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Old 11.12.2007, 06:06 PM   #21
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wooow i have road movie... i love it
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Old 11.13.2007, 04:18 AM   #22
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Looks like the book also contains poems that he uses for DRIFT.
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Old 11.14.2007, 09:38 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by tesla69
lame.

this item is so OVERGROUND I can't even purchase it! You have to be approved by the elite financial system to buy it!

yep, pretty much.

tell you what - shoot me a private message & i'll give you an address to which you can mail overground elite american currency.

thanks.
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Old 11.15.2007, 12:38 AM   #24
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http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/page/n...on-e-mail-spam

Lee Ranaldo Pens Poetry Book Based on E-mail Spam
Art by Meat Puppets' Curt Kirkwood
http://assets4.pitchforkmedia.com/im....leesmall.jpg? Photo by Kathryn Yu

Spam e-mail: Some block it, some purge it completely, some giggle at its come-ons, and some (very few, we hope) delve right in, seeking the financial solvency only a plea from an ex-leader of a tiny nation can provide. Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo, however, mines his spam folder for fodder for his poetry. Hello From the American Desert, a 40-page collection of Ranaldo's spam-inspired poetry, accompanied by artwork by the Meat Puppets' Curt Kirkwood, is out now on Chicago imprint Silver Wonder Press.

Hello collects verse written between 2004 and the present in a chapbook limited to an edition of 1,000. This isn't Lee's first foray into the literary world, nor is it his first book of poetry, but it is his first to potentially include explicit instructions on how to score deep discounts on overseas prescriptions, so it oughta pay for itself after the second use.

As previously mentioned, Sonic Youth are taking their well-loved tunage Down Under in February for a spate of ATP-aided Don't Look Back shows. Sonic Youth has a handful of other gigs around the official Don't Look Back dates, though each and every show they've got lined up will see them rolling over Daydream Nation. Hey, that's a good album!

Sonic Youth doing Daydream Nation:

02-16 Auckland, New Zealand - Bruce Mason Centre
02-18 Sydney, Australia - Enmore Theatre !
02-19 Sydney, Australia - Enmore Theatre
02-20 Melbourne, Australia - The Metro !
02-21 Melbourne, Australia - The Metro
02-22 Adelaide, Australia - Fowlers Live Courtyard !
02-23 Perth, Australia - Perth International Arts Festival

! with Scientists, doing Blood Red River
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Old 11.28.2007, 08:29 PM   #25
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Hey guys, did anybody get their book yet? How is it? I'm thinking about picking it up.
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Old 11.29.2007, 01:43 AM   #26
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I bought it. It has some nice poetry that can be easily turn into great Lee/SY tunes.
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Old 11.29.2007, 06:27 AM   #27
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nice poetry, but don't like fact that it is like brochure looking type of book. it would be much more expensive like a hardback i suppose.
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Old 11.29.2007, 11:31 PM   #28
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Can't wait for it to arrive!!
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Old 12.03.2007, 03:12 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by greenlight
nice poetry, but don't like fact that it is like brochure looking type of book. it would be much more expensive like a hardback i suppose.


oh, we would love to put out hardcover books, but it's so cost prohibitive for small runs - the lowest cost that we were able to find was still something like $17/book... just not possible on our budget.

thanks!

the silver wonder press
chicago, illinois
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Old 01.01.2008, 11:26 AM   #30
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I bought this for myself for Christmas....he he. It's pretty cool even though the drawings are kinda crappy in my opinion....they're not even that interesting. Did anyone elses copy come kind of bent up? That was a bit of a bummer.
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Old 02.08.2008, 11:32 PM   #31
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hey all. i'm bumping this - we have 20 copies of this book that have been signed by both lee ranaldo & curt kirkwood. these extremely limited items are not being offered on the silver wonder website. should you wish to purchase a copy, please contact me via private message. the cost for the signed book is $25 - we do still have a few unsigned copies for $10 available at our website: www.silverwonderpress.com. thanks!

the silver wonder press
chicago, illinois
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Old 02.08.2008, 11:34 PM   #32
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Wish I had the money.

(Sighs)
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Old 02.09.2008, 04:01 AM   #33
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I can't believe how many copies of this are turning up on ebay - there seems to be a copy a day appearing on there.
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Old 02.11.2008, 12:58 AM   #34
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Lee Ranaldo interviewed about "Hello From the American Desert" in Exclaim! Magazine


by Vish Khanna

In his new poetry book, Hello From the American Desert,Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo tweaks the phenomenon of email spam-based poetry. Instead of copy-and-paste word puzzles, Ranaldo draws ideas and imagery from internet spam he's compiled since 2004 to write wholly original poems.

Vish: Lee, I've come across a couple of other examples of poetry inspired by or drawn from internet spam. What exactly drew you to formulate, what is presumably an entire volume of such poems derived from spam?

Lee: Well you know, it's funny because it's only since the book came out that I had any notion that anybody else was treading in this area. I had no idea that there was a group of people working on this out there. There's even a book called The Anthology of Spam Poetry or something. I don't know if you've come across that?

Vish: Yeah, among other things.

Lee: You know, I stared these things back in 2004. At that time, I started getting all these weird emails that just started to intrigue me, partly because they had these really weird subject headings, but also because more than that even, after the body of the message there's just this profusion of random words at the bottom of the email> It looks like a dictionary exploded or something. I was kind of fascinated by that and I immediately started looking at it with some kind of poetic eye or ear, thinking that a lot of these words go together and beautiful sounding poetry, even the scrambled subject headings. So I started collecting the stuff. At this point, I have a couple of huge files of this stuff- one of just subject headings and one of all these different things in the body of the text. The ones that I love the most are just the crazy lists of words but there would also be emails that had what looked like like little excerpts of stories. It was hard to figure out where they were from but I got the impression that some of them were like economic reports, and others were short, fictional stories. If you got ten emails in a row, you'd actually find different bits of the same story with the same characters.I just started collecting all that stuff with the idea of using it as a jumping off point for poetry. Mostly what I do is, I'll find a good block of text that I'm intrigued by a lot of the words in, and then I'll just start free associating, combining words- there'll be three or four in a row that I like and then a couple I won't so I'll cross them out and add a word or two of my own- and they just start to shape into stories. Some of them are more narrative, some more abstract, and some of these actually have little fictions with characters in them and I'll work them from there, using them as a jumping off point.

Vish: Out of context, the book's connection to the internet and junk messages seems kind of loose. Like the choice of words and their order seem entirely abstract. You've explained this a bit already but can you discuss your process here, like what prompts you to piece these messages together to form these poems?

Lee: Well, like I said, I have these huge Word files with all these things copies and pasted in them. Usually, if I'm in the mood to start a new poem, I'll just go through my files and find a few blocks in a row- the equivalent of a few paragraphs- that intrigue me and then just start bouncing off ideas. I think I start by crossing out words I don't like to get weird combinations to come up. From there, general poetry principles take over, trying to get some kind of abstract, imagistic thing going and I free associate until I find something I like.

Vish: I see, so it's not just spam, it's your voice in these poems?

Lee: Oh, most definitely; I would say almost 100 percent. Actually this is interesting because when I finally got a hold of that spam Anthology recently, most of that stuff is pretty much taken from those emails and left alone- that Viagra and penis enlargement sort of stuff. So I didn't feel too much kinship with that Anthology, just because with mine, it's a jumping off point but, in the end, they are as much my poems as any other poems I've published and less indebted to the original emails except in the fact that, you read these subject headings- like one of my poems is called "Consumptive Detente Closeup" and it's this whole little world of crazy images right there. So, I kind of go from there and work off the subject matter inherent in those words but, by the time they're done, I've definitely put a lot of my own work in and really shaped them into poems in the traditional sense.

Vish: Okay, that explains it because it really doesn't seem like you were just copying and pasting them together.

Lee: You know it's interesting because like I said I started these in 2004, and some time later, The New York Times actually did an article about these weird spams that had this stuff in them. I guess the "stories" help them elude the anti-spam programs because it looks like a real email with the body of text. I didn't realize that at first- that that was the ploy they were using and why they existed in the first place. I just thought they were great. I loved reading them even as they were, even though I transformed mine. I've done a lot of poems in the past that I call shopping list poems that are just one or two words in a line and they free-associate with each other. So, I immediately found some kinship with what I was reading in these spams and those poems of my own for a number of years and it just seemed like a natural extension.

Vish: I'm wondering if there's a particular message you're trying to convey here. It seems to me that the notion of the book and poems really has a lot to do with language and maybe how it relates to our current cultural landscape or wasteland. Are you making any kind of comment on the content and flow of information we're now bombarded with?

Lee: Well, I think there's a little bit of comment, just in terms of lifting some of these subjects that are floating around in these emails. Whether they be financial notions or just notions of what's coming into our computers and therefore our minds via the internet in general. I'm not exactly going for any specific focused comment, as much as just presenting the subject matter of the day, as provided by the most random of sources- these internet spams.

Vish: And it seems to be coming from a place of appreciation rather than exasperation. Some of the other spam poems I've read seem to be about taking these words back. Like "We're so sick of this spam, we're gonna do something creative with it," like some kind of empowering stance. You seem to actually find it somewhat endearing.

Lee: Oh, I definitely do. When you're in the mood to read that kind of stuff< I find it a joy to open those things just because they're just so out there. I mean they're farther out than most of the so- called language poets. That's one thing that i love about them is that it gives you the liberty to play around with language and brings up words that wouldn't normally come to your head immediately to use in a poem, yet they're perfect. They're abstract to begin with so I'm just taking them out of one context and using them in another basically.






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Old 02.11.2008, 11:45 AM   #35
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^Nice....it's interesting to see a more detailed account about how he crafted the poems.
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Old 02.11.2008, 01:08 PM   #36
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yeah, thanks for interview Moshe!
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Old 03.14.2008, 12:56 AM   #37
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The 21st Century Poem


 

Most of us have the spam filters on our email inboxes placed at its highest possible setting, forbidding all but the sneakiest sales pitches for “viag_ra” and the latest weight loss scam. We would digest the fact that a growing number of the world’s population actually reads and enjoys their spam in a highly dubious manner. Yet, the fact remains: There are people who anticipate the arrival of their spam so much so that email checking is the first activity of their morning routine – even before coffee making.
These spam-lovers are not crazy. In fact, a bunch of totally boss people, including Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, make spam an integral part of their lives. They create poetry from the random, gibberish-like sentences at the end of the emails, which are sometimes recognizable fragments of famous works of literature, and sometimes complete nonsense. Depending on how the poet likes to “treat” his/her spam, the poems can be derived from the phrases of a number of different emails, or built entirely on one phrase from a single email. More often then not, the poet will put his mark on the poetry by adding and subtracting words and including verb tenses and grammatical sense. The finished product looks similar to this “spam poem” pilfered from www.poemsmadefromspam.blogspot.com:

Take what your water long.
Before me picture number life study thing.
Best hard will high.
We land few them got land.

Under animals play this than a.
Let be too above take her.
With five paper tell.

Will father far life told second better.
Into world light today large a word night.
In do can sound back life again.

- Marisela Marisela

According to most spam poets, the “Spam Lit” movement is rooted in the experimental literature of William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch, Junkie), which itself originated from the cut-up techniques of Brion Gysin. This technique, which involves cutting up pages of comprehensible writing and rearranging them to create new sentences and ideas, was used for lyric composition by none other than David Bowie and Kurt Cobain.
Gysin’s writing philosophy is a part of the movement’s motivation. He believed that writing should have the same freedom as abstract art, which was receiving high critical acclaim in the 60s, and which was able to mix and match separate images to create one beautiful image.
Anti-capitalism is another driving force of the Spam Lit movement. Poets feel that they are fighting the influences of capitalism by making art out of what was originally intended to be used for money making purposes. Also, they are making art without spending money on any supplies, besides maybe a computer, which everyone has now-a-days anyway.
Although Spam Lit is tied to the highly regarded works of Gysin and Burroughs, it fails to be recognized by academia, largely remaining a literary contribution of the indie community. For other reasons that basically melt down to snobbery and the failure to acknowledge change, academic circles claim that spam poetry is a passing novelty – that it will fade as spam filters fortify.
Their argument may ring true. Obviously spam filters do, and will continue to have an impact on spam poetry. But it is more than just an art form. Spam poetry is a modern use of language – a byproduct of the Internet, a force which cannot be underestimated, as it permeates the lives of 21st century citizens.
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