Photo by Noelle Burke
KEEPING IT BLEAK
Neil Burke was raised in Newton, New Jersey, and graduated from Newton High, where he was once suspended for calling a teacher “horse dick.” Over the course of his adult life, Neil has worked as a cabbie, cartographer, garbage man, and nightclub doorman. He’s not too proud to admit that he was once arrested at a Wendy’s in northern Ohio. Perhaps you know of Neil as a guy who cofounded Men’s Recovery Project in 1994. But are you also aware of his first-class artwork and screenprinting services, available through monoroid.com? “Paint me to be a hero that someone would want to send money to,” explains Burke, 41.
A native Marylander, Tara Tavi moved to Southern California in the early 80s. She’s also lived in Paris, sat next to Linda Hamilton and Gina Schock on two separate flights, and worked as Pizza Girl on a Da Lench Mob video shoot (in which Ice Cube warned an associate to “watch out” because “that chick’s into voodoo”). In 1998, Tara traveled China for ten months on a research grant, covering the umpteen thousand square miles between Beijing, Tibet, the Afghanistan border, and Inner Mongolia. She plays hammer dulcimer the way Venus Williams hits backhand. Her paintings, sculptures, and altered books are all on display at taratavi.com. Oh yeah, she’s also been a kindergarten teacher for 14 years. When’s the last time you did anything for 14 years? Thought so.
See KEEPING IT BLEAK
Photo by Jim Herrington/ Sub Pop
ALL MUSIC IS SHIT TO GOD
DESTROYER THE CAT
There was a Destroyer in 1980s Albany, New York, so it seemed like a funny idea to pass the mantle to this little guy when he showed up two years ago. Big mistake. There’s nothing funny about this trembling fatty, for whom a chair leg scraping the floor might as well be the Archangel Gabriel trumpeting the earth’s explosion. Christ, what a weenis. But fair’s fair. Destroyer was also on deck (lap) for at least 5,000 words of this issue. Also, he’s got twice as many toes as a normal cat. Just last week an eighth toe was discovered in his many folds of pad fat, and it’s a disgusting little chicken-wing mutation that looks like the remains of a subsumed Siamese twin. I guess that explains some of the shame.
The Black Hole
HIS ENTIRE ISSUE
Alex, one of the new interns around our office, loves classical music. In sixth grade, she pasted pictures of Mozart photocopied from her mom’s World Book collection onto the inside of her Trapper Keeper. Then she’d sneak peeks at him during pre-algebra. In high school she traveled to South Carolina as her academic decathlon’s classical-music expert, scoring a resounding win after answering “OPERA BUFFA” to a question she no longer remembers. Tchaikovsky makes her want to rip her fingernails out almost as much as Debussy makes her want to have a dance party. She thinks Brooklyn Rider’s newest Debussy tribute album is just sublime. Her biggest regret is not having taken voice lessons, but she makes up for it by recording operatic renditions of Candlebox songs and posting them on YouTube. Anyway, she was a huge help with this month’s music reviews. Thanks, Alex. Sorry that we took all of your carefully thought-out, intelligently written opinions, turned off our brains, and rewrote them as idiots.