The Dr Frank Weakly Reader for 1.29.21 incl.

Well, here we are with another Dr Frank Weakly Reader, that thing I do where I gather the week’s activities and lay them out so they may be found if ever sought they may be. (It’s two weeks’ worth this time as I skipped last week, as I sometimes do: that’s what I mean by “incl.”) I usually add some framing, further commentary, notes, and illustrations just to make it more interesting and/or palatable. I do it mainly for myself but as always feel free to read along if you like. I’ll try to make it good.

And now, on to the front burner…

— Lookout Zoomout!: As you may have noted, I’m playing a live-streamed set as part of the “Lookout Zoomout” organized by the one and only Grant Lawrence, of my own beloved Smugglers.

This isn’t the sort of thing I’m comfortable doing, and I’ve been asked many times to participate in such live-stream performance things, declining always till now. I’m just too, you know, shy and I don’t really have great facilities for it. Plus, I’m very, very lazy.

To be honest, I was all set to decline this one as well, but I found I just couldn’t say no to Grant. His band, more than any other I’ve known personally and “worked with,” embodies the spirit of rock and roll, which I, you know, like very much. We’ve had many great and weird times on the road together over the years. When Grant stumbled into the room with Smugglers in tow, you always knew it would be a good time. So I figured, maybe that magic would work over the internet. It seemed worth finding out. Plus, he’s just a really good guy. You try saying no to him. I wouldn’t fancy your chances. If fancy your chances means what I think it does.

So, I’m doing it, along with Lisa Marr (of Cub), Jon Ginoli (of Pansy Division), RAF Classic (of the Crumbs), and the Queers, along with two secret special guests. I’m playing solo acoustic, as, I believe is everyone else but the Queers. It’s on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 12 noon Pacific time, and is set to run for around two hours.

You can get tickets at this link:

When I asked, via posts on the different social platforms, what people wanted to hear, there were responses and I added them up, as one does. (For what it’s worth, I counted responses as well as “likes.”) At press time, the top ten were:

“Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend,” “I Believe in You”, “Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba,” “Now that You Are Gone,” “Two Minute Itch,” “More than Toast,” “My Stupid Life,” “I’d Do Anything for You,” “Last Time I Listened to You,” “Semi Okay”.

All do-able, though I won’t have time to do that many. I’m not obligated to honor the will of the people, necessarily. (There were irregularities: I’m reasonably certain, but cannot prove, that Hitler stole the election.) But I am interested in the will of the people, and this appears to be it, snapshot-style. Tune in to see what happens if you’re curious. I know I am.

— Obsolescence is back, baby: I don’t know what that means, either, but it looks like the the maniacs over at Sounds Radical Laboratories are experimenting with possible revival of the 8-track format for future releases.

At least, that’s what I gather from this posting.

Why the hell not? Well, there’s lots of reasons, but reasons never stopped them before.

I’m as curious and puzzled as you probably are, believe me.

Mtx forever, the third pressing: in half-lavender, half-white, now available from Sounds Radical while supplies last. Hard to imagine a more beautiful record, that’s my true opinion. I mean, look at it:

— Marco and mom at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, mid 90s. Starship forever.

— Sounds Rad cheat sheet: a playlist on Spotify.

— Singles trying to make a love connection: more nostalgia from the FB Lookout Records group, in the form of the “Love American Style” seven inch, which was indeed a good one.

— Ditto LK 180, a/k/a Revenge Is Sweet and So Are You and LK 184, the “…and I Will Be with You” seven inch. For what it’s worth, “You Alone” from the latter is just about as good as my songs get.

— Tim Popkid reviews the “Alternative Is Here to Stay” seven inch re-issue. Thank you Tim. You can still get one from Sounds Radical, if you like.

— The older the violin, the sweeter the tune… ancient interview in a fanzine, page 1 and page 2, via FB.

— Green Day / MTX / Neurosis / Econochrist / Monsula: If you’ve ever found yourself wondering which five bands played at Gilman the most times between 1986 and 1995, East Bay punk scholar Stefano Morello has added it up and the results are here. For us it was 39 times, a huge number, but a rate of around four times a year does seem about right to me. And that’s a whole lotta beers at Picante as well. Hundreds, probably.

— Sounds Radical is archiving the archives. Item: BAM magazine cover story issue, highest-level press coverage we ever got.

That fish-eye pic is pretty great, and the Hendrix thing is about as funny as that sort of thing gets. The T shirt I’m wearing says “I hate the entire earth” in French.

My band won a “bammie” once, a big trophy of a microphone with an engraved plate reading OUTSTANDING PUNK BAND, which is as funny to me now as it was back then.

Love Is Dead turns 25: more or less.The precise “birth-date” isn’t easy to determine, but it’s in the ball park. There’s an update of sorts on the plans for re-issue of this record at that link (tl;dr: we’re not going to be able to make it happen this calendar year, we’re blaming that on Covid, but we are planning to mark the occasion with some as-yet-unannounced item.)

I also reposted last year’s retrospective essay, “My Love Is Dead, and Yours.”

— Kind of a mysterious game: because of that whole Love Is Dead turns 25 thing, this week’s Song for Odin was “I Fell for You” live at the Roma PalaEUR, March, 1996.

“Minor secrets” are here. Songs for Odin playlist is here.

— Everybody’s doing it, including this lady:

— Everything else is our oyster: the next Song for Odin was me fingerpicking “Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba”:

“Minor secrets” here. Songs for Odin playlist, once again, is here.

— Finally: Bernie Sanders inauguration photoshop shenanigans were the gag of the hour for a couple days there, and Sounds Rad joined right in, with this one and this one, which did elicit a kind of snort from me:

(And speaking of Our Bodies Our Selves, a nice testimonial via Instagram, just by the way.)

— Yours truly, snapped a few years back at a pirate bar…

— Super duper: in lieu of a Weakly Reader last week, we revisited The Punkemon Story (copiously illustrated essay on Medium.) These are out of print now, but it may well rise from the grave one of these days.

— Simon Tam, Valerie, me, and a signed coconut: good times in Anaheim.

— Dept. of bons mots: from a “memory”.

That line is “would we care to all get in line,” allegedly. Okay, so what a policeman would actually say would be more like “stop resisting bang bang bang” the bang bang part being when he shoots your dog, but possibly not so much in Hyde Park in 1970…

— Dept. of bons mots II:

— Charles Addams gets me:

— Roman calendar: Saint Berard and companions, Franciscan porto-martyrs; Joachim Patinir’s Temptation of Saint Anthony; lady with lion, to represent Saint Prisca; Henry of Uppsala; Giovanni Gasparro’s characteristically arresting Saint Sebastian Cured by Saint Irene; Agnes of Rome, illuminated; Anastasius of Persia; Espousal of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Saint Joseph, by Rosso Fiorentino; Saint Timothy with cudgel, in stained glass; Blessed Henry Suso and the Horologium Sapientiae from an illuminated manuscript; an engraving by Albrecht Durer depicting the apparition from the Golden Legend story of the penance of John Chrysostom; Blessed Charlemagne; Saint Gildas, author of De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae (known as “the ruin of Britain” in the vulgar tongue)…

— …and: Saint Polycarp’s arm: last I heard — 2013 — this relic and reliquary had been stolen by mysterious relic thieves from a Greek monastery and never found. I’ve captioned this pic and story “Dan Brown, call your office” before, but I don’t think he ever did…

— Further: blonde looking apprehensively at man hovering above her ear, pulp art; what 1968 felt like, probably; what mask, my love?; spectral art by Goran Djurovic; beautiful words, but hard to believe (from Bergman’s 1961 film Through a Glass Darkly); lady with parrot, by Elvgren; I shot an arrow in the air; a ladder’s dilemma; Guardians of Time; electric lady; The Jimi Hendrix Experience, like you’ve never seen them before; this one is likely not safe… for work; girl on a saucer, and, finally, some gentlemen canning the can:

— Education is the key: Kat Rosenfield highlights a candidate for teacher of the year (inset, left.) Everything’s gone to hell in a hand-basket, etc. etc. yadda yadda, but the image of this classroom that plays in my head is funny enough almost to justify the deculturation. Like one of Tom Henderson’s teachers, except real.

— RIP nonetheless: Phil Spector died, obviously a vastly important figure in American pop music and the history of rock and roll, whom everyone hates now because he was a convicted murderer. It should be possible to make sure the world knows how absolutely, completely, and desperately against murder you are while also acknowledging the importance of such a person’s art and role in history. But this is an all-or-nothing age, and I saw nothing on the internets but bitter denunciation of the man and his work and expressions of joy at his death and pious hopes that he perished in agony and misery.

I’ve got no time for this sort of virtue-signaling, and I hope all those people didn’t hurt themselves too much patting themselves on the back for how wonderful they are for being so against murder and other bad stuff like that. But I could see which way the wind would blow were I to post the customary photo in commemoration, even in that non-committal gnomic way I have. The way it would blow is, they’d come after me, too, probably, for failing to denounce him with sufficient frenzy. I’ve got no time for that either. So I didn’t post the photo to the usual socials, only to minds.com, because nobody ever looks at it; similarly, I’ll post it here, since nobody reads this either.

Let me state for the record that I am opposed to murdering people. Phil Spector was evidently quite a disagreeable character in many other ways as well, so I’ll also register my firm, frenzied opposition to disagreeableness of every kind. The disagreeable and the murderous should just cut it out, seriously. But “Be My Baby,” e.g., still exists and it’s still important. And I still love it. Same goes for the stuff of Caravaggio, also a murderer by most accounts. The murders have nothing to do with me. The art is what matters. And the history matters too.

Caravaggio’s The Calling of St Matthew

— Much less controversially it’s goodbye as well to Cloris Leachman. Phyllis, it sure isn’t you.

And that’ll wrap it up. But for those who’ve made it this far down the page, here’s Jane Fonda:

See you next week, if not on Sunday.

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

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