I have a project which I need assistance with. If you are a human being and you produce music (of any style, in any shape or form) I would love for you to send me some kind of instrumental track of your own devising, which I may record vocals over for a concept album which shall be called DINOSAUR CONCEPT ALBUM.

Few people know that long ago, this land was not ruled by people. Long before the first caveman ever stepped out of his cave, the planet earth was commanded by a mighty race of giant lizards. Their names have passed into the history books alongside Christopher Columbus, Julius Caesar and Bonnie and Clyde. Names such as Diprotodon, Sauropholus, Struthiomimus and Muttaburrasaurus. They were the first life forms, and they straddled the earth from its very birth. They… were the dinosaurs.

Each track will be about a different dinosaur.  For initial lyrics to Brontosaurus and Dimetrodon, proceed onwards to this page.

H-alpha at the Stone

On Tuesday night, saw Ikue Mori (laptop), Jim Black (percussion) and Briggan Krauss (saxophone) perform at John Zorn’s performance space The Stone in the Lower East Side – fucking wonderful –

Ikue Mori (image from sonicacts.com)

the space is just a room (as the website say: “The Stone sells no refreshments, no drinks. Only music.”) and the musicians were sitting there, Ikue Mori texting as she sat by her laptop, and photos on the walls of recent performers – Lou Reed, Mike Patton, Laurie Anderson – and everyone was sitting murmuring and then it turned 8pm and without any warning the three performers just


into it. Seriously chaotic backwards-sucking electronic tones, crazy clattering drums and then this throbbing pulsing saxophone sound. No heating, and everyone sitting half-frozen with snow melting off our coats, and this wildly unhealthy diseased bacchanalia crashing all around us – felt like the weird fungi forests in Nausicaa and the Valley of the Winds, huge trees made of ice and Spitfires and Messerschmidts smashing out of the sky on all sides, metal shrapnel and mushrooms blooming out of the ice wherever you lay your hands – in one moment of stillness you could hear a police siren wailing in the street behind us, but then the siren gradually warped and distorted and was eaten up by decay, and I realised it was part of the set, or Mori had heard the siren and pulled one out of her soundlibrary in response, and fuck I’ve never seen an electronic improviser I could say that of –

Briggan Krauss, photo from briggankrauss.com

interesting because the saxophone was most often the bassline for the other two, these long lung-wracking tones that felt like the theme music for a copshow set in the ancient Scottish (cyborg) highlands, and the laptop dropping clots of noise all over the place, very delicate and precise but everywhere, impossible to predict or follow, and the drummer was one of these psychotically involved creatures, all elbows and teeth on every drum, scraping a horrifying tone by slicing a violin bow into tatters on the edge of a cymbal, and then after a three minute brain-bursting climax of pounding beats and saxophone wail in which you couldn’t hear even a touch of Mori’s electronics, one of the most fascinating performance moves I’ve ever seen – without the slightest drop in tempo or intensity, drums and saxophone gradually grew quieter, and the eery electronic twitches rising up out the mist like an army of teddy-bears advancing through the forest towards you – and it rolled right on – I had my eyes closed for much of it, but I spent the last five minutes staring at the drummer while they gradually brought the set to this uneasy landing place, he was stuttering fingers and odd scratching sounds with both hands, and he had to bite down on a string of tiny bells and in an ecstatic trance he shuddered into a lovely silence –

out in the street the snow in the sky has turned to rain and the snow on the ground has turned to slush and the snow in my brain has turned to ease and light –

So in recent-times (several Mondays ago, somewhere in the bleak depths of January 20008) I performed at the Saturn Series Poetry Readings at the Nightingale Lounge, a nice peaceful bar and gravel pit in the Manhattan East Village of it all.

I didn’t know it at the time, and afterwards I knew and didn’t believe it, but now I both know and believe that the readings were being filmed by ye Bam Bam Slam crew, to be later posted online. What this means is that there is film footage of me performing Platypus Fever/God is a Renegade, which if you click on the link will reveal to you once and for all that I AM AS UGLY AS YOU ALWAYS THOUGHT.

Occasionally, you have to allow yourself to be a complete rabbit in the bright headlights of the twentieth century. In this particular instance, I am going to reprint the words of D.H. Lawrence’s Song of a man who has come through, because it is one of the best arguments for laying yourself open to the world’s damage that I’ve ever encountered.

Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me!
A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time.
If only I let it bear me, carry me if only it carry me!
If only I am sensitive, subtle, oh, delicate, a winged gift!
If only, most lovely of all, I yield myself and am borrowed
By the fine, fine wind that takes its course through the chaos of the world
Like a fine, an exquisite chisel, a wedge blade inserted;
If only I am keen and hard like the sheer tip of a wedge
Driven by invisible blows,
The rock will split, and we shall come at the wonder, we shall find the Hesperides

Oh, for the wonder that bubbles into my soul,
I would be a good fountain, a good well-head,
Would blur no whisper, spoil no expression

What is the knocking?
What is the knocking at the door in the night?
It is somebody wants to do us harm

No, no, it is the three strange angels.
Admit them, admit them

image by frosty

and after that, what is there to say but to ask (I wonder) what it would have been like to have been scanning a poetry anthology in the 1930s (completely ignorant – you would have to be completely ignorant) and to come across these words for the very first time:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper