Facebook Post: 2019-10-31T18:32:14

Here’s a small clip of one of the most incredible night’s of my life: a live performance on Halloween by myself, Mark Hosler, Buddy Runyan and the folks from Monster Planet. As a fan of Negativland, who was only ever able to see them once, and who had been inspired by them and their radio show my entire adult life, the idea that I could meet them was one thing. But playing a series of shows with Mark, leading up to this night, felt like it was solidifying in me this new path, that I could no longer say no, that I would have to follow my muse, wherever it would take me.

Thank you, Mark & David! I hope you know how much this night meant to me, and how I think about this more often than I probably should. Keep up the amazing work! Thank you!

Facebook Post: 2019-10-31T17:36:34

I got a new job, to help pick up a few extra checks here and there. The hours are a little lame, and occasionally I have to deal with some really old jerks who are just trying to ruin a good time. Anyway, my first gig is helping clean up the Graveyard Bar this evening. I’ve heard there’s a lot of activity at night. See you there!

Facebook Post: 2019-10-30T16:15:21

And, coming soon on the program: something Creepy this way comes… The Ether Creeps take over Mid-Valley Mutations! They promise this one will be memorable, as they’re gonna call in and, in their words, “give you a show you won’t soon forget! Hahahhahahah!” Not sure what that could mean, but expect choice music, selected by the creeps themselves. On November 8th, at 10 PM, sharp!

Facebook Post: 2019-10-29T21:03:03

Car Tune Reviews: this is a four way split with Skin Beetles, Dental Work, The Ether Creeps and Deejay Embryonicpetitsac. The best way to listen to this disc is to drink too much coffee too late in the day, and then you have to pace and wait until it’s time to go to work, after the sun goes down. So, you put this on and you start driving, but part way through, you realize you don’t feel like going to work. So you burn a j in a parking lot, and break your promise to not eat a burger anymore and get one anyway, eat it, and drive home slowly, so by the time the last Ether Creeps tune kicks in, guilt, shame, joy and exhaustion all overtake you so you want to listen to it all again while driving around the block, so you can try and make sense of that Dental Work track.

Facebook Post: 2019-10-27T17:41:22

In all the years that I have known Colin, our friendship was a little one sided. So it felt important to finally hang out with him where he had to do zero driving. Which was very cool, and we had fun. But I was not prepared for driving around Eugene by myself, with time on my hands to think about the past, the present, and the future, all rolled into one.

These photos are from last summer, when we had a Cathead camping trip, and were leisurely driving back from the farm through Eugene. But driving past these same landmarks today filled me with more emotions than I could imagine it would, and it was all I could do to keep going.

But why? What would I get from stopping, from lingering, from snapping photos and trying to suss out if this place was where I fought with so-and-so, or if that weird apartment complex was the location of some shitty house where we had endless parties that meant the world to me.

There’s some part of me that can’t help but feed this nostalgia in some way. I realize now that I should probably forge some new memories around these places, because the urge to dive into the old ones is a little strong these days.

Still, there was a funnier outcome to all of this: I actually know Eugene, bizarrely, better than Salem. However, I do seem to want to take routes that are better for walking, than for driving. Eugene, in spite of all the changes, is also very similar to what it once was.

The grid, anyway, doesn’t change.

Food for thought…

Facebook Post: 2019-10-27T17:12:28

> First trip entirely on I-5 (Salem to Eugene, using the rest area.)
> First trip with a good portion at night.
> First time interacting with a deer in a car. (The deer was walking in my lane toward me. I slowed down, and stopped. The deer barely noticed me. I honked. The deer freaked out, as if it had just seen me, and leapt off the road.)
> First time playing punk music in a REALLY long time.
> Looks like I’m joining two more bands?

Life is sometimes charmed, with no explanation how or why or what led to this. I wonder how all of this looks from the outside? Because from this point of view, it seems crazy.

Facebook Post: 2019-10-25T16:23:32

Tonight’s program is gonna be a doozy, and I can’t wait to bring it to you! Brian Magill is joining me in the studio, for an evening of radio you won’t want to miss. First, he and I will be doing our best to recreate his old program, “Another Green World,” infamous for Halloween shows like the one we’re doing tonight! Then, Fervent Torpor, Brian’s Electronic Project, will be performing live! And we’ll be taking calls and telling more ghost stories between all the madness! Call in! Tell us about your unexplained, or spooky encounters! It’s the show you won’t want to miss! Our Penultimate Halloween Spook-tacular is on, tonight!

Facebook Post: 2019-10-24T23:57:20

Guys, I meme it: Here’s all 11 minutes of my Mini-Mutations performance this year from NorCal NoiseFest. If this goes viral then the piece has fulfilled it’s purpose. “Reddit? Plum Posted it, too!” Thanks a million Lob Instagon for hosting an excellent fest, and for letting me perform my mutations for three years in a row now. “You can meme like this, or…”

Facebook Post: 2019-10-24T21:04:32

This is probably the genesis point for me deciding that I would stop calling “radio” my only art form, and that some of these pieces I was making for radio could be songs, too. So I submitted this track for this compilation, and not much later I was in MKUltramegaphone, and then, Mini-Mutations.

And, next there will be…

Facebook Post: 2019-10-22T11:03:14

Can A Horror Movie Hang Entirely on It’s Charm?

A few things come to mind when you sit down to watch “The House on Haunted Hill.” First, it is very easy to find. This sixty year old horror movie is streaming for free on a few services, but certainly you can pay for it, if you’d like.

Second: Hey, isn’t that the Ennis House, that Art Deco place in Griffith Park? And, as if that weren’t enough, the two male leads are Vincent Price & Elisha Cook Jr. (mis-credited as his father), two incredible hams that are associated with horror, noir, and over-the-top performances? If nothing else, this should be fun.

And it is exactly that fun quality that holds together this Castle Picture for the wonderfully brief 75 minutes of screen time, which is probably as much time as any film like this should demand of your attention. That isn’t to say that it’s bad, or even hard to watch. It is a black and white film, and the pacing is, what modern audiences would probably describe as, plodding, if not downright slow.

The set-up is almost formulaic, and the cast know it. They’re all mugging and over-reacting as if their paychecks, and not the story, depends on it. And while the house is recognizable, the lack-luster sets – where the entirety of the film takes place – don’t match the exterior house shown, or even each other when you go room-to-room. There’s a medieval basement, but contemporary rooms on the first floor. And upstairs looks like a victorian home, all of which is to say: not at all the actual Ennis house, and certainly the space inside the “haunted house” does not conform to any sense or logic.

The story, what exists outside of the initial conceit that these folks are staying in a haunted house for a $10,000 payoff, is practically non-existent. At the outset Vincent and his wife hate each other, and want to kill each other. After a number of interactions that seem ghostly but can be explained easily, they finally have it out. Yes, there’s a little subplot, that the wife was in league with one of the other guests… but it barely impacts the story, and more to the point, only highlights the Scooby Doo nature of what’s going on. The atmosphere, style, and form of “The House on Haunted Hill” is so Scooby Doo that it is hard to imagine that this wan’t the inspiration for the show.

If you strip away all of these problems and shortcomings, what do you have left that is compelling, or even worth spending time with? In a word: Charisma. Elisha Cook Jr. is such a Noir staple, and can play a haunted a tortured man in such an exaggerated way, that almost half the film is being carried by his mugging and facial takes. Theoretically a “drunk,” we only see him have (at most) a cocktail and a half. And yet, his behavior is that of a disturbed, out of touch maniac, on the verge of a psychotic break, who goes on and on about the horrors that have happened in this house, theoretically to him, though who could act like this if that was really the case? His presentation is comical, it is so over the top, which is absolutely compelling.

In a way, Elisha is attempting to keep up with Vincent, as much riding on his name recognition and reputation as he is on his lanky movements and tone of voice. Vincent certainly has the effect of coloring all his past work with the reputation he had just prior to his death. In 1959, he was known for his noir and horror movie appearances, certainly, but he was also a dramatic actor, and well known for playing “The Saint” on the radio (a well-mannered and sophisticated “playboy detective”). He also had as many comedic chops as anyone else. In 1959, he was a well-rounded actor at the peak of his powers and still gathering a reputation, unlike the horror icon he would be seen as in the years to come.

Between these two actors, there’s almost not enough room for the women to shriek and scream in terror, but the film still shoehorns in a few good ones. The “smoking acid pit” seen in the beginning does “go off” in the last act, drawing the story to a close with a great skeleton gag that is not exactly scary, but after a hour of so of the kinds of gags this film uses, is a perfect way to close things out.

In much of the same meta-textual way that the film opens, it concludes, more a mood piece than an actual story, and one could accidentally try and derive deeper meaning if one has too much free time. But what becomes incredibly obvious as “The House on Haunted Hill” wraps up is that the film itself is denying any deeper meaning. It presents itself as a creepy walk through a haunted house, complete with staged scares, explicable but momentarily shocking scenes, and a lot of unnecessary sound FXs.

It never claims to be a deep examination of fear. It has a few moments that will bring you a smile if you are willing to give it a shot, and a few familiar places and faces to add to the ride.

What else do you want from a holiday film, anyway? Blood dripping from the ceiling?

Well, it’s got that, too. Twice, even!

Facebook Post: 2019-10-20T16:05:49

If you missed Friday’s program, it is now available via podcast! Just in time for the holiday season, we have Obadiah Baird, editor of The Audient Void: A Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy come in to talk about Weird Fiction & poetry, choosing what goes into each issue, and talk about the punk rock roots that inspire his work. And then we get quite literary, with Obadiah reading poetry selections by KA Opperman, Clark Ashton Smith & Lovecraft himself, while I read seasonally appropriate Richard Brautigan bits, and in hour two, Nathan Carson & Erin Jane Laroue – Music bring us a CHILLING tale by Ambrose Bierce. All that, and Halloween music! Click through to see the entire show! It’s all part of our Annual Spook-tacular, and there’s still two more weeks to go! Enjoy!

Facebook Post: 2019-10-20T00:05:24

It was excellent seeing punk legends Mark Sten & John Shirley play at The Lovecraft Bar tonight! John has been kind to me both times I met him, and gave me different CDs of his work both times! What a cool dude. Didn’t get to hassle Mark with all the millions of questions I have about his incredible book, which I love, and I used to listen to those Sado-Nation tunes all the time when I first moved to Portland. I will forever feel more at home at an old punk’s show any day of the week, and partying with The Screamin’ Geezers is my idea of an excellent night. Thanks Kat & Obadiah for the idea, and Marla for handling the driving! What a night…

Facebook Post: 2019-10-18T16:14:33

Do you have a Ghost Story? Give us a call! At 10 PM, Mid-Valley Mutations will be taking live calls, offering people a chance to tell us about their supernatural encounters and ghostly experiences! What’s your story? Who are you going to ring on the telephone in a prompt manner? Mid-Valley Mutations! Tonight. At 10 PM, sharp!

Facebook Post: 2019-10-18T09:51:42

They were embarrassed by small-time hackers like Richard Pryor using rope and an unconscious person’s hand to get into their “system.”

The memories feature here has achieved an interesting effect when considered over time: I’ve been reliving a barrage of my own political posts from a wide range of time periods on a near daily basis, and I’ve been noticing this fairly acutely, in the last calendar year.
I don’t think I disagree with anything I’ve written on here in the past. Most of my points seem like they reflect how I feel to some degree.
Why did I post it at all?
In general, I think the best thing I can do now is lend my voice to the right causes when others feel marginalized. And I’ve found a creative outlet for my personal point of view, and I think both my radio show and my music are more interesting than my tirades ever could be.
Sometimes I feel motivated to act, and writing online is immediate.
But why do I need to share all this stuff at all?
If I’m expressing myself politically in a satisfying creative way, and if I’m the first to lend my voice to good causes when I can do so helpfully…
what function does saying something online like that serve? Just because I feel it to be true, it should be online? Isn’t this like a character in a movie directly stating their motivation in dialogue?
Isn’t it… uncouth?
I’m starting to link that, perhaps, I am of the wrong age to express myself like that. I have art and radio, and I will champion good causes however they arise.
But my, these, “these things I believe…” posts are getting a little tired.
To these eyes, anyway.
I had a dream where I was trying to explain myself to other people, and no one knew who I was. I tried to say to anyone who would listen, “C’mon! I love The Halo Benders! Everyone knows me!”
Not sure how that exactly identifies me, but sure. Why not? I do love The Halo Benders. But is that my only defining trait in my own dream logic?

Facebook Post: 2019-10-16T16:43:21

This Friday, continuing our Ghosts Stories programming for 2019, we decide to get literary, and class up the laboratory a little. First, we have Obadiah Baird joining us, the editor of The Audient Void: A Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy. We also have Nathan Carson and Erin Jane Laroue – Music presenting an Ambrose Bierce story, and Audience Participation is in full effect, where we will be taking live calls from people who have had supernatural encounters! This is your chance to be a part of the show! Call in, and tell us your story!

Facebook Post: 2019-10-13T20:30:16

It was a lot of firsts. One of my first apartments. One of the first times I lived with a girl I wasn’t dating. One of the first times I was no longer under the watchful eye of either of my parents. Not even in a town I grew up in, I was out… on my own.

The apartment was… somewhere down that Dead End street. (I couldn’t bring myself to walk back there and try and find it, as I’m not sure I wanted to have to explain myself.) It was above a garage, behind a duplex. This husband and wife lived in one duplex, another person in the other. We never saw the other person. There was a huge trailer in the driveway, in front of the garage and my apartment, and some other folks lived in there who mostly kept to themselves. (If memory serves, those were the “landlords”.)

And behind the garage, up some rickety stairs, was this one room / kitchen / bath unit that was a complete and utter shithole.

And down the street I worked at the Kienow’s, a local grocery chain that does not exist anymore (where the Eagle Bargain Outlet now is). My first union job. The first job where I was given major responsibility, where I had to help close and open. Where I learned how to steal beer from work without being caught. Where I learned how long you can take a break before it’s almost “too long.”

The first job I REALLY hated. I stocked the cold cases and did bottle / can returns.

I met Asia at the Shari’s in Oregon City. She had MS. She convinced me to stay in this place instead of at my Dad’s, as her roommate. And as I watched her climb those scary stairs behind that garage, I knew I was clearly in a whole other world, completely uncharted territory, the world of adults.

I got a job at the nearby Kienow’s. I paid my rent. And after a few weeks, she disappeared one morning, after a night out with a dude. She came home, grabbed everything, and I never saw her again.

I managed to figure out to pay the rent to the folks in the trailer, and when. And I stayed there, through the wife cheating on the husband with some neighbor teenage kid, through the wife and teenager knocking on my door several times late at night, looking for a place to stay because everyone was mad. Through the girl I was seeing breaking up with me because she thought I was getting shady. Through getting the wife and teenager out on their own again. Through having an old High School friend join me for a few weeks. Then to have him bail on me, too.

Then I lost the supermarket job. And then there was no food or money anymore. And suddenly I had to leave.

I hated that apartment. Everything went wrong when I made the decision to live there, and the longer I toughed it out, the more I realized my circumstance was untenable. I called Kiisu and he made a few more calls, and soon I was in a car, on my way to live with him, and my entire life changed in that moment in other ways I could never imagine.

I didn’t actually know kiisu that well, I should add. I’d met him at LCC, during the two terms of classes I was enrolled for, and then I’d remained in contact with him by mail. We were basically strangers. We’d probably known each other less than a year in social situations, and spent maybe a handful of days together where we bonded.

Why did he even answer the call? Or make an effort to help? Put me up, in his home, for years as it would happen? Why did he even remember my name?

So, fast forward to 2019: I’m dropping by his house, to say hi, because we have stayed in touch, because that’s how this story turns out. I have my first adult car. I’m showing off a little. Now I’m driving from Portland to Salem for the first time. More firsts. And kiisu is still there.

So I decide to take the long way home, and because I’m a new driver, I go down 99, and I’m suddenly confronted with this part of my past, actually on the side of the road, and for some reason, I have to pull over, try and find the apartment, and get.. a picture?

This snapshot of my past has so little to do with my life anymore. But in that moment, it felt like the most important reason in the world to pull off to the side of the road and remember a moment I’d almost completely forgotten.

The first time I was so compelled, too.

Facebook Post: 2019-10-13T07:28:51

I was not feeling great last night, so around 6:30 PM I laid down for a nap so I could go out and see everybody last night. Marla almost woke me up before her DJ gig, and yet she somehow let me sleep.

I woke up confused at midnight, and again at four. And then at five to seven I shot up, fully awake, sore, and confused.

And that is how I missed October Ghost House. Again.

“I can’t keep up I can’t keep up I can’t keep up! I’m out of step, with the world.”

Facebook Post: 2019-10-10T13:32:30

We are in full Holiday Season mode, and that means that we are taking calls and hosting LIVE GHOST STORIES over the phone. Our guests this week: Kylie Burbank & DJ Refugium (Ariana Blanc). But That’s not all! You can be a guest, too. During the show, please call in, and tell us about your unexplained experience, ghost encounter, or anything else that relates to the supernatural. This is your chance to be a part of the show! Audience Participation starts at 10 PM, sharp!

Facebook Post: 2019-10-09T20:30:52

I wish I had something more insightful to say about driving. I made my first round-trip journey – Salem to Eugene and Back – and while I didn’t take Freeways, I found the entire experience to be… well, boring, for the most part.

I drove through my first rain, and my first wind. Drove with my first sun-in-my-eyes, and drove for the longest continuous period that I’ve ever driven. I even listened to a little bit of some old time radio detective shows during the drive, to help pass the time.

I did notice an incredible number of people who loved to speed past me for driving the speed limit. I think I will have to learn to get used to that. I’m a terribly boring, cautious, and “slow” driver, by comparison, and I guess that makes some people upset. Fortunately, back-roads are just “old fashioned” enough – like bow ties and noise music – to work for me.

I guess I need to get a car of my own. And I guess I need to figure out how I’m gonna overcome the guilt of all that gas I’m burning.

Facebook Post: 2019-10-09T20:09:48

So I have a track on this CD, and I was gonna try and flog my schwag in the post NoiseFest afterglow, but the news about Heather makes me feel like it’s silly to try any make money right now. So: all purchases from me and money made from my online store (wtbc.bandcamp.com) will go to being donated to her for a while. I’m excited to be on this comp, and I want this to get into your hands. But I think cancer is fucking stupid, and i’d rather fight that now, first. There’s lots of good stuff on this disc! You want one, right?

Facebook Post: 2019-10-08T11:57:11

Me: Sounds good.
Them: Oh, our machine is slow. It’ll take too long. You’ll have to use cash.
Me: I can wait.
Them: I don’t think you understand. I can’t wait. Cash only.
Me: Oh. Well, let’s talk to someone who can run the card. I’m patient.
Them: I don’t have to put up with this. We don’t need your business.

Facebook Post: 2019-10-07T11:33:12

I am filled with a number of complicated feelings as we blast our way north on I-5 with truck-stop IHOP coursing through our veins. This is my third year at NorCal NoiseFest and I feel like I can never miss another one.

Our lives are full of trying to find the place where we fit in, when so much of life does not present itself in a way that wants to make those kinds of allowances. We are forced to compromise and find ways to negotiate life and life is uncomfortable, illogical, and filled with much peril and gaslighting. And when we find places we fit in, it is such a relief that it feels important to latch onto those places, and keep them in our lives.

The people who run NorCal NoiseFest are aware of this, and they want this event to be special. And it shows. William, Andrew, Denise and Lob make it work, and make it fun. I wish they were my best friends. I wish I saw them more.

I regret not getting more merch. And I regret not talking to more friends. But I don’t regret the amazing music I saw and heard.

I miss you all. You are all amazing.

See you next year!