Friday, December 21, 2007

September 16, 1996

I can’t figure out if you think I’m being too colloquial or not colloquial enough.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

August 30, 1996

I said about two words of German before lapsing into English, and one of the people who was about to occupy the compartment said (in German) something like “Well, his German book didn’t get him very far, did it”, thinking that I would not understand that I was being made fun of, but I did! So there! Well, I had to get that off my chest.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

February 11, 1997

Shopped at the suburban-style Dominick’s on Ridge the other day. Suburban-style means there is no fence around the parking lot to keep you from stealing carts. Also the selection of roach bait is smaller.

On sale: fresh pineapples, two dollars! I just ate one. I didn't mean to eat the whole thing but suddenly it was all gone. Honey tangerines are back in season — I’m in citrus heaven. (Though, I have two free grapefruit on my desk which I don't think I'll eat. Grapefruit are bigger than normal fruit like apples, but smaller than big fruit like melons. Which is disturbing. Plus, they are no particular color. Also disturbing.)

The new Veggie Fajita Wrap at Taco Bell gets a lukewarm thumbs up, but I still think they should bring back the Chicken Club Burrito and lower the price on the "Big" Beef Meximelt (smallest thing on the menu).

Grated parmesan: tastes better stale!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

May 31, 1997

“It is better to stay indoors and not mess around with useless experiences.” — Rudolph Wurlitzer, Nog

Monday, December 17, 2007

May 18, 2003

  • Homework grader
  • Newspaper sports desk phone operator
  • Sports writer
  • Chemistry lab tech
  • Copy shop worker
  • As office temporary: secretary, data entry clerk, word processor, spreadsheet operator, desktop publisher
  • Computer typesetter/desktop publisher
  • Pizza deliverer
  • Psychology experiment subject
  • Computer lab attendant
  • System administrator
  • Research assistant
  • Software developer
  • University computer science instructor
  • Music writer (two concert reviews for SonicNet)
  • Music festival driver (normally I don’t get paid for this, but one year the festival did really well and I got $50 or so)

I think that’s everything I’ve ever been paid for, but I’m probably forgetting something.

December 2007 update: Photographer (The Wire paid me for a few photographs once)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

February 3, 1998

I saw Loren Mazzacane Connors and Alan Licht. They both kind of look like you. I pretended they were both you.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

July 31, 1997

“...For instance, today I listened to Chinese Classical music—which I really didn't dig too much, but I’ll listen to it again—I listened to Islamic chants that really knocked me the fuck out. And just single voices. I listened to Duke Ellington’s Orchestra circa 1945—there was one piece that was just amazing. I listened to Victoria de los Angeles singing Purcell’s “Diedere and something or other...” and then I listened to Gary Grafman playing the first movement of the Brahms piano concerto. Brahms, boy I tell you—then I listened to Leonard T. Price singing the last movement of Richard Strauss’ “Salome.” Boy—what what a—wheeew—boy, that guy—I have to go to see that guy. A lot of shit was up. And then, of course, of course—I listen every day to something by Ligeti. Today I heard “Ramifications” and this choral piece, and “Atmospheres.” Then I listen every day to [he chuckles] Marvin Gaye, of course. Then I put on Sarah Vaughan, then I put on Xenakis—oh, this fucking guy—this orchestra piece, and then I’m—god, I mean I practiced the piano four hours today. I spent two hours completing another section of this poem this morning. I cooked, I mopped all the floors in this house, and I’ve done all this stuff. And not one cigarette. I can’t understand it. No champagne, anything... I’ve been listening to this Kathleen Battle, and this guy who’s the head of the Met Orchestra, he was interviewed by Charlie Rose the other day, and he said a couple of things, but anyway he’s playing with Battle—she’s singing Sshubert lieder--and she [he chuckles] no, it was Schumann—I don’t know—Schubert, Schumann, whatever. Anyway, boy, boy, o boy, wow—mmm-mmm-mm. Such music. Then I listened to Billie Holiday singing, and I started laughing because I’m having such a good time. Oh! I listened to Etta Jones today, she was wonderful! I mean, you know, all of these...” — Cecil Taylor

Friday, December 14, 2007

February 10, 1994

I typeset a funny resumé. The woman was a sorority type named “J— Zipp!” (without the exclamation point, but I imagine it that way). She was desk clerk at a dormitory and claims she “strove for the ultimate satisfaction of residents”. She was also a bagger at Jewel where she “feverishly endeavored to please customers”. (Italics mine.)

December 2007 update: I Googled her name just now and she and her mom both got free Pontiacs on Oprah.

June 6, 1994

The one who sat next to me was nice enough, and kept feeling my hair.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

November 2, 2006

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

June 7, 1994

Josh: Thanks for all the Scelsi info. I'll read it when I have about 4 hours to kill. Maybe perhaps you could trim it down to three or four essential sentences?
Scelsi make-um music, one note. Scelsi no like-um, take photograph. Scelsi composition titles heap weird.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

January 24, 1994

S— had a psychotic older brother. His nickname for S— was “Shithead”, and his favorite leisure time activity was to get a carving knife from the kitchen, pin S— to the floor, hold the knife to his throat, and keep him there like that for maybe fifteen or twenty minutes, usually with Pink Floyd blaring in the background. While this was going on I would sit and play “Cosmic Avenger” on the family TRS-80.

Monday, December 10, 2007

June 22, 1998

Don’t tell L— I told you G— told B— L— told G— J— told her this.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

August 23, 1998

“The unknown reason why a form would be there and look just like that and not meaning anything particularly, would, in some haphazard way, be related to something else that you didn’t plan either.” — Franz Kline

Saturday, December 8, 2007

January 19, 2000

That Ayn Rand crap is a laff riot!

Friday, December 7, 2007

October 11, 1995

My favorite of the artworks, pointed out to me by J—, was a life size full length photo of a young man standing wearing ordinary clothes and facing the camera expressionlessly. After you look at the photograph for a while you notice that there is a long dark stain down one pant leg. The photo is called “I Wet Myself”. Now that’s art!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

December 7, 1995

He thought for a moment and then said: “‘Noise guitar’ seems to bring in a lot more people than ‘squeaky violin’.”

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

July 15, 1995

As I entered, the doorman was giving J— a little lecture about how he should be more “outgoing” and not apologize so much.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

December 27, 1995

There are many Canadians.

Monday, December 3, 2007

February 23, 1996

“Punya tisue enggak?” “Punya, Pak.” “Ambil. Lap dulu keringatmu.” Zino tambah tegang. Dia gemetar mengambil tisue di atas lemari arsipnya.
Apparently “tisue” means something in some weird language!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

December 19, 1996

James Brown, Love Power Peace, live in 1971. James introduces his own organ solo by shouting “Some organ! Some organ! Some organ! Some organ! Some organ! Some organ!”

Saturday, December 1, 2007

August 23, 1998

Josh: I went to Pease Park [...]
Did you witness a murder, like in Blow-Up? Or did you see a couple licking each other’s feet, like in Mondo Trasho? Which was it?

Friday, November 30, 2007

April 29, 2000

My all time favorite Iancu Dumitrescu moment: at the six minute mark in “Aulodie Mioritica (Gamma)” where all those high pitched string noises come in, and then 30 seconds later where they kick in again.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

March 30, 2003

INTERVIEWER: A staple of rock concerts in the seventies and eighties was for every musician to take a solo, but the vocalist usually just stuck to fronting the band. You took this to another level on the 1984 tour when you did a sword and streamers dance as your solo section. Where did that come from?

DAVID LEE ROTH: It should look like it sounds.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

March 28, 2003

I need to think about this one another fourteen months before responding.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

April 15, 2003

I played some notes on the harmonium, the same harmonium, or at least similar, that I later encountered in K—’s hallway, and which always makes me think of Nico, and makes me picture K—, Nico-like, sitting in the hallway, the ends of her hair brushing the keys of the harmonium, playing long, mournful, descending minor-key drones, and there is also some other atmospheric detail in the background, such as a small, organ-grinder type monkey curled up in the corner, trembling because it misses Brion Gysin (from whom it was a gift) and which K—/Nico neglects thanks to her heroin habit of an enormity (and expensiveness) which would kill any ordinary person, or perhaps some other detail entirely, such as a pot of water boiling on the stove, which eventually boils away entirely, and only the metallic odor of the singed pot finally breaks the spell of the harmonium...

Monday, November 26, 2007

April 20, 2003

Maybe the Sonic Youth tour bus had a table with one leg a little shorter than the other three.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

April 12, 2003

Josh: Just email me some random dialog.

Seth: "Hey John?"

John: "Yeah?"

Seth: "Could you remember to pull the shower curtain closed after you use it? If you leave it all bunched up, it doesn't dry and then it gets mildewy."

John: "Uh, yeah, I guess."


Robin: "Do they do penis puppetry as well?"

Seth: "Yes, but it happens inside their pants, where you can't see it."


Matt: "Seth?"

Seth: "Yes?"

Matt: "I have a question about coding style. When you do a typecast, do you prefer to have the spaces separating the name from the parentheses? Because I've seen it both ways in the source code."

Seth: "Yeah... I like it without the spaces, but that's a change I made -- when I started, most of the code had the spaces, so I've been taking them out as I go."

Matt: "OK."


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

April 16, 2003

reminder I sent myself, February 2000: “thank Josh for the penguins”

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

June 22, 1995

I haven’t even told you half the gossip from last night yet!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

August 11, 1994


Monday, November 12, 2007

April 29, 2003

Don’t send it. I won’t watch it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

April 13, 2003

Were you all holding candles and swaying back and forth?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

April 14, 2003

You can sit on my back porch. I have an orange chaise lounge from Crate & Barrel and a board on two cinder blocks you can set your book on.

Friday, November 9, 2007

April 29, 2003

Joe was supposed to look for people talking on cell phones, and then walk up to them wearing the silver fright wig and blow the didgeridoo at them. Most people ignored him or laughed, but other typical reactions included “Who the hell are you?” and “Get the fuck away from me!” The event lasted eight hours and there was also a troop of Buddhist monks involved.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

December 8, 1995

That would explain the smell.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

October 22, 1994

I was mesmerized by Leroy Jenkins’ outrageously unfashionable red plaid/floral jacket. Also of note was the peculiar stare with which he fixed the audience.

January 21, 1995

The guitar player was a tall blonde dressed like an unkempt secretary. Her guitar style was based on never being in a hurry. She’d wait for the bassist and the drummer to start a song before starting playing, and she’d wait for them to finish before she’d stop playing. She was pretty lethargic during the songs too.

Monday, November 5, 2007

January 15, 1995

I found sixteen dollars in a parking lot.

January 21, 1995

G— was there with his girlfriend. I never actually saw her. To G—’s perplexity, she sat in a different part of the room from where he and I were sitting. I asked why, and he said she was “difficult”.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

September 13, 1994

We lifted our possessions up to the balcony using a pulley made out of a fork and some string.

September 24, 1994

I think it sounds like Arlo Guthrie, but B— thinks it sounds like Ringo Starr.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

September 24, 1994

I’ll trade you nine Tangerine Dream albums for it!

January 21, 1995

There were T-shirts but I didn’t buy one. There was beer but I didn’t buy any.

Friday, November 2, 2007

October 24, 1994

Donald Miller has so much hair I’m sure he wouldn't miss it if I burned some.

January 31, 1995

I’ve forwarded your message to soc.culture.indonesia and comp.lang.modula-2 so that it will be preserved for future generations.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

December 8, 1994

“Video has destroyed the whole cult movie thing. Some people tell me about video, 'I can't see the movies because my town doesn't have any movie theaters. I have to watch video.' I tell them, 'Leave the town and move to the city where the movie theaters are.' They say, 'Well, I have a job here and a family here.' I say, 'Leave your family and leave your job!' I have no sympathy for these people.” — Jack Stevenson

October 24, 1994

It’s captioned “Angry Sebadoh Fans” and it’s exactly what you'd imagine a picture of two Japanese teenagers made surly and resentful by Lou Barlow would be like.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

December 26, 1994

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November 3, 1994

“Stop eating all of my chocolate.
Eat salad instead.”
— The Fall

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

May 22, 1995

I asked B— to sing along with Van Dyke Parks’ “The All Golden” in return for opening a bottle of vodka for her.

June 22, 1995

About six foot four, long black hair, lots of eye makeup, naked and covered in the blood from the waist up, carrying a knife. Oh wait, that’s not J—’s ex, that's Diamanda Galas! I got confused.

Monday, October 29, 2007

August 17, 1994

When you steal all the bubble gum and aspirin from Ellen’s desk can I have half?

August 7, 1994

Later in the dream, “weird death monsters” dance in Jandek’s living room, with “macabre deathly motions.”

Sunday, October 28, 2007

May 23, 1995

New York minuses:
  • Entrances to bridges and tunnels too far from water
  • Modem causes static on clock radio in motel room

January 26, 1995

After “Williams Mix” comes an audience war: some clap, others boo, and each group gets louder and louder trying to drown the other out. This goes on for at least a full minute. One guy sneaks in a "Bravo!" just as the battle is ending.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

January 16, 1995

The only thing I miss about DeKalb is the university library, with its long shelf of Gertrude Stein books, its bird living in the ventilation shafts, and its mindbending op art carpets.

January 21, 1995

After H— and J— hawked their CD and book, respectively, D— asked the audience if anyone wanted to buy his violin.

Friday, October 26, 2007

July 18, 1994

From the Hijokaidan interview, Jojo on portion sizes at American restaurants: “If Japanese ate that much their bodies would fall apart.”

December 6, 1994

I pretended to be asleep so I didn’t have to go on the riverboat gambling expedition.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

October 26, 1994

“Pithoprakta” is Greek for “not so much garlic, please.”

January 11, 1995

Josh: There are Jim O’Rourke and David Grubbs interviews in You Could Do Worse #3.
I’ve read them. The interviewer manages to insult both Jim (by calling his music “formless”) and David (by calling his lyrics “ironic”) and they both get noticeably annoyed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

August 18, 1994

One time B— and I tried to put up posters at Wheaton College and the police stopped us after about five minutes. Eventually the policeman let us go, but he kept asking me why I was wearing a bathrobe. He was also puzzled by our posters: “Are these supposed to convince people of something, or what?”

November 12, 1995

I’ve told you of my love for dams, bridges, tunnels, canals, and other public works projects, right?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

February 16, 1998

I’m trying to kick my Carmex addiction by switching to Chap Stick.

February 4, 1998

Is Bigfoot ever spotted in Chicago?

Monday, October 22, 2007

November 12, 1995

In the future this is how I will manipulate you into listening to something: one cryptic mention followed by six months of silence.

November 13, 1995

Received today: “I was just about to write in the name on the money order and I just thought I would check to make sure that I should right it out to Seth Tisue. That is a rather uncommon sounding name, and I thought I would check to make sure that I'm not writing it out to an internet nick name, other wise you might have trouble cashing it. And if it is your real name, please don’t feel at all insulted. It is much better then having a really common name like mine.”

Sunday, October 21, 2007

May 20, 1995

They’re whispering “Josh Ronsen” in all the banks, boardrooms, and saunas.

May 15, 1995

What is your favorite proofreading mark?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

January 4, 1994

I gained new respect for the Jehovah's Witnesses when I stayed a weekend at Xexoxial Endarchy in Madison, in a building known as the Avant-Garde Museum of Temporary Art. The front yard was filled with twenty-foot high nailed together & wildly painted sculptures, mannequins, and so on. In order to get to the house and knock and offer us literature, the Witnesses had to walk through all this stuff and past a large sign reading "Church of Anarchy". If I were a Jehovah's Witness I would have just gone to the next house.

December 14, 1993

They are shiny if you shine them.

Friday, October 19, 2007

December 14, 1993

I’m lucky it didn’t end up covered with bongwater stains and bullet holes.

April 28, 1995

It’s called “Meet a Friend on the Web”, but I suggest it be renamed “Laugh at a Loser on the Web.”

Thursday, October 18, 2007

April 18, 1995

Josh: Can you say blah?
I can not only say it, I can live it.

March 31, 1995

Best spurious rumor about Albert Ayler’s death: that when they pulled his body out of the East River, it was tied to a jukebox.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

January 6, 1994

I noticed she got stuck on one note for a while.

January 6, 1994

Have you seen the photo of Cage and Stockhausen riding together in the toy airplane?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

May 17, 1994

They probably took your money and spent it on marmalade and hashish.

May 29, 1994

My elbow is sore from playing darts. The hallway outside our door smells like garbage.

Monday, October 15, 2007

July 3, 2000

“When replying, it is often possible to cleverly edit the original message in such a way as to subtly alter its meaning or tone to your advantage while appearing that you are taking pains to preserve the author’s intent. As a bonus, it will seem that your superior intellect is cutting through all the excess verbiage to the very heart of the matter.” — from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail

March 27, 2003

When I hear the word “scowl” I picture K—’s scowling face pasted over the face of whoever’s scowling.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

May 24, 1995

He does have a temper, but I did not detect a green tint to his skin.

May 24, 1995

I hope to find the Universal Omega Point lying in a gutter in lower Manhattan tomorrow.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

June 9, 1995

If only I could “buy” it in the sense of buying all rights to it, so I could sink it to the bottom of the ocean forever.

June 20, 1995

Things I did in Washington:
  • watched Senate committee meeting; Bob Dole made brief appearance
  • listened to the strange little electronic tunes the Metro trains hum to themselves
Things I did not do in Washington:
  • eat some of the 2000-pound U.S. flag cake unveiled at the Washington Monument
  • witness the Senate’s passage of the Communications Decency Act

Friday, October 12, 2007

June 22, 1995

If it were an anti-matter drum machine, I would buy it, because I could collide it with S—’s drum machine, and then both drum machines would be annihilated forever and S— might be annihilated as well.

March 6, 2000

“The Tao of progress appears as retreat” — Lao Tzu

Thursday, October 11, 2007

July 7, 1995

I dreamed I was blamed for Warren Beatty’s broken neck. He spent years in bed recuperating. I had been trying to defend my mother from Beatty’s sexual advances. A jury found me guilty because Subway bribed them with sandwiches all during the two-year trial.

The dream ended with David Grubbs clinging to the front of a bright red speedboat and singing a song about the trial. After he sang it I read the printed lyrics and they mentioned a Lee “Scratch” Perry song called “8'x9'x6.5' Spirit”. No, there is no such song. In the dream I thought the feet marks meant inches, because I remember thinking an object that size would fit in your hands.

July 8, 1995

Now: Schiffsglocke. Next: Nebelhorn-Tuten.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

March 26, 2003

Josh: C— is naked on the floor, writhing on blankets, in an arty not sleazy way.
For a moment there I thought this dream was going to get sleazy.

August 23, 1998

Josh: She told me about her desire to do a poetry open mic this evening.
I’d never confess that to someone I wasn’t really close with.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

March 4, 2000

I dreamed I got the electric chair in Texas. I was terrified the chair would be defective, making it torture. I asked for a shot to make me unconscious but it just made me all groggy.

August 23, 1998

Supposedly at NU you can go to the health service, particularly around exams time, and claim to be all stressed out, and they will give you Valium on the spot, but you can’t do it too many times because they keep track.

Monday, October 8, 2007

September 21, 1997

“The problem of vision, as far as Watt was concerned, admitted of only solution: the eye open... The results given by the closed eye were, in Watt’s opinion, most unsatisfactory.” — Samuel Beckett, Watt

August 18, 1995

interviewer: One more question about “filiation”: On the one hand, you describe yourself in a relation of filiation, of respect with regard to “symbolic fathers”, even if that is a strategic matter, but on the other hand you have other types of address. I had the feeling that you address questions or appeals more than you transmit messages, the latter being more consistent with the symbolic notion of the Father (I am thinking of figures like Lacan); I was thinking that you create around yourself a network that is more one of affinity or attraction (in response perhaps to the “come”), than of affiliation.

Derrida: Perhaps...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

August 7, 1995

Josh: Have you heard the Nono piano and tape piece whose title begins with 5 (five) .’s and ends with 3 (three) .’s?
No, but I’ve read “IIIIIIIIII” by Gertrude Stein.

July 19, 1995

Or, “Well, they may be heavier than Motorhead, but if Mauricio Kagel were far heavier than he actually is, he would be heavier still.” Remember to use the word “tactile”.

Friday, October 5, 2007

July 11, 1995

I’m sitting in an office with three ammunition experts.

July 23, 1995

The hairless groundhog B—’s parents found in their backyard died at the wildlife shelter.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

April 29, 2003

My next painting: an alien (the same one from the bigfoot painting) standing in your creek, eating pizza, and listening to Mingus. You are looking at the alien expectantly; the alien seems puzzled.

April 29, 2003

Somebody asked “What IS yogurt?”, but no one at the table knew.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

October 17, 1997

Sometimes people jump off dams to kill themselves, not realizing that they’re not as vertical as they look from the top. There’s no flesh left on their bones by the time they reach the bottom. I read it in a book.

December 8, 1997

If Jandek had been one of the bicyclists in Breaking Away, or maybe one of the textile workers in Norma Rae...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

March 30, 2003

I think you should call your next record Verb Music for David Lee Roth.

December 3, 1996

I dreamed I read a magazine article or book in which the author described a visit to Jandek’s house. Jandek was in his early 40’s, married with children, and lived in a house in the middle of a swamp. His real name was John.

Monday, October 1, 2007

January 10, 2000

It’s from a gas station men’s room cologne dispenser.

January 13, 2000

Ha ha ha you dumb fuck, that’s a FORM LETTER!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

January 21, 2000

Josh: People send me the weirdest stuff.
You started it.

August 27, 1997

A few days ago I was walking up Wells Street north of downtown. Six or seven policemen emerged from two squad cars and were putting on latex gloves as they approached a building. As I passed one said “Hey you, want to make a few bucks? Put on some gloves and come with us.”

Saturday, September 29, 2007

July 18, 1997

I dreamed again that I saw Jandek play live. I arrived late. Jandek was extremely pale and had red hair. He commented that everyone in the audience (we were all sitting on the floor) was very pale too. G— was there and he was starstruck because Jandek was pale and red-haired like himself. Jandek had an electric guitar and a single cymbal on a stand. He sang a couple of songs, then started showing us scenes from his favorite Hollywood movies on a little TV.

July 29, 1997

Last month I bought a bicycle. I’ve been riding it everywhere. I was riding it through downtown Evanston yesterday. At a stoplight an old man hobbled by me, his leg in a cast, and croaked at me, “Wear a helmet! Wear a helmet!”

So I went to the bike shop and bought a helmet. Today I rode my bike through the very same intersection where I saw the old man, and someone sarcastically shouted “Nice helmet!” at me out their car window.

Friday, September 28, 2007

March 19, 1998

PLAYBOY: This might be somewhat far-fetched, but are you a religious cat, Miles? Are you into God and Jesus?

MILES DAVIS: Ain’t no fucking Jesus, man. Get out of here. Shit.

August 18, 1998

Dream: I can’t remember the rest, but I saw Mark E. Smith at the airport and he was carrying fistfuls of Cecil Taylor CD’s.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

January 6, 1999

My temperature is 102.4.

June 29, 1998

Josh: So, are you going to publish it?
Only if the author comes to my apartment and personally gives me a window into an underground subculture of sexual obsession, gender confusion, and drug addiction.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

August 16, 2002

“I’m not writing a book on the science of irony.” — Marcel Duchamp

March 25, 2003

As God is my witness, K— and I did nothing to provoke that man into pulling his trousers down.

April 4, 2003

In the old days, an artist could make toe sucking videos (or, in the very old days, a toe sucking cave painting or carved idol) innocent of “theory” and “jargon”.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

April 10, 2003

A shudder of disgust, or an orgasmic shudder?

December 1, 2001

Another Viennese who ended up in California was Alfred Polgar. The sixty-seven-year-old essayist who spoke only broken English was lucky enough to get hired as a writer my Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He had, however, great difficulties in adapting to Hollywood and was homesick for Europe. “My life is 99 percent memories,” he confided to a friend. “I’m not very interested in the hundredth part.” His dejection brought forth a bitter short story, “His Last Mistake”: an American editor is telling an emigre writer that what is done and said in his fiction is not done and said in the United States; the writer’s characters live, love, laugh, and cry in ways that are not American ways. The emigre jumps out of the window of the thirty-second-floor office, and the editor, now really angry, shouts after him, “In America one doesn’t jump out of the window!” — Paul Hofmann, The Viennese

November 18, 2001

I’m boarding my mother’s cat while she’s in Australia. Changez Les Blockeurs by the New Blockaders makes him freak out and charge around my apartment. He’s fat and my floors are slippery, so he does the Scooby Doo running-but-not-moving thing when he goes around a corner.

Monday, September 24, 2007

March 25, 2003

Tell him that you will print out his E-mail and rub it against a picture of Boulez.

April 8, 2003

Josh: overheard at work: “You make a little hole in the watermelon, pour in the everclear, then boom: breakfast.”
Have you seen the film Boom!?

April 13, 2003

Josh: On my stereo unit: Harry Bertoia — the LP with the b&w photo of the sculpture on the cover.
Yeah, that’s my favorite one, too.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

April 2, 2003

Ben Ratliff: So you would say that your approach to guitar that you learned during that period was influenced by tenor saxophonists.

Sonny Sharrock: I’m a tenor player, man. I’ve always thought of myself as one. I don’t like guitar, I don’t like it at all, and I’ve always been influenced by horn players.

Ben Ratliff: Why didn’t you just pick up the tenor?

Sonny Sharrock: I’ve got asthma.

April 13, 2003

The record shopping dreams replaced a dream I used to have, the finding-lots-of-change dream. First a nickel or a quarter, then three or four more coins, then more and more. Sometimes the change was under sofa cushions, sometimes on the ground in the park. The more of it I found, the more there was.

July 10, 2001

Another bird just hit my window. Bonk!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

April 5, 2003

Spacemen 3 interview:

SONIC: I really like pyramids and triangles — I’ve done a study on them, how you can sharpen razor blades, keep milk fresh in them indefinitely.

FE: What’s the longest you’ve personally kept milk fresh in a pyramid?

SONIC: Well, I haven’t.

April 2, 2003

Ben Ratliff: Were you listening to any Indian music?

Sonny Sharrock: No. I listened to Indian music when everybody else did. Everyone said Coltrane was listening to Indian music, so we listened to Indian music. I like the food much better.

March 25, 2003

I told every dark-haired girl I saw you said hi.

Friday, September 21, 2007

March 25, 2003

Have you considered sealing him in a thick, noise-reducing protective covering, aka “blimp”, as used in the early days of sound cinema to reduce audible camera noise on the soundtrack?

December 6, 1996

I worried I was going insane, near the end of something like six hours of tossing and turning while believing that the resulting configurations of the sheets represented townspeople’s opinions and questions about God, arranged in rows and columns and directed at me, the town preacher. Or something like that.

October 21, 2001

I spent two hours killing mealy bugs with alcohol and Q-tips. They infest my jade plants. I spilled the alcohol twice.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

April 26, 2002

I could drive furiously all the way to Austin, dip my toe in your creek, and then drive furiously all the way back.

April 13, 2003

I hear there’s a Jewish holiday involving hammers and crossdressing. Do you know about this?

April 13, 2003

168:Is that a picture of R—? Dang!
188:lying. It is the photo from your web page. Dang! That's why I couldn't find
273:Dang! That's it: I am cutting you off. I think you should spend this weekend
289:Subject: Dang!
340:Subject: dang! makes Linda Barry...
351:"Elite" group? Dang! Had I known I would have been part of an elite group
468:Dang, girl, get off my case!
630:Subject: Dang!
704:Dang! Yous hould have done something with the
780:Subject: Re: Dang!
99:Dang! I just did a web search on Johnny. He has a record of his own on
99:Dang! I just called Antone's Records, who "specialize" in blues here in
273: Josh> Dang! It seems like the only place you aren't taking her is
273:make any situation funny: monkeys, swear words, and "Dang!"
398:since this Thanksgiving. I was like, "Dang! Get a life."
400:Dang! I've got a bunch of those. I think R— put a scratch in my
417:> Josh> Dang! Alright, you don't have my CD's, ok?
468:Cecil Taylor played with Boston?! Dang! And I thought that record
500:Dang! I'm going to have to reconsider my friendship with you.
568:Dang. I guess I'll have to go for the Dinosaur Jr. box set then...
585:Subject: Dang!
628:what happens. Dang. I hope I am more sympathetic when
656: their eyes pop out of their heads and they say "Dang!"

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

May 6, 2002

O master of the clever reply to clueless E-mail, advise me in this matter.

April 13, 2003

Josh: What next? “Activities we think you might enjoy: sticking pointed stick in eye...”
Your own eye or someone else’s?

February 10, 1998

You want me to wear an ascot so I can look like Nikki Sudden?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

March 24, 1998

Do you think it’s:
Look outside genitals
as in, “My love for you is more than merely physical”


Look outside
as in, “Look out the window! Genitals!”

January 11, 2001

At you can hear an actual recording of Thomas Bernhard saying (in German): “Intellectuals... the biggest assholes are the so-called intellectuals.”

December 23, 2000

Ask me about the Dick Higgins exhibit!

Monday, September 17, 2007

July 29, 2007

I often think of Jim’s set at this concert, but have no memory of the sponge remarks that structured it.

May 14, 2007

I still think D— looks like he ought to be portrayed on U.S. currency.

January 13, 2003

Josh: Do you think she is interested in Ligeti’s use of obscured formal structures in his works of the early 1970s?
I think you should wait to bring that up until after sex.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

April 13, 2003

I hate waking up from those record shopping dreams.

April 7, 2003

Josh: It’s obvious that “R—” is totally hot for you, perhaps enflamed by the photo of the back of your head on your website.

That would be understandable.

April 16, 1999

“In much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow” (Ecclesiastes 1:18)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

July 15, 2001

It’s too late to start thanking people.

July 2, 2007

“Wherever there is objective truth there is satire.” — Wyndham Lewis

November 7, 1995

Tell him you’ll smash all his Modern Jazz Quartet records.

Friday, September 14, 2007

April 23, 2003

All the Chicago girls come to Austin but then don’t meet up with you.

August 4, 1995

I’m “Alan Prospect”.

August 7, 1995

I want to breathe some bus exhaust, almost get run over by a taxi driver, or be drooled on by a derelict on the train platform. Any of those would really hit the spot right now.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

July 8, 2007

In “Chinese New Year” by Clipse it kind of sounds like they’re saying your band’s name. But instead of imitating frogs they’re imitating gunfire.

December 31, 1997

Did I tell you about finding one of Richard Meltzer’s pubic hairs at the library in DeKalb?

July 23, 2007

It turns out I have competition in the Furqan-the-Chechen-based one-liner department:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

April 21, 2007

I think Keith Rowe overheard me calling him “the man with the cleanest teeth in experimental music” because of all the electric toothbrushes in his tabletop full of gear.

April 2, 1996

If only S— would apprise the world of his whereabouts more often, so we could more closely approach the ideal of being aware of his every act or movement.

November 21, 1997

You should have seen the spread at the free Lachenmann concert last weekend. An old guy in a tux just kept bringing out more platters of food.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

May 11, 1997

I interviewed Radu Malfatti and Werner Dafeldecker on WNUR. Upon being introduced to me Malfatti asked me “Are you Protestant or Catholic?” During the interview, he kept making squeaking sounds by rubbing a piece of styrofoam on his chair whenever Dafeldecker was talking.

July 29, 2007

Josh: What would you do, for example, if you hypothetically posted on CraigsList, as a joke, that you were looking for a lead guitarist for a Viking Metal band and four people responded, serious about playing in said nonexistent Viking Metal band?
I would milk it for all it’s worth.

March 20, 1996


The exact meaning is unclear, but the urgency is palpable.

Monday, September 10, 2007

August 12, 2007

Josh: You would like D—, who teaches in Cali now, but has a girlfriend in Chicago who owns a store that sells buttplugs.
Should she give them away?

May 7, 2007

I still have not been able to locate the source of this quote:
“In the healthy, uninhibited human, there is no sexual drive and no curiosity or interest in sexuality. Contrary to traditional thought, sex is a wholly artificial preoccupation. When a man or woman is given a chance for decent, normal, artistic activity — painting, writing, music — the so-called sexual drive withers away. Sexual activity is the covert, hidden form under which the artistic talent operates when mechanistic society subjects the individual to unnatural inhibition.”
However, I did find this:
“The oddly prepubescent curve of her back, her ricey skin, her slow languorous columbine kisses kept me from mischief. It is not the artistic aptitudes that are secondary sexual characters as some shams and shamans have said; it is the other way around: sex is but the ancilla of art.” — Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

March 12, 1996


Young horse loses race by width of fish’s fin; afterward, sulks.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

May 25, 2007

J— accused me of trying to make his cover letter sound “like Gertrude Stein”.

February 9, 1998

Josh:I just checked out the Jandek page. Very nice. Could be a bit more detail oriented...
I know when I’m being made fun of.

February 8, 1996

I think “polite and informative, but occasionally sarcastic” is a description of myself I can live with.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

January 3, 1999

“My new house/ Is my beatnik hang-out” — The Fall, “My New House”

February 3, 1999

On my refrigerator are two words of magnetic refrigerator poetry from the previous tenant:
This gives me an idea to start my own magnetic refrigerator poetry set by stealing one or two words each time I’m alone around someone else’s set.

December 6, 1999

“There are many people who say that we are doing is a lot of rubbish. But they can only say rubbish compared with something else; none of them has ventured to categorise it as rubbish per se!” — Joe Harriott

Friday, September 7, 2007

August 14, 2007

Submit the question to Marilyn vos Savant, and when she gets it wrong, make fun of her.

August 7, 2007

December 2004: Seth rents and watches Woodstock.

July 22, 2007

He says “Only an immense book can teach people why the stars have tongues.” (I composed this with the aid of my sister’s refrigerator poetry kit.)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

July 2, 2007

Why not just trim off the “oh bondage up yours!” part and replace it with “leave a message”?

April 26, 2007

white guy with dreadlocks tells woman working merch table, “I prefer vinyl”

July 10, 2007

I wonder what he smells like now?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

March 28, 2003

Surface: scratched.

August 22, 2007

“Wolf” is not an adjective, nor is “Hair”. They are nouns. In the context of the band names, they are attributive nouns, also known as noun adjuncts.

June 12, 2007

Attention Boston Herald, Jandek does not wear leather pants.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

May 17, 2007

Maybe the space/time continuum doesn’t like being wormholed through.

August 6, 1999

Boy, was I ever wrong.

February 10, 1998

They bake bread together and dry each other’s hair.

Monday, September 3, 2007

July 28, 2007

When a woman describes something as “no biggie”, I am charmed.

August 25, 2007

I am reading a book by Jon Ronson. Are you jealous?

August 7, 2007

Do you think is taken?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

September 1, 2007


July 24, 2007

The ultra-1960’s lyrics to “Something in the Air” by Thunderclap Newman (“hand out the arms and ammo, the revolution’s here”) were inappropriate for an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, but the barrelhouse piano solo was completely appropriate. Our server was so old she could barely carry our sundaes to our table.

April 21, 2007


Saturday, September 1, 2007

July 26, 2000

It’s a feel-good movie about nuclear war! I will drag you to this.

August 26, 1999

Josh: I hope you make it to Austin. I’ll take you to the big Stevie Ray Vaughan statue by the river downtown.
That’s it, I’m definitely coming.

February 3, 1998

Redness. Puffiness. Itchiness.

Friday, August 31, 2007

February 3, 1998

I went to a free showing of [the Chomsky documentary] in DeKalb. They were showing it on a TV in a Unitarian church. The six or seven other people there seemed puzzled someone they didn’t know showed up.

April 7, 1998

Thumping disco theme, followed by Bach for harpsichord, followed by ominous screeching atonal string music for an axe murder scene, followed seconds later by by tropical smooth jazz. Followed by what sounds a chorus of thirteen year old girls singing “La-la-la la, la-la-la la...”

April 12, 2003

Josh: I don’t have time to read between the lines.
That’s why my E-mails are one line long.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

April 5, 2003

I felt exactly the same way, except for the not-liking-it part.

(unknown date)

I made rice and fell asleep early.

August 8, 1994

Understatement of the month: “[Cage’s In a Landscape] actually predates the Eno/Budd collaborations.”

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

March 27, 2003

Instead of pronouns indicating gender, there are different pronouns to indicate whether the person is kept in a cage or not.

May 30, 2006

My Cage/Tudor Indeterminacy has CD rot. I’m excited; I’ve never owned a CD with CD rot before.

May 14, 2006

One was thin and grouchy, the other fat and silly and nice.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

March 27, 2003

Josh: I am working on a surprise for you.
Uh oh.

July 6, 2007

Four years after my landmark idea to poke fun at Ryoji Ikeda by calling him “Ryoji Cicada”, and now that all the fuss has died down, I have developed a second apt, funny thing to call Ryoji Ikeda:
Ryoji Ikea
Stay tuned in 2011 for more...

June 26, 2006

M— is right, drone and reductionism are fads, like platform shoes, not permanent, timeless possibilities of sound. Duh!

Monday, August 27, 2007

March 3, 2006

I’ve been attending the Boston Symphony every week. You can stand in line for eight dollar “rush” tickets. The last two weeks were all-Schoenberg programs. This week was Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony followed by Beethoven’s 9th. I made the mistake of not leaving after intermission. The first three movements of the Beethoven are OK, but then at the end a big chorus comes out and starts singing a bunch of stupid lies about how all mankind are brothers. Well I’m not all mankind’s fucking brother and they’re not mine. Mankind can fuck off! Mankind should pay me eight dollars to listen to such garbage...

March 26, 2005

Josh: She has been in no less than two of my dreams.
I notice you don’t put a ceiling on the actual number.

February 19, 1999

I haven’t put the orange juice away in the kitchen cabinet lately, but once I shook it to mix the pulp in, forgetting I had already taken the lid off.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

January 7, 1999

When both the radiators in my new apartment go full blast (the one in the bathroom going constantly, the one in the living room switching on and off frequently with a loud click), it sounds exactly like Fuck by the Hafler Trio.

April 28, 2003

The discography fairies sprinkled magic dust on me in my cradle.

February 3, 1998

Herr Flugzeugsgesellschaftkommandant Ronsen?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

February 8, 2000

There are little Japanese penguins all over my office.

August 6, 1999

I just came across this highly amusing E-mail I wrote you in 1995: [...]

September 9, 1999

It’s funnier if you say “salad” instead of “salads”.

Friday, August 24, 2007

August 11, 1997

I’ll let you know if an experimental music scene is visible from the interstate.

February 8, 2002

sentences I have overheard at Northwestern that began with the word “dude”:

2/8/02: “Dude, she speaks perfect Chinese!”

If I’d begun this list years ago, it could be really long by now.

November 18, 2001

I threw away an old mirror today. I propped it up by the dumpster so if anyone wanted it they could take it. As I was propping it up I saw myself reflected in it and for a moment I thought “No one’s going to want this, it has my reflection in it.”

Thursday, August 23, 2007

April 1, 2003

Josh: a search on google for my name brings up 730 entries. a search on google for your name brings up 685 entries.
A search for “Don Rickles” brings up 32,600.

April 11, 2006

Pitchfork: So, what’s up with Russell Haswell’s hair?

Autechre: Yeah, it’s growing, isn’t it?

Pitchfork: What the fuck? I was just in London at this Melvins show and I saw him and damn, he looks like Aragorn in Lord of the Rings or something. Totally cute. Is it a girlfriend thing?

Autechre: It is, yeah.

September 22, 2005

If you zoom in real close you can see the blood on my mouth from when I killed the animal with my teeth.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

May 16, 2006

I sort of want to know, but am unwilling to expend the necessary 5 seconds of effort.

October 26, 2005

In urgent breaking news today, Liz Phair is “all about podcasting... totally”.

June 12, 2005

Once upon a time, there was Dawn.

Then they introduced Ultra Dawn. It was a success. For a long time, there were Dawn and Ultra Dawn.

Now, Dawn has been renamed to Non-Ultra Dawn.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

April 8, 2003


April 10, 2003

In the comic book, you’ll have a big muscular arm growing out of your neck.

February 9, 1998

Is it some sort of small animal? Does it bite?

Monday, August 20, 2007

March 26, 2005

“We have some ontological problems and now I think a whole pile of shit is coming from the cosmos.” — Bela Tarr

April 2, 2004

Jennifer looks like you gave her a black eye, ripped her dress in half, and took her hairbrush away... then bought her a diamond bracelet to apologize.

March 19, 2004

Abba/Boulez question: why is “Voulez-Vous” pronounced voo-lay-voo, but “Boulez” is pronounced boo-lez?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

December 20, 2002

The friend of your enemy, is he not your enemy also?
Josh: Does that mean the enemy of my friend is also my friend?
Josh: What about my best friend’s girl, who used to be mine?

April 6, 2003

You have to go to Romania immediately.

April 29, 2003

Let’s swap. Were you serious about swapping?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

June 5, 2007

“Monism is pretty bad, but dualism... is just plain lousy.” — Ezra Pound

October 20, 2006

from my coworker Reuven’s blog: “The doctors were rather intrigued by my uvula, which they approvingly called ‘fleshy’, and called the nurses over to get a close look.”

June 2, 2004

Question: which is the better translation of Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island — Sydney Kravitz’s or Jordan Stump’s?

Friday, August 17, 2007

July 27, 2004

From Ira Gitler’s liner notes to Cookin’ by Miles Davis:

My nasal passages were completely sealed and I was gasping for breath. Along came Miles & Co. You may not know it but when you become stimulated and your adrenal glands go to work, it acts as a wonderful nasal decongestant. Well, after one set I was breathing freely. After two, I had forgotten that I ever had hay fever. That is the kind of excitement this group generated.

April 1, 2004

Josh: Google hits for “Josh Ronsen” = 907. Google hits for “Seth Tisue” = 910.
It’s personally disappointing to me that most web pages do not actually mention either of us.

September 4, 2003

I dreamed a widescreen epic last night. Sometimes I was in the movie — not participating, just present. Other times I was in my seat in the theater watching. It was about a mad general leading an army east through Russia towards a confrontation with a never-seen Asiatic, Genghis Khan-like figure. The film combined Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible, Doctor Zhivago (it had specifically early-sixties colors), Patton, and Kubrick’s unmade film about Napoleon. In fact, the general resembled a taller Kubrick, or perhaps Pavarotti. He was always shot from a low angle, and the camera followed as he stormed around being autocratic. There was a confusion in the dream about whether the general was the star of the film, or the famous director of the film, or both.

At one point, the general changed his mind about attacking the Asiatic general and decides to head back west for a while — only delaying the inevitable confrontation, not abandoning it. All the prostitutes are upset, because they’d just gotten finished making themselves up as Asian women, to be used as spies against the enemy, and now they had to undo their hair and wipe off all the Asian makeup and prepare to look some other way instead.

In one long scene the mad general mentally prepares to confront his enemy. His relationship with the enemy general was personal. Perhaps they were once close friends and allies, now become bitter enemies. Or perhaps they’ve never met but are just really into the nemesis thing, like Rommel to Patton in Patton, the only-he-is-truly-fit-to-be-my-enemy thing. The general storms around operatically, declaiming, and at the climax of his monologue he calls out his enemy’s name. It was Latin-sounding, something like “Arrhenius”. He declaims the name Arrhenius on an ascending scale, going up at least an octave, almost singing: “ARR-RHEN-I-USSSSSSS!!!” Suddenly, I realize everyone in the theater but me is shouting it in unison with him, and then everyone laughs. Obviously it’s a famous scene, not just to film buffs but in popular culture too, considered a great scene but also a little corny and overblown, so people laugh at it too, very much like when Stanley Kowalski shouts “STELLA!” in A Streetcar Named Desire. I’m puzzled, sitting in the theater, that I don’t know the line, and I’m also puzzled why it’s famous.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

August 5, 2005

Josh: I thought the Lilith Fair solved all those problems.
Liz Phair is creating them again as fast as Lilith Fair can solve them.

July 19, 2003

Are we dividing up the English language now? Dibs on “erumpent” and “suborn”.

August 14, 2005

From an interview with Todd Margasak. Todd is talking about playing in Fred Lonberg-Holm’s Lightbox Orchestra:

interviewer: How do you like these game pieces?

Todd: That wasn’t a game—that was real.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

September 4, 2002

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I sat on a rock
by the rusty fence
separating the woods
from the overgrown parking lot
behind the abandoned restaurant
on the highway
leaving the city
and read a comic book
and listened
to the gamelan musicians
of the royal family of Jakarta.

Later, I passed through
a child-sized hole
in the fence
and walked past the poison ivy
growing by the stagnant creek
and stood among the asphalt markings
and shattered machines
of the extraterrestrial signaling beacon.

March 29, 2003

Josh: He feels that music aligns itself with the thought plane but the waves can be shared on all living beings’ path toward the absolute.
No they can’t.

February 16, 2000

Hello baby! Hope your weekend was good, I spent mine with our model of the month, Alicia. We went to the TWO LIVE CREW SHOW! Jeez! Talk about booty shakin’. The place was packed with scantily clad, sweat soaked dancers. My nipples wouldn’t stay inside my tank top. I love all the feedback that I get from you, so remember to tell me what you think about Alicia or any of our other models. Kisses, Jasmine.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

September 16, 1996

Herma, Mikka, and Eonta will be well-adjusted, but little ST/4 will grow up hating her father.

October 21, 1997

Stanislaw Lem refers to “the state of things on earth today” as “obnoxious”. That made me laugh.

February 3, 1999

Most enjoyed moving-in chore: oiling hinges of squeaky doors.

Monday, August 13, 2007

April 15, 2003

My foot, a dark shape against the white tile of the bathroom floor as I urinate: so far away, yet part of me.

August 15, 1995

interviewer: From Bogota to Santiago, from Prague to Sofia, not to mention Berlin or Paris, your work gives people an impression of being in touch with the moment, with actuality. Do you share that feeling? Are you a philosopher of the present? Or at least one of those who think their time?

Derrida: Who knows?

October 18, 1996

Top three comments overheard while Gastr del Sol were playing:
1) “This is very thorough.”
2) guy #1: “Rachel’s.” guy #2, agreeing: “Rachel’s.”
3) “I’m telling you, I didn’t fuck her yet.”

Sunday, August 12, 2007

November 24, 1993

I think it has the word “crumb” in the title.

April 4, 2003

They had inside information on the development of the 11 European mega-ants, as documented by CNN.

October 21, 1998

Breakfast: toasted slices of Wonder Bread with an extremely thin layer of Grey Poupon.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

April 28, 2003

Josh Ronsen: tapes Derek Bailey for girls.

April 28, 2003

“Scartchy Squeekings” is a good name for a prostitute, cowboy, or attorney.

November 17, 1997

Will you let me steal stuff from the store you work at?

Friday, August 10, 2007

March 25, 2003

A large unpleasant insect is sitting on the score. Boulez has just told Ligeti to pick it up and eat it.

March 25, 2003

Josh: You can translate 100 pages of Ligeti interviews for me, right?
I can if there’s only one word on each page.

May 13, 2001

How about that new cropped short bleached blond hairdo on Joan Jett!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

January 3, 1996

“What is so ghastly about exposed intestines? Why, when we see the insides of a human being, do we have to cover our eyes in terror? Why are people so shocked at the sight of blood pouring out? Why are a man’s intestines ugly? Is it not exactly the same in quality as the beauty of youthful, glossy skin? ... Why does there seem to be something inhuman about regarding human beings like roses and refusing to make any distinction between the inside of their bodies and the outside? If only human beings could reverse their spirits and their bodies, could gracefully turn them inside out like rose petals and expose them to the spring breeze and to the sun...” — Yukio Mishima, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

May 12, 1996


A design committee includes a perceptive highbrow. Due to his criticisms, the proposed flag design is nixed.

April 23, 1996


A tale of three women.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

August 17, 1994

I forgot to shut the coffeemaker off. Indestructible charred coffee residue formed. After that nobody asked me to make coffee anymore.

March 15, 1995

Josh: I guess it takes all types.
This is one type “it” definitely does not “take”.

July 19, 1995

I think he’s more like a cross between Buster Keaton and William Henry Harrison.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

August 31, 1996


“Vast Loud Lust King” — sounds like a Soundgarden song. I don’t know Jay.

June 24, 1997

I walked four miles to the Empty Bottle but the jazz show had been replaced by some indie rock thing. For one of those four miles, I walked behind two punks holding snakes.

April 20, 2003

No music is “intelligent”.

Monday, August 6, 2007

June 25, 1994

“Three’s Company” is on and three of the five people on the screen are wearing shirts or sweaters with horizontal stripes.

June 3, 1994

I’ve been invited to play Trivial Pursuit and drink Mai Tais. Actually, I invited myself on the Mai Tais part.

December 9, 1994

This exchange in the new issue of Bananafish made me think of you:
Rocket Boy: Imagine a bee the size of a dog.
Bananafish: Oh, boy.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

November 11, 1994

In addition to, there is now I suggest alt.put.a.lampshade.on.the.sun.

July 26, 2000

I’ll take you to the Golden House for French toast. You can wear my fez and play my trombone.

August 24, 1999

The 1999 winners: Iannis Xenakis and Stevie Wonder.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

December 21, 1999

“The wall of pornography was actually a failed attempt to make new friends.” — Gerard Klauder

December 15, 1999

They brought me peach tea instead of the green tea I asked for. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are two dollars.

December 23, 2000

I dreamed I was at the White House. Bill Clinton told me the Leonard Peltier case had been weighing heavily on his mind.

Friday, August 3, 2007

April 19, 2000

The bruise I got from taking a girl-hurled beer bottle in the leg has only just now healed.

April 5, 1995

I ask you, I practically beg you, to access my web pages, and what do you do? You go and do it! <shakes head in disbelief>

April 4, 1995

Have the baby chickens been introduced to the 100 monkeys?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

May 15, 1995

Josh: They have both dated Winona Ryder.

January 4, 1995

What do you prepare your guitar with? Or do you just say to your guitar,“OK, guitar!” before you play it?

April 27, 1995

Josh: Oh no! Seth’s replies are getting shorter and shorter! Does this mean this thread is near its end?
Could be.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

August 26, 1999

November 20, 1999


November 17, 1999

Aristano, Lennie - Lee Konitz Meets the Upsetter LP (Celluloid)
Art Elvis - Coelacanth Floor Elevators - Action-Situations LP
Art Ensemble - Official Wafer Falling CD (For 4 Ears)
Ayler, Albert & Guhl, Andy - Knackmaster Everywhere/Budd CD (Drag City)
Ayler, Alice - Love It Up LP (MCA)
Ayler, Alvin - I am Sitting Swine CD (Eighth Day)
Bailey, Bo - Go Bo Diddley, Bo - His Grind! LP (Streamline)
Beatles - Skew-Whiff: A Tribute to Sounds CD (Drag City/Bad Vugum)
Braxton, Anthony & Bailey, Derek - Music by Phillips, Butterflies, and Hone Special LP (Emanent)
Braxton, Anthony & Lovens, Paul - Mouth Eating Circus - The Ice Masterpiece Colossus CD (OJC)
Cage, John - Big Gundowns and Military Waltzes CD (Factory on a Trip to the United Stars)
Cage, John - Forbidden Planet of the Apes CDx2 (RRR)
Coleman, Ornette - Attitude: The ROIR Sessions CD (ROIR)
Devo - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Nice LP (no label)
Doneda/Rogerigegege - Towards Thirsty CD (Island)
Ex, The - 68 Millions to His Father Yod CD
Feldman, Ornette - Science Fictims CD3 (Merge)
Giuffre, Jimmy - Walkin’ Tuff Dub Encounter CD (Virgin)
Haters - First Love CD (Hat Hut)
Haters - In Toronto 1969 LP (Capitol)
Howlin’ Wolff, Christian - Relaxin’ CD (Blue Note)
Merzbow - Noisemble of Chicago (Les idees fixes/Mute/Spoon)
Mirijanian, Ray - The Electric Spanking Tiger Mountain CD (Tzadik)
Music by Phill - Spasm Band Their Feet Froze to the Ground CD (ESP)
Nancarrow, Conlon - Studies for Prancing CD (SST)
O’Rourke, Jim - Solo: Live at Moers LP
Rypdal, Terje - What’s the Mothership Concerto For CD
Shellac - The Misty Music for Making Heads LP (Nessa)
Sonic Youth - Confusion is the Most Popular Finger 7″ (Drag City)
Spontaneous Music for Bondage CD (Distemper)
Sun Ra - Cosmic Tones for Frank O’Hara/Metallic K.O. LP (Bomp)
Tudor, David - Microphone Improvisations Sex CD (Gyroscope)
Young, Lamonte - New York is Sex/Kill CD (ESP)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

April 29, 2003

Josh: I actually had an enjoyable evening of social encounters last night.
How much were they?

April 29, 2003

On one side, Bigfoot on the side of a mountain, a tear rolling down his cheek, and a thought bubble over his head with a beautiful alien in it. On the other side, an alien at the control panel of a UFO, a tear rolling down his cheek, and a thought bubble over his head with Bigfoot.

May 13, 2003

Josh: Seth Tisue, a bureaucracy of one.
[refiling to +zRonsen for later response]

Monday, July 30, 2007

March 28, 1998

I bought a crowbar. It is big, heavy, and sharp.

December 13, 1995

I startled myself. I was in the bathroom drinking water when I remembered I should take a vitamin. So I set down the glass and got a vitamin out. I needed water to swallow the vitamin, so I reached for the glass... and then I jumped about a foot in the air because there was water in the glass and it was moving! The water was ALIVE!! I had forgotten I had just set the glass down still half full of water a moment before...

October 11, 1995

The eyes of the person I am talking to glaze over until they are staring at me like I stepped out of a flying saucer.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

March 12, 1996


Amid drunken revelry at a fraternity party, Rena, a female guest, is accidentally killed. The brothers bury her body in a swamp outside town to avoid discovery.

March 11, 1996


By rolling in mud, I can improve moral standards among youth on the streets of Chicago. (HOUR CHIN = urchin)

March 8, 1996


reminder, mistakenly directed at me, of money owed on ancient Israelite helmet that keeps out sand

Saturday, July 28, 2007

July 22, 1995

Why have Boulezmania
When you could have Ligeti mania
Why have Boulezmania
When you could have Lachenmann mania
Why have Boulezmania
When you could have Braxton mania

March 24, 1999

I bought a plaid suit, a broken lamp with the most outrageously tall lampshade I’ve ever seen, a wool bathrobe, an old photograph of a train in Alaska, a bright yellow metal kleenex box cover, a wastepaper basket, and a silk tie. They wouldn’t sell me the cardboard reproduction of the oil painting of the big-eyed little girl playing the ukelele because there was no price tag on it.

March 7, 1999

“As he disemflappled, the vidset of the ship said ‘pinnngggg.’” — Philip K. Dick, The Penultimate Truth

Friday, July 27, 2007

July 20, 1998

He looks like he got kicked out of ZZ Top for being too tall and skinny.

November 5, 1998

I was mightily impressed by his great suaveness and flinty reserve.

August 14, 1995

“Yes, had it not been for ‘the-shining-eyes-that-unhooked-the-child-too-soon-from-its-mother,’ we would still be stuck in a simian poetics of the reassuring maternal fur.” (Nicolas Abraham)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

March 25, 2003

Instead of securing permission, you could just apologize afterwards.

September 28, 1995

Maybe if A— could be collided at high speed with J—, they would both disappear in a burst of energy.

August 16, 1995

Least promising Usenet thread of the week: sci.philosophy.meta, “Goedel’s Theorem and the O.J. Simpson case”

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

November 19, 1995

Ran into J— the other night:
Seth: Hi.
J—: Hi. How are you?
Seth, with perhaps excessive enthusiasm: Great!
J—: Why, what were you, out smoking pot with Anthony Braxton or something?

May 21, 2003

I enjoyed it more than Undercover Brother, about the same amount as Dude, Where’s My Car?, but not as much as Armageddon.

June 6, 2004

Dinner: dried squid and a brownie.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

August 4, 2004

Liner notes: “This kut is generally performed for the god of smallpox. Holding a changgo drum, the female shaman sings a song in which she asks where Sonnim, the god of smallpox, comes from. The reply is that he comes from Kangnam province.”

June 18, 2004

You forgot to reset the odometer on my hair dryer.

January 31, 1995

Three hooded men will arrive at your doorstep shortly and sear the mystic brand on your backside.

Monday, July 23, 2007

April 13, 2003

Josh: I love saying “in fact”.
I’m more of a “as it so happens” man myself.

April 13, 2003

“I am having lunch with my mother, who is different from your mother. Unless, that is, you are my s-s-s-s-s-sister...”

February 11, 2002

I’m asking all my friends to call me “Furqan the Chechen”.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

January 31, 1995

He must be trying to tell us something by putting Brix Smith right next to Hulk Hogan.

August 27, 1994

The ferrets are terrified of my new “rain stick” from New Mexico. Before, the only thing that got them so riled up was the carpet sweeper.

September 19, 1995

Oh my god, his E-mail signature just doubled in size, like a gross, distended tumor...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

March 12, 1998

You should keep a helicopter fueled up and running on the roof of your building.

March 3, 1998

Tell him that you and Jennifer call “Early Minimalism: April 1965” “our song” and cry when it comes on the radio, but people at the reception will want to dance so he’ll have to play “Early Minimalism: February 1965” too...

February 26, 1998

I would like to know your thoughts on the subjects of gunpowder, the printing press, and Protestantism.

Friday, July 20, 2007

February 4, 1998

The new WNUR T-shirt design says “breek brarch breekeek” on it.

June 2, 2003

NY Times: “Shoelace [condors] are the worst, Ms. Osborn said. They stand on hiking trails or picnic areas and let tourists approach. When someone gets close, the condor lunges and rips off the person’s shoelaces. She theorizes that the laces resemble entrails.”

May 30, 2003

Is there a word for someone who says “thanks again” except they never thanked you the first time?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

February 4, 1998

Josh: What exactly do idiots eat?

June 10, 1995

I dreamed I rode on a school bus with Pharoah Sanders.

April 3, 2003

Josh: Did you read how if you teach one of those worms something, then grind it up and feed it to other worms, the other worms will acquire that knowledge?
I tried that with my students, but it didn’t work, and also I got into trouble with the dean.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

April 20, 2003

I dreamed I cried because people were mean to a giant octopus.

August 7, 1995

Up with rice pudding! Down with dry ice!

January 8, 1996

Aren’t they too busy making pornographic films and putting on sunscreen to beat up Americans?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

May 19, 1996

I dreamed I saw Zeni Geva at a club in Chicago. They were dressed like Mongolian warlords and sang while swinging back and forth on horse-shaped swings. B— started a riot. The club became a convenience store and there were cans and broken bottles everywhere. We fled from the police.

March 26, 1996


Kahn is the bear’s name. “Hard Troy ape” is an ancient Greek statue of a monkey, dug up by the bear while enlarging his cave. Naturally he hides it again.

April 7, 2006

“So that the joys of the saints in heaven should be complete, they are allowed the sight of the sufferings of the damned in hell.” — Thomas Aquinas

Monday, July 16, 2007

June 25, 1994

Did she smell of incense? Was there a strange green light in her eyes?

April 25, 1994

Why don’t you make a Biblical film, starring yourself? You could dress in burlap (shepherd), or grow a long beard (prophet).

January 17, 1994

I am quoting Cheech and Chong.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

August 4, 2005

In another seven years or so I’m going to use the phrase “even when enticed with a carrot” in one of my E-mails and see if you notice.

May 22, 2004

Why are nine cans of shaving powder funky?

July 19, 2003

I stole a poster for the Ligeti opera from the men’s room of a Vietnamese restaurant, but it got kind of crumpled in my suitcase on the way back. Nonetheless, I will send it to you.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

January 31, 2004

Josh: My Austin friends are all baffled by the Peanuts comic you sent concerning emotional bankruptcy.
How come no one asked me about it either time I visited?

January 31, 2004

Josh: Seth, I need your help. I have to give a short speech vilifying Luigi Russolo. These are my talking points [...]
It doesn’t seem like you need my help at all...?

July 3, 2006

I thought of Bern Porter today and wondered if Wikipedia had an article on him. It did. I read it and thought something like, “seems accurate”. I wondered who had written it, so I checked. It was me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

May 9, 1995

Least promising Usenet thread of the week:, “How do fans of Blur dress?”

December 23, 1994

If it works for David Yow on stage, it can work for you in the workplace!

December 13, 1994

Our Only Ornaments Are the Gymnastic Contraptions (The Castle, pg. 162)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

October 3, 1994

This weekend I bought a small cactus. I also tore a contact lens.

March 15, 2000

I will need a six inch stack of phone books and a half-deflated basketball.

February 3, 1994

Maybe you need to add more R’s to the name to make it more distinctive. Let’s say 30 or 40 R’s.

Monday, July 9, 2007

December 7, 2005

I dreamed I was lost on the northwest side of Chicago. I went around a corner and there was a car on fire — three foot flames shooting out of it. The car’s Mexican owner was frantically chopping at the back of the car with an ax. Somehow this would help? I yelled at him: GET AWAY FROM THE CAR! IT WILL EXPLODE AND KILL YOU! GET AWAY FROM THE CAR! Eventually he moved away. The flames grew to twenty feet. But then it started raining and the fire went out instantly. The Mexican guy immediately started trying to open the driver’s door so he could get in and drive off. I told him he shouldn’t do that, it’s still dangerous, the car is dead, it will never run again. He said, “How do you know? You haven’t tried putting it in reverse!”

May 26, 2003

The ancient Mayas were enslaved by giant sad kittens?

May 24, 2003

“I never eat meat as I think it is wrong to deprive animals of their life when they are so difficult to chew anyway.” — Leonora Carrington

Sunday, July 8, 2007

June 2, 2005

I just read a customer review of a Neil Young album on Amazon in which the word “outré” is used where clearly “oeuvre” was meant.

December 18, 2005

That quote would make more sense if Tony Iommi only had facial hair on one side of his chin.

May 18, 2006

It’s hard to get aliens to agree to anything that far in advance.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

October 20, 2006

According to the woman at the post office, I’m probably too young to be spiritual.

May 14, 2006

We come and go in disorganized shifts and he feeds us apple slices with peanut butter and honey. There are worse ways to spend a weekend.

May 16, 2006

I look like I went on a hayride with Dracula!

Friday, July 6, 2007

June 8, 2003

When Damo Suzuki listens to it, it is called “Mark E. Smith Is Me”.

November 22, 2005

How was the balance of power between the crabs and the rest of the animal kingdom restored?

May 21, 2003

From now on I am pretending that you live on a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri, hence the 3-4 year delay in your email replies.
You mean I orbit the Tangerine Dream album, Alpha Centauri?