Amoeblog

Mike Doughty's Memoir About Drugs, Sex & Soul Coughing

Posted by Rachael McGovern, January 25, 2012 11:44am | Post a Comment
The Book of Drugs - Mike DoughtyFor most of my life I have been an avid reader, but for the last six months - or even a year if I'm being honest with myself - I've struggled to finish books, forcing myself to make the time to read. Happily, that streak has been broken with the new memoir by Mike Doughty, The Book of Drugs (Da Capo Press, 2012). I read it the first time in about two days, inhaling it as fast as I could between work and sleep. As soon as I finished it, I began reading it again. 

Mike Doughty is a solo artist today, but I came to know him as the frontman for Soul Coughing. The book's primary plotline is about his relationship with drugs, the trajectory of his addictions, and his recovery. But the secondary plot is about his relationship with, and to, his former band. Admittedly, that is why I picked up the book. Addiction in and of itself isn't as interesting to me as the person who is telling the story of addiction, and I was very interested in what Mike Doughty, the former lead singer, guitarist and lyricists for one of my favorite bands, had to say.

One of the things that I most appreciated about Soul Coughing was the mixture of intelligence and quirkiness, the wordplay and the soundplay (we'll pretend that's an actual word). Doughty uses those strengths in The Book of Drugs, telling his story with humor, wit, honesty, self-reflection, anger, passion, and sorrow. (For someone who says he was out of touch with his feelings for so long due to his addictions, he has come a long way in accessing those emotions and laying them on the page.) 

For me, the most salient scene from the book that illustrates how much his addiction affected him involved his daily trip to the ATM four blocks away. He would call his dealer and then descend his apartment building's stairs (a thirty minute process one way), walk down the block, and across a larger intersection. The whole trip - four blocks - took him ninety minutes, sometimes two hours. The fact that the ordeal of walking a few blocks seemed to him like a natural side effect of aging (he was thirty-something at the time), and not a by-product of his drug habit, was heartbreaking.

Continue reading...

More Journeys Off the Beaten Track

Posted by Rick Frystak, November 29, 2011 04:44pm | Post a Comment

Peter Michael Hamel
Hamel
Vertigo 6641 055, 1972

2-Lp set on German Vertigo circa 1972 brings us a spiritual journey of minimalism and creative spark, alone in the studio…tape running and overdubbing, often not listening to the previously recorded material. Hamel was doing multi-tracked organ, synths, piano and percussion in Germany at the same time as Riley, Glass and those guys were, quite forward-thinking. He worked with maestros Joseph Anton Reidl and Luc Ferrari, but never went in that conrete’ or collage direction as a style musically. Terry Riley is still doing live organ pieces just like these herein, and classical composers have struggled with this style for decades. Here in these discs we have 2 luscious sides of organ and synthesizer pieces with each instrument “beating” or modulating the other, simple rooted tones yet always moving with melody and logic; 1 side of prepared piano with a Cage influence, yet Hamel shows his prog/pop and Indonesian gamelan inclinations rhythmically and tonally. Nice! The last side is synthesizer overdubs with water and breath sounds, owing to Hamel’s heavy spiritual side and his immersion in this new minimalism. This record is still fresh now, and vibrates with a wonderful, contemporary accessibility and creative spark even after nearly 40 years. And this 2-disc set on Vertigo vinyl is rarer than a 2-dollar bill at this point.

 

Pat Martino

Strings!
 

Prestige 7547, 1968

Continue reading...

(In which we tackle Thanksgiving issues the Food Network won't.)

Posted by Job O Brother, November 22, 2010 05:01pm | Post a Comment
pot leaf mompot leaf

Let’s just say, theoretically, that some of your family is in town visiting for Thanksgiving weekend and, theoretically, your 72-year-old mother brings you a few gifts, like freshly dried seaweed, homemade hummus (green with pureed parsley), and a circus clown tin full of Mexican Wedding Cakes laced with greenbud marijuana, which, theoretically, you eat two of and the next day you are crazy hung-over and all you want to do is lay in bed and watch old re-runs of Leave It To Beaver but you have to write this blog you’re now reading. Theoretically.

What music do you listen to?


The munchies!

Frankly, the whole scenario is a bit far-fetched, and I’m not sure why you’re even bringing it up. Certainly nothing like this is what I’m going through right now, because marijuana is illegal and I’ve never even heard of it.

But, if I were in such a ridiculous situation, I suppose the sort of thing I would enjoy listening to would be this…

Continue reading...

Sun Araw's Latest Head Trip, Off Duty, Out This Week!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 7, 2010 09:00am | Post a Comment
The new Sun Araw, Off Duty, is out this week on Woodsist and, man, is it as heavy as he's ever been...
sun araw off duty vinyl woodsist boat trip single ep chill wave record reviewsun araw boat trip off duty woodsist release cd lp split record review chill wave














...and the good news is that if you spaced on picking up Boat Trip on vinyl, the good folks at Woodsist have included it on the CD release of Off Duty. For those of you who've long been riding on the so-called "chill wave" (I prefer to call it "berm highs," but what's a girl to do) this release is as essential as Sun Araw's previous nuggets of music made by people taking drugs to make music to take drugs to, or music to not take drugs to because the music is so "druggy" you don't have to. Seriously, I don't see ever coming back from the next-next level trips that come of digging into Sun Araw with a juggernaut of a buzz on, just sayin. Anyhoo, if you like space, beaches, Spacemen 3, Lee "Scratch" Perry's 'Black Arc' period and never fake the funk, then consider this your next stop on the midnight train to oblivion....

"Last Chants"

Father's Day (contains spoilers)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 20, 2010 09:16pm | Post a Comment

job o brother
It's a Hallmark card not yet writ

Continue reading...
<<  1  2  3  4  5  >>  NEXT