January 22nd, 2020

Song-A-Day

John Manson & Dan Madri

Rage

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As we continue to venture further into John and Dan’s unique songwriting style, after the lush pessimism of Angels and wild cynicism of Fillies, once again we are struck, in this spoken word piece, by this pared down gem. Enjoy!


January 16th, 2020

Saba Lou: Novum Ovum

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Saba Lou, daughter of the infamous King Khan, released an album not that long ago that caught the attention of us over at Mutable Sound. Garage rock at its finest with lyrics that are pure poetry. The music has a classic sound without being kitschy, and a voice that is equally comfortable crooning, growling, or sliding into a deadpan drawl. Occasionally, the song-writing sounds a little derivative of the 60′s garage rock from which she takes her inspiration—like on the chorus of Dirty Blonde—but at its best it transcends its psychedelic roots to straddle the worlds of Black Mountain with its epic sound and a more pared down singer-songwriter sound. Saba Lou likes to play with extremes in her songwriting in general. She has that kind of elastic voice that can play it either way, and this is also where she shines, sliding from sweetness to gritty and back. It is a captivating, even hypnotic back-and-forth, and expertly rendered on Novum Ovum. “Darling, you are the weather.” Novum Ovum is Saba Lou’s second album, and at 19, she’s primed to explode on the world stage.

 


January 6th, 2020

Interview with Mike Sauve

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[Mike Sauve's fiction has appeared in McSweeney’s and elsewhere, and his novels The Wraith of Skrellman, The Apocalypse of Lloyd, and I Ain’t Got No Home In This World Anymore are available from Montag Press. His latest work is the non-fiction book, Who Authored the John Titor Legend? He is currently working on several exciting projects. We here at Mutable thought we'd sit down for a little virtual chat and find out what we could about the crevices of his working mind.]

 

What I am struck with in your work is the macabre playfulness. Would you like to talk about the relationship between comedy and pain in your writing?

 

As I respond to your questions, it is Christmas morn, and I have messaged several friends asking, “Know of any local bukkakes I might partake in?” This is not going to go over at my in-laws breakfast table, but to me it unearths something very vital: the vertex of all that Christmas is meant to mean with not only the lurid nature of the bukkake, but the logical extrapolation that:

 

1) Bukkakes are known to exist.
2) Since bukkakes are known to exist there must be men ever on the prowl for one.

 

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December 15th, 2019

Sinclair
Talbot Penniman

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My name is Sinclair and I live on The Ship. I’ve only got a minute before I’m going to go see a doctor about some surgery I need. I got pretty famous recently. I fully disrupted the ship’s milk supply. Now when I say disrupted I don’t mean I like… changed the way people think of milk… or use milk, I didn’t invent a cheese computer… I didn’t disrupt the milk supply in any innovative sense. I mean we had a ton of milk, and then I lost most of it. I guess it’s sort of my fault, if it’s anybody’s fault. In a sense we still have the milk, it’s in the bilge.

 

The milk tank is an extraordinarily large cylinder made of bones. The milktank is (or was) a complicated piece of equipment and it is very old. Maintenance records date back over 1200 years, so it’s at least that old. For some reason it will shunt the entire milk supply into the bilge in the event a catastrophic failure. I guess there used to be a way to filter the milk back out from the bilge water… but that’s lost knowledge now. So yeah, the bilge is full of milk now and I guess that’s my fault.

 

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December 9th, 2019

Song-A-Day

John Manson & Dan Madri

Fillies

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In our on-going showcase of SAD, we bring you a story, Fillies, a story of five fillies, their names, and racism. We here at Mutable are pleased to offer this gem from the dark imaginings of John and Dan and will continue to offer their twisted harmonies and discordant visions for the months and years to come.


December 1st, 2019

Letter from the Editor

LA in the End Times
GBoyer

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I have often found fruit seeds weird in how they sit in the fruit. They are like as pieces of wood set in the middle of a sweet veil of fruity meat. Worst is when some sliver of wood comes free from the seed to sit in a jiggling yellow mango slice for example. It is like witnessing a breach in the universe.

 

Recently, I moved to LA—which is also like a breach in the universe—or more as like a rift between the larger storytelling worlds of Hollywood and the everyday mundane walking around world of Target and Marshall’s. There are places here I have lived through the eyes of Bladerunner, and scenes that have only been touched by the barest inkling of realism. There are homes in the hillocks that are like slices of marble arranged decoratively upon the horizon, and seems people here can glide on through to the other side powered only by the brilliance of their bling.

 

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November 26th, 2019

From Untoward Magazine

Bend Sinister — Not 1984, Not Brave New World, Not Fahrenheit 451 — is the Defining Dystopian Novel of Our Present Day
Matt Rowan

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Vladimir Nabokov was a Russian, and in perhaps the simplest terms possible, a White Russian (as direct result of the fact that he wasn’t a Red). By his own admission, his personal issues with the Soviets were more romantic than anything else (certainly more than his dislike of their confiscating most every possession his family owned or property they could have laid claim to, which no matter how magnanimous he is in his writings of it, could not have been something he was a-okay with). But here, from Speak, Memory, he says:

 

My old (since 1917) quarrel with the Soviet dictatorship is wholly unrelated to any question of property. My contempt for emigre de Kickovski, who “hates the Reds” because they “stole” his money and land, is complete. The nostalgia I have been cherishing all these years is a hypertrophied sense of lost childhood, not sorrow for lost banknotes.

 

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October 24th, 2019

Through the Eye
Kate Perruzzi

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You are at a BBQ in your uncle’s backyard. Scores of tiny blonde cousins filter around table legs like frenzied fish in a shallow pond. One of them catches their chin on your knee and glares at you. You do not recognize her.
       Your uncle is seated in a low lawn chair beside the buffet of mayonaised foods: potato salad, with and without egg, macaroni salad, chicken salad. None of these are salads, you think, and swig hard on a warm Miller Lite. Your uncle is quiet, transfixed, watching the sky. His eyes are cloudy security glass and the man working the space behind his face is a bank teller on qualuudes.
       A woman—is it Aunt Donna?—comes into view. She is a vision in astroturf, the kind of green that makes your eyes feel tight in their sockets. She sets a course for your right shoulder. You feel the dig of acrylic talons as a slow hiss of margarita mix and menthol cigarettes singes your chin.
       “He seems pretty freakin loopy today, huh?”
       It’s a question without an answer and Donna knows it, tramping back over the lawn to smoke butts with the other aunties.
       Your uncle is what could be called a tinkerer, but you know he’d rather be compared to a surgeon, or maybe better, a coroner: he is fascinated with the undoing of things, removing components from the whole, spreading them around, reassembling. The dark energy of a lonely life willed his rheumatic hands into car engines, rusted gutters, electronics well within the graveyard of obsolescence. As a kid you spent summers in his garage, hands deep in the guts of a downhill derby car. Your uncle would push you down the hill and mimic the soft roar of a crowd as the car’s plywood sides shuddered.
       When a hurricane rolled over the area last year, taking with it a swatch of your uncle’s vinyl siding and some of the roof, he found the car in a drainage ditch, torn to pieces. He sent you a picture, adorned with the emojis of mourning, yellow faces and crystal blue tears.
       The BBQ is idyllically boring. Bruised clouds gather beyond the patchwork of trailer homes in the distance. You drink beer to mark the time. The air, slick with bug spray and gathering rain, is laying in fat jewels on your uncle’s forehead. He stands, knees knocked and nearly touching, and walks over to the buffet.
       Minutes pass. The clouds are tighter now, darkening in their conspiracy. Soft flashbulbs of lighting play on the jellied cole slaw, in front of which your uncle is standing. He’s performing some sort of offbrand Catholic ritual: moving slowly down the buffet, stopping periodically to dance his sleeves just above each plate, baptizing the food. You can’t see his hands. He’s hunched like he’s hiding answers to a pop quiz.
       Finally, he reaches the end of the buffet, stopping at the sad tribe of cupcakes, melted and finger-poked. He turns slightly, just enough to let you see the blue vial in his hands. It’s tiny, no larger than a matchbox, but its presence is giant and toxically out of place, like a handgun in Santa’s lap. He drops the vial into his shirt pocket after upturning the rest of its contents onto a glob of frosting.
       Your bowels cramp in a vain attempt to get you to stand. You don’t. Your uncle wrenches his hunched frame straight, growing by maybe five inches or more. He rotates slowly and meets your eyes. The feeling is something ancient: two strange apes perched on either side of a patch of jungle, the moment dominated by fear, fear of the unknown and fear of being alone. He shrinks back down and runs into the house.
       You scan the lawn, your eyes moving too fast. The siren song of freshly grilled dogs draws the entire party up for round two of food. They’ve been drained by hours of small talk and booze, their guts groaning for processed meats. Babies, fat in their mothers’ arms, are jamming hot dog ends past their gums.
       You enter the house, passing a downed gutter on the way. His house is a humid tunnelwork of dark spaces; as you move through it, you slam a knee or an elbow into things unseen but always hard and designed to hurt you.
       You hear movement and spot him down a hallway, bent over what looks to be a pile of spilled car parts. He stops moving. You are positioned on either end of a passage. Between you is a window, through which you can see the party, their faces made ugly by unclean glass. Thunder curdles the laughter and noise outside; people begin to gather up paper plates and babies, seeking shelter on the porch, peeking through windows, surely looking for your uncle to bring the party indoors.
       Your uncle is holding something, keeping it tight to his side and out of your view.
       “Look out the window,” he says, and you do. You catch the eyes of a young child, not a baby, maybe eight years old. The butt end of a hot dog bun drops from his hand.
       Your uncle moves closer. “Name one person here.” You struggle with the question. It’s like he’s speaking Turkish. Maybe it’s a stroke.
       “Give me a name,” he says, and from his side lifts a polished chrome tube, the end of which is black save for one blinking pinpoint of red light.
       Your uncle speaks: “You don’t know anyone here.” In this moment the truth is as plain and horrible as a tumor poking above the skin: you do not know anyone. He engages the weapon and you fall. You exist for a second in total darkness, but are able to hear. There is commotion outside: if you didn’t know better, the screaming would be from a heated game of wiffleball. Thunder, in earnest now, rocks the floor beneath your head.
       “The storm is here.”

 

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