POEM & PHOTOGRAPHS: "MINNESOTA MOURNS" BY AJ DENT

(I am proud to have hosted work by my friend and colleague AJ Dent in the past, and am very excited to continue to feature her writing and photographs here on Popthomology as she continues her travels. Thank you, AJ. -- Marianne)

From June through September of this year, I am staying in my homeland of north central Minnesota. While I’ve been writing a bit about my current adventures over on AtelierAJ.org and DigitalAJ, the recent racism-fueled murders of black people across the country has taken precedence. Since the death of Philando Castile, Minnesota has experienced significant storms almost every single day, alongside protests all across the state. This poem, which touches on the tragedy of his death, is dedicated to him, all others wrongfully killed by police, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

CURIOUS FACIAL EXPRESSION CATEGORIES OF THRIFT STORE TOYS, ART, AND KNICK-KNACKS

As a regular stalker of thrift shops for the unusual and amusing, I have come to a conclusion: the expressions on many, if not most, animal, human, or inanimate object vintage knick-knacks, toys, and mass-market art are straight-up bizarre. I am fascinated by the original intent from whatever labor slave created them in some sad factory line...did they mean for them to look that way, or were they unskilled in facial representation art, or unaware or...? I don't know. I do know these make me laugh. I've grouped a few for you from my latest forays here in Washington State. Please to enjoy!

1. ANGRY

Grey cat is not having it from the Siamese. Not at all.






PHOTOS & REVIEW: AESTHETIC MESS 1 YR ANNIVERSARY & OVER THE HILL BDAY BASH WITH SSDD & DREAMSALON @ CHOP SUEY, SEATTLE, WA. 6/22/16

Do you know what I was doing on my 40th birthday? Retching into a bucket, about 4 months pregnant with my daughter! Do you know a more pleasant way to spend your 40th birthday? Pete Capponi of Steal Shit Do Drugs and Craig Chambers of Dreamsalon knew what to do! These Seattle punk superstahz did it up right, teaming with DJ Jermaine (who's also in SSDD) and DJ Goo Goo of Aesthetic Mess to celebrate the DJ's team's 1st anniversary and Pete and Craig's 40th year hoo-hah boo-yah by PLAYING IN THEIR OWN BANDS! We all win, and...no morning sickness! YAY! I attended this funky fresh lovefest ear dessert and brought my large camera device.



PHOTOS, VIDEOS, & REVIEW: THE KIDNAPPING AND RETURN OF LUSCIOUS LUKE! PLUS STALLION @ SISTERS & BROTHERS, SEATTLE 6/11/16!!

WELL LEMME TELL YOU WHUT!


EXPIRED FILM PHOTOS & TINY VIDEOS: PONY TIME, WIMPS, & NIGHT BOSS @ CHOP SUEY, SEATTLE, WA. 4/24/16

I recently acquired an early-'90s Leica Mini point-and-shoot 35mm film camera that used to belong to my dad, along with several unused rolls of Kodak Gold 200 film, which also expired in the early '90s, like my dad. What does one do with such things? One takes them to a fine Seattle punk rock show at Chop Suey, that's what! An experiment in imaging, to be sure -- I didn't really know if the camera would work or how well, and of course expired film is a complete crapshoot: you know there will be changes, as film degrades over time, but you don't know exactly what they might be. The answers are below! You may click on the photos to enlarge or view them in Flickr.

I would mention that the show was utterly awesome and filled with mirth and mayhem, and that you would be very happy to find yourself in the possession of any or all of the new releases by Pony Time (Rumours Two: The Rumours Are True), wimps (Suitcase), and Night Boss (S/T).

Night Boss, Chop Suey, Seattle WA 4/24/16 Flickr set



30 YES 30 MORE WEIRD RECORD COVERS FROM THE THRIFT STORES!

It's been a few months since I've done one of these posts, mined from my frequent visits to thrift stores in Washington State and South Florida. You'd think there just wouldn't be any more funny to find, BUT NO! IT NEVER ENDS. Please to enjoy!

EVERYTHING. The disembodied head floating in darkness, the look of stunned horror, the scary cross overlay, the bizarre mix of capital and lower case letters, and "Stereo Phonic Sound."



PHOTOS, VIDEO, & REVIEW: COURTNEY BARNETT & ALVVAYS @ THE MOORE THEATER, SEATTLE, WA. 4/21/16

It always pleases me to attend a sold-out show for the friendly realization that HEY YOU ALL FOLKS LIKE WHAT I LIKE and, more importantly, the knowledge that it is an extra-nice feeling for artists themselves to put a butt in every seat. Last Thursday night, an excellent bill of Musicians From Foreign Lands -- Courtney Barnett from Australia and Alvvays from Canada -- packed Seattle's Moore Theater to it's rather steep rafters, and provided us with two very different interpretations of fine modern pop.




PHOTOS, VIDEO, & REVIEW: MY BIRTHDAY THROWDOWN WITH STALLION & DJ RUBEN MZ @ THE DEN, CHOP SUEY, SEATTLE, WA. 4/14/16 BY VICTORIA HOLT!

(I am totally delighted to bring you now the groovy words and photographs of ace Seattle rock n' roll chronicler Victoria Holt, who graciously agreed to cover my SWEET birthday celebration at Chop Suey last Thursday night, featuring the platter power of DJ Ruben MZ and the audacious awesomeness of rock 'n wrestling maniacs, STALLION! I even got to SING a bit! I cannot thank everyone enough -- so much fun, so many lovely faces, so much love. THE BEST! Scroll down to view video of the whole Stallion performance, including a jaw-dropping entrance! -- Marianne)



PHOTOS: TACOCAT, HARDLY BOYS, & LISA PRANK, "LOST TIME" RECORD RELEASE SHOW, CHOP SUEY, SEATTLE, WA. 3/31/16

Sometimes things come together so fatefully, do they not? This last Thursday in Seattle was shimmering, sunny spring kind of thing, flowers in riotous bloom, everything new and fresh and nary a drop of that pesky gloom moisture we are so well known for. What could be, in a just and good world, the best activity for such a glorious day? It would be surfing over to the good ol' Chop Suey club to help our dear pop punks Tacocat celebrate the release of their brand-newie Hardly Art rekkid, "Lost Time," oh yes! Demand was such that the band scheduled two shows; an early one for the all-ages folks, and a later one for the 21+ people. Yours truly arrived early to help as I could with set-up and such, which included inflatable aliens and ice cream cones, and REAL ice cream from Bluebird Ice Cream made especially for the day: ChocoTacocat! And don't forget the custom lipsticks from Yé yé Cosmetics! (As always, click on any photo to enlarge, or click on the Flickr set links for more!)



MORE VILE MID-CENTURY FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY: WOMAN'S WEEKLY DAIRY COOKBOOK (1966)

"Foodie" culture in 2016 is ubiquitous. Everywhere you look -- on Instagram, Pinterest, Pinstagram, Instainterest, whatever -- there are beautiful photos of scrumptious-looking cuisine, making us feel awed, intrigued, hungry, and complete domestic failures for not plating such edible elegance in our own homes. The bar was not set so high when I was a youth, I might add. Sure, every so often Mom might get inspired to copy the standing rib roast from the local supper club, but in general we ate a lot of casseroles with Campbell's cream-of-something soup dumped in, and cheap ground meat concoctions. Home cooks of the mid-20th Century were encouraged to take full advantage of "time-saving" pre-packaged processed foods. Presentation of a meal, to judge now in hindsight, was designed and implemented by drunk marmosets.

This brings me to share these images from a 1966 pamphlet called, "Woman's Weekly Dairy Cookbook," offered to us by The National Dairy Council. You can see already what we're in for, with a cover dessert featuring so much whipped cream that we might assume the berries were instead layered with fire extinguisher blasts or fluffy attic insulation. How does one begin to eat that?

I MADE YOU 11 EASTER CARDS (2016)




 (click to enlarge)


POPTHOMOLOGY IS 8, EVERYONE CALL CNN!

In the blogosphere -- a term I hate, by the way, but am too lazy to not use -- eight years is a lifetime. Blogs are rather like diaries, even if the topic has nothing to do with anything personal. People start a diary or personal journal with the best of intentions of content and maintenance, and usually run out of steam pretty quickly, because life is busy and you start forgetting to make time to update and then you forget many more times, and then you are all, "eh, whatever," and you are done. Your heartfelt blog about "My Cat And Everything She Does That Is Adorable" or "Rants About Things I Get Mad About But That No One Else Cares About" starts with a bang, and ends up abandoned, mostly because you are human and things are happening elsewhere.

I began Popthomology on February 28, 2008 mainly on something of a dare, and a need to have a place to focus my creative and emotional energy. I didn't expect much from it, because I didn't have any plans or ambitions for it. It was just a place in the universe that was mine, made virtually real by purchasing the domain name of "Diarrhea Island" (Pop's original name, ha) and just heading forth into my brain and seeing what came out. For many years I posted every day -- really, seriously, every single day -- and the thing that came back to me, the thing I didn't recognize whatsoever that I needed, was connection. Whether  I was being silly or serious, a diverse group of people that kept coming back to read a few times or thousands of times started reaching out to me every so often, which was a shock to me. To hear that someone enjoyed what you wrote, thought about something in a different way, got mad about your sense of humor, loved your photography, delighted to a piece of child art or a screaming goat video...I just never thought anything like that would happen, but it did. I have a large group of beloved friends now that I never would have had if I hadn't started the blog, and kept at it. This is still so surprising to me, and my gratitude is profound.

My pace has slowed considerably here over the past 14 months. Personal challenges and losses have forced the changes, and I have to roll with them and accept that I can't and shouldn't keep up a sprinter's pace carrying what is right now a heavy load. But I'm not stopping, just bringing you content I think you will enjoy in more of a stroll, as it were. Your patience and continued attention is a marvel, and I thank you. Thank you for everything, every opportunity that's come my way, every time you've taken the time to tell me HEY IT COOL, every time you've told me about spelling mistakes, every time you let me know that this tiny, tiny place in the big, big world did something to make your day a little better.

We will end this reflective essay with a very short video starring one Loretta Jenkins, who possibly has inflated her breasts with beer. 





PREVIEW: POPTHOMOLOGY PRESENTS KITSCH FLICKS: VINTAGE ANTI-DRUG FILMS & SONGS @ CHOP SUEY, 2/3/16, 7PM

Seattle-area cats and kitties, I am SO VERY EXCITED to be presenting my very first video night at my go-to joint for music, mirth, and mayhem, Chop Suey, this Wednesday night, February 3rd, beginning at 7PM and running until close! The evening's theme is the (mainly) mid-century anti-drug/alcohol/smoking public service announcements, songs, kids' programming, and short films that infused my childhood and yours with a lot of freaky and unintentional hilarity, and nightmares that lasted well into adulthood. I've selected over three hours of clips ranging from the 1920s (whoa!) through the early 1990s, including songs by Michael Jackson and Bill Cosby, a groovy gold-satin-suited Sonny Bono urging us to think for ourselves about the dangers of marijuana, singing blue pills warning us that they are not candy, and culminating in the infamous 1967 acid-soaked "Blue Boy" episode of TV's "Dragnet!" It's fun, funny, and a cultural time-warp -- think of it as your opportunity to soak up some sociology while marveling at the many media attempts to "get you kids on the right path."



PHOTOS, VIDEO, & REVIEW: TY SEGALL & THE MUGGERS, CFM @ NEPTUNE THEATER, SEATTLE, WA. 1/21/16

Well. It's time to write about this show. I think I will begin with the time-tested Adjective Toss while I gather my sentence-forming abilities.

Unsettling. Massive. Fun! Weird. Heavy. Insane. Jaw-dropping. Repellent! Endearing.

I've seen Ty Segall play many times over the years. I am a yuuuuge fan, and admire so much about our young blond friend: his relentless and top-quality musical output, ultra-fun, dynamic live shows, and willingness to leave the garage every so often to give us work that is quiet and reflective all the way over to sledge-hammer heavy metal. Every so often, I think MAN AM I LUCKY that I get to be able to be a part of that talent tsunami, even in my very small way as a photographer, writer, and fan.

And of course, I am not the only one who thinks this way. Everyone at the sold-out Neptune Theater did, I'm sure, as well as all those poor sodden souls who hovered outside the venue in the rain hoping to score a spare ticket. Having a raincoat might have been helpful inside the venue, as it turned out, but you'll have to wait a few paragraphs to get the explanation.


SOUND & VISION: I DID A COVER OF DAVID BOWIE'S "SCARY MONSTERS (AND SUPER CREEPS), YUP

Wow, OK, the start to 2016 has been rough for us earth folk, right? Too many irreplaceable losses, too many threats of irreplaceable losses, grief casting deep shadows over what should be a time of renewal and hopefulness. The world will get its mojo back -- it always does. For us sensitive critters, we just have to find our own ways to cope such that we make things better, and not worse.

Years ago, I came across a live acoustic version of David Bowie's "Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)," from his 1980 album of the same name, that I absolutely adored. It was simple as could be, the song stripped down to two D-tuned acoustic guitars and Bowie's vocals and a harmony. He jokingly told the story of "being in penitentiary with Johnny Cash back in the late '50s" and how, he said, he and Johnny came up with the song there. Funny, and a delightful example of Bowie's fine sense of humor. Taking his own fairly avant-garde rock song and turning it into a Sun Records-style rockabilly jaunt underlines something I love to repeat: a great song can be done in infinite ways and musical genres and still will be a great song.

I had immediately upon hearing it wanted to have a go at recording this version myself, and for some reason put it off long enough that I forgot about it. It landed in the ever-increasing mountain of "Things I'd Like To Do Someday," along with traveling to Europe, living in New York City, joining a bowling league, and drinking adequate amounts of water. With David Bowie's passing and all the waves of tributes and songs and articles, I came across the track again, and smiled. This would be a good time to finish what I started, I thought: a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny little throw of something creative to the cosmos can't hurt.

So I did it, very minimally, yes, but I'm glad to kick one pebble off Someday Mountain and am glad to share it with you. I did a silly video to go along with it because who doesn't want to see SMPTE code leader girls and '70s space dinosaurs?

If you like, you can very much for free download the track HERE. Thank you very much for listening, and thank you David Bowie, for everything.