OK let’s play a more obscure game: Let’s Write A Robyn Hitchcock Song!
Angels Priests Hoods & Masks Birds The Byrds A jangly, circular guitar riff that sounds like bells A reverse pedal Vegetables Spiders/Spider’s Eggs Insects Eyes Plants that become people, people that become plants Cockney rhyming slang Lizards Obelisks A Mandrake root writhing under a full moon in a sensual way Disease/Decay Prawns Trains Death People named Bruce or Kevin
Comedy moves quickly, but these bits will get you on all the cool shows and festivals, because everyone’s doin’ em!
Extremely Detailed Solipsism Pretending To Be Mad About Small Things ShockJock (90’s Nostalgia) Fat Guys, Shirts Off If I Yell It, It’s A Punchline I Pooped In Public, A Closer White People Interpreting Rap Lyrics Homeless People Are Weird That Time I Ate Too Much Pot Hillbilly Philosopher (Nihilism in a Trucker Cap)
When you submit your comedy album to Pandora, like I did with my comedy album, Gothic American, they sort your tracks into little pre-written buckets for their algorithm- and the description of the tracks from my album, Gothic American, make a nice little poem about my comedy:
Paradise Lost The Circus/Freaks/Etc. Blues music “All Things Move Towards Their End” The Supernatural The Bible A Gun Greek poetry A small, but surprisingly sharp, knife End of Days The American West/Pioneers/Lawless lands People who were born evil Messed Up Preachers Being Attracted To Women Who Are Married To Someone Else Whom You Then Kill Lots of Murders, misunderstood criminals The Devil Being suspected or discovered to be a murderer Alcohol Jesus Floods Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood Sociopathic Narrators Women and children grieving for lost husbands and fathers Dark-haired ladies Whores A mandolin loop A big big gong Subset: what kind of beautiful dark-haired woman do you want in here?
A. Sad B. Vengeful C. Murderous D. Angelic E. With a heart-shaped face and a west country accent
Names of Small Towns The Pride of the Outsider Motorcycles Trains Childhood Memories Broken Things Drugs A Moment Where You Escaped The Boot On Your Neck And Experienced Real Freedom In A Way Rich Kids Never Will Wrestling Magic the Gathering/D&D Dysfunctional Family Relationships We Never Dealt With Driving Wolves Dogged Optimism Even Though You Know It’ll All Fall Apart Glamorized Alcoholism A-minor Chord Names of Ancient Gods Regionally Specific Trees Lo-Fi Recording Descriptions of How A Girl’s Hair Looks In The Sunset Nostalgia for Things That Went Badly Names of Interstates Not just acoustic guitar- Acoustic AF guitar
This August, The Cure threw an end-of-Summer celebration at the Rose Bowl grounds called the Pasadena Daydream Festival. Who hates Summer more than Goths? Nobody.
I love the Cure, I love the Pixies, and I have never EVER seen Throwing Muses and was absolutely DYING to. Since the ticket was expensive, I steeled myself to going alone, but my friend Johnny Skourtis posted a self-pitying story on Instagram the morning of the show saying he was going alone, so I had a festival buddy!
The Day Of:
It was hot as shit. 30,000 goths were sweating and drinking. They sold out of Donut Friend brand vegan donuts. But: everything else was great. Throwing Muses, also known as Some Dudes and Kristin Hersh, were tight and AGGRESSIVE and wonderful. Pixies and their rotating Kim Deal impersonator were good, and The Cure have only gotten better at being the Cure. You want pedals? Layered guitar? Drone? You got it, babe. The band has gotten famous 40 years into their career, and Robert is wearing it well, and seems much happier than he was when he was 30.
Meeting New Friends:
I was wearing an ancient Cure t-shirt that my sister has been begging me to throw out, and instead of throwing it out, I had repaired the holes with lace scraps, and a twenty something came to compliment me on it. He claimed that he was “the world’s biggest Cure fan” and that he had seen his first show in 2009. I told him I had seen my first show in 1986 at the Bronco Bowl, for Head on the Door, and he protested, I wasn’t even BORN then. That can’t be my problem, man!
Here’s the Cure’s playlist, including Just One Kiss, which was never played in the US before, but which I really like.
Pictures of You
A Night Like This
Just One Kiss(first time live in the US)
In Between Days
Just Like Heaven
From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
Play for Today
Shake Dog Shake
39 (Altered lyric from “half my )
Friday I’m in Love (with “Where Is My Mind”… )
Close to Me
Why Can’t I Be You?
Boys Don’t Cry
The Morning After:
The morning after, I was complaining to Johnny that although we had been drinking all day, it was so spaced out that I was never really drunk, but that I had a hangover, and then he sent me a video of myself singing to the Pixies that he believed disproved my theory. Anyway, it was nice having a friend for one day. Thanks, Pasadena Daydream Festival!
Postscript: Looks like everyone is searching for an actual festival called Gothchella, and I can’t help you there, but if you want to dress like a hot weather witch, a big floppy hat and a black slip is a great place to start!
I am writing my morning pages and find myself in a meditation on death.
Looking at the date, I realize it’s my Dad, John Ryan’s, birthday, or- it was his birthday when he was alive. I personally don’t think you can have a birthday after you die- the date stops being relevant to you. It is, perhaps, the anniversary of your birth- but Mozart doesn’t have a 263rd birthday.
Where We Came From
My father was born Sept 9, 1948, to his mother, Ruth Ryan, who is now dead. His father, Robert Sloan Ryan, was present at the birth, and is also dead. The doctor and the nurses who attended the birth are all dead. The maintenance workers at the hospital are dead, the policemen walking the streets of Houston, TX the day my Dad was born are dead, the mothers and fathers of the other babies born that day are all dead, some of the babies born that day are also dead.
Every singer on the radio that day is dead. The number one hit song that day was the 12th Street Rag, by Pee Wee Hunt and his Orchestra. Pee Wee Hunt is dead and all the members of the orchestra are dead.
The Oscar winner for Best Picture that year was Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet. All the actors in the film are dead, the most recent being Jean Simmons, who died in 2010, three years before my Dad.
The stars of the most popular TV shows of the day, Ed Sullivan, Howdy Doody, and Candid Camera are all dead. Most of the people who watched those shows are dead. Everyone who worked writing or shooting those shows is dead.
Where We Are Going
One day, Beyonce and Kim Kardashian and PewDiePie and Shane Gillis and David Duchovny and Taylor Swift and Lin-Manuel Miranda will be dead, and everyone you’ve ever known or looked up to or hated or had a crush on or wronged or bought dinner for will be dead. It’ll happen so quickly you won’t believe it, sweeping unapologetically through the population and leaving you wondering what it was all for, all the striving and the cutting each other down and the aspirations and the heartbreak. Nobody will remember your failed Etsy business, the time you threw up at Homecoming, the time Patton Oswalt retweeted you. If you’re lucky, 100 years after your death your descendants will remember your name. So, yes. I am having another Frappuccino.