Ask Forgiveness


Will Oldham sets D.H. Lawrence’s “The Risen Lord” to music on his “black/rich” EP. There’s another version—that I like a lot less—on one of his albums.


William Blake.

William Blake.

Kawehi, "Heart-Shaped Box" | The Hairpin

And for comparison’s sake, here’s the Grateful Dead’s take on The Who’s “Baba O’Reilly”, SBD 12-17-1992. Never one of my favorite GD covers, though this is one of the better versions of it out there. Gonna give this round to GWAR.


Gwar covers The Who - “Baba O’Riley” at the Orange Peel, Asheville NC, 11/1/13.


GWAR covers Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out.”


GWAR covers Billy Ocean’s “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” (Live) Sept 15th 2013.


R.I.P. Oderus Urungus, aka Dave Brockie, aka the worm-faced psychopath guttural screamer frontman of GWAR.

I saw GWAR four or five times, in Florida and New York, and it was never less than stellar. They were the absolute stupidest, craziest, crassest band you can imagine—and if you listened close enough, they could actually play. The shows were fun and disgusting in a way that I’m not sure can (or should) exist in any other context. The last time I saw them, at Irving Plaza in ‘05 or ‘06, it was December and below freezing. My friend Elliott and I got totally soaked with fake blood and vomit and alien jizz and whatever else they were shooting at us. When we went back outside after the show we nearly froze to death. It ruled.

Above: GWAR covers Kansas’ “Carry On My Wayward Son” for the Onion A/V Club.


"The Dead Generations" by Jared Hohl, recommended by The Agriculture Reader

I just made my own post about this but here’s the official reblog


Issue No. 96


For as long as we’ve known him—since the mid-aughts, when we were all students together at The New School M.F.A. program—Jared Hohl’s been among the most interesting writers we’ve known: a doom-minded expert in the special weirdness that seethes beneath the pasty skin of the Midwest. (A native Iowan, he makes a mean beer can chicken.) In “The Dead Generations,” a crew of crop duster pilots “[declare] a whiskey front and immediately set about pissing the day away.” General breeze-shooting turns tense when Bob Honeycutt, a geriatric swinger, boasts to the group of how easy it is to seduce a married southern woman, infuriating Pete Shanks, who is married to one. A bit later (the whiskey front still squarely over the airport), two pilots take one of the planes out for a drunken joyride, triggering some unexpected existentialism in the one named Keith.

A bit of history: Jared Hohl’s first published short story was called “Fraise, Menthe, et Poivre 1978.” It appeared in an anthology Justin edited, The Apocalypse Reader (Thunder’s Mouth, 2007), and it was singled out for praise in literally every single review that the book received. A short story of Hohl’s appeared in The Agriculture Reader #2, and this excerpt from his novel-in-progress—then called The InvadersRetreat, now called The Dead Generationsappeared in AGR5. A bit of good news: after almost a decade of hard and loving labor, Hohl finished his novel earlier this year. This is no small cause for celebration, and we toast his achievement here.

“The Dead Generations” comes from a line in the Easter Proclamation of 1916, in Hohl’s words “a document that was meant to assert Irish independence and is now a decorative facsimile featured in a thousand fake Irish Pubs from Cleveland to Tokyo.” A fitting title for a novel about obsession and authenticity, addiction and Internet death videos, the rough tug-of-war between ideology and human agency, and the aesthetics and ethics of tourism and, of course, of fake Irish pubs.

Jared Hohl is a wonderful writer. “Wonderful” in the old sense, as in “fills you with wonder,” in the same archaic vein that “awful” once meant “fills you with awe.” We find ourselves no less awed (and thrilled!) today than we were years ago to have the privilege of reading such fleet electric matchless prose, and the honor of presenting it to the world. Dark, funny, grotesque, astonishing, full of swerves and genius, Hohl’s work scarcely requires—may in fact not even want—the heaps of praise we pile at its feet. So let us simply say that Hohl’s work exemplifies everything The Agriculture Reader stands for and strives for: the uncompromising, unpretentious, staggering, original, unknown. If it gets you, then you get us, and it is good to know you, friend.

Justin Taylor and Jeremy Schmall
Editors, The Agriculture Reader


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The Dead Generations

by Jared Hohl

Recommended by The Agriculture Reader

Early in the gray morning, the crop dusters gathered in the pilot’s lounge of the Riperose Municipal Airport and saw a big summer storm approaching. It swirled on the radar in pixelated green, moving east across the image of Iowa. The crop dusters declared a whiskey front and immediately set about pissing the day away.

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The Agriculture Reader on Recommended Reading: THE DEAD GENERATIONS BY JARED HOHL

“Well,” said Honeycutt. “I don’t intend to come between a man and his wife, but sometimes I can’t help myself.” He ended this one with a wink toward the younger guys who let out big laughs, the kind that went on too long and were meant to help encourage a fight.

(Above: some kids cover Against Me!’s “Turn Those Clapping Hands Into Angry Balled Fists.”

Mar 4

Bruce Springsteen covers Lorde’s “Royals” at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland 1-3-2014.


Agriculture Reader #6 is here!

Hey everyone—It brings me joy beyond telling to announce the existence of AGRICULTURE READER #6, the limited-edition arts & poetry annual that I co-edit with my friend Jeremy Schmall. The magazine is a literary anthology and an art-object. Jeremy and I pick the words out and the look/feel/shape/colors/layout are masterminded by the currency collagist and book artist Mark Wagner and ace designer Amy Mees. 

The new issue is a real barn burner--published in dos-a-dos format with custom illustrations by two amazing artists for the A and B sides. Side A is a complete poetry collection, included as part of the issue. Side B is a more traditional anthology featuring new poems by many fine writers, including tumblr’s own Lamb of God, a debut fiction publication, Andri Snaer Magnason poems in translation from the Icelandic, a dash of Emerson, and more. 

You can read the full contributor list and see the cover(s) on our snazzy new website, so I hope you’ll take a minute, check us out, re-tumbl, order the issue, whatever else you’re moved to do in re this. (We’ll also be at AWP Seattle this week, if that term happens to mean anything to you.)