Sunday, June 23, 2013


Stream or download the newest Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast, #16, recorded in late June 2013. Like the other 15, which I'm putting out about once every two weeks, it's an hour of raw, underground music from multiple sub-strands of rocknroll. This one's maybe a little more gentle and pop-like than some of our past bonzai, punktastic editions, but if you hang in there for 60 minutes you'll definitely be able to get what you're looking for, punker.

New stuff this time from THE PEARLS (new female duo from Italy), THE SLEAZE, THE WIMPS and other bands with "The" in their names. Older stuff spans from quiet New Zealand Velvets-inspired stuff like The Pedestrians and The Kiwi Animal to garage punk from The Nights & Days, Girls at Dawn, Thee Mighty Caesars & more. Stream it, download it, and as always - tell a friend.

Download Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast #16 here.
Stream Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast #16 here.

Track listing:

THE PEDESTRIANS - Looking Out My Window
LORETTE VELVETTE - Boys Keep Swinging
VERTIGO - Two Lives
SWELL MAPS - Another Song
THE DONNAS - Lana and Steve
SEEMS TWICE - Salient Feature
U.X.A. - U.X.A.
THE WIMPS - Slept in Late
HUNGRY GAYZE - Pins and Needles
THE SLEAZE - Because of You
THE GIBSON BROS - Skull & Crossbones
THE KIWI ANIMAL - Blue Morning
DADAMAH - Radio Brain
ANN-MARGRET - You Turned My Head Around

Download some of the past shows, too, while you're at it - each about one hour.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


TV still looms rather large in The Hedonist Jive household, at least as large as it did the time in 2011 when I gave you a rundown on my recommended world of television, yet I'll sadly admit I fall about 4 hours short of the American average of 4 hours, 39 minutes of daily viewing time per person. I'm doing my best, folks, but only so many hours in the day, and all that. I try to keep my viewing to, uh, "cinematic"-like television, and to the handful shows of the recent past that have elevated TV from a diversionary failure pile in a sadness bowl into something more artful and edifying. You know - "Breaking Bad", "The Wire", "Sopranos", "Mad Men" and so on.

It sort of came and went rather quickly, but I've found a show easily the equal of the aforementioned, and it just happens to have come from a film director. You may have heard of it - it's called "TOP OF THE LAKE", and all 7 episodes of Jane Campion's dark, sparse and thrilling miniseries are available for streaming on Netflix (the series originally ran on Sundance Channel in the US, which no one except for the fabulously wealthy subscribe to). It was actually shown at the Sundance festival as a film, a 7-hour film with one pee break in the middle. Filmed entirely on location in a stunningly beautiful, rural lakeside village in New Zealand, "Top of The Lake" combines police procedural, some ugly & raw tropes that are common to thrillers and even horror films, much high drama, and a drawn-out, twisted, understated direction and set of acting performances that are as good as anything I've ever seen on "TV". It's the equal of any film that's come out this year for sure.

Elizabeth Moss (Robin) - you may know her as Peggy on "Mad Men" - dons a kiwi accent and swoops in from Sydney to the town (Laketop) in which she grew up to investigate the rape and impregnation of a 12-year-old girl, Tui. It's clear early on that the town, which had a seedy and ugly side when Robin lived there, has even darker secrets now, and a host of speed-crazed and possibly murderous individuals who would very much prefer that Robin stay the hell away. Robin has her own Laketop rape issues she's still working on overcoming, and it's initially quite clear that Laketop's "devil" figure, the outstandingly evil psychopath Matt Mitchum (Tui's father!), is potentially behind both rapes, as well as being the town overlord and drug supplier as well.

Sound uplifting? While it often descends into darkness and hell, the show actually gains some levity from the whodunnit police procedural stuff. Robin's boss on the Laketop police force, Al Parker, is incredible as a conflicted (to say the least) individual, in too deep in the machinations of the town and Mitchum's world to be a real detective and much help to Robin. We had to rewind the thing many times to try and understand his New Zealand accent; unless Ms. Moss, he's the real kiwi deal. Robin also falls in love with Johnno, who happens to be one of Mitchum's other children. You'll find out that he's got a few, spread over many women, and a few questions surround Johnno's "suitability" for Robin that never quite go away until things resolve quite surprisingly in the last two pulse-rushing episodes.

Perhaps you've also heard Holly Hunter's in this. We love Holly Hunter at The Hedonist Jive, but are a little unsure on where we stand on her character, "GJ", a mystic weirdo who presides over a women's colony at the edge of the lake. At best, she's annoying and fits an essential, almost Greek-like part as the "seer" who comes in the silently observes what's happening and reticently speaks truth to power before leaving. At worst, she's just annoying.

The show adds a bizarre, unconventional and strange layer to a mostly linear storyline, and therefore makes itself absolutely captivating. I was very disappointed to see it end. Moss is terrific, the scenery is drop-dead gorgeous, and it's as weird, slow and wonderful a show as you're going to find anywhere. If you've got seven hours to invest in a binge-watch this coming weekend, I have to say that this would be an excellent way to spend them.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


After Morocco gained independence from France in 1956, the country began to culturally flourish in new manners, and among the flourishing was a rise in the documentation of indigenous music on the 45rpm single. Dust-To-Digital just put out this LP and download-only collection of six longish tracks from the post-independence era, all recorded in the late 1950s and into the 1960s. It's a fascinating collection, and shoots to the top of my favorite international releases of the past few years – mainly because I've never heard much like this before. It's just modern enough to be recognizable to Western ears, while also being complex and mind-bendingly Middle Eastern/African, and impenetrable in its construction and cultural motivations. Huge big-ups to David Murray, the curator of this one.

Like I said, we're only talking 6 "songs" here, three to a side, totaling out to about 40 minutes. You complaining? Not for $5.94 I'm not. The first two by Mohammed Bergem and Rais Haj Omar Wahrouch respectively are very rhythmic and "jam"-like, each with a crazed instrumental breakdown in the final minute that kicks the songs up to a higher plane. The third, "Kassidat El Hakka (The Poem of the Truth)" by Abdellah El Magana, is a real barn-burner – a speaking-in-tongues monster, in which you can image Abdellah's twisted tongue rolling to the back of his throat and his eyes rolling into his frontal lobe while foam forms at the corners of his mouth. Whatever he's saying, he's believing it and then some. I've posted it for you here so you can crank it at work for all of your co-workers.

Each of the six songs has its own style, and it would take a much more accomplished ethnomusicologist than myself to penetrate it further. Suffice to say, if you can handle the Abdellah El Magana track, you can easily handle the rest of it, most of which is lovely and uplifting and infused with the spirit of the desert and centuries of musical tradition. See if you can find $5.94 in your couch cushions, and then you too shall feel it deep in your bones and noggin. 


Monday, June 17, 2013


Saw a really interesting documentary film the other night called "OUT OF PRINT", a wide-ranging PBS Frontline-style newsburst about the decline of print and the rise of electronic media. If I get my act together, I'll try and find the time to review it and "discuss" the many questions and issues it provoked. In the meantime, one of them's been a-brewing in my own cranium for a while, and that's the potential if not inevitable disappearance of the physical bookstore, and the effect that will have on literary discovery, and on literacy in general. I've personally re-committed myself to "book learning" over the past year, trying as much as I'm able to steer myself away from the siren song of online media and even from short-form magazine pieces as my primary informational input. This book learning is taking many forms – audio, traditional and e-reading – and it's within the realm of the latter where I made a possibly principled (?) decision yesterday, the sort of feel-good, empty gesture I normally scoff at.

I bought an e-reader from KOBO, a Canadian company who've emerged as the last standing pure e-reading alternative to the Kindle, unless you believe the "Nook" still has some skin in the game (I don't). Now let me make it clear I've got no real beef against, and until yesterday, when I passed it on to my son, I too owned a Kindle, the old-school kind with no backlight and that only allows for the consumption of books. I'm a semi-frequent Amazon customer across all sorts of products, and it's my belief they've done much more good than harm in terms of enabling easy, friction-free, time- and money-saving commerce across a variety of spheres – not to mention been a very real contributor to a very real "book boom" in self-publishing; to the a dispersion of niche titles; and a strong enabler of reading in general.

That said, I hate monopolies, and I love physical bookstores. Independent bookstores are where me and my family spend an inordinate amount of time, and I want them to be around for my son and his family as well. Typically, when we walk in, which is often, we walk out with 1-3 items, which is why the three of us have way more books than we can read. Amazon and its locked-in Kindle ecosystem has the potential to be the final nail in the coffin for the physical bookstore, who've seen their ranks dramatically thinned anyway over the past 15 years thanks to Amazon's other innovations in online book selling. If the second revolutionary wave of e-reading passes them by, they're absolutely gone for good. Enter Kobo.

Kobo's e-readers have been for sale at some of my favorite independent bookstores the past year, like San Francisco's Green Apple Books; Seattle's Queen Anne Book Company and Santa Cruz's Bookshop Santa Cruz. The deal works like this: when you buy an e-book from Kobo (whether you ultimately read it on Kobo's hardware or not), your favorite indie bookstore gets a generous kickback on the sale, whether or not they actually had anything to do with it. (Why would they, right? It's virtual). This means that if you're in your favorite indie store and you see something you like, but aren't ready to commit $26 to the hardcover but could see yourself kicking down $15 for the e-book version – well, now you don't have to dial up Amazon's app on your smartphone there in the store, and embarrass yourself and all freedom-loving people. You dial up Kobo's instead, hold it up so that the people at the counter know you're not buying for your Kindle, announce in a very loud, sanctimonious voice that you're "shopping locally", and then slink out of the store.

Of course, I didn't only buy the Kobo Glo because I'm a self-righteous liberal concerned about saving the independent bookstore. It has a rad backlight, and I totally needed one of those so I can read in bed. But I'm actually hoping that this helps keep the Green Apples and Bookshop Santa Cruzes and the Booksmiths of the world in business a little longer, and actually pads their bottom lines a bit to make up for previous losses to Amazon. I don't have to do anything different, just read on a newer, better, e-reader, and maybe pay an extra 50 cents or so per book than I would otherwise via Amazon's cutthroat pricing. I'd love to see this particular e-reader catch on and serve as a viable alternative to the Kindle, and succeed where the Nook has most likely failed (the Nook, too, was its own locked-in ecosystem anyway). If you're thinking about the same sorts of issues from time to time and have a local bookstore you'd like to support (there's a great list here), I submit that you please consider the Kobo.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Remember the Dogme 95 movement? Remember how breathless everyone used to get in the late 90s when discussing these Scandinavian auteurs, and how they'd eschew music and non-natural light, use only hand-held cameras, film only on location and so on? What we were left with, 15-20 years later, were films that look a lot like many low-budget digital films of today, films that aren't necessarily making aesthetic choices in looking shabby and uncouth but are just, you know, that way. We were also left with some of my favorite movies of that era; most notably the films of Lars Von Trier and Susanne Bier. One film - Thomas Vinterberg's "THE CELEBRATION" - lords above all the Dogme 95 films, and happens to be one of my favorites of all time. Not only was it the first in this series of films, it's also the most cringe-inducing, skin-crawling family drama of all time, with enough tense and difficult moments to fill thirty psychotherapy offices. I'd like to "celebrate" if for you a bit here, if I may.

I recently re-watched "The Celebration" - "Festen" in its native Denmark - ironically while on a plane coming back from a trip to Scandinavia myself (Norway in this instance). It did not cease to spin my head around. I had to shade my screen a little during the "lovemaking" scene, and some of the on-screen violence and tension probably caused a little eyebrow-raising amongst my seatmates, but one glance around our widebody plane and it was clear that most everyone who were watching movies were self-lobotomizing with "The Fast and The Furious" and various variants anyway. 

Anyway, time has not blunted the impact of the carefully unfolding revelations within "The Celebration". The film concerns a obvious-from-the-bat dysfunctional family who have gathered in the Danish countryside at a mansion-like summer home to celebrate the patriarch's 60th birthday. There are 4 siblings; one is glamorous rebel Helene (played by the wonderfully-named Paprika Steen) who brings an African-American boyfriend to the party; another is a hotheaded idiot loser named Michael, absolutely desperate for his Dad's approval; another is the inward-looking, withdrawn Christian; and the fourth is Christian's twin sister Linda, who recently killed herself in the bathtub in that very house, and whose death casts a pall over the celebration.

It's Christian who becomes the centerpiece of the weird, oddly funny machinations between these messed-up people who are trying to have an upper-class "party" with dozens of family friends and relatives. He drops the bombshell in a "toast" to his father at dinner that he and his twin sister were repeatedly raped as children by their father, with their mother's full knowledge. You are free to imagine the repercussions of this "toast", if you have yet to see the film, and you'd be right. In the hands of a clunky filmmaker, this scenario and set-up could have just been played as a shocker and come off as clumsy, but Vinterberg was not that guy. He makes it so dark and yet so funny that you're not sure if you're laughing because you're totally creeped out or if what you just saw was so farcically hilarious.

Rent it if this at all piques your interest. It's definitely one of the greats in my book.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast #15

Newest Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast - #15 - recorded at a laptop, in a room, on a Tuesday, in San Francisco, by a guy, with a beer, just for you. It's now baked and ready for you to download or stream over on Soundcloud.
New stuff this time from THE WIMPS, THE SLEAZE, FULLY COOKED, PRIESTS and LANTERN, along with some total whoppers from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s. It's about an hour, give or take about 7 minutes (OK, give) - and I'd love it if you'd download or stream it right now.
Track listing:
PRIESTS - Radiation
THE WIMPS - Hello Frustration
THE RATS - Kids Are Kids
LONG BLONDES - Big Infatuation
NERVOUS PATTERNS - Beautiful Brutal
LANTERN - Strange Weather
THE MOODISTS - I Should Have Been There
THE GODRAYS - Boyscout Thriller
WIRE - Our Swimmer
ZODIAC KILLERS - Nazi Interrogation
GG ALLIN - Drink, Fight and Fuck
RAZAR - Task Force
THE CAVEMEN - It's Trash!
WOODEN SHJIPS - Dance, California
MIDNIGHT CIRCUS - The Hedonist Jive
THE MIRRORS - Everything Near Me
THE SLEAZE - Conor Start 

Download some of the recent past episodes - each about an hour:

Dynamite Hemorrhage #14
Dynamite Hemorrhage #13
Dynamite Hemorrhage #12
Dynamite Hemorrhage #11
Dynamite Hemorrhage #10

Monday, June 10, 2013


I'm not sure how many more times in my life I'll get to have any sort of pulse-quickening record store experience, but when I wandered into London's Sound of The Universe last October while out there on a work trip, I was overloaded and totally jazzed by their selection & curation of weird, rare and one-of-a-kind pieces of musical exotica. It's a store closely affiliated with the Soul Jazz record label, which is precisely why I went there. While I spend most of my music-consumption time on rocknroll, to be in a place that totally eschewed underground and mainstream rock in favor of African, dub, 78rpm collections, Tropicalia, instrumentals, 60s electronic experiments and the like was pretty, uh, "far out". I got into the spirit of the moment and dropped some American coin on a few CDs I'd never heard, seen nor heard of before.

One of those, "PSYCH FUNK SA-RE-GA!", I'm just getting around to gabbing about here on the blog now. It purports to be a "master's level seminar" in Indian psychedelic funk music of the 60s and 70s. Silly as the liner notes can be, they're incredibly detailed and packed with amazing pictures of Indian fellas with bad-ass 70s clothing and mutton chops, and with femme fatales from Bollywood films batting their eyelashes. It's no "Bombay The Hard Way", though (man, was I bummed when I found out that that collection wasn't original Bollywood music but a 1990s "reinterpretation"). It's the real thing, and it's not all wackiness and retro irony, either, with a lot of complex and wonderful psychedelic music of many stripes. This is authentic Indian film music from the era in which fuzzboxes and beats ruled, when the main signifiers of out-there music in India were the (psych) Beatles and the Velvet Underground, combined with indigenous funk and sitar beats passed down over the decades and centuries of Indian music.

The chief composers, like the brotherly duo called Kalyanji Anandji, were borrowing from Western rock, sure, but this collection is so well-curated that it truly feels like a truly  Indian comp of undeservedly buried classics, which are exciting and totally eye-opening. Bollywood movies of the 60s typically needed a lot more music than a Western film, since there was not only the incidental music for the background of a scene, but multiple song-and-dance numbers that went on for up to ten minutes band often constituted the core of the film. A lot of this is wah-wah heavy and quite ripplingly loud, and it makes for a transfixing sound when combined with a fluttering female Indian songbird voice and traditional sitar and the like. I'm posting an instrumental selection from "Psych Funk Sa-Re-Ga!", which, unimaginatively is the very first track on the compilation - "The Mod Trade" by The Black Beats. Hopefully you'll be crying out "Sweet Vishnu!" by the time the fuzz pedal really kicks in.


Friday, June 7, 2013


I've had the brand-new, finally released "Greek Rhapsody – Instrumental Music From Greece 1905-1956" on pre-order for so long that I actually forgot having ordered it until I received this nice email from DUST-TO-DIGITAL letting me know it had arrived in their hands, if not mine. They're also doing us 78rpm and Rembetika fans a great service by offering up some rare and lost copies of a 2005 CD called "MORTIKA - RARE VINTAGE RECORDINGS FROM A GREEK UNDERWORLD" that I've been listening to just this very week, and had it in my head to try and tell you about. Fortune has intervened to allow you to actually buy a copy of it, albeit as a twofer with the new "Greek Rhapsody" set for $50. That said, if you've got a soul, a brain and a heart, there's a good chance you'll be able to scrape together your loose change and mail off a money order.

"MORTIKA" is what we're here to talk about today. Tony Klein is the gentleman that pulled this together, on a Swedish label called Arko in 2005. There's also a double LP version. I've barely written about my adoration for "rembetika" or "rebetiko" or "greek folk music", outside of this thing I wrote on Markos Vamvakaris in 2011. Yet when I tabulate all of the world musics that I want to dig the deepest into, outside of the African 60s & 70s, it's the 78rpm wonders from Southern & Eastern Europe that move me the most, most particularly from Greece and Bulgaria. "Mortika" is a wonderful introduction and deep dive into some of the best of this music. Delicate and invested with the depth of feeling many find in delta blues or backwoods/mountain country music of the same period, the pre-WWII rembetika masters are represented extremely well on "Mortika", and one track slides beautifully to the next.

At times some of the vocals take some aural adjustments; it's clear that either my Western ears are unfamiliar with some of the grating singing of Spanhanis on "Oh Mother I Can't Stand It", for instance, or more likely, his vocals are anecdotal and a mere accompaniment to the deep strumming and plucking you'll find on his bazouki and baglamas. There are certain tracks to get lost in over and again. The opening "The Mystery" by Ionnis "Jack" Halikias is one – a beautiful, bluesy tune that must have made many Athenas, Desdamonas and Delphines weep in person. I chose one of my favorite tracks from this, by Dimitris Gongos (long may he rest) for you not because it's translated badly as "Hash Smoking Chicks"- though we are lucky that a tune with that name is so good – but because, again, it's so good. And like I said, if it's intriguing, you've only got this one opportunity now to procure a copy.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Instead of whinging and wringing my digital hands about the death of foreign film in US arthouse movie theaters, as I have frequently in the past on this blog, I'm trying to go see it in person as often as I can when small fringe film festivals come to my town. This past week San Francisco saw a short series of films from the Czech Republic called CZECH THAT FILM. The series has been on tour around the US, and one of its coordinators told our audience that we were the largest crowd they'd seen in the US except for one they'd recently had in Salt Lake City (!). I guess if I'm starved for experiencing offbeat foreign film on a big screen, well, consider Utah.

I was there for the closing night film, "IN THE SHADOW" ("Ve Stinu"), a 2012 "Stalinist noir" from director David Ondříček. He told us before the film that he was part of the last generation with plenty of first-hand memory of the Communist era in then-Czechoslovakia, and by his words and his film, it's clear he was none too fond of it. While his film is a mystery/thriller with some interesting plot dynamics, it's also absurdly formulaic. I'm not talking potboiler noirs or modern thrillers, I'm talking "Law and Order" and "NCIS". It's that cheesy. A detective snoops around a house, half in shadow – but wait! Something's dripping from the floorboards, right onto his face! That's not water, that's blood! He heads upstairs,  sees a body on the floor, and whack – he's hit from behind! He's out cold! He wakes up – and the body is gone! All I needed was a note saying "You can't catch me ha ha ha ha" to complete the cornball cliché-laden effect. Certainly the music does its part as well: always too loud, too melodramatic, and telegraphing what's about to happen from a mile away.

Essentially what you've got is a hardened detective sent to investigate a robbery purportedly made by Jewish group; except his corrupt, Soviet-influenced bosses really don't want him to find out the truth. ("You can't handle the truth!" - nah, they didn't really say that). A German, ex-Nazi minder/detective is sent to watch his every move, and ultimately we find out a little bit more about him that's not really what we expected. There's a ludicrous, meaningless scene in the downstairs boiler/laundry room in which the German gets a surprising come-on from the detective's hot wife, whose cleavage is popping out all over in a scene totally at odds with her staid character the rest of the film. Of course, the consummation of their unspoken desire is broken up just in time – but the detective beats up the German anyway!

won several awards in the Czech equivalent of the Oscars last year, and good for Ondříček. I'm a jaded cynic, one who nonetheless found some room to cheer at the climax of the film, which ended on a dramatic and slightly dark note and was well played. Then again, some of those  "Law and Order" reruns I watched on TBS with my grandpa before he died were pretty well-played as well.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Those of us with old-school, multiple-paragraph blogs are starting to feel like fax machine salesmen in an age of short-form social media, Tumblrs, robust content-filtering smartphone apps and the like. The fact that you're reading this, however, means you're still "keeping the faith" in some small way. Me, I've been an active blogger since 2003, and one of the best presents we bloggers ever got during the past ten years was the free RSS aggregation service that Google launched in 2005 called Google Reader.

Despite always being a bit clunky, and not particularly easy on the eyes, Google Reader became easier and easier to use and more of an essential tool for consuming content over the years. For many of us, writers and readers alike, it was a singular go-to place for the many blogs we'd want to read and follow, without having the click on sidebar links or home page bookmarks, the method I used to consume content in the pre-Reader era. Everything I'd want to read, every day, was aggregated in the same place. With Reader, there were some sites whose true www. home pages I never actually saw at all. I'd only get their content in Reader when they updated, and if they didn't update, they were dead to me. For those of us who write blogs, it meant a cadre of readers who'd stay with you and could easily see your blatherings every time they logged into Reader. The only way they'd "leave" you is if they actively unsubscribed. I'm pretty sure that well over half of the readers of this and my other blogs have actually been reading it on Google Reader, and not directly at or

Now they're pulling the plug on July 1st, as you may have heard. They've got their reasons. It's in my own self-interest to help find you an alternative, and I've done that. Well, there are many alternatives, so let me tell you the most "Reader-like" one out there, and my preferred choice for the content I myself consume, is FEEDLY. You'll need to use it through the Chrome browser on desktop computers, but that's OK, because Chrome's the best, right? (Note: looks like it's available for Firefox too). There's also an Android and an iOS app for FEEDLY, and it's a great one. I'll wait here while you go set those up.

Done? OK. There are two other places to find The Hedonist Jive content without having to come to the blog itself. I've got this new Flipboard magazine called, you got it, The Hedonist Jive. I'm "flipping" all the articles/posts I write, as well as those of many more talented and interesting people, into this mobile- and tablet-only magazine. If you haven't used Flipboard yet, you gotta do it. It's extremely well-designed, and its success actually helped lead to the demise of Google Reader. So like the true rebellious nonconformist I am, "join 'em", I say. Oh, and have you heard of Twitter? I maintain a presence over there as well, and you can follow the Hedonist Jive "Twitter stream" if you'd like. 

Apologies for the vainglorious post, but I'd like to keep you reading my navel-gazing narcissism for another few months if I can.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


I knew Daniel Woodrell only by the adapted screenplay of his book "WINTER'S BONE", which was turned into the excellent dark and desperate film of the same name. That was enough to give me a whiff of the man's Ozark Gothic creepiness, and a well-placed review somewhere of his 2011 short story collection "THE OUTLAW ALBUM" was the kick I needed to get me to give him a try. Woodrell's already got a pretty good batch of books under his belt, and he's the real deal: born and raised in the Missouri Ozarks, where he lives to this day. He cites Twain, Hemingway, Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor as being among his influences, and you'll find them all represented well in his noirish stories, all of which are centered on lives lived on the margin, tucked away from the America that most of us can easily relate to. If you saw the film "Winter's Bone", you know what sort of people he's talking about here as well.

While I can't honestly bring myself to say I was moved in any significantly life-evolving way by "The Outlaw Album", I found it easy to complete and to enjoy, with the caveat that enjoying this book means tamping down your inner squeamishness and discomfort to a great degree. It's not so much gross nor chilling in any exceptional manner, it's more psychologically wrenching than anything else. Plenty of his characters are hurt, scarred and lost, while others are sure of themselves enough to easily kill or maim another – sometimes for very good reasons. There are war veterans, rape victims and parents of children in prison who don't want their children let out of prison. Woodrell doesn't turn it into a parade of horrors, to his credit, and his writing can frequently be exceptionally evocative and quite moving. Not once did I find him to be one of those overwrought "writer's workshop" types who ingest Faulkner and Hemingway, and then try to go them one better while lacking the talent to do so.

There's one particularly experimental story that might rub some soft-paw folks the wrong way called "Woe To Live On", about a dirtbag Civil War-era Confederate murderer looking back on his life in present (1910s), past and way-past sections that skip around between time period. I had to stop and think about this character, with his references to World War I breaking out, and calculate that yeah, I guess a guy who fought in the Civil War in his 20s would be in his 70s when the first Great War broke out. Once I established its plausibility, I let the story seep over me, and it's a great one. Hardened men, ugly men, racist pig-men. No question they existed in real life as these characters do in this story, and it's evocative and disturbing across the board.

Still up in the air in whether I'll let this very good book propel me into going deeper into Woodrell's extensive back catalog of novels. Maybe you can let me know in the comments if it's worth the effort and time.

Monday, June 3, 2013


New episode of Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast - our 14th. I recorded this over the weekend with you - you - in mind. I knew you'd want to hear new stuff from The Sleaze, The Delphines, Raw Prawn, The Wimps, Cheater Slicks and The Oblivians. I figured you'd be up for cuts from new reissues from Come and the Androids of Mu. And my thinking was that you'd also be real happy if I played some older stuff from Ty Wagner, Susan Lynn, The Other Half, Pussy Galore and a whole bunch more. So an hour and fifteen minutes later, Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio #14 was ready to go.

Download Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast #14
Stream Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast #14

Track listing:

THE RONDELLES - Backstabber
THE SLEAZE - Too Close To Home
SUSAN LYNN - Don't Drag No More
THE BRENTWOODS - Go Little Sputnik
PUSSY GALORE - Pretty Fuck Look
COME - Orbit
KENT III - Satellite
WORLD OF POOH - Laughing at the Ground
GLAXO BABIES - Christine Keeler
THE WIMPS - Quit Your Job
RAW PRAWN - Stitched Me Up
THE TYRADES - Message From The Operator
THE OTHER HALF - Oz Lee Eaves Drops
OBLIVIANS - Mama Guitar
DIG DAT HOLE - A Similar End
ANDROIDS OF MU - Confusion
LUNG LEG - Krayola
SICK THINGS - Sleeping With The Dead

Download the previous one, #13, here - and get the other 12 here