Just out on Da Capo Press, The Sea is My Brother, Kerouac’s
first novel, went missing in North America for
seven decades. It’s perhaps the best of the writer’s posthumous releases.
By Danny R. Phillips
It’s a bright day in my
somewhat shadowed life when a new Jack Kerouac novel is “discovered” and
released by handlers of his estate.
Since his death in 1969 at the age of 47, the family of his widow,
Stella Sampas, has controlled Kerouac’s interests and intellectual
property. Since the release of Atop an Underwood, a collection of early
Kerouac stories, in 1999 there has been a steady flow of new material for fans
of the Beat Generation king.
The latest, The Sea is my Brother, is perhaps the
best of the posthumous releases if not for quality but for how it shows the
reader the direction Jack was heading in his writing. Sea could
be considered the skeleton that would become gems such as On The Road, Maggie Cassidy or The Subterraneans; the spontaneous
bop prosody style that Kerouac created (sentence structures that have a rhythm
much like his beloved Jazz) are in the early stages here. Unlike “The Town and The City,” where Kerouac
obviously took an approach to writing much like his hero Thomas Wolfe, The Sea is My Brother is wholly
Kerouac. He does not allow the
sometimes-stiff narrative to become constrictive for too long; at the brink of
convention, he breaks away from the norm and breathes life to a style that is
energetic and natural.
The plot of Sea (if you could call it that) is
nearly non-existent; the book revolves around two main characters, Columbia
University professor Bill Everhart and Wesley Martin, two men that hook up
after many bar discussions and head out aboard a ship carrying war supplies to
Greenland. Kerouac himself took this
exact trip as a merchant marine aboard the SS Dorchester. Like any great writer, Kerouac borrowed from
his real-life experiences to formulate a world of his own where he is God and
his characters, whether they are Martin, Dean Moriarty, Old Bull Lee, Mardou
Fox or Carlo Marx, are his children to control and mold.
Sea is quite impressive considering Kerouac was barely out of
this teens when the writing began. He
was already well on his way at that, tender age of creating the two mythical
American types that lay down the foundations for most, if not all, of his
future work. Bill Everhart is the
ponderer, the deep thinker, the moral compass of the book. Young Wesley Martin is the Dean Moriarty (the
main character of On The Road based
on Neal Cassady) of this outing. He is
the energetic, wandering bum that only wants to have a drink, see the world and
maybe find a woman along the way.
identified The Sea is My Brother as
handwriting more than a novel. The fact
that he was not happy with the finished product and chose not to publish it
alongside his autobiographical works like Lonesome
Traveler, Big Sur, On the Road, Visions of
Cody, or the great Desolation Angels is a shame. Yes, The Sea is My Brother is not a great piece of literature but it is
quite good. If released during Kerouac’s
short 47 years, it would have stood with the others as an example to other
writers to find their own voices and that persistence does indeed pay off in
Daring (almost) all-girl, punk outfit
thrills its longtime fans at the Great
Hall on March 14.
By Jud Cost
violet-tinted neon lights struck like arrows and glowed like electric
hot-plates from either side of the stage, illuminating the gilded frescoes of
the room, while what could have been bass patterns from British space-rockers
Hawkwind heightened the sense of anticipation. “Hello, sisters!” says
Raincoats guitarist and co-founder Ana Da Silva to a three-fourths full house
at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall on a soggy Wednesday night when a
raincoat might not be a bad idea.
“This is a
really nice venue, isn’t it? I wish all the places we played were half as
nice,” says Gina Birch, bassist and fellow co-founder of the band that
formed in 1977 at London’s Hornsey College of
Art, describing San Francisco’s
post-Edwardian marvel. “Why people pay for some of the hell-holes we play
is a mystery,” she chuckles.
Ray Davies of
the Kinks also attended Hornsey, about 15 years earlier than the girls. His
song “Lola” is a highlight of the Raincoats’ self-titled 1979 debut
album on the Rough Trade label. By keeping the lyrics in the original gender,
the girls added a few extra layers of sexual ambiguity to a song already
complex enough to bring on vertigo.
Da Silva, with a
graying Beatles shag, is flanked by Birch on the right and violinist Anne Wood
on the left, both displaying ultra-big, piled-high ginger hair, similar to
coifs once sported by the Slits, another British all-female outfit whose
Palmolive played drums for both bands. Tonight, a male drummer, Vice Cooler,
never gets in the way of a front line that’s full of surprises.
screech of one song, made by Wood’s violin mimicked by the voices of Da Silva
and Birch, blends with the occasional police siren outside for real surround
sound. Another number could have come from free-jazz icon Cecil Taylor if he’d
grown up playing guitar in Appalachia instead
of piano in NYC. No less an authority than Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten
once reputedly remarked, “All rock ‘n’ roll is shit, except for the Raincoats.” Kurt Cobain, also a big
fan, was reportedly eager to have the girls support Nirvana on tour, something
that, sadly, never happened.
But mostly the
Raincoats could be a thriving punk strain of revered UK folk-rockers Fairport
Convention. At times, the music threatens to fall apart, but it never does.
Someone is always there with a perfectly placed phrase to keep the unit balanced
on the tightrope. Birch, for example, will add organic echo to a vocal line,
not electronically but by repeating the phrase while diminishing the volume.
The best thing about the Raincoats is they are willing to take chances. This is
not a paint-by-numbers band that coughs up the same material every night, note
been a guaranteed good night out whenever one of the surviving Anglo-Irish punk
legends returns to the scene of the crime. Both Wire and Stiff Little Fingers
have played stirring sets here recently. Birch apologized for coughing during
one of her stage announcements by saying, “I haven’t smoked for 10 or 15
years, but it still comes back to haunt me.” Here’s hoping the Raincoats,
like a nagging cough, will continue to haunt the live music scene for many
years to come.
From File Clerk to CEO-or My Dinner with the Georgetown 5.
By Steven Lorber
(Just call me Willie)
It’s a hard world to get a
break in All the good things have been taken But girl there are ways To make certain things pay Though I’m dressed in these rags I’ll wear sable Someday Hear what I say I’m gonna ride the serpent No more time spent Sweatin’ rent Hear my command I’m breakin’ loose It ain’t no use Holdin’ me down Stick around
But baby, but baby Remember, remember It’s my life and I’ll do what I want It’s my mind and I’ll think what I want Show me I’m wrong, hurt me sometime But some day, I’ll treat you real fine
Life” – The Animals
I have recently joined the
ranks of the unemployed. Not by choice, but rather the all too familiar
corporate heave ho. Yes I enjoyed the requisite pity party, the Muslim breast
beating ritual (minus the razors)-the Buddhist meditation which ended with a
non-directed fuck you; and so, I was back where I started. Déjà vu- -or what I
call-the Peter Sellers Syndrome. I
dusted off the mantle, the nameplate, and the web site of the once great Metro
Music. Yes the business where I was the King- and the King was I. The challenge
that now stood before me was; could I resurrect a vinyl business in a digital
world and achieve greatness as I had done 15 years before?? The world had
changed in my absence. What kind of bizarro universe was I entering where
10,000 songs can be had for nothing; stored on a disc the size of a pinhead.
Music that could be ripped sampled trampled mixed doctored downloaded and
served up fresh on an I-pod/cell phone/I-pad-the cloud?!!. Would I be able to
meet this Herculean challenge?? Could I bring some semblance of sanity to a
world gone mad!! Once again I was at the crossroads-“hello darkness my old
friend”!! Just as the Green
Lantern-summoned his strength-“On the darkest day in the darkest night-no evil
shall escape my sight”-I called on the Gods of Porkydom-Barney Fife/Harvey
Grimley-Give me strength my friends-breathe life into my soul so that I may
soldier on-and show the world that a vinyl record-is your friend-its there to
comfort you-to inspire you, and to love you. And so it became, I, Steven Lorber,
went from file clerk to CEO of Metro Music.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit
that these recent events triggered the inevitable 19th Nervous Breakdown-the
rush to the doctor for more powerful drugs and the spiritual questioning/self
loathing inherent in this porkys genetic makeup. I spent my days making friends
at the local Dunkin Doughnuts emporium drinking way to much coffee and
convincing myself that “Their Satanic Majesties Request,” was light years ahead
of Sgt. Pepper (2000 in fact). Strangely enough no matter what psychotic roller
coaster my mind seemed to take-I kept
coming back to the question of education. My education. Had I received my
degree in 1975, as I should have-what would my life have been like/wp-content/photos. You see
I had a small difference of opinion with Mr. John Carroll and -thus I engaged
in a 25-year war with the almighty Georgetown.
The epic David & Goliath battle ended in august 2000 as the bruised and
battered giant awarded this belligerent porky his cherished BSFS degree.
In the process of getting the
Metro Music office ready for business I couldn’t stop thinking as to how I
arrived at this place in my life. – 58
and starting all over again? Had I even started/wp-content/photos What had I really done?
— “Who knows where the time goes”?
/”Time has come today-Time in a bottle-The time and the place-Love me two
times-Summertime-Time wont let me be-Time is on my side-Time of the Season- Tea
Time (won’t be the same without my Donna)“.”
It was a sunny day in June-after returning
from DD and trying to put my office in order I came across an unmarked file
filled with letters documenting my 25-year war.
I marveled at the gall, the tone and the slightly pathetic nature of my
letters. How they must have dreaded receiving my letters with the never ending
cajoling, begging demanding; imploring, beseeching, requesting and petitioning.
Who said you cannot petition the Lord with Prayer??!!. After a cursory
examination-I concluded that I’m a pretty damn good beggar! And why not-Hell
I’m not that proud, I spent my whole life begging for grades, begging for sex
and begging God to forgive me. Amongst the mountain of documents I was sorting
for posterity one caught my attention. It was a one-page transcript with my class rank. – Steven Lorber Class Rank
350 of 0355. Yes I actually finished
higher than 5 other people. The days went on and I kept
thinking who are these 5 people? How was I able to finish ahead of them?? Well
I decided to find out. It was just my luck that I had a connection with a girl
who worked in the GU admissions office. With the requisite begging and bribery
I tracked down my fellow low ranking Georgetown
comrades. After the perfunctory introductory e-mail, I sent them all an
official invitation to come back to DC to enjoy a dinner and pay homage to each
other as we would examine our lives and our connection as the bottom 6
graduates in the class of 2000.
Feeling smug, anxious,
excited, and nervous-I went to greet my fellow travelers at the world famous
Willard hotel on the designated night of November 12, “A day that will live
in…There was Thomas Bergeron, Sheridan Fawnstock, Susan Emerson, Sean Driscoll
and Cynthia O’Connell. I hosted this Dinner in one of the Willard’s private
banquet halls. It was my dream that this magical meeting-this dinner -would
help me realize my station in life. Secretly I was hoping that this special
event-this meeting of the minds would confirm my superiority. Arrogant?
Absolutely! Insecurity is the defining genetic marker of all porkys. It drives us to beg, borrow or steal any
morsel of praise, encouragement and acceptance
As we sat down at the dinner
table-our private waiter poured the wine. Sheridan
suggested we all introduce ourselves and give a brief description of our professions. Sheridan Fawnstock started
out explaining that after a few false starts he followed the path of his degree
right to the state department. Stamping passports in Burundi
eventually led to an appointment by George Bush to be the American Ambassador
Thomas Bergeron then went on to explain after a series of dead end jobs he went
for masters in accounting and was now heads the international division at PRICE
WATERHOUSE. . Cynthia O’Connell went to Georgetown’s
nursing school and is now the Head of the Nursing dept
at Bellevue Hospital in NYC. Sean Driscoll went to
open a successful line of department stores in the Midwest.
And Susan Emerson became a well known social worker in Maryland spearheading the Martha’s Table
Homeless shelters throughout the tri state area.
I immediately realized I
stepped into a big pile of do do. The Georgetown
5 were major success stories. Listening to my peers brought me to panic attack
mode. My stomach flew to my brain. -My brain tried to exit my head. The
elevator that was me was in free fall. When it came to my turn, I had to pinch
my leg to pull it together, “Well I worked briefly as a paralegal for a
prestigious law firm and then after a difference of opinion-I started a record
business selling vinyl, press kits, posters, buttons, cassettes…it’s a good
business with international appeal I provide……People like to touch and hold
records….it’s tactile-it’s an art object.. It gives pleasure…..Everyone’s a
collector-you’ve seen the TV show Pickers…no not Hoarders ..Pickers…. My worst
fears materialized-I saw that glazed look in their eyes-a look I knew so well.
Before I even finished, I morphed into the mentally challenged child at the
holiday dinner. I was “lather.”
The nights one piece of good
luck presented itself when the waiter interrupted
my bumbling announcing dinner would be served shortly. I did my best to curb my
conversation; use the knife and fork properly, napkin on lap and no nose
picking. I went out of my way to be polite, gracious and cultured. Halfway
through the evening I excused myself and went to the bathroom. I popped an
adderoll to focus and a Valium to relax. I took a few minutes to pull myself
together, engaged in some chanting and entertained nostalgic memories about
Quaaludes. As the evening came to a
close Cynthia suggested we all describe our greatest success or
achievement. Sheridan started off saying how he brought
two warring African tribes together and brokered a peace where there had been
horrific genocide. Thomas proudly described how he instituted the Price Waterhouse
college fund, which gives out $500,000 a year in scholarship money to needy
students. Cynthia heads the nursing staff for doctors without borders. Sean
makes it a point to hire 25% of his work force from minorities and the
disenfranchised population. Susan worked on the Presidents task force for
Welfare Reform. Then it was my
turn—I’m not sure why-perhaps the Valium, but I felt strangely comfortable
with my level of achievement
“Well um I worked on the
Grammy’s-well not really… I did win this contest at a record show here in
were I was able to piece together a story using Beatle song Titles.. not a
simple feat mind you! -Here let me show you.” Do you wanna know a secret? She was a day tripper, with a ticket to ride.
She said She Said, you’re a loser a nowhere man-yes I’m down-but I’ll be back-I
should have known better-help, its been a hard days night but its getting
better all the time-everyone is trying to be my baby….I don’t want to spoil the
Just as I was hitting my stride
my compadres got up and briskly left the banquet room. I was alone rapping “for
no one”. The GU 5 were now hurriedly walking down the long corridor towards the
exit exchanging phone numbers shaking hands and making promises to keep in
touch. How could this be happening to me, this nightmare -this meltdown– a
nuclear holocaust-a turned down day.
Then a force took hold of me;
from where I have no idea-and with the speed of a vampire from Bon Temps-I flew
past the GU five; fell to my knees, blocked their path and with my hands
stretched out to the heavens- I pleaded.
“I’m just a fool whose
intentions are good oh lord please don’t let me be misunderstood.”
The above excerpt is from the Author’s New Book, “Song Titles are
My Life.” Due for Publication early next year.
From his forthcoming book “Song Titles are My Life”…
By Blurt Staff
Longtime BLURT blogger Steven
Lorber’s just posted the latest entry for his “Wacked” blog. This time around
he charts his life/career trajectory and all the expected – and unexpected –
spiritual/existential crises that accompany the journey. He’s a crisis
management kinda dude, however, and he’s got some life lessons to convey.
Or as the Animals put it so
perfectly years ago, “I’m just a fool
whose intentions are good oh lord please don’t let me be misunderstood.” Surf over to Steven’s blog elsewhere on the BLURT site and check it out.
Director AG Rojas has submitted the newest Spiritualized video – “Hey Jane,” from the upcoming Fat Possum album Sweet Heart Sweet Light. It’s a long (10+ mins.) track, and as accompanied by the edgy visuals, in which a trans person gets swept up in street violence and more, it makes for quite a ride. View it below, followed by a couple of earlier live performances of the song.
Neil Young and his compadres in Crazy Horse – Billy Talbot,
Ralph Molina, Frank Sampedro – submit their first album since 2003’s Greendale.
Titled Americana, it comprises, according to Rolling Stone, “classic American folks
songs” such as “This Land Is Your Land,” “Tom Dooley,” “Wayfaring Stranger” and “Clementine.” It was
produced by Young and John Hanlon. No tour details have been announced yet.
RS quotes Young as saying, “They’re
songs we all know from kindergarden, but Crazy Horse has rearranged them, and
they now belong to us.” A press release adds, “What ties these songs together
is the fact that while they may represent an America that may no longer exist. The
emotions and scenarios behind these songs still resonate with what’s going on
in the country today with equal, if not greater impact nearly 200 years later. The
lyrics reflect the same concerns and are still remarkably meaningful to a
society going through economic and cultural upheaval, especially during an
election year. They are just as poignant and powerful today as the day they
1 Oh Susannah 2 Clementine 3 Tom Dooley 4 Gallows Pole 5 Get A Job 6 Travel On 7 High Flyin’ Bird 8 She’ll Be Comin ‘Round The Mountain 9 This Land Is Your Land 10 Wayfarin’ Stranger 11 God Save The Queen
Blurt readers are
invited to design fashionable hoods with animalistic style.
By Blurt Staff
[UPDATE: SpiritHoods informs Blurt that they’ve extended the contest deadline to March 20!]
We introduced you to SpiritHoods’ wild headgear – namely the
slick Black Wolf hood – in a past edition of Blurt’s product reviews column “The Goods.” Now SpiritHoods, which
typically works in faux fur, is fixin’ to unleash a line of knit merchandise,
and they want Blurt readers to help with
branching out again. This time we are taking on the knits, but we need some
help from our tribe members. The challenge is to design three graphics
that could be used on knit merchandise.”
Download the vision board and T-shirt template here:
The vision board is simply a reference to get a mood and feel,
create as you will with any medium but your designs must:
– Be animal inspired
– Embody the SpiritHoods brand and feel
– Be four colors or less (Black and White is
considered a color)
– Use the T-shirt template for your designs
(Front and back if necessary)
– Must submit a .jpg, .ai, or .pdf
– Submit all designs to
– You can submit up to three designs
– $300 and a hood of your choice
– $150 and a hood of your choice
– A hood of your choice
Plus a chance for your designs to be featured in
SpiritHoods’ new knit collection.
Spirit Hoods LLC (SpiritHoods) your submission you are agreeing that you own
the rights to your designs and are giving SpiritHoods the rights to use these
designs for marketing, pr, or design purposes.
The legal war heats up
in a Kyuss vs. Kyuss smackdown…
By Blurt Staff
Kyuss members Scott Reeder and Joshua Homme have filed file
a federal lawsuit against the other Kyuss members John Garcia and Brant Bjork,
who perform as Kyuss Lives! The suit alleges trademark infringement and
consumer fraud by Kyuss Lives!
Quote from Reeder and Homme is below:
“It sucks. To
think we went to a meeting in January solely to help them with their request to
continue Kyuss Lives! With open arms, we made every attempt to help them continue Kyuss Lives! respectfully.
Only to discover while they looked us in the eye, Kyuss Lives! management and
band had filed federal documents in 2011 in an attempt
to steal the name Kyuss.
This is desperately
what we were trying to avoid. It’s a sad day for us and for John – but
most of all for the fans. What a needless mess.”
Big ballin’ ‘n’ prime
pimpin’ from the sultans of swag… one bad mutha sucka…
By Blurt Staff
Sadies are re-teaming with soul-funk godfather Andre Williams for Night and Day, set for release May 15 on
Yep Roc. It’s the result of sessions that began in 2008 at Key Club Studio in Detroit and captures Andre, then 70 years old, still using at
the time, and recently released from jail, at his most raw, honest, and
immediate. “No filter,” as the label informs us.
On hand for the new record: Jon Spencer (who directed these
sessions) and Matt Verta-Ray of Heavy Trash, Danny Kroha of Detroit’s own
gutter-blues superheroes, The Gories, Jon Langford, Sally Timms, Kelly Hogan, and
of course The Sadies’ long-time line-up of Dallas Good on guitars and keys, his
brother Travis Good on guitars and fiddle, Mike Belitsky on drums, and Sean
Dean on the bass.
Check out the first single, “One Eyed Jack,” above, or HERE. Meanwhile, read our 2008 interview
with Williams, “The Five Truths of Life,” in which he offers choice advice,
One old song, one new
one, two mesmerizing videos.
By Fred Mills
This week Brooklyn
indie/dream-popsters (and BLURT faves) Beach Fossils unveiled a video for the brand
new single “Shallow.” It’s a tour video “showing life on the road and how you
have to make your own fun to stay sane,” comprising footage assembled over the
past 3 years and edited by frontman Dustin Payseur.
You can read our interview from last year with Payseur right
here. He talks about the group’s self-titled 2010 album and the 2011 mini-album
followup What A Pleasure. Meanwhile,
below is another video that we continue to enjoy, “Desert Sand,” which was the
hypnotic B-side to the 2010 single “Daydream.” The quirky visuals were
assembled by Payseur using frames from the seminal 1934 stop-motion film Duffy the Mascot – and dare we say it,
the music is delightfully synched with the images. That’s some Star Wars-styled cantina scene, eh?
A Blurt Boot Exclusive: Psychedelic Furs "Only You and I" (Live Costa Mesa CA 7-19-18
Tribute: Tony Kinman (R.I.P.) and Rank And File - Video from "Long Gone Dead"
Blurt Audio Exclusive: Thin White Rope "The Fish Song" (from 2018 remaster of The Ruby Sea