(an opinion piece by Manny Theiner,
Western PA's most ruthless music promoter
[Aug 31st, 2007 @ 1:40 pm])

it's not a 'standard price' for cupcakes unless you are a foodie, a richie or a fatso. cupcakes are 75 cents at Giant Eagle and still around a dollar at Simple Treat (and that's even with the kosher ripoff included). i'm sure they are the same at the bakeries in Bloomfield. And then for a dumbass profile on On Q to actually quote someone who LIVES in Sq Hill saying something to effect of 'before Dozen, there was no place to get a cupcake' when obviously both Giant Eagle and the bakery have been there since the dawn of time, serving perfectly edible cupcakes (I remember all the way back to when it was Silberberg's) is asinine.

and anyway alberto's right in a way, it's not about who the hell EATS a cupcake - we all do - it's about who the hell BUYS a cupcake, ever? i have news for you: cupcakes are just small cakes, period. you eat enough free cake running into people's random parties/celebrations. you don't buy them - the person holding the celebration, whatever it is, buys them in boxes, and then you eat one or two. i mean, i've had baked sweets 4 times in the past month, at two birthday parties, and two bar mitzvahs. cake is not a fucking food staple, it's a treat. why would you consciously go out and buy a single cupcake on a regular basis for yourself unless you had some kind of serious food=love problem or Marie Antoinette complex? this exploitative market seems to take advantage of the kind of blubbery depressives you see on talk shows. and that's garbage.

Grace Ella Hammond


.. just another Nu.Year’s Dream - set in th’ hundred acre wood - where a compound is set up under the non.rule, un-ownership of the former Helen Castros. either she or I was late to the appointment and - as it turned out - she had to leave early for another situation at a remote location (perhaps something in the City). following a rushed tea, she handed me a worn an’ damaged paperback - probably an edition of the Sawāneḥ - but I handed it back on account I didn’t wish to become the final cause of its disintegration :

“suit yourself.”
“it has - you must admit - seen better days / but this has been .. instructive session. I’ll repay you somehow, certainly.”
“you shouldn’t, you know.”
“shouldn’t I at least try to fulfill my Obligations?”
“No. .. for you it is an occasion for profligacy, for thumb-twiddling. for you it is to-no-purpose.”

.. and by that point she’d changed into a dress colored beige, bone, and pearl - taken in on account it was a relic from High School days - and passed thoo doors and down roads.
Grace Ella Hammond
holy smoak


Pepe Escobar notes as early as 2012 that the chief reason behind the destabilization of Syria was to cockblock a proposed gas pipeline that would run from Iran through Iraq and Syria. and mobile bands of Salafist mercenaries, fresh from *destroying Libya* appeared on the scene. and although the initial state actors were Turkey and Qatar (who had an *alternate* petrol route in mind ..), other interests swooped in, notably the str8 outta central casting “Islamic State” .. which - surprise - set up shop along the proposed pipeline route : Eastern Syria and Northern Iraq. and because they were nasty jihadis of the Salafist/Wahhabi/Takfiri sort, they drew the attention of Shi’a militias - some sponsored by Iran - who defeated them in the field. was this Iran’s unpardonable crime? it is MYSTERY ..
Grace Ella Hammond

Jennifer Robin's Parade

Earthquakes in Candyland, 2019

America (She Can't Say No)
Jennifer's earlier collection - Death Confetti - was largely Portland Buscapades. this one, though, starts onna train (shades of Syracuse, of ALBANY ..), hangs among ghosts (of Confederates, of Junkies) in New Orleans, Portland's crosstown tent cities, sums up our, um, "Late Industrial Moment" ..

is death hereditary?
(they fired a kid from the operation when a bottle of Jim Beam tumbled out his pant leg. on his way out the door he said, "FINE, now i have time to see the new Star Wars !" .. it's cool though, 'cause we had Kowalski's out the ass, all keen to fill in. hell, you couldn't toss a stone withOut hitting a Kowalski .. including young MooseMonster Kowalski, who i've listened to in conversation with April :

"i feel as.if i can tell you anything. it's like you're my own personal Oprah."
"ohmygod, i feel like you're my Oprah !"
Grace Ella Hammond
.. but PEAK is officially over : maybe come January i'll have time to revisit South County Library, rummage thoo old papers on microfilm : Oct 25 '80 to Feb/March 81 should do nicely)
holy smoak


.. i wasn’t reminded each day by way of the e-lectronic sign off 581 .. or on Oct. 1st by WUVT’s Amy Splitt. and the fact that I saw John Prine twice long ago is all the more reason I shoulda been on the case this time. in any case I *suspect* that would’ve been the place to be yesterday evening / whole other timeline unfolding (but thanks to WROE for their afternoon Prineathon, hey ..)
Grace Ella Hammond

*screen door* EDIT (w/ yr host Dr. Memree)
.. hit was the Late 80s with Arlo Guthrie - who stalked the stage carrying a harpoon / he and Prine were switching off the opening slot throughout the tour, which is gracious as fuck on both men’s part if you ask me / and THEN the mid-90s with Victoria Williams (who was joined on stage by a big ol’ sleepy hound). this Prine appearance was remarkable for both a low-key solo set and then a set of sometimes newer songs with full-blown band, hey !
holy smoak


.. Geo. Fox, cobbler, built a suit of Spawniss rubber to contest the worship of Mammon & *clothes vanity*.

and escaping from what he calls "Vanity's Workhouse and Ragfair," where doubtless some of them are toiled and whipped and hoodwinked sufficiently, - will sheathe themselves in close-fitting cases of Leather?

Would not the rich man purchase a waterproof suit of Russia Leather; and the highborn Belle step forth in red or azure morocco, lined with shamoy: the black cowhide being left to the Drudges and Gibeonites of the world; and so all the old Distinctions re-established?





y'all probably remember Andrew Hickey for An Incomprehensible Condition: An Unauthorised Guide to Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers, but i first encountered him at an .. online Brian Wilson study group 19, 20 years ago (Susan Lang was also there, who introduced me to The Magic Garden [1967], Jimmy Webb's answer to Pet Sounds ..). in any case, this is a *spectacular* book, arranged mainly by singles, both AM mainstays and the uncommon/obscure/barely released. California Dreaming stands head an' antlers above, say, Michael Walker's Laurel Canyon book for its inclusion of Judee Sill alone / but of course it's a different animal : rather than circulate old gossip, Hickey takes the reader inside the studio and zeros in on some strange AF confluences : David "Goodbye Girl" Gates an' the Magic Band, Arthur Lee's LOVE and FZ, and so.on and so forth.

"Eight Miles High"
Crosby helped Clark finish off the song and suggested they go for a sound somewhere between Ravi Shankar and John Coltrane, and McGuinn responded by coming up with a guitar part that was essentially the main musical motif from Coltrane's "India" played on his twelve-string, with a few high, vauguely sitar-y notes thrown in.

anyway, here's a SAMPLE of the range of material the book is organized around, hey :

(we will ahve a "part two" probably !0


"Yes, avast! -- here is the SS Pill Dombrowski. This boat should never have been allowed upon the Chiculture waters. If you can even call it a boat - it looks like a boat, but this boat lies so constantly that perhaps it is really some kind of hippopotamus in a thin coat of boat skin. What noise does a hippopotamus make? Uh, hm, maybe it's actually a disguised sea lion," said Sybil. "ARRRR! ARRRRR! ARRRRRRR! I'm a boat! I'm a boat! Sybil, you're so stupid I know you'll believe me! I am so totally not a sea lion!" The SS Pill slopped about, splashing Sybil's thighs as it attacked the other superior, yet helpless vessels .. (Girl Detectives, Ann Sterzinger)


MONEY'S NOTHING (Lisa Carver, 2014)

we'll get to it inna moment, but - meanwhile - 20 minutes of Previews .. and

* "We read your article, Lisa. There are a lot of victims involved. We need you to not tell your boyfriend about us approaching you like this. We are aware of several exit strategies he has in place." I tried to remember what I'd written. Did I use the term "exit strategies"? Mirroring phrasing is a tactic used by salesmen and interrogators to make what they're saying register as believable. Then I remembered a comedic porn piece I'd written years earlier where two IRS agents and I had to have sex for some reason. These two looked exactly like the ones I described. The Ice-Man and The Nerd. Had their boss somehow found that old, dumb fantasy and dressed them up to fit the bill to .. what? Unsettle me sexually into blurting out everything I knew? This was so weird. *

* This week, I got fired by a sex magazine for describing what pee tastes like. The editor found that not "relatable" enough to preserve their "delicate relationship with the advertisers." What? People who buy cars and coats don't want to know what pee tastes like? That's ridiculous! Everyone wants to know! That's what they read for! *

.. which gives you no sense what the book is "like." y'all recall how i used to wiseacre that my favorite (fiction) writers were Patricia Highsmith and Wyndham Lewis? all the while i was reading - gosh - Carson McCullers. likewise, while non.fictionally tawking up The Psychic Soviet an' Eros and Magic in the Renaissance, Lisa "voice of my generation" Carver is nearer to where my heart is / and unlike D.H. Lawrence, SHE IS NO CLASS TRAITOR !

(c o m i n g s o o n : Ann Sterzinger's Girl Detectives, hey !)