Those Were the Weaks that Were

Frank Portman
9 min readNov 29, 2019

The Dr Frank Weakly Reader for 11.22 and 11.29 2019

There was something in the way you said never to call you again

Kinda weird to do this the day after Thanksgiving, but if you’ve been following along you’ll have noted that I skipped it last week because of the weekend’s shows and skipping it again this week would be absurd. And by “it” I mean, this thing I’m doing now, where I produce an edited, illustrated, expanded compendium of the previous week’s doings and post it on the internet so it may be searched and found later if necessary. Doing it is rather time-consuming and tedious, but not doing it invites chaos and makes everything fall apart. Such is the state of our internet: social media has blown apart its archive and index capability, leaving people like us, or maybe only me, to create an index manually if we want to have a hope of finding anything in future. And, to be honest, there are those of us who find comfort in the time-consuming and tedious; I happen to be one.

So, welcome once again to the Dr Frank Weakly Reader, feat. MTXmas, songs, Odin, Mtx forever update, our man Klode, some Sounds Radical meme-ing, plus Kierkegaard on crowds, cancelling Gaugin, the Vindictives, the Who, Culture War 2.0 among the “brights”, and plus shows, updates, news, pretty pictures, obsessive pre-occupations and notes thereon, etc. etc.

Time to gear up for Christmas now.

But first, let’s get on with it, by which I mean, the weaks that were.


— MTXmas and More from the Sounds Radical Ministry of Holiday Product:

Experience the joy of MTX “Shards” this holiday season and share the magic of MTXmas with your loved ones.

Through Dec. 16th save 20% on most items in our webstore by using the code: MTXMAS.

But wait! All orders over $25 receive the latest MTX holiday ornament designed by Chris Appelgren. Merry MTXmas to all!

That’s starting today. Use the promo-code MTXMAS for the 20% discount, for which everything in the Sounds Rad store is eligible excluding new stuff and the MTXmas items themselves.

Oh yeah and here’s the MTXforevermas ornament:

Happy shopping. Sounds Rad “MTXmas and more” page is here.

— SHOWS: thanks to everyone for coming out to the shows in Philadelphia and Brooklyn over the past weekend, especially to Mikey Erg and Band (who were beyond great, rock and roll wise), our friend Banjo for making it sound great, and John G. for bringing sandwiches. Shows like this are mini-reunions, and it’s always nice to check in with people every couple years like this. I was pleased to see Gus Rachels, who was raised on MTX and is all growed up now. He’s the guy who did the video for “Cinthya with a Y” and “Our Love Will Last Forever and Ever”. He said his dad would require documentation that the meeting happened, and commented: “something has come full circle.” Indeed. IIRC — and I know this is a bit strange to mention, TMI and all that — his mom told me he attended his first MTX show in utero

Oh and what the heck, never miss an opportunity to link to coolness, that’s the mantra:

Anyhow, still got that weekend in Texas with the Queers and the Capitalist Kids coming up! It’s gonna be a barn-burner, or rather, two barn-burners, if barn-burner means what I think it does.

Here are the dates:

— Friday December 6: MTX with the Queers and the Capitalist Kids, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St, Dallas, TX, 75226. Get tix here.

— Saturday December 7: MTX with the Queers and the Capitalist Kids, at the Barracuda, 611 East 7th Street, Austin, TX 78701. Tix here.


— Song for Odin: it was me doing “We’re Not No One” solo. “Minor secrets” write-up is here (defending the song, I suppose.)

— ODIN XXI: speaking of Odin, here’s the latest compendium, feat. “My Stupid Life,” “Pathetic,” “Somebody Who Cares,” “Time to Change,” and “Checkers Speech”.

— and yet another Song for Odin (because of skipping a week, Weakly-Reader-wise): The Mr T Experience — “A Zillion Years” live at Gilman Street, Berkeley, May 2, 1987.

“Minor secrets” are here.

Full Songs for Odin playlist is here.

— “Not painful at all…”: Razorcake reviews MTX Shards vol 1 & 2.

— RAD-009–1: a.k.a. Mtx forever. Test pressings now exist. I haven’t heard it yet (they’re in the mail) but we are one step closer to release (which is still, on last check-in, scheduled for mid-March.) More on this soon I’m sure.

— Our man Klode:

  1. Share the wonder of MTX with your best friend. MTX Shards Vol. 2 is now available where fine records are sold”:

2. “Time flies, it really does. Look back and cherish the moment you got your copy of MTX “King Dork Approximately.” 2nd pressing on black vinyl available where fine records are sold”:

(Note middle poster: it’s the little things.)

3. “Mom was right — you are the light of her life, even if you led her to drink. MTX “Shards” Vol. 1. She’ll love it. Available at fine record retailers.”

4. “Special moments deserve a special soundtrack. MTX “Shards” Vol 2. music that conjures up memories — awkward memories, but memories none-the-less. Now available at fine record retailers.”

5. “Share the warm tones of MTX this holiday season with friends, family, and lovers…”

— Alcatraz redux: a “retro review”/re-assessment from — was prepared for a whole lotta hostility as usual but it turned out to be very kind. I was a different guy in ’99 too. Thanks folks.

— Sounds Rad’s retro meme-ing: these are apparently well-worn meme templates with MTX content plugged in, of which I recognize some, which is maybe more than you’d expect from the likes of me (OK boomer): Love is Dead vs. Alcatraz; Crowder & Yesterday Rules; Our Bodies Our Selves vs. Yesterday Rules; Can I Do the Thing?

Big Black Bugs Bleed Blue Blood in minature. Frankly amazing. (Instagram video.)


— The Crowd Is Untruth: (via our old pal Nathan Pensky) Soren Kierkegaard speaks for me.

— “I am not and have never been a member of the Vindictives…” How I signed this guy’s Vindictives’ shirt in 1996.

— Dept. of bons mots:

Can’t we just let people write their poems and if you don’t like them just, you know, don’t read them like everybody else doesn’t read poems?

This came up as a “memory” and must have been in response to someone having written a controversial poem around this time last year. A “poem controversy” seems far-fetched, I know, but it must have happened, probably on twitter which can turn anything and nothing into a crisis, albeit one that everyone completely forgets all about three days later.

— It’s the anniversary of George Harrison’s death (1943–2001) and this is in the Dr Frank section for obvious reasons:

Love Is Dead


— I don’t mind other guys ripping off my songs…: there’s a new Who album and an interview with Pete Townshend in the New York Times. Some thoughts from me here, stepping off from the interview and this song:


— Roman Calendar (not that it makes a difference, but I missed out a few days of the calendar while I was away rock and rolling — we’ll get ’em ext year): Gertrude the Great; Henry Thomson’s Daughter of Jairus; Dedication of Ss. Peter and Paul; Elizabeth of Hungary (by Liezen-Mayer); Edmund the Martyr; Sylvester Gozzolini; Saturninus

— Behold: Eve: 27 Ways to Kiss a Man; cheers; what’s in the cuckoo clock?; you’re wondering if I’m normal; UFO; Romantic language; lady rides turkey

— …and finally:

Tim White — Split Infinity


— Is It Time Gauguin Got Canceled?

No. Obviously.

And no one in the article seems to be arguing for out-and-out “cancellation.” It’s a clickbait headline, capitalizing on the latest buzzword in hopes of getting linked to like I am doing now. But that is what the people quoted in the article are doing as well, flirting with a brute-force Moral Denuncation approach to art criticism, because that… feels more “relevant” in this strange world of ours, where brute-force moral denunciation in 280 characters is the preferred mode of discourse. Anyway, they all sound like children.

— “Welcome to the House that Social Justice Built”: careful with that “OK Boomer” stuff — it could get you fired.

— “We have built a vast machinery of cruelty and called it justice…” From this twitter thread by Lilliana Segura.

The routine, casual cruelty outlined here is, it seems to me, broadly similar in spirit to that of the internet mob machinery I fret about so much, because it stems from the same place. We have a cruel system because we enjoy having a cruel system. Every time I see a particularly harsh episode of online vigilante “justice” one of my first thoughts is, well, this is why we’re not going to have criminal justice reform any time soon.

— Three Indiana judges have been suspended for “behaving in an injudicious manner” after a failed attempt to visit a strip club led to a drunken brawl outside an Indianapolis White Castle that ended with two of the judges being shot.

— Value-added fail: “We find the standard deviation of teacher effects on height is nearly as large as that for math and reading achievement, raising obvious questions about validity.” (via this twitter.)

— Welcome to Culture War 2.0, the Great Re-alignment: here I am puzzling a bit over Peter Boghossian’s view of Culture War(s) past and present. All that atheism-theism stuff seems like a mere blip to me in the much bigger story of antinomian currents and sectarian conflicts in Western Civ. But it looms quite large for the former (and current?) New Atheist, and in fact seems to be all he can see. Hence the “here’s where it gets bizarre” reaction to finding himself with Christian allies and (nominal) atheist opponents in his argument in favor of Enlightenment values as against neo-quasi-Marxist intellectual trends among fancy, “woke” people. There’s nothing bizarre about it that I can see; and it’s only a re-alignment if you have managed to convince yourself that there was ever an alignment in the first place. I suppose it’s an irony here that Internet Atheism itself was in fact blown apart by just such a standard-issue sub-sectarian conflict (Gamergate) — an explosion from which it never recovered and with which you’d think Team Atheist would be well familiar.

Anyway, as I said I admire this guy’s work and I’m generally on his team here. I may have more to say about at some later time. Then again maybe I won’t.


And that’ll wrap it up for this edition of the Weakly Reader, but for those who’ve made it all the down the page this far, here’s a rather nice office chair:

See you all next week.



Frank Portman

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