Tell me about: Ian Svenonius

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Do you sing his gospels or do you curse his belt?

girls are gay, Friday, 25 June 2004 10:28 (sixteen years ago) link

ironic hipster in looking and acting like moron shocker

strongo hulkington (dubplatestyle), Friday, 25 June 2004 10:31 (sixteen years ago) link

man, his band was really good for a two year period though

strongo hulkington (dubplatestyle), Friday, 25 June 2004 10:31 (sixteen years ago) link

He's about 45 years old. Seriously.

Mike Dixon (Mike Dixon), Friday, 25 June 2004 10:32 (sixteen years ago) link

He seems to be really bitter about the rapture, judging from every single interview I've read about him recently.

Kipple (Kipple), Friday, 25 June 2004 10:35 (sixteen years ago) link

Did he date Michelle Mae?

girls are gay, Friday, 25 June 2004 10:45 (sixteen years ago) link

lots of people are haters of his "shtick", but he's the real thing. if you get a chance to talk to him, it's apparent. talking with him is like talking to an indie robin williams who isn't necessarily doing a comedy routine -- dude thinks on his feet, and he's really nice.

tinfoil, Friday, 25 June 2004 12:48 (sixteen years ago) link

hes friends with my friend!

and ohmygodmichellemae

peter smith (plsmith), Friday, 25 June 2004 12:50 (sixteen years ago) link

i think he's funny

stockholm cindy (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 25 June 2004 12:55 (sixteen years ago) link

that guy from the delta 72 used to REALLY bug me because he did such a pale imitation of ian. I show-stalked the make-up a little bit back around '97-'98. what an amazing and underappreciated band!!!! showed up at a show in amsterdam and pretended to be my own dutch cousin when I approached ian, it got him for a second, as he vaguely remembered me from a couple of shows in the U.S. then a couple of days later I went to den hague to see them, and talked to the band a lot I guess because most of the other people there spoke dutch. ahh, fond memories.

tinfoil, Friday, 25 June 2004 12:57 (sixteen years ago) link

man, his band was really good for a two year period though

strongo OTM....

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 25 June 2004 13:04 (sixteen years ago) link

The lead singer of the Delta 72 got insanely pissed when my friend shouted "Gospel Yeh-Yeh" at one of their shows. That was pretty cool.

Ian Svenonius always seemed like a pretty intense dude. With bad teeth. But, yes, Strongo otm about those couple years.

Aaron W (Aaron W), Friday, 25 June 2004 13:21 (sixteen years ago) link

Gregg Foreman is a fucktard.

Ian seems okay.

hstencil (hstencil), Friday, 25 June 2004 13:22 (sixteen years ago) link

Gregg is/was notorious for being a ladykiller.

Silly, Friday, 25 June 2004 13:30 (sixteen years ago) link

...and a heroin addict, and an asshole, and a recipient of punches from Jon fucking Spencer.

hstencil (hstencil), Friday, 25 June 2004 13:33 (sixteen years ago) link

I saw the Make Up play in Rochester back in '97, they were fantastic. Ian leapt upon me and licked my ear thrice. Afterwards me and a friend helped him carry boxes of merch to the Make Up van. He was really nice and quiet and unassuming.

Gear! (Gear!), Friday, 25 June 2004 13:50 (sixteen years ago) link

save yourself is pretty incredible.
nou, also.

OCP (OCP), Friday, 25 June 2004 14:01 (sixteen years ago) link

Sassiest Boy in America, 1993 (or something), REVOKED.

Huk-El (Horace Mann), Friday, 25 June 2004 14:03 (sixteen years ago) link

Sassiest Wanna-Be Stand-Up Comic in Regina, 2004, PROVOKED.

hstencil (hstencil), Friday, 25 June 2004 14:04 (sixteen years ago) link

I wasn't making a joke or anything. Didn't he win Sassy Magazine's Sassiest Boy in America award and then they took it back after they found out he was 21?

Huk-El (Horace Mann), Friday, 25 June 2004 14:07 (sixteen years ago) link

something like that, yeah. I just wanted to play on your post, tho.

hstencil (hstencil), Friday, 25 June 2004 14:15 (sixteen years ago) link

Oh, I get it. You're being fun and flirty!

Huk-El (Horace Mann), Friday, 25 June 2004 14:18 (sixteen years ago) link

i love how ian has become this odd little rare contributor of discourse to every decent zine this side of everywhere. his article in index (?) about how lord of the rings was mysogynist or something was awesome.

msp, Friday, 25 June 2004 14:21 (sixteen years ago) link

Make Up at the end of 99 is still a very strong contender for best show ever, personally speaking. Never did an album I went back to much, but an amazing live spectacle (this in front of a half full room, to boot)

DJ Mencap (DJ Mencap), Friday, 25 June 2004 14:23 (sixteen years ago) link

Their singles collection is pretty fucking hot, at least the first half of it.

St. Nicholas (Nick A.), Friday, 25 June 2004 14:29 (sixteen years ago) link

At a Make-Up show, I was in the front row and he grabbed me and konked his head into mine and I had a big bruise on my forehead. I was honored. Haven't really heard Weird War though.

Sara Sherr, Friday, 25 June 2004 14:46 (sixteen years ago) link

once he stopped a gig halfway to comb his hair.

matthew james (matthew james), Friday, 25 June 2004 14:57 (sixteen years ago) link

The title track off the new Weird War thing is up there with the best Make Up stuff I reckons - the rest of the album has its moments.

NOU on the other hand... Plays Pretty For Baby is probably in my alltime top 20 albums, but they were a band I discovered 5 or 6 years after the event, so that "moment in time" feeling to them isn't really applicable. I have an issue of Ablaze! that features a very long interview w/ Ian, though, and that's pretty good reading

DJ Mencap (DJ Mencap), Friday, 25 June 2004 14:58 (sixteen years ago) link

The only film I've ever directed/written was titled after an NOU song.

Huk-El (Horace Mann), Friday, 25 June 2004 15:00 (sixteen years ago) link

There's a Dischord video of live Make Up plus general hipster goofing around. I hope it's not representative of their "great live show." It's really tedious.

dlp9001, Friday, 25 June 2004 17:30 (sixteen years ago) link

yeah but that scene where Ian tries to seek political asylum in Canada is priceless.

hexxyDancer, Friday, 25 June 2004 17:36 (sixteen years ago) link

he is pretty nice actually and genuinely weird/on his own trip.

the delta '72 guy was such a dick when i met him. it's clear that he acts like an asshole because no one recognizes that he's god's gift to "__________" (women, music, you name it). VH1 where is he now?

sherm, Friday, 25 June 2004 18:02 (sixteen years ago) link

Also search the Cupid Car Club's one and only 7". It's a beaute.
Growing up in D.C., Svenonious-spotting was a fun pasttime. He always seemed really nice. Responsible for some of my most fun shows I have ever attended, too.

Neb Reyob (Ben Boyer), Friday, 25 June 2004 18:05 (sixteen years ago) link

"I Feel Like I've Lived a Billion Lives."

Gregg Foreman's Years of Living Dangerously.


The Players:

GREGG FOREMAN Leader, Delta 72; DJ, the Turnaround and Making Time

MARK BOYCE Keyboard player, Goats, Boss Hog, Marah, Delta 72

DAVE PIANKA Promoter, Making Time events

GREG PRECHT Co-owner, Silk City

BRUCE RECKAHN Bass player, the Goats, Delta 72

COREY RUSK Owner, Touch and Go

VAL SHIVELY Owner, Val Shively R&B Records in Upper Darby

SARAH STOLFA Keyboard player, Delta 72

MIKE Z. DJ, Making Time; lead singer, Heartache Disease

There's not much middle ground with Gregg Foreman. He's a love-him-or-hate-him kind of guy. To his detractors--and there are many--he's an object of ridicule and derision. To his friends and admirers--and there are just as many--he is cool incarnate.

But on this we can all agree: He was, for a time at least, the hippest guy in town. Preternaturally stylish and born of rock-star DNA--all high cheek bones and sideburns, licorice-legged and strutting as if to earn that rooster's crown hair style--Foreman lives, and more than once nearly died, by the get-down imperative: Have a good time all the time.

Just prior to his birth 28 years ago near King of Prussia, his mother interned at Motown Records. Foreman likes to tell people he got his love of soul music in utero.

He says seeing the Rolling Stones video for "Start Me Up" and Prince's "Purple Rain" sealed his fate, setting him on quest for the Holy Grail of cool: rock stardom. The journey was fraught with the usual dragons: fashion slavery, phoniness, jealousy, gossip and heroin. It was the last one--as so many of his heroes, from Keith Richards on down, learned firsthand--that proved unslayable.

When he showed up on the local radar six years ago, he was the leader of the Delta 72, a band that blended punk and Stax soul into one of the most stylish and exciting live acts in town. Critics' laurels, international tours and major label offers were laid at the band's feet, only to be canceled out by the oldest cliche in the Big Book of Rock Career Mistakes: heroin addiction.

Rewind a few years to the dawn of the '90s, when we find Foreman dropping in and out of various colleges and bands in the middle and western part of the state before drifting to the vibrant indie rock scene coalescing in the nation's capital.

Washington, D.C., was home of Dischord Records, recognized worldwide as the standard-bearer of punk cred, virtue and ethics--which Foreman would soon be able to recite chapter and verse, only to unlearn them one by one on his way down just a few short years later.

It is here where we pick up the story.

Gregg Foreman: "The Delta 72 name? I liked the stretch of river that came through where all the blues and soul music came from. '72 was the year our drummer was born. You always have to give the drummer some. One day I bought a Farfisa organ--it looked like a giant red coffin--and gave it to my roommate Sarah [Stolfa], and taped down the chords that she was allowed to play. We played this spotlight show for all the new D.C. bands. It was kinda nerve-racking. All the Dischord people were there, and afterward [Dischord head/Fugazi main man] Ian MacKaye comes running up onstage. I thought he was gonna punch me. He was like, 'That was great, like some fuckin' Led Zeppelin or something.' So we wound up doing our first 7-inch with Dischord, and it just blew up on the strength of word-of-mouth. At some point we played a show with Girls Against Boys in New York. They were on Touch and Go, which was one of the best indie labels, and they urged [label owner] Corey Rusk to stay and see our set. Next thing he wanted to put out our debut, The R&B of Membership."

Corey Rusk: "I thought they were a great live band with the potential to make great records. They had good chemistry and a real spark."

Gregg Foreman: "Our drummer wasn't working out, so we got Jason Kourkounis from Mule. Mule had moved to Philadelphia, and he was taking the bus down to D.C. We needed a new bass player, and he said he knew this guy in Philly. D.C. was becoming this kind of bad social club, and we thought, 'Why not move the band here?'"

Bruce Reckahn: "I met Gregg at a party, and we started talking about the Stax/Volt box, which was very seminal for me. And then I saw Delta 72 play at Silk City and loved the show. I was really impressed with Gregg. The energy was fantastic."

Gregg Foreman: "I was doing splits and jumping off speakers. We had an in-band joke: An okay show would be a two-split show, but a really good show would be a 10-split show. At this point it had once again become okay for punk to have an element of fashion to it."

Sarah Stolfa:"We would wear these matching suits. We were very into dressing up and putting on a show."

Joey Sweeney (PW contributing editor): "Gregg Foreman, by hook or by crook, did a great thing for the way bands perceive themselves in this city by doing not much more than striking a pose. What you have to understand about Philly rock bands--and really, indie rock bands at large, although we're particularly guilty of it--is that most of these shlubs out there actually think it's okay to take the stage wearing shorts and Tevas. But once Foreman took the scene--first as Ace Face for the Dotcom Age, then as Keef for the post-ironic generation--everyone at least had to consider whether or not his was a cue worth following. A lot of people had one of two knee-jerk reactions. Some said, 'Fuck that ponce, we're gonna keep dressing like Superchunk's roadies.' Others just semed to ape the poor guy wholesale."

Gregg Foreman: "Back then there were no DJ nights that played what I was into--soul music. My first night was at the 700 Club. It was called Delta 72's Maximum R&B, and it was all Love and the Seeds and Otis and Sly and raw funk, but also Can and Wire. I just noticed there was an absence of that kind of crossover of musical styles. I don't know if I had that big of an impact. All I know is that after I moved here, things started changing--a lot. I met some kids who worked at this store called Ideal on South Street. One of them turned out to be Mike Z."

Mike Z.: "I first met him when I was managing Ideal clothing on South Street. He came in with his mom. I was playing the Small Faces in there, and we started talking because he was a big fan. He was doing a party at the 700 Club. He was the first person in Philly to do something outside of the hip-hop/dance realm. We went up to New York to see this DJ night called Shout. It was filled with all these kids who were into '60s soul and rock music and style and dancing. We wanted to do something like that in Philly. And that's when we decided to do the whole Uptight DJs thing."

Gregg Foreman: "We called the night Uptight, named after the Stevie Wonder album and that Velvet Underground biography."

Mike Z.: "We held it at this place called Skyline in Chinatown--that place was pretty shady. It's a parking lot now. The first night we drew about 75 people, but it became a whole thing. We started doing a Brit-pop night--British pop music from the '60s and the '90s called Sorted. Then Gregg started [a '60s and '70s soul music dance party called] the Turnaround. He would have people dancing to these super-rare soul tracks--stuff that nobody had. Even in New York people talk about his soul record collection--a lot of which he got at Val Shively's place."

Val Shively: "He'd come in all the time. He's a trip. We called him 'the Funk Kid.' He's really out there."

Dave Pianka: "I moved into town around 1998. I would go to all these parties. Eventually I came up with the idea to combine them all together in one big place, and that became Making Time."

Gregg Foreman: "The knife incident? Me and Mike Z. went to the Pontiac to see the Rondelles. The drummer in that band is now the singer for the Witnesses--who are great--and I heard he was talking some trash about me. So I went there partially to check them out and partially to instill the fear of God in him. I used to carry a switchblade in my boot. So I walked up to him and pulled it out. It was comical, really. Now we're great friends. And then, like, it ends up in PW. I think Joey Sweeney has a thing for me. I think he's in love with me."

Joey Sweeney: "[The knife incident] was just the tragic misstep of a seriously deluded guy. But then again, who knows? Foreman bought into the Stagger Lee myth more than anybody since Greil Marcus or Tupac Shakur, and maybe all that faux-badass shit he pulled was just an extension of the pose, the clothes ... to say nothing of ... the blow."

Bruce Reckahn: "Most of [Delta 72's] press was overwhelmingly positive, but when it was negative, they would always call us Blues Explosion wannabes. I can't say we weren't paying some attention."

Gregg Foreman: "I had a fistfight with Jon Spencer in Chicago when we were out there recording [1997's] Soul of a New Machine. I was a huge fan, and I still am. I'm amazed that they're not huge and the Hives are. We were all sitting around Lounge Ax--sort of like the Khyber of Chicago--late one night, and I suggested that we do a revue-style tour together. I think he thought I was making fun of him. He just looked at me and slapped me in the face. So I just punched him in the eye and he was really drunk and just fell to the floor. He apologized later. He bought me a shot and got on his knees to give it to me--swear to God--and bowed and said goodnight. And then, a week later, we got a call asking us to go on tour with the Blues Explosion. I was like, 'Wow, I should punch out people more often.'"

Bruce Reckahn: "There was some tension with Sarah. When you're in the middle of it, little things get blown out of proportion. Some might have been personality, maybe being in a van too long with someone. We all could've been more tolerant with each other. Too much of it was directed at Sarah. She started to feel like an outsider, and we didn't do much to remedy that. There were some words between her and Gregg. She quit a few days before we were supposed to leave for a tour in England."

Sarah Stolfa: "The reason I quit was because I no longer wanted to be involved with Gregg Foreman. When I quit and I never even heard from anybody--to this day--I knew I was doing the right thing because they didn't even care that I was gone."

Mark Boyce: "They asked me to play with them right before going to Tokyo, and I jumped at the chance. The fans [in Japan] are over the top. It's the closest you can get to being a C-list rock star. We were put in a hotel and given the star treatment. It was a breath of fresh air after sleeping on floors and in vans. Soon after we came back, we started working on the last album, 000, here in Philly at Tongue and Groove."

Gregg Foreman: "There was a split developing within the band between the people who liked to play and get a good night's sleep and those of us who wanted the cliched life-after-the-show."

Mark Boyce: "At some point during the tour of 000 we started being courted by the major labels. I think we scared away a lot of these guys because we were on an indie label that was giving us 50 percent of everything we sold, and the only way a major could compare to that was to give us a lot of money up front. I don't think we were shy about what we wanted, and that scared off a lot of prospects and led to a lot of infighting. Some of us were pissed off at missed opportunities and starting to see chinks in the armor."

Gregg Foreman: "The summer of 2000 we toured Europe twice and went to Japan, played a couple festivals. We played this one festival in Portugal with Primal Scream, Einstürzende Neubauten, Death in Vegas--I think we got paid like $40,000 to play it. The promoter gave each band a pile of coke. I had never seen hard narcotics in my life before that. I loved it! I was like, 'Sign me up!' And I got kinda wrapped up in it, you know?"

Mark Boyce: "The promoters were over-the-top generous with us. If someone gives you a hunk of hash the size of soap bar, you go with it."

Bruce Reckahn: "It was a big festival, and the grounds were really beautiful. Nice cafes, cobblestone streets, nice hotels. They put a stage on what looked like an old jousting grounds bordered by cliffs. They spent a lot of money on the bands. Backstage accommodations were pretty swank. A lot of coke. It was a great time, but I think that's where some of the problems started and some things started to change."

Mark Boyce: "Being on tour is one thing, but when I get home I need some normalcy. I'm not sure the same was true for Gregg."

Gregg Foreman: "By winter 2001 I was doing my fair share of coke. I was hungry like the wolf. And I got introduced to heroin by accident, because it's a powder just like coke. When it's there on the mirror, you don't really know what you're doing. It just struck a chord in me. I didn't know it, but I had stumbled upon the greatest painkiller of all time. It's like instant Zen--except it's fake. You have to understand it was absolutely everywhere. All the coke people became heroin people, like, overnight. You couldn't get away from it without changing all your friends."

Greg Precht: "His friends were dropping like flies. All these stupid kids were dying. I thought to myself, 'Didn't these kids learn anything from the last 20 years?'"

Gregg Foreman: "It started as a way to come down when the coke ran out. You feel introspective and depressed and your brain is swelling up and you feel awful and a little touch will take away all the pain. Well, you do that three or four nights in a row and all of a sudden you are physically addicted. I didn't know that was possible. I felt like I had a really bad flu, and a friend said, 'It sounds like heroin withdrawal,' and I was like, 'But I don't do heroin.' I knew then that darker days were coming."

Dave Pianka: "It was really bad in terms of the scene. It was a mess. That first Spiritualized show [at the Troc] pulled a lot of people into [heroin]."

Mike Z.: "Lots of people had to move out of the city to clean up. I can't really enjoy Spiritualized the way I used to. Gregg was telling me that he can't listen to a lot of Rolling Stones songs because he associates it with heroin, which sucks because he loved that music."

Gregg Foreman: "A friend of ours, one of the Uptight DJs, died from a heroin overdose. He was the first person I saw who was a scary junkie, like nodding out, not in control. He was 25. We all went to the funeral. You think it would have woken people up, but instead it just drove people in further. It got pretty evil after that. I moved into a house where there were people I would call junkies. You don't have to shoot up to be a junkie. You just need to use every day. My close friend was shooting up 12 bags a day. It would give me constant bronchitis--really bad. I couldn't breathe at all. I wound up in the emergency room a lot, until the time I went in and they told me I only had 7 percent oxygen in my blood. They kept me in until New Year's Eve 2002, when I got out to DJ. A big party in a warehouse in North Philly. Cops broke it up, kid had a seizure, people screwing everywhere. I knew that if I kept doing drugs, I would die, and somehow that didn't seem like a big deal at the time. Eventually a friend and his girlfriend showed me how to shoot it up. I never wanted to be a junkie, and I went through detox a dozen times. But it's gonna be a revolving door until you realize enough is enough. A lot of my friends were afraid I was going to die or maybe the stereo was going to disappear. I went from the town hero to the town antihero. It's like that Stones song, 'Coming down again where are all my friends?'"

Mark Boyce: "Gregg was never really prompt about rehearsal times from the beginning, but it soon got to the point where he would show up an hour late. It gets old. I started noticing there was a problem when he would show up two hours late and really fucked up. The thing about Gregg is that he's a really kindhearted person who'd make up excuses, and you'd just have to buy it. It was kind of fucked up. Whether I was a part of it or not, I knew in the back of my mind that something was snowballing here. It's a cliche for Christ's sake. It's fucked up where you can pull your Keith Richards thing, and the next thing you know you've snowballed into a full-on drug habit."

Mike Z.: "The Delta 72 could have definitely been part of this whole Hives/White Stripes/ Strokes wave, because they were doing the same things years before. And that's sad to me."

Dave Pianka: "These were the kind of things we would say to Gregg in these interventions. You would say to him, 'Gregg, do you see what's going on in music right now? Do you see that you were doing this long before?' And this was back when there was still a possibility that it could happen."

Gregg Foreman: "The time we played with Need New Body at the Knitting Factory I was on heroin onstage--the only time I performed on it. It was awful. Mike Z. was there, and he was watching and thinking, 'Gregg, just open your eyes.' It went from a 10-split show to a no-split show."

Mark Boyce: "The Knitting Factory show was kind of the writing on the wall in a lot of ways."

Bruce Reckahn: "The show was really lackluster. It was really disappointing. You could see it on the face of everyone in the band. We all kind of went our separate ways after the show. We played one more show in Rittenhouse Square, and that was the end."

Gregg Foreman: "The first time I got in trouble with the cops I was walking down by 16th and South. I guess the cops thought I looked fucked up. I was fucked up. They searched me and found a switchblade, which was a novelty knife I got in Germany, and a Xanax, which I have a prescription for. And I missed my [DJ night at Silk City] sitting in the clink. They held me overnight and let me go the next day. You ever spend a night at the Roundhouse? It's evil."

Dave Pianka: "He used his one phone call to call his friend Dana to call me and find a replacement DJ."

Greg Precht: "Despite all his problems he still managed to draw a crowd. No promotion. No flyers. Shows up stoned out of his mind, nodding off behind the turntables, and the place is packed. It's the glamorizing that bothers me. He's old enough to make his own mistakes, but all these kids that look up to him ... they come up to me and say, 'Gregg's been doing drugs a long time, he knows how to handle it, but that girl over there, she tried it and couldn't handle it.' Well, no, he's not handling it. Nobody handles it."

Gregg Foreman: "Heroin always wins. Even when your name is Keith Richards."

Dave Pianka: "There would be times at the Turnaround when he was DJing and the record would just stop and there would be silence and everybody would look over, and you could see it in his face that it was because he was on drugs."

Gregg Foreman: "The next time I got in trouble it was a lot more serious. I was driving a car on the Atlantic City Expressway and didn't have a license. It was raining, and I wound up driving off the road a bit, and the car did a complete 360, and then it wouldn't start. My car broke down. The cops are always on the scene when you don't need them, man. Again, no license, Percocet and Vicodin in the car--none of which was helping my cause. So I missed another Turnaround because I was in jail."

Dave Pianka: "When he missed another Turnaround--that's when I decided I couldn't have him at Making Time any more."

Gregg Foreman: "By that point [Silk City owner] Greg had had it with me, even though my night was doing well. I said to myself, 'This is all you do now. You're a DJ, and you can't even do that. You are losing your soul and your identity.' And that was the end."

Dave Pianka: "He told me he had straightened his shit out. So I let him spin at the last Making Time. I didn't say anything at the time, but it was a test to see if he was going to show up, if he was going to be clean and do a good job. It was his last chance. And he was great. It was like the old Gregg Foreman was back."

Mike Z.: "Before he got into drugs he had to deal with people badmouthing him, and I definitely feel like that pushed him in that direction because he never felt like he got validated. For some reason he rubbed people the wrong way. People in this city get jealous. 'Why's everybody looking up to this kid? What's so great about him? Fuck Gregg Foreman.' That was the attitude of a lot of people in this town. And when he went down probably a lot of people enjoyed seeing that happen."

Dave Pianka: "It would be nice to see him come out of this and do something positive. As a friend, I would like to see that happen for him, but also it would be a middle finger to those people."

Gregg Foreman: "I don't go out anymore. I watch a lot of cable. [Keeping clean] really depends on where you hang out and who you hang out with--places and things, they say. A screwup is one night [back on heroin]. A relapse is a week or more. I've had a couple of screwups. After a while the highs burn out your endorphins, so you are always kinda flat emotionally--or worse."

Dave Pianka: "The songs he's written since the Delta 72 are much more personal. He's a great songwriter. He got up and played by himself last month at the Khyber. Just him and a guitar, and it was really touching."

Mike Z.: "Even better than he was doing before. The Delta 72 were great, but they were a party band. This is not the time for party bands. Things aren't that great--everywhere. It's time to be real."

Gregg Foreman: "I feel like I've lived a billion lives already. I'm not sure that's a good thing."

The Turnaround happens the second Friday of each month at Silk City, Fifth and Spring Garden sts. 215.592.8838

ELIMINATE THE DRUG-USERS, HOMOSEXUALS AND THE POOR (hstencil), Friday, 25 June 2004 18:09 (sixteen years ago) link

Thanks for posting that article... I had kinda wondered whatever happened to that guy.

Neb Reyob (Ben Boyer), Friday, 25 June 2004 18:22 (sixteen years ago) link

"Before he got into drugs he had to deal with people badmouthing him, and I definitely feel like that pushed him in that direction because he never felt like he got validated. For some reason he rubbed people the wrong way."

well when a person puts themself up on a pedestal and acts condescendingly to others, it rubs people the wrong way and they in turn will refuse to 'validate' them. how something trivial like that would turn someone into a junkie is beyond me.

sherm, Friday, 25 June 2004 18:31 (sixteen years ago) link

Substituting George for Gregg actually makes the story better.

ddb (ddb), Friday, 25 June 2004 18:32 (sixteen years ago) link

I like the Nation of Ulysses!

Ian c=====8 (orion), Friday, 25 June 2004 18:32 (sixteen years ago) link

me too!

ddb (ddb), Friday, 25 June 2004 18:34 (sixteen years ago) link

wanna party?

ddb (ddb), Friday, 25 June 2004 18:34 (sixteen years ago) link

Substituting George for Gregg actually makes the story better.

George Foreman: "I had a fistfight with Jon Spencer in Chicago when we were out there recording [1997's] Soul of a New Machine.


sherm, Friday, 25 June 2004 18:36 (sixteen years ago) link

he has a great supporting role in half-cocked: "THE GUILOTEENS ARE NOT FRIENDLESS!"

lauren (laurenp), Friday, 25 June 2004 18:55 (sixteen years ago) link

msp, Friday, 25 June 2004 18:56 (sixteen years ago) link

that look delicious

peter smith (plsmith), Friday, 25 June 2004 18:57 (sixteen years ago) link

my actual experience with george foreman grills has been way less than satisfactory.

Ian c=====8 (orion), Friday, 25 June 2004 19:03 (sixteen years ago) link

they're good for grilling radicchio with balsamic vinegar.

lauren (laurenp), Friday, 25 June 2004 19:09 (sixteen years ago) link

eat more meat, lauren.

Ian c=====8 (orion), Friday, 25 June 2004 19:15 (sixteen years ago) link

in case it wasn't clear, i was talking about NOU in my first post

strongo hulkington (dubplatestyle), Friday, 25 June 2004 19:47 (sixteen years ago) link

i had a make up cd once, but then i donated it to goodwill

strongo hulkington (dubplatestyle), Friday, 25 June 2004 19:48 (sixteen years ago) link

that's my boy, jess.

Ian c=====8 (orion), Friday, 25 June 2004 19:51 (sixteen years ago) link

finally getting around to this, it is quite awesome

THIS IS NOT A BENGHAZI T-SHIRT (Hurting 2), Thursday, 30 May 2013 00:27 (seven years ago) link

the book I mean

THIS IS NOT A BENGHAZI T-SHIRT (Hurting 2), Thursday, 30 May 2013 00:27 (seven years ago) link

"because music is not for everyone. most people, in fact, shouldn't listen to it"

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 30 May 2013 17:05 (seven years ago) link

I love this:

To determine a group’s identity, one must first determine what the group is trying to achieve.

Is it the desire to be a) “famous,” or perhaps b) sexually popular? Is it c) to write some good songs in the style of another particular group? Or perhaps is it d) to advance a particular ideological system?

If the intention is a), then we urge you to find another avenue. Fame in a group is fleeting and even when it is attained—which is fairly uncommon—it is subject to the vagaries and whims of an ignoramus public. The group member or singing star is a clown, occasional comic relief for his or her listener, but more often entirely ignored or the subject of ridicule. The fame begotten is so momentary as to be almost like a hallucination, and there is typically little money associated with it. There are much more solid ways to find notoriety, the most reliable being a political career.

Politics don’t require talent, intelligence, or good looks. In the beginning, you won’t even need to own a suit. Just announce some “provocative” (creationist, bigoted, or otherwise reactionary) vitriol into a microphone, and you’ll attract financial backers who will arrange television appearances, fundraising events, and bespoke finery. Your notoriety will be more long-lasting and more pervasive than any fame you could achieve in music. Truly, someone like Donald Rumsfeld, a mediocre government functionary with no discernible talent, intelligence, or charm, is a greater international celebrity than rocker Mick Jagger, who has reached the apex of his craft. Rumsfeld, despite being a has-been, is known in every corner of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa for his insanity and arrogance, while Jagger is admired by a mere couple hundred million music enthusiasts, huddled mostly in the first world.

If b), to be an amorist, is your goal, give up the group as a means to carnal buccaneering. The best thing for you is to pursue a job in advertising, medicine, or the field of “law.” These professions are celebrated by televised propaganda (in programs such as Law & Order, Grey’s Anatomy, and Mad Men), and will provide you with the financial incentives—in the form of real estate, luxury cotton sheets, and perceived stability—required to seduce your prey in the capitalist society.

If your goal is c), to write songs in the manner of another group, this might not be necessary. The group that seems to beg homage or emulation may have disintegrated, but their legacy is probably with us, either on cassette or record—or in video form.

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Thursday, 30 May 2013 17:12 (seven years ago) link

He's got quite a collection of vinyl records. Heard him and Kid Congo alternating on the turntables awhile back playing soul and garage rock 45s

curmudgeon, Thursday, 30 May 2013 17:24 (seven years ago) link

the whole tone of the book is pitch perfect

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 30 May 2013 17:41 (seven years ago) link

Dude is underestimating the value of "provocative" vitriol in music, and overestimating talent & intelligence.

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 30 May 2013 21:30 (seven years ago) link

i don't think you're reading that excerpt right

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Thursday, 30 May 2013 21:34 (seven years ago) link

and also if you read the rest of the book, he isn't

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Thursday, 30 May 2013 21:34 (seven years ago) link

dude is dead-panning like a motherfucker

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 30 May 2013 22:03 (seven years ago) link

Sometimes his deadpanning bugs me. It sometimes comes across as smug or something

curmudgeon, Thursday, 30 May 2013 22:06 (seven years ago) link

it is undeniably smug

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Thursday, 30 May 2013 22:06 (seven years ago) link

it is also pretty hilarious

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 30 May 2013 22:13 (seven years ago) link

His "Soft Focus" interviews are great too. I think they get brought up upthread a bit.

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Thursday, 30 May 2013 22:20 (seven years ago) link

I love his writing. I can't read it without hearing the voice of David Candy which makes it even funnier.

wk, Thursday, 30 May 2013 23:14 (seven years ago) link

The powerful associative effect of names is often misunderstood. While fondly thought of, mammalian names are a mistake--unless one chooses a mythical beast. A wild animal is a graceful creature that needs no clothes or grooming to look spectacular, and your onlookers--their expectations heightened--will inevitably be disappointed by the oafish onstage display of whatever crew of humanoids you've managed to muster. "Oh dear," they will say, "they are nothing like wolves/foxes/etc." If one hangs sucha name on one's group, one is raising the bar too high.

Male groups with "Girls" in their name have a similar problem. In literature and film, the "girl" represents the reader's/viewer's pure self-image. The audience is supposed to identify with the "girl," who is innocent, brave, artless, attractive, and clever (e.g., Chihiro of Spirited Away, Pippi Longstocking, and Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz). Film noir is predicated on the opposite idea--that audiences like to identify with cynical, morally bankrupt, been-there done-thats. These roles are typically played by middle-aged men with five o'clock shadows (Humphry Bogart, Glenn Ford, Robert Mitchum). Most groups now resemble the stars of the noir genre, physically if not sartorially. Bands with "Girl" in their name are almost invariably these kinds of hairy and less attractive men. As a rule, then, males should avoid group names with "Girl."

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Friday, 31 May 2013 20:28 (seven years ago) link

man I really have to get this

Mr. Scarf Ace is Back (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 31 May 2013 20:54 (seven years ago) link


Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 31 May 2013 22:18 (seven years ago) link

book kind of trails off toward the end (the bits about "conversation" etc.), but he sustains the thing for an admirably long time

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 4 June 2013 18:18 (seven years ago) link

three weeks pass...

"The internet simultaneously made all music accessible while taking away the necessity of listening to any of it."

reggie (qualmsley), Wednesday, 26 June 2013 19:36 (seven years ago) link

three months pass...

Supernatural Strategies book does not disappoint

Ayn Rand Akbar (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 21 October 2013 16:08 (six years ago) link

one month passes...
three weeks pass...

apropos of nothing (well not really hah) but i love this pic

can find nothing of its context

napgenius (goole), Friday, 3 January 2014 17:13 (six years ago) link

four months pass...

Well, I couldn’t leave
Unless the old man chased me out
’Cause I’d already promised
That I’d milk his cows
I had to say something
To strike him very weird
So I yelled out
“I like Fidel Castro and his beard”
Rita looked offended
But she got out of the way
As he came charging down the stairs
Sayin’, “What’s that I heard you say?”

Eyeball Kicks, Thursday, 8 May 2014 22:17 (six years ago) link

nine months pass...

XYZ’s spiffed-up, very Francophonic electro and cool temperature are a surprising backdrop for Svenonius’ deadpan-radical shtick. (Spiv supplies the vocals, Balducci the beats, guitars, and throbbing, unsettled electronics.)

says the reviewer. I haven't heard it yet.

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 February 2015 16:30 (five years ago) link

I saw Chain and the Gang recently at a DIY venue in Seattle. The audience was largely awful; lots of entitled squares getting dropped off in Ubers who loudly talked through all the bands sets and kept throwing food and trash at the stage; whole thing had a "rich kids trying to act punk but just coming off as assholes" vibe to it. Band was good though, and Svenonius spent most of it admonishing the audience. Looking foward to checking out the XYZ record.

Anyone read "The Psychic Soviet"?

Tomás Piñon (Ryan), Friday, 27 February 2015 16:53 (five years ago) link

Both of his books are funny and brilliant!

JRN, Friday, 27 February 2015 17:20 (five years ago) link

The Psychic Soviet was great! Wish I could find my copy to reread it!

"The embodiment of a milkshake" (Whitey on the Moon), Friday, 27 February 2015 19:30 (five years ago) link

two weeks pass...

$50 to hear Ian S. dj right near the constitution and such after hours, plus other stuff

the upcoming party for the National Archives' new "Spirited Republic" exhibit, to be held on Saturday, April 18, might just be the best yet.

Imagine Ian Svenonious of the Make Up spinning raw soul and punk right in front of the Declaration of Independence, and Derek Brown of the Columbia Room leading TED-style talks about the history of booze in America. Picture a "National Treasure"-themed scavenger hunt through the galleries, while comedians host a screening of the film with live commentary. And in honor of "Spirited Republic," which traces the history of alcohol in America, bartenders from 2 Birds 1 Stone, PX, the Partisan and Bourbon Steak (among others) will whip-up original cocktails as part of the all-night open bar.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 19 March 2015 17:36 (five years ago) link

five years pass...

Ian S has now deleted referenced Instagram post he made re being “completely inappropriate to women”. On twitter some are critical of “apology “ for just being written in same over the top manner as his writing on capitalism and communism, and thus not being sincere or really taking responsibility.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 14:59 (one week ago) link

Oh, the above is on the “ me too” thread as well

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 15:03 (one week ago) link

ironic hipster in looking and acting like moron shocker
― strongo hulkington (dubplatestyle), Friday, June 25, 2004 3:31 AM (sixteen years ago) bookmarkflaglink

Vapor waif (uptown churl), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 15:16 (one week ago) link

Supernatural Strategies is a fun read, Nation of Ulysses was a great band, and the Make Up was a pretty good band too. But this guy's schtick wears thin after a while and he seems way too old to be doing it now somehow.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 15:26 (one week ago) link

from the way he writes, i was half expecting his apology to end with the announcement of a new album

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 16:28 (one week ago) link

The Make Up are one of my favourite bands ever and I really do not have the energy to mentally deal with this right now.

Anti-Cop Ponceortium (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 16:34 (one week ago) link

This is off-topic, but a few years ago I looked up someone mentioned in this thread (not Svenonius, another musician he once played with) - I had come across some of this guy's old messages in a Royal Trux email group, and was curious what he was up to. As far as I could tell from his Twitter feed, he was living in (South) Korea, and relentlessly tweeting pro–North Korea (and anti–U.S./Western) rapid-response content/propaganda/whatever. Like, people joke about "tankies," but this guy was apparently so devoted to NK and its leadership that he had fervently dedicated himself to the cause. It was pretty bizarre and unsettling... especially because his old messages were so mild-mannered.

Your dream has symbolic content (morrisp), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 17:35 (one week ago) link

Ned Raggett?

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 17:41 (one week ago) link


mookieproof, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 17:42 (one week ago) link


Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 17:42 (one week ago) link

posting live from the Irvine/Costa Mesa DMZ

Your dream has symbolic content (morrisp), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 17:45 (one week ago) link

I'm of two minds about the Svenonius post. On the one hand, it could be good a sign of sincerity that he admitted to being "completely inappropriate to women" without being specifically prompted by an accusation. But there's a more cynical interpretation, which is that this is just preemptive damage control, so that if someone does accuse him of something he can deny it while pointing to this statement as a mark of his credibility. I'm a fan of his, so I really hope it's the first one.

JRN, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 17:46 (one week ago) link

xp not to get caught in a sidebar but weirdly, i used to be friends with a US musician, extremely mild mannered hippie folk guy, who also moved to South Korea and got super into posting & tweeting violent pro-North Korea stuff. no way its the same guy but... wtf

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 17:48 (one week ago) link

Is it possible their accounts are hacked?

Boring, Maryland, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 17:53 (one week ago) link

In my case, I scrolled back and checked out replies, etc. (b/c I was so shook by the feed's content), and did find something fairly recent relating to indie music or a record store; so it seemed to check out. But of course I can't be totally positive it was the same guy.

Your dream has symbolic content (morrisp), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 17:58 (one week ago) link

Followed him on IG but he was always posting photos of his Escape-ism collaborator (I think?) Alexandra Cabral that were off and creepy somehow.

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 18:05 (one week ago) link

yeah i unfollowed him bc of that - definitely a gross weird vibe to a lot of that.

(xp my north korea guy def not hacked because i used to get into arguments with him on facebook until i blocked him. he would be talking about how the days of us decadent western dogs were numbered, and i'd call him out for his, shall we say, less-than-revolutionary lifestyle when i knew him stateside.)

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 18:13 (one week ago) link

Followed him on IG but he was always posting photos of his Escape-ism collaborator (I think?) Alexandra Cabral that were off and creepy somehow.

― Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Tuesday, July 28, 2020 1:05 PM

That's his girlfriend. (Not sure whether that'll make it more or less creepy.)

JRN, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 18:38 (one week ago) link

less, since she could presumably object to them if she had a problem with it

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 19:55 (one week ago) link

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