I've established a bit of a reputation for myself as a Professional Amanda Palmer basher, ever since I wrote an angry little parody poem in response to her "Poem for Dhzokhar" which ended up exploding onto BuzzFeed and The Guardian UK. I was never particularly fond of her, even before that — some of her music is fine, sure, but her Neutral Milk Hotel Jukebox Musical left a very sour taste in my mouth1, and her production of Cabaret at the American Repertory Theatre was the single worst (not to mention most masturbatory) professional theatre production I have ever experienced — but it wasn't until recently that I really started seething at the mention of her continued existence on our shared plane of reality. That might sound a little extreme — she hasn't, you know, killed anyone or anything — but the cognitive dissonance between the message that Amanda Palmer conveys and the things that she actually does fills me with such insipid anger, that I feel the need to articulate the ongoing problem that she continues to present. I'm choosing to write about this now is because I've had a number of people bring my attention to her latest blog post about Justin Bieber's arrest, all saying that they awaited my snarky response to it. And while sure, I could do that (hell, maybe I still will), I thought it would be better for me to take the Amanda Palmer approach and express myself my feelings in a rambling blogpost which I can then in turn proclaim to be "art" and thereby diminish any and all criticisms of my own shortcomings by blowing a raspberry at my detractors and say "IT'S JUST ART YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND I'M JUST TRYING TO EXPRESS MYSELF AND THAT IS BEAUTIFUL."Read More
Thom Dunn is a Boston-based writer, musician, homebrewer, and new media artist. He enjoys Oxford commas, metaphysics, and romantic clichés (especially when they involve whiskey), and he firmly believes that Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" is the single greatest atrocity committed against mankind. He is a graduate of Clarion Writer's Workshop at UCSD ('13) & Emerson College ('08).
Clearly this is the first chapter of an erotica story that will put TWILIGHT to shame.
This is for one of my fellow Clarionites, whose Samson-like status he believed was derived from the fuzz that lined his face. (I'm inclined to believe him)
Here's a little poem I wrote for my friends' wedding. I had the EMT-video game-heart metaphor early on (because it fits them), but it took me forever to actually nail the thing down. I tried so many different approaches, but I'm pretty happy with the final product (and more importantly, so were they!)
Here's my latest post on 5x500, in which I explore the ancient art of writing a set list. You're welcome.
Three years ago, I lost my oldest friend to suicide. It's something I still live with every day, even if he doesn't. I just wanted to take a moment In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Week to share an important truth spoken by one of our greatest heroes, to remind us all of the truth in the face of overwhelming emotional adversity:
Never forget that.
...Seriously? We're calling it that? Thanks, Fox News. Anyway, here's a fun little post I did for Five By Five Hundred about this so-called "War on Marriage," and how I imagine the theatre of conflict to erupt when we finally hear that official declaration of war.
Oh jeez. Judging by the activity thing, you'd think that I'd done absolutely nothing worth a mention in the last month. But in fact, the opposite is quite true -- I've been too damn busy to post anything here. There's been weddings, there's been funerals, there's been travel, there's been sickness, and everything else in between (aka, ya know, actually doing stuff). So subscribers, I'm going to apologize here now first as I'm likely about to back-post some of the past month's activities for archival reasons. I swear, I will try to be more on top of this.
Today's adventure in homebrewing: a smoked kölsch ale, made with genuine charred oak barrel pieces straight from the Jack Daniels distillery and soaked with whiskey for 5 years. The goal is to make it a light summer drinking beer, that's already been (deliciously) stained by the campfire around which you should probably be drinking it anyway, because we're coming up on prime latenight backyard campfire drinking season. I'll also be adding some liquid smoked oak essence at the end, to balance the flavor as needed (or as not needed, although probably needed). (For those of you unfamiliar with kölsch, it's kind of like a pilsner in color/hoppiness, except it's an ale, not a lager. Get it? Okay. Moving on)Read More
"Whatever ineffable attributes Sembos brings to the Alternate Routes, there's no mistaking what he has done with the Backyard Committee: He's made an inviting album of songs that linger after the last note fades. The guitarist and singer displays a knack for crafting solid pop songs shot through with bits of folk and country, for a warm, pleasingly worn-in sound."
Catch me playing keyboards with the Backyard Committee next Monday, January 17 at Daniel Street in Milford, CT, and don't forget to download the album for free before the show.
In light of this whole big Huck Finn controversy, I couldn't help but recall my own experience with the book back in my Junior year of high school, which now seems frighteningly poignant and topical. Read the story over at FiveByFiveHundred.com.
The Backyard Committee is a band based out of New Haven, Connecticut that blends genres ranging from Americana to punk rock into a jam-friendly framework. Singer/guitarist Mike Sembos (The Alternate Routes, superfallingstars, Kennesaw) writes the songs, and they’re played by a rotating cast of his musical friends. Each member of the “committee” is encouraged to bring his or her own unique voice to the project, be it on stage, on tape, in the artwork or in the crowd. The group’s debut self-titled album was released in December 2010, and it’s posted indefinitely for free download on their website below. All music ever released by the band will be made available for free in digital form in an attempt to make the band experience less of a business venture and more of an art collective.
The album is an excellent collection of indie/Americana tunes, and I'm excited to say that I'll be joining him onstage for a few gigs this winter on keyboards. Catch us at Daniel Street in Milford, CT on January 17, and then again at New Haven's own Cafe Nine on February 24.
And download the damn album! I mean, c'mon. It's free. Sheesh.
Yup. That's right. I'm here*. It's kinda like Thom Dunn 2.0, only much better looking. This website is a way for me to consolidate and share the mass of things I do — from writing to brewing to music to film/video, now there's one stop for all your Thom Dunn needs. Some of the sections are still pretty sparse, but I'm working up towards a whole mess of content that I hope you'll enjoy. There will be scripts and plays and stories to read, videos to match, music to listen to, music to download, recipes to steal and use, and much more. So take a look around, check back often, and tell your friends to do the same!