Dr Frank Weakly Reader for 9.06.2019

Keep It Clean Edition

Frank Portman
9 min readSep 6, 2019


Welcome, friends, to another Dr Frank Weakly Reader, that thing I do where I index my own internet in hopes of being able to find it some time in the future, now that the whole system of archiving and retrieval has more or less completely broken down. For this purpose, a simple link list would suffice, but of course I have to go and turn it into this sort of elaborate “newsletter” type thing, notable chiefly for the fact that very, very few people ever actually read it. Well, never mind. I’m used to a small audience, and I have made my web presence searchable, that’s the main point.

Thanks to everyone who came out to my shows with Kepi, Dan Janisch, and Kevin Seconds over the long weekend. It was quite a good time despite the blistering Sacramento heat. And Bodega Bay seems an awfully nice place to live, with its fog, its stars, it’s candy, and its motorcycles.

And now on to the weak that was…



Two new MTX shows were announced this week, both with Mikey Erg. Tix go up Fri. Sept. 6, 10 AM EDT, that is, well, they should be up now.

— Friday November 22: MTX with the Mikey Erg Band, at Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., Philadelphia, PA 19122. Get tix here.

— Saturday November 23: MTX with the Mikey Erg Band, at the St Vitus, 1120 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222. Get tix here.

We did this precise weekend a couple years back (and it was great): they sold out pretty quick then so maybe you wanna jump on this if you want to go.

Here’s the full list of shows, including these:

— Friday September 20: MTX with Kepi and Motorcycle, at The Blue Lamp 1400 Alhambra Blvd Sacramento, CA 95816. Get tickets here.

— Saturday September 21: MTX at Punk the Burbs Fest 3, Basecamp Pub, 5750 Lakeside Dr. Lisle, IL 60532. Get tickets here.

— Sunday September 22: Dr Frank solo, with the Straight As and Robosapien. Palmer’s Bar 500 Cedar Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55454. Get tickets here. Facebook event page here.

— Saturday October 19: MTX, Sicko, and the Pathogens at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th Street (17th @ Missouri) San Francisco, CA 94107. Tix here.

— Friday November 22: MTX with the Mikey Erg Band, at Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., Philadelphia, PA 19122. Get tix here.

— Saturday November 23: MTX with the Mikey Erg Band, at the St Vitus, 1120 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222. Get tix here.


— Song for Odin™: The Mr T Experience — “On the Team”, live at Gilman Street, Berkeley, August, 1988. Video on YouTube.

A lengthy “minor secrets” write-up may be found here. (Is it just me, or are these getting longer and longer? I always wind up with more to type than I expected.) More video of this ilk may be found on my YouTube channel.

For those keeping track, this is 97th Song for Odin.

— And speaking of Odin: Just got a whole mess of video of live MTX ca. 1995 from various venues throughout the country. Whole lot of interesting stuff, many memorable shows that I’d largely forgotten about till reminded of them now. Previously unattested songs. In other words, Odin-fodder. Check back on Wodnesdæg. From Shayne Stacy. Thanks very much, Shayne!

— You’re probably wonderin’ why I called you here… This is a bit of a tease, but the perspicacious among you will have grasped its meaning, that the preliminary stages of a forthcoming …and the Women Who Love Them re-issue have been initiated.

— Donna Reed is not my mom: on “Can’t Get There from Here” and falling short of the generic ideal.

— Shards vol 1, repress: vinyl is beautiful.

— An old Lookout ad (from MRR most likely) featuring “Love American Style”, pre Milk Milk Lemonade. These people had no idea what was going to hit them.

— “When I Lost You”: Cydne says:

“… it has the best sound on the whole album, even in a less-than-finished state. Especially the guitar and vocals. It’s a hill I’ll die on.”

Fair enough. It’s a very “blown-up” sound on both guitar and vox. The guitar was done through a way overloaded pre-amp and plugged direct into the board (which probably did some damage.) The vocals were fried in a similar way I can only assume. I do remember a more rational mix (and it may be lurking on an extant reel) — it’d be all but unrecognizable I’m sure. And the people who hated it at the time are so used to it now they’d probably hate the alternate even more. So it goes.

— “Soulhate”: in which our friend Kelley finds an apt neologism.

— …and your Friday morning “I’m Like Yeah, but She’s All No”, an oldie but a moldie from a guy called David Who? on bandcamp:


— “You’re My Hostess Cupcake”: In the sun-pounded aftermath of the weekend in the Sacramento blast-furnace, I was incapable of coming up with any new material for Tuesday as scheduled, so instead I offered a reprise of this post on the “You’re My Hostess Cupcake” story. If reprise is the word I want. Sparked by a random discovery of this charming video:

Though it’s not, as I say in the essay, a cover exactly (though I wrote it, the Go-Nuts recorded it first) I did add it to my covers playlist. Because I like it.

— “Who Are You…”: how songs are made.

— The Epiphone Coronet: always nice to see one in the wild. Did you know, I’m an “notable user”?

— The Doctor at 18: what that looked like.

— Dr Frank and His Shiny Robot Monkeys: throwing you back for Thursday, a mini-memoir of Dr Frank in Rotterdam, 2004.

And speaking of that red and pink checked cowboy shirt:

It’s quite funny seeing all these pics from the past and noticing that the Dr Frank of now still wears exactly the same clothes as the Dr Frank of thirty years ago. Maybe I should fall into the Gap or something.

Is there still a Gap, do you know?

— Folk ’n’ Roll: more me, this one from the Andromeda Klein book release party at Cato’s. But everybody knows, folk rock is a drag. I had to laugh when this was commented on by someone on minds.com who said: “Memes are a drag too, can’t picture Zappa saying that…”

I guess he thought I’d created a “meme” with the picture of Frank Zappa and that nefarious quote? Anyway, it’s definitely pre-meme, from an ad he did for Hagstrom in 1967.

— “Cancel culture” check-in: in the five years since Joan Rivers died, “cancel culture” is going strong and worse than ever. Back then I thought the posthumous praise and tributes from the same mob who would subject any contemporary person telling those same jokes to relentless “call-outs,” shaming, and career destruction to be rather odd. But I expected the madness all to have blown over by now. No such luck. I hope Mel Brooks outlives it, as I’d prefer not to have occasion to make the identical observation about him, but I’m not optimistic. Hang in there, though, Mel.


— Good morning world: The Allman Brothers — “Whipping Post”; Wynn Steward — “I’m Gonna Kill You”

— “The Lonesome Friends of Science”: I stumbled on this by accident, a pretty much brand new John Prine song. Really great, as expected, and almost inexplicably moving, as expected. I don’t know what it is about his writing and his voice, but he always manages to create a new new-yet-familiar world and draw you into it… No matter how goofy the program (and many of them are indeed extremely goofy) I’m somehow, almost always on the verge of choking up, which is the most enjoyable that experience has ever been for me. God bless him.

It’s funny how I can be so interested in something (e.g. John Prine and his songs) and be so out of the loop nonetheless that a new song like this will have to be stumbled on as a surprise. Especially with this weighted, algorithmic internet that is meant to keep me informed of precisely this sort of thing. It’s more a testament to my ability to be so far out of loops I guess. The algorithms hadn’t reckoned on that. How far out I am, baby, I mean. Anyway, we got there in the end.

I learned this song last week and practiced it a bunch intending to play it at the shows over the weekend but I chickened out. Maybe one day. If I’m gonna do a John Prime song, I want to do it right.

— Cliff Richard — “Devil Woman”: been working up a cover of this song for some time and just realized the way to do it is drop down the low E to a D. It all comes alive that way. You’ll hear it one day maybe. Stay awake.


— More on “cancel culture,” in re.: Dave Chapelle, seen on twitter:

Chappelle’s Woke critics are really in a bind. They want to at once deny the accuracy of his portayal of them as cancel culture addicts. And then they also want to cancel him.

You should watch the show in question (Sticks and Stones, on Netflix) — it’s great, funny, and, dare I say it, wise. And while it probably won’t literally be “cancelled” you never know. cf. Louis CK, who’s been effectively disappeared. The world very much needs Dave Chappelle, which is, I’m sure, why they want to erase him.

— The truly horrifying and tragic tale of guitarist Dwayne Fields. RIP.

— Curse of Halford?: Biden’s eye fills with blood during CNN climate town hall. (On the Curse of Halford, see here.)

— More Office Workers Switching to Fetal Position Desks: story here.

— Introducing the Amazing Compact Disc: from 1982, a rather rosy picture of this now-obsolete format that killed the art of the album and dynamics in rock music for a generation. As you’ll know if you’ve followed my adventures of the past two years, resuscitating CD-ravaged music is the frustrating work of a lifetime, and it is my great misfortune that much of my most notable material came out during the “loudness wars.” We knew not what we did.

And that’ll about wrap it up for this week’s Weakly Reader. But for those who have made this far down the page, here’s a nice picture of a Washburn Lyon-imprint Strat copy.

See you next week.



Frank Portman

I am Dr. Frank. I write books and songs. Mtx Forever.