Puppet Skin!!!

Today is the day!

 

Puppet Skin, the latest book from Danger Slater and Fungasm Press is now available in both print and Kindle formats.

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, you can click on https://www.amazon.com/Puppet-Skin-Danger-Slater/dp/1621052230/  and order that shit RIGHT MEOW!

YA Bizarro Horror Fiction is now officially a thing.

But please don’t let think that because Danger leaves out the sex and gratuitous violence so commonly found in Bizarro Fiction that he is pulling any punches.
http://culturedvultures.com/book-review-puppet-skin-danger-slater/

Written for children at heart of all ages, this book is about the pressures in life from society. The pressure to grow up and get a good job, to have 2.5 kids, a white picket fence, the latest Suburban Utility Vehicle, a solid 401k plan and a burial plot waiting. (This is apparently something that people do by the way. I remember my grandfather showing me the plot that was to be his and grandma’s with great pride on my last visit with him.)

Unsettling and thought provoking in all the right ways, Danger Slater continues to prove he is not only shameless, but also he is truly not a puppet. 

 

So please, support art and the freedom to create beautiful words and stories, while giving yourself a little treat at the same time and order one today. 

Much love, Lisa LeStrange and #teamdanger 

“AN ARTISTIC DECISION BASED ON FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS IS NOT AN ARTISTIC DECISION AT ALL” (ON FRANK ZAPPA, AND WHY HE MATTERS MOST)

I’d just like to urge everyone with a brain in their head and genuine spark in their soul to catch EAT THAT QUESTION: FRANK ZAPPA IN HIS OWN WORDS (in theaters now).

You want a rebel hero who made the art he wanted, every step of the way, in total fuck-you defiance of every corporate, political, religious, cultural, and aesthetic obstacle slammed in his path? You want a man so deeply in love with music, and all its possibilities, that he’s probably the only guy with a deeper archive of unreleased music than Prince (despite releasing over 60 ALBUMS in his 30-plus year professional career)? You want a dude who spent his whole life unafraid to tell you precisely what he thought, in the clearest possible terms, no matter how painful those truths might be, with razor wit, mind-boggling virtuosity, and a genuine desire to make the world a less docile, complacent, excellence-deprived and entirely stupid place?

Frank was that guy. And it was SUCH a pleasure to trace his path through this excellent film, which combines televised interviews with concert footage spanning his career and time on Earth. It was particularly exciting to see beautifully-shot footage of the original 1960s Mothers of Invention at play (shit I’ve never seen anywhere). Wonderful to track so many of his excellent bands (and symphony orchestras, toward the end) in chronological fashion.

But there’s something about watching him speak his mind, in interview after interview as the years fly by, that just grounds you and grounds you and grounds you again in the fact that this was an artist carving a life for himself that had no maps beyond the ones he was drawing on the fly. With one lifelong, unwavering battle plan. (He says, toward the end, that every piece of music he ever wrote was one long composition, sliced only by time and the necessity to release it in album-length slabs.)

It was really hard to watch how much the cancer aged him, in those final years. How hard it was for him to accept the fact that pain and weakness were snuffing his fire. But how resolute he was to do as much as he could, for as long as he lasted. Uncompromising, unstoppable, and unrepentant to the end.

He said that he honestly didn’t give a shit whether anyone remembered him or not. BUT I DO. And nothing makes me happier than seeing his blistering genius chronicled in such a concise, historic, and loving way.

Flat out: I would not be the artist or human being I am without Frank Zappa. I was maybe ten years old when FREAK OUT, his first album (and the first double-disk in rock history), invaded my ears. From the opening mockingly-primitive rock of “Hungry Freaks, Daddy” to the mind-bending avant-garde mania of “Help, I’m a Rock” and “Return of the Son of Monster Magnet”, I was jaw-dropped every speck of the way. Couldn’t believe how hard he was subverting the normal shit I was hearing, while introducing me to sonic soundscapes I was both totally unprepared for and utterly understood.

Because his message was: you live in a world that doesn’t want you to think. The more you think – the more deeply you examine what’s actually happening, with an open mind so open it threatens to shatter in the process – the more you’ll come to realize that UTTER BULLSHIT IS RUNNING THE WORLD. That people who don’t give a shit about you have decided you’re either a tool or a problem. If you’re a good tool, you will do what they say, for however much or little money they can get away with. And they will entertain you with whatever entertainments help keep you in line, AND YOU’LL BUY IT, as long as doing so keeps a roof over your head.

But if you’re not a good tool, then you’re a problem. Best ignored. And only crushed as needed.

Frank was an outsider freak who refused to be ignored. So outside that he mocked both the Establishment AND the hippie hordes, who he found equally clueless. He was an equal-opportunity impaler of bullshit, wherever he saw it. And somewhere between those 60-plus albums and a shit-ton of stunning live performances, he managed to both support his art and family and keep pushing forward, forward, forward. Never stopping till he died.

I fucking love that guy. Can’t believe how many people he helped along the way, both as band members who launched amazing careers and as simple fucking fans like myself. Who grew up going, “I wanna be like that, when I grow up.”

I could go on and on. About how much I wish he were still here, to comment on THIS century’s clusterfuck. About how I can’t believe I outlived him, both in years and lifespan. About every song and composition he left behind, most of which I can sing along with note-for-note and insanely-syncopated beat-for-beat. Because they’re so burned into my memory I remember them better than the last meal I just ate.

If we forget Frank Zappa, we’re forgetting a huge part of the secret history of the entire late 20th century. I refuse to die accepting that possibility.

There has never been a more Bizarro motherfucker, declaring all boundaries open, or leaving a harder mark on the hindbrain of creative evolution, pushing forward.

THANKS, FRANK!!! Every Fungasm from here to eternity has your ruthlessly joyful and cunning grin etched large upon it, whether they know it or not.

Ever since, all I ever wanted was to live and die like that.

Or, at least, get as close as I can.

— John Skipp

http://sonyclassics.com/eatthatquestion/

Deep Dish Bizarro

 

Happy Friday my beautiful freaks.

Do you remember when you were like seven or eight years old and you woke up and it was THE DAY OF YOUR BIRTHDAY!!! Or maybe if you were like me and your birthday was in November and it was cold outside and so that feeling I’m talking about is more that FIRST DAY OF SUMMER!!!

I woke up in a bed, (not on a train like yesterday) I’m in a beautiful flat in the city of Chicago and tonight there is a special bizarro party being thrown by the best hosts in the whole wide world, Sauda Namir and Michael Allen Rose.

It’s being called, “The summer party of the season, bizarro style! Performances and readings from The Slow Poisoner, Devora Gray, Danger Slater, Michael Allen Rose and more!”

It’s going to be weird.

Now, I know it kinda sounds like I’m bragging and let me assure you, I abso-fucking-lutely am. These are super fun people and I get to hang out with them tonight. But, so do you.

Tonight’s party will be live streamed from 8pm until midnight Central Standard Time at both:

https://plus.google.com/events/cotaaak852l7b1ikgreo5mchpl0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNVONGUkwCU

When we go live I will post the performance lineup and exact times to tune in so you don’t miss your favorites. But this feed will be live and uncut so if you’ve got the time, you might get to drunk chat with me later, or hear the amazingly titillating conversations of the literary types.

Now, you might end up watching an hour of some unidentifiable mans groin area as he drunkenly hits on one of the many beautiful ladies in the room, or you might see Danger get drunk and flash the camera (he’s mentioned that it might happen, so you’ve been warned) but you will also see readings, comedy, music, burlesque whatever other crazy shit we come up with.

Sadly, you WON’T being seeing Miss Laura Lee Bahr tonight. But she is doing some really amazing things with her book Haunt, including an audio version and she talks about a few of those things in her interview for Sense of Wonder.  http://sentidodelamaravilla.blogspot.com.es/2016/06/felix-garcia-interviews-laura-lee-bahr.html?m=1

So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, monkeys and robots, dogs…and cats who are cool, please join me tonight in celebrating the bizarre.

Cheers!

Lisa LeStrange #bizarrofiction #smallpress #chicago

A COMEDY TO THOSE THAT THINK, A TRAGEDY TO THOSE THAT FEEL

I frequently quote a long-dead guy named Horace Walpole (1717-1797): a British politician and writer (as Wikipedia tells us) best remembered for writing the first gothic horror novel on record, THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO.

I haven’t read that book since I was 14 years old, and it barely stuck then, so I can’t argue for or against its merits. But what I can say is that he once uttered one sentence that has stuck with me, the whole of my life, more than almost any other. To whit:

The world is a comedy to those that think; a tragedy to those that feel.”

If there’s one thing I feel almost constantly at the mercy of — every bit as much as the weather, my physical wellbeing, or rampant cultural insanity — it’s sadness. SO MUCH FUCKING SADNESS, accrued to almost every single aspect of living that, frankly, the sorrow is often overwhelming.

I get so sick of crying sometimes that I wish I didn’t feel at all.

As it turns out, though, that’s when THINKING KIND OF COMES IN HANDY. Its job is to attempt to make sense of all that shit you’re feeling. Following the phenomenological evidence trail. Parsing it through your actual brain. Honing in on the facts, through logic and reason. Then integrating that intelligence with your feeling self, with results potentially ranging anywhere from an evolved personal philosophy to a capacity for making or appreciating art. Not to mention gracefully interacting with all the other struggling lifeforms in this crazy dance with you.

THAT’S ALSO WHERE THE LAUGHS COME IN. And fuck if the laughs aren’t our saving grace. Sure, Nietzsche said that every time you laugh, an emotion dies. But the point is: GOOD! The second I start laughing, that overwhelming emotion loses its total control over me. I can think about it. Weigh it. And put it into perspective.

I am not suggesting that you laugh off your feelings, as if they don’t matter. Because they do. They only hurt because they’re true.

But laughing works because it takes everything you think and feel and reveals the absurdity behind it. The INCREDIBLE ABSURDITY. Insofar as I can tell, the only force of nature that runs as deep as emotion or intelligence.

In conclusion: we live in a beautiful, terrible, hilarious, heartbreaking, vicious, tender, brilliantly specific, numbingly pointless and ridiculous world of unlimited potential that will suck us dry any chance it gets, and empower us every chance we take.

So my advice is: THINK AND FEEL YOUR ASS OFF, AS HARD AS YOU CAN. The sorrow’s inevitable. But the laughs are fungasmic.

And balance is everything.

— John Skipp