Facebook Post: 2020-05-31T05:12:36

I hope everyone is safe after another long night. For some, it was a night of protesting. For others, it was a night of trying to explain to the rest of the closed-minded-world why this is important.

It’s very important. For us to listen carefully, and to support the change that will make our world better.

And often improvement means tearing down old broken systems that support racism.

Get on board with improvement. Or you will be on the list of things to improve.

Facebook Post: 2020-05-30T06:15:14

Portland, OR:

“Some people spray painted buildings and smashed windows at a naerby Apple and Microsoft store. One man threw his skateboard into a nearby Starbucks window, shattering the glass. Around 11:30 p.m., people broke the glass doors of the closed Pioneer Place mall and went inside. Several people left with items from stores. People smashed windows [of the Justice Center] and caused fires inside a first-floor office while corrections records staff were working inside. Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency shortly before 4 a.m. and implemented a nightly curfew that he said took effect immediately. The 8 p.m. curfew will last through Sunday morning.”

Facebook Post: 2020-05-30T06:11:13

Eugene, OR:

“Several hundred people gathered near Washington Street and Seventh Avenue around 10 p.m. By 1 a.m., Starbucks, Jimmy Johns, Five Guys, and T-mobile were all destroyed. A fire briefly broke out inside the Starbucks, but was put out by other protesters.

As of 3 a.m., the protesters had not yet dispersed.”

Facebook Post: 2020-05-21T11:20:56

I seem to be uniquely suited for life in our times. I was sad about health care, our government, their ineptitude, and the state of the world before all of this happened, so much so I made a band that only deals with political issues to get that out of my system. I had trouble sleeping before all of this, and I wanted to cancel everything and stay home most nights anyway, before the quarantine, in favor of some livestream anyway. The thing I wanted most was a work-from-home situation so commuting wouldn’t eat up so much of my day.

Maybe I didn’t need therapy. Maybe the rest of the world had to catch up to me?

Facebook Post: 2020-05-21T09:33:38

Things are moving right along! You can now pre-order the DVD and Blu-rays of “Phylum Sipuncula” through Amazon. I know I’ve said this elsewhere, but I’m not exactly “excited” that Amazon is our primary provider, but this is one of those DIY conundrums: I could could sell this entirely out of the back of my car, as they say, and keep it honest. Or I can try this out, and see if wider distribution will help put the movie in front of people who want to see it.

Neither really makes me any more or less money than the other. I loose the same amount no matter how you slice it.

If you don’t want to order through Amazon, but you are interested in the film, I will have a quantity (how many remains to be seen) that I can sell to you directly, and I might even have a digital file that I could sell, too, if you can’t stand the idea of streaming it from Amazon. I want people to see this more than I’m concerned with platform exclusivity, or whatever. I understand the aversion folks have to Amazon, so we’ll figure it out, one way or another.

But this is a big step! Getting this finished has been very cool, and I hope people who like arty and experimental movies will give this one a chance.

Facebook Post: 2020-05-21T06:08:59

Coming this Summer, from Mid-Valley Mutations & Pecho Grande Films. A Supernatural Radio Noir, Limited Series event.

See the companion film. (“Phylum Sipuncula,” coming at the end of June.) Then, listen to the broadcast, throughout July & August.

Meet Marcus Little, and the night life of Century City.

Available in iTunes (just search for “The Adventures of Marcus Little”), on terrestrial radio (check marcuslittleadventures.com for listings), and wherever you find good podcasts.

Facebook Post: 2020-05-18T21:18:29

On Monday, June 15th, I will be launching a new radio program and podcast, in conjunction with KMUZ.org. This 30 minute morning show will follow the local programming you have come to love here in Salem, and will feature stories that fit into a DIY News Magazine format. In other words: It’s a “Radio Zine.”

“Somewhere In-Between: A Radio Zine” will feature stories, music, interviews, comedy, and whatever else we can fit into this new show for a new era. With an emphasis on the personal experience being framed for big audiences, “Somewhere In-Between” bridges the gap between the DIY culture & aesthetics of ‘zines, and the storytelling world and production of broadcast radio. Also: it’s an incredible amount of fun to make these stories.

Check out the new website, and you can find an iTunes and an aggregator-agnostic feed that you can use to keep up with the show. On June 15th, you can hear the first Issue.

In the meantime, if you go to this site, you can sample a number of pilot stories that were recorded in the last six months, as this show was in production. To give you a taste of what is to come. All of them are under 10 minutes, and give you a sense of what we’re all about.

This show, like all good ‘zines, has an open submission policy. If you have music, stories, a reading of a piece of literature or poetry, or you just want to be reporter for the program, let me know! Let’s make something beautiful, and take the way we tell stories into the future.

“Somewhere In-Between: A Radio ‘Zine.” This summer from Austin Rich & KMUZ.

Facebook Post: 2020-05-16T08:24:13

I’ve been teasing this show for a while, and I’m quite excited to announce that this summer, we will finally be launching. “Something In-Between: A Radio Zine” is my new, 30 minute show on KMUZ, in the morning. Stories, music, and new ways to view the world, in bite-sized chunks, just for you.

Like any zine, feel free to submit! If you have a short audio story that you think would fit, let’s talk! Let’s make this show a reflection of everything we experience.

Facebook Post: 2020-05-14T05:19:14

Every time I say, “We should make the world a better place,” I’m usually told in great detail by an armchair philosopher that it is not possible to make the world actually better, and it would be more useful to accept the world as it is and move on.

Why? Seriously, why are you not able to see a possible future that is better than what we have? No, not the reason YOU THINK people are bad, and won’t change. That’s not the question. You personally. Why don’t YOU want to change? Why are you, specifically, not willing to see a better world, and move towards it?

I have only ever wanted the world better, and for the world to change. Even when I pretend I don’t care, it’s all I think about. And i don’t think I’m this way because of my parents or family or church: the voice in my head, along with every feeling and sensation i get from being alive, tells me that we should want the world to be a better place, someday.

My question isn’t: why can’t we change the world? What I want to know is: why won’t YOU change? Why can’t you even imagine a better world?

Why are you so set on how “people can’t change” when the only person that has to change is you?

Facebook Post: 2020-05-10T18:35:08

I wrote a whole bunch of stuff about detectives and music this weekend. Several thousand words, even. More than I have in quite some time.

It felt… great. I love wandering around in 20s slang and noir fogs. I really dig putting on an album and trying to figure out how to describe it.

I think ya’ll might dig this stuff. We’ll see…

Facebook Post: 2020-05-10T08:53:02

As it becomes clearer and clearer that the t’s have been crossed and the final timestamps have been logged, it’s hard to process that another huge project is starting to come to a close, and more importantly, the work that I needed to complete was saved, uploaded, and I clicked the final, “send,” button to seal the deal. That’s a two-year investment starting to come to a close, and it feels weird.

As I make more and more complicated things as an artist, and as they become more and more difficult to finish in a single day, the imbalance of time-investment vs. reaction to the finished item is a lot more than it used to be. I made my first zine in 1993, and often, I would “make” the zine overnight, and we could be sending it to print the next day. (Later, with the advent of 24 Hour Copy Shops, the zine would be printing within an hour of being completed.)

It was sort of exhilarating. So much of what appealed to me about DIY was that it was instant. The reaction was immediate, you could become a “band” immediately, and within weeks you could have a tape in the hands of friends. How cool is that? The spirit of DIY allowed you to cut out any process you didn’t want, and YOU could be THAT person at any time you wanted.

And then, you get a little older, and then you start to want to make things turn out a very certain way. And that is usually born out of not being able to get it right because of your “rapid” production cycle. So, you start recruiting other writers, and suddenly it takes longer. And other artists, so even longer. And maybe a collaborator? Even longer. And soon, what you could do in a few hours takes weeks, months… and then…

Well, the quality IS much higher, in the end. Any time you can farm out work that you can’t do well to a person who can, and the two of you work together to make a thing, and the thing becomes stronger. I’m not saying that you have to collaborate on things. But, for example, if I want to make something with a woman’s voice, I must work with someone with that kind of voice. (I don’t have it.) If I want someone to play guitar well, I must work with someone who plays guitar well. Etc. The final product might not have been made ENTIRELY by me, but we worked together to make something better.

I’ve done a few of these, over the years, where stuff took months to make. It’s a long process, but fun to see it go from nothing to something in that time. I’ve done one or two that were full year investments. (And, I guess you could argue, my radio and zine making lives are multi-year investments, even if the products are more immediate.)

But this one…

Quite a while ago, I contacted a friend I wanted to interview. But instead of an interview, he sent me a script, and an offer: let’s see what we can do.

It took MUCH longer than it should have. It became something that it wasn’t intended to be. And the final product is something that the both of us are quite proud of, even if it got a little delayed.

Very quickly, the crew became much bigger than just the two of us, and as the project grew, we kept it all simple. It was entirely handshake agreements through production; we only brought in paperwork when we realized we might actually finish. It was the first time I turned around a feature-length script in a short period of time, and the first time I ever did anything like casting. The production work was at least 10 times anything I’d every attempted before.

I hit a huge snag, after most of the primary work was done, where I completely ran out of gas. The primary writing was done. All the filming / recording was mostly complete. We were basically down to nose-to-the-grindstone work, which largely meant I had to lock myself in a studio, tune out distractions, and churn. And after all the initial work was done so quickly, I didn’t realize how much energy I’d already burned. I would sit down to edit, stare at a screen, and watch my mind go blank as I tried to process what I needed to do next.

I approached the problem from a number of angles. The Merlin Mann approach. The “Reward System” approach. Halt production on all other creative work, and zero in on this alone. Ignore this project entirely and see if that worked. Nothing was really helping, and as the days began to turn into weeks, and months, I began to worry that, maybe the inspiration would never return. I even began thinking about how I could break the news to my collaborator that I would have to pull out, it was getting so bad.

And then… all of this happened.

I became strangely productive the second the world shut down, and in the last couple months I was finally able to work through the block that I was suffering from. It was like, as the world was shutting down, it took with it the block that was preventing me from moving forward.

Pretty quickly I went from completely stalled out to being essentially done in less than a couple weeks.

The creative process is, and always will be, fascinating to me, and if I understood it more, this post would probably be a lot shorter. I would feel differently if I didn’t like what I made, and I would certainly worry more if I didn’t already have faith in this thing as a completed work. But it has been emotionally complicated to sort out why it took so long to do, and how I will take that knowledge with me into the next thing I make.

For this, I worked with a ton of people, and they made it as good as it is. They made this sound cool, and and brought the level of performance up to make it all work as a whole. When I try to think about all of this outside of it, I’m impressed with everything they did more than anything. Soon, I’ll be able to say a lot more, and I’m sure you can probably guess where all of this is leading to.

But this post is more about trying to unpack having a clear desktop. I have a lot of tiny things on deck, and a few things that will take a little bit of work, and then will be done. But aside from these things, I have no big project looming, outside of cleaning my garage. There’s no work that’s intimidating me, and I have the freedom to make (or not) whatever I want. I’m writing more than I have in ages, and I’m thinking about what could be possible in new ways. I’ve even been approached about a couple of things, too. It’s all very exciting.

I can never fully clear my plate. For some reason, I can always come up with more work to do, and I feel a little weird if there’s “NOTHING” to do. But for now, there is this sort of calm. No immediate deadlines, nothing feels pressing, and I have a job, so I can walk in circle for a while, TCB, and come back to all of this at the end of summer.

But if I could only tell you about some of the ideas I have for my next act. Can I hold out on something that takes 5 years to finish? 10? 20?

Or will I just make an endless string of ‘zines that I can wrap up in a day?

Hopefully… both?

Facebook Post: 2020-05-10T07:36:49

I’ve been incredibly excited that I’ve already received a number of great submissions for the new zine, which should be available to pre-order soon, and will be widely available in June, with new print material and a digital soundtrack! The cast is pretty great so far: Art and Music by Chris Phinney, Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt, and Rafael González! There’s an interview with Eugene Experimental artist Hobby Knife (Marilyn Kent), and a few music reviews, too. (There’s even a few fiction pieces, which I’m very excited about.)

Deadline is May 31st, and really, any art you can make, we will include. (Someone sent in a video, too.) I would love to see some poetry, and maybe an essay or something. Everyone who gets in will receive a contributor’s copy, and hopefully this will become more regular than it has in the past.

So: why not submit something today?

Facebook Post: 2020-05-09T18:13:18

Neglected LPs project:

It’s not that you can’t like both, but there was something a little more innocent about Jan & Dean than there was with The Beach Boys, and certainly the Jan and Dean story is more born out of the late 50’s, saxophone laden, vocal rock hits that were so popular among those early rock ‘n’ roll DJs. This two disc set is something I inherited from my mom’s old record store’s back stock (you can see the sales sticker, upper right). It is a chronological overview of their hits. It’s a fun collection, bouncy and full of love songs that you could probably even get away with playing around grandma, who only likes Laurence Welk. Certainly, this collection re-habilitates any notions you might have that they were a strictly “surf pop group,” and in a way, they invented that shit. But there is a fun and joy to this collection that seems light-years from the knowing and drug-addled tunes of Brian Wilson. I realize today this album is criminally underplayed in this house. Come for the sweet harmonies, stay for excellent sax solos!

Facebook Post: 2020-05-08T07:12:55

The most interesting tid-bit on NPR today: science correspondents discussing the guarantee that we will see spikes again and new Shelter-In-Place Orders for all the states that re-open.

Not the possibility of. The guarantee it will happen in every state that re-opens.

How important is that economy when we have to shut it down again, very soon?

Facebook Post: 2020-05-07T07:04:13

Something I miss from before Friday The 13th:

Other Artists working in different mediums offering back-handed compliments to my “little experimental thing,” that, “I still do. Congratulations!”

“I hope you’re getting paid for that. It’s a shame when people work without compensation. Take me, I just got booked for this Real Dance Recital, where there’s actual rehearsals and whatnot. I’ll make bank afterwards. It’s so cool to work with real pros, you know…”

I never realized how much I miss the demeaning attitudes of strangers and casual acquaintances. If only the internet could replicate that experience, somehow…

Facebook Post: 2020-05-05T04:42:12

Just heard two stories of landlord harassment over rent that wasn’t late yet, and I know two other friends who were evicted. DURING A PANDEMIC.

When this is all over, no more landlords, okay? Fucking bullshit people with no heart and a worse sense of how to make a living. Ya’ll are gross, and you are not immune to this virus.

The world will remember this as the deaths ramp up this summer and fall.

F.U.G. Landlords = Fucking Useless Garbage

Facebook Post: 2020-05-04T17:38:05

Good music haul today. Three records from Paul Petroskey, the new Tomokie’s Cup tape, two gifts from Rocket Morton in TX (including a double 3” CD by “Children of The Stone” and a tape by “Illicit Relationship,” both groups I don’t know), and a couple CDs and the aforementioned Scritti Polliti from Jeremiah Paddock. It’s nice to have excellent music friends. Now, time to listen…

Facebook Post: 2020-05-04T14:48:45

I do miss my job at Salem Cinema (Salem, OR), and I miss bringing movies to people. This is a video of the staff, at home, as we remember our favorite details regarding being on staff. Movies are amazing, and I’m in this little short film, about how much we all love movies. You should consider getting a Salem Cinema gift card, or pick up some Popcorn on Popcorn Fridays! Movies are important, and wonderful, and we all miss them tremendously.

Facebook Post: 2020-05-03T09:40:25

It took me all day yesterday, but I managed to migrate my data with some success. I located, to the best of my ability, every document related to letters I’ve written since I started using a computer, all the documents related to all the ‘zines I’ve made since I started using a computer, all the existing essays I wrote for college and other school purposes, and every piece of creative writing I could find in any text format.

What I ultimately discovered: I have accidentally duplicated most of my text data files at least a dozen times over the years, due to all the various computer crashes / thefts / drive failures / archive re-creations I’ve had to do over the years.

It’s still a mess. And, as I’m discovering, some files from the ’90’s are not opening anymore, and other’s are. Still further files from five years ago are not opening, but stuff where I don’t even recognize the extension reads just fine on a Mac. And let’s not mention that I’m sure half of these files are probably not actually what they are labeled to be, upon inspection. (I have the worst file-naming conventions imaginable.)

But, they’re all in one place, and they are better labeled and sorted than they have been in years. So… that was essentially 12 hours well spent, I think?

Now to make multiple, well-labeled back-ups of this so I don’t have to do it again, but will further confuse the me of 2040.

Facebook Post: 2020-05-02T09:20:39

I’m getting around to data management that I should have done years ago. I’m searching six different drives, trying to consolidate like files, looking at old archives vs. new archives, and matching files that I accidentally duplicated over the years. Poor management ideas, coupled with computer crashes and computer thefts and attempts to re-build archives from disparate sources, has made me realize how hap-hazard my systems have been, even under the best of times, and how easily it could all go away.

As I look at “two hour” data transfer times, and drive searches that take 20 minutes to complete, I wonder how much of this will get tossed in the garbage if I ever pass, and is it possible to EVER explain to an outsider how you structure your hard drive data?

It’s sort of like rooting around in someone’s mind. Like, could it ever be organized well enough to hand off to a stranger, and they could understand what you meant, and what was happening? My files have terrible, misleading names, all tucked within nested folders that sometimes go nowhere. You can search just the world “zine” and find all the old zines. You have to remember that sometimes I filed them under six or seven different aliases over the years, depending on how I was feeling about them, and with words like “Text Garbage,” “Flotsam,” “Brain Noise” and other charming titles, it’s hard to know what folder might actually have ‘zines in them, and might just be some other nonsense I was working on way back when, in times I have since forgotten, because it was 10 projects ago, over 20 years back.

By accident, searching for other files, I keep stumbling across stuff that I mislaid, albums that had to be abandoned because of life-circumstances, and nearly complete ‘zines that never were.

Pilots for several new podcasts that never launched. Tons of old essays, never published, some unpublishable.

At what point do I draw a line in the sand, and say, “It’s time to move on,” in a way that doesn’t feel like loosing a limb?

Facebook Post: 2020-05-02T07:32:54

One thing that has never changed: I’m often wrong, often opinionated, often self-destructive, often guilty of doing things the hard way, often behind the times, and often in need of correcting.

But at the same time: I’m also full of love, full of good intentions, full of hope and dreams, and full of a desire to be better, to learn more, and to improve in any way I can.

Facebook Post: 2020-05-01T19:20:19

Now that I work from home, I need to start a checklist of things I’ve done “on the clock” to slake my own thirst for rebellious nonsense. I just had a cocktail on the clock during a meeting, and I took a nap in the middle of the day, yesterday.

What else should be on my “work from home” bucket list of rebellious (but indetectable) work violations? I’m thinking I need to implement “No Pants Tuesday” or something similar. Thoughts?

Facebook Post: 2020-05-01T03:12:45

“Then we’ll spit on Ronnie Arnold
And flip him the bird
And slash the tires on the school bus
Now don’t say a word

I’ll take a rusty nail
And scratch your initials on my arm
And I’ll show you how to sneak up on the roof of the drugstore

I’ll take the spokes from your wheelchair
And a magpies wings
And I’ll tie ’em to your shoulders and your feet

I’ll steal a hacksaw from my dad
And cut the braces off your legs
And we’ll bury them tonight in the cornfield

Put a church key in your pocket
We’ll hop that freight train in the hall
And we’ll slide all the way down the drain
To New Orleans in the fall.”

This one makes me cry, every time.