May 25, 2006



Posted by Dr. Frank at 10:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 22, 2006

Road Notes


That's Michele of Faster than the World (né A Small Victory) reading King Dork. (Ever hear a schoolbus story in which Sparks' "This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us" plays a role? Here's one.)

Had a fun time in Tacoma at King's Bookstore. Met Brent Hartinger (author of Geography Club) - nice guy. The Seattle show that night was a biker/rockabilly/fetish/alternarollerderby Katrina benefit, so of course I fit right in. My set was marred by technical difficulties but was still fun. And really, the slide show depicting the devastation of a major hurricane put it all in perspective. So the guitar cuts out. I'll live, I thought to myself. And I did, as it turned out.

My Corvallis reading was attended by my friends, plus one guy who just wandered in and the book shop person. That night we had dinner and drinks with Timbo from Mutant Pop. He's one of those guys I've known about or of for ages, but had somehow managed never to meet. I didn't know what to expect, but he turned out to be a hilarious, smart easy-going guy with a lot of interests outside of punk rock. He owns a shoe store in Corvallis and is writing a history of the American Communist Party. So the basement of the shoe store is filled with shoes, punk rock records, and an amazing collection of late 19th- to early 20th-century books on Bolshevism, Progressivism, etc. He wanted me to write "something offensive" when I signed his "So Long Sucker" 7". I don't do offensive very well (at least not on purpose) and the best I could come up with was: "your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries." Cambridge to the rescue once again...

There's was a swell review of King Dork in Sunday's Oregonian; and here's a Q&A from today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Comments are still screwed up, but I've got people working on it. Good people.

See you at the Cafe Verite/Cupcake Royale on Tuesday night. If you can come, I mean. If not, well, I guess I'll just see you when I see you.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:23 PM | TrackBack

May 20, 2006

Comment? Come on, Come on...


I just realized my comments are totally buggered up. I'm trying to figure it out. In the meantime, if you have a burning comment or question you'll have to email me (see mailto link to the right.)

Or, you could come to one of these fine establishments and deliver your comment in person, if you like.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:58 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 18, 2006



The Insta-mom reviews King Dork; Megan McCafferty recommends it to the Brick Township High School's Lit Chicks; and Pajiba includes a nice blurb in the weekly trade round-up.

That's all I got right now.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 10:37 PM | TrackBack

Ramesh Ponnuru's Dork Problem


I'm not sure quite what to make of it, but a couple of poli-blogs have noticed that according to Amazon, 43% of customers who view the page for National Review guy Ramesh Ponnuru's vaguely Coulter-ish book The Party of Death ultimately end up buying the "intriguingly"-titled King Dork. The theory is, I gather, that 43% of the people who saw Ponnuru on the Daily Show and looked at his book's Amazon page decided to express their opinion of him and send a message by buying my book instead. The message being: Hey, Ramesh! You're a dork!

Works for me. Got an author you particularly dislike? Get back at him by buying my book instead of his. Everybody wins!

(I haven't read Ponnuru's book, so I don't know for sure that it's Coulterish; but the title sure is. The Party of Death is meant to be the Democratic Party, by the way.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 17, 2006

Of Ableists and Albinismism

I had never heard of "ableism" before reading this article about how we, or at least the professors of literature among us, ought perhaps to "consign certain books to the back shelves of our consciousness" for political or sensitivity reasons.

At first I read it wrong. Ab-le-ism. As in, from or away from leism. What the heck is leism? Prejudice against the masculine form of the French definite article? But it all became clear when I learned that the author is a professor of English, Disability and Human Development, and Medical Education. Able-ism. Man, forget Conrad: there goes like half of Shakespeare.

He cites another teacher who "stopped teaching Hemingway, Ovid, and Boccaccio because their works disgusted her with their overt misogyny."

Come on, Ovid. Get with the times!

I also read that albinos are mad at the Da Vinci Code. Since "albinism" is the name of the condition itself, I guess the word for literary crimes against albinos would be "albinismism."

A spokesman for the albinism group 'asked Imagine Entertainment not to bleach Silas's hair or make his eyes red, but "that fell on deaf ears." Spoken like a true ableist.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 10:58 PM | TrackBack

The music seems to have taken the bit in its teeth and headed off in different and unexpected directions...

I love this rather desperate-sounding novelty song manifesto, the back of a "Looney Tunes Medley" radio promo 45 by the Pasadena Roof Orchestra from 1983:


(Thanks, Gabe.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:07 PM | TrackBack

Fade Away and Aggregate


Here's more stuff about my book I found on the internets:

(a) Megan McCafferty wrote this swell blurb.

(b) This piece ran in Friday's Oklahoman. (login:; password: blogsofwar.)

(c) The Village Voice's Tom Breihan ruminates on East Bay punk, arena rock, American Idiot, the Reverend Norb, the Mr. T Experience, etc., and says King Dork is the "best punk rock book ever". Seriously, it really says that. You can click the link and check. I won!

(d) Here is an interview with Entertainment Weekly's Bob Cannon. (Bob is interviewing me, I mean.)

(e) Keef compares the John Bellairs School of YA fiction with the Portman/Korman/Rainbow Party/"Be More Chill" School of YA fiction; Kathryn reviews my, er, appearance at Books, Inc. last week; Nick thinks my writing style needs some work, but wishes me better luck next time; and bialog is "half-fascinated by how much a Young Adult genre writer can get away with."

Posted by Dr. Frank at 01:04 AM | TrackBack

May 16, 2006



More shows here.

UPDATE: As Kenny Kaos and others have pointed out, the date on the flier is wrong. It should be Thursday, May 25. I have alerted the proper authorities.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:32 PM | TrackBack

May 15, 2006

All the Way Up There


So here is the current schedule for the Northwest trek next week.

A lot of this stuff was added very recently, so there isn't going to be a lot of time to get the word out. The self-deprecator in me (pretty much identical to the entire me - I mean, there is almost complete overlap in that particular Venn diagram) wants to make some sort of joke here along the lines of, well, maybe we'd do better the less the word gets out... But actually, book appearances need all the help they can get, so please, please, please tell your friends and try to stop by if you live in the area.

My previous call for minions actually yielded a handful of minions, believe it or not. So if you happen to be in (a) the Pacific Northwest and (b) the minion mood, here is exactly where you should be trying to get and when, and what you'll see when you get there:

Saturday, May 20th

(a) King's Books, 218 St. Helens Ave, Tacoma, WA, 253-272-8801. 7PM.

Acoustic set, reading, signing.

(b) Jules Maes, 5919 Airport Way, Seattle, WA, 206-957-7766. 9PM. (I'm told I'm playing around 11.)

Acoustic set, plus Dateless and two others.

Sunday, May 21

Grass Roots Books and Music, 227 SW 2nd, Corvallis, Oregon, 541-754-7668. 3 PM.

Acoustic set, reading, signing, etc..

Tuesday, May 23

Cupcake Royale, 2052 NW Market St., Seattle, WA. 7PM.

Acoustic set, signing, etc. Presented by the Secret Garden Bookshop.

Wednesday, May 24th

(a) Portland State University radio station, KPSU, 1450 AM (98.3 FM on campus), 5PM. Interview.

(b) Infringement Records/Centaur Guitar, 2833 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, Oregon. 8PM.

Acoustic set, with Brandon Tussey (of the Connie Dungs) and Eric Peabody

Thursday, May 25th

(a) Reading Frenzy , 921 SW Oak St., Portland, Oregon. 7PM. $5.

Reading, playing and what-not. This is a benefit for the Portland Zine Symposium, featuring Sarah Bartash, Gillian Beck, Joe Biel, Katie Cercone, Nicole Georges,
Theresa Molter, Lani Schreibstein, Shelley Pearson, Nickey Robo, Jack
Saturn & Sarah Swingset.

(b) Twilight Cafe & Bar, 1420 SE Powell, Portland, OR, 503-236-7668. 9PM

Acoustic set, plus the Peabodys, the Jennifer Echo, and the Cascade Crash.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 05:59 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

May 13, 2006

"Don't play an instrument? Don't worry! Hey, even Roger Daltrey was new to the guitar at one point..."

Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 03:25 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

May 11, 2006

Ringers and Minions


- I'm told they are ordering up a fifth printing now.

- It's like Day of the Locust with King Dork out there in Hollywoodland. If I understood enough about the tales of intrigue and drama and general craziness to be able to relate them, I guess I might give it a shot. But I do not.

- Pin Monkey Press wonders: "Whats up with the lead singers of all of these Ramone-a-Clone bands becoming authors?"

- Former MTX bass player Gabe Meline wrote an article on me and my book in the North Bay Bohemian. (This is in advance of my "appearance" at Copperfields in Petaluma tomorrow - Friday, 5/11, 7 PM.)

- The NW dates and shows and what-not are shifting gradually. If you thought the appearance at Corvallis's Grass Roots Books and Music was on Friday, you're not alone. So did I. But it turns out it's on Sunday 5/21. Mark your calendars.

There's also some confusion as to whether my acoustic set on Thursday May 25 in Portland will be at the Twilight Room (5242 N Lombard) or the Twilight Bar and Cafe (1420 SE Powell.) I will let you know when I find out. The event at Reading Frenzy in Portland starts at 7PM. As does the "Portland Zine Symposium Humiliation Nation Fundraiser." We're gonna try to walk together, rock together, is what I'm saying.

There's also a chance of another Seattle show, and I think I may have managed to jump on a pre-existing show in Olympia as well. The whole list of dates as I currently understand them is here. More soon, I hope.

- Finally, please consider stopping by Books, Inc., 3515 California St. in San Francisco. Tonight, Thursday, May 11. 7 PM. "Not Your Mothers Book Club." They suggested I try to bring along some of my minions; I think I made a pretty good show of behaving like a guy who has tons of minions. (The key is insouciance, I believe. You toss your head in a certain way, as though you're saying "ah, minions, don't get me started," like you take your minions for granted, that they're a bit of pain at times, but all in all you find them rather charming and lovable in the end, despite the fact that you're always getting tangled up in them. In fact, though, I'm actually very uncertain about my minion situation at the moment. Seriously, minions aside, I'd definitely settle for a couple of ringers.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:25 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

May 10, 2006

Thanks, Megan!

Megan McCafferty, whose novels were recently shamelessly Alloyed and plagiarized by that Harvard Opal girl, wrote me a sweet email congratulating me on King Dork. I got a kick out of this comment, which she has graciously given me permission to quote:

Thank you for restoring my faith in the publishing industry. We need more original writers like you.
Yeah, she ought to know!
Posted by Dr. Frank at 07:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thanks, Rhea!


Posted by Dr. Frank at 07:07 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

May 09, 2006

pro-elitist indie onomatology is just stupidity's further engenderment and subsequent embrace


For all my Oklahoma friends: I had a great time talking to George Lang of The Oklahoman yesterday. He interviewed me for an article for Friday's paper, and blogged about it here.

For my San Francisco friends, feel free to stop by Books, Inc., 3515 California St., San Fransciso, CA on Thursday May 11 for a "Not Your Mother's Book Club" event. 7 PM. Playing/singing, signing, standing around talking. That sort of thing.

And for my Petaluma friends, on Friday, May 12th, a similar type of deal will "go down," as I think the saying goes, in Petaluma. "Teen Buzz Night." Copperfields Books, 140 Kentucky St., Petaluma, CA. 7 PM.

More info. on this and other appearance-y stuff may be found here.

By the way, anyone have any idea what this guy's talking about?

Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:19 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

They Always Come Back

There was a time when Michele's A Small Victory was one of the best and most heavily-trafficked blogs around. It was always one of my top five back in those days. It was sad when she pulled the plug last year. Eventually I adjusted to a darker, less Michele-y world. But it wasn't easy.

Well, she's back, writing about her "first album love" (Tommy) and muscle cars and acting as a sort of amanuensis for a mysteriously anonymous punk rocker.

Glad to have you back, M.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Deanna Schumacher

Sasha drew this swell picture of Deanna Schumacher, one of the King Dork characters. "I suppose she is inflicting some kind of confusing verbal torture on Tom or something."


Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:19 PM | TrackBack

May 08, 2006

Numbers Game


If you break down the Amazon ranking by Amazon/books/teen/fiction, King Dork is currently #1.

I've never had anything be number one broken down any old way. On anything. So weird...

Posted by Dr. Frank at 09:54 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack



More booky items:

(a) I'm told we're on the third printing now and that they're making plans for a fourth. As a lot of people have pointed out, Amazon appears to have run out of stock. They're supposed to get some in any time now. Barnes & Noble is still shipping in 24 hours. And of course, there's always Little Type. I've also heard of some long waiting lists at local stores. I'm sorry about that. I think they're going to make more any time now.

(b) According to E! Online, King Dork is a "guilty pleasure." (So are the Gilmore Girls, Ane Brun, That's Entertainment, the Velvet Underground, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger, and Kenny Rogers.)

(c) Larry has posted his Punk Planet column about King Dork on his blog.

(d) People are yelping. Whitney Matheson's USA Today piece is linked on the Yahoo front page under the headline "punk rocker has a hit with kids' book."

(e) check me out in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Buffalo News, and Bookloons.

(f) Lizz the Word worm says: "I read a review of it in Entertainment Weekly while I was at the grocery store with Mom yesterday and it looks awesome..."

Also, I posted some new shows/appearances/what's-its: the Northwest trip is still sorting itself out, but there are some solid dates, believe it or not. I'll be back later to explain more.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 03:24 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 07, 2006

At Gilman Street

Nick snapped this photo at Gilman last night:


Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 06, 2006


Found at Mills High School, Millbrae, CA.

An envelope addressed to Maria, with a drawing of a butterfly, a bunch of grapes, and an illegible last name:


On the other side of the envelope is a list of Maria's attributes: caring, nice, funny, supportive, weirdo, helpful, tard, religious, there 4 you.


Inside are four index cards which read "supportive"; "accepting"; "good listener"; and this one:


Posted by Dr. Frank at 07:13 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Withnail and I


That's my buddy Lane Smith, reading King Dork and being aware of his own mortality.

As I've mentioned, I had a great time hanging out with Lane and playing songs for his big but mostly fairly short audience last week. At the end of the Bay Area mini-tour, we were relaxing with some margaritas at a Mexican restaurant in San Francisco, when I noticed a spate of urgent messages on my cell phone. Quick, they all said, more or less: we need some video of you talking to the camera for Conan, and we need it tomorrow. It was meant to be a kind of audition I guess. Real authors like James Frey, Jane Fonda, and Tucker Carlson apparently already have all sorts of these lying around ready to hand - it's called a "v-roll," if I have that right. I am a man who knows his limitations, one of them being, clearly, that I do not come with v-rolls attached. I was stumped.

Anyhow, it's all a bit hazy right now, but what I believe I said at the time was: "huh?" And that was the margaritas talking, I'm pretty sure.

"I've got a video camera," slurred Lane. It was true. He did. We stared at each other for what seemed like a long, long time.

Maybe the thing to do, we decided, was to try to construct a crude v-roll out of ordinary household materials.

For some reason (and I feel fairly certain that this reason had a bit to do with the margaritas again) we decided that the ideal way to accomplish this was to stumble drunkenly through the Tenderloin interviewing each other on camera and talking to bums. Which we did. Lane edited it down to two minutes of relatively out of control semi-coherence on my part, including a confused conversation with one guy who, I believe, offered to take off his pants for a quarter. I don't know how it compares to Jonathan Safran Foer's v-roll, but I bet it's funnier and less usable anyway, and that's something. Actually, I kind of love it; but I'm informed that I have pretty eccentric tastes, and what do I know from v-rolls?

The following week, Lane express-mailed me the ingredients for a margarita (El Tesoro de Don Felipe, Cointreau, salt in a little sombrero, and a couple of limes) and a note that said "keep the after-party going." No one ever mailed me a drink before. It was delicious.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 07:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 05, 2006

Cannes Kills Book Buzz


(a) Matt Berman of Common Sense Media turns in this nice "family friendly" review of KD.

(b) Yesterday's USA Today had a piece on me and my quirky self, by Pop Candy's Whitney Matheson. And here's a Pop Candy addendum to it. Thanks, Whit!

(c) King Dork is on Entertainment Weekly's "A List" in the new issue (the one with the scary Tom Cruise face - I know that doesn't narrow it down too much, but you'll probably see those multiple eyes on newstands, sending out beams of what's-it and trying to mesmerize you into doing only God knows what.) I guess the A List is like a kind of honor roll for EW, in that you get on it if you get an "A." Hence the name.

(d) I understand little of such matters, but there is apparently all kinds of King Dork movie action happening right now. That doesn't necessarily mean anything will come of it. But you never know. The "buzz" is by all accounts still very strong and loud and maybe even slightly irritating (though not to me - of course, I love it when my own things make noise.) By all accounts the deluge (if indeed you can have a deluge of "buzz") is swamping my agents (sorry about that) though one film-y person I know said the word on the street is that now is the time since soon all residents of Hollywood will leave for Cannes and have their minds on other things - hence the catchphrase in the title of this post.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 09:16 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack



That's a couple of gals from the Secret Garden Bookshop in Seattle, WA. (Actually, I guess it's Ballard. Is that a district or area in Seattle, or is it a suburb? No idea.)

Anyhow, wherever and whatever Ballard may be, I'm doing an event there on May 23rd, at the Cafe Verite/Cupcake Royale, which is apparently a coffee shop down the street from the store. (Hey, if I'm getting any of this wrong, let me know, OK?)

Here's their flier:


I'm going to be doing other stuff in northwest while I'm up there, and I'm sorry the details are so sketchy. But I'm most likely going to be doing something in Portland on the 24th and 25th; maybe Longview and Corvalis earlier in the week; and even possibly Eugene. If anyone has any ideas of anything else to do up there, drop me a line.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:25 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Bery Mush

My mom found this "story" I wrote in first or second grade. The beginning of my fiction career. I'm not sure what the boy's mistake was, but according to the accompanying illustration, it somehow involved a horse as well as the man with the stik.

Frank P.

The Boy Makes a Mistake

A boy was in a conoe with some men, but their was a leak in the boat and it sank. One of the men was his father but the other one was a man who hated the boy and the only reason he did not make a slave out of him was because of his father, but now his farther was dead it was for a different reason, the reason was thay were on an island and the boy was the only one who could find food and water.

On the mossy beach a man stood tierd and hungry. His name was Clarece Doroon. He was waching a boy eating sea moss and bery mush by the fire.

"What are you doing, son?" he cald.

"Eating," was all he could say.

Suddenly he made for the rocks, sand flew in his eye as he made his way up. The man took his stik and went after him.

"I'll get you for this," he cried.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:25 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Synthetic Frippery, Unnecessary in Our Expanding Global Culture Efficiency

Everybody's flogging a book these days.

Bad Religion singer Greg Graffin has a book out on 30 July. It's a "discussion" with Professor Preston Jones on the subject: Is Belief in God Good, Bad or Irrelevant?

I haven't seen the book, but my guess is that Graffin thinks it's "bad." Otherwise he'd have to change the name of his band.

Even though I already know the ending, I am so ordering this book though. Anti-Reagan and stuff man, yeah.

I can't find a link but I also heard that one of the guys from Pennywise recently sold a book about how to be a "punk dad."

(via Aversion.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:18 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 04, 2006

To Whom it May Concern. Dear Whom...


I got together with Pat and Erika of Little Type last night. It turns out they sold out their stock of King Dorks and had to re-order, so we had a little book autographing party at Spats to inscribe the new books.

I'm never sure what to sign on books. If it's face to face I usually just ask what they want it to say.

"Whatever you want," is the typical response. Which is very, very helpful.

"For instance," I'll continue, "if your name is Mary, I might write 'to Mary.' Does that sound okay?" We can usually take it from there and it works out all right.

Obviously, sitting in Spats last night I had no idea whether or not something like "to Mary" was going to be appropriate for any given book, and I didn't just want to guess. So we had fun coming up with goofy stuff that I could write over the signature instead of "to Mary." "We know of no other beer that costs as much to brew and age," was one. Some catch-phrases from the book, like "WAGBOG" and "Living Room Rock!" "Way to go!" was one of my favorites, for some reason.

Anyhow, people seem to like the Little Type long-distance signed book service so I guess we're going to try to keep it up as a regular thing. And at this point, it is, like, exclusive. So if you are interested in a signed copy of King Dork and don't think you're going to bump into me any time soon, Little Type is where to go.

If you already have a book and still want it signed, we could do it through the mail. I've had quite a few requests for this, and I'm happy to do it. But I know my own limitations, and I think the best strategy for making sure this happens in a timely fashion would be to make it as easy as possible for me to do it. Because I am pretty disorganized and often let things pile up and going to the post office is one of those things I tend to put off. So... if you enclose an addressed mailer with correct postage, that would probably work out better than just sending your book and money.

Glenn Reynolds has a system of signed bookplates for his book: he signs the bookplate sticker, mails it out, and the other party in the transaction affixes it to the book, which is less cumbersome and cheaper to mail obviously, but perhaps lacking the personal touch for some. Mary? What say you?

Until I get me a Margaret Atwood remote autograph machine, though, these are the options. Mary, please, email me if any of them sound appealing.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:50 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Pardon me. I Cannot Delete Posts. The only thing I can do is replace posts...

Sorry for the weird, multiple posts. My blog is still haunted. I can't preview, so I just have to post and hope for the best. And if I try to edit, sometimes it treats the edit as whole new post. I ended up with three identical posts just because I was trying to center the cat photo. Hence this replacement text.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:50 PM | TrackBack

Fake Post

See here.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:50 PM | TrackBack


Sasha rearranged the Barnes & Noble fiction section just to take this picture:

Posted by Dr. Frank at 07:57 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Blank Post

Blank Post. Sigh.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 07:57 AM | TrackBack

May 03, 2006

Strange Uses for Potatoes

Hey, welcome to another installment of the Google-ympics. Here are some recent searches that brought inquiring minds to this blog's url, divided into categories.


a fish restaurant in downtown Belgrade

how do I trim my own hair

how to stop being horny for a 13 year old

treatment plan for a male sociopath

how does it feel to be licked by a man

did pamela anderson eat her placenta

conventional vs organic macadamia nuts


images: retarded monks

people in doctor uniforms having sex

normal dot keeps coming up

lothlorien food orgy

assessing nipple type

strange uses for potatoes

Disney Weltanshauung


me naked

what do the lyrics of that song mean

use computers to get rich

why does adolf hitler have a mustache

what's a cavity feel like


what brought in the hippies

what dose monterey jack smells like

why wearing spandex is wrong

does billie joe armstrong ever think about adopting a child

what's in an onion

why atheists are retards

I want to tell the world:

My Dr. is great

just fucking shut up

2 year old son wants a barbie doll

I'm gonna eat the placenta

And the winner is:

catcher in the rye spoilers
Posted by Dr. Frank at 09:12 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

The Yummy Yummy Yummy Nation


So, to everyone's surprise, there has been quite a media-gasm surrounding my book.

I'm used to being covered not at all, not even slightly. Before the street date, I was going around saying "man, I hope Punk Planet runs something." Then there was Entertainment Weekly and USA Today, feelers by TV talk shows, a Hollywood feeding frenzy, and so forth. Even my local paper, the San Francisco Chronicle, famous for its snootiness apparently, and having more or less refused categorically to cover me or my band for the last twenty years or so, ran a couple of pieces last week. It's still kind of freaking me out. As Oliver Stone once had Kevin Costner say, it's through the looking glass, people: black is white and white is weird. Or something like that.

But some things never change, and the mainstream music press is the exception that stubbornly insists on proving the rule no matter what, even, as it turns out, in the midst of a general press-gasm. I wrote a song about this situation years ago. And I've even written an essay about how eternal vigilance has kept my stuff completely out of Rolling Stone for the last twenty years: it seems that a review of Yesterday Rules almost made it in, but someone stepped in and killed it just in time. RS must be kept thoroughly Big Chill and boomer, with a sprinkling of Three Doors Down or Limp Bizkit now and then in a cute attempt to impress the kids, like your dad doing the Funky Chicken at your sister's wedding reception. That's the secret of the Rolling Stone magic. "I don't think [Rolling Stone] has lost its clout culturally," says Jann Wenner (a quote which Bookslut's Jessa Crispin describes as "adorable.") He then goes on to talk about how hard it is to get covered by his magazine if you're not, in effect, Bruce Springsteen or Mark Knopfler or some variation on Big Brother and the Holding Company: that's a kind of "weight and prestige" that even Time magazine can't confer, allegedly.

And then there's SPIN and AP, the "alternative." They are exactly the same as RS, except that instead of Big Brother and the Holding Company, the thing you're supposed to be exactly like in order to get in their good graces is Pavement. That's the standard. The Strokes are perfect. Merge Records can squeak by. But my band, my label, and my book, are nowhere near Pavement-y enough to make it in. Your band and book and label, too, probably. So I (and you) have never been in SPIN. And won't be, ever.

A ways back, Rolling Stone released one of its famously clueless lists, the 500 greatest songs of all time, otherwise known as the Big Chill Soundtrack, Volumes One through Thirty-Five. Joe Levy had this to say:

"Somewhere out there is someone whose life was changed by 'Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I've Got Love in My Tummy,' but I don't know if that would make anyone's list of the Top 500 songs."
As I remarked at the time, Joe Levy, I am that man. "Yummy Yummy Yummy" is definitely in my top five, anyway. And I am not alone. There are actually quite a few "Yummy Yummy Yummy" people out there. But Jefferson Starship/Dire Straits/Janis Joplin people like Joe Levy just can't see it. Same as it ever was. Speaking as a Yummy Yummy Yummy guy, I cannot even fathom what it would be like to utter a statement like the one quoted above. And I'm sure the feeling is mutual about the kinds of statements I utter. Maybe there can never be common ground between our tribes.

As for the Pavement People, SPIN recently published a "guide to pop punk" in which every Lookout band was conspicuous by its absence. Nary a Weasel in sight. Then, to my surprise, there was a brief moment where it seemed as though SPIN was going to run a review of King Dork. But the Pavement Police soon stepped in. Just like Rolling Stone, they killed it from on high. No Yummy Yummy Yummy content in SPIN. Not now, not ever. But if Stephen Malkmus ever writes a young adult novel called "Heaven is a Truck," get ready for some heavy-duty SPIN fellatio. Talk indie to me, baby... Even AP, with whom I have had a few brief, casual encounters, is sulking in the corner while my book flirts with Letterman, dances with Entertainment Weekly, and makes out with USA Today. Well, at least something's makin' time with somebody.

When I was in college it seemed like you couldn't turn around without tripping over a Foucault-worshipping faculty member. At the time I thought to myself, "one day all the Foucault people will die off, clearing the way for the non-Foucault people, and the dream of the Foucault-optional university education will finally be a reality." We're not quite there yet, though we have perhaps achieved the only slightly less impressive feat of the Adorno-optional university education. Will the Big Brother and the Holding Company People and the Pavement people eventually die off and retire or go to Newsweek, leaving a small bit of real estate for the Yummy Yummy Yummy People to squat on? Only time will tell.

As for the more general irresolvable existential conflict between the Yummy Yummy Yummy Nation, on the one hand, and the Big Brother and the Holding Company/Pavement/Burning Man axis on the other: I don't know if we'll win in the end. But we are, quite obviously, better than them. Wig wam bam, baby, wig wam bam.

UPDATE: A commenter has pointed out that the "Alternative" Press is not sulking in the corner dreaming of Pavement, but is in fact making out with Fallout Boy. It's so hard to keep track, but fair enough. So be it. The Fallout Boy Nation. We shall fight them on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields, and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender...

Posted by Dr. Frank at 01:53 AM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

May 02, 2006

Hollywood be Thy Name


Check it out: Publishers Weekly stokes my buzz, if "to stoke one's buzz" is the proper terminology. What do I know? I've never had my buzz stoked before...

Posted by Dr. Frank at 11:33 PM | TrackBack

You may have already won...


As you can see, Kendra ended up with at least one King Dork too many. So she's holding a contest to give away the excess. She's calling it The King Dork Band Name Contest.

The full description of the contest is on her blog (link above) but essentially the idea is to come up with the best Sam 'n' Moe band, in Tom Henderson's format, e.g. "The Nancy Wheelers, Pseudo-Moe on guitar, Sam Hellerman on bass and Ouija board, first album Margaret? It's God. Please Shut Up." Logos and cover art optional but encouraged. I'll autograph or otherwise deface the winner's prize in whatever way the winner likes. How does that sound?

You've got one week from today. Go!

Teens Read Too is also currently holding a contest for a copy of King Dork along with a three-song promo sampler CD. Check it out...

Posted by Dr. Frank at 08:50 PM | TrackBack

May 01, 2006

See Ya Later, Aggregator


I have been meaning to do at least a token post on another topic, but I keep never getting around to it and in the meantime more King Dork stuff has appeared just waiting to be aggregated. And who's going to aggregate it, if not me? So herewith, some more link aggregation (with apologies to those who prefer posts on other topics. Your day will come.)

(a) There was a nice review in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle. My entire family saw it.

(b) Clive Davis wrote a swell review-essay on King Dork in the Washington Times.

(c) Here's a review from Popmatters, with some pretty good advice at the end, because they do indeed.

(d) Aversion has posted this Q&A.

(e) Here's a capsule-blurb type thing in a wire-service "reading roundup" that has been making the rounds. That should bump up sales in Grand Fork.

(f) Here's a sweet review from bookblog Lorem Ipsum; I talk about my favorite movie here, kinda in exchange for this plug.

(g) I've got a few more shows/appearances/happenings lined up, including Seattle and Portland. Details to follow...

Posted by Dr. Frank at 05:57 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack