Oh man so summer is almost over. I know it’s true because I just did my perennial trip to JC Penney in order to reap the benefit of massive mall sales and procure back-to-school clothes without holes in them. I even picked up some cheap junky jewelry in hopes of perfecting my “real adult” simulacrum. I’ll keep you posted 😉
Oh yes, summer. A time when the substitute teaching season ends and I spend a month or two taking trains and sleeping on couches, visiting friends and strangers, wearing the same clothes every day and getting stinky…
My first stop was Portland, where I spent time in a lovely trailer off of 82nd street writing my first magazine article and practicing with my new band. The article is out now in the VICE Anti-Music Issue edited by Sam McPheeters. It’s called “Keeping It Bleak: Modern Touring in America” and it’s about deathbed noise-tour as artform. I was lucky enough to get some of my own personal tour heroes Elijah Forrest (Terrors, Cavelife) and Jeff Witscher (Rene Hell, Deep Jew, Impregnable, etc) for quotes and interviews. I think both of them are amazing artists and I hope that comes across in the piece. It also includes awesome illustrations by my good friend and former bandmate Tara Tavi. To top it off, I’m also EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH for the first time in my life! (Something that somehow never happened when I was a waitress or video store clerk.)
PS – I kind of like writing. If you want to hire me to write something, hit me up! erikam.anderson (AT) gmail (DOT) com
The new band is called AWE and I’m REALLY excited about it. The name came to me in a dream ok so I can’t fuck with it. It’s my initials turned all inside out. The line-up is basically the same people that played with me when I opened the Throbbing Gristle show last April. It’s my bestest NoDak friend Aaron Davis (ACRE) on bass and my lil sis Nicole on drums and vocal harmonies. Yes, that is correct, I’m forming a sister band. Is there anything cuter? They were just down for a couple weeks tracking some stuff at Studio 1510, so now I’ve got to buckle down and mix it. The AWE record is tentatively titled Past-Life Martyred Saints and will include some older stuff I recorded but never released like “Marked” and “Butterfly Knife”, but also brand new stuff. It’s going to be coming out early next spring in Europe on the truly rad Souterrain Transmissions label. At this point I don’t have a plan for the US. What’s up with the US these days? Anyone want to weigh in?
So anyway, here are the bones of a new song called “Nirvana Demo Rare”. Recorded in that Portland trailer on a borrowed 4track, with help from cats. The final version will prolly have drums and bass, but here is the skeleton.
NIRVANA DEMO RARE
Next stop was my hometown of Sioux Falls, SD. Not a single picture from that time except one of me taking a body shot of tequila out of a former high school classmate’s cleavage. Nope! Not posting it!
From there it was a little cabin on a lake outside of Minneapolis (which happens to be one of the best cities in the US fer sure). No internet, and I stayed up til dawn 3 nights in a row fishing. And drinking miller lite. Jesus christ that was the best. All catch and release, mostly little panfish and trout and of course the hideous bullhead. For those who don’t know these are quite awful creatures with a blubbery flesh body and horrible stinging whiskers. They are basically fucking cthulhu, total lovecraft fish, but also kind of a common meme/punchline in the midwest. They are like the devil whammies on press your luck.
See? Don’t they look like fucking baby Cthulhus? Which brings me to one of my favorite memes : BABIES DRESSED LIKE CTHULHU!
Don’t worry, I’m not super-maternal yet, despite all the time I spent in the Midwest. I can’t even take care of a dog 😦
From there I got a real cheap ticket to NYC, and from there ran down to Baltimore for what was apparently the last ever Whartscape. It was really really lots of fun. So much so that I didn’t take a single picture! Saw lots of friends and the whole time was so hot and sweaty it was like a constant sauna. Also spent some time debating about which is more intimidating, West Oakland or West Baltimore. I had always felt really unsure and on my toes when I had visited Baltimore in the past, but friends that come visit us in West O feel the same way. I’m still kind of tripped out by Baltimore, with its blue flashing police cameras in the streets and hovering black helicopters that actually yell at people. Even the bar down the street from Peter’s they have to buzz you in and take down your driver’s license number in case you stab somebody. But in West Oakland we don’t even have a bar, so that’s that. We decided that both were intense in different ways. In Baltimore I noticed that ppl you pass on the street won’t really look at you, (which seems kind of Southern in a way) but in Oakland you basically have to make eye contact and greet everyone you come across or else it’s sketchy. The last time I didn’t I had a group of boys holler at me “What’s up? You bad-ass bitch! You exotic-ass bitch!” Which I think was kind of a compliment but so funny that this blonde-haired blue-eyed cornfed girl would be so exotic out here in Oakland. Funny, but true.
As always, a big highlight was visiting Tarantula Hill and seeing whatever progress on the house that’s been made since the last time through town. A sauna! A rooftop garden! A lightbox synthesizer from 1960! And to top it all off, Carly even gave me some of my favorite homemade lipgloss made out of beeswax from HER OWN BEES that she keeps herself in beehives on the roof. What a woman!
From there it was back to NYC for just a few days. Apparently everyone lives in Greenpoint now so that’s where I spent almost all my time. My friend Will was having an art party/real-time photo collage, where he hired a model off of Craigslist and invited friends to come over, bring an object, and stage a still-life involving all objects and the model. The actual scene of the shoot was kept very secret, behind a big white sheet so that people couldn’t peek at what one another was doing. We got there late so we just sat around drinking wine in the gallery with the other participants who were waiting for their turn to set up their shot. We also invented a new meme I really liked that boiled down to “I’d rather listen to Henry Rollins doing spoken word on a TOOL album than listen to Fugazi!!!” Here are some pics.
MIDWEST PART II