More Thoughts on  “The Number One’s at One”

A Horse with No Name” was a number one hit on the pop charts. It knocked Neil Young‘s “Heart of Gold” out of the number one slot in 1972. I suppose it’s not really that surprising.

“Gee, this guy’s voice is really familiar—hey, isn’t he the guy who did “Heart of Gold?””

“No. He’s not. But perhaps Dewey Bunnell could give you a lesson on how to cash in on someone else’s sound.”

On cashing in on another artist’s sound, sometimes it’s more of an homage than a rip-off. Listen to Big Mama Thornton‘s “Hound Dog” (or other Leiber and Stoller tunes for that matter) and compare it/them to so much of Tom Waits‘ recorded works. The resemblance is uncanny.



I am not immune and it infiltrates my life. I am the first to admit to that! Ha!
Over the lunch hour we’ve taken to listening to the number ones at one (why no number twos at two?!). Rich decided a few weeks ago that he would prefer to listen to tunes rather than listen to talk radio on CBC. At first we put on some Jandek, then some 365 Days selections but then on a particularly lazy day just decided to switch the knob from FM to AM rather than drag out the computer and speakers. What was on the AM flip side of Radio 1? Zoomer Radio: the number ones at one.

“Is that Andy Williams?”
“Hey, I thought that was by the California Raisins?”
“Most Song Poems are better than this song.”
Olivia Newton John really peaked with Xanadu.”

This is our lunch hour.
We discuss the music being played. Today we had a conversation about the appropriation of popular music tunes for in-school church services. I had these at my elementary school growing up. “That’s What Friends Are For,” “One Tin Soldier,” “The Rose.” All of those good Catholic songs, you know.
Regarding conversations over lunch, there were some gems in there. Barbershop String Quartets. Inflammation Overload.
Glad I bought those rubber boots a decade ago with all the mashed potatoes on the sidewalk today and all.

Happy New Year!

We have no big plans this New Year’s Eve so it’s video making time.

And at least we have champagne.



In the mail

This came in the mail today. Yay!

2012-12-13 20.21.03

I reckon that this is where my appreciation from badness came from. I can pin it down to the summer of 1995. I have no idea who I was with at the time or what I was doing but I do know that it was picked up at the El Mocombo in Toronto at some event: a copy of Crad Kilodney’s (Ed) Second Charnel House Anthology of Bad Poetry. I won it. For doing something I can’t recall. The book came out at parties for entertainment. It moved with me from apartment to apartment.  And then someone borrowed it and it was gone. Forever.

I’ve recently been soul-searching, trying to figure out my appreciation for ‘other’ things and it all came back to that book. I couldn’t remember if it was the second or first anthology but  upon seeing  the first in person I now realize that it was the second that I had won.

“Won’t you please post an excerpt?”

No, no, you can’t ask that. I can’t do that?!.

OK. Maybe I can.

Here is an excerpt from an unknown author (figured that was fair enough).



The child sat on a postage stamp

The queen suffocated

The child is now queen



Recently I acquired a near-complete run of Op Magazines (1978-1984). I hadn’t intended on purchasing them, just  browse through them for a couple of days and photocopy anything useful for present/future research projects. But I got sucked in. And they were for sale.

The ads themselves were just as fascinating as the articles/interviews, perhaps even more so.

Here are a couple of ad images.

More on Op later.

Ads in Op

Lovely Music Ad

Hunker Down

Due to my intense immersion in the Jandekian quagmire that is my dissertation, I realize that in order to resurface a (read in order for it to be finished already!) I need to put aside creating/posting on music/film projects and continue the hunker down. For the time being, and for this site to not wither away completely (or any more than it already has), I’ll go back to making more regular posts.  They will casual, not at all creative.

A good clean place to start is with an upload of an image of the bar of soap that found its way to our kitchen table yesterday. Rich gave some money to WFMU’s  recent fundraiser. They sent him a bar of soap as a thank you. Along with a good portion of its home-state New Jersey, the independent station fell victim to Hurricane Sandy earlier this month.

WFMU Miracle Soap

Now that this is all posted here, I feel that I can lay it to rest.

The process of posting this video reminds me of my old college radio program days. My program, called “In the Muse,”  ran on Tuesdays in the summer at CFBU Brock U Radio in Saint Catharines. When an ear-worm  would niggle its way into my brain, I used it as a thread for a show. It was as if playing it over the airwaves would somehow pour the sound out of my ears and into the universe. Or at least into the Student Building. Later that summer, my ear-worms reached the city proper when CFBU finally obtained their frequency license. My last show there was a tribute to William Burroughs who had passed away a week or two before the show aired. There’s nothing quite like gracing the city of Saint Catherine’s with:

T’ain’t no sin
To take off your skin
And dance around in your bones

Why the diversion from the video? Posting Adrian’s Apartment here is like sending it into the universe. It’s also like dancing around in my bones. It’s finished and we will never speak of it again.

We’re almost done. I’m not all that keen on segments 3 and 4 and must admit that there is some teeth-gritting happening as I publish this. It’s one of those ‘hearing your own voice’ types of experiences, except here I am watching myself on my own doc, being filmed by my interviewee as he is talking (how did that reversal even happen?).

I’m posting this because it part of the process of posting the entire video. *It’s about the process, right?* About not focusing exclusively on the final product? That was, after all, part of the purpose of the doc to begin with. It’s not always a pretty sight.

Part two of the VHS video from more than a decade ago. This segment, like part one, explores the process of figuring out several components of an installation that occurred at the AWOL  Gallery in Toronto in 2001. For a better description see below for the blog entry for part one.

Tuna Mind Melt had a very mellow session on Friday. I don’t think I’ll be posting anything from that particular sitting but will give it a listen again and will pin it up here if there is anything worthwhile. Process is always interesting to me, but not always interesting to others (especially when the yield of the process is insignificant).

Sameness, stillness, slow changes.

This digitized version turned up on one of Rich’s machines. I was sure all backup copies had been accidentally erased minus the original VHS version. This is old school videotape, edited using two VHS machines. More than a decade ago Gab helped to clean up the static which showed up with each crude edit before it was transferred to mini DV. It’s been the victim of numerous analog and digital transfers since.

Things I like: the CRT screen in the apartment, the rack of ancient electronic equipment, dangling wires in front of Adrian’s Japanese Super 8 film footage projected on his apartment wall, kimchi ramen, matzos. Kitschy random switching back and forth between positive and negative images, close-up of the kettle and the blue gas flame, “There’s a Jew in me that just won’t die.”  Footage of a friend and me from a third of our lives ago. Glad that I can look back on those days and laugh with myself.