Friday, July 27, 2012

64. “Everything Odder } Than Everything Else”

A second mysterious epistle from the Crotchthrottle. The Wyrre Jimes has me on his list, has had since that night on Wickenden Street.

After dinner with Elizabeth D., en route to my car, I was hailed by a man dressed in a suit like a costume from a Victorian period-film. Wisdom nearly kept me from stopping, but my instinct was for trust; I followed him onto a side street. He gave me a cup—I lifted the lid—coffee. “For the road,” he said. His voice was muted—typical for a bass player. “Why not have a listen,” he said. He slipped a CD into my jacket pocket, shook my hand—those fingers! strong as an ape’s—also typical for a bass player. That was two years ago, the Crotchthrottle’s first record: Slap-fight at the Coffee Shop. A joke title. The music was more complex. Ominous drones, driving drum beats, little melodies that meander and double.

Today, their latest record, Everything Odder Than Everything Else. The album art is remarkable. A group shot of famous men seated across an invisible chasm. Where the chasm warps the light, the camera revealed their true faces. Their faces like the strange faces of the Croththrottle: Heimeier Axia, Jimes, Lysander Foley, and Atom McPhee. The only face that appeared as it did in our world is Albert Einstein’s. That’s no surprise.

Their music, again, is mostly instrumental, though Axia’s voice appears on “King of the Space Elephants,” “Except Ants,” submerged on the excellent “Intersecting Lines,” and on “Cabinet.” He’s getting bolder. Everybody knows about the space elephants, but not everybody knows about the lines. The chasm. While the music on the new record resembles that of the first, it’s a lot more open. The tracks meander less. McPhee’s drums are more subtle. The bass and the effects lead and the ominous drones are given more space. This progress the result, I can only assume, of their deepening interaction with the Jellyfish.

Generally, I try not to know too much about the Jellyfish and the chasm—I know they operate hand-in-hand and push consciousness and such-and-such. The Crotchthrottle’s music is about as deep into that head-space as I’m comfortable with. For you? Everything Odder… may be just the passage you were trying to open with Robitussin and non-Euclidian geometry. I say bypass all that. Get a magnifying glass and a set of headphones. Listen to Everything Odder… and search the album art for secret compass points.

Okay. Accepting street-coffee from Jimes was a bit more than just listening to their music. I'm a hypocrite. Forgive me. But my instinct was good. The coffee was kind. That night two years ago, the dark route from Providence to Hartford shone.


  1. You've motivated me to resume work on my One Great Novel. Perhaps you can help me get it published.

    I presume your professionalism will subsume your jealousy at the presumable vast superiority of my own efforts.

    At my own - delicate, shimmering genius.


  2. I'll be damned. Even tho I was told otherwise, I assumed you were dead, possibly buried in the cement platform at North Quincy Station. Glad this isn't the case. And your ego! Fully intact! Marvelous. You were the better writer, if I recall correctly--a short story about a boxer? That was long ago. You're a lawyer now?

    Delicate? Indeed.

  3. Dead? Only on the inside, Mr. Golaski.

    My ego remains turgid, although bitterly circumscribed and circumcized by life, as has become customary, I suppose.

    I remember the tale you reference precisely. I believe it was about a young man named Stephen McPlec, who, finding a human head in a garbage dump while foraging for comic books, convinces it to become his boxing coach. The clever 'reveal' at the end was that the young man *was* the decapitated head.

    It was, assuredly, the best thing ever written by me that day.

    Apropos of little, a google search of my name inexplicably yields, inter alia, a poem I was conscious of being embarrassed by as I wrote it.

    Ah, as Kurt Cobain wrote, 'teenage angst has paid off well, now I'm old and bored.'

    A lawyer, of sorts. Not a good or successful one, and I attended a 4th rate law school as I failed to get into a 1st rate clinical psychology PhD. program. After low-level success in NYC, I'm back in Boston, temping with the rest of life's failures.

    Sword-fingered boredom rages against my insides.

    Let me know if you want to do a comedy blog/sketch writing/improve type project. Took a sketch and improv class a few summers ago at UCB in NYC.

    I also killed and ate some Finnish tourists, but that is neither here nor there, and an event to which I shall refer no further in this sentence.

  4. I'll skip the Google search. Next time I'm in town to read, attend--I'll invite our mutual friend, Mrs. S, nee Ms. F. We'll all have a drink together.

  5. I come to Boston at the drop of a hat, anytime either of you are up for a drink I am there :)

  6. Cheers. Someone needs to book me a reading in Boston right-quick.