I’m going to be reading, probably from my forthcoming collection of short fiction Everything Flows, at the Pygmalion Lit Fest in Champaign-Urbana, or Urbana-Champaign, or somewhere in Illinois, on September 27 or 28. I’ll also be playing in Détective on one of those two [...]
I did a podcast not long ago while on tour with my band Détective for Joyland Magazine. Brian Joseph Davis and I talked in the tour van for at least an hour about a lot of non-libelous (I hope) things including but not limited to the [...]
A new anthology of essays from a website called The Weeklings to which I irregularly contribute has recently been made available for sale to the reading public. Information/justification here. The anthology includes something I wrote, apparently, as well as stuff from a bunch of great writers on [...]
If any of you folks happen to be in Boston for AWP in early March, I’ll be reading playing music, apparently, at Cantab Lounge with several other very excellent writers on March 7 sometime after 8PM. Please stop by and say hello if you get a chance.
My very good friend and one of Los Angeles’ finest writers, Joseph Mattson, is in dire need of your help. If you live in the LA area, there will occur on Tuesday December 4 a benefit for Joseph at The Echo. In addition to my band Détective, [...]
I will have the great pleasure of reading with some of Los Angeles’ best writers, including Joe Donnelly and Antonia Crane, among several others, at Slake Magazine‘s Halloween Reading at the coolest AND the hottest new LA-area bookstore, Pop-Hop Books & Print in Hancock Park. The address is on [...]
First installment of my ramblings concerning Détective‘s recent tour with Guided By Voices is now up at The Believer Magazine‘s tumblr, which is called The Believer Logger. You can read it by clicking the link here.
More to come as soon as [...]
(cross-posted from Détective Music)
Hi, so my band Détective is going on tour, first stop Tempe AZ before we join up with Guided By Voices in Athen GA on September 18. I’ve agreed to write a sort of tour diary for The Believer magazine’s tumblr, so if and when that happens, I’ll [...]
I reviewed Joshua Cohen’s collection of four long short stories, Four New Messages, for Bookforum, which you can find wherever Bookforum in its papery form is still sold, and also online here. My review calls Cohen “immoderately brilliant,” and the takeaway for those disinclined to read reviews is “buy [...]
For reasons surpassing anyone’s understanding, I was interviewed by New York Tyrant publisher Giancarlo DiTrapano for VICE. I taked some about my new band Détective, and a lot about my forthcoming story collection, Everything Flows, from Curbside Publishing. You can read it all here.
A collection of my “stories,” leaning hard on the figurative sense of story, will be published by Curbside Splendor in November of this year, with the usual caveat that the world may end right around that time in which case never mind. I do hope my forthcoming book will in no way [...]
Okay, so this new band Détective has a new EP, called Basket of Masks, set to release on limited edition (300) 12″ 45 r.p.m. vinyl in late May. You can pre-order it now by going here. If you pre-order before it ships, we’ll include as a bonus the limited edition CD of our previous [...]
Relatively short notice, but for Los Angeles-area residents, I’ll be discussing Eric Erlandson’s new book Letters to Kurt at Skylight Books on Thursday, March 29. All the information you could ever want and more can be found by clicking here.
Eric was co-founder of the band Hole, as I [...]
The indispensable site UbuWeb once again proves its indispensabilityness. Click here to watch the 45 minute film of J-L Godard and J-P Gorin’s 1970 tour of American universities (ham-fisted screenshot above) in search of funding for a never-completed film supporting the Palestinain struggle (North of Onhava studiously avoids taking [...]
I have been sorely lacking on the “post stuff at North of Onhava” front lately. I don’t even have a good excuse, like “I lost my left arm in an axe-throwing contest.” That would be a good excuse because I’m left-handed.
Anyway, here’s a couple of things. My friend Patrick Wensink has released [...]
I’m a little behind on the relelntless self-promotion front, but I have my reasons, which are plentiful as grapes, if you you know your Shakespeare.
Today I am playing a trick on you. Ha! Good one. The next Guided By Voices album is finished, and it’s (obviously) great, and you can’t hear it until I believe May. It’s called Class Clown Spots A UFO. Which is an old song made new again through the magic of [...]
Forthcomingness = There are a couple of upcoming events in which the legion of North of Onhava readers might be interested, be you of the literary or rockerary persuasion.
[Editor's note: I'm re-running this piece from the vast North of Onhava archives in celebration of Guided By Voices' appearance on Letterman the other night, during the course of which bass player/lawyer Greg Demos fell on his ass. That's actually a quote from Greg to Mr. Letterman: "I fell on my [...]
The excellent literary site Joyland, which describes itself as a “hub for short fiction” because it’s a hub for short fiction, has come out with the first of a planned biannual series of print journals consisting of pieces that have previously appeared on the site. The first Joyland Retro (it’s retro [...]
Since I have a lot of work to do, still, even though it’s Christmas Eve, and won’t be able to post anything here for a while, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share an old Guided By Voices song that has never been properly released: It’s called “Pantherz,” and it was meant to be [...]
Or at least, he claims that his blog will do so. And today, he wrote some very kind words about my second novel The Failure, so I’m inclined to believe him. But you, having free will (or so you’ve been led to think), may choose to feel [...]
[Editor's note: a version of this story appeared in my friend Sébastien Doubinsky's excellent bi- or tri-lingual periodical Zaporogue, which you can find here. Seb has at least two books forthcoming from the excellent Black Coffee [...]
To the right of this post you will notice a list of upcoming dates, times and places at which I will be appearing along with some much more talented people. The occasion is the publication of an anthology of stories called The Speed Chronicles, edited by Joseph Mattson, and [...]
I received this note recently from a friend, and I’m re-posting it here in the hope of spreading the message as quickly and effectively as possible.
From the Public Art Defense League, operating in conjunction with Occupy LA:
Greetings. This is Travis Wilkerson writing to you on behalf of the Public Art Defense League–a newly-formed [...]
A few items of interest to readers of North of Onhava, and possibly to normal people, too:
1. An excerpt from my novel-in-progress is available for your reading pleasure at Joyland NYC. As far as I can tell, it’s set in a kind of pre-apocalyptic Paris, and contains at least two characters who [...]
For those who might have missed the announcement, I urge you to jump on this, especially the 7″ ones, because they will go very, very quickly.
Via Rockathon Records:
“LET’S GO EAT THE FACTORY
Amazing new album from the reunited classic GBV line-up.
Available from Rockathon January 1, in [...]
Slow News Day is not a bad band name. It’s also not a good band name. It’s kind of a middling-to-fair band name. Glad we cleared that up. Here are some Slow News items, beginning with another band name:
Apparently I wrote an article for the 1,225th Anniversary issue of Spin Magazine, which occurred in May of 2010. I mean, I did write an article, but I totally forgot. And I have never in my life paid for a copy of Spin, so. Luckily, an obscure internet startup called Google has taken it upon [...]
Low light slants through a bower of maple branches onto the roof and dirt-spattered windshield of a car parked on the red clay driveway. No wind stirs, and the mosaic of shadow slides by imperceptible degrees from the blue roof of the parked car to the tawny drive, crawling from there [...]
I’ve told the story of writing and recording this song for the album-length EP Sunfish Holy Breakfast (Matador, 1996) before, but I’m going to tell it again now, for reasons that will become clear sometime early next year.
I take inordinate pride in being one of only a handful—not even an adult handful, more like [...]
We sit here on a blind rock careening through space; we are all of us rushing headlong to the grave. Think you the worms will care, when anon they make a meal of you, whether you spent your moment sighing wigless in your chamber, or sacked the golden tombs of Montezuma? Lookee, the [...]
l-r Phil Krauth, Bridget Cross, Mark Robinson Had I a better sense of timing, or any sense at all, really, I would have posted this photo during the late unpleasantness in London. And even though it wouldn’t have been funny then, either, at least it would have had some kind of topical relevance. [...]
Yeah, right. I mean, I could do that, but that would sort of be unweaving the rainbow, and everybody (and Keats) knows better.
And now, something from the archives:
I was so much older then. We went and played Maxwell’s in Hoboken after this taping, and ran through the entire list of songs [...]
Apparently he was commsissioned to make this for the 2011 Viennale, and probably I’m posting something that a) everybody’s already seen already and b) everybody already knows is some kind of almost self-parodic absurdly creepy stuttering anti-narrative larded with semi-ominous signs & symbols intended either to make fun of himself or of us. Or both. [...]
Well, if CNN and (everyone else is) going to ignore this, it must be worth watching. But I’ll let you decide for yourselves:
Rufous Knicks, rampant in blue serge suit and hairs-cut, stepped down the wobbly back shell of Forever Corner like a king descending to court. That or another like sentence would mark well to begin this history in old days whereof I have understood some, having lived for petty times in that [...]
Is your name Hyacinth? Do you bloom in pairs?
I ask a flower question I expect the leaves to turn.
There’s blood in the dirt. There’s an easier road
To the moss-covered ruin, where for a few months
We didn’t sleep from fear of sprayed guts
I apologize if the air of secrecy around what some people are given to call “Greer’s blog deal” has caused anyone breathing problems, but certain things are worth waiting for. I hope you’ll agree. According to MOJO magazine, [...]
What was I born for? thought Thomas, sitting at his desk, copying the last few lines of his work. What was anybody born for?
The sun had long since floated past the lid of his window, over the gray slate roof, and begun to set. [...]
I could break the shell of myself, if you want, or you could try to fail. Here’s how the thing works: some injustice must be left un-righted. Some tumescent flaw must be kept in the perfectly silvered surface of your Venetian mirror, set in the bark of a living tree.
In a [...]
From the vast North of Onhava archives:
“Full of grace my ass. Every one of them too goddamn tall. And doubtless crazy as swans. ” The young man was annoyed. He banged his bottle on the wet wood of the bar.
“Perhaps that’s true, but you didn’t stick around long enough [...]
In with the good, out with the bad. But it’s not air of which the teacher speaks. Something more valuable. Essence. Out with ignorance, in with wisdom. Knowledge of the self means knowledge of things hidden in plain sight. When you can see what’s in front of you these hidden things will [...]
Gardenias. Heavy scent borne on the evening breeze, through two windows facing the street. The red Mercedes had seemed to come out of nowhere.
“Listen. I met a girl.”
In fading sun the row of bougainvillea overflowing chain link fence across the street flushes pinkly, nodding (sweet, demure) at passersby.
“I love [...]
[Editor's note: I have taken down Angry Pillows, which is not as much fun as it sounds. I hope you enjoyed it while it was there.]
Another track from the (possibly) first ever recorded Guided By Voices qua Guided By Voices non-release Pissing In The Canal (1983). This one’s called “Angry Pillows (Gone Away),” and [...]
As many of you know the trivium derives from the introductory curriculum in many medieval universities, where it involved the study of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. The word is Latin in derivation, perhaps obviously, and literally means the place where three (tri-) roads (via) meet. Our modern word trivia is loosely, [...]
“[I] laugh at the vanities and the fopperies of the time, to see men so empty of virtuous actions, to hunt so far after gold, having no end of ambition; to take such infinite pains for a little glory, and to be favoured of men…. Some to desire to be obeyed in [...]
A resident of England for much of his adult life, a professor of European Literature at the University of East Anglia, Sebald was obviously fluent enough, 35 years after arriving in his adopted homeland, to write in English had he wished. His stated reason for not doing so, in an interview given (in [...]
Inspired by the example of my betters, here’s a short film I made in France. It was shot at the Château D’hérouville, about an hour outside of Paris, which was once a famous recording studio – the “Honky Chateau” of Elton John fame – but is now overgrown and mostly a ruin. I [...]
I posted this a while back, around the time the novel was published, but I thought I’d re-post it here today because a) I’m really busy and don’t have time to find anything more interesting to post, much less actually write about something, and b) upon re-watching it, I remembered that it’s really good, due [...]
I wrote this story long before the movie franchise of the same title appeared. I’m not saying the movie people stole the idea from me, even though I’m pretty sure I invented hangovers, but if Zach Galliafinakopolisopoulous wants to kick a couple of euros my way for, you know, “thanks, man” or [...]
[Editor's note: In honor of the publication of Experienced: Rock Music Tales of Fact and Fiction, I am going to re-post an excerpt from the Hunting Accidents anecdote I contributed to that fine compendium of rock ünd roll arcana. This is part one of what was originally a two-part post about the [...]
Part One – Sunderland
Thomas Quin was aware, with the acute self-consciousness pubescent boys suddenly acquire — a hilly solipsism from which they daily tumble into an abyss of despair — that he was unusually thin, and awkward, and afraid of everyone. His formerly natural friendliness and curiosity disappeared, replaced by morbid insularity. He went, [...]
Well, not exactly the movie, maybe, but the trailer, at least. Over a bed of hastily-improvised guitar feeedback, I read an excerpt from my story “Second-Hand Blue” in Issue 1 of Curbside Splendor, and then CS publisher Victor David Giron gave it to this really talented guy named Garett Holden, who created a [...]
The excellent online litmag Metazen has seen fit to post on its site a story that I wrote. The story is actually part of a chapter from my next novel, which has a title, but the title is a secret. If you have any interest in the shape or tenor of my next [...]
It’s the last week of the Slake subscription special. It’s an incredible deal on probably the best new literary magazine in the English language and maybe even some other languages as well. You will go to the link on the poster below. You will subscribe. Or I will hunt you down with a plastic [...]
Recently, rooting through my garage, I came across an old Polaroid JoyCam which must have been given to me sometime in the early- to mid-90s. I also found several cartridges of very old and poorly stored Polaroid film. So I figured I’d see what would happen if I tried to use the old camera with [...]
The Dirty Poet, Emergency Room Wrestling, Words Like Kudzu Press
Jesús Ángel Garcia, badbadbad, New Pulp Press
Ben Tanzer, You Can Make Him Like You, Artistically Declined Press
Tom Williams, The Mimic’s Own Voice, Main Street Rag
Patrick Wensink, Black Hole Blues, Lazy Fascist
First, I have to apologize. I’m [...]
“Photography is unclassifiable because there is no reason to mark this or that of its occurrences; it aspires, perhaps, to become as crude, as certain, as noble as a sign…. Whatever it grants to vision and whatever its manner, a photograph is always invisible: it is not it that we see.”
- It's a long climb up the rock face at the wrong time to the right place
- James Greer's books on GoodreadsGuided by Voices: A Brief History: Twenty-One Years of Hunting Accidents in the Forests of Rock and Rollreviews: 24
ratings: 195 (avg rating 3.70)Artificial Light (Little House on the Bowery)reviews: 6
ratings: 71 (avg rating 3.66)The Failurereviews: 9
ratings: 59 (avg rating 3.65)EXPERIENCED: Rock Music Tales of Fact & Fictionreviews: 4
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.60)Two Letters Collection, Volume 2ratings: 5 (avg rating 4.60)
OCDabsolution abstract rendition of a definite condition a contest featuring human beings advertising A la recherche du temps perdu anecdotage Artificial Light a yellow coincidence book reading Book Review books caffeinated rambling Curbside Splendor Détective Everything Flows experiments do not always work which is why they are called experiments fiction fictionaut film France great rock bands of the united states Guided By Voices interview James Greer Jean-Luc Godard literary magazines movies music parody photography proselet reading reading in public is scary Robert Pollard self-promotion short fiction short film short story Slake The Failure The Power of Suck The Rattling Wall this is the modern world W.I.P. we are all immortal now
Friendly Fire"James Greer, one of the nimblest and most multilayered American fiction writers, has, with his latest novel The Failure, pulled off a sublime and shivery-smooth literary hat-trick-cum-emotional-gotcha. I defy anyone to come up with an equation to explain how this book's first impression as a ridiculously clever, funny crime story can gradually disclose a metanovel built from far more encyclopedic scratch only to reveal upon its conclusion a central, overriding thought so heartfelt literally it trembles your lower lip. This is one stunning piece of work."—Dennis Cooper"James Greer's The Failure is such an unqualified success, both in conception and execution, that I have grave doubts he actually wrote it."—Steven Soderbergh"Greer has done it again: a big-city, techno-jargon-filled thrill-ride with slick medium-brow drop references to our (once-shared) mythological hometown. What could be more poignant?"—Robert Pollard"How do you assess if your life has been a success? For starters, take time and turn it on its head. You'll first need to find its head. Luckily, James Greer's novel The Failure will help--it's a brainy, boisterous, unsettling, and unsettled look at a group of people thrust into the most confounding of existences, complete with petty crime, high science, love, sex, and cars. The narrative winds and darts, gleefully uncooperative. The characters have funny names and sometimes funny existences. Still, you will recognize them. They are us."—Ben Greenman
- The Believer
- Ben Loory
- Ben Tanzer
- The Breeders
- Caeli Fax
- The Cinefamily
- Curbside Splendor
- David Roth
- Death to Kenny Rogers
- Dennis Cooper
- False Binary
- Her Jazz
- Joseph Mattson
- Kate Zambreno
- Large-Hearted Boy
- Marathon Packs
- Mark Gluth
- Matthew Simmons
- Nathan Larson
- Nick Eddy Relents
- The Nervous Breakdown
- The Paris Review
- Project Gutenberg
- Shane Jones
- SmokeLong Quarterly
- Some Came Running
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