Mike Daily – ALARM
1 novel, 1 studio CD, 1 live CD

Book [180 + pages] / CD 1 [66:13] / CD 2 [60:32]

Stovepiper Books Media, 8316 N. Lombard PMB #292, Portland, OR 97203, USA


And the --- don’t work, and the --- don’t work

I get home from the police station, having delivered a bunch of far-flung investigations to the District Attorney, to one of the DA’s, a beautiful, female, semi-young one, and inside my door, below the slot, I find a big yellow envelope from around the world, from Portland, Oregon: it screams at me from the floor, and the --- don’t work, and the --- don’t work. I bend over, pick it up, from
Stovepiper Books Media, and I get instantly pulled into the current, without even opening the envelope, but as I do, as I rip it up fast and fast, and pull one of the CDs out of the book – a book called ALARM – and slide it into the player, I am broadlighted; swung about my jagged existence, and the --- don’t work and the --- don’t work! It’s Mike Daily’s novel with two CDs, and I get swept off my intentions right off! Yesterday a Hungarian composer friend of mine – Zoltán Gaál – and his female cousin from Romania (the first time THEY met in 30 years!), dropped by the police station with a whole stack of LPs and home-burned CDs by Hungarian composer Josef Maria Horvath, plus lots of electronic pieces by Zoltán himself. We’d just met for the first time at the Nordic Music Days in Norrkoping a few weeks back, right after I came back down home after two weeks mountain and glacier hiking in the rock deserts of Lapland, and the artistic director of the Swedish Composers’ Association unexpectedly called me and asked me to immediately come to the Music Days, go to all concerts I possibly could, and stay up all night in the hotel, writing about the events on an official blog, for money – and I did… and now the don’t work and the don’t work, and Mike Daily’s book and CDs lie in a heap with Josef Maria Horvath’s and Zoltán Gaál’s music, and I’m off out on the nightly exercise ride; 30 kilometers on my racing bike, staying FIT, to bore through the falling dusk of a late October day of Scandinavia, and the --- don’t work… and this insanly healthy creativity from Mike Daily amplifies everything, densifying time, widening space!

But I’m tired of America, so tired-out of Americans; I can’t stand television anymore, the ninety-fuck American % over-simplified, over-stupefied American detective stories all night on Swedish television; I can’t take it, I turn it off, I disown television, I disown America. And I know what I feel, I bicycled from Manhattan, 226 89th St. at 3rd Ave, to Dallas, Texas, Melody Lane Apts., where I got married to an American woman, and stayed married, over-married, for seven consecutive years, and I worked over at The Texas Highway Department, and I exercise-biked twice around White Rock Lake every day, every Texan day, except during ice-storms. I’ve got a right to be tired of America, of Americans, of American genocides, in Vietnam or Iraq or in the mind of any intelligent human being – for America is just something that has gone wrong; and you don’t need me to try to make excuses for the fucker!

No, what we like nowadays is more in the line of the Ukraine! More in the line of Andrey Kurkov:
Death and the Penguin: a book I found in a shelter out in the Lapland wilderness in August, just recently, in August 2007, when I carried 25 kilos in a backpack for two weeks over glaciers and rock deserts, and slept one wonderful body night in the Unna Raita shelter, where I made a birch wood fire in the stove, dried my clothes and found Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov and disowned America. Just to make sure you understand: The birch wood logs had been transported out there on snow-mobiles in the winter, because life is all way beyond the tree line, where I consider hiking.

The Unna Raita hut with Death and the Penguin

But you know, funny thing, happy thing, Mike Daily doesn’t bother my disownment of America, not at all, doesn’t bother my Unna Raita Ukrainian absurdist novel body night of August – because Mike Daily is right here, right now – you cannot, cannot, cannot tire of HIM: he is fucked up hunky dory UKRAINIAN!
The concept
ALARM – and, by all means, the way Mike Daily conveys it – shivers with a cross-bread mentality that cuts through contemporary culture and un-culture by the throat, if that is conceivable. I find his art slots right in an impossible place somewheres between my Unna Raita coziness and my down-home particularness laying down the word about Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Volume 48 out of the Edition; Paare vom Freitag. There is something lucid, luminous and yet crunchy, wholesome and gluey about the way he renders lingo and thought and rancid observation a state of the art! It’s clever and very, very intuitive. It’s the intuitive, honest freshness about this speech/sound/text/music kind of contemporeana that completely brings me to waste, has me turn the dial up still further, trying my very experienced neighbors’ patience even more, pushing that Mike Daily envelope further Mike Daily way!

A happy aspect of all this is Daily’s uncompromising originality. His art isn’t very much like any other, except in a transferred sense, because if you regard him thus, you could say he sports the exuberance of Jack Kerouac and the venomous wit of
Blonde on Blonde Dylan, or what have you (and at two times he sounds like Elvis Costello and Lou Reed!) – but he is so strong in himself that those roundabouts only serve to catch the possible interest of the culture-starvers that yet don’t have his ALARM release, and I don’t believe it’s just a coincidence – I am a firm believer in synchronicity, anyways! – that the upper-case letters of ALARM might instigate analogies to the upper-case letters of HOWL!
I have as yet read the book and listened sharply to CD 1, the studio CD , and what I’ve read and heard so far is high-end, state of the art art, linguistic and musical, expressive like Ukrainian hell, and having you, luckily, completely forget or chose to disregard the American origins. With Mike Daily you don’t give one shit about eventual American origins, because his art is original HUMAN art, down to the last drop, just like Maxwell House Coffee, or “the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death, and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the suffering of America's naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years”… or something like that…

And sitar speaks, sitar talks - as I hear the text of my T-shirt spoken: Make Love Not War (for I'm a member of the Swedish Peace Movement - being a criminal investigator doesn't contraindicate that!), and I'm impressed by the small print permutations that Mike Daily applies; never overdoes it electroacoustically or sound-poetically: just hints at the bent-out-of-shape perspectives of Middle Earth, without unduly respecting Meat Man!

And as Daily stacks statements and pushes them over, reconstructs all kinds of reconstructs and redestructs them, I think of HOW LIFE IS (in Stanford, Connecticut, and in Shitville, Swedenland). Give you an example from the day before yesterday: I was picking up one of the myriad CDs I get to say something about at
Sonoloco, and it was a Swedish mainstream contemporary chamber CD called Rhizome, with music by composer Christer Lindwall. Aiming at an explanation of the concept Rhizome, the booklet text engages in recollections of phases of the intellectual anamnesis of writers and thinkers like Umberto Eco and Gilles Deleuzes. In that realm, Rhizome may provide a springboard into the music of Christer Lindwall; a philosophically oriented investigation into and questioning of the patterns of though prevalent through our days. In a Rhizome system, in a non-linear world, any one point can connect to any other point, contrary to the circumstances in the hierarchy of a tree. Further explaining the relevance of Rhizome in the CD Rhizome, the liner notes mention the reciprocal relations between various works in the collection, though no quotes or material loans can be found. Notes talk about complex fabrics of inherent possibilities, wherein hierarchies only possess temporary stabilities, and focuses keep shifting. The writer’s language becomes sheer poetry here, poetry and poetic philosophy.
As I had formulated these sentences about the Swedish chamber CD
Rhizome (but not yet pulished them!), I received an email from Belgian electroacoustician Stephen Dunkelmann, who wrote to thank me for a review I wrote about HIS electroacoustic CD on Canadian label Empreintes DIGITALes years ago – and that CD was called… Rhizomes… Don’t blame me too hard for being into the kind of synchronicity that Deepak Chopra and Robert H. Hopcke are into!

So thing is, this is how
ALARM affects me: It makes me free, frees my thoughts and my ingenuity, yes, makes me happy in a witty, strong, energetic and madly intuitive way, and with CLASS and FINESSE! That’s why I’m so almost indecently enthusiastic over this downright upright Ukraineeism of Portland, Oregon. Yeah, tough luck if you can get it! The mantra of the Space Cattle Herders! And Daily's band - O'GRADY! - plays like tight thunder, like a slapstick whirlwind through your mind!

What ever it is that Mike Daily has sought to achieve here, he’s succeeded! I wouldn’t be surprised if this exquisite, translucent and simultaneously rumbling, rambling mouthslide of spattering word splinting will look quite relaxed and well in place in a sofa with the angriest expressions of Norman Mailer and Fritz the Cat.

And you can’t help but feel a kind of lustful desperation, an intellectual amazement at all the hardcore stupidity of modern Western society, that leaves you, and laves Daily, in a paroxysm of helpless, rocking and rolling laughter that hollers through bodies and languages, unstoppable; the only just response to this Madmania: hollering, overwhelming laughter! Not that he laughs, traditionally, but what he chooses to comment on, and HOW he comments, is a Lenny Bruce world of smiling poison teeth, a Spike Jones affidavit. Praise be! Make fun of the idiots; that’s all they’re good for! And another good person that Mike Daily reminds me of is Laurie “Language Is A Virus From Outer Space” Anderson.

It is amazing that Daily never misses a beat, intellectual or in time: he’s got this crazy timing that staccatos language and life in a gentle frenzy that keeps you madly adrift! “Cut to a commercial!” Fucked up Ukrainian! Real Andrey Kurkov
Death and the Penguin rock desert stuff! And Erik Belgum looms somewhere in Minnesota!