Is it candy, or is it poison? Or both? Tiny, black, and mysteriously vile, Sen-Sen seems to be something spies would hide in a false tooth to bite down on when captured. But in fact it's claimed to give "breathtaking refreshment" which "masks the odors of smoke, food or drink." The taste? Dead flowers, formaldehyde, licorice and cheap hotel soap. For over a hundred years old ladies have carried tiny foil pouches of Sen-Sen. I first experienced the noxious burning flavor as a little kid, digging for gum in my Grandma's purse. I suppose I never really recovered.

Roadkill BBQ

Back from central PA - I mean, Pennsyltucky - where I enjoyed genuine barbecued roadkill, again. At a farmhouse just east of Butztown and Hecktown, I was pleased to find a crockpot full of spicy meat harvested off a big doe. It had been hit that morning and wandered, dying, onto Farmer Dan's land. He said that if the car hits a deer going too fast, the internal organs explode. So roadkill from winding back roads is best."Slow killed, slow cooked," his wife said. "That's the best." Afterward, many of us went down to the basement and sang for hours, old loud hymns in four-part harmony. My kind of party.

The Lost Thirteen

These are the bands I've performed with. All of them either did live shows or recorded, or both. Most are long, long forgotten:
Health and Beauty
Mongo Fury
Ju-Ju School
Screaming Vinyl
Caravan of Fear
Those Wild Swedish Mongoloids
Flat Planet
Nemo's Omen
The Fabulous Rectotem
The Behemoth Brothers
Invisible Stain Removers
Tape, vinyl, digital, memory: all dissolving into the past.


I dreamed last night that Trevor Blake's sister was possessed by a supernatural being - a shaman or demon - called "Jeezolay." From the name I can conjure him up: a cross between Jesus and Frito-Lay, or maybe Jesus and Chevrolet. The savior, cheap greasy snack food, and all-American transportation. He's my new godhead - the fast, slick, high-calorie, slightly-creepy messiah. Sing it: "Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse Jeezolay." And "See the USA in your Jeezolay." I asked Trevor about this apparition and he said, "No sister except in Dreamland." I told him that in the dream she was doing fine. She either escaped from Jeezolay or found out that he meant her no harm.

Velvet Goldmine

It's a song (1971) and a movie (1998.) Both are great, and neither one reached the huge audiences they deserve. "Velvet Goldmine" was recorded during the Ziggy Stardust sessions. But it got left off the album (a little too sexy-suggestive - "naked on your chain, I'll be your King
Volcano" - even in the golden glory days of glam.) Velvet Goldmine, the movie, was officially a bomb, losing millions of dollars. But they both capture the wondrous weirdness, the fey slippery feel that Bowie perfected. He hated the movie script and refused to let his music be used on the soundtrack. Still, he looms over the whole story, just as the song - robbed of its title - lurks in the background, a hot and smoky ghost. 

Diamond Dogs

It started with David Bowie. The first concert I ever went to was the first American date of his Diamond Dogs Tour. David Bowie live - June 17, 1974 - with twelve thousand wild glam fans. I remember the stage set (representing a place called  "Hunger City") more than the music. At one point Bowie sang trapped inside a mirror-glass "asylum." Even better was Bowie singing "Time" (off the Aladdin Sane album - which I played obsessively and still have - in the original cellophane sleeve) in the palm of a gigantic hand. Yes, David Bowie - so skeletal, schizo and very scary - in a huge human hand.