MARK Z. DANIELEWSKI: PAPER AT THE CUTTING EDGE OF FICTION

For anyone hoping to bag a discounted copy of any of Danielewski’s work in e-book format – think again. His Ergodic novels operate at the cutting edge of printing technology, employing experimental approaches to typography, illustration and printing that bind his novels inextricably to their printed forms. Take The Familiar: “The electronic form will be explored, but the reality is that the electronic forms available are not really up to speed with what I’m doing,” he says. “Just a PDF file of volume one – and this isn’t even a printable PDF, this is just so my editors can go over it and plan, and see how they are going to print it – crashed my computer. It crashed the software and the hardware. It delivered a PDF that was a quarter of a gigabyte in size. So even to imagine something relatively simple – there’s no animation, no music or whatnot – that could actually be stable on an iPad or a Nook is impossible. It’s just the nature of the graphics, and the way I’m using text; the way it all knits together if you will.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

This is me reading some poetry at a Philanthrobeats event in aid of mental health charities. #KeepGoing

CHARLIE DON’T SURF

This week there was a hoax doing the rounds about Charles Manson being released from prison (totally debunked). It made me think - the guy’s aged now, what harm could he really do if he was released?

It also made me re-examine what little thinking/reading I’ve done on the topic of Manson and the Family - the question of whether, as cult leader, he shared blame for the murders (as the courts certainly feel they have proved). It made me think about the echoes of very inspiring and worthwhile anti-capitalist, anarchist sentiment in his teachings over the years. The strong correlation between personal empowerment manifestos, anti-establishment thinking, and brutal murder sprees. And, of course, the man’s undeniable charisma. If you’ve never done so before, watch some of his jail interviews - he’s crazy, for sure. But he is also compelling, magnetic, and occasionally very lucid indeed.

I’m not offering an opinion on his guilt or innocence and I’m not trying to reclaim him as a counter-culture hero, nor vilifty him as some sort of ultimate embodiment of evil, as most mainstream press seeks to. But I do think he’s misunderstood, and old.

I also understand that he’s an icon to many. Not just people who admire or obsess over serial killers and murderers; but musicians and artists, people who follow radical politics and alternative culture. I wonder what effect his ideas, his philosophies, would have on the world if he were freed. Whether he would live quietly, or whether he would try to have some effect on public life, public discourse.

So this was written not to celebrate Manson, nor to celebrate his ideologiy or his statements, but just to reappraise him, as an old man. To think what it might be like if he were granted freedom. As one of America’s last great bogey-men, he will most likely die in prison. But what if they let him out?

CHARLIE DON’T SURF

Another old felon steps blinking into California sunshine
Shadowing his eyes with the back of his hand, back bent
Like an ampersand, body too old now to crave the saraband
Of the grand dames and lost sheep and lone wolves who once
Followed him. They were all pigs anyway. Porcine, swine,
Filthy parade of animals no more loyal than the
Shaven-headed apes who made him carve that swastika
Into his face, so much for the race war. There’s no place
More terrifying, there’s no place like home.

Sure, he’s cut a man’s throat, but never stuck around 
Long enough to see the blood stains. Nothing remains
Except the rhetoric and the blank-eyed sociopathic gaze,
Two dilated pupils darker than flint, harder than granite.

Inherited the mantle of the Great Beast, prayed to the East, and
Defecated on the West. For him, the thing that needed a name
Would definitely have to rhyme with ‘shelter’, because
That is what he sought to build and then withheld as revenge
Upon a world which had denied him such safety from birth.

He was born to serve no master but chaos.
He saw the world burn in the compulsion to sell bodies 
Into slavery. He saw the world burn in the clasp
Of corporate handshakes. He saw the world burn 
In the ineadequacy of policy to address inequality.
He expressed a restless nihilism without restraint or
Recognition of another’s right to existence over your own
Survivalism. He taught that flesh is the only prison and
Existence is only existence if you’re winning.
He sang the same song we’re all singing:

Freedom from all prophets and freedom before profit.
Whatever was daubed on the walls was his before it was ours,
But we all want to see the wealthy butchered if we can’t be them.
Envy personified and uncontained, wrapped up in mistaken
Metaphors of self-serving monomaniacal proto-Christian 
Hero-worship structures and the vertiginous solipsism 
Of psychopathology. Now he’s just another bad guy,
Blood-stained and grinning. No philosophy.

Nobody has come to meet him on his release,
His exit from jail, not even the world’s media,
His evil concealed under a fake John Hancock, smart prison buzz-cut,
Government-funded laser removal. He blinks behind 
Coke-bottle glasses and imagines the sand beaches
Just a short motorcycle ride away…

Waves crash as all the little piggies sunbathe
Blissfully unaware of the rejected masses
Either insane or increasingly awake and active
Who brood upon the edges of so-called society,
Contemplating the wrongs that have been
Visited upon them. Picturing a knife edge,
Picturing ghettos burning, picturing riots and rivers of blood,
He will stand silently on the boardwalk watching windsurfers,
Like any other little old man in cheap slacks and deck shoes,
Alienated, hating youth, hating everyone, but no longer
A danger, if he ever was one in the first place…

No longer a symbol or a leader, just another icon
Fading out of existence, wondering where his star will sit
On the boulevard, just a thought process, just a belief.
How dangerous can an idea be in an age of information?

No need to be afraid any more.
Charlie don’t surf.

auralsectsog:

Forreal, this EP turned 3 years old, and it was our first release… OH GOD WE’RE SO OLD. 

NO WAY. My first solo EP turned 3 last week…

blacklanternmusic:

<a href=”http://blacklanternmusic.bandcamp.com/album/sacrifice-fly” data-mce-href=”http://blacklanternmusic.bandcamp.com/album/sacrifice-fly”>Sacrifice Fly by All Urban Outfield</a>
ALL URBAN OUTFIELD is the brainchild of two Seattle-based rap mutants, p.WRECKS and K. Clifton. Both have a long history in the hip-hop scene around the Pacific Northwest, both as producers and emcees – All Urban Outfield finds the two working together to create a new vocabulary and aesthetic for underground hip-hop, inspired as much by the science fiction beatdowns of Kool Keith as the raw powerviolence of Spazz.
This is hip-hop that deals with isolation, psychedelic visions, imminent apocalypse. This is the sound of graffiti-covered basements ringing to bass-heavy MPC beats; of dusty beats on tape as you traverse the decaying urban sprawl. Two emcees holding the mic with confidence despite the world’s ignorant turning towards Molly-addled peace and love bullshit, ultra-capitalist fever dreams and incipient species death.
Drawing on a tradition that nods to the best of Def Jux, Rhymesayers, Doomtree and Anticon, they make hip-hop for outsiders, freaks, and kids with their hoodies pulled low over their eyes.
They are All Urban Outfield, and this is Sacrifice Fly. 
Pre-order a deluxe, limited edition CD, shipping September 2014. Look out for limited edition All Urban Outfield art prints, coming soon from Black Lantern.
Debut album CRYPTO available from allurbanoutfield.com.

blacklanternmusic:

ALL URBAN OUTFIELD is the brainchild of two Seattle-based rap mutants, p.WRECKS and K. Clifton. Both have a long history in the hip-hop scene around the Pacific Northwest, both as producers and emcees – All Urban Outfield finds the two working together to create a new vocabulary and aesthetic for underground hip-hop, inspired as much by the science fiction beatdowns of Kool Keith as the raw powerviolence of Spazz.

This is hip-hop that deals with isolation, psychedelic visions, imminent apocalypse. This is the sound of graffiti-covered basements ringing to bass-heavy MPC beats; of dusty beats on tape as you traverse the decaying urban sprawl. Two emcees holding the mic with confidence despite the world’s ignorant turning towards Molly-addled peace and love bullshit, ultra-capitalist fever dreams and incipient species death.

Drawing on a tradition that nods to the best of Def Jux, Rhymesayers, Doomtree and Anticon, they make hip-hop for outsiders, freaks, and kids with their hoodies pulled low over their eyes.

They are All Urban Outfield, and this is Sacrifice Fly.

Pre-order a deluxe, limited edition CD, shipping September 2014. Look out for limited edition All Urban Outfield art prints, coming soon from Black Lantern.

Debut album CRYPTO available from allurbanoutfield.com.


Guest mix for SUPERSYMMETRIES by Texture on  Mixcloud
Supersymmetries on Future Music FM, 10 May 2014, with Texture (Black Lantern Music). Texture from the Black Lantern crew, also an early contributor to Aural Sects, with two hours of hip-hop, electro, techno, witch house, hardcore punk and experimental doom. Get comfortable. www.futuremusic.fm/shows/supersymmetrieswww.auralsects.bandcamp.comwww.soundcloud.com/aural-sectswww.blacklanternmusic.comwww.texture.bandcamp.comwww.soundcloud.com/texturewww.mixcloud.com/blaclanternmusicD/L: www.sendspace.com/file/md6mxw

Guest mix for SUPERSYMMETRIES by Texture on Mixcloud

Supersymmetries on Future Music FM, 10 May 2014, with Texture (Black Lantern Music). 

Texture from the Black Lantern crew, also an early contributor to Aural Sects, with two hours of hip-hop, electro, techno, witch house, hardcore punk and experimental doom. 

Get comfortable. 

www.futuremusic.fm/shows/supersymmetries
www.auralsects.bandcamp.com
www.soundcloud.com/aural-sects

www.blacklanternmusic.com
www.texture.bandcamp.com
www.soundcloud.com/texture
www.mixcloud.com/blaclanternmusic

D/L: www.sendspace.com/file/md6mxw

TEXTURE @ NEU! REEKIE! - VIDEO INTERVIEW

I recently did a short set at Neu! Reekie!, one of Scotland’s top spoken word cabarets. In the video below, there are extracts from a couple of poems, and a very short interview with me about my work.

The other performers featured that night - including Luke Wright, Patience Agbabai, Band of Holy Joy and host Michael Pedersen - are also included. Thanks to Summerhall TV for posting this!

Neu! Reekie! 43 from arts-news on Vimeo.

I was recently a guest on OST: Original Sound Tracks, playing tracks by Goblin, Vangelis and Odd Future, among others. 


Like Tears in Rain featuring Bram E. Gieben by Ost: Original Sound Track on  Mixcloud

I was recently a guest on OST: Original Sound Tracks, playing tracks by Goblin, Vangelis and Odd Future, among others. 

Like Tears in Rain featuring Bram E. Gieben by Ost: Original Sound Track on Mixcloud

A PROPOSITION: THE SCOTTISH HIP-HOP RENAISSANCE

image

Image: Loki, by Vito Andreoni

Recently, the journalist Harris Brine has been very kindly letting me contribute to his Scottish Music columns for pro-Independence tyoes National Collective.

I’m not a member of NC, but I am pro-independence, although that doesn’t really come into what I’ve written for them that much. I’ve been writing about some of my favourite artists in the Scottish hip-hop scene, and hope to continue to contribute.

Here’s a precis of the first two pieces, the originals can be found here and here. I also have a longer piece, with interviews with folks like Gasp, Mark McG and Loki, in the NC zine, which I believe is out there somewhere, lurking in the literary corners of Edinburgh and Glasgow…

A PROPOSITION: THE SCOTTISH HIP-HOP RENAISSANCE

Stanley Odd’s SAY Award nomination in 2013, the meteoric rise of Hector Bizerk, and the signing of Young Fathers to Anticon heralded a new acceptance of Scottish hip-hop as a form ready to compete in a global market.

2013 saw the return of Glasgow’s Loki. On Edging God Out, he deals unflinchingly with his battle against alcoholism. He takes on corporate greed on ‘Altar of the Swoosh’, his own ego on ‘Washed Up’, and hands out lyrical beatdowns in hyper violent, imagistic cuts like ‘Michael Keaton’ and ‘Omnilash’. It is an album of real scope and ambition, his finest to date. The follow up, Government Issue Music Protest (GIMP), promises to be even more multi-layered, tackling the independence question, Scottish identity, and political apathy.

Hip-hop’s direct mode of address, its fusion of the personal and political, make it an ideal vehicle for both protest and social realism, and Loki is Scotland’s greatest craftsman in this regard – an utterly compelling, deeply principled spokesman for the culture, as evidenced by his appearances as a commentator on TV news debates as it is in his highly technical, densely literate lyrics - and more recently, his insightful, button-pushing, intellectually rigorous blog posts.

I believe the homegrown take on this international genre is going through something of a renaissance.

One of the things that demonstrates this is the increased amount of collaboration happening, and no one who serves as a better example of this than Jordan ‘Konchis’ Carey, an extremely talented young rapper and beatmaker from Glasgow (originally Paisley), who has been instrumental in some key releases. His touch was evident on Loki‘s Edging God Out, producing two of the standout tracks.

Konchis also handled production for the whole of Gasp‘s excellent A Series of Fortunate Misunderstandings, an absolutely astonishing album from the Badmouth Battles founder, who has done so much to increase the popularity of Scottish hip-hop through promoting events, supporting high-profile touring artists, and arranging verbal clashes.

On Misunderstandings…, Gasp approaches the mic with a new-found maturity and unflinching honesty, rhyming candidly about alcohol, drugs and violence without once glamourising the subjects. On tracks like ‘Rain Town’ – an acknowledged anthem in the Glasgow hip-hop catalogue – and ‘Haunted’, Konchis matches Gasp’s lyrics with dark-edged, complex beats. He is now working on material for Gasp’s follow up, Fear and Self Loathing in Glasvegas.

As a rapper, Konchis made his presence known last year with his writing partner Physiks – the duo delivered their ambitious album The Lying, The Rich and The War Globe, showcasing a dazzlingly high-speed set of complex, engaging, often deeply political lyrics with multiple parallel rhymes and chopped, sample-driven beats.

It is work that equals the quality of similarly ambitious new tracks that rapper DePTHS has been delivering lately, with producers like Jaisu and Inkke. Konchis’ instrumental beat work, sometimes with partner Jetsam, marks him out as easily the equal of either producer.

Finally, the fact Konchis is a member of Glasgow hip-hop supergroup Toy Control – made up of a core of emcees; Loki, Hector Bizerk’s Louie, Gasp, and II Tone Committee veteran Mistah Bohze – also speaks to his significance. Like another collective featuring some of the same members, The Being, Toy Control represent the cutting edge of Scotland’s hip-hop movement.

Their approach increasingly eschews underground attitudes for mainstream appeal, without sacrificing quality or changing aesthetic. As Scotland’s rappers begin to feel their influence extend beyond the confines of a vibrant and dynamic local scene, Konchis is one to keep a close eye on.

For those of you who will, I hope, find this an interesting introduction to the latest Scottish hip-hop has to offer, please explore and support these artists and their work. There are lots more talented emcees and producers I want to tell you about, so stick around. Peace.

STANZA FESTIVAL: WHERE PAGE MEETS STAGE

Published by The Skinny. Illustration by Sam Caldwell. All rights reserved.

As StAnza Poetry Festival welcomes Louis de Bernières, Paul Muldoon and other leading lights, we speak to Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone about where page meets stage, and ask Michael Pedersen, Ross Sutherland and others to preview their shows

StAnza Poetry Festival is a five-day celebration of the written and spoken word focusing on poetry, or as the festival’s director Eleanor Livingstone would have it, “all of the poetries” that exist. This year, the festival’s prgramme reflects both a boom in spoken word and performance poetry, and a resurgence of interest in published poetry, popularised again by figures such as UK poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy (who features this year), and Scotland’s own Makar, Liz Lochhead (who charmed audiences in 2013).

As tempted as she is to launch into a celebratory romp through this year’s programme, Eleanor Livingstone wants to address a few misconceptions about poetry first. “The word ‘poetry’ is a bit misleading – it’s a bit like saying ‘music’ or ‘visual art.’ It’s just so plural and multiple, such a wide spectrum,” she says. “A single word really doesn’t cover it. If people say to me ‘I’m not really into poetry,’ I always ask ‘What kind of poetry are you not into?’ I think it would be extremely difficult to find somebody who would say they were not into music of any kind, or visual art of any kind. Poetry ought to be the same, but people often shut themselves off. They encounter one kind of poetry and base their opinions on that, and have no idea of poetry’s true diversity.” 

Read the full article, with comments from poets Michael Pedersen, Ross Sutherland, Sophia Walker, Graeme Hawley, Marion McCready, Andrew Sclater and Jenny Lewis.

You can also find the full interviews with Eleanor Livingstone, and each poet at theskinny.co.uk/books/features

stanzapoetry.org

HERO WORSHIP: DAVID PAJO ON LEONARD COHEN & GLEN DANZIG

I interviewed Slint’s David Pajo recently, and he told me about his admiration for Leonard Cohen, and touring as a teenager with Glen Danzig. I absolutely love Slint, and it was really cool getting to talk to David. 

It’s hard to say who my musical hero is – it always changed each year. Before Slint, when I was in Maurice, it was Glenn Danzig. During the early part of Slint it was Steve Albini. But one constant has been Leonard Cohen. He’s one of those guys that I still admire. It’s not just his songwriting I find inspiring, it’s his whole life – he’s like Hemingway or something. It’s not just the poetry, the words, or even the songwriting – it’s also the way he conducts his life. The fact he left everything to be a Renzai Buddhist monk for years and years. I find that really inspiring. 

I mean, people like Cat Stevens get a lot of shit for leaving their careers and becoming Islamic or whatever, dropping out of the music world – music was against his religion for a long time. But I think it’s really cool that someone in his position knows that there’s more to life than music, and has a life outside of the music industry.

I supported Glen Danzig’s Samhain when I was very young, with Maurice, and I had never done any touring before. I hadn’t even played that many shows, those I had played were all within a 15-mile radius of where I lived. So to play places like Detroit, to travel and play shows, especially with Danzig’s band… we were all huge Misfits fans. It was definitely eye-opening. I’m still friends with Samhain’s drummer. But I remember being disillusioned after spending some time with Glenn Danzig. I mean, he was still totally respectable… I know he gets a lot of shit, but despite his sort of thuggish behaviour, he is a really smart guy. To have him show me the right way to play some Misfits songs was a dream come true for me. But I’ve never met Leonard Cohen. I would love to, if I had the chance.  

Published by The Skinny. All rights reserved.

rsthomason:

worsethandetroit:

#BURN - a short poetry film by Bram E Gieben aka TEXTURE

I’m re-blogging this again because it is a remarkably, coherently, angry piece of art, a blazingly savage attempt to encompass the width of devastation wrought on mental, social and economic landscapes over the last generation by forces that refuse to acknowledge protest or criticism. Incredibly haunting, incredibly cutting, incredibly intense.

Thanks to worsethandetroit and rsthomson for their re-posts and kind words, and to bob cluness and everyone else who’s shared, commented and like this video. i’m extremely grateful!

#BURN.

A short poetry film written and performed by Bram E. Gieben alias Texture.

Directed and edited by K.D. McCune. Director of Photography Dale May.

Music by: A Vengeance.

Black Lantern Music, 2014.

'Echo Boomers' recorded live @ The Accelerator, Edinburgh, Feb 2014

Written and performed by Bram E. Gieben aka Texture

Film by KD McCune

Unintentional special guest appearance by MiKo Berry of the Loud Poets

THE ACCELERATOR: 

12 MARCH @ CANON’S GAIT, EDINBURGH

14 MARCH @ THE ROXY 171, GLASGOW

blacklanternmusic.com

I’m going to start uploading more of my potery performances. Here’s one from Last Monday at Rio, Glasgow, February 2014.