(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 post the link here, and probably cross-post over at our music site Détective.
In the meantime, we hope you’ll be come out to one or more of the shows, which are listed on the Détective site, except for Houston TX and Columbia MO, which have been canceled due to I dont know why. We might try to find replacement shows for those two, but at this late date it’s unlikely.
Anyway. Watch this space, by which I mean literally stare at this blank space on the internet for hours on end, forgetting to eat, drink, or sleep, and maybe something cool will happen.
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.
On Tuesday, March 6, I will be recording a podcast with the Hugs and Disses crew which will feature my new band Detective. I don’t know when the podcast will be available but I’ll try to remember to let you know. You can always check with them if you can’t hardly wait.
On Thursday, March 8, I will be doing Slake After Dark, the slightly embarrassing press release for which is embedded above. It’s free, and if you come, you’ll get to hear Detective, albeit in a semi-acoustic incarnation due to the limitations of the venue, and you’ll get to hear me read from a selection of my writing (which I need to get around to selecting very soon). And you can ask me questions about stuff like why is the sky blue, or where do trees go when they die, or pretty much anything except where do I get the ideas for my books/stories/films (they come, without fail, from my agent.)
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 R. Pollard. And despite the fact the the band is getting ready to finish recording the next next GBV record (either my ears are going bad or Bob told me the working title is Bears For Lunch, or both, or neither), you STILL HAVE TO WAIT. Sorry. I just work here.
What I can and will do for you is re-present another example of an old song made new again, in the form of “Walls And Windows,” a very early (1983) Guided By Voices song that Bob would later re-write and recontextualize and appropriate and whatever all else words you want to use for when he goes back to an old song and turns it into a new song, in this case called “Hardcore UFOs,” appearing on the album Bee Thousand.
The catch to the latter re-presentation is that I am not only going to post that song, but another song, called “Streets and the City,” by my new band Detective. Or, if you prefer, Détective, because it’s named after the Godard film of that name. Upon being told which a certain film director of my acquaintance called me “pretentious.” To which I replied, “Yeah, next thing you know I’ll remake a Tarkovsky film.” Because he actually did that! See? I threw it back in his face! Burn. He replied “No one would be stupid enough to do that,” which at least shows that he can joke about himself, unlike me. I have no sense of humor about myself. I take everything very seriously and carry grudges forever and… oh, wait, that’s Steve Albini. Never mind.
Anyway. So. Alors. At least I didn’t write this whole post in French, which I could have done. I just sold my novel The Failure to the French publisher Gallimard for like a billion dollars in my own translation (I had help). It’s called L’Echec in French. (Okay, I had a lot of help. Still.)
As a result, I am in a festive mood. Click here to hear the result of my festive mood.
The link will take you to a page where you can hear “Walls And Windows,” probably for like the thirty-thousand and one third time, as well as “Streets and the City,” should you so wish. God gave you free will and so do I. That’s basically what God and I have in common. That and perfection. We have those things in common. We’re both perfect. Other than that… oh yeah, omnipresence. I have that. So, just the granting of free will to every human being, perfection of body and spirit, and omnipresence. Feels like I’m forgetting something. Whatever.
Also, I would like to present:
And finally, because I’m pretty sure you like to click on things, a very special surprise awaits you if you click here.
It’s been a pleasure. No, really. If you are at all inclined to “like” things or “tweet” about them or “share” them on any of the popular social media platforms, that would make me happy enough to consider posting more unreleased Guided By Voices rarities and maybe even someday tell you the story about why the hell I started another band and furthermore why we are playing the Empty Bottle in Chicago on February 29th or Atwater Crossing in Los Angeles on March 8th and wherever elese we decide to play in the future. THANKS FOR LISTENING.
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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. [...]
I’m posting this photo not so much to mark an occasion or make a point, but to remind myself that Unrest were one of the greatest bands ever, of all time, and that their record Imperial f.f.r.r. was a high-water mark in something or other. If you don’t own it, go outside of your house RIGHT NOW and track it down, and if you have any sense at all (unlike me), you’ll look for it in a non-digital or digitized format. In other words, on vinyl. The way God and Mark Robinson intended (Mark and I were both raised as Christian Scientists, but please don’t hold that against us. Or at least him.). I don’t know if any of the Unrest or Air Miami (Mark’s post-Unrest 4AD project) physical product was stored in the Sony/DADC warehouse along with a pile of PIAS-distributed independent label music, and which burned down in the August riots, but even if not—and I know times are tough, but—it would be an act of double-edged benevolence on your part to explore and purchase not just Unrest/Air Miami but anything on any independent label affected by the fire. A list of which you can find here. Your benevolence would be double-edged because not only would you be supporting independent artists, who could use your help, but your life will become immediately at least 3.7 times better than it is. I am not very often right about many things, but I am right about this. Probably.
Mark also ran and still runs the Teenbeat label, home to so many items of lasting musical value that it beggars the imagination. I urge you to check out their website and browse their catalog. If you are a fan of Twitter, you can follow Mark at @Teenbeat463
- 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 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 rock video 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
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