[For the first half of this two-part post go here.]
There are several long-standing theories regarding the identities of the Residents. One of the earliest (and most amusing) is that the Residents are in fact the Beatles. This was an appealing notion to listeners in the early 1970s, who were still reeling from the sudden self-destruction of the collaborative effort between those strange, beautiful boys. It didn’t help that the Residents’ first full-length record, Meet the Residents, boasted artwork lifted directly from the Beatles’ album Meet the Beatles, with the faces of John, Paul, George and Ringo having been altered with a marker so that they had crossed eyes, nose rings and devil horns. Some fans held onto this belief for many years, but most eventually abandoned it when they were forced to acknowledge that the Residents’ output simply didn’t sound like it could have possibly been made the same group of people.
Another, nominally more likely guess was that the Residents were a side project of Don Van Vliet, also known as Captain Beefheart. Captain Beefheart was an avant-garde composer and musician, as well as a childhood friend and artistic contemporary of the legendary Frank Zappa, who was releasing music that sounded nearly as strange as the music of the Residents at the time. The similarities are undeniable, from Beefheart’s unhinged howl to the schizophrenic changes of tempo which characterized his early recordings. Although this theory has never officially been disproven, an astute listener will recognize that the sounds the Residents produced had a strangeness to them that was distinctly their own.
My own personal conjecture, when I had only just recently discovered the Residents, was that the Singing Resident had some familial connection to Les Claypool, the virtuosic bass player and front man of 90’s alt-funk band Primus. Claypool’s singing voice – such as it is – sounds uncannily like the Singing Resident’s drawl, and he is an unabashed acolyte of those mysterious eyeballs.
The heart is a sphincter of the mind Gabriel Chad Boyer
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Have you ever truly lived, my pock-marked asterisk of a friend?
Have you ever walked into a room and made out with the leading lady of your dreams? Or dove into the darkness with the eagerness of an action hero? Or been there to save the most important person in your life from what would otherwise have been the worst mistake ever? Have you ever openly wept? Or looked out from your hopeless meandering moment to instead be filled with awe when facing the incomprehensible absolutes of your life, that all who you love will decay and die before you, and that you will be one of these people? Unless of course you feel nothing, and then it’ll all happen behind your back while you’re always rummaging in corners looking for shiny objects to distract you from this ever-expanding horror. So. I’ll ask you again.
What about, have you ever truly died? You over-sized prawn-powered muttering device. Have you ever slipped into unconsciousness convinced that you’re never ever going to ever wake up again ever?
I say this in all seriousness as I simultaneously split my tongue with a straight edge razor and eye the dribbling blood with an inconvenient hilarity. For I have tried to do both of these unfortunate things — this living thing and this dying thing I mean — at different times but always in the same backhanded passive aggressive fashion. And all because of you.
Above, Mutable author Gabriel Boyer reads from his new book, A Fictional Autobiography, in full-body spandex superhero garb at Devin King and Caroline Picard’s Wicker Park loft. We thought to showcase this performance as Boyer will be reading from his Survey of My Failures This Far, at Bucket O Blood [On Milwaukee, near the California stop of the Blue Line] on Thursday, April 18th, along with John Wilmes and Lesley Dixon. The show is FREE, begins at 7 pm and is BYOB.
April 16th, 2013
New Mutable author explains SPINY RETINAS
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Here I am explaining what SPINY RETINAS is.
It is an epic poem, or if you prefer, a narrative poem, or perhaps still if you prefer, a “hybrid text piece” that was compiled slowly over the course of the last six years (2006 – 2012). Perhaps you do not prefer. I love you just the same.
It was constructed using automatic writing technique and addresses and/or speaks to war, politics, and religion (stereotypes and cultural myths explored through use of military and theological hierarchical titles); rape culture, gender roles, and sexism; and pop culture in general. The following books, films, and/or television shows were used as reference points to create SPINY RETINAS: I Dream of Jeanie episodes, John Ashbery’s Girls on the Run, David Lynch’s Lost Highway, Jennifer Chambers Lynch’s Boxing Helena, and Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America.
This piece was created using aleatoric method/approach and poetic language was used carelessly, unabashedly, often with such extreme force the author found herself shaking simultaneously with utter pleasure and despair. It was a freeing exercise, like running around nude in a random suburban neighborhood at 2 a.m. with a clear squirt gun or picking the first cucumber of the season or even hanging upside down on the monkey bars.
[We here at Mutable welcome Lina ramona Vitkauskas to the fold. To hear more of what Lina has to say go here, and look for SPINY RETINAS in Fall 2014!]
April 12th, 2013
Excerpts from My Time
It’s My Time. It’s Your Time. Welcome to Us. Dagmar Ottenham
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[Over the course of the next few months, Mutable will be publishing a sampling from Dagmar Ottenham's brilliant blog! Here is the first of these.]
This blog has been created to encourage what we all need a little more of: My Time. As a decadent lady who was raised in the upper echelons of society in Manhattan, Barcelona, and Tallinna, I learned a long time ago that being a woman in and of society isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s enough to not rip off your control top stockings and throw them at your doorman as he wishes you a good morning.
Recently, my husband, Astor, a virologist (for those of you not raised around such professions, a “virologist” is someone who invents new viruses to combat creatures that wish to overtake humanity, such as badgers and mosquitos and Muslims. Or something like that. Anyway), received the Mel Gibsoner Grant in the Sciences to study the creatures that populate a state in America I had never heard of before, “Missouri”, and gracefully destroy the lesser creatures of the world that aim to take control of our planet. Ever heard of a “cave cricket”?
Animal Hospital, our favorite one-man band, has been multiplying on us! He has been translating his lovely loop-oriented music into orchestral post-rock pieces! Above is a good minidoc intro to what he’s been up to by Adrianne Jorge of TV Eye Video. More of his performances can be found at his newly refurbished website.
April 5th, 2013
Part 1 of 2
Not Available David Howland Abbott
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One night in the summer of 2000, I found myself standing in the corner of a tiny room which served as the broadcast booth for the college radio station at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. I had been dragged there by my girlfriend at the time, a woman named Bethany, who had developed a crush on the night-time DJ. It was 11:00pm, and as far as I could tell the three of us were the only people on campus.
“This is B.C. Sterret, and you are listening to Oddity Rock Radio on Weber State Eighty-Eight.” The DJ was speaking into the microphone, and partially obscured behind a wall of tape racks and soundboards. “Welcome once again to the single oasis in the vast cultural wasteland that we call the Beehive State.” I flinched. I had used those precise words in the moments before he went on the air, and he had stolen them.
I hated Blair – as I knew him – and his cool-sounding DJ name. I hated his pristine porkpie hat. I hated his accordion, which sat in the corner and which was distinctly shinier than mine. Really what I hated was that he was cooler than me, and that Bethany was sitting there making cutesy eyes at him.
It’s nearly April and still there’s nothing like hope. There’s not enough sun, and the way my bedroom window faces a wall, a big brick wall, I’ve just been keeping this fluorescent monster on above me, at all times, humming and gaudy through all of my hours on this MacBook. I’m searching desperately for the magical link, to get the least fuzzy, least choppy, and least commercial-addled illegal stream of a pro basketball game. My team the Bulls is in even worse sorts than I am. I’d tell you about it, if it didn’t completely debilitate my soul.
I smoke as much weed as I can find, but I can’t find much.
And on the twenty-fifth floor of that skyscraper where they pay me, that giant concrete Kafka punchline, the air I breathe is brought to me more by cost-cutting corporate ventilation than it is by the mother-loving earth.
Mutable Sound is an online gallery for sound and word located in Chicago, IL. We are dedicated to publishing works in all genres, from the dense and inextricable to the light-hearted and absurd, and release albums that are experiments more than anything else, without being particularly experimental. We also record a weekly podcast and organize events of a more intimate nature. Contact us at email@example.com.
We’re always looking for submissions. However, these days our manuscript bin is a little overfull. Feel free to send us content to throw up on the web site, but we won’t be considering full-length manuscripts until January, 2013, assuming we haven’t all gone up in flames as our Mayan friends predict. We are also very much still looking for music. You can send your cd-rs to:
1690 Mississippi Ave
Eugene, OR 97403