How did you design Trace Italian?
I had to check whether there really were play-by-mail games—of course there were, though the email I sent to one company that’s supposedly still running bounced, which I’m bummed about. I framed the basic movement you see, and I thought a lot about the set-up. The point of the Trace is that it only exists in descriptions. We don’t see any maps, it’s just a way of thinking about an actually existing part of the world, and eventually of thinking about the whole world.


As a dorky kid in the early nineties, I played a bunch of play-by-mail games. 


Green Mambas 03-13-14 by PACsWorld on Flickr.

When she performs, she pushes herself to the edge. The fact that she finds it so hard, you’re living with her on the edge when you go to see her and sometimes it’s frustrating and you get fed up with her, sometimes you’re just willing her the whole way through and in love. I think it’s really interesting, the emotions it brings up in the audience, how they deal with that - some people get really fucking angry and some people cry. I think it’s like a really interesting psychological public experiment at some of her shows I’ve been to - I’ve been to maybe twenty of her shows, and sometimes it’s a very uncomfortable, strange process, but it’s like Andy Kaufman and stand-up comedians or public artists that just stage these really bizarre events and people’s reactions to those. With most people, you go along, and they’re there to put on a show and be competent and be amazing, and that’s what people think they’re paying for these days. We’ve said about the Langley Schools thing, she never grew out of that childlike weirdness; there’s something about all of it that’s unapologetic and being you, and if that presses people’s buttons because they want you to be something else, they want you to carry them through, then I find that really interesting as well, what it does to the listener. What do you want from an album or a musician? What I want is to be taken to their rawest place. If that’s uncomfortable sometimes, then that’s cool. You just have to be with people and accept them.
Natasha Khan, on Cat Power (via littleperennial)
Because, once alone, it is impossible to believe that one could ever have been otherwise. Loneliness is an absolute discovery.

I guess the folks who are shocked that police officers are shitty to poor black people never saw one of the 928 episodes of Cops.



Not quite as a disturbing as the Burger King Chicken Fries post that preceded it. 



Not quite as a disturbing as the Burger King Chicken Fries post that preceded it. 

I think of the creative process as a courting of revelation. I am aware that there is a difference between invention (which is an integral part of the process) and the imagination (which precipitates and sustains everything).The impulse is ignited by a voice, a dream, an intuition, a memory… In other words, irresistibly affected by a sudden tear in the fabric of things, I am made to write. The work begins with its own potentiality and its own weather. It imposes its own needs for consistency and illumination. It is from the start an event that needs room (the space of a book). It is its own phenomenon. It is radical, a radical departure, and it is self-generating. So I am something like a cross between a spectator and a conspirator. I work rigorously and intuitively to be worthy of the ‘weather’ that has overtaken me. To find the proper vehicle, give it form, conserve the initial momentum, fulfill the initial promise.
Rikki Ducornet (via mttbll)

Rikki Ducornet. 
The real-life inspiration behind Steely Dan’s ‘Rikki Don’t Lose that Number’



Rikki Ducornet.

The real-life inspiration behind Steely Dan’s ‘Rikki Don’t Lose that Number’


The Mountain Goats - Alpha Chum Gatherer
618 plays


The audio quality on this is pretty low, but the opening banter makes it totally worthwhile.

As near as I can figure it:

I wonder if you guys saw this commercial that they used to play when I lived up in Iowa. I didn’t see it anywhere else, I don’t know if it was nation wide, or what, but…

*Some drunk guys from Iowa start yelling “IOWA” really loud*

Oh hush now, nobody gives a shit. Where you are is artificial. It’s just a place you live, okay.

Really now, it’s a continuous landmass. The lines are just things on maps.

So, but, um, they use to have this commercial they would show that was like, you know… *chuckles* it was the best thing.

I hope you saw it! But I don’t know if it was maybe a Iowa and Minnesota get-people-to-go-to-the-lakes thing— though I assume you have lakes down here also.

But it was a kid’s voice— oh, this is going to be a long story, hold on— It was a kid’s voice and reminded me of one of the best songs of the 80s, that great decade the 80s that brought us such great music as “Dear Mister Jesus.” Did you ever hear “Dear Mister Jesus?” It was a song sung by a five-year-old, and it was that sort-of Cristian pornography, that like, you go, “Oh, the kid said Jesus. What could be better?”

And if you are like a guy who is going to Mega Death shows in Long Beach in his spare time, you look at “Dear Mister Jesus” with wonder and reverence and go “Aw, this is the best time to be alive!” because “Dear Mister Jesus,” right?

But it was clear that they had asked the kid to talk dumber then she actually was and she sings like: "Dear Mister Jesus, I don’t know what to do" and it was like that, right?

So this commercial I’m thinking of that ran in Iowa, was the “Dear Mister Jesus” voice, but the kid was asking his father to take him fishing. This is the sort-of thing that weighs very heavily on Midwestern Dads, I think. If you are a kid listening to this, and you want to just rip out your Midwestern father’s heart, then I suspect asking him to take you fishing on a day he can’t do it is a good way to do that.

But the commercial went:

"Take me fishing, because I won’t be nine forever!"

"Take me fishing, because there’s only one sunset a day!"

And I would watch this video and go “Oh man, Dear Mister Jesus has gone fishing, this is cool!” Right?

I want you to bear those noble sentiments in mind as I play an unreleased song from Tallahassee about the day the guy gets drunk and goes fishing.

It’s called Alpha Chum Gatherer

Source: My sister’s recording of the 6/20/13 show in St Louis

I’m always drawn back to Frost’s aphorism, perhaps incorrectly remembered: ‘To socialize is to forgive.’ The implication here is that alone, working in solitude, we tend to become self-obsessed, become envious or superior, grind axes, refine feuds. I have known the occasional soul who seems to live the good life without having to be constantly battling his or her inner demons. I’m not one of them. Perhaps this is why I also write fiction. Which is or can be an exploration of all the uncontrollable in one’s nature. This is not necessarily negative: some of us are uncontrollably hopeful, at least some of the time.
Stanley Crawford (via mttbll)