Monday, June 25, 2012


First up, PROG BRITANNIA, an Anglo-centric (and thus, necessarily incomplete) history of Progressive Rock, which recently aired on BBC4. Absolutely essential viewing for one and all.

Not quite so mandatory but still quite instructive and illuminating is KRAUTROCK: THE REBIRTH OF GERMANY, which goes to great lengths to fit this particularly viral and enduring strain of prog into a holistic political and socio-cultural context. Very well done.

And, finally, SYNTH BRITANNIA, a revealing and encyclopedic examination of the history of electronic British music. I was, of course, very satisfied to see that Stanley Kubrick was given his proper due as a ground-breaking trend-setter in this case, having hired electro-musical maverick Wendy/Walter Carlos to produce the haunting, blazing score for his version of Clockwork Orange.

Monday, June 4, 2012


First printed copy... 

Haven't posted in a while. Back in Toronto from SE Asia. I'm here for 6 weeks to launch my novel and like i said on Facebag, compared to Thailand this place is like going to church every fucking day. First thing that struck me is how quiet it is. Noise wise - but also in terms of psychic reverb. It runs at almost imperceptible levels.

I catch the odd spike from individual people but there's no generalized easiness you find over there, when an entire country doesn't give much of a shit about small stuff. Maybe it's cuz large personal financial debt isn't a birthright? Who knows. Whatever it is, coming back to Toronto after 8 months of walking through streets where the sensuality's so thick you can cut it with a machete, this place feels positively eunuchoid. Talk about your cock softening gloom. Well, when everybody's ass is owned by the bank, they must be pretty goddamn sore.

But there are a few glimmers of light. I was watching Steven Leckie, the legendary former Viletones singer, in a YouTube interview and he said something that kind of encapsulates what I'm getting at. He said that these days Marlon Brando's brooding would be considered dysfunctional and something would have to be done about it.

I'm staying with an old friend in High Park and there's something that's just too much to bear about watching these nice young white couples with their nice young white babies and their fuel efficient cars and their overvalued beautiful homes - there's something pathological about them. A kind of unacknowledged hysteria far beneath the surface. You know that statistically speaking, a certain number of them will be pedophiles and psychopaths but at the moment they're happily loading strollers into their sporty new hatchbacks, their officious little wives having given up sexuality for motherhood - too stupid to realize one actually feeds the other.

Hey, maybe everybody just needs a good black and blue and bloody ass-whipping to get their priorities in order. Maybe I'm just biased but it seems to have worked on some friends of mine and me. And I don't mean some fetlife bullshit paddle with rivets and wearing Texas Chainsaw skin mask. I mean a friendly, easy going thing with dad's old black leather belt, made supple and soft with time and use. But that might just be my own personal sense of salvation and won't work for everyone. Oh, well. Their tough luck.

So if you're in Toronto this Wednesday June 6th, come out to the launch party for my new novel, MOUNT ROYAL: there's nothing harder than loveIt's at the Revival Bar at 783 College Street, a block or so east of Ossington. Doors open at 7:30pm and I'll be going on at about 8 and there's no cover. I'll read you a bunch of dirty shit and then we can get down to the serious business of drinking, dancing and bullshitting. 

See you there...