All Boxed Up
The Dr Frank Weakly Reader for 3.20.2020
Welcome, friends, to another edition of the Dr Frank Weakly Reader, wherein I have assembled an illustrated, annotated, and augmented re-cap of the week in the Dr Frank web, to serve as a sort of index should I or anyone wish to find this stuff in future.
It is a strange time, obviously. I’m basically a shut-in by inclination and nature, and “social distancing” suits me just fine. However, “sheltering in place” isn’t as conducive to internet activity as one might think, and I haven’t been doing nearly as much of that sort of thing as usual. I think of things to post, but then my mind wanders elsewhere; and then it just stays elsewhere. (That’s the case for actual non-internet things as well… just finding a hard time concentrating for no reason upon which I’d care to speculate.) Meaning, anyway, in this context, that there’s a bit less to index this time around.
[Speaking of which, though, see below — IN THE NEWS — for a “shelter in place” complaint — ed.]
Maybe it’s a good thing to dial everything back, maybe not. But I have the distinct suspicion that if I take the break I feel I’d like to take, e.g. skip Song for Odin as I really, really wanted to do this week, or simply let the Weakly Reader lie fallow for a bit till I feel like picking it up again in better circumstances — well, then I may never return to it. The world would not weep, I know that. But sad and ridiculous as it is, this schedule is an anchor to reality, of which I have few enough, and without which I could well drift off to who knows where. Which doesn’t seem like a good idea. So here I go again. Wish me luck.
But yeah, anyway, the Mtx forever packages are, at press time, according to Sounds Rad, all boxed up and ready to go. This is good. They’re beautiful. I think you’re going to like them, really really like them.
So let us now proceed to the Front Burner.
— Mtx forever: here’s the scene from Sounds Rad HQ:
That’s a lot of boxes, innit. Shipping in a poly bag for collectors. You all must have a whole lot of boxes stacked up by now.
— Coupla Mtx forever reviews: from the Punk Site dot com (kind, but bewildered by the title); and from Paul Silver of Jersey Beat, a self-described “love letter.” Aw shucks. Thanks guys.
— The songs of Mtx forever, on YouTube, that is: I’ve been gradually uploading the newly mastered tracks to my YouTube channel. They really sound quite good, even with the inevitable compression. Eventually I’ll have them all up on a playlist, as I’ve been doing with all the current releases. Here’s that list so far.
Anyways, here’s “Danny Partridge.” And here’s “…Hitler…”
And here’s “Deep Deep Down”:
MTX IS EVERYWHERE, AND NOWHERE
— The Dustbin of History: Jason noted this display of lyrics to the song “The Dustbin of History” from some on line player. This is the text that appears on the printed lyric sheet (and it’s funny that it has migrated as is to the virtual world.)
The story is, I didn’t have the lyrics together by the print deadline so instead we included this bit from a pamphlet that this crazy guy in Berkeley used to hand out… at least I assumed he was crazy, but he may just have been an inspired performance artist.
btw, I really wanted to put this song on the Mtx forever comp. but once the other parameters were met there just wasn’t room. It’s not a perfect performance or recording by any means, but despite the stiffness it still has something, or so I like to think:
— Everybody’s Entitled… red vinyl first press… Brian found one, a copy of a record I didn’t even know existed. (Discogs knows about it, as it turns out.) It’s definitely a first pressing, to judge from the color of the label. No idea how many of those are out there.
— Tears come out in a live video where the very important part of rock and roll is packed: it’s this live video of “I Wrote a Book about Rock and Roll” in a Sacramento park.
—This week’s Song for Odin was “Two Minute Itch” live in Genoa, Italy, 1996:
Got some “minor secrets” about living in a little hole in the time of social distancing here. At post time, I found I couldn’t face the prospect of entering the whole text in a twitter thread as I’ve done in the past, so I just delayed and delayed till it was finally skipped. No one seemed to care, or notice. So that’s good. Carry on not noticing or caring and we’ll get through this, separately.
Here’s the Songs for Odin playlist.
— … and your Friday morning “Semi-OK”, from the band Yellow Teeth:
Here’s the original. And here’s the covers playlist.
DR FRANK FOLLIES
— This essay on how I met Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and how it went was flagged and removed by Facebook as “spam / abuse”. Turns out it was an automated ban-bot gone mad, and the post got swept up in the corona dragnet. It got restored before I could figure out a witty way to complain about it, other than here and now.
— G. K. Chesterton and the great Gaels of Ireland.
— The little hand is on the one… someone responded to a twitter query about songs that reference clocks with a link to this song. And that it does.
It’s one of the good ones.
— Roman calendar: Saint Matilda; Saint Longinus; Aninus of Syria; Saint Patrick with snakes; Our Lady of Mercy; Saint Joseph; a scene from the Life of St Cuthbert…
— Too Sexy for Your Shirt: a talented Irish barmaid; Jessica Ashley…
— Not Sexy Enough for Your Shirt: Friday the 13th; victims of the Diamond Death; shelter in place; aliens and people-kind; that hand….
IN THE NEWS
— Remain indoors:
— “Shelter in place”: “shelter in place” is a terrible, extremely inapt term for this protocol. I assume they chose it because it sounds important and official and emergency-y and harks back to the heroic past of the Blitz and the like, but it doesn’t mean what they mean it to mean. Shelter in place means, stay where you are and take what shelter you can whenever the warning happens and don’t move till someone gives the all clear: it means, in fact, don’t try to go home. It doesn’t mean go back home and remain there indefinitely except to go to the supermarket, plus we’re closing all the bars and restaurants. It’s meant for when the Germans are bombing London, or for tornadoes or active shooters, that sort of thing. Using it this way just makes those issuing the orders sound like they don’t know what they’re talking about and adds to the general confusion.
The new state-wide “stay at home” order at least means what it says it means, but it was rolled out very carelessly and formulated in such a way as to make one half suspect it was deliberately engineered to cause panic and confusion. The actual executive order leaves most of the rules unstated. I assume it’s mainly the same as the “shelter in place” Bay Area rules we’ve had for the past few days, but if so it’s not in the text. Plus, the Governor has been going on TV intimating that these unarticulated rules may be enforced by roving “deputies.” Can you, e.g., still walk for exercise or walk your dog without risk of getting arrested? I assume you can, but you get no clarity from the text of the order. (Our Gavin is quoted here as saying “you can still walk your dog” but this stuff shouldn’t be a matter for research and parsing off the cuff unsourced remarks that you may happen to find via Google. The “more information” links in the document are even sketchier.) The whole plan just feels like it was thrown together without much thought as to how to apply it. Or worse, they left it vague on purpose. I suppose the Governor wants to look “presidential” and, well, given the status quo, I concede he has largely succeeded. I’ll not vote for him.
— Genesis P-Orridge, of Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, etc., died. RIP.
In which we wrap it up, it being the Dr Frank Weakly Reader for 3.20.2020. But for those who’ve made it this far down the page, here’s a nice conga:
Bye for now.