Norbert Fragg: Endless Bleat

Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 23:33:35 EDT
From: Bknt at aol dot com
Subject: Norbert Fragg: Endless Bleat
Norbert Fragg: Endless Bleat

Hotel Highly Regrettable
Baden-Baden Worsen-Worsen
Republic of Fredonia

The emptiness that filled last night's concert has not yet come and gone,
due possibly to the venue: a small hall that was no hall at all, but, in
fact, a basement seating approximately 350 that had been previously used as
a storage area by a Croatian sausagier whose scheme for irradiating
ethnically cleansed naughtwurst ended mysteriously when he was found, in
part, if not in parts, within one of his products. My complaints to the
promoter about a darkly dripping liquid descending unwanted through the
ceiling upon the fretful, but not fretless, head of Baldy Bayou, were met
with a curiously feral Balkan growl. My feeble efforts at translating his
remarks yielded the daunting intelligence that before the venue was a
radioactive sausage works, it was used by the promoter as an "information
extraction laboratory." He offered to show me punctures and scuppers in the
stained concrete where human beings were, to use the American idiom,
"placed in a holding pattern." The promoter further informed us that
certain uncertain bleats, squeals, squerns and side burns arising within
the mond-rondo-Redondo-Beach section of Ruptured reminded him of a happier,
bygone era when he, too, practiced an art that caused an audience to make
similar sounds. He was about to describe how new technological innovations
available in the latest edition of Microsoft Windows for Pain have breathed
new death into the field of human excruciation when Out Trey informed him
that we weary musickers would honor his request to autograph his The
Crustacean of Turkish Delight CD, after which we had to hurry off to
telephone faraway wives and tender progeny.

    Thus music puts us in yet another alternative performance space where
close contact may be maintained with an audience of passively active
listeners as opposed to the Rockballast, where we would have had to
purchase and detonate assorted pyrotechnics, wear leather outfits with
studded codpieces, artfully chomp upon capsules of fake blood that would
drip down our gaping jaws, defend ourselves from persons attacking us with
a banana and perform ancient repertoire.

    And yet, the basement sends forth its habitues, in the form of a
nefariously flatulent audient calling himself Lee Petomaine who later banged
upon the lead-lined hatch covering the unnervingly luminous crypt that had
served as the band's dressing room. Out Trey, whose outsized charm and
courtly ettiquette have inspired the fleet retreat of many a bearded,
young man with, or without a copy of Stephen Mawking's A Brief Fistula of
Mine, failed to deturd this maliciously irritating dweeb. Thus, the hapless
few who reconstitute the current edition of Prince Cramp's Son were forced
listen actively to a putz.
LP: I am wish to say I follow you everywhere to join member you group.  Make
a joyful stink. You-reek-ah!
NF: You do not, sir. You do not.
LP: Oh, but I do. I do. You take me for a fancy-shmancy V-drum, I make a
pa-rumpa-pum-pum, but all organic, you dig? Every morning before show, I buy
ticket, I eat big pile of good Serbian beans. I have no expectationabut,
hoooey, such anticipation! I go to all Cramp's Son concerts. I active
Then, in rare quiet part, I make big bang BOOM stink-stink in intimate,
lotsa-girls audience. I make contribution. I help bring music into world.
pay me money or you see me every night..

    LP dribbled on, noting that he was my biggest fan and was merely
following instructions contained in my diary postings, thus,
    1. The ideation typically inferred as Prince Cramp's Son is greater than
Norbert Fragg. Prince Cramp's Son is also greater than its variously
recombinant musicants, greater than its heroically struggling
undercapitalized and venally directed record company, much greater than the
larger community of cretinous critics and amusical radioheads who would
destroy all music if not for the dedicated strivings of certain uncertain
individuals who, when in doubt, sneak perfection.
    2. Prince Cramp's Son includes the active (that is, passive)
participation among audients who refrain from recording, flash photography
and requests for 22nd  Century Anhedonic Amusual Bi-Polar Disordered Man
(Zoloft Blues has been offered as a replacement but has so far achieved only
molt, not cult, status).
    3.  Because the artist pays, the audience pays, everybody's either
or getting paid but nobody's making a living or getting laid, those who Fart
Loudly (cf. collectoin of zestier writings by the American colonial
iconoclast Benjamin Franklin) are making offerings that, if not strictly
musical, have the potential of being just as irritating, nasally retentive
and culturally offensive as the music itself.
    4. Thus it follows that LP, a member of the freely, if not
flatulent may demand compensation in the form of lowly lucre, for his
excrementally expressive, proportionately importunate, notationally noxious,
impertinently percussive eruptions.

    I then refuted this warped and woofed LP that the making of this demand
from the weary, bleary but nonetheless Musical Guitarist Striving for
Perfection, even when he gets mostly dejection, rejection and, at my age,
only an occasional erec(snip!)athis holding of music hostage is none other
than the accursed, much discussed and already-a-dead-thread-in-ET known as
lootbegging. And because one must be crazy to be a musician, lootbegging is
a nonsensical act.

    After my stentorian rebuttal, LP left us distressfully agassed. I then
embarked on a panicky act of e-frenzy to gain advice from Trey Anesthesio
of the band Phlush and my good friend and fellow cosmic string guitarist
Michael Canned Eelly, as to the proper procedure to indulge when the
basement trapdoor flies open and reminds us of what must be in the garden
before a thousand flowers bloom.

Bill Kent
(with thanks to Todd for irreverent inspiration)

Mike Stok