Fleegle

More Misconstrue Updates

Here are yet more of my recent blog posts at http://misconstrue.wordpress.com.

Exploring my fascination with the concept of the elusive “rock novel,” I’ve written a number of blog entries about them:

The Great American Rock Novel: My explanation for why most rock novels just aren’t that good. The best thing about this post is the photo from Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.

The Great American Rock Novel 2: In which I propose an argument that I can’t agree with from moment to moment, but do make a nice try at defining what rock is about. (‘Try’ is the key word.)

The Great American Rock Novel 3: A strangely constructed argument explaining how rock evolved from Buddy Holly to Jim Hendrix in no time flat. (Hint: It’s just the way rock is.)

The Great American Rock Novel 4: Suggesting rock novels include an element of parody, based on a quote from the Talking Heads, “People look ridiculous when they are in ecstasy.”

-- Also hot --

The Great Lost Velvet Underground Album: As interested as I am in rock novels, I’m just as fascinated and mystified by the idea of lost albums (the forbidden music from a band you like — in their heyday — straight out of an alternative universe.)

Squeeze vs. Elvis Costello: Consensus goes with Elvis Costello, but I’ll take Squeeze any day, while still loving Elvis Costello. Squeeze might be too under the weather to put up a fight.

Twitter: I’ve been tweeting like there’s no tomorrow. This post recalls my favorite Balloon Boy moment.

Song Review: ‘Come Back to Me,’ by X: A song not about death but rather grief, which is much more interesting.

Song Review: ‘You Take My Breath Away,’ by Rex Smith: I forgot what this was about.
Fleegle

Misconstrue Updates

Here are my recent blog posts at http://misconstrue.wordpress.com

A review of the song "All the Tea in China," from the 1980 Ghosts album by Susan Jacks, is mostly about the Magnetic Fields.

Punk and the Bay City Rollers. Were the tartan bubble-gummers the godfathers of punk? This is glimpse of me allowing myself to become confused.

Freakin' Jonathan Franzen. I can't find a single likable or redeemable character in JFran's new novel. Plus a rehash of how he pretty much swiped an NEA grant from a more deserving writer in 2002 with help from Rick Moody.

Another song review, this one about a new-old Wondermints song, "Runnin' Through the Night," that gives light to the genre of rock songs about UFOs.

Five Cliches from 1970s TV. Each is true, but No. 5 is the most funny. Nice picture of Columbo.

Song review, this time it's And That's Rock 'n' Roll, a cut from the Great Lost Jonathan Richman album. It's a song that gets the feet moving.

Tim Buckley on the Monkees. A post contrasting the talents of Mickey Dolenz and Tim Buckley.
Fleegle

Been Gone So Long It Still Looks Like Up to Me

I've been making blog posts on Wordpress but don't want to neglect this corner of the world. Here are some updates. Do check out the story about the car race across Mexico.

SFSU in Fiction
Until I learn otherwise, I’m convinced Jokerman 8 is the first published novel set at San Francisco State University. Includes a stirring excerpt of what life on campus was like in 1987.

Cole Porter Parody
This excerpt from my new novel-in-search-of-a-publisher, “Happy Talk,” takes place when a couple of characters break into song and it happens to be in the style of Cole Porter. It takes place in the 1950s when Cole Porter was still on people’s minds. Many pop culture references from the era. Nice picture of Cole Porter.

John Lennon Slept Here (Or Was It Ringo?)
This is an airy & quick short story I wrote on the night of the SF earthquake in 1989. (As an aside, I survived the quake.) Always been popular on the Internet whenever I post it. There's a ripe market for Beatles fiction out there. The ghost of John Lennon mysteriously haunts a house in rural Oregon.

Channeling Doctor Gonzo
A Hunter Thompson parody I wrote for the Galleycat World’s Longest Literary Mash Up contest. I was shocked to find I was the only writer riffing on Hunter Thompson. It seemed like a natural idea.

Carrera Panamericana
This is a legendary car race across Mexico that started in 1950 with the opening of the Pan American Highway. I turned it into fiction that forms one of the centerpieces of my new novel-in-search-of-a-publisher, “Happy Talk.” A race over a course as treacherous as the drivers.
Fleegle

Introducing Happy Talk

[I enjoy this far too much. Putting together descriptions of my novel-in-search-of-a-publisher. Here's the first draft of a 160-word synopsis.]

HAPPY TALK, a novel
By Richard Melo

Gun-slinging American student nurses and boozy-New York-playwrights-turned-educational-filmmakers find themselves stuck in the Haiti of 1955 as part of a government plan to pump up tourism and turn the Magic Island into the next Hawaii. Voodoo is in the air in this dark comedy of so-called black magic from Richard Melo, the author of Jokerman 8. The story follows the travels of Culprit Clutch, who appears mostly through rumor and innuendo, and his strange encounters with people not acting like themselves. Side characters include spies; Haitian street magicians; a Scandinavian zombie; the ghost of an ancient Egyptian; a power-mad doctor bent on Culprit's destruction; a diplomat disguised as a swimming-pool salesman; Culprit's black sidekick who is tired of his role as a sidekick; and the headache-afflicted Josie, Culprit's paramour, who may or may not be channeling voodoo spirits. Driven by its ensemble cast and crackling Catch-22-style dialogue, it's an absurdist take on history in the style of a 60s-era postmodern, black humor novel.
Fleegle

The French Detective

There is a man who turns up in my neighborhood during social events, whether it's a block party or Halloween or whatnot. I don't think he's a neighbor but rather a friend or brother of a neighbor, but then again, I just don't know! He's just that mysterious!

The man looks French. I cannot describe why I think he looks French, but he just has that look. He also looks like a detective. He's not in a Sherlock Holmes hat or trench coat or any sort of dress that would make a detective. Rather it's in the character of his face. He has the type of face that makes it look like he's solved many crimes.

When you talk to him, he doesn't sound French. Nor does he begin sentences with "By Jove." He is quite insightful and pegged it that on Halloween I was dressed as a member of the band Dee Lite. That he doesn't sound French doesn't mean he isn't French, but rather he is a master of disguise! On Halloween, he didn't appear to be wearing a costume. Yet his was the most convincing costume of them all!

When I've mentioned to other people that he looks French, they agree with me. When I mention he looks like a detective, they agree with me. When I refer to the French Detective, people know who I'm talking about.

On Halloween, I lost my cell phone while trick or treating with the kids. Someone found it, started texting all her friends and took photos of herself which she then emailed to herself. She then deleted all of my email from the phone. Luckily she didn't delete the sent mail, which is how I found her. It was easy to track her down on Facebook and MySpace and to email her and call her friends and ask for the phone back. She wouldn't reply, so I had to call the police. Hopefully, the cops will get my phone back with minimal fuss.

The point of the story is I need to track down the French Detective. I have no idea when the next neighborhood mystery will come along, and my tired soul just doesn't have the energy to solve crimes myself. Nor do I want to get the police involved when all you need is a French Detective.
Fleegle

How many space operas can you name?

For a new novel, I am researching a certain type of movie that I can only describe as 1970s Rock n' Roll Space Operas (often with amusement parks, haunted houses, and masked superheroes)


Here's the list I have so far, but if you can think of others please list them in the comment box:

  • Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Phantom of the Paradise
  • KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park
  • Ziggy Stardust (concert film)
  • Flash Gordon
Fleegle

Lost chapter from a lost book

[Here is a chapter from a book I was writing in the mid 1990s. When I see it now, I can remember what I was thinking and what I was going for. It still makes me cringe. --RM]

III. Coca-Cola ™

Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola.

Ommmm. Ommmm. Ommmm. Ommmm. Ommmm.

Fleegle

Beatles for sale

We had a yard sale over the weekend, and on a whim, I decided to put out a bunch of old albums, a dollar a pop. Before I knew it, I had sold more than 100 records to at least 15 different people. Mostly, they were 80s postpunk/powerpop and 60s rock. I just sat there on the steps, and when someone was looking at an album, I would tell some crazy story about it, about Jonathan Richman or Let's Active or Klark Kent or the Replacements. To make a long story short, I met Uncle Mort from KBOO's Rockaholics Anonymous, and after telling him yarns about the Left Banke and Michael Brown (not the legendary FEMA "heckuva job, Brownie" Michael Brown), he invited me as a guest on his show in August to play some Left Banke and its spin-off groups (The Beckies, The Stories, Montage). I'm as pleased as punch. I will write something about "Walk Away Renee" soon and post it here, just for kicks (and to revive the journal).
Fleegle

Opening my own mattress store?

Sure, why not? Then again, not for me so much. It's nice to see the mattress industry flourishing, though it's a shame there aren't waterbed stores in every strip mall like there were back in the 1980s. If I have a change of heart and decide to open my own mattress shop, I am torn between two different store names:

Mattress Loc (That's one of them)

Sleep Member (That's the other)

I just wish there were more hours in the day so I could open more stores.