Naming Names

The MTV job is a fascinating thing. As I've said, I'm concocting a character who's got feelings about his feelings. It is surreal and excellent. It's also curious, as I've always loved writing about music.

I've developed some stellar classifications for music, as well. Notable among these is Bearskin Rock, which pertains to that particularly grotseque "laid back" seventies style, and is the exclusive purview of people that will get it on ONLY ON ANIMAL HIDES. Think Poco. Think Kenny Logout. Eww.
Gerund Rock is the subgenre of music on which I'm currently perseverating. A de facto gossamer for the obnoxious alloy of engineered poignancy & privileged mock-substance, gerund-object nomenclature made its debut (as far as I can tell, and correct me if I'm wrong) with Throwing Muses in the 1980s. (Monikers based upon well-worn/familiar phrases [Living Colour, Talking Heads, and the execrable Moving Pictures] don't count, so don't even try it.)

In any case, there was something novel about it, as there tended to be whenever assumptions about language were challenged; curiously, the group's name would sometimes reflect a beholder's confusion surrounding such trifling redefinition, with the surreptitious insertion of an article (usually, the) by some-or-other fuddy-duddy preceding the actual name.

This was all fine, and not even really noticeable, until Counting Crows happened to us, like a pungent dribble of piss from on high, in 199? (they were all the same years, when you think about it). 

Then, it became, like, the thing, you know, to do. These two are uniquely unsettling:
Flogging Molly
Breaking Benjamin

There are heaps of others, and it's become accepted practice:
Smoking Popes
Framing Hanley
Saving Abel
Racing Kites
Asking Alexandria

I like changing the names of existing groups to fit this formula:
Mounting Goats
Marilyng Manson
Hooting Blowfish

And thinking of orginals: 
Remaining Anonymous
Bering Strait
Curling Iron
Carrying Items
Eating Disorders
Failing Auditions
Hurling Epithets
Lansing Michigan


corners of june

waiting for warmth in a
salad of springtime i’m
wilting and verdant at
once and at length a col-
lapse at the starting gate
artless and slave to fate
delicate durable
gathering strength

so a line breaks but everybody’s got a thing what’s yours my
underwear is in bunches in knots but was stolen by my trousers and
doesn’t even remember my name

nobody’s ready (reluctance or something) i
know how they feel but i’ve made it my lot that it’s
nothing when vacant embraces are currency—
simply a symptom of nothing of note

what’s the story now let’s get
apt what’s anybody’s story i don’t want
to hear any more stories unless you can tell me
straight up that they’re not about glamour or romance or god
damned hollywood or however much you like the
parking or the ambience at whichever (whatever) stripmall
houses your fav-o-rite store what color
are your shoes? what color is
your skin? what color
suits me best? i’m dying to know because
surely it can’t possibly
feel good
or be good
unless it looks good.

after june will come another june dressed as july and it will
try to fool us by presenting itself as a warmer being but i and
ideally you can and will see very clearly indeed through that se-
ductive swelter sun and haze and all of the other excuses for
not wearing clothes, to the heart, which is rotting, of things.

neighbors and bedfellows

larger than sentences, smaller than words is the
void into which i see slip my conclusions.

choices make choices themselves without asking, like
ornery children set kitchens ablaze.

think of decisions as ornaments hanging on
christmas-tree people like all of us all—

withering constant, we yield to the ages and
give them permission to speak what we were.

i’m on a plane that’s descending to earth and i
try not to speculate; what does that make me?

the clouds are arranged in precise little rows in the
manner of crops—did they sprout from the sea?

people are more than the sums of their mysteries.
ask me a question and answer yourself.

I don’t like boston or people in college;
I want to be stupider, stupider still.


  1. i see that smashing "fuckface" pumpkins did not make the list. That gladdens my heart.

  2. i forgot to add them, but realized that an exhaustive list would require lots of thought dedicated to an ugly and unrewarding trend.