Portland, ME’s “Scott Spear, a.k.a I’D M THFFT ABLE, is in my opinion, simply one of the most inventively creative and talented performance artists in the current “generation” of experimental musicians…”
– the Hassle’s Nick Neuberg (from his write up of I’D M THFFT ABLE’s recent release, ENDLESS BLOOPER)
[] [[Performances]] [[in 14]]
[] Stuffing a mattress into a dumpster in the rain (at night)(amber
[] At the Biddeford 7-11, 12:30 am, a profoundly large man stares at
those rotating hot dogs (the ones that seem to be in every 7-11 in the
world) while singing along with The Pretenders’ “Brass in Pocket” in a
gorgeous, pitch perfect falsetto. The whole time there was a woman who
didn’t appear to work at the store shifting stacks of newspapers around
without any apparent aim. A couple argues about what they can and
cannot purchase with food stamps. A wild eyed man with a huge grey
beard walked around trying to make intense eye contact with everyone
and received little to none in return. A man waits patiently to pay
for his gas while the cashier waits for the singing man to make a
selection, which he only does after having sung every word beautifully.
As the song fades away and the profoundly large man shouts “THAT ONE!”
[] A Woman on a train singing a two note melody again and again to
her child: “snowflake, snowflake”, when she stops, the train shifts and
squeaks the same two notes in roughly the same rhythm, followed by
[] While feeling completely dejected, jealous and lonely on a too
hot summer night, I heard two middle aged guys standing in a dark (so
dark as to be almost unseen) shadowy corner of a burrito joint doing a
25-30 minute long rendition of/meditation on a Tom Petty song I’d
completely forgotten about, “Face in the Crowd”. This they performed
with an electric-acoustic guitar and electric fretless bass so slick
and shiny plastic sounding that I initially thought I was listening to
a CD (more specifically a CDr, possibly made by someone who works
there, possibly the manager, possibly recorded and burned in the late
90’s),the singers voice could have belonged to so many friends-from-
high-schools fathers (who, gee, I am no longer so much younger than),
which somehow made it sting all the more. They sang the verses again
and again, exchanged solos, then slipped in, mysteriously and
incongruously (are the chords the same?), a few verses from Lou Reed’s
“Walk on the Wildside” before returning to “Face in the Crowd” for
another extended stretch. Everything seemed to be moving incredibly
slowly. A baseball game was playing on mute the whole time (the Red Sox
were losing). When they were done nobody clapped, nobody was talking,
there was no sound. When they proceeded with the opening notes of
“Wish You Were Here”, I abandoned my dinner (which I’d barely touched)
and got the fuck out of there.
[] Several loud bhangra recordings playing simultaneously. All
colors of beads dangling from the ceiling (so low as to obscure my
vision). The smell of hundreds of incenses all for sale. Service
offered: burn your favorite mp3s to CDr for a low, low price.
[] ((What song was playing on the radio as)) A friends bag of weed,
a bag that I hadn’t been aware of until that very moment, ((Was it
“Hold On Loosely”?)) tumbled out of the back of the glove compartment
into a cops flashlight beam. ((was it “Dust in the Wind”?)) He was
kindly trying to help me find my registration and insurance. I had a
headlight out, you see. ((was it “It’s In The Way That You Use It”?))
Somehow, the officer never seemed to notice the bag sitting there,
((was it “Lay It On The Line”?)) in his flashlight beam throughout the
entire duration of my probably minute and a half long search.
[] The hum of the space heater, freezing rain on the sky light,
trees scraping against the roof, breathing, in the dark for hours
[] A parade? Someone is playing pitched percussion. Everyone is
dressed colorfully, all wearing masks. Two people are holding up a
platform with what looks like an actual lion wearing a mask on it. All
of this was seen and heard in a half second as the train sped by. I
saw another very similar parade(?), minus the lion, a bit later.
[] A door without a building, opening to nothing, at the top of the
staircase…..a set of rusty keys dangle to the right of the door,
sounding in the breeze.
[] The plane set off from Sydney a while ago, and I thought for
certain I’d see desert out the window by now. Isn’t the whole center
of Australia a desert? Why do I see only water? It’s been an hour or
so of just water. I’d ask Joel, but he’s asleep, I can hear his sleep
breathing. Where’s the desert? I was excited to see the desert. And
what are those white things in the water? Could those be icebergs? Is
the plane going south and not west? Everyone on the plane seems pretty
calm, but then again, most of them seem to be asleep. It’d be hours
before we saw icebergs wouldn’t it? But where’s the land? Where’s the
desert? We couldn’t be going south could we? Surely someone other
than me would have noticed. I’d ask Joel, but it sounds like he’s
sleeping quite heavily. Seriously, be rational, there’s no way this
plane is headed to Antarctica. Someone on this plane, other than you,
would have noticed and spoken up. The stewards and stewardesses would
seem troubled. I’d be able to read it in their body language. I
think? I don’t know. Should I say something? No, I’ll just sit here
until the ice sheet appears.
[] On the 4th of July, a woman in a wheelchair blocked the entrance
to the shop so she could sing/scream “Yankee Doodle” and “The Ballad of
the Green Beret” (you know, “brave men, who jump and die….”) into the
store. When she was finished I played “Stars and Stripes Forever” on
the turntable at top volume and she started laughing maniacally.
[] In the middle of the night, with light rain outside, striking
two different “gongs”, one at a time (one a steel pole, one a pot lid,
both suspended) and listening to them decay back into silence in the
(then nearly empty, now demolished) garage that my Great-Grandfather
built. Eventually, I began to think I heard whispers as the notes
decayed. When I continued to hear whispering after the decays I
stopped striking the gongs and sat and listened to it for a time.
Eventually a lone car passed outside (there hadn’t been one in about an
hour). As the sound of the car faded so too did the whispering.
[] Changing the lyrics of “Smooth Criminal” to be about a pooping
[] Having finally found food, sitting down to eat, sweat stinging
my eyes so badly I can barely keep them open, but not wanting to rub
them with my filthy hands, everything in my field of vision blurring.
A large lizard climbs up the wall, no one seems perturbed by it, so I,
too, ignore it. I hear gamelan music, at first thinking I was
imagining it, then thinking it’s a recording, then realizing it’s too
sloppy to be a recording, then following the sound to the source: a
school where dozens of kids are learning to play gamelan instruments,
all playing different parts of different pieces with different levels of
proficiency simultaneously, creating a thick collage of Javanese gamelan.
Everyone had to take their shoes off to enter the practice room.
[] Coming to realize that the tissue paper I used to make ear plugs
for the harsh noise set to come had been used to wipe up cum the night
before (and not caring).