Investigating the Nashville Noise Axis
of Taiwan Deth, Tan as Fuck, New Faggot Cunts,
and Vegan Brand: An Interview with Angela Messina

By
J. Fortunato Perez

Several months back, Wayne ďTwisted VillageĒ Rogers posted to the Hanson board praising the axe work of one Angela Messina who plays (and has played) in Taiwan Deth, Tan as Fuck, New Faggot Cunts and her solo project Vegan Brand. [i] Within minutes of reading Rogersí e-words, I surfed over to www.tanasfuck.com, signed-on to my PayPal account, and made an invaluable e-purchase of several wicked-sweet Taiwan Deth CD-Rís. You see, when a true fret-wizard like Rogers speaks-up about another guitar player then I am sure as shit going to check him/her out. (However Rogers, I will still take the Doors over Day Blindness. [ii] )

I too have become totally taken with the many groups Angela Messina currently plays in (and has played in throughout her incredibly productive life). But, more importantly, I quickly learned, after a little research into her music and visual art, that Angela and her partner, band mate, best friend, and artistic collaborator, Derek Schartung, are involved in their own unique project of radically (re)shaping the world outside their minds in the image of the world living inside their minds. What I mean by this statement is that Angela and Derek are so much more than busy and productive musician, multi-media artist-types. All the mind-bogglingly diverse artwork that they create feels as if it fits perfectly together (like a puzzle) into a single, unified world-reality. There is an organically nurtured one-ness about all their disparate drawings, crafts, music, CD-R cover art, pillows, gallery exhibitions, animation, etc. Like the now defunct Forcefield collective and the Bobbi Clothes/USAISAMONSTER/Elvish Presley tribe of freaks, Angela and Derek view the (re)shaping of reality as a predominantly imaginative enterprise. And since I am a fanatic for any artist or collection of artists capable of magickally superimposing their imaginary realms upon the objective, material world then I just had to interview this Angela Messina and find out what the hell has been going on in Nashville over the past several years. I hope you enjoy it.

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J. Fortunato Perez: I own a short stack of Tan as Fuck and Taiwan Deth CD-Rís, but I know very little about either group, and I know next-to-nothing about New Faggot Cunts, Vegan Brand and your art activities in Nashville. Please supply me with the lowdown about all these activities so I may become just a little less ignorant in this life.

Angela Messina: The first on the list is the New Faggot Cunts. They started up soon after Derek Schartung and I moved to Nashville in late 1998 and met up with Chris Davis. Chris had been playing in bands like the Cherry Blossoms, the Scallions, Frothy Shakes (whose sole LP is the infamous Killed By Death #11), the Tiny Corkscrews, and drumming for Dave Cloud. So, we started hanging out and jamming with the line-up as Chris on drums and some vocals, Derek on guitar and keyboard, and me on guitar, some vocals and some bass. We did this for a couple of years or more with Matt St. Germaine (of Freedom From Records) as a sometimes guitar-playing road member. We did several small tours with bands such as Reynols and No Doctors, and we played more than a few shows with Wolf Eyes, Death Beam, Hair Police, Pengo, and Newton. Our shit was heavy, loud, droning-psych chaos with most shows breaking down after everyone began spazzing-out. Equipment was tossed and chords were pulled-out, creating a mess. Chris would stack his drum kit up, climb up on Ďem and dive headfirst onto the floor. It was just a pile of guitars, pedals and people. After a while, Chris began focusing more on the Cherry Blossoms, and I think he and I were pissed at each other (at the time) for something that I canít even recall. We can both be very sensitive folks. Itís okay. Weíre making sounds together these days, and everyone is behaving. Anyway, Derek and I went back to doing the duo project, which at that time was called Sweet, Small Children.

Okay. So, I should back up a bit; I forget things, and when getting it all down, it all starts to blur and the chronology gets tossed aside. Before moving to Nashville and playing with Chris, Derek and I lived in Memphis, playing together under several monikers since 1994. The longest lived being Cornfed, a three-piece bratty garage-influenced, Fall-influenced, and too-influenced band that managed to hammer-out several 7-inches and a full-length CD on Shangri-La Records. That shit fell through when the drummer quit, and our mostly girl band became a mostly boy band, and the shtick was no more. This was fine for Derek and me; we never had a lot of heart for the music we were making. It was all a little too straight for both of us. No love lost -- we just started doing a lot of duo recordings at home and very little playing out. Eventually, Memphis got old and stale, and we both needed to get away from its terrible clutches. That town has a way of sucking you in and sucking you dry. Itís cheap, easy and lawless, and that has its momentary appeals. But after a while, you get sick of all your shit getting ripped-off and seeing the depravity of the drug-addled all around you. Itís too easy to do nothing. A fun town to visit, but I wouldnít recommend sticking around for too long; it will seize you.

During and after the New Faggot Cunts, Derek and I had continued on doing all these unnamed duo recordings and occasionally bringing it out live under Sweet, Small Children. It was both improvised and prepared. I should also mention that we each have solo projects. Derek originally began as Taiwan Deth, named after an SK-1 he tweaked-out. His solo stuff is loud, beat-centric, very damaged electronic music, and sampling. He is the brains behind the robot shit you hear in Taiwan Deth and Tan as Fuck. The Vegan Brand is my solo stuff, which ranges from super-duper pop to ambient guitar-scapes to twenty-minute psych-jams. The name is just something that makes me giggle like vegan-brand meat products, vegan-brand Vienna sausages and vegan-brand tenderloin -- silly stuff.

In the summer of 2002, Derek and I met up with Josh Elrod (of Phase Selector Sound) and began jamming and recording almost constantly that summer. This was and is the current Tan as Fuck. In the fall of that year, we started getting out on the road -- touring as much as possible for the next year and half. During this time, we released several CD-R's including Skully, UVA/UVB, and Heavier than Excitement. Then the Audiobot label (out of Belgium) released (SARS)chasm, and the U-Sound label (here in the States) put us out in the form of U Sound Archive #17. Josh then moved to New York in 2003, and we started working as a tour-only project as we still do today. Oh yeah, the line-up is Josh on vocals, samplers, and drums; Derek on vocals, keyboards, and sax; and me on vocals, guitar, and flute.

After Joshís move to New York, Derek and I returned to our duo project, and this time we just adopted his Taiwan Deth solo name. So, then more recording and playing-out as the two of us, which is just easier. Derek and I have been playing together improvised and planned for more than 10 years. We kind of know where each other is heading. It is our favorite musical endeavor to date.

Now this is a totally glossed-over and lightly detailed account of musical things here in Nashville. Iím leaving off a dozen other projects Derek and I have been involved with together and separately. This glib overview is merely a portal into a much larger thing, one that involves art, performance, as well as, music. This is really a skeleton -- a small portion of my musical family tree.

JFP: Damn, you are thorough. Itís a funny thing that you should mention Shangri-La Records. I had a really intense Grifters and Oblivians phase sometime back in college. I will guarantee that I once saw the name Cornfed in a Shangri-La advertisement or catalog and told myself that I had to buy it because you were on the label. Also, you mentioned the fucking Frothy Shakes. I love Killed by Death #11. Did they ever play out?

AM: The Grifters and Oblivians were our neighbors, roommates, and band mates at times. They are all good folks. The Frothy Shakes only played out in Nashville, and that was before my time. But, I have heard some live tapes, and they are amazing.

JFP: Sometimes you use the group name Tan as Fuck is Taiwan Deth. Why?

AM: The name was sort of a fail-safe for our last tour. At the time that we were setting up the shows, Josh wasnít sure which ones he could make. So either way, we had our bases covered with the name. Tan as Fuck is still around, but geography makes it difficult for regularity. It is fun when it happens.

JFP: What unique qualities does Josh bring to Tan as Fuck that make it a different project from Taiwan Deth? To my ears, Tan as Fuck definitely feels a bit heavier and moreÖhow should I sayÖvibed-out? Maybe these qualities can be attributed to Joshís interest in dub?

AM: Yeah, Iíd say he definitely brings out the dub with a playful approach. His sampling is very near his DJ work -- emphasis on mood and making the beats flow.

JFP: What, if anything, does the name Taiwan Deth mean?

AM: Derek came up with that name. Itís poking fun at the Asian co-option of American words that are awkwardly strung together and emblazoned on t-shirts. You know -- like ďhappy freshĒ and ďsuper radĒ. Sometimes they are misspelled and almost make sense. Also, part of our sound is derived from Taiwanese export electronics, which are ultimately disemboweled and given a Tetsuo rebirth.

JFP: As in the movie Tetsuo?

AM: Yeah, exactly.

JFP: Since I have yet to see Taiwan Deth live then please describe your live set-up. By the way, I was quite bummed when I found out that you were not making it out to the Bay Area.

AM: The live instrumentation involves Derek on keyboards (homemade, souped-up, and other wise). Heís got this amazing giant midi-controller for his MiniKorg. He made it over a couple of months a year ago after he smashed his heel to bits and was in bed for a while. The thing is insane. He also does vocals through it, as well as, playing percussion and sax. As for me, Iím playing guitar, flute, and doing vocals. We trade on-n-off on the drums, and our set up is easy because Derek is right-handed and Iím left-handed. We can put drums in between us, and the rest of our shit is on either side. The shows vary in content from being one long piece that is planned only in terms of mood or specific instrumentation with every other aspect improvised. Then there are shows with separate, specific elements -- songs I guess -- with structured grooves and beats.

Oh, and we plan to make up the West Coast dates in late-spring/early-summer. We got walloped with badness including multiple van problems, and Derek developed a staph infection that became deadly serious with several days of 104į fevers. It required a series of nasty shots, many days at the doctorís office, and a couple of weekís worth of heavy antibiotics. Barring any other major medical traumas or auto disasters, we should be making up the dates in the new year.

JFP: Do you know if Derek hallucinated while in his feverish state? I suffered from awfully high fevers when I was a little shaver. Once I hallucinated that Congress was actually in session in my bedroom, and I had to give a speech in front of everyone including Tip OíNeill. My mom quickly hurried into my room asking me what the hell I was yelling about.

AM: Damn, thatís nuts. I donít think he did. But, back when he crushed his heel, he was whacked-out for a while, post-surgery, on heavy pills. He would have these crazy hallucinations where he thought friends had come to visit who had not. Then he would blank-out entirely when folks really would stop by, convinced that others and I were messing with him somehow.

JFP: On T.D.'s self-titled CD-R (VR007), the rhythms that maniacally hop up-n-down, up-n-down like malfunctioning robots remind me, quite obliquely, of Faustís sense of rhythm especially how both Faust and your group are seemingly capable of turning any repetitive pattern of sound into a kick-ass mutant groove. In fact, some of your more ambient parts remind me of Faust, too. Are you and Derek fans of their music?

AM: Weíre both into Faust, probably me more than he. I love how their records have this purposeful journey vibe about them. It just keeps unfolding and changing, and itís all valid and all good. They are kings of segue, like on Faust IV -- how it goes from this looping hippy-jam into some poppy almost Trio-sounding piece, which is interrupted by what sounds like water-robots percolating and morphing into something new and different. You travel through their stuff; you have to hear it all together. That is what we try to do -- using musical change to transform the atmosphere. It becomes more than just about a song, though it may have stand-alone value, it is the whole of a record or disc or whatever that truly gives it legs. We try to create environments for your brain to see -- journeys through sound.

JFP: Speaking of Trio (whom I learned to love via the Obliviansí cover of ďSunday you Need LoveĒ), have you ever listened to many of the bands from the Neue Deutsche Welle like S.Y.P.H., Abwarts, Die Krupps, Palais Schaumberg and the Zickzack label?

AM: Down with all that. Greg Oblivian actually got me into Trio and all that good German stuff. He was our roommate for a time in Memphis. When he couldnít quite make the rent heíd hand over some records including a lot of the Zickzack stuff.

JFP: I know you touched on this earlier, but how much of T.D.ís music is improvised and how much of it is planned or worked out? Sometimes I get the feeling that you guys are just releasing these wild loops of Atari-like sounds and worrying about how to shape them into rhythms after they have been let out of their cages.

AM: Itís about 50/50. Sometimes parts of the songs are very planned and specific, with very purposeful arrangements; the first track on the Angel BabiesÖForever! CD-R was all planned out. Then there are pieces that are purely improvised with no forethought or observing of the time elapsed, like the whole of the Blue Pesher recording we did a few months back with a friend, Rob Smith. The entire disc was unplanned right down to the real bird sounds that chirp through the musical silences. Then everything else we do falls somewhere in between.

JFP: The quality of T.D.ís music that I just might enjoy the most is your ability to create these meditative vibrations from some pretty playful yet minimal beats and snippets of sound. Do you ever listen to any of the minimal techno released on the German label Kompakt? I see some very odd but definite parallels between the respective rhythmic ideas of Kompakt and T.D.

AM: I have heard of the label but donít own anything. I think the influences for us range pretty widely including Cabaret Voltaire, Skip James, International Harvester and all associated groups, a lot of Southern-based roots music. I grew up around the real-deal pickiní-n-grinniní shit; itís unshakable and certainly one of my approaches to Taiwan Deth. Both of us are huge fans of the Sun City Girls, Bob Thompson, Blue Humans, Throbbing Gristle, Tower Recordings, Jim OíRourke, Henry Flynt, Joe Meek. The list of usual suspects goes on and on and on.

JFP: Switching to visual art -- I assume you sew on a regular basis. What else do you make besides pillows? Do you make your own clothing? Do you make stage props? Does Derek sew and draw, too?

AM: I sew daily, constantly; itís my job. I work for a nutty interior designer making window treatments, slip covers, pillows, duvet covers, and all that shit. Besides that stuff, I make purses, clothes, whatever. For the last tour I made this huge 20íx5í banner covered in machine-sewn drawings and patches. Iím a bit obsessed with fabric; my collection is extensive.

Derek draws with a fervor. Itís very comic-like and certainly humor-based. He has this amazing ability to get across vast loads of information using only a few lines. He is also a book and printmaker. Heís working on a book show right now -- a group show at the main branch of the public library here in town for February of this year.

JFP: How did you learn to sew and do you primarily hand- or machine-sew?

AM: My grandmother taught me most everything. On Saturdays and sick days starting from about the age of 5, I was a faithful attendee of my grandmotherís quilting bees where they always let me work on my own little quilts. Occasionally, I would get in a few stitches on the big one they were currently gathered around. Living in the South gave me exposure to all these arcane and beautiful rituals like sewing, storytelling, berry picking, hill climbs, and music everywhere.

These days, I mostly machine-sew; it has been where itís at for me over the past 3 or 4 years. I just love drawing on the damn thing. Many of my ink drawings reflect that; its useful and the results are instant.

JFP: I often wish that every square-inch of my apartment would be buried in wildly colorful pillows, small and large. I have often daydreamed of sleeping inside mountains of soft pillows. I never relinquished my childhood desire to live inside a sprawling pillow fort. In fact, pillows are the most comfortable objects that modern man has ever created. What is more comfortable than a body-sized feather pillow?

AM: Pillows are the ultimate comfort, and they are a functional, utilitarian art. I am a huge observer of craft as Art (big A) movement. My formal training was in fiber arts -- weaving and surface design. Iím madly obsessed and passionate about craft. With a pillow, itís a gift to anyone. You can use and appreciate it for its function, and you can enjoy it for its color, textures, and patterns and shapes, making it a complete piece of aesthetics and utility (the duality of form and function) without question as to which is more important.

JFP: William Morris once said, ďHave nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.Ē I am a huge fan of the Arts and Crafts movement. I grew up in Syracuse, New York, where the movement was quite popular and my mom got me into its philosophy and artwork. It was simultaneously ancient and futuristic. It looked to antiquity but also foresaw the long-term consequences of modern society better than most socialist theorists.

AM: Amen.

JFP: What is the worse sewing accident that you have ever had? Was blood drawn? I am telling you. Stay away from boozing and sewing. I learned the hard way.

AM: I canít say that I have had any sewing-related tragedies. Most of my bruises, broken bones and bloodshed have occurred during normal activity.

JFP: I Ė knock on wood Ė have never broken a bone, but I did receive several stitches from a horrible wiffle ball accident back in third grade. Have you ever injured yourself while performing live?

AM: Yes, a few times, the worst was in Memphis with Cornfed. The drummer had a nasty temper at times and would throw these big fits on stage, tossing her drums everywhere. One show, she shoved her entire set over, and it came crashing down on me. The ride cymbal went, long ways, into my face, breaking my nose (which wasnít the first time for that) and knocking me out cold, blood everywhere. I always squirm at recounting this, and unfortunately I have a scar to remind me of someone elseís anger.

JFP: A friend of mine, Hanna ďLittle CakesĒ Fushihara, was part of a show at Granny Square in Nashville. Were you involved with that show? Your artwork definitely fits in with the fine-freakery arts-n-crafts neon-vibe of Fort Thunder, Dearraindrop, Little Cakes, Paper Rad, etc.

AM: Granny Square is a gallery run by my friend, Emily Holt, and me; Derek helps out too. Itís a moveable gallery that exists in concept. This summer it was in the form of a yart sale, music festival, and gallery opening. I met Hanna when we played the No Fun Fest, last year (2004), and we hit it off and just clicked on everything. I asked if she wanted to do the opening and she did; we proceeded to have the most fun June weekend on record -- two nights of music including the Laundry Room Squelchers, Dave Cloud, Temple of Bon Matin, Corndawg, Jack Wright Trio, the Cherry Blossoms, Nautical Almanac, and us doing Taiwan Deth. The yart sale contained both local and national artists, as well as, lots of awesome food. Artists in the sale included Hanna, Barbara ďBobbie ClothesĒ Schauwecker, Ed Wilcox, Patrick DeGuira, Bridget Venutti, and on and on. There were more ear-to-ear grins than I have ever witnessed.

The Granny Square was more or less a continuation of the bookstore and salon I ran when I when I first moved to Nashville. Halcyon Books was a tiny 12íx12í box containing as many fucked-up titles as I could afford. I started the store in late 1999 with all my 401k money from a corporate bookstore job that I held down for four years. I kept the store until the building owners tripled the rent. That, coupled with poor sales following the arrival of Bush in the White House, did me in, and in the late fall of 2003, I closed the place down, selling the stock to a local record store, which later folded, too. So, Granny Square is an easy, rent-free answer to my need for a salon atmosphere even if only for a weekend. And besides, do you need any excuse to show Hannaís work? Itís so awesome.

JFP: Do Derek and you collaborate on drawings or does he draw some and you draw some?

AM: We do some collaborating, including this big, stretched cloth-based piece that weíve been back and forth on for the last 4 or 5 months. But, the drawing and visual stuff is more separate due largely to different choices of media.

JFP: Please elaborate on the differences between those respective choices.

AM: Derek does quite a bit of his work in the form of animations. But, come to think of it, he has animated some of my drawings like on the Malocchio DVD/VHS release he did last year. And then he also makes a lot of books, using that term loosely, especially these days when, in some cases, the books he makes are vehicles for shadows of the actual book structure. They are crazy and hard to explain without seeing them. And then I do much of my drawings on the sewing machine with fabric. We are both exploring different themes and ideas. So, itís good that we pursue this stuff individually.

JFP: Do you think of your music, drawing, and crafts as a single artistic endeavor?

AM: For the most part, yes, it is one unified aesthetic. For me, they all play together in the formation of space -- creating an atmosphere that in its entirety is manipulated and presented through my own perspective. Aural, visual, and textural are all interconnected and cross-pollinated through genres that just make things thicker and more interesting. With us, itís most evident in our self-releases. Our packaging certainly reflects our current visual mindset as influenced by the recordings we made, mixed, and hovered-over until they permeate your noggin and spew out into visual stuff.

JFP: Creating a total world-reality seems to be one of the fundamental obsessions for many of the artists we both know and enjoy. Who do you think really excels at it? Who are your absolute faves? Mine has to be the Bobbi Clothes-USAISAMONSTER-Elvish Presley axis. I want to live in their world; it would be a wonderful place to call reality even if I had to traipse naked through the forest with gangly Native American elves.

AM: Iím with you there; I love their world. I also dig Twig and Carly of Nautical Almanac. And until its recent demise, the BLD folks in Columbus, Ohio. And around these parts, like in Watertown and Short Mountain, there are these folks that have these communities that explore nothing but puppetry or stilt walking, and everyoneís there to mainly do that one activity. So, the folks are soaked in it; I admire their full-on commitment.

JFP: Do you ever sell any of your drawings and crafts?

AM: Yeah, both of us are into selling our shit and have. Though, most often, our friends reap the benefits of our work in the form of gifts. Oh, and Iím currently selling pieces out of a local shop/gallery.

JFP: Who is responsible for the large black and white drawings hanging on either side of the television at the Fugitive Show? Those are incredible.

AM: Both of the drawings are mine. The TV holds a still of Derekís animations. Pen and ink is, by far, my favorite drawing medium. Those pieces are small drawings blown up to poster size -- another fun past time. Poster-izing as much of my work as possible is a cheap thrill with instant results. I guess that doesnít explain a lot about the content. Post-art school, my shitís been full-time otherworldly Ė a series involving a rotating cast of key figures including birds, various Ďeyeí creatures, and these sharp-penis gouge-eyed dudes. These guys just make me laugh -- my own little comics. It comes from a love of adult comics and mini comics; Iíd equate it to the passion of a record collector. Iím always looking out for an obscure Chris Ware, Joe Sacco, Charles Burns, any olí Drawn and Quarterly artist or some rare numbered Mats!?! Guilty or not, adult comics contain some of the smartest writing and original artwork; itís two birds with one stone.

JFP: So, both Derek and you have lived in Memphis and currently Nashville, but where were each of you born and raised? When did you start making music?

AM: Derek is from Owensburg, Kentucky, by the Indiana border. He was born and raised there until he moved to Memphis in 1993 to go to Memphis College of Art. We met up there a year later.

I was born in Nashville, but I actually didnít live here until Derek and I moved in 1998. I lived all around until I was 5, and then my family moved to Hohenwald, Tennessee (just a couple of hours southwest of Nashville, population of about 1500); this was where I grew up. The writer William Gay is from there, too; he has written two books, and I can safely say that they are dead-on accounts of the town. Hohenwald is where Meriwether Lewis (of the Lewis and Clark exhibition) died or was murdered; no one really knows. It is also home to more thrift stores per capita than anywhere else in the United States. And next door is the Farm, one of the longest running hippie communes in the country. I guess what Iím saying is that my normal gauge started out pretty damned off kilter. By the time I was 14, I had to leave; it was too isolated for good learning. My folks sent me to high school in Sewanee, Tennessee. I attended a very progressive boarding school; I read amazingly hip shit, got to make awesome music, was exposed to a good college radio station, and, most importantly, I had access to likeminded folk. I moved to Memphis in 1990 and attended Rhodes College for two years; the art program was horrible. So, I switched to the Memphis College of Art where I studied fiber arts and small metals. Derek started at MCA a semester later. Then a year later we met up and pretty much started playing music together immediately. He studied printmaking and book arts. He graduated, and I dropped out my last semester after a teacher told me I wasnít gonna pass a class that was offered only once-a-year and only by this teacher. So, I quit and never finished. No regrets, what can you do with a degree in weaving, anyway?

Okay, so here is another glossing over -- failure to mention either of our musical backgrounds -- oops. Derek started taking guitar lessons at 12. He played in school jazz bands and, of course, lots of high school punk projects. He picked up sax a few years ago. The keyboards and tweaking and such has been going on as long as Iíve know him. His creations are insane, emotional robots perfectly crafted, beautiful and functional.

I started playing music at age 7 -- the required age in my house to pick out an instrument and start learning. I chose the flute; I spent many years in orchestral groups and doing junior symphony. By junior high I picked up the sax and also began playing guitar. My folks always had stuff lying around like dulcimers, mandolins, and acoustic guitars, and we were encouraged to play them. By high school, I picked up the bass. I didnít start playing with other folks until college. Before that, I was content to spend my time writing and recording at home, multi-tracking on jam boxes. The only decent department at Rhodes was music. While there, I received two years of classical voice training, performing mostly standards like Mozartís Requiem.

JFP: I have never been to Nashville. What is it like? Is it expensive?

AM: Whenever someone asks me about Nashville, I have to decide how much I will temper my answer. For some folks, you donít want to shatter their illusions. If someone asks about it and follows their inquiry with ignorant, arrogant statements of regional stereotypes then usually Iíll confirm all their suspicions and more. But, in truth, itís beautiful, hilly, and lush. The folks here are friendly; thereís a nice little underbelly of subculture. The food is awesome, lots of amazing home cooking, including and especially hot chicken and fish. More than anything, Nashville is a place to get shit done. Iíve never been more productive in one place than here. I canít clearly pin point why that is Ė access to equipment and supplies? (This is an industry town.) Or, if itís just the vibe here -- the energy is palpable.

You asked about cost of living. Well, itís not too bad but more than you might think. But, itís nothing like New York, San Francisco, or Boston. You can do more with your paycheck than just pay the rent. And, as with anywhere, search hard enough, and youíll find a good deal.



[i] Now that the winds of the new age have blown the cosmic dust from my (not always clear) meat-based hard-drive, this notion continues to nag me that I am not exactly sure if Wayneís original post praised Angela Messina and Taiwan Deth or the Magick Markers. But, I remain calm placing myself in synchronicityís hands and the mysterious logic that powers it. What Wayne actually wrote doesnít matter. What does matter is that Angela and I eventually made contact precipitating a wonderfully mammoth and in-depth interview and a huge stack of CD-Rís by Taiwan Deth, Tan as Fuck, New Faggot Cunts and Vegan Brand, which I absolutely love and listen to on a daily basis.

[ii] Several years back, Wayne ďTwisted VillageĒ Rogers learned that I am an avid Doors fan (even if I do not listen to them much these days), and one day at Twisted Village he decided to school me on exactly why the Doors suck ass. The cornerstone of his argument was not -- as you would expect -- the on-stage lampoonery and sophomoric poetry of the Lizard King but the weak-ass guitar playing of Robby Krieger. Jesus, did poor Robbieís axe work get a brutally negative critical assessment that day. Instead of wasting my time with the Doors, Wayne said. I must buy the reissue of Day Blindnessí self-titled debut from 1969 because they were infinitely better at being the Doors than the actual Doors were. Plus, Day Blindess' guitarists, Greg Pihl and John Vernazza, were way better than fucking Robbie Krieger. Well, I listened to the Day Blindess record a bunch. The guitarists are, indeed, hot shit, but I say fuck it; the Doors are still better.