Saturday, December 19, 2009

"if you plant a little fir tree on the roof..."

em bimonthlies
Originally uploaded by juniperbug
"...then we'll all be gifts beneath it." -- Half-Handed Cloud

The year is coming to a close. Are you looking back or looking forward? I suppose I'm doing a little of both. This year was awesome. Next year's going to be awesomer. But how about we save that for another post. Right now I just want to tell you about the collection of Elephant Mess bimonthlies that I have put into this fancy little pocket. Six issues of Elephant Mess produced every other month in 2009 starting in January and ending in November spanning issue numbers 21 through 26. If you haven't heard, this may be it for Elephant Mess, so this is your big chance to see how it ended (maybe). The complete collection with pocket will set you back $3. If you are missing an issue here and/or there or if you just want the pocket to keep your archive safe and fashionably stored, that can be arranged as well for stamps or a buck or some kind of trade or something. I'm very accommodating. (And no, we are not dating.)

Inquire here:
Dan Murphy
PO Box 363
Edwardsville IL 62025

Happy Holidays, folks.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"you thought that you could outrun sorrow"

em 26
Originally uploaded by juniperbug
If all good things must come to an end, then all bad things must come to an end too, right? Otherwise there wouldn't be balance in the universe. I'm not saying that the bimonthly-for-a-year series of Elephant Mess was good or bad - you'll have to conclude that for yourself - but I am saying that it's ending. Issue 26 is the last of 6, and it may even be the last of 26. Twelve years is probably enough. It may even be twelve years too many. Who knows? I can't really say for sure at this point. Either way, the 26th issue is now complete and ready for dissemination. In this issue, I filled a bunch of pages with lots of sentences and paragraphs and I used words like metamorphosis, unruly, sultry, and maudlin. I also referenced slag heaps and Canada (but not slag heaps in Canada). Lyrics of songs were basically used as filler. Oh, and I included the centerfold artwork of an inmate. Is that good enough for you? If so, send a dollar or stamps or a trade or cualquiera to:

Dan Murphy
PO Box 363
Edwardsville IL 62025

Don't be sad. There are better days ahead.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"eating pizza is really great..."

" is destroying everything you hate." -Be Your Own Pet

It's official, I am now writing reviews for the Syndicated Zine Reviews website. If you haven't had a chance to check out the site, do it. Not because I'm writing reviews, but because it's a great site.

Also, have you seen the documentary Food, Inc., yet? If not, you should definitely check it out. It just came out on DVD last week. It's all about how messed up our food system is these days. It's pretty disturbing at times, but it ends on a hopeful note, and it's important to know where your food comes from as well as being aware of all the absurdity and corruption that abounds in the industry. Here's a quote from the movie. It comes from one of the more positive scenes featuring food hero, Joel Salatin, of Polyface Farms.

"It is in that honoring and respecting the pigness of the pig and its distinctiveness that creates the philosophical building block for honoring and respecting your gifts and talents or even another culture's gifts and talents. [A] culture that just views a pig as a pile of protoplasmic, inanimate structure to be manipulated by whatever creative design the human can foist on that critter will probably view individuals within its community and other cultures in the community of nations with the same type of disdain and disrespect and controlling type mentality."

Bonus quote from Joel from an episode of Nightline:
"In our culture today - our western, reductionist, Greco-Roman, linear, fragmented, disconnected, systematized, all-parts oriented culture - we don't ask how to make a pig happy, we ask how do we grow them faster, fatter, bigger, cheaper, and that's not a noble goal."

Thursday, November 05, 2009

"i might wear black for a year straight"

The dreaded Yankees won their 27th World Series (in their 40th World Series appearance) last night. The 2009 Major League Baseball season has come to a close. It's a sad day indeed. Mostly what's sad is watching the same few teams win over and over again. I've always been one to root for the underdog. Maybe that's why I usually end up being disappointed. But I don't care; It's all in good fun. Either way, just once I'd like to see the tables turn. So, I'm offering to you my vision of the teams that I'd like to see in next year's MLB playoffs (even though I'm well aware of the unlikelihood of this happening). I picked these teams, not because they are all underdogs, but because they are teams that I like. Certainly there are other teams that have worse histories than some of these teams (like the Chicago Cubs for example).

For the National League:
-West division: Arizona Diamondbacks
-Central division: Pittsburgh Pirates
-East division: Washington Nationals
-Wild Card: Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants, or Cincinnati Reds

For the American League:
-West division: Seattle Mariners
-Central division: Detroit Tigers
-East division: Toronto Blue Jays
-Wild Card: Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, or Oakland Athletics

Ideally, the World Series would feature the Seattle Mariners and the Washington Nationals because they are two of the three teams that have never even played in a World Series (the third team being the Texas Rangers). Ultimately I'd want the winner to be the Mariners of course, but seeing either team in the Series would be a very pivotal moment for me and certainly for anyone else who roots for and believes in the underdogs.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"i did a fast downhill on my skateboard..."

The Juniper 12
Originally uploaded by juniperbug
"...but it never blew away the pain." -Mint

Hello folks. The Juniper # 12 is done, and it's everything you hoped it would be and more...except less. I wrote about microbes, bike riding, water wasting, transporting yourself post peak oil, emergency preparedness and being happy. I've also included some quotes about local eating and local purchasing, plus a recipe of course. It's all yours for a stamp. Or a trade. Or anything really. Just let me know that you want one by contacting me here:

Dan Murphy
PO Box 363
Edwardsville IL 62025

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"you ain't even go to class, bueller"

Saving the planet doesn't have to be boring. It's possible to have fun and make a positive impact at the same time. Here are two examples:

A dance club in Rotterdam, Netherlands called Watt has a special dance floor requiring dancers to keep moving if they want the lights to stay on. The more people dance, the more electricity is generated which is just one of the many sustainable features of "the very first Sustainable Dance Club in the world" with a "focus on sustainability in a creative and attractive way." Of course, you'll have to know Dutch if you want to read about it on their website, but you could also read about it here. Either way, it's a dance party 1998.

An organization called PlayPumps International has been installing water pumps in Africa for villages that otherwise have little or no access to fresh, clean water. The great thing about these pumps is that they double as a playground for kids. As the kids spin around a merry-go-round, water gets pumped from deep in the ground into a storage tank. The water can then be accessed from a nearby tap. Easy access to fresh water means that less people die of horrible, water-borne diseases and the women who usually spend their time fetching water from miles away can instead spend their time in school or participating in other worthwhile activites. Also, the kids get a safe and attractive place to play, which is in itself a major benefit.

Surely there are many other ways to enact positve change and have fun while you're at it. These are just a couple examples. Let me know if you can think of others.

"To be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair convincing."
-Raymond Williams

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"and all this self awareness, the blind led by the blind"

The September 2009 issue of Elephant Mess is out, which means that there is only one issue left in the bimonthly series. Also this month marks the 12th year of Elephant Mess, so there's that.
Anyway, this issue is once again ultra personal and pretty pathetic in that awkward way that only Elephant Mess can be, so if you're in the mood to throw up in your mouth or feel all icky inside than send a stamp or trade or love note to the address below. I'll be sure to get a copy sent in your general direction post-haste, criminals.

Dan Murphy
PO Box 363
Edwardsville IL 62025

Sunday, August 23, 2009

"drown the pain of this one to the sound of my guitar"

It has taken me a while to tell you about this, but last month I finally finished recording my first album. I'm a one man pop punk band called The Mildews, and my album is called Misadventures. It's 8 tracks of the poppiest punk your grandma has ever heard. No drums though, because I don't have a drummer, yet. That will hopefully be remedied someday. Either way, if you want a copy, send a couple of bucks and a nice note my way. Also, you should check out my myspace page:

Dan Murphy
PO Box 363
Edwardsville IL 62025

Sunday, August 16, 2009

"the town's so small..."

" could anybody not look you in the eyes or wave as you drive by? The world is such a wonderful place." -Band of Horses

In the past 2 and a half weeks I have driven through all of these states:

I'm done travelling now. And I don't want to see the inside of a car for at least a couple months or more.

Monday, August 03, 2009

"let me be fictional once in a while"

This is just a quick post to let everyone know that I have moved to Illinois. I'll be starting graduate school this month at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. My research will be in green roof technology.
All snail mail correspondence should now be sent to this address:

Dan Murphy
PO Box 363
Edwardsville IL

I'll have more updates soon. Meanwhile, please send housewarming letters and stuff.

Friday, June 19, 2009

"hey young world, i'm the new slick rick"

I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but I didn't put out a spring issue of The Juniper this year. I've just had too much other stuff going on, and since I'll be moving across the country part way through the summer, I decided it would be best to put off doing another issue of The Juniper until this fall.

In the meantime though, I would like to make a zine recommendation:
Coco Negro from Sacramento, CA makes an awesome zine called Carrots & Condoms. It's a very well-written zine with some great illustrations accompanying the writing. She has two issues out. The first issue deals with the dichotomy of life in the city versus life in the country (something I can really relate with). It also tells of Coco's adventures working on a homestead, learning about permaculture and finding community (both urban and rural).
The second issue is much more personal and introspective. It's a much more melancholy read because it deals with her sister's mental illness and growing up with an abusive father. Coco's words are honest and brave and warrant great admiration.

Here's an excerpt from Carrots & Condoms #2:
"What do most people consider 'normal'? I looked at my surroundings. I saw the blinking lights of traffic signals, the cars zooming by, the manic expressions of infuriated drivers, the brisk hurried pace of pedestrians determinedly avoiding each others' gazes. Oh yeah, I thought, This is what is considered normal. Smartly dressed people, smartly ignoring the homeless hanging around the park. Fast food and fast lives. Going to work and going to the store and going home. A few nights a week at the bar or some other preferred peer-approved social gathering space. Therapy sessions. Church. The most that anyone that is seeking an alternative really does is dress differently and buy different things. Everything is superficial, ugly, and unimportant, and yet that was all anyone seemed to care about. The world itself is fundamentally depressed."

You can purchase Carrots and Condoms from Coco for $2 an issue or trade:
Coco Negro
PO Box 163327
Sacramento CA 95816

I promise to try my best to have a new issue of The Juniper out sometime this fall. I will be at a new address, which I will be posting here as soon as I know it, so keep an eye out for that. And have an awesome summer. Summer of Slow, part two!

Monday, June 08, 2009

"we can suture the future shut like a cut"

"...we can replicate structures which replicate us." -Milemarker

Just a couple of things:

The new Sonic Youth album is coming out tomorrow. It's called The Eternal, and it features new band member Mark Ibold (former Pavement bassist). They are no longer on a major label; the new album is coming out on Matador Records, the home of Pavement, Mogwai, Yo La Tengo and lots of other awesome bands.

I probably didn't tell you this yet, but there is a new issue of Elephant Mess out. Issue #23. The fiction issue. Due to my recent bout of optimism and positivity, I didn't really have anything to write about. In the words of Al Burian, "I stopped liking the stuff I made. It seemed pointlessly negative. I didn't like the life I was documenting. My productivity ground to a halt. ... Even the bleakest art should be somehow life-affirming, otherwise, why bother?" I'd been meaning to do a fiction issue for a while now, so I decided that now is as good a time as any. I wrote a couple of very short stories using characters that I had developed more than a decade ago and I put together the May issue of Elephant Mess. Now, what am I supposed to do about the future? I guess we'll have to wait and see. Either way, if you're interested in reading some very poorly written fiction, send a stamp or something to:
Dan Murphy
PO Box 3154
Moscow ID 83843

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"i totaled another amp, i'm calling in sick"

The release of Sonic Youth's new album is only two weeks away. That's cause for another great Sonic Youth moment from the past:

Did you ever see the music video for Sonic Youth's "Bull in the Heather?" It featured Kathleen Hanna of the legendary riot grrrl band, Bikini Kill. She was the dancer. They didn't give her any direction as to what she was supposed to do, so she just danced around like a maniac all over the set (dance party, bedroom style). She kissed Kim on the cheek, dirty danced with Lee, mocked Steve's drumming and wrestled with Thurston (she even gave him a bloody lip according to the video commentary). Best of all, they paid her enough money to make rent that month. However, she probably would have done it for free, because like she said, "No one's too cool for Sonic Youth."

"smashed up against a car at 3 a.m.
kids dressed up for basketball beat me in my head
there's bum trash in the hall and my place is ripped
i totaled another amp, i'm calling in sick
it's an anthem in a vaccum in a hyperstation
daydreaming days in a daydream nation"
- Thurston Moore

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"punk rock died when the first kid said, punk's not dead"

The new Sonic Youth album, The Eternal, comes out in only three weeks. In anticpition of that event, I will be randomly posting awesome Sonic Youth moments from the past.

Today's moment is when Sonic Youth were featured in an episode of The Simpsons. The year was 1995. It was the 7th season of The Simpsons, and the episode was called, "Homerpalooza." Homer was part of the freak show in the touring music festival, Hullabalooza. The festival included Cypress Hill, Smashing Pumpkins, Peter Frampton, and Sonic Youth. Unfortunately, Sonic Youth didn't get as much exposure as the other artists, but there was a scene where they got caught stealing watermelon from Peter Frampton's cooler. Later, Kim Gordon delivered this awesome line, "Hullabalooza isn't about freaks. It's about music and advertising and youth-oriented product positioning."
Sonic Youth also covered The Simpsons theme song which played during the end credits. It was awesome.

Bonus quote from the same episode:
"I finally tapped into that spirit of self-destruction that makes rock and roll the king of music."
-Homer Simpson

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"punk rock dream in a dimebag world"

There are a few exciting things coming up, just so you know.

-May 16th - I graduate from college with a B.S. in Horticulture
-June 9th - Sonic Youth comes out with their new album, The Eternal
-June 23rd - Dinosaur Jr. comes out with their new album, Farm
-July 23rd - I get to see Sonic Youth live in Boise, Idaho
-Shortly after that - I move to Edwardsville, Illinois to go to graduate school

Certainly there are other exciting things happening along the way, but those are the things that stick out the most right now.

Summer 2009 is fast approaching. I'm pretty sure it's gonna rule.

" I don't want a girlfriend who doesn't listen to the Ramones
I don't want a girlfriend who doesn't go to punk rock shows."
-The Invalids

Thursday, April 09, 2009

"give me back my childhood, but let me keep my beard"

In light of recent lack of posting, I decided that I would offer some sort of update. And since I like making lists, here is a list of all the seeds that I have sown in the past couple of days:

-New Zealand Spinach
-Sedums (Rock Garden Blend)
-Bee Balm (Panorama Mix)
-Genovese Basil
-Mad-Dog Skullcap
-Baikal Skullcap
-Gourmet Lettuce Mix
-Mesclun Spicy Mix
-Micro-Tom Tomatoes
-Green Ice Lettuce

I won't have a garden of my own this year, but I can't not grow stuff.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"everybody needs a little devastation"

I guess it's been a while since I've updated this damn thing. Oh well. Who cares? The interweb is ruining my life anyway. Sucking up all of my time. I feel like I am glued to this computer screen way too much lately. I just want to get off of this stupid planet. Find a wormhole somewhere to disintegrate in.

On that note, I finished another issue of Elephant Mess. Remember a while back when I said that I was going to do one issue of Elephant Mess every month for a year. Well, I lied. Or I changed my mind. I am now going to do Elephant Mess bi-monthly for a year. I put one issue out in January, and now it's March. So, Elephant Mess #22 was promptly born. It's kind of a tribute to The Promise Ring, but not really. In order to really be a tribute to The Promise Ring, it would have to be much better and about different things. Mostly it is a continuation of my empty ramblings and failed attempts at being philosophical (or something like that). If you are a huge fan of The Promise Ring, you will be sorely disappointed and probably offended. If you are just a regular ol' fan of The Promise Ring, then your chance of liking the zine will be based mainly on the degree to which you enjoy reading mopey, melodramatic prose that occasionally feels forced. If you don't even know who The Promise Ring is, then some things may not make any sense but otherwise see the previous sentence. Is this a long enough description about a 16 page, 1/4-sized zine? Either you want it or you don't, right? End of story. If so, send a buck, a couple stamps, a trade or a nice note to:
Dan Murphy
PO Box 3154
Moscow ID 83843
And I'll consider updating this stupid thing more frequently. Although don't count on it. I'm busy.

"Neon black future
charging like a bull
with a funeral bouquet
ready to explode."
-The Blood Brothers

Monday, January 19, 2009

"how can we be the best, yet be failing all the time?

Elephant Mess 21
Originally uploaded by juniperbug
Elephant Mess has become a monthly zine for one year only, starting right now (with issue #21). This is the first issue of twelve for the year 2009. It's short but worth a stamp. I wrote about the double life syndrome and catalysts, plus I included artwork by Maaike. You can send a stamp for one issue or twelve stamps for all 12 issues (like a subscription ). A five dollar bill will also get you a one year subscription. Or just right me a friendly letter every month, and I'm sure you'll end up receiving all twelve.
Dan Murphy, PO Box 3154, Moscow ID 83843, USA

"Hal Hefner floated above his life. He saw the world around him as if he were just a ghost floating through. Nothing could harm him now. Nothing could move him or make him love again. He was that kind of ghost. The kind that couldn't love again...
Eventually, all of this would pass, and the memory of it would give way to embellishment and fantasy and outright distortion until it was hard for Hal Hefner to remember what he was really like back then when he still carried in his head the sound of a made-up perfect voice, the voice that could speak its heart, the voice he used to wish he had, until the day he stopped wishing he sounded like anyone else and just started talking as he was."
-from the movie, Rocket Science

Sunday, January 11, 2009

"please don't scratch me out"

The Juniper 11
Originally uploaded by juniperbug
Hello there co-conspirators.
Were you aware that I have just recently finished a brand new issue of The Juniper? Well I have. And while it seems to be taking me longer each year to get these things done, the important thing is that they are getting done. And if I'm going to go through all the trouble of making these things, well then you darn well better take the time to read them, ya hear? In this issue I talk about slowing down and looking on the bright side. I also give a quick overview of last season's gardening adventures, offer a composting primer, share a couple recipes and talk about cold frames among other things. It's worth a stamp or a trade.
Dan Murphy
PO Box 3154
Moscow ID 83843

Also, a new issue of Elephant Mess is in the works and should be done within the next week or two. So keep an eye out for that.