List of Joyce Jameson's Broadway appearances

Episodes of Andy Griffith and The Twilight Zone episodes featuring Joyce Jameson that you can see via TiVo

DJ Playlists Are Now At...

http://playlistposterity.blogspot.com/ so that it doesn't clutter up the other stuff that I might post in this one.

Organist plays Super Mario Bros Theme at Church Service

Below is a church organist abusing her priviledge and playing the Super Mario Bros theme at a church service! She says on her page that no one commented about it, or seemed to notice!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Two Slaps/Delirious Insomniac (Long Songs) Playlists

Two Slaps Radio:


The Delfonics - Walk Right up to the sun
Sly & The Family Stone - (You Caught Me) Smilin'
The O'Jays - BackStabbers
Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Ain't No Sunshine
Altyrone Deno Brown - Sweet Pea

Sharon Jones - I Got The Feeling (James Brown)
John Williams & The Tick Tocks - A Little Tighter
Artistics - This Heart of Mine
Lon Rogers & The Soul Brothers - Too Good To Be True
Bob & Fred - I'll Be On My Way
Mitchell Mitchell - Gene King - Never Walk Out On You

Lee Fields - Take it or leave it

Eric Lab Rat:
The Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band - Spreadin Honey

The Chi-Lites - Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So)
Mary Wells - The One Who Really Loves You
Rufus Thomas - The Memphis Train

OV Wright - Motherless Child
Ray Charles - You'll Never Walk Alone
Huey 'Piano' Smith & the Clowns-


Irma Thomas - Time Is On My Side
Ruth Copeland & Funkadelic - Gimme Shelter
Booker T & The MG's - Outrage

Otis Redding - Satisfaction
Chuck Berry - Too Much Monkey Business
Bosco's Billionaires - Freddy's Ribs
Willie Hightower - If I Had A Hammer

Eric Lab Rat:

War - The World is a Ghetto

The Arvo Fingers Delirious Freeform Radio Show: Long Songs

Electric Wizard - Eko Eko
Lard - Time To Melt
Swans - Money Is Flesh
Neurosis -Origin
Burzum - Det SOm En Gang Var
Melvins featuring bliss blood - The Man With The Laughing Hand is Dead
Dead Meadow - Silver Apple
Einsturzende Neubauten - Perpetuum Mobile

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

WZRD Guest DJ Playlist

Here is my playlist. I always like playing at WZRD. They don't have live streaming or archiving becasue it is broadcast from NEIU and the school thinks that the activities of the station are too suspect to allow them to be broadcast intenationally on the internet. It is an entirely freeform station, and it is fittingly located/banished in the basement which is now littered with old yellowed flyers, autographs from no name local bands from the 80's, and dust; not to mention the asbestos I'm sure. It's a great break from the bright fluorescent lights and sterile environment of the WLUW studio, with its self-proclaimed role as the voice of diversity, but with comparitively very strict and often completely arbitrary rules, especially for a station that is completely independent. Anyhow, WZRD has 33 years of history, as well as 33 years worth of records, and if I had the audacity to enroll in school at NEIU just to be entitled to be a regular DJ, I'd definitely enjoy my ass off there.

Two Slaps/Delirious Insomniac Playlists - Halloween Editions

Two Slaps Radio:

By the way, we are throwing a party:

Eric Lab Rat:

Gnarls Barkley - Boogie Monster
Chicago Afrobeat Project - Superstar Pt. 7

Bobby 'Boris' Pickett - Monster Mash
L. Hollis & the Mackadoos - Bui Bui

Funkadelic - Maggot Brain


Jumpin' Gene Simmmons - Haunted House
Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I put a spell on you
The Poppy Family - Where Evil Grows
Fabienne Delsol - I'm Gonna Haunt You
Gloria Jones - Tainted Love
Lavern Baker - Voodoo Voodoo
Charles Sheffield - It's Your Voodoo Workin'

Johnny Otis Show - Castin' My Spell
The Beattle-ettes - Seventeen
Louis Farrakahn - Zombie Jamboree
The Bootles - I'll let you hold my hand
The FAbulous Brothers - Run For Cover (Dells)

Eric Lab Rat:

Shirley Bassey - Light My Fire
Dave and Ansil Collins - Double Barrell

Soul Unlimited - Raving Vampire, Pt. 1
Kermit Ruffins - Drop Me Off In New Orleans
Marie Queen Lions - Fever

JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound - Baltimore is the New Brooklyn
The Rebirth Brass Band - I Feel Like Funkin It Up


The Fresh Prince and Dj Jazzy Jeff - Nightmare on My Street
The Fat Boys - Are YOu Ready For Freddy?

Dawn Silva And The Brides of Funkenstein - Whole Lotta Game
Ruth Copeland & Funkadelic - Gimme Shelter
The What Four - I'm Gonna Destroy That Boy

The Arvo Fingers Delirious Insomniac FreeForm Radio Show:

Haunted George - Graves In The Desert
Ghoultown - Killer in Texas
The Ghastly Ones - Ghastly Stomp
Moontrekkers - Night of The Vampire

Screaming Lord Sutch - Dracula's Daughter
Lambert, Hendricks And Ross - Halloween Spooks
Groovie Goolies (from 70's cartoon) - When I Grow Up

Groovie Goolies (from 70's cartoon) - 123
Sheb Wooley - Purple People Eater
Cab Calloway - Viper's Drag

The Five Blobs - The Blob
Jack MAlmsten - Satan Takes a Holiday
Gene Moss and The Monsters - I Want To Bite Your Hand
Gene Moss and The Monsters - Drac The Knife
Gene Moss And The Monsters - Little Black Bag

Screaming Lord Sutch - Jack The Ripper
Eddie Munster - I Wish Everyone Was Born This Way
Link Wray and His Ray Men - Jack The Ripper
The Theremin Orchestra - Scary Sound Effects

Frankie Stein and His Ghouls - Swinging Head
Frankie Stein and His Ghouls - Saturday Evening Ghost
Frankie Stein and His Ghouls - Be Careful, It's My Throat

Milton Delugg - Ghost Meets Ghoul
Milton Delugg - Creature From Under The Sea
Milton Delugg - The Addams Family
Milton Delugg - The Munsters

Disney Song from the Haunted Mansion - Grim Grinnin Ghosts
Ennio Morricone - Magic And Ecstacy (From The Exorcist II)
Ennio Morricone - Humanity Pt 1 & 2 (from The Thing Soundtrack)

Professor Armchair - Funeral March of a Marionette
The Gravetones - Devil's Rain

Roky Erickson - If You have Ghosts
45 Grave - Evil
Alice Cooper - Feed My Frankenstein
The Cramps - Early 80's youtube footage of live Bay Area Halloween Show with 2 Covers

Electronic Communications with the Dead - Breakthrough Side 1

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Two Slaps/Delirious Insomniac playlist

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Sugar Pie DeSanto - I Want To Know
Irma Thomas - Don't Look Down
Barbara Stephens - Wait A Minute
Ruby Andrews - Everybody Saw You
Helen Shipiro - Stop & You'll Be Aware
Little Eva - You've Been Talkin' bout me Baby
Earnestine Eady - The Change
Major Lance - Cryin' In The Rain
Roosevelt Grier - In My Tenement
Rita & The Tiaras - Gone With The Wind Is My Love
Marie Knight - That's No Way To Treat a Girl

Lab Rat:

Jackson 5 - I Want You Back (Z Trip Remix)

The Explosions - Hip Drop
The Artistics - Leave It Up to You
24 Carat Black - 24 Carat Black

Curtis Mayfield - Live
Frank Penn - Gimme Some Skin


Betty Davis - F.U.N.K.
Yvonne Fair - Funky Music Sho 'nuff Turns Me On
Little Sister - Stanga
Isis - April Fool

Ten Wheel Drive w/ Genya Ravan - Ain't Gonna Happen
Sweet Linda Divine - I'll Say It Again
Ruth Copeland & Funkadelic - Gimme Shelter

Lab Rat:

Clarence Carter - Snatching It Back
Eddie Floyd - Good Love, Bad Love

The Temptations - Since I Lost My Baby
Sweet Breeze - Good Thing

Thomas Bailey & the Flintstones Band - The Flintstones Shuffle
War - Slippin Into Darkness

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Delirious Insomniac Radio Show:

This set is following through with the "Strangely Dancable or Strange and Dancable" theme from last week. No requests were made at all. It was great. Note that I played a public service announcement for Democracy Now! that entailed police corruption right before "The Laughing Policeman" went on, completely incidentally. This set could've been a children's album for adults.

Gescom - Track 14:44

Insect Deli - Track one from No More Snacks
Gintas K - Nezinau
Esplendor Geometrico - Muerte A Escala Industrial

Viki - ???
Soft Serve - 1s 0sXs Os
NON - Cleanliness and Order

Karen Finley - Belgian Waffles
Strangulated Beatoffs - That'll Be 200 Dollars, Ma'am
Serge Gainsbourg - Ecce Homo
EaViL - Cerebral Patsy
Mort Garson - Never Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Hans Reichel - Excerpt From Le Bal
Lucia Pamela - Walking on the moon
Killer Pussy - Pocket Pool
Little Fyodor - This Diamond Ring
US Maple - Homemade Stuff

Sigue Sigue Sputnik - She's My Man
Divine - You Think You're a Man

Suicide - Frankie Teardrop
Diamanda Galas w/ FM Einheit/Panasonic - ???

The Suspicions - The Laughing Policeman
Oliver Onions - miss Robot
Peter Cook & Dudley Moore - BeDazzled
1From 100 Songs for Kids - Chicken Dance
Olaf Sveen - Happy DAys Polka
Cackle Sisters - When I Yoo-Hoo In The Valley

*+ I also played a 14 minute version of Papa Don't That Mess by James Brown because my succeeding DJ was late*

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dismemberment Can Be An Art - An Interview with Andy Ortmann (November 2006)

This interview was originally published in a truncated version by The Machine Media around February of 2007. It was edited to such a degree that the conversation didn't seem coherent, which included changes to my questions that make me seem unclear and somewhat insensitive, if not someone that espouses an opinion that he doesn't have. A full version exists on their website, but with those same edits of my questions still there (and no pictures). I hope you enjoy the uncircumsized version.

Andy Ortmann is part of a dying breed. A quick Google search will reveal that he, through his band, Panicsville, his label, NIHILIST, and various other projects, has proven to be one of the last thought-provoking, prolific, and wholly “against-the-grain” types around. While most of his recordings can be classified as “experimental”, it’s not simply noodling or “avant-fuckery”, as they call it. Among parts of his live performances with Panicsville, he’s been known for microwaving shark meat on stage, throwing plastic Easter eggs filled with rotten food and live insects into the crowd, igniting dry-ice bombs, and wearing all manner of costumes as that of an octopus, plague doctor, newspaper mummy, or bizarre stuffed animal.

On any given work he’s taken part in, each piece is it’s own unique cupcake, baring a strong attention to detail, sometimes coming in impractical formats like 8-track or 13” lp, and in unusual frames such as galvanized steel, ceramic tiles, lingerie, vinyl bags, or latex. There seems to be an innocent, genuine, and poignant element of what fashion judges call “beautiful ugly” in a lot of what he does, and in a lazy, jaded, politically correct period in time where performers don’t quite act the part and actors don’t quite dress the part, it’s refreshing to know that someone has all of their bases covered. I was fortunate enough to correspond with Andy via email between his trips to San Francisco and England near the tail-end of 2006.

AZ- How long have you been in Chicago and was there anything that prompted a long stay (and return)?

AO- I used to come up to Chicago (from St.Louis) for shows and to go record shopping on a monthly basis from about '90 onwards. I always felt some deep connection with the city and knew I'd be living here sooner or later. I finally made the move in August of 1998. Since that time I've had an endless amount of awesome times and have met a ton of cool people along the way. As many cities as I've been to around the world, I still wouldn't want to live anywhere more than Chicago.

AZ- Can you pinpoint anything in particular other than good times that set Chicago apart?

AO- As far as the music scene goes, there's a vast number of people working making it a diverse scene. So much so, that I notice many genres represented (noise, electro-acoustic, improv, power electronics, drone, etc.) Outside of the music, we have some of the most awesome Mexican food around! If you’re a thrift shopper, there's an endless wealth of options to go shopping and always score interesting things. I could go on and on...

AZ- I’ve put it together that Chicago seems to have the best Philly cheese steaks too. What's your favorite Mexican place? I personally rule out places that aren't open 24 hours on principle alone. So, I would say El Charro on Milwaukee and Fullerton, but the jury is never quite out on that one.

AO- I think I've had better Philly Cheese in Philly! They're really good and cheap too. My Mexican current fave is probably Tecalitlan, on Chicago. Though the location around the corner on Ashland has a pretty amazing décor. If you’ve been there, you might agree. But El Paisano has the coolest logo, a guy riding a taco like a bull, and he’s got a lasso…!?!

AZ- Some may not know that Panicsville has been around since 1992, in times where abrasive textures and punishing structures didn't have nearly as much of an audience as it does now. What do you think was the catalyst that eventually led to your vast amount of gear, personnel (in regards to the great deal of revolving members in Panicsville, other collaborations), and Nihilist Records?

AO- When we first started Panicsville, we used whatever equipment was laying around, which was incidentally, rather limited... I knew what kind of sound I was going for but it was near impossible to get the equipment I needed to achieve this. I was constantly out on the prowl for better gear, as I was painfully dissatisfied with the first four years of recordings! Now I have a wicked-ass arsenal of electronics...

I've had to change band members more often than the bed sheets of a grossly obese-mentally-retarded-chronic self-pisser. The first two members left to join a hippie commune and a "rock band” respectively... after that I would recruit various riff raff within my peripherals (I moved around a good deal, which made having a steady lineup out of the question). Jeremy Fisher has been the most stable member, since about 2001. Though I constantly work with other artists, mainly for some specific idea I may be developing, where this individual is the perfect element to concrete that idea. Panicsville has always been a collaborative project.
As far as Nihilist goes, I wanted an umbrella moniker that would encompass all my interests (art, sound, video, text, etc). It's not like I just thought one day, "Oh, I want to start a record label!" It just seemed like a logical way to organize my thoughts and ideas.

AZ- So you had these sounds in your head and wanted to get them out, so you started with what was lying around? I guess nearly everything could be considered stimuli, and result in ideas, but were your ideas influenced by anything you can put your finger on before starting Panicsville?

AO- My influences at that time included movies like The Holy Mountain, Re-animator and Satyricon. Art movements like Fluxus, Da Da, Futurism and Aktionism were as much an influence as direct industrial/psyche bands like NON, Throbbing Gristle, Nurse With Wound, and Smegma.

AZ- You seem to be acquainted with Boyd Rice. In particular I read that you took part in a CJ competition with him. It must've been cool to work alongside one of your influences, especially since you're on equal plains with him in many respects. He seems to be a bit elusive, though. How did meeting him come about?

AO- Well, the CJ competition actually had nothing to do with Boyd. That was an entirely separate event. I initially met him in Houston, TX in 1997 where he was playing with Death in June (I did a brief interview with him). Later, after I moved to Chicago I did DJ a show with him and Luftwaffe in St.Louis in 2000. I was more of a fan of his work when I was first getting into this stuff than I am now, though it was pretty funny going shopping with him though…

AZ- Were you shopping for Barbie Dolls with him? Apparently he's said to have the largest collection of them in the world... or Record Shopping?

AO- Actually, neither. We ended up checking a couple military surplus stores, then we went for cheeseburgers and malts.

AZ- I know Nihilism can be defined as something to the effect of "rejecting current ethics and principles", which in it's context is great for a record label to champion, but I have to admit that I associate Nihilism with Apathy and Indifference, as it is applied to people I've met who carry the views. While your work seems to be pretty thoughtfully and eloquently put together, it seems like detrimental imagery to the people who may judge by a name rather than even a cover before content. Do you have any thoughts on that?

AO- That word has several different meanings, I've generated another association with it through my work. I could care less about how/what people think when drawing comparisons to my label and textbook definitions. I don't feel that having a substandard set of aesthetics is in any way synonymous with nihilism. These people's opinions you're referencing mean about as much to me as a car is to a bird.

AZ- Regarding the music scene, there are always questions abound about the appeal behind noise or experimental music etc. and what constitutes a "good show". It goes without saying that some people get it and most people don't, but since Panicsville has always been a variable and well rounded presence live, I thought I would ask what noise shows and the like do for you.

AO- I like seeing what other people are doing, it’s more telling (live shows) versus listening to a recording at home. Not that it’s always about “performance”, but the live atmosphere gives you a good idea as to where someone is coming from. Elements like volume can totally alter your perception of someone’s work when you’re in a room being vibrated by sonic waves rather than normal listening level on a home stereo. The live shows are essential!

AZ- You've said in another interview that you find noise to be emotive. Some of your work seems to incorporate chance happenings or have the qualities of "serial music" as well as being the result of everything else that happens on the cutting room floor. For instance, there was the "Four Notes in Search of a Tune" record, which was a record made up of carefully placed shards of broken records. In other mediums there was the piece of a art that consisted of a fox inside of plexi–glass, and that "Absorb” project, a project about releasing cassettes that will make a cassette player erase the content of the cassette that succeeds it, as I understand. This stuff is much more than simply writing your name on a urinal or a pair of underwear, but is it all emotive? Or do these things have another function as pieces of art?

AO- The conceptual art isn’t really about emotion. Those projects have more to do with getting people to think about things differently than how they normally would, rather than to evoke emotions. Two inherently different things there…

AZ- Would you say that there has been a time when there was a union of conceptual and emotive? I mean the fox thing, well, I wouldn't necessarily call it emotive, but there's definitely expression in it, in gesture alone. I feel the same about the cover of Perverse. I think the way that the pictures of disemboweled cattle are portrayed and manipulated was beyond conceptual.

AO- Actually, the fox was a piece that combined emotion and concept. It was based on a Brothers Grimm story, The Golden Bird. It involved a man who was transformed into a fox and needed to be dismembered, to return to his natural form. This is a relatively moving story to me. The mutilated bovine photo is an obvious commentary on the beef industry, whether or not that is emotional is for the viewer to decide...

AZ- I'm pretty fond of the Brothers Grimm stories, there are the roots of all the morals I was spoon-fed as a kid, only it was before Disney got to them. That story can be found here for anyone curious. I think now that the association to the story has been made, that fox piece exists as not only conceptual art in the sense of challenging the boundaries of art, but also in commenting on the often much more leisurely ways of making art, i.e. the rusty cage vs. the golden cage juxtaposition. Quite brilliant. Bravo!

As for the bovine photo, I actually interpreted it, because of the use of colors in particular, as a representation of the aspects of life that everyone has to deal with, and a reminder of what people try to forget about in their every day life more so than a commentary on the meat industry. Instead of the colors being dim or black and white, they are vibrant and lively, almost as if to create a dichotomy. But in any case, it seems like we might both have something in common in that regard. We both eat meat, but we disapprove of the excess that the meat industry uses, such as force feeding, hormones, and the ridiculous amount of natural resources that are compromised just to produce the maximum amount, not to mention the fact that an animal can be bled to death and still be considered kosher by industry standards.

Or maybe I'm just projecting. But either way, what's your stance on the meat industry?

AO- I do think that we could do without the hormones in the USA meat industry, where as in Europe you don't see this kind of thing. The meat is more expensive over there, but you get what you pay for. It's places like McDonald's that have me puzzled. How they can make chicken that is porous is beyond me. But then again, White Castle now has chicken rings!? Go figure. I buy all my meat at the local Mexican grocery stores, they use ALL the parts, and none of it is wasted.

AZ- What do you think about animal rights in general? Should animals be used for experiments in laboratories, or for fur coats etc?

AO- I think if animals are being used in research experiments that are actually furthering scientific advancement it's acceptable. When it's pointless sadism like injecting perfume into cat's eyes, I think anyone would agree that those scenarios are just wrong. I am a leather fan, I think leather is OK, I generally don't like the way fur looks. I'm more against it on a level of aesthetics.

AZ- How does activism sit with you?

AO- It seems to make other people feel good about themselves, and gives them some level of justification for their droll self righteous behavior.

AZ- Speaking in terms of Chicago, can you list some local characters that you would say are your peripherals?

AO- I don't understand the question.

AZ: You've been doing this since 1992 or so. Would you say that there are people coming out and still capable of showing you something new, or influencing you in some way? Do you think you're still impressionable in this realm?

AO- Absolutely! I've always an open ear to new and interesting work from people.

AZ- When I say "peripherals", I'm basically asking who else in Chicago you think are on equal plains, creatively speaking. You've got a lot of different ventures in a lot of different mediums on your plate; anything from VJ’ing, participating in bands with almost diametrically different styles, mastering, production, making a wide range of art, and while a lot of what you put out on NIHILIST is of the experimental vein, there are some pleasantly asymmetrical acts being released too. The casual observer can guess that your field of interest is not limited to just one direction, and since many people who read this interview may not be very familiar with you especially, I'd be curious to know who else in Chicago rouses your interest. Are there any others, artists, musicians, or writers that "speak to you", so to speak?

AO- There's a few people that come to mind... Gregory Jacobsen is a very talented painter. Peter Sotos is a considerably provocative and intriguing writer. There's a wealth of musicians about town; Oakeater, Kevin Drumm, Steve Krakow, Rory Lake, Thymme Jones, Magas, Nicole Chambers, the recently dissolved Coughs... I could go on and on.

AZ- I know you've been a member of more conventional acts like Plastic Crimewave Sound, Lovely Little Girls, Behold! The Living Corpse! and others, I'm sure. To what extent do you understand music?

AO- I began reading music in the 4th grade. After three years of this I knew that this path was of no interest to me. Anything I've ever accomplished after this time was of my own self taught ability and intuition.

AZ- Learning an art form could be detrimental to the creative process sometimes. I've met a lot of film and music students that say that what they've learned destroys the way a person appreciates the overall effect, and while I don't know a whole lot about music or anything else myself, I pick up on formulas or plot structures pretty quickly anyway. Do you think you're less inhibited by learning on your own terms? How do you think it would've affected your creative output to be trained on how to do it?

AO- Definitely. I always hear from trained artists or musicians that they have to unlearn what they've learned to truly be free. I feel completely unrestrained in most every sense. I feel like I make the most progress by exploring ideas and thoughts, no matter how far out they might seem. I can't see how being "trained" would've been beneficial to me as an artist... you can't teach people to have ideas.

AZ- I'm fascinated with the idea of a child picking up something without encouragement and sort of spurring creativity, like tapping on a desk at school or scribbling on paper before having ever seen a coloring book. I like to entertain the idea that creativity is instinctive rather than simply a hobby or what-have-you. How long have you been making visual art, which creative medium did you pick up first, and do you have any interesting story about how you came about doing that?

AO- I've been drawing for as long as I can remember... In kindergarten my teacher (Mrs.Nicholson) wrote a letter to my mother telling her that my obvious skill warranted that she buy me thin crayons versus those fat ones everyone else was using. That may have been the first time someone took notice, though my mother may argue that it started in the delivery ward where I pissed on the wall! Both mediums are still an integral part of my work.

AZ- What do you have on the horizon? I know there's Panicsville, and you've been developing material as a solo artist for a while. What other stuff have you got on the boil?

AO- Yeah there's some new Panicsville records due out next year (including a 13"
LP entitled "A Dragonfly for Each Corpse" on the Rococo record label), I've been working out my electro-synth-dance-punk project, Fashion Dictator. I have a show with Bobby Conn coming up (this past December 06), there'll be an LP out next year for that one.
For the past year I've been doing vocals with Behold! The Living Corpse as well, a new LP should be out in the Spring sometime. Running Nihilist is a full time job, so that's keeping me pretty busy. There's some new stuff in the works from Kevin Drumm, John Wiese, Schimpfluch Gruppe, Sixes, Evil Moisture, and Thurston Moore. Other than that, just trying to get more editions of my radio show (The Eternal Now on WFMU) recorded and doing more artwork. I have some new drawings coming out from a couple different French magazines; Hospital Brut is doing a new book and CD and the controversial magazine, TIMELESS will be printing three of my pieces.

AZ- Do you see yourself staying in Chicago for a long time?

AO- All signs point to yes.

All Photos Courtesy of Andy Ortmann

Panicsville on Programma Di Religione Comp

Panicsville on Hospital Tested Comp

Panicsville on Kausing a Kommotion - A Tribute to Madonna (Nihilist)

Andy Ortmann's Nightmania CD (Nihilist)


Andy Ortmann on Ebay