Monthly Archives: January 2015

Words From The Midwest XXII

Good afternoon, all dark and stormies; all vagrant migration; all tossed up and hit-with-a-bat. Welcome to another edition of Words From The Midwest.

Another couple weeks have come and gone, and here’s another blog entry. I’m not sure in writing this that it will live up to the lofty goals spelled out in my last post, but I shall soldier on, dear boys and girls; ladies and gentlemen, etc.

I have just finished reading The Supposed So Trilogy which I’m sure I’ve already discussed somewhere in the confines of this series, so I won’t bore you with specifics on what it is and why it is but I want to say a couple things about it, regardless.

I was surprised by how much I liked it. That I should say. And, really, I only actually enjoyed reading the second novella, A Way To Go Sideways and the third is nothing without the album that goes along with it. Yes, A Pair Of Honest Men is not what I thought it was when I was writing it. But it exists merely as a way to flush out the themes of the first two in the series and I think it does an alright job in doing so. My only wish is that I had delved deeper into my time on the streets of Portland, which I discuss, but, honestly, really just glaze over the importance of some of the people I met and what exactly was going through my mind in the weeks leading up to the day I went out to begin the strange existence which is being a street kid in a city with an immense homeless population. The psychosis I endured in those times is merely hinted at in the book, although, perhaps, it shines through more apparently in The Will and The Won’t and A Way To Go Sideways than it does in A Pair Of Honest Men. I’m not sure exactly as I was the one who wrote the book and, thus, am actually in no clear space to critique it. I give it three stars; I give the album five.

I really can’t wait until it comes out (March 24) and am excited for the possibilities which will come from its release. I plan on sending it out to certain publications for review. Who really knows what anyone else will think of it.

We’ll see, I suppose.

I have a show Thursday.

Maybe I’ll do an open mic tonight.

I don’t know, I feel restless. Like it’s everything I can do to wait and wait until I have the money to buy a new microphone and record the drums and bass for Simplifiers (the album out March 24…you know, the one I just mentioned that goes along with the book) and maybe work on my covers series (Supposed Covers Volume II) and maybe – maybe – begin recording my followup album, Dad’s Typewriter which is written and has been written for some time.

2015, I think and hope and feel, etc., is going to be a very good year for me.

And I hope for you as well.

Until next time,



P.S. Mikal Cronin has a new album coming out in May. His first two (especially his second, MCII) are wonderfully good. Highly recommended.

Words From The Midwest XXI

Good evening, all tumultuous inventions; all plum infidelity; all wide and ravaged greens. This, as you should know by now, is Words.

I should start by, first, apologizing. I have wasted such a good amount of your time – if you have been reading along with my posts – rambling about music and giving short and, possibly, curt acceptations: generalizations and shallow, perhaps even pretentious, asides of speech for the sake of it. No more, fellow person in faith and dignity. I have changed my mind on what this should all be about.

And what, you may ask yourself, is the reason for this apostasy of purpose? I’m not sure, really, where it began. Possibly in rereading this collection of prose and finding almost nothing thought-provoking, save, perhaps, one or two slight, comprehensible essays on life or peace, etc. Perhaps, in all honesty, it comes from my completion of the book The Sense Of An Ending.

If you haven’t read it, I really cannot recommend it highly enough. It is masterful wordplay and a categorical, philosophical, and life-defining work of fiction. It gathers everything I’ve ever loved about writing and purges it all onto 163 pages of pure, unadulterated genius, of which, even in all my reading, I have never come across. It is visceral. And I cannot wait to reread it.

And I will.

Probably again this year.

But aside from me raining praise upon a book which won its share of awards (Man Booker, I believe is the one which graces its cover, though I could be remembering that wrong), it instilled in me the very core belief that I have been trying to shuffle away from for perhaps a year: that pure honesty in thought-like writing can be, and perhaps is, the only thing worth working on; that even as I sit here and think of the two novels I’m currently working on, I almost want to scrap them both and start over with something fresh.

But, alas, I will not. As an artist, I have taken to doing what I do and releasing my every whim, whether that means twelve or thirteen albums worth of songs or manic, dribbling, relatively incoherent novellas, three of which I am set to release in March; or the poetry which kept me alive while on the streets of Portland, or that which I write off the top of my head while drunk one afternoon…it’s all there for the taking. But, as I come down from the incredible high The Sense Of An Ending gave me, I am left with an almost guttural swoon: a temptation to throw away my life’s work for the mere reason that most of it doesn’t quite live up to my expectations of art in general.

But, no matter. I do what I do. I write what I write. And maybe – MAYBE – one day I will even come close to making someone feel the way that book has made me feel…I’m not sure I can do it.

But goddamnit, I will not stop trying.

In fact, I cannot.

And so, as I continue Words From The Midwest, I will try and be more open and honest. I will treat this more like a diary, perhaps. Or, perhaps, I am too cowardly to do such. As I write this, I am truly not sure.

I suppose we’ll find out together.



Words From The Midwest XX

Good morning, all intricate packaging; all major/minor details; all complete and utter devastation. Welcome. This is Words From The Midwest.

These posts are getting further and further apart, though one of my few resolutions for this new year is to write more and more off-the-cuff, with nonchalance, adding to this series. As the year goes on, my hope is that these will form a book and they will. It will be entitled Words From The Midwest, verily.

As my last couple posts neglected to mention what I was listening to at the time, I will say, first and foremost, that I am listening to Sondre Lerche’s Duper Sessions. It is, like all of his releases, a hell of a good listen, this one being a light, jazz influenced record of would-be standards if music these days was appreciated the way it used to be. Sondre Lerche is one of the best living, active songwriters, with five or so classic albums in his discography. They’re all good. And this one is a particularly fun listen. Check it out, if you wish. As I write this, I feel I may have even already spoken of him and his genius. Maybe I have.

Moving on, I will say that this is one of my favorite times of the year because I have, like every year in recent memory, taken to pillaging the many blogs and websites I read on a semi-regular basis for their year-end lists of the best albums of the year. I have discovered a number of artists I would never have heard otherwise, and Joan Shelley is the crown jewel of my researching. Her album Electric Ursa quickly became one of my favorite albums released in 2014. I have already listened to it about ten times and it’s more beautiful with each spin. She plays new-folk with an old-timey feel, brilliantly culling Gillian Welch, care-of Laura Marling, with carefully crafted lyrics and melodies which stick with you completely without that obnoxious feeling you get with certain songs that beg to be remembered. Her songs are just memorable. And that’s as much as I can say about anything: that overwhelming something; that joie de vivre we as the music obsessed search for in our new undertakings and discoveries. She has it.

She exudes it.

Otherwise, I’m still looking for something to hit me as hard as Electric Ursa. I’m not sure I’ll find it.

But, honestly.

That’s all for now.



P.S. Oh, yeah. The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger’s Midnight Sun. That was a goddamn game-changer. I can’t believe I almost forgot. That and Benjamin Booker.

Goddamn awesome rock and roll, the both.