Monday, April 28, 2014


DYNAMITE HEMORRHAGE RADIO #36 is now ready for streaming and download, just like the 35 episodes before it. This one takes a mild-psych left turn at the start before veering back into underground artpunk, pop, DIY experimentation and garage gnarl from the last fifty years. 

New stuff's on proud display from Cold Beat, Buck Biloxi & The Fucks, Trick Mammoth, Thee Oh Sees, Pang and the Sleaford Mods, along with some little-heard genius from Chapter 24, The Milky Ways, 999999999, The Nights and Days and the Inflatable Boy Clams - among others.

Download Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio #36
Stream (or download) Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio #36 via SoundCloud.
Subscribe to the show on iTunes.

Track Listing:
JULY - My Clown
999999999 - White Devils
COLD BEAT - Mirror
PANG - Stockpile
CHAPTER 24 - Spindle
THE KILLJOYS - Johnny Won't Get To Heaven
RHINO 39 - Xerox/No Compromise
SIN 34 - Forgive and Forget
CRASS - Do They Owe Us A Living?
X - Hey You
SLEAFORD MODS - Black Monday
LITTLE CLAW - Brackish Stratum
THE MILKY WAYS - (Can't Seem To Find) My Way Back Home

Past Shows:
Dynamite Hemorrhage #35    (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #34    (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #33    (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #32    (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #31    (playlist) 
Dynamite Hemorrhage #30    (playlist) 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: "THE DANIEL CLOWES READER" by Ken Parille and Daniel Clowes

Even after having observed the graphic novel/comic’s thirty-years-plus intellectual and artistic metamorphosis into respectability, I have remained, and remain, mostly skeptical. I still have some baggage left over from my 1970s Marvel/DC Comics days, when cartoons-delivered-in-panels were made for dopey kids like me, or for counterculture hippies reading absurdities like “The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers” or whatever. I went through a brief period in the early 90s where I’d buy copies of “Weirdo” and a few other alternative comics, and that’s where I, like so many others, discovered Daniel Clowes. Clowes wasn’t like the others. Outside of Drew Friedman, I’ve never seen anyone who could wield such devastating descriptive power by simply drawing a human face. Clowes accurately draws people in the ways that we actually see them in the world, sweaty and nervous and in many places between inner darkness and outer light. An entire book of his images, sans words, would easily be enough for me to at least look at it.

Happily, his powers of insight extend into dialogue and story construction as well, and his comics over the years (the masterful “Eightball” series; “Ghost World”; “Lloyd Llewelyn” and many others) have mined pathos and humor and pain in ways that transcend the form. It’s not for nothing that he’s probably the most revered “alternative” practitioner of modern comics; I even went to a show of his work at the Oakland Museum a couple of years ago. Ken Parille likewise sees Clowes as worthy of reverence and study, having published "Daniel Clowes: Conversations" in 2010. Now he’s brought together a number of contributors, essayists and Clowes interview pieces from the 1990s and 2000s to create an annotated “Daniel Clowes Reader” that features the full “Ghost World” collection, as well as some other ringers from the past, like “Blue Italian Shit” and "Ugly Girls".

The collection therefore shifts shape and form time and again; at times, you’re reading some classic Clowes work; at others, you’re reading poindexterish interpretations of those works. Clowes’ own annotations of the many pop-cultural artifacts that he sprinkles throughout his work (weird 1960s records; children’s toys and TV programs; sex-instruction books; fanzines; etc.) are both instructive and a great window into just what makes his complex inner world tick. I think a lot of my punk rock peers got off on his stuff because he, like Peter Bagge, contributed art to many alterna-rock record covers in the 90s and often touched on “the scene” (often heavily mocked) in their comics. Bagge’s stuff I always found pretty unfunny and full of ham-handed exaggerations; Clowes, on the other hand, will do a strip like “The Party” (a first person account of nervously arriving at a Seattle-based party at the height of “grunge”, only to find that one’s friends aren’t there, and having to suffer the conversational idiocy of a parade of drunken alternative rock fans while trying to edge out the door), and just nail it.

If anyone from this medium deserves a series of college-level “readers”, it’s this guy, and getting to re-read a bunch of classic pieces/strips, with Clowes annotations, is icing on the proverbial cupcake. Absolutely worth a look.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I spent a chunk of yesterday preparing to enter The Warne Family Fund NHL playoff pool, which benefits the memory of my cousin Anna, and helps out the husband and son she left behind. I encourage you to sign up here for a mere $20 and enter your picks to win - there's stuff potentially in it for you, and hey, if you're American it's even numerically cheaper than it is in Canada, ya hoser.

That said, I filled out a playoff "bracket", assuming that was the pool they were running this time, but no, turns out it's a player-focused fantasy hockey thing, so you'll win on the basis of individual, not team performances. If you win, that is. So there I sat with my carefully-considered bracket, not really knowing what to do with it. Suddenly I knew what to do. Share it on The Hedonist Jive. My 30 readers love ice hockey!!

Western Conference - 1st Round
Dallas Stars over Anaheim Ducks (!)
San Jose Sharks over Los Angeles Kings
Colorado Avalanche over Minnesota Wild
St. Louis Blues over Chicago Blackhawks

Eastern Conference - 1st Round
Boston Bruins over Detroit Red Wings
Montreal Canadians over Tampa Bay Lightning
Pittsburgh Penguins over Columbus Blue Jackets
New York Rangers over Philadephia Flyers

San Jose Sharks over Dallas Stars
St. Louis Blues over Colorado Avalanche
Boston Bruins over Montreal Canadians
New York Rangers over Pittsburgh Penguins

Conference Finals
San Jose Sharks over St. Louis Blues
Boston Bruins over New York Rangers

Stanley Cup Finals
Boston Bruins over San Jose Sharks

I have found, like many hockey pundits, that many of these series are the proverbial "too close to call". Do I believe that my San Jose Sharks are the best team in the Western Conference? I don't know, do I? Or is it just kind of their turn? I know that I believe that Anaheim and Pittsburgh are paper tigers, and that the Blackhawks' time is probably done. Boston is likely unstoppable - who's better than they are in goal, defense and Top 4 line balance? - and that's why I'm picking them to take it all, again, three years after the last time they did it. Unlike in Vancouver in 2010, there will be no riots on the streets of San Jose when it's done. Maybe some spontaneous Javascript, or some awful funk-punk music, but no riots, I promise.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Every other week I seek to give unto the people a 60/90-minute streaming/downloadable pretend radio show, recorded on my laptop at the back of my house. This happens to be one of those fortnights. DYNAMITE HEMORRHAGE RADIO #35 is 85 minutes of new underground & independent noise, garage pop & obscurities from the last five decades. This show's marked itself as having a particularly annoying string of commentary from the know-it-all mushmouth host, who speaks before he thinks, flubs discographical information and can't even get the name of the current computer virus wreaking havoc on the internet correct.

At least the music is gnarly. New stuff this time from Pang, Sex Tide, Girl One and the Grease Guns, The Spies, Nun, Trick Mammoth, Animals & Men, Witching Waves and Slum of Legs is pockmarked by older stuff from the likes of Simple Saucer, The Puddle, Howard Werth, the Meat Puppets, Pussy Galore and Blast Off Country Style. See what you think by downloading it to your computer, tablet or phone, streaming it via Soundcloud or subscribing to the show (and getting some of the older episodes) on iTunes.

Track listing:
PUNCTURE - Mucky Pup
SEX TIDE - Boarded Up
FREE KITTEN - John Stark's Blue
INTERNATIONAL STRIKE FORCE - Invasion of the Boyscout Clubhouse
PUSSY GALORE - White People
MEAT PUPPETS - Teenager(s)
IRREPARABLES - Release The Hounds
THE SPIES - Collided and Collected
THE PUDDLE - Lacksydaisical
SIMPLY SAUCER - Here Comes The Cyborgs, Pt. II
PANG - So It Goes
LOVE CUTS - Hi Smile Wave
NUN - Uri Geller
GIRL ONE AND THE GREASE GUNS - (Here Come The) Catastrophe Machines
LOVE IS ALL - Make Out Fall Out Make Up
SLUM OF LEGS - Benetint and Malevolence

Past Shows:
Dynamite Hemorrhage #34    (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #33    (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #32    (playlist)
Dynamite Hemorrhage #31    (playlist) 
Dynamite Hemorrhage #30    (playlist) 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


I pulled this unread hardcover book from 2003, bought on remainder maybe ten years ago, out of my garage stash of unread books and read all 300+ pages in two sittings. David Denby is to this day the film critic at the New Yorker, and his autobiographical account of his (and our) stock market mania during the late 90s/early 00s dotcom boom ended up being far better than I anticipated. There’s probably a reason I’m so drawn to books about capitalism gone mad; I’ll snap up books about Enron and Bernie Madoff and suckers and liars of all eras, maybe because I work in business and constantly guard against falling in with the hucksters and the creeps.

Denby, a man of “the arts”, came into his obsession with the market after his wife left him, right as internet-bubble stock prices were going through the roof. As a means to buy out his wife’s portion of their Manhattan residence during the divorce, he hatches a plan to make $1 million on technology stocks during the year 2000, which, given the irrational exuberance of the day, really wasn’t as hare-brained as it sounds today. That’s around the time I started actively buying stocks as well, and though I’m exceptionally risk-averse and did nothing to truly harm the tiny, tiny amount of money I had, I bought into a lot of smoke & mirrors as well (“Dow 30,000”; “a new economy”, “Lucent Technologies” and so on).

His account of his inner struggles as he times the market badly are quite recognizable, and he layers on much of the same universal soul-searching that anyone does when they try to make sense of the market. I don’t mean the market writ large; the timeless fundamentals of supply and demand, and of specialization and trade, are sound and in no need of any admonishment. I mean Wall Street. "AMERICAN SUCKER", and the others I’ve read on this topic during recent years, have me eminently distrustful and skeptical of much of the entire infrastructure of Wall Street: the analysts, the brokerage houses, the trading mechanisms, the ratings agencies, the consultants and so on. Denby does an admirable job trying to deconstruct greed – his own, and that of man in general. I’m not sure he truly hits upon its good and its reprehensible qualities in a way that sent lightbulbs popping above me, but I admire his effort in trying.

He befriends and follows two characters recognizable from that gilded era: the Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodgett, who famously touted internet stocks during their rise up and even as they were crashing (and was later prosecuted for his role in maintaining “buy” ratings on stocks in order to bring more underwriting business from these same companies to Merrill), and Sam Waksal, the ImClone CEO with the promising cancer drug who was prosecuted for insider trading and other crimes, bringing his friend Martha Stewart down with him. Denby describes the captivating hold these charlatans had on him, and we’re lucky he chose to pursue strong access to these two important players in the Wall Street psychodrama long before their dastardly deeds were revealed.

What makes it all such a ripping yarn is its universality. These feelings of envy and greed are part of the human condition, and they can be exacerbated by life events like divorce – or by a constant party of wealth accumulation going on around you. The evenhanded writing qualities I’ve admired in Denby’s reviews of film are on display here, and while he’s hardest on himself, he also understands that even he is mere flesh and blood, and that it truly takes real mental and emotional work to transcend our many inborn weaknesses.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Baseball's already here, and I'm just doing my predictions now? Rest assured that these picks were carefully assembled after much study over the weekend, before the "real" opening day (but after the faux opening day in Australia), and it's only now that I've been able to get to a computer to peck them out. These often-wrong prognostications are something I enjoy doing publicly every year, and sometimes, like last year, my picks aren't half bad (Boston Red Sox, anyone?). Usually I'm way off, but hey, so are most would-be pundits. There's a reason we're not talking about the 2013 World Champion Atlanta Braves. Maybe this is the year I get it right.

Without further tarry, here's what I'm pretty sure is going to happen in Major League Baseball in 2014. Commentary follows below.

NL West
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. San Francisco Giants
3. Arizona Diamondbacks
4. San Diego Padres
5. Colorado Rockies

NL Central
1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. Cincinnati Reds
3. Pittsburgh Pirates
4. Milwaukee Brewers
5. Chicago Cubs

NL East
1. Washington Nationals
2. Atlanta Braves
3. New York Mets
4. Miami Marlins
5. Philadelphia Phillies

AL West
1. Oakland A's
2. Texas Rangers
3. Anaheim Angels
4. Seattle Mariners
5. Houston Astros

AL Central
1. Kansas City Royals
2. Detroit Tigers
3. Cleveland Indians
4. Chicago White Sox
5. Minnesota Twins

AL East
1. New York Yankees
2. Baltimore Orioles
3. Boston Red Sox
4. Tampa Bay Rays
5. Toronto Blue Jays

NL Wild Card = San Francisco Giants over Cincinnati Reds
AL Wild Card = Boston Red Sox over Baltimore Orioles

NL Divisional Playoffs =     

Washington Nationals over San Francisco Giants
St. Louis Cardinals over Los Angeles Dodgers

AL Divisional Playoffs =    
Oakland A's over Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees over Kansas City Royals

NL Championship = Washington Nationals over St. Louis Cardinals
AL Championship = New York Yankees over Oakland A's

World Series = Washington Nationals over New York Yankees

A few comments:
  • It burns and hurts down to the fiber of my being to pick the Los Angeles Dodgers to smoke my San Francisco Giants in the NL West, and for the potentially even more hated New York Yankees to go all the way to the World Series. Alas, this is the year that certain payrolls really make the difference and pay dividends to owners and fans alike in those cities. I mean really, how long did you think the Yankees would be absent from the Series? At least I have them getting beaten in what could be a quick series in which the Nationals' pitching totally dominates.
  • Why is Pablo Sandoval pictured in a preview in which the Giants merely make the Wild Card? Because he's awesome.
  • I'm a big believer in the Kansas City Royals, my favorite American League team. If they're ever going to make it happen, it's right now. I expect everyone to click together and that they'll hold off the Detroit Tigers, whom many have winning the World Series but who I think are due for a major comeuppance. No playoffs in Detroit this year.
  • You know, outside of that and perhaps my elevation of the Yankees, my picks are pretty conventional. Washington is sort of a consensus choice to win it all this year, and no one's betting against the Cardinals, Dodgers and even the A's. I tinkered with the idea of the Anaheim Angels putting it together and making a strong run, but I truly don't think they've got the pitching, and expect even their top two guys (Weaver and Wilson) to fall off this year. Like Detroit, I feel that Texas' day has come and passed, and they'll be contenders but won't be able to unseat the Mighty A's for the third year in a row.
Let's both check back in October and see how we did, OK?