Wednesday, December 17, 2014

DATES 2015

I'll be travelling, band in tow for some dates promoting the re-release of A Hound at the Hem. I would be very happy to meet anyone out there who has enjoyed the music.

Check out the dates. We may be playing somewhere near you...

U.S. Girls will be performing a solo set in support, all dates except Toronto.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

- Dorothy Parker

Friday, December 12, 2014


Check out this short piece which takes inspiration from Polanski's classic Repulsion, and my own Hover on a Sliver track. Jennifer Hazel, Lulu Turnbull and Meg Remy are the key creatives. I am very lucky to call them family as well as collaborators.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Reach back deep into the nether parts of this here blog, and you'll find yourself with a fistful of meandering musings - the gist of which being; THIS BAND CALLED ZACHT AUTOMAAT, THEY'RE LIKE, THE ABSOLUTE BEST RIGHT??

A year ago the label I 'run' (heh heh) with the U.S. Girl put out this monster 2xLP compiling top moments by our heroes ZA.

We find ourselves a year later with a 2nd pressing. The 1st was an edition of 333, this 2nd press is in a hand numbered edition of 222. It is doubtful there will be an edition of 111, we might just skip to the existential 000 press and call it a day.

If you want to hear the best music coming out of Canada today, you'd do well to grab a copy now while we have them.


Monday, October 27, 2014


Have a look at this newly made video for Maintain the Charade. The tune itself can be found on A Hound At The Hem, which will soon be reissued by DFA.

The video was directed, shot and edited by the ludicrously talented Meg Remy. I think it represents a new plateau in her capacity as a music video maker. Shot on Super 8 film on location in the neighbourhood and at the beach. The ghost statue is wonderfully played by Alicia Nauta. Beautiful and haunting stuff, and the tune ain't half bad either!

Monday, October 13, 2014


I've spent the last handful of months dipping into and out of Martin Amis' The War Against Cliche anthology. As a cultural critic I think Amis is close to unmatched as far as his combination of staggering perceptivity and lacerating humour. It was a great pleasure then, to recently crack open my Everyman's edition of Lolita (a very kind gift by way of my bookish sister), and read Amis' introduction to the colossus novel.

My favourite part of the essay was reading Amis' take on the humour of Lolita. The money quote reads like this:

'What makes human beings laugh? Not just gaiety or irony. That laughter banishes seriousness is a misconception often made by the humourless - and by that far greater multitude, the hard of laughing, the humorously impaired or under-gifted. Human beings laugh, if you notice, to express relief, exasperation, stoicism, hysteria, embarrassment, disgust and cruelty. Lolita is perhaps the funniest novel in the language because it allows laughter it's full complexity and range. '

This dichotomy between the humorous and the serious is one I've been thinking of a lot recently. The deeper I dive into the early period Zappa/Mothers oeuvre, the more astonished I become at Zappa's modern day reputation as a heavily goateed comedy-rock bozo, the kind of zany character most easily filed next to Weird Al and the like. The Mothers output is steeped so thoroughly in such an acidic brand of satire, that I suspect the full historical scope of their musical... erm, invention and depth of exploration is corroded by a funny aftertaste for many.

Similarly, I've been surprised to see so little highbrow engagement with the new Tim & Eric series Bedtime Stories. It would be impossible not to grant that their aesthetic is one defined by the puerile, the gross, the crass and obscene but is it not evident to anyone who encounters their brand of humour just what a violently effective debasement of television culture it is? Tim & Eric's own description of their work as an extension of TV's condescension and obscene stupidity to a nightmare peak is perfectly aimed, and goes a long way towards illustrating a consensus objection to their brand.

Nightmares are unpleasant. Laughter has more pleasant associations than not, so a reluctance may exist to co-opt our sources of laughter into an engagement with those multitude troubling aspects of life. The 'exasperation, stoicism, hysteria, embarrassment, disgust and cruelty' that Amis speaks about represent a litany of transgressive places ripe for humour's cohabitation. A cultural stigma towards inviting laughter into these crevices is a short sighted one. It is largely through humour that these nightmare states can be salvaged. There is much use to the emotional data that can be harvested from the unpleasant, though it remains hard work to till. Humour might offer an accessible key to this work.

The serious would do well to take on more humour, there exists already much seriousness unrecognized in the adeptly humorous.


North America: Sam Kogon /
All other inquiries: Dara Kartz /