"One Foot In the Grave"

Karen, Bull, and the Vegan Meat Head
A vegan lunchmeat head of Bull by Karen
The Fiends plus Joseph, Bull, and Karen
Me, Tony, and Andy
Currently Reading: 
All Involved by Ryan Gattis
The Firth Heart by Dan Simmons

Here are some photos from Bull's annual "One Foot In the Grave" Woodlands Cemetery birthday party (plus a shot of the Bull head Karen made out of vegan lunchmeat).

See if you can spot some past and possibly future interview subjects!



Trout and Williams: Together 4-eva!

Greg Trout and David E. Williams photo
Currently Reading: 
All Involved by Ryan Gattis
The Firth Heart by Dan Simmons

Thanks to Greg Trout, the site now boasts an interview with the inimitable David E. Williams.

Here, for your visual satisfaction, is a photo of the two of them together at Williams' house at the time the interview was recorded.

Bonus Bass

Dave "Bass" Brown photo by Karen Kirchhoff
Dave "Bass" Brown photo by Karen Kirchhoff
Dave "Bass" Brown and Joseph by Karen Kirchhoff
Today's Playlist: 
Flesh For Frankenstein/Blood For Dracula OSTs by Claudio Gizzi
Flute Concertos K.313 and K.314/Clarinet Concerto K.622 by Mozart
Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos by Bando Do Casaco
Like Trolls by Melisma
Quasar 2C361 by Neuronium
The Colorado Kid by Laurie Styvers

Here are some extra photos from Karen Kirchhoff's shoot with Dave "Bass" Brown of Negative FX (and many other bands).

The interview was conducted last night and went up today. I hope you enjoy it. There are more to come.


My Gal Val

Valerie Project Flyer
Valerie Project Flyer
Currently Reading: 
Elizabeth by Anya Seton
When Darkness Loves Us by Elizabeth Engstrom
Today's Playlist: 
Breviarium Daemonicus Idolatrorum by Idoltria
Mysteries by Black Cilice
Night Vision by Community of Light

I was interviewed for a Criterion Collection release along with Greg Weeks (formerly of the band Espers). The movie we were interviewed about is Jaromil Jires' Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Czech, 1970). It'll be coming to you on DVD and blu-ray in a stunning 4K scan with three rare Jires short films; the Valerie Project alt-score; and a piece about the making of the Valerie Project score, which will feature the interviews with Greg and me along with never-before-seen video footage of the band, performance photographs, Exhumed Films flyers, and more. It's going to be a fantastic release! My involvement with The Valerie project and this movie has been tremendously important to me, so this brings me great satisfaction.

You can read about it here.

Salad Days

A Cinepunx DC HC Interview Photo
Currently Reading: 
Elizabeth by Anya Seton
The Whites by Richard Price (as Harry Brandt)
Today's Playlist: 
Manifestations 2002 by Deathspell Omega
s/t by Glass Harp
The Silver Globe by Jane Weaver
Un Po'Del Nostro Tempo Migliore by I Pooh

I recently had the opportunity to the see the new documentary Salad Days: A Decade of Punk In Washington, DC (1980-90). Before the screening at Underground Arts here in Philadelphia (Sunday, March 8, 2015), I was a guest interviewer (again) on the Cinepunx podcast hosted by Liam and Josh. Also guest interviewing was Mike DC. We talked to Scott Crawford and Jim Saah, the creators of the documentary. If you'd like to give our discussion a listen, it's here or, more directly, here. I thought the doc was terrrific! It really captured the inspirational spirit of DC hardcore and the creative individuals who created that scene.

It's Gonna Blow!!! - The Cinepunx Interview

Foreground is director Bill Perrine, with us goofs surrounding him. Photo by Eric Bresler.
Currently Reading: 
Becoming Richard Pryor by Scott Saul
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
Today's Playlist: 
Arcane Death Ritual by Sortilegia

I once again joined Josh and Liam on their Cinepunx podcast. This time the interview was not with me, but rather with Bill Perrine, director of the new (and very enjoyable) documentary It's Gonna Blow!!!: San Diego's Music Underground 1986-1996. I was guest interviewing with the fellows along with my brother Bull. It was a lively talk and if you like the interviews here on the site, you should give it a listen.

You can find it here.

The Cinepunx podcast is also available through iTunes.

If you'd like to listen to me talk about L!F!P!, the Cabbage Collective, Diabolik DVD, Exhumed Films, etc., the episode with my interview, #10, is here.

I should be joining Liam, Josh, and probably Bull again in early March for another interview with a documentarian. More on that if it comes to fruitition.

God Is (Most Certainly) Not Great

Freedom of speech is great.

And it's worth defending against the troglodytes who want to force their antiquated and vile beliefs on the world through force.

“Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.”
- Salman Rushdie

2014: The Books I Shared My Year With

As 2014 goes kaput, I reflect upon the books of my life. For me it was a year of considerable lows (the death of my father, Joseph J., and my beloved cat, Autumn Leaf) and soaring highs (marriage to Hana, a marvelous trip to Oregon, some fascinating LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! interviews, successful Exhumed Films events, killer records, the joy of living). My constant companions were my beloved books. Below please find a list of every book I read in 2014 in the sequence in which I read them. Below the list I mention my favorites of the year. I started many other books, sometimes moving more than 100 pages into them, before I shit-canned them. Those books are not mentioned. Thus, all the below works have merit (as did, quite often, the books I didn't complete, though they didn't work for me at the time I attempted to immerse myself within them). I compile and present this every year not as a boast (I don't know if reading 62 books is impressive or not), but to highlight these often brilliant works, the marvelously creative individuals who wrote them, and to encourage others (you!) to -- I hope -- read some of them. Here goes!

1. Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult by Dayal Patterson
2. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
3. We Who Are About To... by Joanna Russ
4. Moomiland In the Winter by Tove Jansson
5. Civilwarland In Bad Decline by George Saunders
6. Golden Fool (Tawny Man 2) [audio book] by Robin Hobb
7. Baal [audio book] [re-read?] by Robert R. McCammon
8. Doctor Sleep [audio book] by Stephen King
9. Fool's Fate (Tawny Man 3) by Robin Hobb
10. They Thirst [audio book] [re-read] by Robert R. McCammon
11. Annihilation: A Novel (Southern Reach 1) by Jeff VanderMeer
12. The Troop by Nick Cutter
13. Dark Eden [audio book] by Chris Beckett
14. Usher's Passing [audio book] [re-read] by Robert R. McCammon
15. Marcher by Chris Beckett
16. Fevre Dream [audio book] [re-read] by George R.R. Martin
17. I Travel By Night [novella] by Robert R. McCammon
18. Butcher's Crossing [audio book] by John Williams
19. The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff
20. Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson [audio book] by Jeff Guinn
21. The Alienist by Caleb Carr
22. Hearts In Atlantis [audio book] by Stephen King
23. White [novella] by Tim Lebbon
24. Coldbrook by Tim Lebbon
25. The Inheritors [audio book] by William Golding
26. Sand Omnibus [audio book] by hugh Howey
27. Authority (Southern Reach 2) [audio book] by Jeff VanderMeer
28. Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome [audio book] by Anthony Everitt
29. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
30. Shadrach and the Furnace [audio book] by Robert Silverberg
31. The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollack
32. Mr. Mercedes [audio book] by Stephen King
33. A Different Kingdom by Paul Kearney
34. Night Warriors [audio book] by Graham Masterton
35. On the Run: Fugitive Life In An American City by Alice Goffman
36. Lost Girls by Robert Kolker
37. Thank You For Your Service by David Finkel
38. The Eflstones of Shannara (Shannara 2) [audio book] by Terry Brooks
39. Wraith [graphic novel] by Joe Hill and Charles Paul Wilson III
40. Stinger [audio book] by Robert R. McCammon
41. Ancillary Justice [audio book] by Ann Leckie
42. The Eagle and the Raven by Pauline Gedge
43. The Bear by Marian Engel
44. The Auctioneer by Joan Samson
45. Harvest Home [audio book] by Thomas Tryon
46. Maynard's House by Herman Raucher
47. Acceptance (Southern Reach 3) [audio book] by Jeff VanderMeer
48. Persepolis [graphic novel] by Marjane Satrapi
49. Elric Volume 1: The Ruby Throne [graphic novel] by Michael Moorcok, Blondel, et al
50. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
51. City of Stairs [audio book] by Robert Jackson Bennett
52. Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
53. Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix
54. Little Wolves [audio book] by Thomas Maltman
55. A Little History of Literature by John Sutherland
56. The Wake [graphic novel] by Scott Synder et al
57. The Fever by Meg Abbott
58. The Lesser Dead [audio book] by Christopher Buehlman
59. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
60. The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
61. Revival [audio book] by Stephen King
62. The Pike: Gabriel D'Annunio: Poet, Seducer and Preacher of War by Lucy Hughes-Hallett

My favorites of these (not counting re-reads) were:
Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult
The Goldfinch
Civilwarland In Decline
Dark Eden
Butcher's Crossing
Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson
The Luminaries
The Devil All the Time
Lost Girls
The Eagle and the Raven
The Auctioneer
The Bone Clocks
A Little History of Literature
The Lesser Dead
The Book of Strange New Things
The Pike: Gabriel D'Annunzio: Poet, Seducer and Preacher of War

(My wiener held to a flame, I'd chose The Eagle and the Raven [1978] as my favorite work of fiction and The Pike [2013] as my favorite work of non-fiction read in 2014.)

Now to 2015, which is beginning quite well with The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters and Black Dahlia by James Ellroy.

Words, words: I love you.

Regarding the site, while it's been a while since there was a new interview, some are in the works. It's been a busy time for me and, as noted above, an eventful time. As well, one interview I did for the proposed "Splinterviews" section of the site was -- for reasons outside my control -- shitcanned. A big bit of press may be coming down the pike that should drawn many new eyes and ears to the site, so I hope they like what we've done so far.

Darren Speaks!

Former interview subject Darren Finizio submitted the following to me to run here in the L!F!P! blog:

The other day I let a 60's record collecto type of person into my home
and I let him hear something I recently created called The Antisocial Social
People -- it's a conceptual album I created because I though it was a good
idea. Probably no one will hear it. It has short songs featuring scenesters
voicing elation over various styles of music, interspersed with prayers by
The Antisocial People accompanied by pipe organ. He preceded to tell me that
familiar line about musicans can't play the same way when they get older,
'xept now this time he was referring to [me]. "Don't you realize that most
musicians [say] they get better with time, but lose track of what *cool and
just can't [do it] anymore". I thought about his comment and couldn't stop
thinking about that interview with you. I had to write this. In that
interview we barely, if at all, discussed what I'm doing now. You posted
phone messages I'd wish you'd remove. Thats not 'my new music'. I was just
trying to perform my parents old sheet music to make you laugh. Needless to
say, for the last 5 years I've began intensely practicing my guitar on a
regular basis, exploring texture/sound/feedback.....oh, all sorts of things.
I'm learning to [fly] and play tsome fairly complex music. Many musicians,
like many visual artists, create better music later on in their lives and I
believe I'm definitely one of them. I'm a slow learner. Now, when I play
guitar with my drummer friend Rich Moscowitz (from Philly 90's avante jazzers
IMU) and John Thomas (from 90's Philly fun fusionoids Tintinabulus and EDO) I
realize that I've become quite good at playing Music. The real thing. As far
as songs, well, Darren NOW (with a rubber band and mic) could easily blow
away Muscle Factory or Hoppy The Frog THEN. I'm completely sure of it. I
could arbitrarely change tempos and improvise lyrics to my songs. I've gotten
more fun and more interesting. So what gives, Philly? What's up with the
age-ism thing? Why y'all making me seem like a relic? Do any of the hardcore
punks you interviewed tell you that they merely got into the scene because
they needed a style, an identity......because they went to the same college?
I'm still young before my years and, though, it's cool to reminisce about the
past, I've so much music to offer in the NOW. What [is] the Philly scene?
What has it [ever] been? Clique upon clique? Mood music made for cliques as
an ethemeral outsping of identity? Funny to think I overrided it all by
wearing a Frog costume and singing music that pretty much sounded like Loving
Spoonful or lifting some dumbells onstage and playing Hawind light for y'all.
So much more to music. Sorry, I can't help but resent Philly for putting me
in a museum. I've so much more to offer, but you'll probably never hear it.
And those Youtube videos? Do you think I'd ever give anything reallygood away
for free? Most all of them are there to make fun of y'ouever for being online
when you should be living.

*"cool" meaning no longer attending shows and getting an idea of what people I ever cared. And, anyway, would a carnie ever step out and
watch a sideshow with the rubes?

Summer Ends, Moving Forward

Philly DIY Skillshare Conference Panel
Currently Reading: 
The Eagle and the Raven by Pauline Gedge
Today's Playlist: 
Baphomet Pan Sub-Niggurath by Unaussprechlichen Kulten
Bored Civilians by Keith Cross & Peter Ross
Demo 2014 by Ardour Loom
Heptaedrone by Khthonik Cerviiks
III-V by Endlichkeit
In Turmoil by Ancst
Necrosophic by Harvest Gulgaltha
Saman by Hildur Gudnadottir
Simulacrum by Xothist

It's been a while since a new interview has been posted here on L!F!P!, so let this blog post stand as an update on the state of the project.

This has been a busy summer for me, though not as much in the creative sense as I'd prefer. My business, Diabolik DVD, has been compelling me to work 11-hour days through much of the last few months. While this is good for making money (which I've put into a new roof on my home, the removal of a "cat enclosure" from my backyard, and some new shelves built by the inimitable Kevin Lawrence [as well as purchasing too many records and books]), it has not given me much time for savoring the pleasures of summer. I managed to visit my friend Kathie and Jason (plus cats) in Portland, Oregon for a week and I've been out running in the forest nearly every day. Aside from that, however, it's mostly been work! work! work! As the summer winds down, some formidable life changes are upon me (more about this in the future) and I begin to look forward to an end to the heat and humidity and the return of the exquisite beauty that is fall. 

Stacey Finney contributed several essential interviews to the project over the summer. She has recently had to deal with some family issues, so one of her scheduled interviews was pushed off. She'll likely conduct it soon. I love Stacey's interviews and I'm thrilled that she's taken such an active role in the project.

Karen Kirchhoff's L!F!P! photographic portraits are still up at the Grindcore House. I hope you, dear Reader, have seen them already. If not, you should stop by if you're in South Philly. While I have no idea when they'll be coming down (they've already been up for over two months), they should remain for at least a few weeks to come.

I have one interview in the works (but not yet scheduled) that will fall into a new set of ancillary interviews I'll be calling "Splinterviews." These will be interviews with people I find fascinating but who may not fit into the primary focus of the project (writers, musicians, artists, thinkers, folks who do things I appreciate, weirdos, etc.) or were interviewed before and will talk briefly with me as an update to what's been going on in their life. These (somewhat shorter) interviews will appear in the blog section (this section) of the site, not within the main body of interviews. The first of these should be with a Philadelphia-based nurse who came out of the punk scene. I'll be talking to her about health care (mostly sexual health and reproductive rights) from a punk perspective. I hope to see this come together in late August or early September.

As summer draws to its unofficial close, I thank those of you who are reading this for continuing the support the project. If you like what you hear here, please spread the word about L!F!P! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the project, so feel free to send me a message. Finally: I still have a couple t-shirts left!

P.S. This recent interview with the great Ian MacKaye is a must-hear!

Photo: On a panel at the Philly DIY Skillshare Conference on August 1, 2014.