Category Archives: Books & other writing by Jesse Sublett

It’s a grubby little world…

But so what? Mix me a redhead and tell me what you got that’s any better?

The Woman Chaser (1999) goes online May 1, 2014.

The Woman Chaser (1999) goes online May 1, 2014.

A few updates on yesterday’s post, helping spread the word about THE WOMAN CHASER (1999) going online starting May 1st. As you may know, I’m a huge fan of Charles Willeford, whose novels redefined noir fiction starting in the late fifties and early sixties. The Robinson Devor-directed adaptation of Willeford’s 1960 novel, “The Woman Chaser,” starring Patrick Warburton, goes online soon for your streaming pleasure, first to I-Tunes and Amazon May 1st, following with Netflix and Hulu in June 2014.

Here’s the official blurb:

Ex-used car salesman and filmmaker Richard Hudson burned down Mammoth Studios for butchering his masterpiece, “The Man Who Got Away.” Paroled after 14 years in prison, Hudson is still unrepentant
Watch the interview here:

The website is now live, with a team of busy digital ex-used car salesman elves working on tuneups, new additions and unbelievable deals: Visit: WomanChasertheMovie.com .

"jesse sublett, noir fiction author from Austin, Texas" + "Charles Willeford"

Me & Charles Willeford in New York Times

I know I mentioned writing about Willeford and The Woman Chaser for New York Times in 2000. In case you missed that little self-promoting item, here’s a blown-up version of the article, but it’s much easier to read online.

Brent Simon, at shareddarkness.com wrote of The Woman Chaser’s “cool, offbeat elegy for old school noir… a time warp Get Shorty with the experimental ethos of a student film and the studied composition of a [loving] homage.”

Jeffrey M. Anderson, writing at combustiblecelluloid.com, wrote that “The Woman Chaser is a very off-kilter picture, and it’s bound to throw viewers for a loop.” Now, the uninitiated might see a line like that and assume it’s a negative assessment, but if your reading experiences include, for example, The Shark Infested Custard,  The Way We Die Now, or maybe Kiss Your Ass Good-Bye, … and let’s throw in The Black Mass of Brother Springer, you’ll probably have a knowing smile on your face.

Michael Dequina at themoviereport.com wrote that Devor’s film version was “cool, offbeat elegy for old school noir… a time warp Get Shorty with the experimental ethos of a student film and the studied composition of a [loving] homage.” Dig it. Michael must be feeling vindicated at the news that Scott Frank, who adapted Elmore Leonard’s Get Shorty as well as Out of Sight, is the screenwriter for the FX pilot Hoke, based on Charles Willeford’s great Miami homicide detective series, which was last brilliantly adapted in Miami Blues, and three other fine sequels will be source material if the series is picked up.

Mere Bertrand at filmthreat.com wasn’t totally blown away by The Woman Chaser, but despite the caveats, he gave a rating of 4 out of 5, which ain’t bad. Would Richard Hudson would  burn down their website for not giving it a 5? Probably not. Again, from the context of the review, I don’t think Bertrand is familiar with the Willeford oeuvre. He compares Richard Hudson to Puddy, the role trademarked by Patrick Warburton on Seinfeld… as if Warburton had written Willeford’s novel. If you’re steeped in Seinfeld but haven’t read many Willeford novels, I suppose this short sightedness is understandable. Bertrand does, however, recommend the film, as we see in his conclusion:

By essentially reprising his TV role in a nastier form here, Warburton runs the risk of being permanently known for this one character. Lucky for him and, in the case of “The Woman Chaser,” lucky for us as well that he plays this humorously loathsome character so well.

Interestingly, the best reviews for The Woman Chaser seem to have been from California bloggers. Check out ex-San Diego writer Scott Renshaw, whose main gig is writing for the Salt Lake City Weekly, and he gave TWC an 8 out of 10 in a fab review. Sample quote:

THE WOMAN CHASER is different in all the right ways. It’s energetic and imaginative where other parodies are too often limp and witless. It skewers the ego of film-makers, but never loses its love for film-making. It even pokes fun at film noir without resorting to predictable gags. THE WOMAN CHASER is a surprise in every positive sense of the word, because really, it shouldn’t work.

Peter Stack at the San Francisco Chronicle also loved TWC. “THE WOMAN CHASER – A SWING AND A HIT–SWANK HOLLYWOOD SPOOF HAS A PULP FEEL” opens by calling it a “black comedy” and

“The Woman Chaser” is a teasy, cogent and funny noir spoof of dime novels and 1960s Hollywood. The title role is played with inspired swagger by Patrick Warburton, the handsome lug famed as Elaine’s thick boyfriend, Puddy, on “Seinfeld.”
Indie writer-director Robinson Devor, in his feature debut, creates a retro Hollywood of cocktail lounges, gimlet glasses and finned Caddies with confident style, capturing L.A. in a crisp mix of surreal and real. The landmark Capitol Records building — designed to look like a stack of vinyl records on a turntable — is a well-used part of the backdrop.

UNLIKELY HERO
Based on a pulp novel by Charles Willeford (“Miami Blues”), Devor’s script is a clever satire that tells the mean story of a used-car salesman driven by mad inspiration to become a moviemaker, a character whose pimpish savvy is powered by a hopelessly dangerous blend of ego and cluelessness.
A standout scene — maybe a classic — features the bearish Warburton, half naked, dancing balletically with his ex-dancer mother (Lynette Bennett). “The Woman Chaser” is funny but edgy, too. Warburton’s obsessed salesman, Richard Hudson, is perversely charming. His main gig in life is self-aggrandizement. Trysts with a secretary, his virginal stepsister and a Salvation Army worker have no emotional impact on him — he’s fired up only by his quest to become an artist.

HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS
The car salesman’s bravado, deadpan delivery and bordering-on-psycho emotional makeup make for a strangely compelling character. Hudson turns over his business to oddball flunkies in order to chase his dream of making a film titled “The Man That Got Away,” about a trucker who runs over a little girl and her dog.
In a world strewn with the sort of amusing misfits who were staples of precorporate Hollywood, the salesman enlists the backing of his mother’s husband — a failed movie director — and lands a deal with a steely studio mogul. Ultimately, there’s a showdown over artistic freedom that costs “The Woman Chaser” some of its edge. But that’s a mere quibble with a film that’s so much fun.– Advisory: This film contains strong language and graphic sex.

At Village Voice, Amy Taubin really hits the film critic mainline (as in the Velvet Underground’s “Sister Ray”), referring to Willeford’s style as “psychopulp” and stating that, “At various times, The Woman Chaser suggests Ben Hecht’s The Spectre of the Rose, a Curtis Harrington mood piece, and various underground flicks from Edgar G. Ulmer’s Detourto Irving Lerner’s Murder by Contract…” I like Taubin’s style, and recommend reading the entirety of her fine review.

Finally, Dan Lybarger at nitratelonline.com wrote a fine piece on THE WOMAN CHASER. Again, he makes the Get Shorty comparisonSample line:

The Woman Chaser has a Get Shorty-like bemusement at the silliness of the entertainment industry. It’s also bolstered by a remarkably effective film noir-ish atmosphere. In addition to being presented in black-and-white, the movie features an eclectic selection of 50’s-era music that’s both eclectic and refreshing. None of these fascinating tunes (played by everybody from Dave Brubeck to Tito Puente) ever plays on oldies radio stations, and they fit the eerie visuals perfectly. The supporting cast also look right at home in the Eisenhower Era surroundings. The actors, some of whom are non-professionals, look nothing like the ones who usually populate Hollywood flicks. Most have a 50s-style paunch that most contemporary filmmakers seem to ignore.

"Jesse Sublett, surrealist blues singer"

Me & my Robert Mitchum on wood by Abby Levine

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Bookstore Party Gig March 1

Sometimes you know me as an author, sometimes you know me as a musician. This is one of my favorite times, when I get to be both. I’ll have books for sale, and I’ll be putting my music in the air. What could be better? (OK, I’m not asking for suggestions, it’s just a saying). More details to follow, and/or keep up with the bookstore’s own info here.

Jesse Sublett, author, musician, raconteur,

Jesse Sublett & The Big 3 Trio will rock the bookstore Saturday, March 1.

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David Marion Wilkinson’s new novel

Dear Friends:

This review was just posted today in the Writers League of Texas blog. I’m reposting it here, but please visit the original site, too, and for more info about David, visit David Marion Wilkinson.

Posted by 

 Where the Mountains Are Thieves

By David Marion Wilkinson

Goldminds Publishing (2013)

thieves

 Our reviewer, Jesse Sublett is a musician and author in Austin, Texas. He has been a member of the Writers’ League of Texas since 1999. Grave Digger Blues is his most recent novel. Broke, Not Broken: Homer Maxey’s Texas Bank War, by Broadus A. Spivey and Jesse Sublett, will be published by Texas Tech Press May 2014

 

If you’re an author in the Austin area, there’s a good chance that you’ll recognize David Marion Wilkinson when you see him. In addition to his physical stature (I’m six-foot-three and he makes me feel small), and big-heartedness (he’s been a big help to many writers, including me) he thinks big thoughts, writes big books, and sets his sights on big, sprawling themes.

David is best-known for his sprawling historical novels, Not Between Brothers (set in early 1800s Texas) and Oblivion’s Altar (covering six decades of the Cherokee Nation). One Ranger: A Memoir, co-written with legendary Texas Ranger Captain Joaquin Jackson, also covers a lot of territory, physical and otherwise (West Texas and the Ranger service), and the same could be said of his second novel, The Empty Quarter, which was informed by David’s experiences working on oil rigs in Saudi Arabia and the North Sea.

So here comes Where the Mountains Are Thieves, a modern novel set in West Texas, about a novelist with a crumbling marriage, a stalled writing career and what he fears may be an inherited curse of sorts. At 369 pages, it’s no lightweight snack, but it does represent a change of course in many respects. For one thing, the plot of the novel, in broad outline (except for something near the end which I’ll skip to avoid spoiling things) does closely resemble that of our favorite large author, Big Dave. In fact, protagonist Jesse Reverchon resembles Big Dave physically. He’s got the same not-necessarily-PC sense of humor, drives a beloved International Scout, moved to Big Bend for a while, went through a traumatic divorce, coaches baseball, and writes historical novels. If the reader is familiar with such details, it will probably enhance their enjoyment of the reading experience a great deal.

The architecture of Where The Mountains Are Thieves is again sprawling in time and space. Crucial parts of Jesse’s childhood are visited, and it flashes back and forth a bit during recent history, but primarily, the story takes us through the family unit moving from their home in Houston to Alpine. Jesse has one more historical novel to deliver, and after that, freed from the ugly distractions back in Big H, he’ll be ready to tackle the “Great American Novel,” or something like that. Rebecca, his wife, is leaving her high pressure venture capital business, which has been taken over by her imperious, backstabbing brother, and although we hear Jesse speak of her with great devotion and admiration roughly 95 percent of the time, I didn’t like her from page one. Maybe because I knew she would divorce him and cut him off at the knees. In other words, the imperious, backstabbing gene seems to run in her family. Travis, their young son, is realistic and cool and he hates the shit out of Alpine, at least at first.

The neighbors are weird and quirky in a West Texas way, but they’re anything but clichés. Jesse learns to slow down and talk to the people who live down the road, “where the holes go” (a bit of Big Bend septic tank wisdom), why the mountains are thieves, and a lot more. The baseball sequences are beautiful, period. Tautly written, spiked with humor, full of inside talk, full of love—not just for what sports can do for young people, but a father’s endless (and I mean endless) patience for children. I laughed out loud dozens of times.

Many of the jokes are on Jesse himself. When he jogs out to first base from the dugout, his flabby ass arrives a half minute later, he says (several times, because once is not enough), and to pretend that he doesn’t really have writer’s block, he rearranges his bullet outline, scans his character notes and main scenes, then shuts the PC down for the day. How’s the novel going, Jesse? Real good, had a great day.(OK, laughing at this one was painful.)

There’s so much great comic writing in this novel that I’m tempted to recommend the book on that aspect alone, but that would short-sheet the book’s other virtues, which includes a great deal of heartache and loss and yearning.

It’s not hard to predict that Rebecca will turn very nasty before the end of the book, but that’s only one source of sorrow. Jesse’s biggest worry is the Black Dog of depression, which finally chased his father down in middle age, causing his brain to short out, after which he lashed out at family, burned all his bridges and died young.

The book started a bit slowly for me, but perhaps it only seemed that way because I had an inkling of the drama that was about to unfold. I urge readers to bear that in mind, because the rewards for sticking it out are many. The scene where we learn what happened between young Jesse and his father is about as tight and harrowing as anything I’ve read in the last ten years that wasn’t in a brutal crime novel or horror story. There’s not an ounce of fat, not even a molecule.

The book has its excesses, but let me explain about that. Big Dave is, as I said, an author with big thoughts inside his head, and more than sufficient energy to share them. In conversation with him over a chicken fried steak lunch, the words keep flowing, jokes beget other jokes, additional tag lines come tumbling out, then the waitress comes by, and David brings her into the conversation, too. His company is worth its weight in gold; it’s all worth having. In a novel, you might expect a copy editor to take a scalpel to some of this, no matter how good it is, because you just don’t want to wear out your reader. I’m glad as hell that didn’t happen, because in this case, too much was just the right amount.

The climax is a little hard on the nerves. It’s tragic, painful, and beautifully written.  Only because of the great care and skill put into the architecture of the story, this development was telegraphed long in advance. Bad things don’t necessarily happen for a good reason, but they do happen, and afterward, we adjust. Sometimes the adjustments seem fated to happen. The ending felt right and it was satisfying. I felt exhausted and drained and not a little bit bruised. Plus I really hated his ex-wife. I hated the way she smokes cigarettes, the way she tries to make Jesse feel small, her secret lunch meetings, her annoying friends.

Don’t think I’m raving about Where the Mountains Are Thievesbecause Big Dave is my friend. If I didn’t think it was great, I wouldn’t want you to read it. But it is, and you should. Right now.

 

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Happy New Year

Jesse Sublett, noir author, bass player

Me & Moe & Lois

A few presents to you, friends & strangers: Starting on New Year’s Eve (12.31.13) all eBooks I’ve published to date are slashed in price. On the Amazon Kindle page for my books, you’ll find all my novels reduced to either $1.99 or $2.99. That includes my most recent, wildest, most surreal novel to date, Grave Digger Blues, which has almost 100 illustrations, song lyrics, and provides links to audio chapters and my original blues soundtrack on two separate soundcloud.com pages, soundcloud.com/jessesublett and soundcloud.com/atomicgarage. You can download up to an hour or so of my original music and narration. If you dare.

I don’t control my memoir, Never the Same Again, so I can’t lower the price on that one, but I’m going to ask the publisher to consider it. More books are coming from me in 2014, including Broke, Not Broken: Homer Maxey’s Texas Bank War, a non fiction legal thriller and West Texas history chronicle written with Broadus A. Spivey.

Grave Digger Blues, Jesse Sublett,

And, starting on Dec. 31st, the  iPad versions of Rock Critic Murders and Grave Digger Blues, which include tons of added media, including over 100 color graphics, original music and audio chapters and some video, those have also been reduced to $1.99 or $2.99 on the iBookstore site. Cheap, Cheap, Cheap! Go directly to Grave Digger Blues on iTunes, or Rock Critic Murders: 25th Anniversary iPad Edition.

Exciting gigs on the horizon include a Skunks cameo at Alejandro Escovedo’s Sounds of Austinshow at the Moody Theater on January 11. I’ll post more details on that as I learn them. Also…

SATURDAY, FEB. 1st, 2014: The big, cool, classy show I am producing with Kim Simpson is “Lou Reed Music: A Tribute” starring a select group of Austin artists who will be performing their favorite Lou Reed / Velvet Underground songs in the intimate world class room, the Cactus Cafe at UT. HAAM is co-sponsoring. Advance tickets and more information available soon. Our list of performers: Jesse Sublett, Jon Dee Graham, Kim Simpson, the Reivers, Mike Hall & The Wild Seeds, Dashiell Sublett, Why Not Satellite, Steve Bernal, Kacy Crowley, Kathy McCarty, and others TBA. Show starts at 8:30 PM.

Jesse Sublett presents "Lou Reed Music: an Austin Tribute"

Lou Reed Music: An Austin Tribute, presented by Jesse Sublett, with Jon Dee Graham, Dashiell Sublett, Kacy Crowley, Why Not Satellite, The Wild Seeds, the Reivers, Kathy McCarty, Steve Bernal & others TBA

More art is coming, too. Expect some of the usual naked beauties plus other, more abstract things. I’m also working on my minotaur stories and may publish my original one-act musical play script which was formerly titled and performed under the name “Marathon.” The story mixes ancient Greek legend from the Heroic age with West Texas small town football, and a visit by a modern slacker Theseus who must battle a modern evolution of the mythic Minotaur in a labyrinth constructed in a small-town high school football arena. So… stay tuned for that.

Jesse Sublett, author, playwright, bassist extraordinaire, noir novelist, Minotaur Memoirist

Minotaur Ready for Combat in the 21st Century

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Filed under Books & other writing by Jesse Sublett, Grave Digger Blues, ibooks, JESSE'S GIGS, NOIR & TRUE CRIME, Uncategorized

A QUICK ONE

I haven’t had much time to blog lately, and still don’t, but I wanted to throw out some news.

Check this out: New compilation from Soul Jazz Records of London, England, KILL THE HIPPIES! KILL YOURSELF! a collection of great punk rock singles from late 1970s to 1980 including The Skunks (“Earthquake Shake”) and Johnny Thunders, the Normals, Pere Ubu… There’s a book tie-in — PUNK 45 sleeve art… what a great job these guys have done. The title alone makes me proud! I love it. Available NOW.

Jesse Sublett, jon dee graham, the Skunks, Johnny Thunders, punk compilation

GREAT new compilation including THE SKUNKS, Johnny THUNDERS, etc.

Jesse Sublett, jon dee graham, the Skunks, Johnny Thunders, punk compilation

Check this track listing, dudes. Track 14, Earthquake Shake.

I’ve been checking the copy edit of Broke, Not Broken: Homer Maxey’s Texas Bank War, which I wrote with Broadus A. Spivey, and will be published by Texas Tech University Press in Spring 2014. I’m really proud of that book. It’s been a lot of work for us, but it’s a big story and it merits the attention. The Spring catalog isn’t out yet, but you might keep an eye on the TTU Press page, or wait for my update.

I’ll be out and about during the Texas Book Festival this weekend as the ending of a very busy week. Thursday night I’ll be at the MEOW Con banquet (Musicians for Equal Opportunities for Women) as the guest of Kathy Valentine, which is nice. Talk about an icon for women in rock, Kathy, along with Carla Olson, were among the first female rockers in Austin. Kathy and I played together in 1978 and again in 1987-1989… (the Violators and World’s Cutest Killers, respectively), and Carla and I played together in 1978 and again 1989-1990 (the Violators and the Carla Olson/Mick Taylor Band, respectively). And it will be cool to see Suzi Quatro, another pioneer.

November 24, 7 PM, I’ll be playing at the Music Moves Mountains Foundation show at the One-2-One Bar. This one will be a tribute to the Monterey Pop Festival — details here. I’ll have some surprises for you in my little minstrel show, I promise. I’ll be playing upright bass and doing some Who covers and some blues. That’s all I’m saying for now.

Thursday, November 7, at Continental Gallery, it’s Tertulia again. I’ll be reading another strange comic piece with my beautiful wife, Lois Richwine. This will be a reprise of the last Tertulia event, when Lois and I performed my piece “HE & SHE in the Underworld.” This one is a follow up titled “HE & SHE in the Unfigureoutable.”

I’m still working on the Overton Gang book / a k a “Austin Underworld in the 1960s” and plan to be done with a presentable draft by New Year’s Eve. Wish me luck. Hell, send money, rye whiskey and espresso beans from Ethiopia. It will happen. I’m going on the record here.

Now, for a few shots by my friends, David Jewell and Bill Blackmon, of my recent shows with Kim Simpson at Whip In.

 

Jesse Sublett, noir blues, upright bass, crime writer

My bass. Great shot by Bill Blackmon. I really like how my hair looks in this shot.

Jesse Sublett, noir blues, upright bass, crime writer

Me & my bass by Bill Blackmon who is quite the artistic photographer

Jesse Sublett, noir blues, upright bass, crime writer

Me & my bass, by David Jewel, poet & photographer extraordinaire

Jesse Sublett, noir blues, upright bass, crime writer

Kim Simpson, left, myself right, by David Jewel

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Keeping it Pencil Thin on Saint-Germain

UPDATE: I just realized I keep getting the name of Montmajour Abbey incorrect. Montmajour Abbey is the correct name. In French it is Abbaye Notre Dame de Montmajour. Wiki it here.

Jesse sublett, blues singer, surrealist, crime writer

Jesse sublett, blues singer, surrealist, crime writer

Clockwise, Lauri, Lois, Jesse, Jake at La Rotonde

Jesse Sublett, crime novelist, blues singer

Me & Karl Lagerfeld, you know, ran into each other & I said, Hey man, you need a black cat like mine, or at the very least, a pencil thin mustache. Well, he met me half way. Cool guy.

So I was walking down the street, singing “Last Kind Words” by Geechie Wiley, which is, like the saddest song in the whole world, in the history of history. It goes like this:

The last kind word I heard my daddy say
Lord the last kind word I heard my daddy say

If I die, if I die in the German War
I want you to send my body, send it to my mother, Lord

If I get killed, if I get killed, please don’t bury my soul
Just leave me out, let the buzzards eat me whole

When you see me comin’, look ‘cross the rich man’s field
If I don’t bring you flour, I’ll bring you bolted meal

I went to the depot, I looked up at the sign
Cry some train don’t come, there’ll be some walkin’ done

My momma told me, just before she died
Lord, Oh precious daughter, don’t you be so wise

The Mississippi River, you know it’s deep and wide
I can stand right here, see my baby from the other side

What you do to me baby, it never gets out of me
I mean I’ll see you, after I cross the deep blue sea

And I ran into that Karl dude, see above. And then back at Hotel Bellechasse, there’s our pals, Jake Riviera and Lauri Riviera, checking in just two minutes after we got there, not unexpected, but a welcome sight, and it means a pleasant evening is in store.

Jesse Sublett, Surrealist, crime novelist, blues singer

Toro Piscine!! Like what it looks like, bullfighting for the kids.

Jesse Sublett, Surrealist, crime novelist, blues singer

Olive Trees, St. Remy d’Provence, first attempt. May Van Gogh & all those guys rest in peace. Don’t get up on my account, OK?

Jesse sublett, blues singer, crime writer

So like what kind of a great predicter of the future was Nostradamus? How did he not predict that we were coming? Bummer. We left a note, will let you know if we find out WTF.

Jesse Sublett, Surrealist, crime novelist, blues singer

Olive trees, St. Remy d’Pce. Second attempt drawing the trees across from the swimming pool at the villa.

Jesse Sublett, Surrealist, crime novelist, blues singer

Philosophie magazine. What timing!! I saw the posters everywhere in Paris & I’m like, How did they know I was coming?

I finished Anne Carson’s Grief Lessons (Four tragedies by Euripides)before we left for Provence, and the images and plots and hysterical, brutal scenes were still ringing in my head, and I’m running into characters from those tragedies in bronze (at Musee Rodin, at Musee d’Orsay, etc.), and then there’s this poster everywhere, for Philosophie magazine, and I just had to buy it. Not just for the guy with the horse head, and just about any time there’s a guy with a horse head, it’s disturbing enough to get my attention, but as it turns out, they’re holding the
23rd World Congress of Philosophy in Athens now. Excellent! If I could I would go, even if all the talk would be over my head. So I bought the magazine and I’m slowly translating the whole thing (it’s in French), with the help of Babelfish. Looks like they’ve got heavy duty articles on Theseus and the Minotaur, Oedipus, and all that great stuff that’s been spooking me out for the past few years or so.

I also bought a couple of graphic novels at the bookstore by Deux Magots, and we went out shopping with the girls (except, now that I think about it, Jake and I would park at a bistro or something and have a couple of drinks while our wives shopped, then when they wanted to move on, we’d find another bar close to the new shopping area). Later that night we ate at La Rotonde, and it was just as good as the last time we ate there, maybe better. Next day we ate at the mother of all brasseries, La Coupole. We ate a lot of places and I took a lot of iPhone pix.

Jesse Sublett, artist, crime writer

The house in St. Remy d’Pce.

Jesse Sublett, artist, crime writer

The cover of the new Fleetwood Cadillac Mac CD by Jesse & Daphne

La Rotonde. Sure, it looks better in person.

La Rotonde. Sure, it looks better in person.

Jesse Sublett, artist, crime writer

Lois, lobby of Hotel Bellechasse, Saint Germain.
Last dinner in Paris we went to Cafe Louis Philippe with Jake & Lauri, with Michael & Linda Moorcock and Martin & Lynn Stone. Michael as you may know is an author and Martin Stone is a musician and rare book dealer. Martin plays with Marianne Faithful and has backed up a good many legendary blues guys. Anyway, it was a superb meal there and it was very funny, this black and white tabby found us soon after we were seated and she made herself at home between Linda and Lynn, parked there the whole time, accepting bites, and when we left, she escorted us downstairs as we bid goodnight. We were just saying that France is the most dog friendly place we’d ever seen, but you know, when you think about it, France is very, very catlike. If you disagree, tough luck, I’m not gonna argue with you because you’re wrong.

[caption id="attachment_5303" align="aligncenter" width="3264"]Jesse Sublett, Surrealist, blues singer, crime writer breakfast at the villa

[/caption]

Jesse sublett, blues singer, crime writer

library in Marais

Jesse sublett, blues singer, crime writer

Daphne with our chef, who is also a livery driver

Jesse sublett, blues singer, crime writer

on Bellechasse.

Jesse sublett, blues singer, crime writer

Shopping on Saint Germain.

Jesse sublett, blues singer, surrealist, crime writer

view from Abbey, wild white horses

Jesse sublett, blues singer, surrealist, crime writer

Abbey Montemajour

Jesse sublett, grave digger blues, surrealist, crime writer

This gargoyle is the Monster of Tarasco who would eat sinners as they tried to cross the marsh by the Abbey

Jesse sublett, blues singer, surrealist, crime writer

Hey is that a man in your mouth, or what?

Jesse sublett, grave digger blues, surrealist, crime writer

Daphne, resting at the monks’ graveyard at the Abbey

Jesse sublett, blues singer, surrealist, crime writer

Ivan has a bright idea before putting the fish on the grill

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Greetings from France

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author Arles.

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

Moe ghosting the patio at chateau, St. Remy d’Pce

> Coliseum in Arles, where they still have bullfights.[/caption]

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

Eygalieres, where we had our first 3 hour lunch. Provence is fine.

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

Agent Double-O-Ivan. Russian sniper camera, junk shop outside Eyaglieres.

Powered by 3 double espressos & too many chocolate croissants… Shopping in St. Germaine… sitting across from Musee d’Orsay… having a nice day, in general. The weather has cooled down quite a bit. Last week it was hot in Paris and also in Provence.

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

Bull painting in Arles shop. Cool. Bull iconography everywhere you look.

Every day, hiking through the markets in St. Remy d’Pce, Arlenes, & other villages, ending the day feeling like a baked potato. Fortunately the chateau where we were staying with P&I and Bob & Daphne has a pool, so after a quick immersion and some aperitifs, all was fine with the world again.

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

At the chateau, St. Remy d’Pce. Like I said, toreadors & bull imagery abounds.

I instantly dig the lifestyle here and other than everything costing about double, I find nothing to dislike. I was looking for a current corrida poster but did not score one. So many bookstores.

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

Powered by croissants & double espressos. Paris.

Yesterday after we arrived back in Paris we went walking and we must have passed at least half a dozen. Stopped in two of them this morning and bought a couple of really cool graphic novels.

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir novelist

Moe aka Chavez, ghosting the chateau in St. Remy

Will write about them later and when we return, I’ll scan some pages and post them. Another book note, at Shakespeare & Company, I wormed my way into the teensy alcove or closet, whatever you want to call it, which is the poetry section there and checked for Anne Carson titles.

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

Iris the Messenger who brings Madness to Herakles to make him kill his family because Hera is fed up with this superhero trip he’s been on. Oh yeah, by Rodin at Musee Rodin in Paris.

It’s really hard to find more than one or two titles in any bookstores I’ve been to in the States lately.

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

Moe, aka Chavez, ghosting us in Paris.

Guess what? They had every single book Carson has in print. Bought one of them and spoke to the gal behind the counter who said the owner is a huge fan of Anne, so that’s why. Good for you guys. I bought GRIEF LESSONS (Four plays by Euripides, translated by Anne Carson, with intros and essays that are worth the price of the book, plus her translations of the plays are brutal, wicked, like classic Greek on meth. Awesome. Hysteria. Like running around outside naked when it’s raining razor blades. Anyway…).

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

Arles

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

Please note the souls being dragged off to Hell. Don’t let this happen to you.

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

Our first lunch in Provence. Yum.

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

Dorado. Great on the grill.

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

Dorado, grilled by Ivan, + sausages, salad, asparagus pasta, + other stuff.

 

Jesse Sublett, surrealist, blues singer, noir fiction author

The lavender people. Met this couple at the market in St. Remy d’Pce. See the purple car? They’re from Holland. They do this all the time. After taking their picture they said, We even buy purple toilet paper. We can’t get it in Holland. That’s Ivan on the left, synchronicity, wearing a purple Izod. Next day we saw them in Arles. Weird!

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Filed under anne carson, Books & other writing by Jesse Sublett, France, NOIR & TRUE CRIME, travel & food

Safe for work, not that I approve of working

This has been one of my favorite LBJ photos for a long time. And as you may know, I’m a big LBJ fan, so I’ve looked at quite a few of them. This one is almost slapstick. It speaks volumes about the relationship between the two men, particularly up until about 1960. By then, Connally was able to do his mentor favors he needed.

Jesse Sublett, political blogger, crime fiction author

One of my favorite LBJ pix. LBJ is left, Connally right.

I scanned the photo from the Jan. 17 Time magazine issue, which was designed to introduce a shaken public to the new prez by introducing them to his home state, “TEXAS: Where Myth & Reality Merge.” The content seems fairly hokey today, but it’s also fascinating. Oh, and in case it escaped your attention, the date is six weeks after JFK was assassinated in Dallas. LBJ may have been the Master of the Senate and one of FDR’s right hand men, but once he helped Kennedy squeak into the White House, the Kennedy clan kept the big Texan hidden from sight as much as humanly possible, much to their deficit.

jesse sublett, liberal blogger, noir author

Time magazine 1964, the TEXAS issue.

What I’m reading is Anne Carson. If you haven’t heard of her or you have and you just don’t remember or your brain is tired and you’d rather just read the NY Times piece on her from last March, here it is.

Her latest novel-in-verse, red doc>, was pretty great, but I liked The Autobiography of Red more. Nox was pretty great as well, and it was a brilliant reinvention of what we think of as a book, too (It comes in a box, and instead of pages, it’s an accordion fold thing, and that’s just the physical aspect; the book itself is a collection, sort of, of Greek translations, found art and poetry, and in general, a hefty dose of Anne Carson’s groove, which is pretty damn brilliant, funny, brain-twisting, and brilliant). But right now I’m reading Antigonick, her version of the Sophocles play Antigone. As you may know, Antigone is one of the Theban plays of Sophocles, the last, chronologically speaking, in the series of plays in the Oedipus cycle. The story is pretty brutal and grueling, but in Carson’s hand it’s strangely humorous in parts. Maybe it’s her impish mind playing tricks on me, but I find myself saying “wow” out loud, and laughing, and rereading pages several times, just to re-experience them. It’s one of the coolest books I own, one of the coolest things I’ve ever read.

Anne Carson, poet, classicist, pretty weird chick. You wish you were 1,000th as smart as her.

Anne Carson, poet, classicist, pretty weird chick. You wish you were 1,000th as smart as her.

Jesse Sublett, surrealist

From Antigonick, by Anne Carson.

Jesse Sublett, noir author

a page of text from Anne Carson’s Antigonick

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Filed under Books & other writing by Jesse Sublett, Grave Digger Blues, NOIR & TRUE CRIME, politics

Me & Kato & Marcia Clark who prosecuted his landlord, that 2-initial thug who (temporarily) escaped the long hairy arm of the law

 

Jesse Sublett, crime writer and Kato Kaelin

The creative crew of Eye for an Eye, Judge Extreme Akim, Tom Huckabee, Kato Kaelin, Jeff Sheftell, MB, Jesse Sublett, Randy Bellous


Here’s the youtube link of Kato and me. For the explanation as to how this came about, scroll to the bottom of the post. It’s interesting, but not the main reason I posted this.

Kato Kaelin wishes Lois happy Valentines Day, 2005.

Thank goodness for youtube and fleeting fame and dubious associations. Marcia Clark is coming to town, and if you forgot that she was the prosecutor in LA County when OJ Simpson was charged with slaughtering his ex-wife and her boyfriend, and if you didn’t know that she is now a hot, best-selling, cool crime novelist, and if you didn’t know that I was a producer for a reality courtroom show a few years back and the host was OJ’s house guest, Kato Kaelin, then you are in for a treat. Come to Noir at the Bar Saturday night, July 20, 7 PM, at Opal Divine Penn Field, 3601 South Congress, up on the side of the hill there, which used to be a strip club, years ago when Austin was more weird but less cool.

There will be readings by Marcia Clark, Tim Hallinan, Josh Stallings and me, my terrible self. I will be playing a couple of songs before the show gets under way, including a special one dedicated to Marcia. Our host is the ever affable and knowledgable Scott Montgomery of BookPeople, the store with the mostest, which will have copies of all the authors’ books on hand for sale, including my most recent, Grave Digger Blues.

Marcia is the author of three crime novels, Guilt by AssociationGuilt by Degrees, and Killer Ambition, a series featuring Los Angeles Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight. Tim Hallinan is the Edgar- and Macavity-nominated author of thirteen widely praised books—twelve novels and a work of nonfiction—including the Poke Rafferty Bangkok thrillers A Nail Through the Heart, The Fourth Watcher, Breathing Water, and The Queen of Patpong. Josh Stallings, a Hollywood character, jack of all trades who has bummed around that crazy town and written films and video games and worked as a bouncer, taxi driver, etc., etc., is the author of Beautiful, Naked and Dead, and Out There Bad (Moses #2) , and others, including the noir memoir, All the Wild Children. (Hey, I’ve got one of those). Jesse Sublett, the author of this blog… hey, you should already know enough about me, and if you don’t, maybe you stumbled on this blog by accident, shopping for one of those sleep-number beds or something.

Hey I got your sleep number right here… talking about the big sleep….

THE STORY OF KATO AND ME (SHORT VERSION)

I posted the “Kato Kaelin wishes Lois Richwine Happy Valentines 2005″ as a kind  painful  memory association following  the disappointing verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. This may seem like a bit of a ramble, but here’s the deal. In 2005 I was a segment producer on Eye an Eye, a reality courtroom show produced in Dallas. Kato was the host.  I dug this up because Marcia Clark, prosecutor in the OJ trial, is now a hot crime writer  appearing at Noir at the Bar/Austin on Saturday. You’ve probably seen Marcia on MSNBC and other news networks lately, commenting on the Zimmerman trial. For months now, Scott Montgomery of BookPeople has been telling me how excited he is that Marcia is coming, because she’s not only a fine noir writer, but a fun gal. So I promised her, via Facebook, that I’d play a certain song especially for her on Saturday night, not to put her on the spot, but because it seemed like a good idea. A couple more photos from my experiences with Eye for an Eye appear below. It was a good gig, but strange. Kato was a real chick magnet. We were in Dallas for 3 weeks and every night at the hotel after work, women flocked to the guy like moths to a blonde surfer rock star. I mean, I’ve been around rock stars before, which you may realize, but I haven’t seen anything like this. Kato was OK, a gracious guy. Tom Huckabee was my counterpart on the production team. I prepped the plaintiffs before they went in before the judge, and Tom prepped the defendants. With each case, each of us tried our best  to screw up the other side. Kind of like when Tom was in the Huns and I was in the Skunks back in 1979, and the Huns had no talent and were all gimmicks, and the Skunks had talent, and not many gimmicks. Something like that, except Tom wasn’t wearing a glitter gold jockstrap, like the Huns singer did back in 1979.

This job was quite an experience. After a few weeks of preproduction, we shot 70 episodes in 21 days. You read that correctly: 70 episodes in 21 days. It was brutal and weird and funny. And when I say that, I’m not talking about the limp pasta salad from catering every day. The catering company, of course, was doing the gig just for the screen credit, so you can imagine, it was not a gourmet experience. Our first day on the job, the main producer had us all sign severe non disclosure agreements, then called up this car dealer and got Hummers for us to drive. The creative producers got assigned this cayenne red Hummer, and none of the other guys in my group would drive the thing, so I had to drive this ugly, embarrassing monster every day, and I’m not the best navigator of Dallas freeways (BTW that was not meant as a bad pun).

One of my favorite cases was the preacher who shot his neighbor’s dog. I represented the preacher, believe it or not, and I really thought we were going to win.

Anyway, there’s a lot of chatter on my Facebook page since I posted that video of Kato Kaelin wishing Lois happy Valentines day. Check it out. Some of it is pretty funny, some of it is retarded. Kind of like life.

Cheers,

Jesse

 

Jesse Sublett, crime author, blues singer

Wanna know what it’s like to be a hard working producer for a reality show? You get to drive one of these to the set every morning.

Jesse Sublett, crime author, blues singer

Betsy was the PA who worked exclusively for Tom and Jeff and I, plus MB, on the show. She was sweet and really great to us and I hope she’s rich and famous now.

 

Jesse Sublett, crime author, blues singer

Sugar Ray Phillips, a former middleweight fighter, was the bailiff

 

Jesse Sublett, crime author, blues singer

Here’s the audience. All of our audience members had to pass an IQ test. Hint: It was a 2-digit number.

Jesse Sublett, crime author, blues singerPlaintiffs for one of the cases on Eye for an Eye, 2005 season

 

 

Jesse Sublett, crime author, blues singer

Sahar was a Russian mail order bride. The plaintiff wanted a refund. If I remember correctly, we sentenced him to six months in the funny farm.

 

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Filed under BLUES, MURDER BALLADS & OTHER COOL RACKET, Books & other writing by Jesse Sublett, Grave Digger Blues, NOIR & TRUE CRIME

YOUNG BLOOD + CHEAP GIRL = PHILANTHROPY

The legendary, mighty, notorious SKUNKS join a whole slew of bright fresh young sparkly rock bands at the Continental Club Saturday night for a very good cause, that is, to bring the hope of a music program to a struggling South Texas school district. The town is called San Perlita, and it’s way down South. MapQuest will show you. Read the article by young William Harries Graham, who will be playing, and so will his dad, the indestructible Jon Dee Graham (just back from a successful tour of Japan), plus another not-youngblood but bright musician, Nakia. The Skunks play at midnight, like 12:01 A.M., or something like tha. Read the Chronicle story, the band billing is below, Facebook event here, and the original poster, if you want to see it, is here. Tickets are $17 advance, $20 at the door, and it starts EARLY, because it’s an all-ages show. Doors open at 7:00 PM, show starts at 7:15.

The Skunks, Austin, Texas

 

And don’t forget, Grave Digger Blues, my surrealist detective novel featuring Hank Zzybnx, the last detective, is available at BookPeople, South Congress Books, and Yard Dog. Normally I sell copies at my gigs, but I sold out at my last gig and won’t have more until next week.

 

surrealistic detective novel, noir, Jesse Sublett, Denis Johnson, James Ellroy

Grave Digger Blues is a surrealistic detective novel

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Filed under Books & other writing by Jesse Sublett, Grave Digger Blues, JESSE'S GIGS, MY FAMOUS BAND, THE SKUNKS