It’s Orangey Sky

…always it’s some other guy…

I know that doesn’t make any sense at all, that bit about some other guy, but that lyric popped into my head this week for obvious reasons and sort of stayed there.

Anyway, it was a weird one. The week, I mean. If you live in the Bay Area you’ll know what I’m getting at, but if you’ve only seen the pictures: they don’t really get across just how surreal and bizarre it was around here on Wednesday, the eerie, purplish-orange light that started out like pale twilight and got deeper and darker as the day wore on, till noon was night. It is amazing how much light alone can affect your senses, including your sense of self, of time, and of “place.” For one day we slipped into an alternate reality. It smelled different, not much like smoke (and the air quality, by measure of particulate matter, was not bad, not as bad as it was earlier in the week or is now at press time): I smelled steam with occasional accents of sulphur, and with an earthy under-current, which wasn’t entirely unpleasant but still felt ominous. I heard a pulsing subliminal ripple, and the sound of distant thunder, though I’m sure that was projection, trained into my mind by the soundtrack of every horror and sci fi movie I’ve ever seen. People have described it as apocalyptic, or as a space-scape, which is not inaccurate, but it was the distantly quiet atmosphere amid the out-of-place vibrant sky, along with the disruption of time, that was most unnerving to me.

My one previous experience with this sort of thing was during the 1991 Oakland hills fire. I’d woken up, in the flatlands, in a building across the street from where I live now, in total darkness, at ten o’clock according to my watch. I spent the next half hour under the impression that I’d slept all the way through to 10 PM, somehow, before realizing it was actually morning, smoke-darkened. Very disorienting. (That’s why I started using military time in my day-to-day life.) That was a nearby fire, though, all darkness, heat, hot wind, and falling ash, and much easier to get my mind around once I’d figured out what was going on.

Anyway, as you can see above, I ventured out because the air quality analysis map for my ZIP code was only moderate-to-unhealthy-for-sensitive-groups, and took a walk in the local cemetery, listening to ghost stories, which seemed like the best possible use of the situation.

Now the read-out is “unhealthy” verging on “hazardous” and the color out of space has faded, which is worse but more “normal.” Time has stopped standing still. Wednesday felt like it took forever at the time, but in the end it didn’t.

There’s no moral of the story, at least with regard to my little world, it’s just a weird thing that happened.

And now, on the weak that was….


i.e., RAD-013, The Mr T Experience… and the Women Who Love Them re-issue on Sounds Rad…

— Heather got hers:

… and you can still get yours, if you like. Go here.

Records are great.

— Also, Mtx forever: still a thing.


— “Practically a myth…” Tim found a red vinyl Everybody’s Entitled to Their Own Opinion on Disorder Records. I captioned: “in fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one myself.” Which is true. But a couple of my bandmates posted pics of their red copies, so they must be out there, and in force. I know we switched the color of the labels between the first and second pressing, but I have no recollection of a red vinyl edition ever happening. Shows how much I know!

— Odin: MTX covering “She Said Yeah” by the Ripoffs / Jon von, live at Gilman, August, 1996:

“Minor secrets” write up is here. Songs for Odin playlist here.

— … and your Friday morning “I Don’t Need You Now” from McBride on Instagram video:

Original (Mtx forever version):

Me doing it in Bergamo, Italy:


— The Juniper Journals: Juniper asked me some questions about King Dork and I answered them.

— The New Left and Me, Part 3: A couple of kinda sorta book reviews from me (Bill Ayers’s memoir and Jeremy Varon’s Bringing the War Home).

— Every time I beg people to subscribe to my YouTube channel I get a couple three takers. The struggle continues. This is the first and probably the best of my MTX fingerpicking experiments. Go here for more.


Hymn of Kassia:


— Roman calendar: the ruins of Saint Bertin’s Abbey; adoration of Mammon (Matthew 6: 24–33); Saint Kassiana (see below, “other people’s music”); Saint Adrian; Saint Omer (Audomar); Saint Nicholas of Tolentino resurrecting the partridges; Blessed Ludwig IV, Landgrave of Thuringia…

— Behold: where there’s a stiff, there’s a blonde (with occasional gun); feline wizard; In Shadows I Boogie (Harland Miller); an Olbinski umbrella; alien creature hunt; when nightmares awaken the fire gods; The Dissatisfied Painter by József_Borsos…

— and plus, Eve Meyer:


— Free speech is the right to shout “theatre” in a crowded fire: Matt Taibbi reviews that In Defense of Looting book, comparing it to Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This Book and concluding in effect that we need a better class of radical.

I’m still not 100% convinced this book is not parody or performance art but maybe that’s a distinction without a difference when it comes to this type of thing, as it was with Abbie, but at least the Yippies could be funny.

— Mrs. Peel: throughout my childhood and adolescence, and even now, thoughts of Emma were never far from my heart and mind. RIP, Diana Rigg.


And that’ll wrap it up for this weak, a weird one if ever there was a weird one. But for those who’ve made it this far down the page, here’s more of Dame Diana:

See you next week.




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

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Frank Portman

Frank Portman

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

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