Archive for July, 2008

July 30, 2008


by Wrenchski

(excerpted from: PULL THE PIN: The KeroseneBomb Reader ; an extract of THE ALCHEMISTS NEGRO: My 30+ Years As A Motorsports Bottomfeeder)


I like to think of my kind as populating the pit gates of America’s short tracks in groups of two or three countrywide… I think we once did. Underage-jeans/work boots/denim jackets over sleeveless t-shirts… nervously smoking cigarettes while hoping to appear large enuff to be 21… waiting for tired men in old sedans and borrowed tow trucks to pull in without their regular help…” HEY KID, are ya here to stooge, or just stand around lookin’ tough,” Ol’ Red would say that, and you’d hop in his overheating Caddy, pass the pit steward and for toting tires fuel and pushing his TQ midget up to the track you got free admission and an eagles view of the racing from a first turn area marked CREW ONLY… we were hell’s own roadies…stooges they called us, as in “Who ya stoogin’ for tonight…?” Checking air pressure, occasionally removing the warm-up spark plugs and puttin’ in the colder racing ones if the guy knew ya’ well ‘enuff to let ya TOUCH his engine… and brandishing bruised knuckle fists AFTER somebody objected to YOUR driver putting HIS into the wall or sending him spinning into the infield out of the money… we were HELL’S OWN ROADIES, boys… we changed rear end gears layin’ on towel-covered cinders, hot grease dripping from our elbows and all the girls too young for a driver fell into our waiting arms… the beer and whiskey flowed afterwards and tall tales, verities and balderdash fle… we would live forever, and nothing would replace us. Nothing. It was the sixties, into the seventies, and we never changed. The game did.-30-

July 26, 2008


by John Tottenham

(excerpted from THE INERTIA VARIATIONS (EXPANDED) Release date: unknown.)


A long time ago I made a decision
To become a failure. It wasn’t
As easy as I thought: browsing through life
From one distraction to the next, while waiting
For the last lost moment to become unseizable.
As if there were some fundamental honesty
To not striving: There wasn’t. –
I suspected it all along.
July 20, 2008

Prick Magazine Review of “Come Down from the Hills and Make My Baby”

Come Down from the Hills and Make My Babt

The second book from journalist Cole Coonce, Come Down from the Hills & Make my Baby, is a semi-autobiographical tale of a band obsessed with drag racing, drag queens and the apocalyptic downfall of the entertainment industry. The first person narrative chronicles the struggles of the Braindead Soundmachine, a disco punk metal band from L.A. that creates artsy noise with guitars, keyboards, and a revolving door of drum machines and whacked out female singers. The band ends up being sponsored by a drag racing pit crew, befriending a down-and-out filmmaker, hiring a manager with one eyebrow, finding spiritual guidance in a Japanese transvestite, and touring with a German industrial band called DMFDM. Throw in a little drug abuse, infidelity, cowboy hats, and technical difficulties and you’ve got a volatile band on the brink of self-destruction. This angst-filled tale is like a beat novel for today’s disgruntled youth. -Jonathan Williams, February 2005 Prick Magazine.

July 18, 2008

Amazon Review of “Come Down from the Hills and Make My Baby”

Come Down from the Hills and Make My Babt

Come Down from the Hills and Make My Baby

5.0 out of 5 stars

Unusual title — unusually good book!

By vaughn “dupont” (portland, oregon)

First of all, with a title like “come down from the hills and make my baby” it isn’t suprising that this book caught my eye.

I’d never heard of Braindead Sound Machine but that didn’t stop the book from engaging me immediately, almost like being told a really fascinating story by a remarkably lucid drunk or recently recovered drug addict in a red leather booth in a some dive, which can be a good thing in theory.

I was impressed with the author’s ability to sustain my interest in a musical group whose music i was (and am) unfamiliar with — in fact they should have given away a cd with the book for free. this is more a cautionary tale about the record industry and the damage done than a self-serving ‘music’ book about some band’s career. and i suppose that’s what is MOST compelling about it; the author’s slow realizations about the nature of his dreams and aspirations (however subversive they are)can’t survive in the even more hostile environment of the idiocy of the music biz. any musician, and anyone that likes music, should read this book. -30


July 9, 2008


by David Kettle

(excerpted from PULL THE PIN: The KeroseneBomb Reader; an extract of ELEPHANT GNOSIS)


So God bless me. The country, since I flew in, is worse than it ever was. I made it bad. But I made it good again. Force of nature, that’s me. The skies are, or were, full of mourning and pain. The buses don’t run on time. The world is spinning on a wobbly axis, metaphorically hitting the skids. The fields are full of death, the streets full of decaying show reels. My soul’s beyond retrieval just now and frankly in some pain. I’m hitting the bottle big time and my marriage could be down the crapper. My knees ache and I realize it’s time for a quick stock take, a period of reflection, a re-charging of the sepulchral will. Still, plenty of elephants left before extinction, before the end times really kick in. The End Times, that’s a concept I foolishly leased out for use by old-time satirists, but I need the money. They pay me for it of course. Mythic I may be, but I still need hard cash.

But the swelling in my left kneecap is really getting me down. I was numb down that whole side and I was even number after the latest of many attacks. Where and when did that happen anyway? There’s a sort of bony growth that really seems beyond physiotherapy or surgery. My belly’s distended and the eyesight’s going fast. Time then for suicide. In the waiting room, I prevaricate as Ahab pontificates. In these end times, we get the deities we deserve and of course we, or you, don’t deserve that much. Millennia of obfuscation and self-delusion in the realm of ersatz gnosis, inferior forms of self-worship, have done you absolutely on favours at all. It took you a few hundred to realize even that the earth only had one moon and that the sun was relatively a stationary object. You don’t see things right under your noses. I’ve noticed that. The centuries you’ve spent chasing up blind alleys, wildly caricaturing yourselves, stoking up the fires of self-deception, righteous anger, cruelty and mutual loathing are centuries you’ll never get back. Ever. We all look out for ourselves in these end times, so God Bless Me. Thing is, my theology says nothing about suicide. That’s the problem. In self-help religiosity mode, we have to extemporize, make it up as we go along. There’s no attendant notion that suicide constitutes the unforgivable sin or any nonsense of that kind. It is, hyper-parodically, an echo of the old times, when rock deaths used to be described as career moves. Many a word in jest and all that. Just occasionally, the world gets it right. Rock deaths are improvised suicides, full of religio-financial intent. This is, or was, my gift to the world. Career renovation, the making good of crusty old rockers, the dusting off of moribund back catalogues. God, I am feckless.

Of course, being a household god, albeit a tarnished one, I don’t answer to any other god or gods, only at board emanation level. For my sort, as well as for those actually in need of career renovation, suicide is not only the only option, it’s the central defining metaphor of our entire cultural and religious identity. But that’s not a negative thing, as it might be in the quotidian realm. You have to see that for us… Suicide is our Big Thing. All circumscribed deities are big on suicide. We can take it more or less blithely because we know how to re-activate. To re-enter. It’s just a trick, a feat of prestidigitation learnt a few millennia ago. But you’ll have to trust me on that one. It’s not like death is the end or anything. Suicide is just a portal, a kind of reversed karmic renewal, a credit in your personal enhancement with-profits secular schedule. But we do have to be careful. If we don’t go out with a big enough bang, if our self-inflicted end isn’t of a sufficiently manifest and exceptional nature, we risk returning somewhat diminished. We then end up as kind of low budget features, or depraved reptilian hybrids, feral pigeons, icky celluloid nightmares. Cheap B-features, if you get my drift. The more imaginative and singular the end, the more rewarding the re-entry, is how I’d have to put it. We are obliged to attract attention. For instance, being burnt alive on remote Hebridian islands, a funeral pyre of note, with sympathetic journalists invited. Belly up in the Thames, with attendant media outrage at the safety standards not met by our registered owners. A national epidemic of a disease previously considered obsolete. It’s a kind of animism of the momentary relapse. Particularly bad sitcoms, leading to fewer offers of work but more offers of debased sightings and appearances. Really vitiated suicides result in merely desperate appearances on daytime chat shows, plugging the detritus of mal-conceived intent. The more media attention our suicides attract, the higher the karmic pay-off. Think of it as having a mortgage and electing to pay off huge sums all in one go rather than sticking to the prescribed interest rate payments. We could just put it off, routinely committing humdrum suicides, living lives of enervating boredom and thankless drudgery, but the smarter household gods attempt every now and then to hit the exit button with a flourish, go out in style. Hit the big one with a bang. It’s like money in the bank.

The only thing we need worry about is media coverage. You have to be covered. It makes sense. You know it does fellas… you seek exposure? I’m your man. If only the ironic pronouncements all too common in these end times were taken at face value then you might be getting somewhere. It’s only the household god who can live life as metaphor, the rest of you need to take it at face value. But I shouldn’t really be telling you this. You have to learn it good for yourself. Suicide really is painless. It’s also guileless. Artless. Straightforward… nothing to it, as long as your agent knows where and when. That’s the only really important thing.

Self-immolation in modest flames. Camera crew present. Simulacra burnt at the stake. My body consumed in the flames. High stakes for the return trip, reborn, painful rebirthings. Check out the oppo, the distilled essence of pure evil, the forced rebirthers, tightly wrapped homicides dressed up as therapy, children forced to rebirth and love their mommies, the rejuvenation patrol. Evil therapists from the new age, together with their shoddy pals, the catholic counter-psychological reformation agents in all known media, make spirituality very difficult. They look within and see the large ghost of a flea, not the other thing. The beast inside, the tawdry beast. The fictional beast capable of bad things. They said it was for the good of the child, that she didn’t WANT to be reborn. They are the essence of pure evil. We’ll deal with them… later…

Anyway, I must proceed. You see, I believe what you’d probably characterize, and with apparently good reason, as insane things about myself. Such as that my body has become compromised, my legs seem to go missing, I have to dump out of a bag in my stomach. Corporeal realities are visually circumscribed. I have the evidence. I am compromised, but I have a way around it. I am hailed as a genius by minor gurus, small-beer therapists, and lesser psychological profilers, in tautological approbation of my divinity. I go on the lecture circuit, consuming freebies, accepting the patronage, taking kickbacks. My knob twiddling entourage feed tidbits to the crowds via a sort of unearthly reverb, making me sound even less human than I already look. Trumpeting and honking are the message and the medium. My head in the elephant head mask is inclined conspiratorially towards audiences cowed by instinctual deference. They are bedazzled and confused at the real time metempsychosis that is taking place. I go over big on the circuit. My ex-wife talked me out of it before, but not now. She talked out of her arse and shot herself in the foot. Left me in no doubt as to my sheer impotence in her eyes. Shot her former lover in the forehead. But I stood by her… character references and all that. Her former lover… a weaselly homunculus, a turbaned and trepanned minimus, a withered bit part player, a waste of oxygen. She never got the elephant thing. That’s the thing. The method. Every tomtit gnosis needs a method, so of course my (or our) version definitely needs a method, a technique. She didn’t realize that of course elephants are the easiest creatures to transport through time and space. Because of their spiritual weight. And size. And ratio of hippocampus (temporal lobe) to brainpan size, body weight and heart size, and size of arse. Also slowness of heartbeat, the universal vibration… that sort of guff. But it seems to work. Elephants are the most spiritual beings of all in this realm because they not only literally dump the most waste matter, get rid of the shit so to speak, they know how to locate the spiritual-directional vectors. Bus lanes. They embark on bus lane peregrinations around the precincts of towns and cities in response to pre-ordained, previously laid down devotional tracks. Follow this template and you’re a holy man. That’s how I became my own shaman. And elephants reveal the truth just by being. Dumping big time. Metaphorically, I dumped on people to get where I am. But I love them now as I love you now. I’m full of love. I speak in tongues, as follows… to confuse Abrahams…

… J’accuse. I accuse all the middlemen of not aspiring to be the top men. I accuse them of lack of recognition. I accuse them of failing to actualize at the highest levels, of blanching before the haughty spirits of war gnosis. The fight for self-love was lost in mid battle. Answers on a dead man. The dead rose up as monsters, vampiric emblems of lost spirit, to remind you that you were guilty of killing them. The middlemen holding tight in the middle, the empty and vacuous middle mass. The chatterers and the bowdlerizers… I never could read a book. It was a kind of dyslexic disassociation, a defence against the demiurge, Old Nick with arched eyebrows who enters through printed words. Devils in grown up language, dyslexia a defence against abstruse code. Films are worse, arched eyebrow golems in the grain, rising up, entering through your eyes. Former conflicts all producing their share of cinematic monsters. My eyes close involuntarily all the time. I lie here dying, burnt out. I look through the windows at my retinue and yell “open the fucking door!” They don’t hear me; they just synthesize my voice so it sounds more and more unearthly, more elephantine. Because I am the creator of this meme. This lifestyle, a choice you can make. There is, therefore, a price on my head. I am not undervalued, by my followers (ex-wives) or my pursuers. My stock is high, never been higher. I leave by the in door. I fool them all. Planes leave Heathrow every 2 minutes. It’s not difficult…

These words flap out of my mouth like bats, crazed signifiers of my bad intent. Public indulgence is bought by the lugubrious sense of hope engendered through elephant metaphors and similes, my voice synthesized to maximize my elephantine intent. I shamelessly use all available prestidigitatory techniques, setting fire to my fingers, collapsing my lungs, levitation over the heads of the audience. I punch the rubber shark. My methods relieve insecurities, loss of confidence and lack of self-worth – but in the wrong hands it can do untold emotional damage. And my hands (you’re ahead of me fellas!) are the wrong hands of course. They have to be. I can’t be good all the time. Of course, my bad is equivalent to your good. That’s the catch. Yours are the only hands that are right. But I take no pride in wrecking the emotional well being of people who listen to me lecture. The whole point is that they reject me, and watch me burn. I am a universalized martyr, transfixed with flaming arrows. I am burning, my ex-wives say I always was, but I’m burning up now. But it’s all a trick, a sleight of hand. I’m in flames, a metaphorical cash furnace, a special effects show, carefully and painstakingly created by analogue means. Old nick, old SK stole my idea for the SG sequence, or rather didn’t steal it… he used me, directly. He used me, burning up in multiple orgasms, twisting like prisms in the cosmic rays of exploding galaxies. He was thinking not about the infinite, but about money. Of course you’ll say I should have patented it before he got to me, and you’d be right. But the world needs these sorts of reclusive geniuses, as they do their bit in mopping up unused electricity, so I was happy for him to have the credit. Happy for him!!

(I am in a bubble here. Let confusion reign. Praise Eris, goddess of confusion!)

Of course the thing that will absolutely ensure your specialized spiritual regeneration is simply a fear of missing out. The impulse to greed, the gnawing suspicion that someone, somewhere else is enjoying something that you’re not. That’s me all over. That’s Frank as well. But in his case, you can add an unpleasant shadenfreude into the mix as well. He has to go too far. Not content with coveting the happiness and spiritual fullness of others, he must actively go out of his way to destroy it wherever he finds it. He reduces shop girls to tears by condescension; he grandly denounces those who incense him. Buying a pair of socks represents to Frank merely the opportunity to bully and to intimidate. It seems to enliven him, make him glow brighter. He expostulates and gestures like a theatrical knight on the most trivial pretext. His presence is oppressive and he revels in it. Of course he does. I, on the other hand, pump people full of false self-confidence, overload them with resources, via grants through the Attention Seekers’ Allowance scheme, and make them believe in their divinity. Get them on TV, then I pull the plug. I ramp it up, spinning yarns about the validity of “projects” they can involve themselves in, projects that aren’t really worth the paper they’re scribbled on, a stock so worthless we don’t even go public. The bubbles then burst, the careers are over before they’ve started, and they’re destined to play out their lives on satellite/cable shows, presenting. Presenting is (as though you didn’t know) just the newest, most livid metaphor. The best model we’ve yet devised. So they’ve learnt a valuable lesson, despite (or because of) my cruelty. My cruelty is, seen in this light, a vital component of a modern view of the world. We’re post-psychology and need new myths. New mythic, epic techniques. Come to think of it, we’re post-everything. Everything’s gone. There’s a vast hole there, waiting for new myths to come rushing in.

To be an adept, you don’t need to be good, just persistent, and to possess the ability to deny the evidence of your senses. Appearance is reality, now as it’s always been. Mobility between social castes has never been more pronounced. Anyone can present. It’s the new thing in a city of imprecisely new things. But some presenters have become so mesmerized (too much OD’ing on patented Gnostic juice) that they just don’t see it coming. They’re sleepwalking to disaster, not aware of the danger. They can’t see that their lives, lived purely as metaphor, are ill equipped to withstand the inevitable diminution of the fame they’ve struggled so gamely for or of people’s desire to look at pictures of them. They are still calling the elephant, a semi-parody of the religious process, but it seems to cover it. Those who are thus stranded, calling the elephant, lose sight of the need to let it all go. Their re-positioning on cable TV is a necessary purgatory through which they need to progress to achieve the full Gnostic Monty. They must die metaphorically before they can achieve full Elephant Gnosis™. Crowds of ex-corporation presenters resembling baseball-hatted ghosts throng the streets outside Broadcasting House, moaning incantations and murmuring curses, unable to accept their apparent demotion to minor celebrity-hood. They fail to notice that there are no bus lanes along Portland Place. They just meander aimlessly, merely succeeding in disturbing rather than dispersing the electricity pools underneath the transmitter masts. They are doomed to wander in ever decreasing circles of thankless anti-gnosis. Gardening shows, makeover drivel, cheap historicity/archaeology crossovers, that sort of thing.

The last celebrity crash a few years back gave me the opportunity I required to re-establish some sort of authority over the public Gnostic process. I’d been derided by some as a sort of Cassandra, a teller of prophesies that were destined to be believed by no-one. They laughed at my stories of the spiritual motherlode on our very doorstep (the elephants) and my descriptions of techniques whereby the spiritual harvest might be gathered in, and my keening warnings to take it all semi-seriously. They pooh-poohed my placement of elephant trails where previously only bus lanes had existed. The whole thing was popularly derided either as a fanciful and ludicrous conceit or as a monstrous and dangerous flight of fancy, depending on the perspective of the critic. Then the crash happened, a result of too much fragmented celebrity, too many ill-conceived careers sliding towards deserved oblivion, the stock of multifarious dim-witted show-offs sinking to previously unimagined lows, no-one able to get work on even the most debased game-shows, the cultural temperature rising as punters everywhere, in a froth of indignation at the lassitude and ineptness of the performing classes, demanded value for money – this was when the time was right to launch my government sponsored initiative. The ASA scheme immediately rescued the moribund careers of hundreds of thousands of vapid gesticulators and autocue leeches. I was hailed as a hero, although no-one could see that really it was intended purely as metaphor, the metaphor indeed to end all careers. I inaugurated a one man sanctified and Holy Roller show, a very explicit technique to facilitate another spectacular re-entry. I did it for them, for you, that you might see inside yourself, that you might embrace your divinity… get a job on TV, that I might be reborn as a god more powerful and more feckless than ever. My ex-wives are legion. I rope them all in, even though their understanding of the concepts behind Elephant Gnosis™ is vague. I don’t scapegoat though, I merely move on. I take what I need and then I burn rubber, I’m out of here… can’t see me for dust.

The Mojave is my refuge when the heat’s on. Always good for old or young, raddled and dysfunctional, misunderstood rock gods. In a trailer, I hunker down till the next one happens along. I am obliged to be an energy vampire, at least for a while. Just for a short while. I am a desert rat. I can do it by numbers anyway – always could. This debased aspect of my talent, this cheap showmanship that abuses the trust of languid rock gods, is very coffee table. The filth, the drugs, the mutilation, the degraded personal relationships, the spilt bodily fluids, the re-configuration of bodily co-ordinates, the retro-realism of hyper-observed characters, the wallowing in brazen cultishness, the dialect, the rhyming slang, the shaven headed excesses, the linguistic virtuosity, the febrile plot-lines, I can do all that standing on my potato head, but what’s the point? I work out now in the gym. So that you don’t have to…

I am the personalized hip priest of my own religion and I make it look easy. I have discovered techniques that the therapy whores can barely dream about. I know elephants and what they are capable of. I know it inside out. I am what you want to be but don’t want to own up to be. I will kill again Ahab. I will kill you or me in the attempt. I look down at the by-numbers culture and I see that you want bad things at least in your dreams, if not in your lifestyle. Bad things kept at bay in your dreams. Your contained dreamtimes are thus at my disposal. I am the bespoke purveyor of self-conscious religiosity to suit your every need. I’m only semi-conscious as yet. But you are sleepwalking. Dreamtime for the elephants, they dream you back to wakefulness if you’ve got the heart for it. Their bad dreams, over-loaded with spiritual intent, suck the badness, the electricity, away from you. I’ll write a fuckin’ book about it some day. But no word will ever be said lightly, everything will have substance, there will be no frills. My propositions are elucidatory. If you understand me you’ll finally recognize them as senseless. When you have subjected them to scrutiny, swung in their branches, pulled the foliage off them, climbed out through them, on them… over them… you must, as it were, throw away the ladder after you have climbed up on it. My propositions are transparent invocations; my patented techniques are transitory and public. -30-

July 1, 2008

Renegade: The Lives and Tales of Mark E. Smith

Ostensibly the memoirs of The Fall‘s lead vocalist, our guess is that the writing process consisted of Mark E. Smith sitting down in a pub and spewing volumes of autobiographical vitriol to some journo with a micro-cassette recorder. Which was subsequently transcribed verbatim…

Which could’ve been any day in the life of Smith… but in this instance, he got paid.

Sample quote: “Degrees have a way of warping people — it’s not good for people to spend that amount of time at university, acting like rock stars on weekdays.” -Cole Coonce-