Fragmented Fish Oct 10

Guy is thirty five, married, has three kids, and likes to sing karaoke. He chooses inspiring songs like Air Supply’s All Out Of Love, REM’s Losing My Religion, and Elvis’ You Are Always on My Mind. His singing is quite sweet in a naive untrained way and you can tell he’s really feeling the music. He also does a pretty good baritone for the Crash Test Dummies Mmm Mmm Mmmm. But Guy has become a You-tube sensation, with over a million views and almost 3,000 subscribers. Diagnosed with Aspergers and Tourettes syndrome, his renditions are filled with involuntary tics and cussing, his heartfelt songs punctuated by potty mouth spasms of ‘ass’ and ‘fuck.’ His tourettes has progressed to the point where he can no longer work. He has a five or six day cycle, and in the meantime tries to control all the sensory inputs into his life and manage all kinds of stress he might experience, such as meeting new people, talking on the phone, being hungry, tired, or even spending too long in the car. With his music you get the sense that he’s thought to himself, ‘well if I’m gonna go off I might as well use it for something.’ Thus when the phone rang a few days ago he ticked like crazy and thought of the most obvious thing…Rick Astley.

His rendition of Never Gonna Give You Up is filled with the urgency and pathos that is lacking in the original. Intermittently clicking his fingers and whacking himself on the head to stop his tics, there’s a real tension there as you hope he can soothe himself for long enough to squeeze out the verse. “And if you ask me how I’m…fuck” he offers improving the song dramatically, before descending into laughter realising he’s fighting a losing battle. It’s at this point the tics build into a repetitious ‘fuck off’ medley and you can see him really fighting with the disease. You think the song’s over. But then between jerky spasms of cussing he miraculously ekes out ‘Never Gonna Give, Never Gonna Give,’ and you feel like cheering. It’s simultaneously tragic and inspiring, juvenile and voyeuristic. You don’t know where to look or how to react. But the songs are hilarious, genius pieces of instant composition. almost a sub conscious comment on the songs he chooses to cover. He does it to raise Tourettes awareness. Just type in tourettes karaoke. You’ve just been tic rolled.

It was while doing research for an interview with The Murder Junkies, GG Allin’s infamous backing band that Fragmented Fish discovered The Blood Artist. Apparently the bass player from the Murder Junkies (currently on tour in Australia), GG’s brother Merle, bought one of his unsettling works. Whilst artists have for years been known to mix little pieces of their DNA into their paint, be it blood, semen or even urine, Jack Crowley puts them all to shame. He lives out in the Californian desert, hunts and eats rattlesnakes and uses their blood for art. He is on record as saying that he hates art, and paints for money, but once you see his work you can tell that’s just posturing. He’s a portrait painter and chooses wholesome subjects like George Bush, Jeffrey Dahmer, Alex from Clockwork Orange and of course Charles Manson. His paintings are quite one dimensional. He allows the blood to dry, turn a horrible dark red, almost brown to create the illusion of depth. Then he paints over the top. Apparently the density and freshness of the blood impact significantly on the tone. Regardless of the ingredients there is something quite awful about and unsettling about his work, something scary and wrong. So if you’re looking for that one last serial killer portrait or wondering where you could find the image of the founder and high priest of the church of Satan etched in blood, call Jack.


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