"dubya !"

january 26, 2006.

Together with Buzz Kimbell, Walter Cianciusi, Vincent Bergeron (and Ludwig van Beethoven and Gustav Mahler :-) ... - I contributed music toW the soundtrack of Alfred Eaker's new motion picture, called - short - "W", or - slightly longer - "Strange things begin to happen when a meteor crashes in the Arizona desert" ... You can watch a first 'teaser trailer' on the movie's web site: wthemovie.com ...

"W" - as in the initial letter of the middle name of a certain US president ...

"W" - as in anti-War, as in anti-Wush ... as in a surreal political tale ? ... as in satire ? ... We'll have to wait for the picture's release to see ...

"Strange things begin to happen when a meteor crashes in the Arizona desert" - as in the title of a poem by Michael Basinski ... "Part found-poem, part abstract script, part science-fantasy, it inhabits that layer in which we've mooned since UFOs overtook the popular imagination," one reviewer wrote.

Hmmm ...

The couple of excerpts of Basinski's text that I saw intrigued me, though. They read as if someone's emptying a bucket randomly filled with a selection of odd newspaper headlines ... oh, the mad-ness of it all ...


American freedom fighters continue to resist the aliens from outer space

three young happening New Yorkers have their lives dramatically changed after encounters with a psychotic professor of poetry on a SUNY campus - the professor is furloughed by a Republican Governor and strange things begin to happen when a meteor crashes in the Arizona desert

strange things begin to happen when a meteor crashes in the Arizona desert: rookie L.A. police officer encounters daily danger

the life of a Vietnamese woman before and after the war


Nobel Prize scientist seeks the aid of psychologist when the spirit of his dead hippie daughter begins appearing to him and strange things begin to happen when a meteor crashes in the Arizona desert

the supernatural power generated by sanke-worshippers
infiltrates an American finishing school

a defrocked minister wrestles with evil forces
threatening an isolated school for white American girls

demonic intervention gives a long dead hoodlum
a second chance at life as a politician


a journalist enters an insane asylum attempting to solve a murder - while he is breaking into the world of the insane which is presented as microcosm of an American community - his girl friend a nightclub stripper is breaking out of the confines of her tiny stereotyped life in the world of the sane and strange things begin to happen when a meteor crashes in the Arizona desert ..."

Michel Basinski - 'STBTHWAMCITAD' (excerpts)

I was reminded of Michael Basinski's poem when some time ago I heard about Thomas Ashcraft's forward scatter radio recordings.

'Forward scatter', Thomas explained (in a message to the microsound mailing list - january 11th, 2006), "is a method of radio reception that employs incoming meteors from outer space to bounce in far-off radio transmitters. Essentially, a meteor or "shooting star" creates a momentary ionized plasma trail in the upper ionosphere and this plasma trail has the ability to reflect in far-off radio transmitters hundreds and even a thousand miles distant."

I was even more strongly reminded of Michael Basinski's poem when I heard the forward scatter radio recordings he made "using re-entering space shuttles as the meteoric reflecting phenomena" ... If you follow some of the links on Thomas's web page, you'll learn that 'forward scatter radio reception' is used as a tool for scientific measurements. But it is also a fascinating and most curious 'method' for obtaining a 'radio mix' ... And as said, the mix of distant voiced messages (' ... made this nation gr ....' ... ' ... the invisible god ...' ...) caught through forward scatter in such 're-entry plasma trails' did remind me of Basinski's 'scattered headlines' after the Arizona desert meteor crash ... [Thanks to Thomas, who kindly allowed me to add his forward scatter radio recordings to the current, 7th edition of Raudio ... there'll be more about the contributions and contributors to this fine streaming show in one of the next SB entries ...]

But ... so, Alfred Eaker's "W" is strongly inspired by the Michael Basinski poem. Michael Basinski actually is appearing in "W" himself (as the planet Pluto, the Moon and the Sun), as is another 'avant garde poet', John M. Bennett (playing the Oil Man - in the "W" trailer you see him carrying an oil can. "The can is an old Mexican PEMEX oil can," John explains [message to the jesusandhergospelofyes group, january 25th, 2006], "that has been converted to a gas can. PEMEX is the state-owned Mexican petroleum company, formed after the mexican gov't threw out the big US oil companies in the 1940's and nationalized the oil industry. [...] It was a huge big deal back then, you better believe it!"

Both poets, btw, also star (Basinski is God, and Bennett is Satan) in the first Alfred Eaker motion picture: Jesus and Her Gospel of Yes (2004) ... "a surreal retelling of the life of Jesus as a woman leader of Yes" ...

hug jesus

Thanks to Alfred, who sent me a DVD copy, I was able - after some juggling with re-copies and stuff, but that's a techie story - to watch JAHGOY a couple of times over Christmas ... (now how about that for a timing, hein ?)

My first impression was that I must be watching the result of Ed Wood's teaming up with Frank Zappa for the shooting - in a 201st motel's back rooms - of a no-budget postmodern remake of Jesus Christ Superstar ... I mean, this is not simply 'bizarre' ... (the development of the 'story' itself actually is more or less linear, and straight forward) ... as a motion picture it is sort of 'meta-bizarre' ... Pretty daft much of the time ... but definitely not shallow, nor boring ... and there are some great textual bits ... 'a staggering work of wacky genius' ... ? Is that what it is ... ?

JAHGOY is a dense collage of spoken text and images. It is a very 'literary' film. In the first place because of Eaker's interesting personal and idiosyncratic interpretation of the 'gospel'. But also because of the references to many a more or less related (pop) cultural icon; and because of all the symbols; symbol upon symbol upon symbol ... Not an easy thing to watch, as the ongoing flood of images are illustrating the story and the many (interesting) points it seems to make, rather than telling it.

So, indeed, Alfred's (18 pages of) director's commentary is very illuminating, and I suggest anyone that at some point in time will find an opportunity to watch JAHGOY to read it (here's a pdf, if you'd like to have a peek ...). Wonderful document, I think.

[Just as an example, here is how the director comments the bringing back to life by Jesus of her father Panthera: "... Upon being resurrected, Panthera prays to a Roman god for thanks. Mary lets him know that it was their daughter's god that raised him. Panthera feels obliged to convert and develops a fixation for his wife, just like Mahler developed a virgin Mary obsession upon converting (and was treated by Freud for it). So, Mary becomes his Pinkfreud and he is her BlueMahler. Here we finally connect Panthera to BlueMahler. It is he that has been spinning this whole yarn. And it is here that we show that the yarn is indeed inspired by the structure of a typical Mahler symphony. A Modern, complex, confusing brew of pathos, bathos, banality and nobility ..."]

'Dubya' already made a short appearance in JAHGOY. ("Dubya seems to have all the answers. He who dies with the most toys, wins ...") As the W trailer shows, the Oil Man finds 'Dubya', his long lost son, in the desert, and decides to run him for president ... and then ...
( - to be continued - )
... Coming soon to a theater near you ... Do hope so ...

[ I - temporarily - removed the comment sections from the Archived pages, because of excessive spamming ...]

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