October 31, 2009

Ambient interview skills

Gonna be at this this morning. 10 AM.

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October 30, 2009



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I invite comparison of Waite's "rendering' and mine


Powell's is selling Aleister Crowley's own heavily annotated copy of A. E. Waite's translation of Eliphas Levi's History of Magic.

(via LAShTAL.com.)

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October 29, 2009

Notes from the Underpants

-- poshdeluxe of Forever Young Adult discusses her complicated relationship with Andromeda Klein (the book and the character) and includes some casting ideas.

-- Valet Reader reviews King Dork.

-- Also, just a reminder that I'm going to be on West Coast Live with Sedge Thomson on Hallowe'en morning (Saturday, 10/31.) Freight and Salvage Coffee House, 2020 Addison Street / Berkeley, CA 94704. 10 AM - 12 PM (9:30 doors.)

You can listen on the radio or you can come to the show (ticketweb link here.)

with Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Leonard Pitt, and Mike Greensill.

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Peace of Mind

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October 28, 2009



I've never seen the artwork on the CD package to Nathan's right before now, and I can't find it anywhere on line, either. (The one I'm familiar with has the book cover on the front and text on the back.) Where'd ya get it, Nate?

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October 27, 2009



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Declare the pennies on your eyes

This analysis of F. Scott Fitzgerald's tax returns turned out to be pretty interesting, to my surprise.

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October 25, 2009



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October 24, 2009



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October 23, 2009

Anywhere the Girls Are

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King Dork Characters

From Priscilla:


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October 22, 2009

I Just Want to Celebrate

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October 21, 2009


Clive Davis, one of my favorite bloggers going back quite a ways and an all-around swell person too, has left the Spectator to set up shop on his own again: here.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 11:28 PM | TrackBack

The British Bowdlerization Corporation

I for one can date the exact moment when my childhood was ripped from me, and that was when I first heard that Humpty Dumpty's injuries were terminal. The callousness of how I was given the news after becoming so attached to him during the first line of the rhyme. I still haven't found closure.
That from a comment posted to an article called BBC Defends Humpty Dumpty Decision.

(via Joanne Jacobs)

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Patrick writes:

How about a little love for your short story from Baseball Crazy? I know King Dork and Andromeda Klein are great and everything, but you have a funny and heart-wrenching gem in "Mark Pang and the Impossible Square." Please, don't let him fall through the cracks. Thus far, he's my favorite character of yours.

I hope we haven't seen the last of him!

At ease.

Aw shucks, thanks Patrick. I have no doubt Mark Pang will wander into a novel one of these days.

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October 20, 2009

I have never used a laptop more broken than this


Broken hard drive, trackpad, keyboard (as of just this morning) and severely disintegrating casing. (You can't see it in the picture, but the plastic around the ports on the left side has chipped away, so that the cables connecting the usb keyboard and the firewire hard drive have to be taped in place in order to function.)

Time for a new machine, obviously, but part of me kind of wants to see how far this could be taken.

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From J. Francis:

Darby has you pegged. Yesterday she told me,"Dr. Frank isn't the kind of doctor you see when you are sick. He's the kind of doctor who writes books, like Dr. Seuss. And he sings, too."

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October 19, 2009

Why am I doing this again?

Notes on playing an acoustic set at Gilman after all these years:

-- the new (?) sound system is amazing. I remember the monitors being little more than visual props to make it look like what it would look like if there were real monitors there. It's different now. Classics of Love sounded beyond incredible.

-- I suppose it comes down to a philosophical question of why you play shows at all, but if your goals are (a) to promote yourself or a release, (b) to connect with an audience, (c) to play for people who care to any degree, and (d) to get paid more than a token few dollars, don't play second of six at 8:30 PM. I was basically not part of the real show. Not sure what I was, really. And I guess that isn't really anything new. I mean, looking in the mirror and asking your reflection the question "wait, why am I doing this again?" is quite a familiar experience, so it was just like old times in that sense. Anyway, it seemed like only a handful of the scattered few who were there at that time had any idea of who I was or what I was all about. Including the security guy who said he liked my stuff and asked if I had any CDs out.

-- Despite that, those songs really did seem to land some punches, with people laughing and reacting to the good lines and such. I played an array of mid-to-late period MTX songs and a solo song or two. There's something kind of cool about getting a response from people who haven't heard the songs a hundred times before. (I experienced that a lot on my book tour when I did the school appearances, the first time in many many years where I played "Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend" for entire audiences who have never heard it before.)

-- Picante has really gone upscale, which is great, though there's a part of me that will always miss the scuzziness I remember so fondly from way back.

-- It is amazing how little of the punk rock iconography has been updated with newer names or images. And I don't mean just the old people. I mean the kids. It was all Rudimentary Peni and Crass and GBH and TSOL and Amebix and the like on their jackets and backpacks and such. You could have done crowd scenes for a film set in 1984 and not had too many continuity issues.

-- Six bands on a bill is still a lot of bands and it still felt like a bit of an endurance test to make it all the way to the end.

-- As an excuse to hang out with Paige, Kendra, and Patrick and an occasion to bump into people I hadn't seen in a while it was great.

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October 18, 2009



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Like a Locomotion

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October 17, 2009



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Love Loves to Love Love

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October 16, 2009

Teenquake Tonight, Gilman Tomorrow

A couple of notes on this weekend, in case you're planning to go.

1. My panel at the Teenquake thing tonight (10/16) begins at 8:00 and it's in Latino Rooms A & B in the lower level of the SF Main Library (100 Larkin Street, SF.) They are calling it a "Fringe Fest."

2. It looks I'm on second at Gilman tomorrow night (10/17) -- 8:30 PM. So get there early if you want to see it.

More details are at the most recent shows post, to which I have added this info.

See ya.

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Theme from A Summer Place

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Swelling Itching Brain


I almost got a migraine today.

I rarely get full-blown ones anymore. When I was younger I'd get them every few months, and they would be utterly debilitating, taking me out of commission for four days or so, plus an aftermath of several days of dull, aching nausea. People who don't get migraines tend to think they are just really bad headaches, no matter how many times you tell them they're not. They sometimes even use the term "migraine" to refer to their own ordinary tension headaches (which is all kinds of irritating.) A migraine is a total body experience. For me, in fact, the headache part is really the least of it, just a by-product of the horrible visual and cognitive effects. If you're not curled up in a fetal position shielding your eyes, interrupting your moaning only to vomit now and again, chances are you don't really have one, though in the initial run-up to the full-blown migraine you can wince through the initial effects, praying they abate, acting more or less like a normal person. Once you're down, though, you're down. I've never experienced anything worse.

Nowadays, thankfully, I can usually manage to stave them off with coffee and meditation-relaxation once I get the initial warning signs. For me these signs are a numb feeling in the fingertips of my left hand, gradually working its way up; a distinctive ringing in my ears; and -- the worst part -- this little flashing, jagged line that cuts through my field of vision. This jagged line begins as a tiny dot or "loop" that expands till what I see when I open my eyes is kind of like a cubist painting or psychotic stained glass window, with little pieces of the picture "cut out" and overlapping others. You can't focus on anything. I think that's mainly where the nausea comes from, though I'm not an expert.

The picture above, from this slide show of migraine art that appeared in the NYT a ways back, looks pretty much like the middle stages of that visual process. This one is pretty close to what I see when it develops further than that:


(Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 6 also look familiar.)

The weirdest thing, though, perhaps, is that I find it difficult to process and understand words. If I have to read something (and just doing that can hurt quite a bit) simple sentences will sometimes be nearly impossible to understand. If you meet me in this state, I will most likely make some pretty strange statements, using the wrong words for things without quite realizing that I'm doing it. Like: "sorry I have to lie down, I have a dumptruck," when for "dumptruck" I meant to say "migraine." Today I was on the phone with my bank and I asked the excellence provider if my upholstery had cleared. I meant check, not upholstery. Best not to talk to driftwood bottles when you have a developing migraine. And by driftwood bottles I mean banks.

Anyway, I managed to stave it off today. I don't see the little jagged flashing thing anymore, and I (mostly) have my language skills back (thank God.) Now there's just a dull ache, a kind of spacey feeling, a confused customer-service representative, and a wasted day. It sure could have been worse, though.

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October 15, 2009



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October 14, 2009

Lighten Up, Morrissey

I linked to this song from the latest Sparks album a ways back, but I just learned there's a video now so here it is again.

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October 13, 2009

Still at It

Thanks to everyone who has come to an "event" or two over the past month or so. I've still got a few coming up, too, including tonight with Jack Boulware and Silke Tudor at Booksmith on Haight in SF. That's if it doesn't, you know, float away or something.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., San Francisco, CA 94117. 415 863 8688. 7:30 PM.

With Jack Boulware and Silke Tudor, celebrating the release of their punk rock oral history Gimme Something Better.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Teenquake at the San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco. 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM.

This is a new teen lit arm of Litquake. The mysterious "Young Adult Author Panel" referred to in some of the event's listings actually includes me, Tom Dolby and Ying Chang Compestine. We'll be discussing the occult in literature, I think. (There's another panel, too, with Tom Franco, Betsy Franco, and Sean Beaudoin. If you can figure out what the subject of that one is, let me know.)

It's for teenagers primarily, but I've been told they won't turn anyone away.

*added* my panel is at 8:00 PM, in Latino Rooms A & B on the lower level. They're calling it a "Fringe Fest."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Yes, I'm playing Gilman:

924 Gilman, Berkeley, CA. with Schlong, Classics of Love, Druglords of the Avenues, and Social Unrest. 7:30 PM.

I'll be doing an acoustic set. Request something if you like.

*added* Looks like I'll be playing second, at 8:30, so get there early if you want to see it.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

West Coast Live with Sedge Thomson. Freight and Salvage Coffee House, 2020 Addison Street / Berkeley, CA 94704. 10 AM - 12 PM (9:30 doors.)

You can listen on the radio or you can come to the show (ticketweb link here.)

with Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Leonard Pitt, and Mike Greensill.

That's all I got right now.

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(That's a whole lotta AK reader photos: Erika is #50.)

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Andromeda Klein, Andromeda Klein

Jessi Harrison of Jus Guerilla Films made this short film/music video for "Andromeda Klein":

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October 12, 2009

Father John

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If I Don't Link to My Own Interviews, Who Will?

This interview ran in the Buffalo News last week, I'm told.

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The Pink and Glitter Crowd

Lenore thinks Andromeda Klein might be a tough sell to them, but I'm going to take the head-shaking over the author's twisted imagination as a compliment nonetheless. Thanks, Lenore.

(If there isn't already a movie or book with the title Pinks and Glitters, there sure ought to be.)

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October 09, 2009



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Let Your Hair Hang Down

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October 08, 2009

Eörache, daughter of Eörlobe


Anything with hobbits or sex or drugs or other forbidden stuff in it was pretty much a guaranteed hit with my pre-teen self, so I was heavily influenced by the Harvard Lampoon's Bored of the Rings as a young'n.

I learned a lot from it. It was, in fact, for example, my first encounter with the words "narc" and "benzedrine" (because the narcs were BotR's orcs and there was also an eldest and fatherless merry fellow named Tim Benzedrine.) "Dildo" and "bugger," too, because there's a character named Dildo Bugger (of Bag Eye.) It also trained me to think of cashing in/exploitation as a kind of art form in and of itself.

Would my nine-year-old self have found the imminent Harvard Lampoon Twilight parody quite as educational or enthralling? Judging from the names alone (Belle Goose and Edwart Mullen) I'd say perhaps not. Well, you know, times have changed and all.

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Once Bitten Twice Shy

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He Never Happened

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October 07, 2009



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La La Le La La

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October 06, 2009

The Beauty of Obfuscation

A few more bloggy AK reviews here:

-- from Leanne in Melbourne.

-- from Jodi at Satan's Book Club: four forbidden fruits!

-- and from the Avenging Sybil, who says that Sam Hellerman is still a genius.

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Spam Attack

Just to let everybody know, this blog has been under a pretty gnarly comment spam attack over the last couple of days and I may have to disable comments for a while if it keeps up. Feel free to email me with burning questions or comments if that happens.

And apologies to anybody whose comments may have been inadvertently lost while I was batch-deleting the spam.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:44 PM | TrackBack

Our Big Stupid Government

Ye gods.

added: isn't it really a free speech/1st Amendment issue in the end?

Here's what the government is doing as far as I can see: (a) creating an offense with such broad parameters that it potentially includes nearly 100% of the target population -- i.e, anyone who has ever written anything in reference to anything else on the internet; (b) leaving the means of establishing that you are not an offender so vague that no one could possibly know for certain whether or not they are complying with the new law; (c) enforcing the law capriciously, with the express purpose of "educating the public" through selective harassment of individuals.

Sounds like an inevitable chilling effect to me. Can this "stand," as they say?

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I just heard from Rob from Jealous Butcher that the limited red vinyl 7"s of "Andromeda Klein"/"Bethlehem" are shipping today.

Those sleeves have been on a wild ride. They went from Portland to Connecticut to be signed by Lane Smith, then back to Portland where they just missed my visit there by a day; so then they went to New York where I signed and numbered them in the middle of a Random House party; then I kind of lost track of them. But they turned up today. And that is the story of the 242 sleeves.

I think there may still be a few left. Go here if you want one. Comes with a poster while supplies last.

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October 05, 2009



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October 04, 2009

An elite group...

Shannon Corr has a report with photos on last night's intimate gathering at 1234 Go! Records in Oakland.

How intimate was it? Well, afterwards we went to Geo Kayes up the street and I was able to buy everyone a beer with a twenty dollar bill. That's how intimate it was. You should have been there.

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October 03, 2009



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October 02, 2009

Sat. 10/3

Hey folks: this is just a post to make sure I've made it clear that I'm playing tomorrow, Sat. October 3rd, at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records, 423 40th Street, Oakland, CA. 7 PM.


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Here I am Playing "We Are the Future People of Tomorrow" on the SF Public Library Steps Yesterday


(Photo by Steve Rhodes.)

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Google Has Alerted Me

-- Anastasia interviewed me about Andromeda Klein for her book blog.

-- Whitney A. Miller ruminates on certain extreme forms of getting into character:

-- AK got four out of five pink unicorns here ; and a swell review here.

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The View from the Bay

Jane Ganahl shows and tells Andromeda Klein along with seven other books by Litquake participants. On TV.

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October 01, 2009

Glittering Prizes with No Jail Time

Part II of Lee Wind's book challenge gang interview is here. Part I is here.

Speaking of which, I'll be at this thing on the steps of the San Francisco Public Library (Larkin St.) noon-ish today.

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The Fool


Another tarot card from Dina. The High Priestess is here.

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Isn't it Time?

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quirky hook-laden punkish guitar-pop bubble-glam

The Andromeda Klein single is now on iTunes.

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