Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Brad Kohler-ENERGY FOOLS THE MAGICIAN chapbook (Kendra Steiner Editions #45, 2007)

Enigmas have been running throughout my life, but after all these years I gotta say that none have been more enigmier than one Brad Kohler. A confidant of Jim Shepard, pen pal and contributor to BLACK TO COMM since 1987, and general nogoodnik compiler of Throbbing Gristle-related occult hooch, not once in our associations did the man threaten, berate, cajole or otherwise upset me, nor did he suddenly (and without proper warning) drop all connections only to badmouth his (former) sugar daddy in print in order to look "cool" with a load of underground rock press interviewers so "conscious" of racist and sexist trends in music who merely yawn (or worse yet, excuse the evil) when one of their protected classes wreaks havoc with the sons and daughters of the so-called well-to-do no matter how poor or unjustly treated they may have been. Which I guess really does say something in today's back-stab world, but exactly what its trying to convey falls on barren brains at this time.

Now, with such undying devotion and utter stupidity (I mean, you can get mega bonus points in today's "Pee-Cee" underground rock clime by trying to out-Communist the next blootch on the road to radicalsville!) you'd sorta wonder if the guy was literate, right? True, Kohler is a good artist/dileneator whether it comes to chic beret and stale Doritos sidewalk-sale canvas abstractions or the funny strips (which have appeared in the mag o'er the years) but taking pen to paper in order to put those twenty-six funny little figures together and make sense while yer at it, that's a totally different ball of polenta if I do say so myself. But Brad can do it, and he has done it not only in the mag but this very blog, which is proof positive that at least ONE MAN knows where his loyalties lie!

Kohler has done some of this fancy-schmancy prose before, not only with Bill Shute (see EXACTA BOX) but on his lonesome as well. However, I gotta say that Kohler's latest ENERGY FOOLS THE MAGICIAN is perhaps gonna be his tippy-toppest best work ever to fling from Kohler's fleet-like fingers, at least until the next one happens to pop up somewhere on the Volcanic Tongue mail order list. Beginning with a quote from Charlotte Pressler's history of the Cleveland "first wave" underground rock bands (circa. 1971-1975) where she talks about the sense of alienation and non-conduit conditions these mostly well-off late-teens were operating in, Kohler zings on with a weird tale that leaves about as much of that sprayed vomit in a Salt Lake City bus terminal on you that some un-named bum splattered all about and you too will feel the uneasy queeze that Brad (and I) feels/felt having to slip back to that craggy night shift or general drop-out sense of living that, like the Cle 1st-wavers, didn't wanna be part of the adult world yet didn't wanna be hippy. VT sez Bukowski but I say "not yet" since Kohler ain't old or dirty enough to be a Dirty Old Poet yet. But give him time like when he's sixty with drooping man-boobs and a double hernia that won't quit.

With people like Shute and Kohler in my camp (more or less), boy do I feel proud! I sure means a lot more to me than having the blogworld drool at my feet and myriad asst. of alternative geeks cling to my every last word of calculated drivel regarding late-period SST releases that I'm surprised anyone would care about a minute, let alone fifteen-plus years later.

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