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ALARMby Mike Daily
Synopses & Reviews
ALARM carries on the humorously visual narratives of fictional character Mick O'Grady, introduced in Daily's first published novel, Valley (Bend Press, 1998). Of that novel, Ray Gun Magazine wrote, "Mike Daily packs so many stylish smash cuts into Valley, MTV dulls by comparison."
In ALARM, the humorously visual narrative engages another dimension: the novel includes two full-length CDs featuring improvisational music and Mike Daily's spoken words excerpted from the book. One of the discs is a studio album, the other a compilation of live performances by the author's band, O'GRADY.*
ALARM finds O'Grady "settling into unsettlement" in the weeks after the hit on the World Trade Center. He's jobless, watching the news, shaky in his relationship, cautious with friends, curious with strangers. He's lost. But as the story progresses, his movements become more purposeful. He needs to eat. He gets a job. He gets two jobs.
ALARM is a stripped-down novel (and accompanying audio artifact) of confusion, alienation, and rediscovery of hope in the post-9/11 era that reads like a love letter to a friend and a promise to the future.
* The first CD that comes with this book is a 20-track compilation of live performances by O'GRADY (Daily, jDUB, Francis O'Plague, Sub-Sic) from shows at Disjecta Gallery and Ash Street Saloon in 2006 and 2007.
The second CD is a 16-track album assembled from studio recordings by Roads Less Traveled; Slack Variables; Begin/Daily/Strange (featuring guitar by Jason Begin from Christie Front Drive and Ousia, and vocals by Emilie Strange from Junior Private Detective); Daily, Moscovich & Strahota (presenting "Major Fiction"--the "FC2 Fightsong", as author and literary critic Larry McCaffery referred to it); Mick O'Grady Trio (Daily, David Moscovich, Sub-Sic) performing via live radio broadcast from Jennifer Robin's "Night of the Living Tongue" program on KBOO 90.7; and an early incarnation of O'GRADY featuring Luke Strahota from The High Violets as drummer, A.L. Hungate as Guitar God, Chutz Ponderosa on bass, and writer Kevin Sampsell reading personal post cards and letters (circa '94-'99).
Both CDs were professionally mastered by Antreo Pukay at Tell Tale Recording in Portland.
From the Foreword:
"Some of the most exciting work in the world is being done in the interface zones (the "interzone") between arts. What started with Patchen and Rexroth when they combined reading with jazz music, and what continued on through Kerouac and Ginsberg, through Jim Morrison and Patti Smith, through Jello Biafra, Henry Rollins, and Genesis P-Orridge, continues with renewed vigor and a fresh voice through the work of Mike Daily and his band, O'GRADY..." — Eckhard Gerdes, Editor, Journal of Experimental Fiction
"ALARM is a fantastically real account of life as we know it — and especially succeeds at uncovering the humor and magic of our most normal days working, loving, and living." Craig Finn, lyricist and guitarist, The Hold Steady
"Creating a category all his own between sound and text, Daily hums along like an electrical current zapping every territory of the social body — consumer culture, media wasteland, relationship see-saws, and oh yeah — the so-called 'self.'" Lidia Yuknavitch, author of Her Other Mouths, Liberty's Excess, and Real to Reel
"For some time now, Mike Daily has been compiling his own Daily-a-canna, a body of music, visuals, and words that do for California subculture what Dickens might have done for London had he been into 99-cent stores and had a band. Now comes ALARM. Authentic as Harvey Pekar's graphic novels, as energetic and raw as any new indie movement, ALARM is a novel in the form of a rock song or a rock song in the form of a novel that mines the humor in mainstream culture as well as the humor in underground culture — along with their anthrax concerns, adverting pitches, boy-girl problems, and all the rest of the mashup." Steve Tomasula, author of Vas: An Opera in Flatland, and The Book of Portraiture
"This double CD and accompanying 212 page novel is a package, a gripping excursion of spoken word and experimental sounds that delves deeply into the broken mess of a society that is all-consuming but seems to need nothing. Told from two different but simultaneously engaged perspectives, this lyrically dense and aurally compelling collection of songs is a soundtrack abstract, a cohesive yet jagged splicing of stark voices, flits, buzzes, instruments and found sounds that evoke time and place, while instinctively reflecting the ever-changing perspective of the narrator(s). The first CD is studio recordings, offering a more controlled environment that allows the density of the words to run free on the palate, jutting in and out while matching inflexion with the various percussive background elements. The second disc is a field recording, a live semi-improvised set that adds a raw element to the songs and provides ever ascending levels of grit and intensity. Filled with humor, wit, and a frightening comfort, this multifaceted collection is a spot-on dedication to modern life and its charmingly fastidious tendencies." CD Baby
"A track on the studio CD called 'Major Fiction' consists of Daily reciting the titles of all the books the publisher FC2 has published since 1974. FC2 publishes experimental fiction and is a big influence on Daily. He also likes Kenneth Patchen, Donald Barthelme, 'any of the guys who toyed with form.'" Jeff Baker, The Oregonian
"Not quite beat poetry, not quite music, ALARM is the kind of weird, abrasive post-modern project that feels right at home in Portland." Willamette Week
"In this semi-autobiographical, Dave Eggers meets Richard Linklater book, Daily presents a character living in a constant state of confusion most of us only visit when we say a word over and over again until it doesn't seem like it could actually be a word at all." 2 Gyrlz Quarterly
"Mike Daily (and his band O'Grady) should be complimented for expanding the concept of how a novel can be presented. As poets, we have pretty much adapted to the idea of performance poetry, recognizing how we read our poems can be as important as how we write them. But performance fiction? Daily and O'Grady show it can be done." POETIX: POETRY FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
"There is something lucid, luminous and yet crunchy, wholesome and gluey about the way he renders lingo and thought and rancid observation a state of the art! It's clever and very, very intuitive." SONOLOCO, Sweden
"Mike Daily is a writer of disintegration. His first novel, 1998's Valley, begins as a story of frustrated writers living outside of Los Angeles before it shifts stylistically into stage and screenplays, poetry, interviews and Xeroxed images. 2007's ALARM applies that principle on a grander scale, following Valley protagonist (and possible Daily surrogate) Mick O'Grady through a series of dead-end jobs. O'Grady's thoughts become fixated on a planned move to Oregon and his friendship with Future Tense Books publisher Kevin Sampsell, ultimately bringing the novel to a close amidst a deepening density of collages, forfeiting the task of resolving the plot to the book's alternate narrator." Tobias Carroll, paperthinwalls.com
ALARM is a novel about a man and a woman wrangling with relationship concerns in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The setting is Southern California's San Fernando Valley. The female character is named Jocelynn.
About the Author
Mike Daily is a novelist, recording artist, and blogmaster who frequently performs his work in Portland, OR. He is currently vocalist for the experimental fiction rock band, O'GRADY.
ALARM features: Jason Begin, A.L. Hungate, jDUB, Matt McCullough, J. Morales, David Moscovich, Francis O'Plague, Mia Payne (vocals), Chutz Ponderosa, Kevin Sampsell (reading), Luke Strahota, Emilie Strange (vocals), Sub-Sic.
The current incarnation of O'GRADY is jDUB/drums, Adam Levi Hungate/guitar, Chutz Ponderosa/bass, Daily/fiction.
Daily/O'GRADY (featuring Nora Robertson as "Jocelynn") performed in Phase One: Words + Music at Someday Lounge on June 20th.
Daily read (with local hip-hop artist Sticks Downey rapping dialogue from ALARM) and signed books at Powell's Burnside on June 25th. Thank you, Powell's!
O'GRADY performed as a drums/fiction duo at Ash Street Saloon on July 26th. Nora Robertson guest-starred as "Jocelynn".
Mike Daily/jDUB performed at the FC2 Writer's Edge student open mic reading on July 28th.
Daily read at Reading Frenzy on August 22nd.
Introduced by Raymond Federman, Mike Daily will read at John Fowles Center at Chapman University in Orange, CA, on May 5, 2008.
Table of Contents
TRACK LISTING: O'GRADY / LIVE PERFORMANCES CD / ALARM
01. O'GRADY [0:30] [Ash St. 07.06.06]
02. Ordinary Concerns [2:36] [Ash St. 01.06.07]
03. Shake It, Bump It, Sniff It [1:12] [Ash St. 01.06.07]
04. War [6:02] [Ash St. 01.06.07]
05. Anthrax [1:34] [Ash St. 07.06.06]
06. Los Angeles [5:30] [Ash St. 07.06.06]
07. Drum Machines [6:30] [Ash St. 07.06.06]
08. Any Questions? [0:25] [Ash St. 07.29.06]
09. Only Girls Can Smoke in Here (Pt. I) [2:26] [Ash St. 07.29.06]
10. Only Girls Can Smoke in Here (Pt. II) [6:04] [Disjecta Gallery 07.20.06]
11. Major Fiction [5:12] [Disjecta Gallery 07.20.06]
12. ALARM [2:37] [Disjecta Gallery 07.20.06]
13. Archivalism [0:24] [Ash St. 07.29.06]
14. Cut to a Commercial [2:07] [Ash St. 07.29.06]
15. Francis O'Plague [2:51] [Ash St. 01.06.07]
16. Brautigan [6:57] [Ash St. 01.06.07]
17. God Is My Friend [3:22] [Ash St. 07.29.06]
18. Follow Your Heart [2:46] [Ash St. 07.29.06]
19. End of Reality [1:15] [Disjecta Gallery 07.20.06]
20. You [0:05] [Francis O'Plague's House June 2006 practice]
TRACK LISTING: STUDIO ALBUM CD / ALARM
Roads Less Traveled
Mick O'Grady Trio
Daily, Moscovich & Strahota
01. Alarm [1:33] [Mick O'Grady Trio]
02. Anthrax [0:51] [Mick O'Grady Trio]
03. God Is My Friend [1:39] [Mick O'Grady Trio]
04. War [8:45] [Mick O'Grady Trio]
05. Made in Burma [2:44] [Begin / Daily / Strange]
06. Oh for Fook's Sake! [6:16] [Mick O'Grady Trio]
07. Van Nuys Blvd. [2:55] [Mick O'Grady Trio]
08. Follow Your Heart [2:28] [Mick O'Grady Trio]
09. Cut to a Commercial [1:59] [Mick O'Grady Trio]
10. Brautigan [5:18] [Mick O'Grady Trio]
11. Drum Machines [4:30] [Roads Less Traveled featuring Mike Daily]
12. Kevin Sampselliana Pt. I [8:03] [O'GRADY featuring Kevin Sampsell]
13. Kevin Sampselliana Pt. II [9:30] [O'GRADY featuring Kevin Sampsell]
14. You [2:13] [Slack Variables]
15. Major Fiction [7:13] [Daily, Moscovich & Strahota]
16. Way Too Tight [0:16] [Abadeka]
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