Mud Folio, Almost Here

19/10/2011 § 2 Comments

It’s been a hard slog to get this sucker, THE MUD FOLIO, published in book form. A real book, with spines, a cover, cut to size, even an ISBN number and a UPC code, not the PDF download that’s up there now.

Why? Well, while I figured out a nice looking layout for an 8.5 x 11 page print-out LULU prints their trade paperbacks at 6 by 9 inch, a bit of a different ratio. If I wasn’t so anal, I’d just change the page dimension in InDesign and be done with it. But, I had to tinker, then the tinkering didn’t look right. Then life got in the way, and now, just about THREE FREAKING YEARS later, I am ALMOST done. Not yet, but almost.

We’ve had a few hiccups along the way as well. I added them on a timely basis — updates as they happened rushed to print, “copy, boy!” — to The Mud Folio page on Facebook, which I know you’ll “like” ASAP so you can get all the up-to-the-minute info on publication dates, and news and reviews, and future attempts at humor. (I sure hope we get us some reviews. I sure hope you can get the humor.)

Now, all in one place, here’s what’s happened to us to throw us off course, delay publication, fray nerves, and otherwise make us ready for those many Fridays when just one beer would not do. Though not first in the long list of detours, that Okie Poetry Slam was perhaps the hairiest of all.

BOOK BURNING


Burning poetry in Oklahoma — the Mud Folio banned and burned in the Okie Poetry “Slam” of 2009. Yes, that’s right, banned and BURNED! Why? I read off the article on poetrysux.com (thanks fans of the Mud Folio for sending me the link) that they objected to the usage of Disco Queens referring to those of a flamboyantly gay nature, in the lyric “Mud,” as opposed to those hapless Tween girls chosen at local Disco Roller Palaces all across the Heartland to be the town’s Disco Queen for that season. “We’re straight goddammit,” noted Heather Doiley in the piece. I’m assuming dear Heather was one of the chosen Roller Queens, but they didn’t specify why she was so roiling mad.

We were in good burning buddies with the ProgRock group Yes included in the session by having their lyrics for Fragile also dropped in the pyre. (The box on the right of the picture.) “WTF has the song ‘Roundabout’ have to do with anything real?” Dunk Whitmore was quoted as quipping. “I live near one and that damn song has nothing to do with that. And it gives me a headache.” I’m wondering if Dunk is a nickname, or if he’ll have to go through parenting trying to earn respect with that moniker. Serves him right if he does.

And, yes, since the The Mud Folio is a PDF the youngsters had to basically print out their copies in order to burn them. Obviously their parents, all good god-fearing constituents of Sen Inhofe, aren’t worried about global warming due to stupid human behavior or even the cost of toner. (12/2009)

PROOFING

I thought it was too good to be true; how could anyone proof a 100 plus page book, even one with spotty word counts of short lyrics, for the price of 24.5 Big Mac Meals? No, really, I had to buy McDonald Halloween Dollars to pay the bill. I should have known better when I shipped the galley off to a Post Office Box in Prague, but I was too delighted in having completed the next step in the publication of the book. I should have asked questions about those “translator’s fees.”

After a few phone calls, I found out the EZ English Proofing Institute translates the galley into several languages and then has proof readers in various countries go through the book and proof it. Then the Institute re-translates it back into English; bad, broken English, like a frantic email from Nigeria, one of which ended up being inserted into page 139 instead of the lyric “True Fax (at the Stop & Shop).” One of the many frustrations of self-publishing. (6/2009)

STRESS TESTING

Here’s a shot from the cellar, as we were stress-testing the Mud Folio book covers with harsh and pointed criticism. Next up on the schedule is withstanding the freeze-out of the cold-shoulder room. (6/2009)

RE-ALIGNMENT

Refinalizing the what-I-thought-was-final proofing. In order to get the book to be reprinted through Lulu.com, I need to re-layout the book to their specifications. Soooo, here we go again. Rented a new piece of equipment to review the pages and tweak them. It’s old school, but it looks so cool with that blue light emanating from the basement. Too bad we didn’t have it for this past Halloween, though it’s a bit expensive for such a folly-full use. You might say The Mud Folio is another one of my follies as well. You might, I don’t. So there. (3/2010)

SEARING CRITICISM

This past year I sent some copies of the Mud Folio to some accredited members of the song-writing community. You know, the guys who write those silly-little-love-songs that you hear on heavy rotation? Not the rap stuff. While I like my Kanye and Akon, and especially Nicki Minaj, and sometimes Lil’ Wayne, but ya know, Rapsters these days, well, their metaphors are for shit. No, really, this is not some oldster being turned off by rapping and the rated X lyricals. I get it. I understand it. I was weaned on Zappa for god sakes, but I have to say even Wayne, baby, you can do better than:

I like to taste that sugar, that sweet and low / But hold up wait, new position / I put her on my plate then do the dishes

I mean, really? That’s creative? Not for this Greenberg, that’s just drooling at the mouth. Not to denigrate High School football players, who, mostly, are not known for their poetics, but they could do as bad as that in a second and many do when not paying attention to the game and checking out the cheerleaders doing splits on the sidelines. Wayne, though, got paid at least 75K for that guest lyrical, as he so eloquently noted in a Rolling Stone feature on hisself:

“I wouldn’t do a song for my sister for less than $75,000.”

I could use that kind of green, even in low denominations, like tens and twenties. Which is why I packed up some folios and pitched them into the mail.

That was a few months ago. And since, not one word came back. The lyricals coulda-woulda-shoulda gotten this close to Demi or Selena or Joe or Nick, as, yes Hollywood Records was the destination for one packet. And there were others in the biz, who I know sideways through friends and family, who obtained the fine packages as well. From them all? Not one word. Perhaps the laser-tagging of the contents by the Stanford Research Institute — now known as SRI Int., those same guys who created SIRI in the new iPhone — went overboard and deflated the verbiage to vanilla lyricals? It did look okay to me at the time, and I inspected it carefully, though it was after a few congratulatory single-malts from the SIRI guys that their machine didn’t incinerate the papers as it did every test before. They did go to 11, pushing the controls to the “fine-tune” setting, supposedly tweaking out some offensive shit, grammar, punctuation, though the disparaging remarks about the Allman Bros on page 30, or my self-deprecating, and sardonic blurbs found at the bottom of some lyricals were duly maintained. I checked those things, at least.

But nothing? Not good stuff, not bad stuff, not even a text from them bleating, “this is crap, Dave.” NOTHING!

Rest assured that I sent the cleaned-up Stanford version to the trash, and, except for the grammar and punctuation oddities, all the good stuff has been reinserted at the right places, a fun-filled time with lyrical ponderings, which is yours for FREE, just a download away if you click here.

And, soon, the real paperback book version that you can buy on LULU.com soon, will also be the authentic Tape Dave Music version that had the great singer, Dee Dee Bridgewater remarking:

“Put down whatever you’re reading this very minute and download this (FREE!) book of lyrics. It’ll tug at your heart, or make you laugh, or sing. Sometimes all at once. Either way it will shine up any dull moment.”

This, and all the other quotes, from my “close and dearest friends,” Ramsey Lewis, Ann Hampton Callaway, even ESPN’s SR VP of Production, are up at FaceBook.

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