michael's communiqué #5|
So in an event that could only be described as ironic...I, Michael Grace Jr., noted rainy misanthrope and malcontent, who once punched out a box of Count Chocula to "wipe that stupid grin off his face" has moved to a neighborhood called...Sunnyside. How f---king cheery. But as is often the case...titles can be, at least partially, misleading. While Sunnyside (a mostly Irish neighborhood with a good smattering of everyone else on the western edge of Long Island City Queens) does have nice tree lined streets and parks, wood paneled pubs and a struggling fish & chip shop, it also lies beneath the grimy "7" train on the banks of Queens Boulevard, where a nice 12 minute stroll brings you to center of the strip club/prostitution capital of New York. After Mayor Guiliani cleaned up Times Square in the mid 90s, it seems every stripper and call girl in New York reconvened at Queens Plaza in L.I.C. (though in all honesty, I have noticed a decrease in visible pros when I get off the Queensborough bridge from Manhattan lately, so maybe Mayor Bloomberg is going after them with the same ferver he does a pack of Kools.) But Sunnyside proper is actually quite nice, and I have been trading hellos with old Irish ladies in tweed coats. I do, however, cherish the stigma of the "7" train, which is a lonely, rattling above-ground subway which only brings you halfway to wherever it is you want to go. A few years back, quasi-racist yahoo John Rocker (who does not deserve his Blue Oyster Cult worthy name), a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves baseball team made national headlines for saying he hated taking the 7 train to Shea Stadium and sitting next to "welfare moms, people with purple hair, and dudes with aids". Those of you who know My Favorite know that I've written songs about each of those demographics, and would hurtle Mr. Rocker onto the tracks if he "dare touch a hair on their heads". So maybe I'm finally home...
Moving is always a somewhat emotional and bewildering experience...at least for me. One must open boxes one would rather not open, take a look at things one would rather not be reminded of, and then close said box and bring it with you to wherever you are going. I find it difficult to dispose of a decade old Bouncing Souls t-shirt, so please do not suggest I toss my tortured secret history in the trash. No way Jose. My new place is big and bright and inviting. A welcome change from my last apartment where my awesome and well-meaning roommate's troika of aloof cats ran the joint, and me and my allergies spent most hours behind the door of a small room playing a casio in my underwear, and doodling Joan of Arc upon my wall with a sharpie. Not the glamorous New York of 'Sex in The City' eh kiddos...somehow much more Fassbiner-esque. Which is more appealing to me anyhow...plus my new roommate is my very good friend Raffi of Garlands obscurity. There is a lot of hard liquor in the apartment, and a Manet ingraving, so perhaps things are looking up...
So I packed up my small picture of a nun on a bicycle, my blue bottle with plastic flower, my haunted biscuit tin from Paris, two beautiful paintings students of mine gave me, the aforementioned casio, an art deco chair and 62 postcards and stuffed them into a battered Toyota Tercel. My brother and Jennifer helped out. Jennifer has just bought a miniture dog with a bat's face which she called "Thurston". My brother has no pets, though he really likes "mint flavoring." If you want to know more about them, I'll suggest they start writing communiques of their own the next time I see them.
I have decided to do three rapid fire communiques...one for each of the next three weeks. Next one, I will report on Halloween...our show at Warsaw...and a party I have RSVP-ed to in Bushwick which promises 4 Floors Of Terrorocity and Pain! Which I am praying doesn't just mean excessive Fischer-Spooner and girls with Yuengling breath. But hope springs eternal...plus the wonderful Marsha...who appears from time to time at our shows as Joan of Arc is involved...so I believe it will be terrorific. The following week I will report on the cosmic convergence that is My Favorite at Town Hall opening for Belle and Sebastian on November 10. I am excited, and nervous about playing for 2,000 people in red velvet seats...but hey..why not! This is a show I am going to remember, and a victory for the forces of good vs. evil. For one night...the lost detectives, the stars of track and field, the lesser saints, and the middle distance runners will be together under flattering lights! B & S is a brilliant band, so much better than the stumbling post-punk pretty boys of New York. Give me Staurt, and a sketchbook, and a bowl of warm pop-corn, and I'll take on any rainy day!
So the compilation is out! Available from doubleagentrecords.com now, and in stores November 4th. Again, I know for many of our hardcore fans...the compilation will contain much material you have hunted down in the form of the 3 limited eps. But don't forget about the 4 new tracks, 2 Grace Jr. & co. reconstructions, and a bonus disc of quirky and sublime remixes. Plus deluxe artwork, and liner notes by Joan herself. In the end, "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" is really an introduction to My Favorite for the rest of the world not as special as you...but it is created in your image. We hope to begin recording our next 'Horror' themed record tentatively titled "Please Remember The Haunted Hearts" in December for a release next year...
Until next time,
Michael Grace Jr.
Professor of Halloweenism and Post-structuralist Halloween theory.
City College of Plastic, Sunnyside NYC