June 29, 2012


When I was in middle school this kid whose name I no longer remember said he'd let me be in his band if I wrote lyrics to a song he had called "Rockin' Halls" that was supposed to be about crashing a Bee Gees concert and killing the Bee Gees and all their fans. I don't remember what I came up with, but it didn't make the cut. "No way, your lyrics suck, man," he said.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 12:04 AM

June 28, 2012

What is the connection between Frank Black, Frank Portman, and Beverly Cleary?

Something to do with the Masons?

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:44 PM | Comments (1)

June 27, 2012

Yeah, I'm fine. I snapped my chin down onto some guy's fist and hit another one in the knee with my nose...

NY man charged with assault for injuring police officers' fists with his face. No, really.

(via the Agitator.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at 09:46 PM

Back to the Coast

I recently regained access to a bunch of previously walled-in LPs. They're in no order whatsoever, and I don't believe they've ever been put in any kind of order, though they seem to be clumped roughly with others acquired in the same general time period (which would have been late 70s to early 80s.)

Well, the OCD kicked in a bit, and I've been aspergering them, that is, listening to them in the order they come, regardless of whether I particularly want to hear whatever it is that is in front or on top. (I mean seriously: the Toiling Midgets' Sea of Unrest LP. Listened all the way, no joke. This is how seriously committed I am to my OCD, or it is to me.) I suppose it's kind of like a primitive analog version of shuffling your iTunes, except you're not allowed to click "next." I mean, you're not allowed to click anything.

Anyway I just happened on Waiting on Egypt, the first Nikki Sudden solo album, and I realize I must have listened to it a whole lot more than I'd figured I must have. Every track, and every bit of every track, is embedded in my brain just as though it were a Who record or something: I knew most of the words (really saying something, as they are largely inaudible or obscure -- I must have spent a lot of time studying that lyric sheet way back.) And I could hear the intro of each song in my head as the previous one ended in advance of it actually starting to play. Kind of amazed at that.

There are a couple of tracks that anticipate the Johnny Thunders / Keith Richard direction he was to take shortly thereafter, but the bulk of it is pretty much exactly like a less low-fi Swell Maps record. Glad I re-discovered it, though the fact that I know it so well is perhaps arguably a pretty good indication of a misspent youth.


Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:35 PM | Comments (1)

Best of luck, Kate


Posted by Dr. Frank at 05:27 PM | Comments (1)

June 25, 2012



Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:10 PM

June 19, 2012

Baltimore Approacheth

If "approacheth" is the term I want. I checked the weather forecast and learned it's going to be 102° F on Thursday, June 21st in Baltimore, when I'm planning to spend an hour or so jumping around and screaming my head off. Is that… survivable? Seems doubtful, but I already have the plane ticket so I guess I can't back out now. If I don't make it, well, I've had a full life.

If I do (survive, that is) I'll be doing a song or two with the Bye Bye Blackbirds and telling a rock and roll story for an Art Beat Summer Rock Camp fundraiser on Saturday 6/23 at the Vessel Gallery, 471 25th St. in Oakland. Also appearing will be Ronnie Barnett, so that should be fun.


-- Thursday, June 21st, Otto Bar, 2549 North Howard Street, Baltimore, MD 21218: I'm going to be doing a set at the Insubordination Fest opening night, with Cincinnati's Mixtapes as the back-up band. They're learning the songs now. It should be a fun adventure. [Update: Houseboat has also been added to the fun adventure mix.]

-- Saturday, June 23rd, Vessel Gallery, 471 25th St., Oakland, CA with the Bye Bye Blackbirds, Ronnie Barnett, and others.

-- Sunday, July 8th, Oakland Metro Operahouse, 630 3rd Street, Oakland CA. 94607 : gonna be playing the Mess Fest, with Kepi, Prima Donna, and others. If you're planning to come to this to see my set, you're going to have to come mighty early, as it turns out I'm playing first. Like, 6 PM, I mean, seriously.

UPDATE: The schedule has now been emended and I'm on at 9:15 now. Thanks, Kat!

Posted by Dr. Frank at 11:40 PM | Comments (2)

The Square of Sevens


The Square of Sevens: an Authoritative System of Cartomancy by E. Irenaeus Stevenson, New York, 1897.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 05:50 PM

June 15, 2012

Animal Language


Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:53 AM

While BART was on fire


I'd never had the occasion to take the SF/Oakland ferry before. A bit more expensive than BART, but a lot prettier, less smelly, and there's a bar.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:43 AM

Why You Can Never Have Too Many Security Cameras

Remember this kid? NYPD officers who thought he had drugs saw him enter his apartment building and kicked down the doors, following him into the bathroom where he was summarily killed. The cop who shot him (now charged with manslaughter) claims he thought the kid was reaching for a gun and that he fired in self-defense. No drugs or guns were found, though one of those items (i.e., not the putative gun) might well have been flushed. (According to the article, dozens of officers gathered outside the courtroom applauded when the accused emerged after posting bail. Now I understand they want to support their buddy, but that's kind of a sickening scene to contemplate, given that what's at issue is the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager, a tragic error at best, a catastrophe for his family and neighborhood, etc. Maybe the shooting was indeed justified and unavoidable, and he's innocent till proven guilty, but actual applause seems well out of line.)

Anyway, so now the kid's neighbors and the landlady of the building are suing the city for terrorizing them in the course of the officers' conducting their teenager-killing duties:

The gunshots brought the landlady, Paulet Minzie, 55, out of the shower and down the stairs from the third floor, with only a towel covering her below the waist, the court papers say.

“Police screamed at her causing great alarm,” the notice says. “Ms. Minzie immediately retreated up the stairs toward her apartment, trailed by the two officers who had just been searching for (and killed) Ramarley Graham.

As Ms. Minzie reached the threshold of her apartment door, police ordered her to put her hands up and put a gun to her head,” the papers say. One officer kept the gun to her head until she told him there were surveillance cameras operating, she alleged.

“[He] immediately lowered his weapon. His demeanor completely changed, and he alerted his colleague that they may be on camera,” the papers say.

If I were ever in such a situation, I imagine a deameanor-altering camera might come in handy. Too bad there wasn't such a camera in the bathroom.

(via Ed Krayewski at Reason, who adds: "Victory in the drug war is right around the corner!" Indeed.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:21 AM

June 12, 2012

Hanging Out with Argentines at Harrington's


Posted by Dr. Frank at 05:38 PM | Comments (1)

June 08, 2012

And if, in four years, we as a people decide we don't like peace, prosperity, and freedom, we can always vote tyranny back into office again.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 05:01 PM | Comments (9)

Dad, where's that one record I like, the one that's blue and punk rock?

A four year old and his dad discuss the Mr T. Experience.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 02:35 PM | Comments (3)

June 05, 2012

Sincerely, "Sheila"

sheila1.jpg sheila2.jpg

Found near Buena Vista Park, San Francisco.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 05:44 PM