Never Be Sad with Alexis Mackenzie

THE BOVIOUS : Fear not reader, tomorrow night (and a month of days posthaste) your face has an opportunity to view Alexis Mackenzie's new solo show, "Never Be Sad" at Parklife in San Francisco. For the familiar (and from the example attached), there is a clear movement from the fantastique one-acts of melded menagerie that have become the signature of her aesthetic. But, this is not a molting to worry over as her phantasmagoric touch is not lost it has just risen, sprouted, mutated....you get the idea. She is doing the thing that all artists hope for but often miss in their narrative arches : actual growth. And in "Never Be Sad", Alexis has deftly lined her bastion with a cryptic libretto of multiple movements, all expertly tightened across her collection of spectral pulp and pages. It's exciting, energetic work and you would best be served by seeing it in person if you can.

TOTALLY EERIOUS : A piece of the the press release from Parklife, verbatim, just in case my above was a little over the realm - Alexis Mackenzie’s dreamlike collages intertwine the style of early 1900’s Dadaist Max Ernst with a strong botanical element to create strangely powerful scenarios. Benign elements such as flowers, human and animal figures, and other assorted Victoriana graft together symbiotically in tableaux which seem to deal simultaneously with both evolution and entropy. The resulting images pay homage to the Surrealist importance of the subconscious, where the meaning is left deliberately ambiguous.

WORMS : And so, the heavy handed boyfriend acts like an adjective acquaintance, dually writing double barreled, demanding you buckle to the truth and suckle from it's run-off. The opening is from 7 to 10 and Parklife is at 220 Clement Street in the shrouded city of San Francisco.


Get Ready, Jungle Heat.

INDULGENCE : The most rote lesson of my 30s is that the triplicate lengths of land splitting memory, coincidence and time is.........off putting. Or maybe it's exciting. Or maybe it just infects the most uncanny spot of a brain that overanalyzes the world-feed to fit a teeming comfort suit, fleshed with all of the fiction I model myself into and after. (Which cryptic or not, makes little sense. But I will keep it in because.....the internet). I know the revelation of "growing older" is a boring stop for those who have or always daywalk civilian and responsibility, but I am usually horrified by how lives can end up falling all over themselves if you keep your neck out long enough. And with that half thought here is what I am really writing about......

THE NIGHT CORRIDOR : Please link, read and worship in front of Jen Hanley's blog, Sleep Deprivation & Stories of My Bullshit Youth (or if you are needing the url : www.gnarlitude.com). When we were brats sweating in Florida, Jen was a crust punk and I was a loud mouth creep. Now that age is cresting through wrinkles, Jen is a specific and seasoned enthusiast for every peak/valley inside fashion (& whatever else inks her tank). And.......I am still a loud mouth creep. Whatever. But from that early bond we recently reconnected and found that we haven't moved much past our youthful interests, just filled them in with the essential bells and whistles for Adult Years.

GRISTLES : After the reconnect, Jen asked if I would redesign the SD&SOMBY header to match her aesthetic excitement (which, again, can be seen when you finger fumble this link). Other than our shared history, I liked the idea of matching my design with her stapled in sincerity. But my main motivation was I connected with her version of where things belong, the similar notes that mash about unrelated counter cultures and the lathering that goes along with every beat of it. She can really get you primed for items in and out of your own preference or personal style and I think that's cool. So, look at her blog and check the sidebars for other places she contributes her writings and observations.


Cult Ritual.

A PUCKERED NAPE : Below is one of the three front faces of the first Cult Ritual LP out now on Youth Attack. This, of course, is the one I designed.

THE STAIN TRAIL : I can't tell if any well proportioned listeners of punk music will take to Cult Ritual's leveling use of the form as a prison for flayed ideas & quartered mangles of nihilism, anger, manipulation........but I would like to think it's at least possible. For me, 30 some odd years after....let's say....Black Flag angsted about the West Coast, a hardcore band should be less about how well you beat your instruments up and more about how horrible you sand the genre's primal elements across any listener's tuned appreciation. It's about making sure it feels like everything is about to break into pieces, blow the seams, boil the body. It's about about gutting and slicing the lively parts & wearing them for a cannibal night in fear. It's about muddled mastery and enthusiasm for atmosphere over etched regurgitation. Or maybe, I am projecting to wide a net for something so rooted in being a mannered, musical troglodyte. Regardless, I am obviously about to say that I feel Cult Ritual is occupying a ferocious spot in all of that well-trodden land, giving credence to my "yes" of designing a record cover for them.

POST ENNUI : Cult Ritual are currently out abusing the gap between performer/patron and by checking this list you will opportune a moment to wet clothes over their slick bodies in this summer suntime. Plus, in hopes of satiating the eager lives of play money, the band travels with a Wagnerian lot of in (and out of) bloodline ephemera, so get cash ready and help them move their bolted van along the decks of America's basements and youth spots.


DOOMRIDE Bags from EXORCISE! Finally Available. Finally.

So, here's the complaint : when the fresh cracking June sun starts heating deep your nervous system, moving moisture from the inside meat to the outside shell......it's terrible. Actually, nature is a terrible idea. Especially for those of us who are steady, corny and pretentious in black, the summer is a chateau of suffering and not the ironic kind that our posturing desperately tries to relate to the world. And not unlike most things served in this jerk lunch, there's little anyone can do about it, except be as solar effacing as possible with the commentary shedding some comfort to the subconscious.

I would like to think I can make that personal account of heat hate feed right into the fact that I am writing up this commercial for the new IT'S THE TOTAL DOOMRIDE! tote bag, but....well, I can't. So, let me just say in plain words again : the IT'S THE TOTAL DOOMRIDE tote bag is finalized, finished and ready for your whatever dollars. This is the first item in my new EXORCISE! product line and basic English would have me tell you that it's mainly inspired by my love of old WW2 exploitation films (or Men On A Mission films as Tarantino would say) like Salt in the Wound, The Dirty Dozen (not really exploitation but.....), Castellari's Inglorious Bastards, etc. etc. etc. with a little dose of G.I.S.M. enthusiasm sprinkled in. You may remember me sprouting this image as a graphite drawing last year when it started travelling with the DRAW! Travelling Art Show, which the original piece is still mixed up with.

This "Endless Bummer" version is available in white ink on black tote for as long as the small quantity I had made exists. There may be more made after in numerous colorways, depending on if I think I am as popular with the kids as I would hope to be.