Thursday, December 30, 2010

Words on The Flat Can Co. - A Band Making Cleveland A Better Place in Which To Drink Beer.



Ever see the symbol for infinity? Flat Can Co. has a sound that makes a listener think about the infinity symbol. The infinity symbol crumpled in the grotesque metal claws of a robot. Not one of the glossy robots in one of those fine late night sci-fi films. This robot is an unimaginable thing, dripping oil and unknowable fluids onto the floor of a shitty bar. Half human with bloody, pulsating entrails affixed to rusted metal. This robot-thing crumples up that infinity symbol and throws it into a trash can. The can is brimming with Xanax, vodka, Last Exit records, a tiny cardboard Flipper Tour Bus cut-out of their Gone Fishin’ LP, Greg Ginn’s damaged frontal lobe and beer...a lot of beer. The robot mixes up a brew that is ultimately anti-psychedelic. This is a sound grounded in the dirty stink of reality. A sound conjured from the empty belly of dying rust belt city. Flat Can Co. is free metal. Songs have no end. No beginning. There is only the infinite now in their music. Although, fucked and fried by a metallic beast-thing, Flat Can Co.’s roar can be felt in every empty storefront in downtown Cleveland. It is alive and it is grand. In a perfect world, Byron Coley and Thurston Moore would come up with more than a few funky adjectives to describe their sweet noise in their Cow Lips column in Arthur Magazine. But the world is not perfect. But Flat Can Co. nearly take a few moments out of your busy day of downloading, private press psych records and sip some fucked, never-ending reality for a change.

Bill Dick from an article in Shanked Fucktard Noise and BBQ Magazine

The Flat Can Co. On MySpace

Buy Flat Can Co. releases here.
Find Flat Can Co. gossip here.

Please take some time to poke around a bit when you visit.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Words On Tusco Terror - Ohio's (and maybe the world's) Only Good, Pure, Harsh Noise Band.



"Imagine for a moment growing up in a small town in Ohio where one in ten of the townspeople worship an ancient corpse of a tentacled humanoid thing with two sex organs. Try and wrap you head around the idea of a town with a vocational school where Coffin Making, and Meat Processing are the most popular fields of study. Could you keep yourself together in a town where once a year a warlock stumbles out of an umarked grave, wanders into every bar and restaurant in town and bores everyone with tales of how he partied with the late Bon Scott of AC/DC? Could you feel good about yourself in a place that holds a festival every summer (called "The Town of the First Day") where the young are taught how to make jewelry out of the eyeballs of catfish? Tusco Terror grew up in this town. Some say they make a sound like what one would hear if a radio is turned on after a nuclear explosion. All molted metal, with every wire fried, cockroaches eating cockroaches, sickness, and the gnashing of broken teeth. But really, Tusco Terror is making the sound of growing up in a small town in Ohio. A town where everything looks fine on the outside, but, when the skin is pulled off, there is only wrongness and a total TERROR."

Mark Tidrick – The Times Distorter Newspaper

Tusco Terror on MySpace

Tusco Terror is on somewhat of a hiatus due to one of the member's relocation out of state, but the individuals are still very active. One of the more mysterious members of the group is still heavy on the noise scene with his project, Dreaded. You can dig that and much more via his label HERE.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The House of the Devil (2009) ...Forward! Into the Past!

I am a jaded viewer of modern horror films.

I got my driver's license near the dawn of the big movies-on-video-tape boom (1985), so you better believe I spent more than a few nights traveling to the video store in my small hometown and loading up my arms with movies that spewed guts and bad vibes all over my bedroom floor. Long before I could get behind a wheel of a car and drive myself to the Bugtussell Animal Feed and Video Cassette Tape Rental Store for a long perusal of their vast horror film section, my father was sweet enough (I think he was totally unaware of what sort of hell he was going to have to sit through) to take a chum and I to see the first Friday the 13th film at the local drive-in! I remember being much more impressed with the delightfully odd film that played before it. The Redeemer: Son of Satan!

I recommend this film highly!

The trailer only focused the prospective popcorn muncher's (or quaalude taker's - this was the late 70s, after all) eyeballs on the typical elements of the slasher genre. BUT! Believe me, this was not your typical slice-up-the-young-people sort of thing. There is not one, but two clowns. There is a boy with a second thumb who rises from a river. Is the boy the minister? Is the minister the killer? What is the past and what is the present? And what is with the second thumb that appears and vanishes? What seems to be a run-of-the-mill revenge film turns out to be something much more colorful, weird and filled to the brim with images out of a horrible opium dream. It was not only deeply hilarious to me at the time, but also so odd, disturbing and original enough to my young orbs that it stuck and still sticks all gruesome-like in my craw to this very day.

I still pull it off the shelf every now and again to wow a pal who needs a bit 1970's cinematic, funkiness in their lives. It's now out on DVD for the whole world to gawk in disbelief.

All in all, I viewed a gut wagon full of horror films in the 80's. I am all slashed-out. I find no thrill in seeing young folks being mutilated in creative ways. Are CGI entrails really that much better than the goo Tom Savini fashions with his own hands? Is there a grander form of sexism being spewed by the modern horror flick? Will a film finally make me toss my cookies, shit in my pants and write my congress person? Is there something new out there lurking in the dark?

When I pop a new horror film into my DVD player I hope for something that will give that "The Redeemer: Son of Satan!" sort of thrill. For me, the last film that reached it's hand of the water and grabbed me by the throat was a little number by this young dude.

OK, the film is no magic mushroom murder party with a flame-throwing, grinning Howdy Doody-lookin’ doll like The Redeemer, but this grim shocker succeeds because it gets all moussed up and kicks it old school, as in 1980’s old-timey terror.

I’m not going to say anything about the plot, but I bet you might have seen bits of it before - way back when your jeans were stone-washed and your hair was feathered. Here are some words and phrases to wet your whistle: a nice babysitter trapped in a secluded house, the awful suspense of one, lonesome land-line, outbursts of horrid bloody violence, Satan, Mary Woronov, the malevolent puss of Tom Noonan...Does a little of this make you think back to a time when your older, brainy neighbor could program his Commodore 64 computer to play brittle electronic tunes and David Brenner was a guest host of the Tonight Show? THE best Thomas Dolby tune ("One of Our Submarines") is heard coming from one of the doomed women’s car radios. Now that is cool.

Then again, you might be the same age as the director. He was three years old when us Kids (now middle-aged, bald and filled with bitterness) in America first heard about the woman who blinded Mr. Dolby with science. The point (it’s about time, old man) is that this young director understands that in order to achieve some righteous moments of fright you must set your horror film in the 80’s.

I hope you don’t misunderstand me. I do not long for a return to the 1980’s.

The underground was awesome, but the pop junk that was on the surface was just as soft and flimsy as the pop poop that folks lap up nowadays. BUT. There were no cell-phones and no internet. You could not twit your thoughts on Tweeter. You could not let every damn one of your friends know in a matter of seconds what record spins upon your stereo. If you were out yonder where the cows wander and the phone in the home you are hanging dies and...the Thing that drools in the attic decides it wants to feast upon your soda-pop-sweetened entrails...well, then you are fucked good.
We were certainly spoon-fed pop culture back then via the boob tube, but it was much easier to unplug from the constant flow of information. Fear comes from being absolutely disconnected, cut-off and out of reach.

In a strange house.
With only one phone.

It is a simple recipe for endless terror. It’s certainly more fun than the my-cell-phone-battery-is-dead plot device. The rotary phone is an awesome prop for suspense. The taut tension in the spinning of the dial. Especially if the number had lots of zeroes.

Think about it.

When the phone, TV and radio were dead back in the 80’s, it was much easier for the Unknown things to crawl out of the silence.

There is a different sort of horror that comes from being too plugged in to the world. This is certainly The Age of Anxiety. See the film Bug for a bit of this idea.

Be sure to check out the interviews with the four other young directors (Adam Green , Paul Solet, Jim Mickle and Adam Wingard) over there at Twitch...the future of horror looks dark and that’s good.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It is That Time of Year - The Dead Walk

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Cleveland has low self-esteem.

It's the poorest city in the U.S.A and because of that fact there has been a grand exodus out of the city by anyone with half a brain and a bulging wallet...those of us with empty craniums and tiny change purses have remained to watch the decay from our windows...This week is a scary time to be in this city for it is the day that the dead arise from the-not-as-polluted-as-it-used-to-be Lake Erie and roam the streets feasting upon the flesh of the poor and disenfranchised. This year the dead will be going to the suburbs and dining at those new Life-Style Centers that have sprung up across the outskirts of this city like elegant turds in a golden litter box. In fact, the eats there are so good the dead will be digging their own graves smack dab in the grassy lawns of the wealthy and sleeping off their meals until this time next year. A spokesperson for the lumbering mass of corpses (made up mainly of sailors and steelworkers from the 1930's to late 1950's) has said, "Let's face it! There is nothing like sinking ones putrified choppers into someone wearing the latest in designer duds...It just tastes better than the usual chemical additives found in the inner-city stumble bum!!" So lucky for us inner city idiots, the dead are going to the suburbs this year to fill their gullets! Three cheers for Suburban development and the new found fickleness in the taste of the living dead!!

From Mo Watson's book, The Face Looking in the Window of the Bar. Published in 2003 by Please Remove Your Hat Lady, I Can't See the Movie Press

Strange Poker

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I played poker last night with my drug addicted neighbors.

They wept midway through the game. It is called a game, right? Poker.

I have no idea how to play Poker. They did not seem to mind at all.

After they wept, they fell asleep in their kitchen on hard, ugly chairs.

I drank their beer.

And went home.

From the pamphlet, I Live Next to Three Junkies, Two Whores and an Asshole, written by Abe Thillhobzinge. Photocopied at a Drug Mart somewhere in Cleveland, Ohio.

I Am a Cat Person.

I like Cats
They help one Relax.
Dogs are like children who never grow up
like obnoxious friends who
eat their own

From Mo Watson's book, Notes By Myself. Published in 1985 by Please Remove Your Hat Lady, I Can't See the Movie Press

Monday, December 20, 2010

More Found Poetry...

The Punchline of Every Joke

Arrived at Cleveland Hopkins Airport
We took the train back to our house
Hiss and rusted chug eastward out of mosaic tiled
First view of blubbering factory beyond a wall of
Cracked and broken train cars
Then Graffiti rioted
all color and overweight letters and
RIP SUGARBEAR HONEY written in golden marker probably
Not even magic
then a Ford plant barely lingers
after that
broken windows on every other house and warehouse
assumed all empty but it is hard to tell
tired bushes and trees
teenagers board
“I was like fuck that”
“Fuck that motherfucking fuckhead”
Then our stop.
25th Street.
We are happy to be home.

Scrawled on the walls of the Elevator inside the RTA Station on Lorain Ave. (Near the West Side Market) in Cleveland, Ohio.

Information You May Not Need to Know

It is nice to know that someone out there is cataloging this sort of thing.

Sleazy Androids and Hot, Wet Robots.


Excerpts from Mo Watson's Self-Published book, Notes By Myself


George considered himself
an immense success
he never
really did much
with his life so
he never ever had to wash the
taste of failure out of
his mouth


Charles made it a point to
scour the phonebooks
in hotels
located in grotesque small towns
in hopes that one day
he would find someone who shared
his last name


No amount of cleaning
ever solved the problem
Judy had with the flies
she would sit for hours
on her couch and watch them
circle aimlessly around
her apartment's ceiling


Karen's mother told her:
"You were named after your
father's first girlfriend, because
she was so much prettier than me"
When Karen told people this story
she expected them to find it


John was in a quandary
last night
his oldest chum told him
over a few beers
in a terrible bar that
for the past
fifteen years
he has been randomly
murdering drifters
Then he asked to borrow

From Mo Watson's book, Notes By Myself. Published in 1985 by Please Remove Your Hat Lady, I Can't See the Movie Press

Masters of Business Adminstration, Destroyers of Worlds, Eaters of Universes

One thing I'll say for labour; & that is, that it isn't as offensive as the
corresponding mutatory force which now threatens culture in America.
I refer to the force of *business* as a dominating motive in life, & a persistent absorber of the strongest creative energies of the American people.

-- H.P. Lovecraft, in a letter to Elizabeth Toldridge, June 10 1929

I Am What I Eat

Onion Rings

I am small-town carnival run by the mafia.
It's near closing time.
There is an elderly cardiologist in a port-a-john
fondling a homely carny.
There is an odd tension

Found written on a discarded Burger King French Fry Container at the corner of Superior and 9th in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.

Threnody to Bert Convy

The man was either hosting Password, guesting on Love Boat or appearing in stuff like this:

...his presence is woven into the tattered quilt that was my childhood...

Friday, December 17, 2010

I'll Have Mine with Malaise.

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The wife, kids and I were eating at a local diner last night and we were shocked to see that indeed one could order a side of malaise to go with any of the thrifty-priced dinner combos listed in the greasy (tear-stained?) menu. My wife grew up in Texas, so she quickly assumed that this was a midwest sort of thing. I agreed that it probably was the sort of condiment that one could only find in Rust-Belt cities. What with the unemployment, homelessness, crime and general grimacing that seems to be the only thing going down on the pot-holed streets of these decaying cities - you pour that junk on your cheap BLT and like it.

All in all, it was a new choice. It was not something we had seen recently on any other menu. We asked the kind manager about the menu item. She just stood there staring at us with huge, bulbous, freaky, nightmarish, blood-splotched eyes. It seemed like everyone else eating in the place received cell-phone calls - all at the same time. There we were staring into those creepy eyes while the rest of the place murmered into their phones. I could have sworn they were all talking about the malaise - about how weird it tasted - how odd it smelled.

My kids started to cry.

My wife and I ordered another beer.


This note was found under a table at The Nutty Hotdog Coffee House located on the outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Graffiti for the Terrible Times

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but an inane
status update on Facebook

Found on the wall in the Men's Bathroom located inside of The Awful Homunculus' Bar and Grill in downtown Cleveland, Ohio