So somehow, during one of the hardest weeks of my life containing the second worst day of my life, I finished the 7th or 8th book I’ve ever written.
I believe that if you’re a good writer every book, every story, every word is an opportunity to challenge yourself and improve your craft. Tribal Malfunctions is no different.
For starters it began from a bunch of notes I had for a book in 1988 (!) but couldn’t finish because I didn’t finish anything when I was young. So the notes were there in a notebook and occasionally popping up in my head until I wrote a story about one aspect of the book. “The Girl And The Wrong Shoes” is that story and the first chapter of the book.
Another thing is it’s got a lot of influence from the book “Gangs OF New York” from which the movie was loosely based (and I mean loooooooooooosely). I wanted this to have a feel like that of sheer insanity and roving weird gangs. Also a bit of the cyberpunk feel from which the original idea sprung.
The crazy thing about writing this one is that I really had no idea how it would proceed or even end. I mean really. I think that’s one reason why it was so hard to end it because while writing is a lot like making shit up all the time this one really exemplifies that for me. Not sure why. It may be because so much of it was me picking up elements from things I found in research along the way or whatever but it was hard fucking going.
So for now the end kind of blows but then that may be because it’s still hot and bloody and just off the grill and I’m not sure where this metaphor is going but I think you may understand it.
What happens now? Well… It goes in a drawer for a few months while I edit and revise Last Spaceship To Brooklyn then get that out to publishers. So I figure I’ll look at it in a few months around the end of the summer.
Try to keep yourself amused until then.
Beast mode on,
Mark Joyella is the brother of an old friend of mine (and the guy who drove us to see Return Of The Jedi, so I have him to thank for that). In addition to that he’s a journalist, marathon runner, dad, husband and wicked snappy dresser. So there’s a lot to dislike about him. And now he’s gone and done this: written a brilliant piece about coming to terms with his own depression and how he’s dealt with it. It’s a great piece of writing and has a lot more research in it than I could ever put together. Give it a read to better understand the challenges of coping with mental health in others in your life and with your own. Thanks, Mark!
The following is a collection of random thoughts on the nature of my depression and coming to understand it. This is the first of many posts on the subject. If you want to read some amazing posts about this I strongly recommend the sublime Hyperbole and a Half 2-parter (
And today I give you and me the 2nd best Valentine’s Day gift ever (the first was my daughter 15 years ago)!
Is that not dope? Whoa! I cannot believe it. The artwork is by Mattia Travaglini who has done other amazing work for many labels and bands including Somatic Responses! Rob from Component let me go whole hog on input for the cover which was daunting. I’m used to doing my own artwork and have a specific style in mind. I gave Rob and Mattia a list of words and images I thought were relevant for the music. After seeing a few images this is what we settled on.
It’s simultaneously nothing like I would have done and the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.
As a music head for almost all my 45 years the album cover represents the spirit of the music within. It’s key as both an invitation and a barometer of what’s inside. You don’t pick up an Iron Maiden album expecting Jason Mraz (if you do you’re weirder than me). So the artwork is as important as the music for me. Which is why Mattia’s work is amazing because once you hear the track I think you’ll agree with me that it matches what’s going on inside (even though this is a mostly electronic release you get what I’m saying). Here’s one cut, the epic Thug Hatchery.
And not just my tracks. It features two remixes. One by Rob who owns Component Records and the other by… Tonikom! This is huge for me as I hold her work in high regard just like Richard H Kirk, Scuba and Autechre. So her remix on my EP? The space brothers can take me now if they must!
I am overjoyed about this. It’s a bright spot in what has been a couple of dark, dark years. I’m planning a release party hopefully with a few guests. Cannot wait!
OK. Back to planet Earth to take on a few mundane corporeal tasks.
You’ve been pretty good so far for me. Hope it’s working for you, too. I’ve been busy working on my video game skills as well as writing music and fine-tuning a novel for publication in February.
Let’s get into it shall we?
peter hook & the light: love will tear us apart
Peter Hook is the reason I play bass. Peter Hook is my favorite bass player of all time. And it is his recent antics in the split of New Order that have made me avoid his efforts with The Light. I just find him kind of a fatuous dick (he’s always been difficult even back in the days when JD was just a wee Warsaw). So when I stumbled across this video I gritted my teeth, pressed play and… really enjoyed it. Even though Hooky sounds like he’s trying too hard with the breath, raspy vocals (he actually has a decent voice if you listen to him on New Order’s “Movement”) but overall it’s rather beautiful(that’s his son Jack on second bass). While nothing beats the real thing this is about as close as you can get to Joy Division singing the original (Oddly enough I have been thinking quite a lot lately about what things would have been like had Ian curtis not committed suicide. Where would they have gone musically? The same route as New Order? Or would they have stayed more rock? JUNGLE JMC and I had a lengthy debate about this and we felt that the existence of “As You Said,” by Warsaw and the fact that they were listening to Kraftwerk a lot before shows indicates they were moving into electronics anyway. Nothing new to think about but honestly I’d never really given it much thought before).
david bowie: love will tear us apart.
This is the video that led me to the one above. The quality of it isn’t great but its existence is astounding. Bowie was a huge idol to Ian Curtis. Bowie, Iggy, Lou Reed and Jim Morrison all were. The story goes something like this:
A chance meeting in 1983 had David Bowie, Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook chatting away over beers in the Kings Arms in Salford. “…So we were all there just having a laugh and we joked that he should come n have a jam with us, then next minute – well, it was the next day actually, but i didn’t expect he’d definitely come by – and we were in the practice rooms and we were playing Love Will Tear Us Apart and i was like, f%$K we’re playing Love Will Tear Us Apart with David Bowie singing, this is crazy. We never released it – Bowie took a recording of it, and just layered some more vocals on for fun, sent it back to me…” – Bernard Sumner.
Judging from the comments, it’s believed to be a massive fake. I have to admit that I’ve heard just about every Joy Division collaboration – good and bad – and this one sounds weird. No keyboards for one thing. And the guitar is playing the same line as the bass. And since the band was notoriously shy about playing it and didn’t play it until 1986 or so then why were they rehearsing it in ’83? Hmmm. It does sound like Bowie in the beginning but later on it sounds like crap. You be the judge.
Update: someone who was definitely there says it’s bunk:
Sorry to disappoint all those who have asked but this alleged version of LWTUA that's doing the rounds with David Bowie singing is a fake..!
— Peter Hook (@peter_hook1) January 27, 2014
toro y moi: say that
Stepping away from Joy Division now… My daughter discovered how to link her iPhone to my car’s Bluetooth so now I no longer have dominance over the music. The other day she got in and I girded myself for some dub step (the millennials disease) and she played me this. And I loved it. While puzzling out the pronunciation I marveled at it. Sounds kind of like Matthew Dear and The Field a bit. Looking forward to getting more in depth into his stuff.
slim gaillard: cement mixer
Slim Gaillard (Gay-lard is how he said it) was one wacky dude. His guitar playing was kinda Django, kinda 40′s & 50′s R&B race music but his lyrics and songs were hilariously weird. I was listening to him every morning for about two weeks until I found myself ending every sentence with “a-roonie.” Ahem. These two are but a small selection of his catalogue but both should have you laughing. If not then check for a pulse and never speak to me again.
serenade to a poodle
lisa lisa & cult jam: i wonder if i take you home
The world of music was opening up for me in the late 80′s. Thanks to the awesome record store in my hometown, Johnny’s, and Moby’s DJ’ing I learned of a lot of great music beyond what I heard on WLIR (which was in itself pretty awesome). One thing was the underground “latin-disco” music of Roxanne and Lisa Lisa among others (I was amazed to find a few years ago while driving in NYC a station devoted to this genre. 20 minutes in mid-town traffic made me realize there are only so many variation you can do on “Let The Music Play.”). I always loved Lisa Lisa the most for the music. The production (by Cult Jam) is minimal electronics in the style of Planet Rock and Arthur Baker. I just love this.
samantha fox: i wanna have some fun
During that same period of time there was music coming back to us from the UK which reflected what was coming out of the US a few years earlier. Specifically house music. Acid house was coming up right around this time and techno was beginning to burble up from the depths, too. In no way shape or form am I saying Sam Fox was like the Madonna of her times but she was making an interesting choice doing this. It’s a goofy song but something about it still gets me going. And not in that way.
jodi watley: looking for a new love
Ah, Jodi Watley! She’s another one of them ladies of the 80′s. A model turned singer who churned out a couple of hits – including “Friends” with Eric B. & Rakim – in my day. I have to also mention the influence of Yo MTV Raps in bringing hip hop to suburbia as well as R&B. So dig some of this bad girl vibe!
And that’s it. Go forth and rock on!!!
Folks, it seems CHANGSPACE went down for a bit due to a galactic continference of inter dimensional polar rival view pointed anti-syngery.
Suffice it to say we’re back and ready to serve you up some music, writing, video game-splaining and whatever else i have left in my pockets.
Continue to rock on!
Currently I’m spending a lot of time making music which means I’m listening to a lot less of other’s music and more of my own. If I’m in the car I’m usually critiquing a mix of a song. If I’m walking the dog I am usually doing the same. I get obsessive about repeated listenings of my own tracks especially ever since I read a Photek interview where he said he goes over tracks hundreds of times to make sure they’re perfect (why he’s sucked since 1998 though is still a mystery).
But when I wasn’t poring over my own music I did check out some other stuff this week…
andy stott: tricky remix
As you know I am a huge fan os Andy Stott’s work. I listen to his Boiler Room set about once a week as well as his albums. So when I saw he’d remixed Tricky I listened and oh, boy I was not disappointed! Stott turns Tricky’s song – Tricky is himself kinda creepy already – into a terrible, dark, haunting thing that lumbers into a beat only after a few minutes.
ghislain poirier: immigrant visa
I have this track on my gym playlist. When it comes on you can’t help but move fast. Poirier has gone from deep dark ambient to fast carribbean & hip hop dance and I gotta say I like ‘em both!
richard h kirk: theme from megaton city dreads
It’s no secret to regular readers how much I love the work of Richard H Kirk and Cabaret Voltaire. This song is no different. Also on my gym playlist for my cooldwon time. Please to enjoy this slow groove and jam from the man who is one of Sheffield, UK’s neo-funk masters.
Something off their last full length. I’ve been digging it more and more lately which is unusual in my long relationship with Autechre. Since about 1998 or so they’ve gone in a direction that’s taken me a while to understand or even like. While this isn’t my favorite off this album it’s up there. Dig into the banging on pots & pans goodness.
mulatu astatqe: Ené Alantchi Alnorem (I Can’t Live Without You)
Oh, the gorgeous sounds of Ethiopian jazz. Ethereal and haunting. I can never get enough.
king crimson: sleepless
pretty sure this has been posted here before but as it’s my favorite Crimson song – heresy, I know! – I’ll post it again. The bridge lyrics are my favorite part and something I recite to myself regularly when I’m feeling challenged.
Alright, get a hold of yourself
An’ don’t fight it, it’s over your head
It’s alright, the rumble in your ears
It’s alright to feel a little fear
An’ don’t fight it, it’s over your head
It’s alright, you wake up in your bed…
Yeah. That right there.
the fieldstones: hand me down my shotgun
We end on a dark note but hey that’s the breaks. The Fieldstones look about a foot or two away from the grave but play like all get out. This track is my favorite of theirs. The singer sounds ragged, the guitar is jumpy and a man with a shotgun fixing to do some wrong and the whole thing shambles towards an uncertain ending. Creepy but upbeat good ol’ blues.
Well, that’s it for a Chang. I’m outtie!